As a coach I enjoy digging into new things, reading about the ideas, strategies and philosophies of those who have written their ideas down before me.
What’s new? Is of interest. And, I know that the time I spend clarifying these things for myself and my teams is the most impactful work that I will do.
The slowing down and thinking and writing, the parts that are not always as fun are what works. For me.
At the start of the new year we look for new things: challenges, philosophies, topics to attack. What about those things that we had on our list in other Januarys? Did all of the boxes get checked? Are those things no longer inspiring, didn’t work or just became tarnished with the passing of winter into spring?
Maybe all of these things, or maybe I’m just really good at starting things…
“What does that look like?” is the question that has moved me forward as a coach more than any bigger questions of meaning, other people’s frameworks or philosophies.
The second most important question is what “what doesn’t that look like?”, or what’s not it? Once again, providing myself with examples, customizing the bigger thoughts, is what makes things move forward.
Education is free. When I take the time to learn and study what matters, globally and then make it fit for me…a stitch here, a tuck here, a little bit of expansion there… everything is customizable. I’m going to go build something. For me.
What if that was the question we asked?
How can I help other guy?
What does this kid need from me as a coach? What am I going to do to move this situation forward?
We all have a narrative about what’s ok and what’s not, who is “good” and who’s not, but how often do we think about what’s actually best for the other guy? Now.
Of course what’s best for the team might be different. Then the questions change.
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?
The best kind of learning is that which we can be or do rather than hear or think about.
Teaching is about offering opportunities to try (and fail?), to experiment and to experience.
Of course “students” can do these things without the teacher, too. Providing the conditions for these experiences is a great boost to the learning possibilities, but it’s not necessary.
Pupils will learn about what they care about.
Direct, question, massage the experience and be a great teacher because your people are great learners.