Coaching Dojo Community @Cazoo

A (professional) Coaching Dojo is a community of practice for those who are interested in developing their (professional) coaching competencies. Inside the dojo people form one or more coaching triads to give and receive coaching. The coaching triad includes the coach, a coachee/client who brings the topic, and the observer, who provides feedback to the coach.

The vision

Coaching enables forward-looking thinking with occasional glances at the rearview mirror. My vision for the coaching dojo is to equip people with skills they can use every day that makes interactions with others more fulfiling.

My experience

I had attended and facilitated coaching dojos before Cazoo and became an International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited coach. On one hand, as a person who receives coaching, most of the time I am gifted with a new perspective on how I see things. On the other hand, as a coach, it is fully rewarding to create an environment for sparks to happen. I believe coaching skills are truly necessary to navigate through relationships, growth, challenges and opportunities.

The goal

The main goal of the dojo is to co-create a place for practice This is where anyone can give and receive coaching. Above all, there is an instant feedback loop available.

In today’s world, there is a constant influx of information, and people easily get anxious and worried. The coaching skills can help you organically — without forcing coaching on anybody — to become curious, to listen more and to tune into what other people say. You do not have to professionally coach people but you can use some of these competencies while talking to them. When coming to the coaching dojos you might also realise numerous techniques you do intuitively, and you learn how to apply them more intentionally.

Why to join

“In general/long-term become better at coaching, that is crucial to my job. In particular/short-term I want to focus on active listening, there is where I see my biggest personal challenge in coaching.”

Excerpt from The Cazoo Coaching Dojo Feedback Survey, September 2021
  • IF you would like to listen more to what other people say and don’t say
  • IF you would like to structure your conversations better
  • IF you would like to use more coaching skills in your 1:1s e.g. as a manager or as a mentor
  • IF you are curious to ask more transformational questions
  • IF you would like to build more empathy in your everyday life

Originally, the dojo was set up as an experiment by kicking it off with a “hey, do you want to join?” slack message. It worked as people kept coming every fortnight for an hour. What you can get out of it depends on your needs. In brief, it gives you the confidence to experiment. It helps you to focus on the content of what people tell you without any judgement, Furthermore, it teaches you how to ask questions which induces thinking in the other person. Lastly, it enables you to make meaningful observations to help people to achieve the outcome they would like.

The future and beyond

“…keep on going. Would be great to expand the dojo and make it ingrained in the way we work at cazoo…”

Excerpt from The Cazoo Coaching Dojo Feedback Survey, September 2021

In the beginning, the format of having different learning modules was good enough, because learning and practice wIn the beginning, the format of having different learning modules was good enough because learning and practice were equally distributed. Through time as the modules were built upon each other, it was hard for new people to join. That is when I started collating feedback to understand the needs of both those who attended the dojos and those who are interested to attend in the future. There were 3 key points:

  • People wanted more flexibility
  • People wanted more practice time
  • People wanted to focus on one aspect of coaching skills and techniques at a time

Thanks to the feedback given changes happened. The dojo is still running fortnightly but with an added session per week so people can come to either or both of those. The week before the session the topic and some supporting materials are shared with everybody so people can read about it and prepare for the session if they choose to. It is not a problem if they do not as we start with an optional Q&A first thing in each session. After the Q&A there is an optional demo to see things in action. Afterwards, people practise coaching in triads either in multiple smaller groups or in a bigger group with more observers.

The ultimate future is that people will become trainers and establish further dojo possibilities where even more people can come. That is how coaching will be ingrained at Cazoo.

If this sounds like something like you, please join our slack group: #coaching-dojo. Thank you and see you there!


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