What Sex Can Teach Us About Coaching (Part 2)
Last week I mentioned that I had been invited to speak about Talent Development. It is my belief that for talent to be successful there are two important areas (1) the talent has something distinctive or desirable about them and (2) they have a coach that helps accentuate their strengths and helps them realize their potential. For the presentation I chose to focus on the later. If we as coaches can improve the coaching environment then the talent we work with have a better chance of letting their uniqueness emerge.
In the presentation I likened coaching to sex.
- People seem to be talking about it all the time.
- People are talking about doing it more than they really are.
- We don’t really know how to do it.
- We don’t know if we’re doing it right.
- And we have no idea if the other person is enjoying themselves!
Last week we covered the first four points…
#8 – Consent is essential
#7 – Foreplay is important
#6 – Judgement is bad
#5 – Don’t be negative
… and now we dive into the final four points from “What sex can teach us about coaching”:
#4 – Size Doesn’t Matter
In coaching size doesn’t matter. There are no points for having a long coaching session. Sometimes a quick session is all you need! It’s not how often you do it either. You don’t have to meet your talent for an hour every day. You don’t always have to listen to a whole show or even an hour of it. It’s what you do with your coaching that matters. It’s how valuable it is for the talent, not how long or how often you do it. As a coach your role is to illuminate areas of consideration for the talent. Notice I said consideration? That’s because you can’t force or demand a talent do something, they have to want to do it. They’re more likely to do it, if you’ve built a foundation of trust (remember point #8 Consent Is Essential). You are there to increase the talent’s awareness in areas they may need to think more deeply about. You are there to inspire thoughts that will lead to better performance. Sometimes you can achieve these goals with one comment rather than a whole meeting. Work out what one thing you want to communicate or bring to the talent’s attention and then devote as much time as is needed to have a conversation around that.
#3 Be Present
When you’re coaching it is vital to be in the moment. Be with the talent in the here and now. It’s too easy to become distracted by the many urgent fires erupting around you. You need to silence your inner voice. When you are with the talent, you need to just be there with them. Be fully invested in the conversation, thinking about nothing else. Trust isn’t a onetime thing; you don’t establish trust and have it forever, you have to keep demonstrating behaviours that reinforce someone else’s decision to trust you. If you believe that working with the talent is important, then give them all of you. They’ll be able to sense it if you’re not truly there with them. You can’t fake it!
#2 Take them to the finish line!
You have to be able to reach a satisfying climax. Coaching isn’t effective if you don’t achieve goals. You have to be making progress in coaching otherwise you’re simply having a series of conversations. Your responsibility is to help talent understand their end goal. What does their desired outcome look like? What is it that they want to achieve? What is their performance dream? What do they see when they imagine themselves at their most successful? This shouldn’t be about ratings or revenue but about what they imagine they can achieve when they close their eyes and daydream about their future. Help the talent identify the opportunity and then work with them to clarify the steps they’ll need to take. All your coaching conversations should be in service to assisting the talent achieve their performance goal. Nothing else!
#1 it’s not about you. It’s about them.
When it comes to coaching don’t be selfish. Coaching isn’t about how good you are, but how you make the other person feel and perform. Coaching isn’t about you imparting your knowledge and flexing your intellect on the subject. None of that matters. Instead focus your efforts on whether the talent is enjoying the experience. When coaching becomes a chore no one leaves satisfied. Instead be considerate to the talent’s needs and ensure they leave every coaching session fulfilled.
And those are the eight things sex can teach us about coaching! Let’s run them down one more time…
- #8 – Consent is essential
- #7 – Foreplay is important
- #6 – Judgement is bad
- #5 – Don’t be negative
- #4 – Size doesn’t matter
- #3 – Be present
- #2 – Take them to the finish line
- And at #1 – It’s not about you. It’s about them!
Oh, and one final point; NEVER, EVER compare talent to someone else! It’s not worth it. “I’ve worked with better” “I love it when my old talent did this…” “I wish you were more like….” – if coaching is like sex, comparing talent to others will never end well for you!
About: Paul Kaye
Originally from England, Paul spent nearly a decade programming radio stations in the UK before moving to Canada in 2012.
While working for Newcap Radio, Paul programmed Classic Hits, Hot-AC and CHR formats in Vancouver & Calgary. Paul was also Newcap’s National Talent Development Director, tasked with improving performance across all content teams, overseeing syndication and leading talent acquisition. In 2016, he joined Rogers Media, as National Talent Coach and National Format Director (CHR).
Paul was somehow named International PD of the year in 2016 (vote re-count pending) and is a certified coach. Paul lives in Toronto and can be reached at email@example.com