There is plenty for all of us to learn about coaching. Our coaching success comes from mindsets that matter, skills we can practice, and habits we can form. I have been gradually building a coaching alphabet. Today, I’m adding the letters M, N, and O to my coaching alphabet tools.
Here are links to the earlier parts of the alphabet
And now, in elementary school fashion, here are the next three letters in the alphabet, with significant impact on your coaching success.
Some people think about coaching as something done formally, at a scheduled time. Without question there is value in that perspective, it is just too limiting. Yes, time should be on the calendar for you as a leader/coach to provide time and space to discuss, explore and encourage the people you are coaching to be more successful. And f time isn’t scheduled for these more planned and “formal” coaching opportunities, they will not happen with nearly the needed frequency.
But coaching doesn’t only happen during those times consciously placed on the calendar, but also throughout the day and in coaching moments. We are at our best as coaches when we recognize the need for and make time for coaching to happen, both the planned times, and the to make the time during those moment of opportunity.
No Negative Assumptions
Have you ever seen someone do something and immediately assumed (the worst) as to why they did it? The work was sloppy or incomplete, so the person isn’t capable. The person is late to the meetings, so they don’t care. These are just two examples. Assuming reasons based on behaviors we see in others is easy, natural, and human. It is also often incorrect and unhelpful.
Have you ever had someone make those negative assumptions about you (that were incorrect)? Did that build trust between the two of you? Did it speed communication, and solution?
We will achieve greater coaching success when we observe the behavior (more on this in a second), make no negative assumptions before exploring and understanding the situation. When we operate under the “assuming serves no one” belief, we will better understand the situation, allowing us to potentially be more effective in our coaching role, while not negatively impacting the relationship with the other person either.
Making our assumptions is a form of judgment. Coaching success starts when it is as free of assumptions, bias, and judgment as possible. How do we do that?
Start with the observation.
What did they actually do? What did they really say? What did the report really look like? What would the video tape show?
That is observation, and that is where coaching should start.
When are you start with “Here is what I saw happening”, “Here is what is I see in the report”, “Here are the quality numbers.” You have a place to start the conversation, and from which t listen to the other person. With the absence of assumption, bias, and judgment (or as little as you can achieve) you give the other person space to share, and a place for you to begin learning.
Your coaching success will be enhanced when you make more time for coaching, reduce/eliminate your negative assumptions and start with pure observation.
I had other thoughts for each of these letters before I made my final selections. What would you suggest for the letters M, N, and O?
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