Are You Coach-able
6 Steps To Take Your Game To The Next Level

by Howard Goldman

We usually seek coaching usually occurs in when we have a crisis or when we are thwarted in attaining something we want. In those situations, we are desperate for advice and strain to listen for the "answer" as a balm to our current dilemma. "You can’t coach someone who doesn’t have a problem" is an old saw in consulting circles. Seeking immediate answers is certainly our quest for coaching when we are lost in the caverns of our "default" behavior. I call this demand need-based coaching, and it has only incremental utility usefulness, in that it satisfies our seeking escape from a current dilemma, yet insignificant enduring skills are gained.

However, another prototype of coaching is a great deal more effective. In this case, the coaching is based on a strong relationship, one that is dedicated to improving and sustaining performance. All world-class performers----athletes, opera singers, and politicians---enjoy coaching relationships. These relationships are not basically designed to fix something that’s broken, but to help you excel beyond your level of success.

A coach communicates in a way that produces opportunities for the performer to see new possibilities. A coach’s actions are based on the commitments of the player rather than what the coach wants for the player. The coach sees the game differently than the critics and the casual observers on the sidelines. An expert coach crafts their communication to expand the ability of the player to take new and distinct actions. In selecting a prospective coach, meet with them and review these points:

  • State what you would most value from the relationship.
  • Outline your intentions for reaching an important goal and then ask what experience the prospective coach has that they consider to be most relevant.
  • Discuss how much coaching time will be appropriate to support your efforts.
  • Determine how both of you will assess the effectiveness of the relationship. How will you know whether the coaching is having the desired impact?
  • Find out what the prospective coach thinks are the most significant barriers you have identified to achieving your intent.
  • Do you feel comfortable with this person? Are you inspired by the prospect of working with them? Identify any areas of sensitivity that may be relevant.

One tool that will underwrite the success of your relationship with your coach is maintaining a coaching journal. The primary value is to maintain a brief yet complete record or "database" of commitments you have generated and achieved in your work with the coach. Make it a habit to review the status of these commitments on a regular basis.

Finally, be a student open to the world around you is a path toward greater success and accelerated learning. Your affirmative attitude, your enthusiasm, and your openness to receive contributions from your environment are priceless assets. The pursuit of your most important objective is an occasion to meet new challenges and feel the excitement of a "beginner." Your willingness to learn anew is an invitation to experience the curiosity and wonder of how you create in your life. When you are fully engaged in the daily process of designing and moving toward achievement, work and play merge. The passion of being fully alive on a field of play of your choosing offers its own reward.






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