Whether it’s your direct sales team, project team, start-up or company, an atmosphere that encourages coaching to grow and prosper doesn’t just happen naturally. If you want a coaching culture, you deliberately have to make it happen.
To have a coaching culture, you have to be a coach. The error most people make is thinking that they can be a coach because they have had coaching.
I’ve previously written about the first step in creating a coaching culture is to have a coach. Once you have experienced coaching, a completely new world opens up for you. The error most people make is thinking that they are capable of being a coach at this point. While everyone is capable of acting like a coach, being a coach is a different matter.
- Over your lifetime, you’ve had to treat a host of cuts, scrapes and minor medical emergencies. Most of you wouldn’t feel qualified to set a broken bone or stitch a cut closed.
- You’ve probably had to talk a friend or two through an interpersonal crisis or maybe provide some comfort in a time of need. Do you feel qualified as a marriage or grief counselor?
- You had some personal and business successes in your life. That goes a long way to qualifying you as a mentor and a trainer. Do you feel qualified to coach someone to do it a differently than you did?
To be a coach requires preparation. Here are some examples (and the list is definitely not complete):
- Observe coaching
- Read about coaching
- Go to a coach training school (and make it a good one!)
- Train with coach
- Do coaching with a mindset of seeking improvement
- Be evaluated as a coach.
Of these six possibilities, the one that is the most worthwhile is the last one. If you want to get better at coaching, you will need to hunt for feedback. What do your clients think? If other coaches were to listen to you, what would they say? When you open yourself up to the possibilities, you are on your way to excellence as a coach.
What are you doing to improve your coaching—to go from acting like a coach to being a coach?
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