Look for the happy people.
Happy people are more productive and better to be around. I don’t have the research at hand, but this is true in my experience.
Happy does not mean, giddy, laugh-at-every-little-thing people, to me it means people who are satisfied, who somehow communicate that they know that everything is not ok, and they are ok with that.
Happy means satisfied, in a good way. Dissatisfied is the realm of a constant, “I wish things were different,” approach to the world.
One can work to be “better” and not be dissatisfied, for sure, but meanwhile I aim to be comfortable with the process. It’s a happier way to be.
I think we should celebrate the fact that we’ve changed.
If we’re still operating the same way we did years ago, we’re not getting better. We might not be getting worse, either, but staying the same is probably not what’s best.
I’m always surprised that people are surprised that I’ve changed.
Does it need to be?
Does coaching need to feel out of reach of anyone? Should it feel like one needs to have years of training, and that many of us will never be ready?
Yes, coaches need to be trained. Trained in the skills of the game and in keeping players safe and teams as safe places to operate, but do we need to have all of the answers?
I’d argue that if we are good at asking questions we will get better at seeing the answers…for the time being, until we have better questions.
Raise your hand.
You probably suggest lots of great mental tools to your players. Most sport coaches understand the value of a strong mental game for their athletes.
Visualization and other forms of imagery, controlled and intentional breathing or being in the moment, understanding self-talk and other techniques are in most coach’s toolboxes for their players.
How about you? Do you teach these things? Do you use those same tools for yourself?
Are you leaving something on the table in your own preparation?
Why not use the same tools you ask players to use?
Accepting yourself or others as they are is important for well-being…yours and theirs.
As the saying goes, “give me the serenity to accept things I cannot change”. This is step one. If it’s someone else’s “stuff”, you cannot directly change the current situation. If it’s your “stuff”, you still can’t change the now.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t not work to get better (double negative noted).
Working to be different in the future is not the opposite of acceptance.
New tires for your car might not be in your budget at first glance. But, is having a car that’s drivable of value to you? If you don’t have tires you don’t have a car, really.
Usually we ask about the price rather than the value. To us. At this time. That’s really the question.
If a thing or service is valuable to us at this time, we’ll find a way to cover the costs.
What do you need that will really add value in your world?
The idea of “not arriving”, that there is no such thing, provides me so much calmness.
We are so often chasing something, without realizing that it’s the chase that is the important part.
Churchill is quoted as saying, “To improve is to change, to perfect is to change often,”.
How often can you assess and tweak and change often?
Where to start?!
Start the work and then you’ll find out.
When you do work you’ll soon learn what inspires you and where the needs are…and where the others are.
Start doing things that you’re passionate about. Start showing up for yourself, taking steps…
What can I get you?
How can I help?
What do you need?
Asking (and answering) these questions is not always easy and not always at the front of our mind. As people we typically think of our own needs and wants first, and as coaches are wired to see the answers for others. So, asking for input and demanding that others consider what they want and need–and hold them to it–is a novel idea.
The idea of serving your people isn’t simply bringing them ideas and gifts. It’s allowing exploration and demanding that they show up for themselves.
Are you a teacher? How about a learner?
Are you looking for ways to do things better, or looking to be sure people do things your way?
Coaching is a noble profession, and many of us take pride in being teachers! We teach our sport and we teach “life lessons” through our programs.
What lessons are we learning?
Deep into my coaching career I looked up and realized that I’d been teaching for years and not learning much at all. Yes, experience served as a great teacher but I was not doing any intentional learning. And, certainly I had not asked my people to teach me.
Learning to be a learner has been the most important factor in turning a career into ongoing passion.
What about you?