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What Does It Take To Be a GREAT Coach?

Hi there. Russell Stratton, president and leadership champion with Bluegem Learning.

I work with organizations just like yours to help managers become even better at improving individual and team performance.

Over the year's I've met managers who struggle with the idea that they could be a coach. Sometimes this perception exists that a coach is some kind of well put together, extermely motivational, charsmatic superhero.

Their employee comes to them with a problem that they need some help with, and as the manager they feel that they need to sort of rip open their shirts and they will have the big "S" in front...

Or they've got the Wonder Woman outfit on...

THAT'S who they need to be in order to help somebody to do their job even better and to be a great coach.

But that's simply not the case.

Let's look at the example of Arrigo Sacchi...

Arrigo Sacchi was the coach of the Italian soccer national team and for many years he'd coached the Italian Sierra, our team, Milan to the European carp on more than one occasion.

He was asked at an interview press conference by the media, "how do you coach elite level soccer players when you yourself never played soccer beyond tier four?"

His answer was interesting....

He looked them straight in the eye and he said,

"well, to have been a jockey, you don't need to have been a horse first." Arrigo Sacchi

I think that really encapsulates the idea that you don't need to be a superhero to be a coach,

You don't have to have been an elite level soccer player to necessarily coach elite level players, nor must a manager be better at the job her employees do to be able to coach them.

All that is needed is enough information about the job, so I do need an overview, but then more importantly I must also have and develop those coaching skills (like being a great listener).

A coach must bebe somebody who can

  • ask great questions

  • be analytical

  • help others discover understand their responsibilities, and

  • help each team member discover their own solutions

This is why in a previous blog, I've talked about having great coaching questions.

Coaching is about helping somebody find solutions for themselves, not tell them what the solutions are!

If it interests you, what I'm talking about with our coach model and our coaching cards, then why not join us at our next Lunch and Learn which takes place in June at the downtown library here in Calgary. Click on the photo below and we'll see you there!

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