Posts Taged coaching-presence

10 Yogi Berra-isms for Coaches

yogiberraYogi Berra, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, passed away in September.  His feats as a baseball player and coach are legendary.  He still holds some records in major league baseball as a player and a coach.  He was even the inspiration for a long running cartoon character, Yogi Bear (although Hanna-Barbera denied the association for a long time).

He was also well-known for his ability to coin a phrase.  Many of his sayings have become long running punch lines.  Here are ten that offer good advice for coaches.

On the importance of deciding and acting:  When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

On driving to the end:  It ain’t over till it’s over.

On framing and reframing:  Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

On having goals:  You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

On being totally committed:  Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

On action orientation:  How can you think and hit at the same time?

On listening:  It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

On coaching silence:  You can observe a lot by just watching.

On owning the results:  I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

On being in the flow:  You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.

Bonus:  (It fits every occasion)  If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.

May he long be remembered.

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Learning Coaching from a 3-Year Old

fully present

As a coach, I consciously work to stay “present” when meeting with my clients.  After all, they want my time and attention and I want to make sure that I am fully there and stay there. Like most adults, I think I am a work in progress on this.  I think there is too much going on in my life to fully commit to one person at any given time.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see my 3-year old grandson in action.  He is the living definition of “being present.”  Several family members and I attended a wedding in western Illinois.  My grandson was all-in on everything.

  • At a lake? Want to go swimming?
  • My uncle brought his girlfriend. Will you read to me?
  • Flight cancelled? Do we get to stay in a hotel?
  • Chicago? Let’s have deep dish pizza (He didn’t say this, but he whole-heartedly approved).

The point is that he was not concerned with being right or leaving the correct impression.  He wasn’t bothered by delayed flights or lost opportunities.  He was participating full-out.

One of the International Coaching Federation core competencies is “Coaching Presence—Ability to be fully conscious and create spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident.”  They go on to describe this with phrases like dancing in the moment, going from your gut, and choosing in the moment.  That is my grandson in action.  This is also a central piece of what coaches strive to accomplish.

I think we do this when we want to have a completely open and honest dialogue with another person.  Carl Rogers describes this by saying “To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter another’s world without prejudice.”

So the next time you start to get caught in your stuff, think of my grandson, the people you are with, and go dancing in the moment.

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Coaching in Uncoachable Moments

Uncoachable momentI got a call from a client last week who felt like she was on the verge of doing something drastic. Betty finally snapped when she discovered for the umpteenth time that “the top person on her team was a two-faced _____.” Betty was referring to Sheri who is “all nicey-nice with me and was telling me how great the training was and then turns around and tells everyone else that my meeting was a waste of time.”

Betty really didn’t want to be coached. She waned me to sympathize.  She wanted to be heard. She wanted me to agree. And then she wanted to drive over to Sheri’s house, tell her off, and tell her to disappear. This was really not a coaching moment.  I listened while Betty talked, I affirmed her as a worthwhile person, and I tried to be emotionally supportive, but what I didn’t do was coach.  Betty didn’t want to be coached.  She wanted to release all those pent-up emotions that were being generated.  While the remainder of my session with Betty needs to be confidential, I really doubt that her reaction is unique to situations like this.

  • Betty values authenticity and transparency. She sees Sheri as being everything but that.
  • Betty feels her authority is being questioned. She is ready for the big shootout at high noon.
  • Betty is so far over the anger edge that she wants revenge.

If this was a new situation, then Betty has an easy opportunity to correct or repair things by having a direct conversation with Sheri. In fact, for most situations, a direct conversation would seem to be a key part of any progress on relationship repair.

However, this is not a new situation; Betty just wasn’t going to ignore it any longer.  As Betty talked, I think the fact that she was talking to a coach mattered.  Betty coached herself though this situation and i got to be her witness.  Betty’s solution eventually went in a very different direction from what I expected.  By venting out loud and talking through her feelings, she used the coaching opportunity to find HER solution.

  • Betty realized she is only responsible for her reaction to the situation. She won’t change Sheri; she can only change her feelings.
  • By focusing on Sheri, Betty was missing all of the positive reactions around her. The overwhelming reactions from other people on the team were very positive in both word and deed.
  • By reflecting on her own reactions and those of other team members, Betty is on the verge of exploding her business.  Sheri’s negative influence was waning.

While Betty’s near future is not without difficulties, she has shifted her focus to what she can control (her attitude), the positive activities around her, and away from the negative influencers. That’s often the perfect recipe to growing your influence and your results.

What would you have liked to ask Betty?

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