Be a great coach. Know the game: why best practices matter

By William Seidman A senior executive recently asked me for help in improving her managers’ coaching skills. I had to ask, “Coaching what?” The executive had in mind what I’d call a Unified Theory of Coaching – no specifics other than listening skills, setting goals, positive attitude — fine in theory but not enough.  (A basketball coach needs to motivate the team but also, needs to know the game.) It’s actually nearly impossible to teach “coaching” without knowing how the tools are to be applied to the specific business or organization. A deep understanding of the industry’s best practices is essential. I always ask, “What are you coaching?” Everyone wants development and sustained performance. But you need specifics , too. After you know the best practices of the company, the industry, and/or the sector, you have an essential structure. Then, and only then, you can teach someone how to be a great coach.]]>

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