Football is a relatively new experience for my son, who, at the high school level, chose to participate in the sport for the first time last year.
Because I’m still learning too, I know he’s a bit more willing to engage when I ask about his experiences so far. My inquiries have steered away from the technical side of the game and more toward the mental side.
Recently, I asked about the coaching staff.
Me: Who has been the most helpful to you?
Him: Coach S.
Me: What is it about him you like?
Him: He coaches me up.
Me: What does that mean?
Him: Well, he definitely tells me what I’m doing wrong. And then he tells me how to do it right.
BOOM! This statement, clarifying what differentiated Coach S. from the rest of the coaching staff, was profound.
It might seem obvious that “coaching up” is what a coach SHOULD do.
And yet, how often do we miss this step in the teaching process, either with a child or a team member? Are we too quick to point out mistakes that we miss the opportunity to train/educate/teach?
Immediately, other examples of “coaching up” came to my mind.
At a previous job, we always asked Ray, a senior colleague and a former teacher, to work with new consultants. Ray was always respectful and patient. I was “coached up” by a former colleague named Sarah, who patiently helped me to understand the HR software system and how it interfaced with the company’s finance and accounting software. Sarah pointed out my mistakes and then showed me how to avoid those mistakes the next time. She never talked down to me or made me feel incompetent.
It can be easy to make assumptions about another person’s behavior if it doesn’t match our expectations. But there is great value in taking an additional step to further educate and inform.
My challenge to you this week to ask yourself: Are you providing all the guidance someone in your sphere needs to adjust his or her behavior?
•Image by Cara Eberle•