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.
When you sit in the exit row on a plane you are required to give a verbal commitment.
You commit, by agreeing out loud, to do all you can to help the entire set of passengers get out in case of an emergency.
When you say “yes”, you’re saying, “I’m prepared to be a leader,” and to do what the 143 or 175 or 300 others need you to do, according to the specific instructions.
The others are on your team. You’re sharing an experience and have the same set of guidelines. For the duration of the flight you are a team.
As a leader your get some more leg room. That’s it. It may or may not be worth it. And even if you’re in the middle in the last row, the flight will be better if you are on board with the rules of being on board.
What will your legacy be? Who will recall what you say and do, and how it impacts them and the world?
Is it what you say today or what you’re planning to say tomorrow, or next year, or at some other future point?
Every thing you say out loud you are saying at that moment. Why not try to be at our best for the person in front of us. Now. This is the only impact that matters.
How the receiver hears it is way out of your control.
As a coach you likely talk about controllables a lot. How are you doing on being in the moment yourself?
Take ten minutes and think, talk or write about what you want your legacy to be.
There is no substitute for for good face to face (even on the phone) talk.
Talk = trust, and talk = shared experience. If you have a conversation with someone you now have a shared experience. Your perspective might not be exactly the same, and you may disagree, but you were both there.
Same goes with teams. The more we can face head on the things we do, want to do or be, with clarity and concern for each other the more the caring and shared experience grows.
Oh yeah, everyone thinks that’s the right thing to do.
Everyone says it’s true.
I’ll get everyone together and we’ll get it done.
Is “everyone” really all of the people? Who’s important, and who is optional to be in the group of everyone?
If you need everyone on board you better be sure that everyone knows what’s happening. And if you don’t need everyone then just ask the people who are crucial.
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.
Nothing is automatic.
Learning doesn’t happen for students because a teacher works hard or does their best.
Learning doesn’t need permission either. It’s going to happen if the conditions are right.
The teacher (formal or otherwise) can do the condition-creating and push the odds higher, and a motivated student surely helps.
The fun part is that we often learn something completely unexpected.
Keep looking for the learning.
Each time you state what you’re all about, what you stand for, you set yourself up to fight for that moment to moment.
If you are “all about” discipline, for example, you then need to be ready not only to be disciplined in your actions but to fight for the belief that discipline is important.
It has to work.
Coaches, be boring.
Spend the time to know-really know-what you care about, what your language is, what the standards are…what’s this thing all about?
If you have a simple set of terms that work for you on and off the field, a glossary that everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if people have a variety of accents.
Coaches who say the same thing over and over, in a language that people understand are not boring, they are consistent and easy to play for.
And they often win.