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Peer Consultation: A Vehicle for Building Capacity and Support Facilitated by Martha Isobel Lask National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Peer Consultation: A Vehicle for Building Capacity and Support Facilitated by Martha Isobel Lask National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peer Consultation: A Vehicle for Building Capacity and Support Facilitated by Martha Isobel Lask National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference 2009 “Peer Consultation changed our culture” Participant in a Peer Consultation Program in a large child care agency

2 Introduction What we will cover: – Overview of Peer Consultation/Coaching – Key Skills – Practice and Demo – Description of the Model – Application to Your Situations

3 A Shift in Thinking ~ A Different Way of Helping Slowing down the helping process……to speed up to a great result: – Helping to gain clarity about an issue through reflection and questioning – Making sure we consider both facts and feelings – Helping to build capacity to find lasting solutions instead of giving quick answers

4 Why Peer Consultation and Coaching? Executive Directors are isolated Organizations are undergoing continual change: – New regulations – Increased competition – More diversity – New technology – Scarce funding Complex problems require gaining problem clarity and non- traditional approaches

5 Why Peer Consultation and Coaching? Need forums for continuous improvement and support Peer Consultation/Coaching: – empowers everyone to use skills – provides continuous improvement and support, – Brings many good heads together Peer Consultation/Coaching is being used now in many places

6 The Leadership Exchange & Coaching Program (LEC)

7 Benefits of Peer Consultation/Coaching Get help on real stuff Learn different approaches & skills Individual growth – Apply learning from previous sessions – Build interpersonal relationships & trust by working on tasks and challenges – Bring these methods to other meetings and forums

8 Quotes from Participants Inside a child care agency – “Once we learned it as a technique and as a strategy, it’s been embedded in what we do regularly.” LEC – “Absolutely I like having the LEC peer network… “Our peer consulting group is very supportive. I would feel very comfortable calling anyone to ask for advice and resources. And I can take this peer consultation model into different venues.”

9 Quotes from Participants LEC – “We’re not just asked to present our issues, but how do we feel about it …to acknowledge our feelings, not just bury them, and then figure out how to get from point A to point B.“

10 Key Elements/Skills Witnessing – Activate Compassion – Deep Listening – Suspend Judgment Questioning

11 Witnessing If the goal is: To help identify the real issue, Examine feelings, and Identify a next step towards resolution…., We have to create a trusting environment

12 Witnessing We do this by: – Activating our compassion – Listening deeply – Suspending judgment Then we ask questions to promote discovery and insight

13 Individual Exercise Think of a time or a few times when, in speaking about an issue of importance to you, – You felt accepted and not judged – You were helped by the person’s perspective – You felt that the person really cared, but did not “tell, solve, or interpret” – You felt validated What did that person(s) do or say that helped?

14 Questioning If you’re listening deeply, with compassion, the questions will occur to you Good questions are critical to help clarify an issue We ask questions to which we cannot possibility know the answer, such as “What are your hopes for that meeting?”

15 Questioning Types of Questions – Investigative ….WHAT – Discovery….SO WHAT – Empowering….NOW WHAT Begin with 1 or 2 investigative questions Move to discovery questions to help the person explore the issue more deeply Move to empowering questions to challenge the person to identify a next step

16 Questioning in Pairs 1.Pair up with someone next to you 2.In this quick activity focus is on Discovery Q’s 3.Goal: Help your partner reflect on their experience and learn as much as they can about it.

17 Questioning: One round…4 minute interview 1.Speaker: Talk about something you are proud of having accomplished 2.Questioner: Ask your partner Discovery Questions to help them learn something about the strengths they bring to their work

18 Questioning Debrief Speaker – did you learn something new? What are some good questions that were asked?

19 Demonstration - Set Up Would someone volunteer to be consulted to live? Examples of issues » How do I involve resistant partners? » How do I handle a staff person who is not performing? » I have a fabulous MDT – how do I continue to engage them?

20 Demonstration - Instructions to Group As you are listening…..What compassionate responses occur to you? As you are listening…..What questions occur to you? We’ll stop action for witness response & questions

21 Demonstration Consult/Coach (5 min) Stop action for witness response and questions (10 min) Resume Consultation (5 min)

22 Demonstration Debrief What did you notice? What questions do you have?

23 The Peer Consultation Process In your handouts: 1.Purpose 2.Consultation Process 3.Issue presentation Template 4.Witness Response 5.Questioning 6.Group Member Roles 7.Structured Agenda 8.Cautions: Do’s and Don’ts 9.Application to Your Local Community 10.Sources & Contacts

24 Application in Your Local Situation How might you use this in your community? – Inside your CAC with staff – With other Executive Directors in your community – Within your MDT – Within your Board of Directors – With other CAC Directors – Other?

25 Ingredients for success Use Witnessing and Questioning Follow the process; use the structure Create confidentiality agreements Commit to the group and the process Keep regularity/consistency Don’t rush to problem-solve

26 Wrap-up What questions do you have?

27 Final Thoughts Thank you for attending! For more information about LEC, visit

28 Sources This Peer Consultation Model was developed by Martha Lask and is based in part on the work of: – Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD. “Authenticity Circles.” Authenticity Consulting, Minneapolis, Minnesota. – Parker Palmer, “Circles of Trust.” sponsored by the Center for Courage and Renewal, Bainbridge Island, Washington. – Perrone-Ambrose Associates, Inc.”Coaching Methodology.” Chicago, Illinois. – Martha Lask and Peter Norlin. “The Witness Stance.” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Ann Arbor, Michigan. – Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. “The Critical Response Process.” Washington DC.

29 Contact Martha Lask: Visit web site: Additional materials available Contents of this presentation © copyright 2009 by Martha Isobel Lask Martha Lask Consulting


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