The idea that something “saved your life”…
Is living simply not being dead? Really, I’m asking.
If someone or something–a drug or a good samaritan–came upon you just in the nick of time to keep you from death, you’re life has been saved.
But what then?
“Living well” means a variety of things to various people and societies. I think we all should think more intentionally about what good living is for us and set out to achieve those things.
Just showing up each day is too easy and holds opportunity costs. We, I, can do more.
So. Many. Distractions.
So many good ideas all around us.
So many people have thought of so many things one could do, or say, or even be! How can we possibly keep up?
Start by writing your own stuff. Just think, then write. Then revise, and write some more.
Even if you don’t want to write…start with the thinking. If you did have your own system, your own great ideas, what would they be?
Good coaching, is two things, IMO:
Find out what’s required for success (define that, too) and what drives people (especially yourself).
Then boil down all of the things that your team will need to achieve the standards you decide upon, be clear about what’s expected along the way, and get going.
Start with a notebook and an open heart.
Most situations are not like arithmetic. Here there are right answers that can fairly easily be deduced. 2 + 3? Easy.
These types of problems are not interesting, and won’t stimulate you or your organization to move toward “better”.
It’s the interesting problems that move us along; it’s the noodling on things is really where the work gets done.
How often have you started to think or talk (usually we’re talking more than thinking) about one topic and come out the other side making moves about something completely different. It’s the process of consideration that makes the difference.
So, by taking problems away from people and offering easy solutions or giving away answers without asking for any work we’re doing a disservice to the world.
Ask hard questions of yourself and those around you and watch how the thinking makes progress.
Plain old stink. It’s painful.
Those who can find the good in the suck are plentiful, and I admire that. And, sometimes there isn’t any silver lining.
And that’s ok, too.
Being able to both feel the pain and get past it (not get over it, just past) is not always easy but, as always, time doesn’t care about your pain.
Keep working. Have a system that doesn’t get derailed by failure. Otherwise you don’t really have a system.
Who’s listening to you? Do you have a place to vent that’s productive for you? What is productive, anyway?
I say go for it. Vent away!
While you’re there, listen for the undercurrents (or ask someone to listen to/for you) of what’s really going on. What does this rant say about what you value, what you really care about.
The clues are in there. Just like the world is asking us to slow down and listen to others, let’s practice intentionally listening to ourselves.
How often do you ask people to come in from outside your immediate organization and watch you work? What could a new set of eyes see about your work that might make you more effective?
Most of us likely will answer, “I don’t know,” to this query because we’ve never asked.
It’s on my list. Who wants to come to practice??
#1 coaching skill?
What do you want to know about the situation your person is in? What’s going on for them and how does that fit in for the team?
A genuine wonder works wonders.
We ask players to do it out side of formal team sessions, we know that our kids should get time in after piano lessons, people go to the driving range (not me, but some people)…do you practice the skill of coaching?
Do you work on your question-asking skill and train your eye with extra video work? Do you talk to the other coaches in your organization about the things they do that work for them regarding the infrastructure of coaching, not just the problem-of-the-day?
Find ways to get in the coaching gym and improve your skills. This is just as important as you technical knowledge.
Doing this is closely related to learning how to fail, just as we we ask our kids. You’re likely going to ask a yes/no question when you wanted more detail, or design a conversation that falls flat. Great!
Keep practicing being a coach. It’s more than doing coaching.