Monday, August 27, 2012

Desperately Seeking Advice

What happens when you face a rut in your professional life?

Coaches or mentors can be useful allies when we hit our plateaus in our performance. They can assist us in building our potential by nudging us forward. They function best by shifting our perspectives to usefulness and relevance. Productive conversations with your coach orientate around how we can move from our current state, to a future ‘expected’ state.

Effective coaches will ask questions that help us reflect on our condition. They lead us into our future with our visions of achievement. Skills-wise, they give us feedback that corrects our techniques and approaches, so we earn more ‘bang for our buck’. They help us move from ‘define’ to ‘refine’. Once we achieve our objectives, they disengage from the process of coaching. This relationship is about building independence and inter-dependence, and not dependency.

I have sought the assistance of coaches for my triathlon training, especially in swimming and running. My physiotherapists and sports-doctors are also my coaches, in that they provide consultation on which movements to do or avoid for my rehabilitation. I also seek the counsel and advice of business mentors on developing my consulting and performance audits businesses. The relationships are different, but similar in process and outcomes: to achieve my best in my performance and build my capability, capacity and interests.

This working relationship relies on a maturity that presupposes that you (being coached) are open, broad-minded and receptive to learning.

Leadership Lessons: How many coaches do you have? How do they assist you specifically in your competencies? How do you respond to your coach’s feedback when you need correction?

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