The Coach’s Playlist is a two-minute read packed with information based on an essential part of coaching.


This week’s topic: Putting Your Phone Away

The Idea: At home or at work, in casual friendships or committed relationships, stepping away from your phone can transform surface interactions into deeper, better, more joyful and more important conversations that build authentic connection.


We are somehow more lonely than before [smartphones]… our children are less empathetic than they should be for their age, and … it seems nearly impossible to have an uninterrupted conversation at a family dinner. We catch ourselves not looking into the eyes of our children or taking the time to talk with them just to have a few more hits of our email.” – Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation (2015)

Book: Jim Knight, The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching: Seven Factors for Success (2022)

Resource: [Article] The Learning Zone / One Habit that Improves Conversation Skills by Jim Knight

Tips for phone-free time (excerpt):

  • Identify specific times when you want to put away your phone (for me that’s anytime I have an opportunity for a meaningful conversation).
  • Put your phone out of reach or in a different room when you’re about to have a conversation.
  • Take time in the evening to reflect on the rewards you experienced from putting the phone down that day—or any costs of not doing so.
  • Ask those closest to you whether they feel a difference in your conversations when you’re phone-free. Positive comments from your partner, child, or friend may be all you need to persist.

Professional Development:

The Instructional Coaching Institute (virtual) >>

The Intensive Instructional Coaching Institute (Lawrence, KS) >>