The Power of 15 Minutes_A Coaching Experience

 In BLOG, Business, Culture, Leadership

How can only 15 minutes be powerful?

In 15 minutes two strangers were able to say things they haven’t mentioned to someone else in a while… voice thoughts that have only been lingering inside of their heads… ask questions they have been wanting to ask out loud… and finally pin-point what they are going to do about it all in the next few weeks.

It may seem odd and a bit vulnerable. Why would you allow a ‘stranger’ uncover such information? How could someone who doesn’t know you at all ask all of the right questions and allow you to reach conclusions you’ve been trying to reach?

Is it something about the relationship when the other person doesn’t have a hidden agenda? When someone doesn’t interupt you every 5 minutes to tell you their experience, opinion, or suggestion?

This is exactly what happened at the most recent University of Tampa’s Leadership Coaching Program training. Part of this training was a live coaching exercise. The class was randomly split into teams of three. Each trainee was allowed 15 minutes to coach the other while the third participant observed, and then debriefed. Now I thought – no problem, I will only talk about high-level things, it’s only a training so no need to discuss things I would actually like to work out…

You wouldn’t believe how quickly you become comfortable and share non fabricated information. The key is communicating with someone who is asking all of the questions and listening to you. By the second exercise, my team felt connected. We were able to identify things that each of us would like to resolve or work on. Nothing was fabricated. During our class debrief, I felt that many other groups connected as well. We weren’t there to coach each other and no one had to share any truths…but we did.

Even if we don’t get a chance to coach a students this year, we learned an invaluable lesson: All it takes is 15 minutes to uncover struggles, dreams, experiences, or questions. Two strangers can ask questions about each other with no agenda on the table and learn each others current uncertainties and walk away with identified next steps.

So how come? It may be because:

  • we set our agendas aside,
  • we were focused on listening with our mind and hearts,
  • when we thought of a similar experience we held it in so not to interrupt,
  • when the tone changed we noted your emotions and asked,
  • we were focused on you, and not us.

Imagine the power 15 minutes can have with your employees, colleagues, or boss. Just 15 minutes a month. 

What kind of relationships and culture do you think that would spark? 


Links to University of Tampa’s Leadership Coaching Program and International Coach Federation Tampa Bay Charter Chapter

Related Posts: The Question of the Day is “Why”


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Showing 2 comments
  • Michele Norris


    The power of coaching is invaluable. What I like about your experience was it was a mutual coaching experience. The opportunity for all involved to share the feeling of vulnerability that comes with sharing those inner thoughts. I too have experienced the UT Leadership Coaching Program and remain forever changed. Thanks for this enlightening blog.

  • Emily Carr-Osborn

    Wow, very beautifully expressed! It was an amazing day of connections and opening up to a very unique group of individuals so present with one another…Thanks for sharing. It was very valuable to me as well. I have been keeping in touch with my group, some very special bonds were formed.

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