Coaching the Best to Get Better
Three elements of a good coaching experience - four if you're lucky!
By Bill & Joann Truby
President and Executive VP; Truby Achievements, Inc.
The best athletes in the world get coached – why? To get better. The “Top” is a moving target. You don’t get coached primarily for training or just to fix a problem. You get coaching and you keep getting coaching to provide the constant renewal needed to be the best and stay the best.
The best athletes and top executives get coaching. These people viscerally understand the fifth Law of Achievement which is the Law of Renewal. This fifth law says, “Growth sustains success.” The essence of this law is to constantly renew in knowledge and nurture; i.e. continuously learning and refueling. This dynamic is absolutely necessary to obtain and sustain success. The best know this.
But we can’t do this alone. Though there are many aspects of the Law of Renewal we can practice ourselves, the intimate knowledge of what can make us the best we can be often eludes us. We are our own worst enemies. And…we are the last to see our blind spots. In fact, the only way a blind spot can be illuminated is by someone else. The coaching process is a way to maximize the Law of Renewal. Coaching is a way to grow in knowledge and nurture and help the best become better.
Coaching Provided Three Core Services: In addition to encouragement, structure and support; there are three elements to a good coaching process:
1. Coaching Provides Knowledge: A good coach gives you knowledge, but not in the way a teacher would. A coach often has experiential knowledge that helps you not only perform better, but helps you be better. Tiger Wood’s coach doesn’t teach him how to play golf; he teaches him how to better perform some aspect of golf or look at a situation differently. And If You Are Lucky…
2. Coaching Provides an Honest, Objective Mirror: When you look in a mirror, that mirror reflects what is there. There is no judgment, no opinion, no guessing. A coach gives feedback in the same way, and shapes that feedback in such a way that the person truly understands it and is helped by it.
3. Coaching Creates a Training Program for Improvement: The process of coaching is to help the person getting coached improve in some aspect of “being” or performance. Because the coach provides experiential knowledge and is able to be an honest “mirror” – that coach can create a step by step training program to improve the person and use the first two elements to either fix a bad habit that has crept in, or to help the person become better in some way (i.e. happier; more confident; better with interactions, etc.)
We’ve all seen movies or read stories about that coach that goes beyond the three elements mentioned; a coach who provides the three core services but who also exhibits the mysterious mixture of intuition and wisdom. If you get that kind of coach you are indeed lucky, or blessed. This kind of coach has a powerful process that is applied to different individuals based on EACH person’s specific personality, character and need. (You know… “Wax on…Wax off”).
When you watch this kind of coach work it’s almost magical. Comments, words, silence, suggestion or assignment are all perfectly timed to help take the coached person to the next step. Sometimes the path seems strange to the person being coached, but if trusted, the desired result lies around the corner, just out of site.
Whether you are receiving the three core elements of coaching or are lucky enough to have the fourth element of “process-driven, intuitive-wisdom” – there is a basic test to determine whether the coaching is a positive experience or not. You know the coaching experience is a good one when you have regular sessions with your coach, you can’t wait to talk to your coach and you can’t wait to tell someone else what you’ve learned.
It is rare to find good coaches in the work place. We’ve talked to many managers who think they are good coaches, who say they are good coaches; but strangely, these managers aren’t currently, often have never received coaching, and their direct reports don’t excitedly seek out that manager for guidance, training – coaching or wisdom. What happens when you ask to see someone in your office? Is the person excited to get coaching, input and feedback from you?
The 5th Law of Renewal sustains success. It results in growth. Use it. Get coaching to help you get to be the best. Then keep coaching to help you keep getting better. But don’t stop there – take what you’ve learned and pass it on. Become a coach to someone you want to grow. Help their “best” become better too!
A word about Joann's Coaching: (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT HER SUCCESS AND PROCESS)
Joann Truby is truly an experienced and successful coach. Joann, an athlete and national champion roller skater, then world class coach (all before the age of 30) is this “magical” kind of coach. She has a consistent process, but her application and implementation of that process is intuitively wise – crafted in each moment for the precise need of the person being coached. She knows just what to say; when to say it, how to say it, and even when not to say anything.
About the authors: Bill Truby has a Masters Degree in Psychology, 30 years of experience in business training & consulting, and has conducted an extensive amount of study in the sciences (particularly physics with an emphasis in quantum physics). Joann Truby, a highly successful leadership and management coach, has worked with Bill for over 12 years. Together, they have published 3 books, professionally recorded over 20 hours of audio training productions and produced multiple video training tools. Bill and Joann have written this article from extensive real-world experience to help leaders and managers be more effective in their roles.