Cultivating a Cognitive Coaching Mindset

Cultivating a Cognitive Coaching Mindset
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-05-23
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Cultivating a Cognitive Coaching Mindset
Unit 2 Transcript : Cultivating a Cognitive Coaching Mindset
Unit 3 Workbook : Cultivating a Cognitive Coaching Mindset
Unit 4 Recording : Cultivating a Cognitive Coaching Mindset

A cognitive coaching mind-set promotes a collaborative and supportive environment where team members are encouraged by leaders to activate their cognitive skills, ultimately becoming more effective and self-directed decision-makers. This session delves into the essential mind-set shifts trainers and leaders need to adopt to foster a more competent team with critical thinking and decision-making skills necessary to become future leaders.

Back at the Justice Clearinghouse and leading the conversation is Thomas Dworak, the Founder and Lead Instructor of The Adaptive Way. He is a retired Sergeant from a suburban Chicago police department where he was the Field Training and Evaluation Program Coordinator and the Lead Defensive Tactics/Use of Force Instructor.

Points he covered in this presentation include:

  • How cognitive coaching and a mind-set shift are crucial to problem-solving in an increasingly complex work environment that challenges existing beliefs and requires committing to lifelong learning.
  • What cognitive coaching is and how this approach counters the typical linear training in law enforcement that often happens in silos and activates the strengths of the new generation of employees.
  • How supervisors and leaders must implement a mind-set shift to facilitate professional development by:
    • Allowing team members to learn from failure and be comfortable with decision-making and problem-solving
    • Moving from strict procedures to gaining tacit knowledge and fostering curiosity and discovery.
    • Providing focused explanations and specific trainings that address immediate problems and knowledge gaps.
  • How cognitive coaching taps into building trust and communication, overcoming the tendency to micromanage, and taps into emotional intelligence through the key principles of active listening, empathy, inquiry and reflection, and a growth mind-set.
  • How active listening requires full concentration, responding, using and understanding nonverbal cues, and reflecting to confirm understanding and demonstrate empathy.
  • Empathy: What it is, differentiating it from sympathy, the traits of empathetic people, how it contributes to team or organizational success, ways to improve empathy, and how vulnerability is central to it.
  • The concept of psychological safety and how it fosters better problem-solving through openness, transparency, clarity, and accountability.
  • The value of asking powerful questions to clarify goals, challenge assumptions, explore perspectives, overcome obstacles, generate solutions, and foster learning and growth among team members.
  • Constructive feedback: The discomfort that typically comes with feedback, using questions to provide it, the importance of prompt feedback, and how it promotes learning, self-evaluation, and growth.
  • The problem that supervisors face when it comes to employing cognitive coaching strategies as it relates to time management and mistrust.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • What a coaching conversation is.
  • Coaching an employee that poses answers to questions as questions as well.
  • Providing feedback and coaching later due to workload or heightened state of emotions.



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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The entire webinar provided excellent information on this important subject. I think additional webinars expanding on this subject would be great!”
  • “Great information and feedback tips.”
  • “This was a great webinar. Thomas Dworak and Christina McCale were very good hosts/ teachers. I look forward to attending more webinars. Thanks.”
  • “Great speaker please have him return for future webinars. There are not enough trainings on couching side of leadership.”
  • “Asking powerful questions is the most valuable thing I took from this webinar. Looking forward to incorporate with my staff. Excellent information, I already signed up for the next webinar him.”



Additional Resources
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