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Coaching Is Not Just For the Court

When you hear the word “coaching” your first thought probably runs to sports. The names of great coaches like John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, and Don Shula may come to mind. But what about Jack Welch (General Electric), Estée Lauder (Estée Lauder, Inc.), and Walter E. Disney (The Walt Disney Company)?

What could sports’ greatest coaches have in common with some of business’ greatest leaders? Simple: these people knew how to lead others. Their influence spanned more than just the playing field or conference rooms. These individuals didn’t just have games to win or profits to make. They assumed the awesome responsibility of having human beings entrusted to their care.

These charismatic leaders infused energy and eagerness into their teams and employees. They used democratic approaches to inspire contribution, which increased performance satisfaction and ownership. These people-oriented leaders supported, trained, and developed those in their care, inspiring a genuine interest in achieving a job well-done. These leaders relied on a higher tactic than a commanding voice; as servant leaders, these great coaches and business leaders were instruments to their teams’ successes.

More than ever, we need to inspire each other to be innovative and deliver high quality solutions. Each day we have the opportunity to impact another’s life. Whether you are a supervisor, peer, or random acquaintance, the opportunities to serve and lead others are infinite. Take a few moments today to offer some positive feedback on a project, ask someone how you can help them, or just take a few minutes to show that you are interested in what your coworker is achieving.

Coaching is unlocking an individual’s potential to maximize performance. It provides the opportunity for focused, one-on-one discussions on how to maximize performance for both the individual and the organization. Here are some tips for coaching:

  • Ask Questions – seek out information and stimulate conversation so that you can fully understand a situation before providing feedback or passing judgement. This is Steven Covey’s ol’ “seek first to understand, then be understood” principle of effective living.
  • Give Feedback – a coach gives honest and immediate feedback, both GOOD and BAD. Delayed feedback loses its impact as time passes.
  • Communicate – practice being open, clear, and concise with your team. Don’t forget to share information so team members have all the tools they need to make decisions and work effectively.
  • Provide Recognition – while it’s important to address problems promptly, don’t forget the power of positive reinforcement. Recognize those that are achieving a job well-done.
  • Dare to Dream – a coach can challenge and empower us to “think outside the box” and find a better way to get the job done.
  • Serve Others – the role of a coach is to unlock hidden potential; a great leader attends to the development of others and supports excellence.
Categories: coaching
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