Doctor Coach

Don't teach more, coach better!

Coaching Workshops

We use a deliberate practice design in our workshops in order to provide coaches-in-training with the core coaching concepts and practical coaching tools that could be used in their daily coaching environment, an opportunity to share their coaching experiences and expertise with their colleagues, and ongoing reinforcement of core coaching concepts over time.

Coaching workshop materials coming in 2016!

Thank you for your interest in Doctor Coach. We will be uploading many new materials to the site and would like to tell you about them. Please register to receive email quarterly updates.

The following outlines the Doctor Coach approach to workshops.  In the next few months, we will be posting Doctor Coach materials that you can use for your own workshops, such as guides that summarize each topic and can be used as handouts to reference, activities worksheets, tools for participants to use with learners, trigger videos, etc.

Preparing for the Session

  • Pick the general topic, based on your needs assessment, feedback from participants from prior sessions, or feedback from your learners.
  • Decide what you want participants to be able to do, or how you want them to think, when working with learners.
  • Select the activity from the Doctor Coach resources tools that will best deconstruct and simulate these coaching skills and behaviors.
  • Build the rest of the session to support the activity, including priming questions for discussion, a brief ‘theory burst’ and the activity guide that participants can refer to during the session – and after in their in situ teaching.
  • Create a session plan, including carefully timing your presentation (including extra time for logistics), identify media or other outside resources needed, create the handouts and collect session materials and supplies.


Use the time it naturally takes for participants to settle in to your advantage with one of the following suggestions:

  • Remind participants of their practice homework from the prior session – ask them to jot down how they put the lessons from a prior workshop into practice and to discuss their experience with a colleague sitting next to them.
  • Ask a challenging question related to today’s session – ask them to jot down their thoughts and share it with the person sitting next to them. Use this to begin the opening discussion (below).
  • If you are asking participants to work on a coaching goal over the course of many workshops, use this time to have participants record their progress, and to reflect on what led to successes or what barriers they are encountering.


  • Discussion: Begin the session with a relevant and challenging question related to the workshop topic that will stimulate discussion among the participants. Encourage them to share their current coaching challenges or practices. Facilitate the discussion by asking probing questions, and summarizing and framing the participant’s comments in a manner that sets up the context for the rest of the workshop. You’ll be surprised at the effectiveness of these 5 minutes.
  • Didactic: Using no more than 10 slides, deliver the information for today’s session. Encourage questions and clarification as you go. Refer back directly to comments made during the opening discussion as much as possible. Consider using simplified versions of the slides as handouts or reminders after the workshop.
    • Theory Burst (5-7 min): Avoid jargon as much as possible. Take time to refine your presentation so that the coaching topics come across as straightforward and understandable.
    • Strategies & Tools (5-7 min): Translate the theory into methods that participants can easily apply in their daily teaching practice. Create simplified handouts derived from the theory burst. Using the planned activity as your guide, explain each strategy and/or tool.

Session Activity

This is the most important part of the session. Ensure that the Theory Burst does not run into this time! Some ideas for setting up activities:

  • Design activities that demonstrate clearly the skills needed to apply the theory.
  • Create straightforward worksheets that organize the new information in an applicable manner, and take-home guides that summarize the information for quick future reference. We will be posting Doctor Coach worksheets and guides for each step in the Doctor Coach cycle in the next few months.
    For relatively new concepts, participant may first need to process the new information and its application on their own, prior to sharing with a partner/group.
  • Consider dividing participants into affinity or similar practice groups:
    • Inpatient vs. outpatient practice
    • Specific coaching skills that sub-groups of participants want to work on (e.g. observation vs. feedback)
    • Over time you will begin to recognize specific participant’s strengths, interests, or frequent challenges. Draw from these to stimulate peer teaching.
    • Video triggers or role-plays are very effective in simulating authentic application (we will be posting many of ours in the next few months).
    • Interactivity and peer mentoring is key. Ensure that the majority of the time is spent in group activity, problem solving, idea sharing and discussion between participants.


Ask participants to provide you with written feedback. Straightforward open-ended questions work best:

  • What aspect of today's session are you planning on implementing?
  • What was particularly valuable in today's session?
  • How could today's session be improved?
  • Do you have suggestions for future sessions?

Following the session take the time to summarize and review the feedback quickly in order to improve future sessions. Consider summarizing the information and reviewing it with your participants at the next session to model the feedback dialogue.

Practice Activities (for after the session)

Remind participants that true learning comes from their everyday practice of Doctor Coach skills. Ask participants to commit to trying something from today’s workshop in their teaching practice in the next few weeks. Ask them to write down their commitment on a bright sticky note and place it in a prominent place in their office. Draw from these committments during the discussion at the next session.