Coaching For Growth
Every coach has a style. It is their authentic self. Some keep it constructive and focus on positive reinforcement. Others focus on faults and try to use the negatives as a motivator to improve.
Each coach goes with their own style to get the best results. Both styles have the same goal, to get better performance. It centers on elevating the person.
To add an extra layer of complexity, each player responds to different styles. “Some need a smack and others a pat.” Meaning that some take to hard, negative coaching while others need the positive affirmations. Good coaches know how to do right by the individual.
Coaching is nothing more than a tool for the competitor. Someone to help guide their development. Something to make them better.
Take a sales coach for example. They know the basics of sales and strategies. These coaches have deeper knowledge and ability to share new insights with sales agents. The coach’s role focuses on sharing these insights so that the agent can raise their sales performance.
The common fallacy is that a coach is a motivator. Possibly even a babysitter. These two functions are not the coaches’ roles, their mission is simply to help bring out the best.
Coaches typically were previous experts that can no longer perform at the elite level. That or through study of techniques they know the skill at a higher level. This knowledge enables them to share it with others and raise the collective performance of all.
True expert coaches though can first spot issues or minute deviations. They in turn provide feedback. The great coaches know when and where to provide that feedback.
When someone is new to a skill, there are many areas to offer feedback. However, too much feedback overwhelms a new mind. A good coach knows to apply a little each time to build positive momentum. They know that by giving all the feedback at once, they will lose the person forever.
Many try to hide their failures. This is rooted in fear. Fear from earlier traumas when a parent, coach, or manager reacted badly. Badly enough to cause a scar. This reaction they received was an overreaction.
However, if we hide issues, we never get better. In any field it is a positive if you view criticism as a potentially helpful advice rather than attack. As a leader you can help create the conditions where it’s encouraged to share those failures.
NASA’s expectation is to draw attention to mistakes so that you can collectively learn. It also unlocks the ability to coach and be coached. Giving coaches their first goal in being effective, to eliminate shame.
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