Wednesday, August 5, 2009

the coach's customer

Naresh Jain just sent out a pointer to this Business Efficacy eBook, and its 14 pages are well worth the read. The main take-home messages for me are:
  • In every coaching opportunity, find ways to deliver value to the recipient--otherwise, your changes will not stick around for long. As a coach, I'm constantly asking people around me to leave their comfort zone, to do things I believe are possible, but they don't. But if I can find their currency, this change will be something they value.
  • Each individual has different motivators, of course! Each person has different ways they like to be acknowledged. Tailor your interactions!
  • Timing is everything--we're shooting for specific goals and we need to reinforce good behaviors; the amount of effort or time we put in to this isn't important, it's the results!
  • The coach needs to stay focused until the recipient has made the new practice a habit, and will create opportunities to practice if necessary!
  • The coach needs to provide clear expectations.
  • We don't care about volume, breadth, utilization, effort, or percent done. We are focussed on a narrowly defined objective.
  • A coach encourages learning by asking questions more often than lecturing. Often the difficulty is in applying what we've learned to our daily habits. Ask the team/individuals about what's going on, or how principles might apply to specific behavior.
To capture this all in one phrase, I'd say the coach needs to help teammates succeed, in their own individual definition of success.

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