The Olympic games are a celebration of the best athletes on the world stage. From alpine skiing to speed skating and beyond, we see competitors who have devoted their lives to specific skills in order to rise to the occasion.
And each sport – no matter how different – all have one thing in common. Behind each elite athlete is a world-class coach.
The same is true in the world of work. Coaching focuses individuals and teams and often means the difference between winning and falling short of a goal. Coaching means performance.
The impact of coaching is so great we devote a workshop at Living as a Leading to developing the ability to be a great coach. Here are the steps we take to help cultivate effective coaching.
Great coaches have great coaches
The ability to coach well is no accident – and in many cases it’s handed down by other coaches. In our Be a Great Coach workshop, we start with a reflection of thinking about your best coach ever. Your best coach may have been a boss you’ve had, a sports coach from high school, a debate or forensics coach or anyone from your life who helped you grow. Who was your best coach ever? Take a moment to think about that, then write down the person’s attributes. What can you continue to model from this person?
Coaches focus on facts
We call one of our workshops Communicate by Design for a simple reason: We want to emphasize the importance of being planful and intentional about your coaching conversations that are focused on improvement. These conversations can often be difficult, but it’s helpful to keep coming back to a simple mantra: Focus on facts. Make it about the situation, not the person. A good coach improves a system without demeaning an individual.
Every coach is different
At the same time, every coach – just like every athlete –- has strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this, coaches can lean into where they excel to make the most impact. What is your style? Do you inspire others and can you balance that with accountability? Do you nurture talent and help others feel safe yet challenged? Starting with this list of behaviors, select the top two attributes that help you coach effectively. Then think about how you can create situations to maximize those skills.
Finally, remember that true coaching in the work world is never finished – it doesn’t end with a podium. But the best coaches also know that all top performers need moments to pause, recognize their accomplishments and – when they give it all and go for the gold – revel in the thrill of victory.
At Living As A Leader, we offer a Leadership Development Series designed to produce leaders that can positively shape the cultural environment, reduce turnover and achieve crucial business initiatives. We do this by providing training, coaching and consulting with a focus on pragmatic communication tools for leaders at all levels of your organization.
For more information, contact Steph Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org