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Coaching: Four Basic Tips
By Thomas Herrington, Senior Partner
For some people, coaching can be uncomfortable. All too often, the person being coached becomes defensive. But coaching should not be a battle. In fact, coaching is something you can do well, if you keep coaching positive and follow four basic tips.
1. State the Success Point.
2. Acknowledge every success.
3. For improvement, point out the solution instead of
critiquing the error.
Another key aspect to note is that solutions focused on the positive make performance even better. Focusing on what is wrong creates frustration and may actually cause someone to repeat the mistake.
For instance, telling a golfer, “Don’t slice it,” would probably cause him to do just that. You also wouldn’t tell a baseball player on the way to the plate, “Don’t strike out.” If you focus on what not to do, you will more than likely actually do what you brain is focused on, what not to do. How many times have you sworn not to get something on your tie, suit or dress only to have it happen in a matter of minutes, if not seconds?
As an example, try this quick exercise. When you read the word “fruit,” don’t picture bananas. That is the only rule. Don’t picture bananas. Did you picture bananas? Most people do. A better coaching technique would be to say, “When you read the word “fruit,” picture strawberries. Full 100% attention is then on what makes it better.
4. Experiment until your partner succeeds.
In our PAR training courses, the certified instructors are not the only coaches. Participants engage in coaching each other. They use these four PAR coaching Tips as their guideline to practice and perfect their coaching skills. Following these simple tips get results faster which leads to lasting success.
Thomas Herrington is a Senior Partner of The PAR Group, an international training and development firm headquartered in Tucker, GA., and he is the co-author of Cracking the Code to Leadership, a how-to book on the secrets of leadership. Email questions and/or comments to Tom.Herrington@thepargroup.com.