Chunking & Zooming
So, chunking and zooming are the way that you really get tactical and teach something specifically okay. This is where the rubber meets the road, we're doing the practice now. So first is chunking, breaking the process into chunks to expose patterns. Classic example is if you're a violinist learning a song, you do not try to learn the song all together. You learn, you break it into parts, maybe you break it into eight parts depending on how long it is, 10 parts, 12 parts. You learn each chunk individually and then you link them. You don't try to put the whole song together, it's too much to process okay. So as a coach with anything you can chunk anything right. All I'm doing all day when I'm coaching people is trying to figure out what the pattern is, what are they talking about, where they wanna grow, and then in my mind what is the chunk I can break that into right? And I might be even writing down okay we're gonna talk about this, this, and this. The chunks are buh, buh, buh, and th...
en I'll go into the first one. So chunking is not always so scientific, sometimes it is right, depends on how technical the skill is. Sometimes it's a little more free-form. That's like the cook versus baker thing right. So for you, I want you to think about, and trust your intuition, how can I chunk this thing? How can I break it into a piece? Any questions about chunking? So did you see me do that with Sam earlier when we were talking about his situation with his difference in needs versus his other, the person that he was talking about. I slowed him down and I made him pick a part of it, okay. Let's go a little further into that piece right. And then we got a little more expanded, we went further into that piece and got more expanded. So that was me breaking the parts and then zooming on it. So the technical term is slowing down. Imagine if you're playing a piano piece, instead of trying to play it full speed, you're gonna learn the keystrokes very deliberately, slowly, in order. Then, only when you get them right very slowly do you speed them up and you might go quarter speed, half speed, three-quarter speed, full speed. Then sometimes people play something extra fast so that when they play it normal it's even easier but you can go to 125%, 150%, 175% speed. What I change the language instead of slowing down 'cause it can be a little confusing and like a worker management setting. How do you slow, do you have them role-play the words slower? No. Sometimes you might want to have someone slow, if they're speaking really fast or they're trying to do too many things at once you actually do slow them down. But I like to think about it as zooming so I take a piece, okay we broke it into chunks, let's zoom on that and get really detailed. Okay so what happened in what order? Tell me the actual things that happen, alright. So now we're zooming and I want to know the order of operations. And you have to think about the order of operations. So when you're chunking and you're picking what to zoom on think about what's the first, most important thing to work on okay. So Lauren shared a story with us, sort of an opening to a feedback. Like if it'd been a conversation she did an opening, and there were lots of things that were great about what you said and there were things, a couple things I could coach you on. Maybe five things I could've coached you on, maybe 10 things. Just 'cause I can do that with anyone. I had to figure out what was she saying and what was the most important thing to coach her on in that moment so I chunked it and then I zoomed in. Do you remember what I coached you on even the next day?
Using we instead of you.
That's right so can you say it for everyone in here?
Yeah, so when I was coaching in the moment I used we instead of actually specifically calling the person out and saying you, so I was almost downplaying the situation to make that person feel more comfortable when in reality it was a conversation that was about her.
Great, so did you hear that? We just chunked, she said this whole paragraph and I said, you said we. And then you went really deep and you could see from the coaching it landed for her 'cause she just zoomed for us. We chunked, I said, remember what happened in the coaching? And she just said, here's what that meant. It was almost like I was downplaying the other person's responsibility right. So we slowed it down for you and we zoomed in and you have a lot more detail and specificity there. Boom, that's zooming okay. So you can keep doing this. That's why it kind of takes forever sometimes so you have to prioritize because you can run out of time, you're gonna have to do this over different sessions so it's really critical as a coach to think about what's the first, most important thing. If someone comes to you and they have, say I'm working with a client and they're struggling as a leader in the corporate world. Maybe I could work with them on their presentation skills, you know how to stand in front, be balanced and deliver. I could, but one thing, if they come in I'm thinking about holistically what's really working and not working with this person. It could be they're eating like crap and they're not sleeping. So I'm first gonna say, you need to work on that because basically your executive functions are not gonna work properly when you're sleeping four hours a day and you're eating crap. So if I'm gonna prioritize, I actually might chunk and zoom in on their eating instead of their presentation skills and then I'll work on their presentation skills. I'm thinking what is gonna be the biggest rock so there's this old saying about if you have big stones, medium stones, small stones, pebbles, and sand, and you want to fill up a cylinder most efficiently which one do you put in first? What was that?
Big rocks, could you say it louder? 'Cause we're talking about big rocks. Say it loud Scott.
Big rocks! That's what I'm talkin' about, big rocks. You put in the big rocks first, then the medium, then the small, then the sand okay. So same thing with coaching. Put the big rocks in first, prioritize them. Pause technique, this I'm gonna talk about here. This is like cheating honestly. I almost don't want to give it to you 'cause it's almost too easy at that point. But I'll give it to you, I'm just kidding. But pause, people don't know how to interrupt each other. Now interruption is a negative trait because it usually, interruption has the connotation I'm interrupting you so I can talk about me and what I want. I use the word intrude because in intruding that for me is a different connotation of I'm serving the higher agenda by stopping you. The most polite way I found to do it is just say, can I pause you for a second? Let me just pause you. You heard me do that with Sam a second ago. How did that feel to be paused?
It was a little jarring but after a second or two I realized that there was a good reason, that I was probably just gonna drone on. Unless I was paused and sort of redirected a little bit.
Did it feel like I was interrupting you so I could take the focus away or so I could serve the focus of what we were doing.
Yeah, so you could serve the purpose of what we we're doing. And it only took a second to realize it.
Cool, so again, when you interrupt someone or intrude on them they might be, it's gonna be, oh they're stopping me. It's gonna be a little like that, a lot of people, most people don't like that. But when you say pause, it assumes the person gets to resume at some point right. I'm gonna pause the movie, go to the bathroom, I'm gonna come back and watch it. If I'm gonna stop the movie, ooh we're not watching this anymore? So pause has this power to it that people will allow you to pause them usually 'cause you can always unpause okay. That one, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. If you have another version of pause go ahead and use it. It's just the one that I found works over and over and over again. People don't tend to get sick of it either for whatever that's worth. Okay, so we just, I think we already modeled chunking and zooming so I'm gonna keep rolling forward with coaching parameters 'cause we've been chunking and zooming all day and I gave you some examples of that. And we'll continue to chunk and zoom over time.
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