As a coach it’s imperative that we ourselves have coaches. The head coach of a football team looks to the special teams coach for insights into a key play. A chef looks to their sous chef for assistance in getting the meal out on time. We not only trust those on our team but look at them for new ways of thinking. A coach could be an individual that you sit down with face to face, a tv show host that inspires you, or a great author whose book you simply can’t put down. As a professional business coach, I’m always looking around to grow my knowledge base. I not only owe it to myself but to all of my clients. It’s a fair assessment that I know a lot more today than I did at 30, and it would be naive of me to say I will not have learned more by 50 than I do today.
In the spirit of coaching comes this month’s recommend read of the month. It’s titled Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall. A coach and colleague of mine recommended it to me as we prepare for a presentation at an upcoming conference overseas. The book goes through the nine lies that we as leaders tell ourselves throughout our work day, and then turns your world upside down by challenging your reasonings behind them.
As with many books I read, I found myself underlining and highlighting frantically as I graced the pages. There was one page, however, that not only hit home with so many of my projects but that I found most inspiring. While describing why in fact people don’t actually need feedback they touched on a story of a coach. A coach whose team consistently failed, over and over again, leaving the coach wondering how he could ever inspire them to improve. It was at this juncture that he decided to not prioritize all that was wrong with the team, but prioritize what they were doing right. He recognizes the importance of capturing someone doing something right and telling them what he saw. He then built off of that.
We all thrive off positive feedback, whether we admit to it or not. And when doing something right it clearly shows that not only are we in fact good at that act but we are more likely to repeat it if told by our leader that we did a great job.
I fully recognize that in leadership we do have to spend time fixing the errors and it’s not all roses and butterflies but next time you find yourself frustrated by a team member who won’t do as you told them, a team member who consistently seems to let you down, perhaps they are in the wrong position or that as their leader you aren’t being a true coach. Maybe it’s time to stop emphasizing on what is wrong with your team members, and start focusing on the plays they have been winning.
Curious to know more about our coaching services or want to just chat about this book? Grab a slot in my calendar and let’s connect!
By: Scott Tayloe, Executive Consultant for IEP