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Join our Coaching Circle!

by Nancy McQuillan

From the Guild Gazette of the Southcoast (CA) Storyteller's Guild
This is an excellent description of the kind of follow-up work that some communities do after a coaching worskhop.

Looking for a way to practice a "baby" story in an ultra-safe environment? The Guild's Coaching Circle may be just the thing for you. Our circles began about a year ago when several of us (Nancy McQuillan, Laura Beasley, Theo BeasleyHenderson, Poli Rizco, Adrienne McMillan, Doris Hand & Diane Wyzga) attended Doug Lipman's coaching workshop in Pasadena. After some discussion, we decided to apply the principles of coaching he had taught us in order to assist each other in improving our storytelling.

Since then we have met irregularly to provide coaching and support to each other, and participants have found the sessions very useful. We have often met on Sundays, but other days are possible as well. We use the coaching ground rules contained in Doug Lipman's excellent book, The Storytellinq Coach, and also in his video, Coaching Storytellers. Both items may be found at Guild House, and should be reviewed prior to joining our coaching circle.

Briefly, each member has 15-30 minutes of time in which to present a story or even a story idea, and get valuable coaching from the group on it. Sometimes we read a story we're interested in developing, sometimes we just talk about something we're working on, or we present a story we are working on. The teller can ask for whatever feedback he or she needs to advance the story along. Sometimes all that is needed is for the story to be heard by the listeners! Sometimes ideas about presentation can be offered by the participants - whatever the teller needs. The key to all of this is that the teller is completely in charge, and may ask for whatever it is he or she needs to gain.

These session are not only helpful, they are very enjoyable! It's a fabulous opportunity to hear new stories in a comfortable environment, as well as having the opportunity to present our own. One of the serendipitous things about storytelling is that we all learn a tremendous amount by listening to stories told by others. We pick up tips from each other, gain wisdom and insight into our own stories, hear variant versions of stories we have heard before - there are many interesting benefits to be gained.

Any Guild member is welcome to participate in a Coaching Circle. Please feel free to call me for the upcoming dates. I would be happy to answer questions and share with you some of what I have learned as a result of these wonderful sessions.


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This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
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