I’m always interested in working with great coaches and am lucky to have found a few along the way. How do I recognize them? How do you know if you’ve found one?
Great coaches know that most people can’t take in a long checklist of improvements. When someone gives me too much to think about, I spend all my time checking each move and I lose the flow of what I’m doing.
Great coaches focus on one area of performance at a time. They give you one or two things to think about or correct, and what they give you often has an impact far beyond the immediate.
I practiced karate for years and noticed time and again how a good instructor would get a student to make a small adjustment that made a big difference. They’d ask a student to adjust their hip position slightly and that would affect their foot position, their leg, shoulder, their arm – you’d see a person’s whole body change as a result of one small shift.
Look for people who give simple instructions that have great effect, and maybe you’ll have found a great coach. Think about the same approach for yourself – the world can always use more!
I used to do yoga with a friend of mine. She would watch me struggle into poses and struggle to hold them – I’m not really a yoga type – and after awhile she’d say,
“Be gentle with yourself.”
Have you ever done your best work when you’ve felt like you’re struggling? I haven’t. My best work flows. It feels good to do it and it makes me feel great.
There are lots of days we’re asked to “lean in” and work hard, but this doesn’t mean we have to be unkind and thoughtless about ourselves. Not a bad thing to remember from time to time.