Coaching from Coach

22 07 2009

I'm in the air at 30,000 feet experiencing the miracle of human flight.  I'm always reminded of comedian Louis CK's diatribe of "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy" whenever I fly now.  Recommended YouTube viewing to be sure.

I'm on my way to Atlanta for an Executive Coaching seminar.  As a consultant, the ability to coach is an important tool for my toolbox.  While I've been in training and development most of my career, coaching is a distinctly different set of skills than teaching, a distinction too many people miss.

When I am teaching, my goal is to impart knowledge to you that you that you don't already have.  As a coach, I may tweak here or there and add some tidbits to your skill set, but my overall goal is not to impart new skills but to develop what you have by making you aware of the difference between where you are and where you want to be.

My classic example of the coaching philosophy is Tiger Woods, maybe the best golfer that has ever lived.  Tiger has a coach.  Do you think Tiger's coach is a better golfer than Tiger?  Not bloody likely.  His coach doesn't have skills or even necessarily game knowledge to impart to Tiger at this point in his career. but what his coach can do is provide an objective evaluation of where Tiger is, work with Tiger on where he wants to be, and help Tiger close the gap.

Of the two, I find coaching the more rewarding, because in the long run it develops a model that an individual can use going forward to constantly improve themselves, even after the coach has been removed from the equation.  It is by far the harder outcome to measure, but in the long run I think the more valuable.

I still enjoy and do a fair bit of both.  Teaching business owners and communicators how to effectively leverage social media as in our one-day workshops is still a blast.  Watching for that moment when someone finally "gets it" is still a joy.  But the long term relationships I have built as a consultant and coach endure beyond the job. 

Posted via email from NetWeave Threads

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