In our recent Coach and Be Coached Remarkable TV event, we talked not only about the value and importance of being a great coach (see my post from Saturday with some of my reflections on that skill set), but we discussed at length the importance and value for us as leaders in receving coaching.
Through interviews with over a dozen high achievers, experts and coaches, several themes came through. Let me share some thoughts on those themes.
But before I get to those themes, don’t lose sight of the starting point. The best always have coaches – each of my guests has had coaches. While I didn’t ask each this directly, I am quite confident that most, if not all, have coaches now. Even people who have reached the top of their fields (Division 1 College Basketball Coaches, Best selling authors and more), have coaches now. Life (and leadership) isn’t a do it for yourself activity – to become our best we must have coaches around to push us, to advise us, to provide us with a different perspective, to hold us accountable and to support us.
From these high performers, here are three lessons about selecting your coaches.
Seek Out the Best
If you want to be the best, find the best possible coach. The best coaches may be the best at the technical competence you seek or the best at providing coaching. In either case, you will get fastest progress by finding the best coaches you can find! During my interviews, each high achiever talked about their coaches. As they shared those names, I continually thought, of course they are successful, look at who their coaches are!
As a leader, determine what your coaching needs are, based on our goals and aspirations, and find coaches that can best help you get to that destination.
Coaching Comes in Many Forms
Most all of my guests talked about different forms of coaching.
- Coaching can be informal, with colleagues
- Coaching can comethrough reading about and studying the lives and lessons of other successful people
- Coaching can be internal – with our boss or other leaders in our organization
- Coaching can be formal and one-to-one (either face to face or virtually)
- Coaching can be done in a group setting
- Coaching can start from s structured situation like a workshop, or be supported by a more formalized learning structure.
These are just a few of the examples we discussed. It is not meant to be an all inclusive list, rather to be a clear reminder that all coaching doesn’t look the same. It also should remind us all that to reach our full potential, more than one of these types of coaching is likely needed, which leads me to my third point . . .
One Coach Isn’t Enough
Different coaches at different stages in our development. Different coaches for different skills (in my conversation with Jack Canfield he mentioned nearly a dozen different coaches he has used – in recent years alone). Sue Semrau and Scott Nagy, both Division 1 College Basketball coaches, mentioned different coaches who helped them develop different parts of their coaching and leadership skill sets.
How do we apply this idea?
Perhaps you have a coach now. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are they the coach that will get you where you ultimately want to go?
- Can they help you in all the ways you desire help?
- Where else do you need help, advice and support?
- If all your coaching has been informal and/or internal to your organization, is it getting you the performance results you want (and is your progress fast enough)?
My goal with this short post is to inform you, but also to inspire and prod you too.
Take a minute to think about your progress as a leader. If you would like to be progressing faster or feel that there are areas a coach could ably assist you, I hope you take these challenges to heart.
If you would like further assistance in thinking about how coaching can assist you, please register for my free teleseminar March 29 – Taking Your Leadership Game to the Next Level.