Design Thinking Coaching

Feb 17, 2020

Design Thinking as defined by the Interaction Design Foundation  is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods.

Now replace the term ‘Design Thinking’ with ‘Coaching’ and ‘user’ with ‘client’ and read that definition again. You’ll see that it fits perfectly. That’s why Coacharya invited Experience Design Researcher and Product Manager, Dr. Susan Hansen to facilitate a webinar on Design Thinking.  Meenakshi Iyer, founder of NorthStar Solutions also joined the discussion and provided valuable inputs. Here’s a summary of what was covered in the webinar.

One of the things Susan likes most about Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking is the fact that it’s not hierarchical. People just entering a project can have just as much to contribute as seniors in the field. This is because of the different perspectives and tools that are used in this approach.

Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking is a mindset, not a set of methods. In fact, it is a set of values. It assumes that the innovation should start by getting close to users and observing their actions.

he 4 Principles of Human Centered Design

  1. Put people at the centre
  2. Embrace diversity
  3. Bring people on the journey
  4. Build to think, test to learn

Instead of waiting for the perfect idea before you start designing, try to put things down on paper. This process can help you take into consideration how the idea might play out in different contexts. It also helps test out how people react to it. It means that we must ‘stop knowing and start listening and observing’ instead. Ask alot questions and take into consideration different contexts by exploring in multiple ways. Most importantly, embrace humility.

In the coaching world, the ‘stop learning and start listening and observing’ is what we refer to as Unconditonal Positive Regard. Here, we need to understand the client, tailor the process to their needs and most importantly, ask them. To embrace humility, we must practice ‘Generative Listening‘.

References and Links

Watch / Listen to the Webinar

Results to Polls Taken During Webinar

Slides Used During the Webinar


Nishmita D'Souza
Nishmita D'Souza


Nishmita D'Souza is Marketing Coordinator at Coacharya. She is a firm believer that the key to development is education and awareness. She is also an illustrator by hobby. Follow her on Instagram using the handle:

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