Coaching 101 - At work or at school
What does it mean to coach?
To me, the answer lies in having excellent listening skills and an genuine interest in helping others discover the next step in self-improvement or problem solving. It is so easy to just jump in and propose solutions to problems as you hear them. If you do, you don't provide an opportunity for the person being coached to feel true ownership of the solution and they are less likely to take action if the proposed solution came directly from you. If the proposed action comes from you then you acted as the manager or trainer, not as a coach.
Is coaching employees and children much different?
Probably not much. We could all use a good coach in many different facets of our lives. Just try to remember that self-discovery with the aid of a coach is more rewarding as an employee or a student.
Why do sports teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, have coaches AND trainers?
Once I heard this comparison I was better able to understand the difference. Sports trainers are "on the ice" with the players demonstrating or providing lots of directional feedback. The best coaches in sports have this intangible quality that leads to championships and players who seek them out for self-improvement.
Interested in improving your coaching skills with kids? I have an opportunity for you - kids.now Canada
I had the opportunity to be a kids.now coach in the winter and it was both challenging and rewarding. It consists of a 12 week after school program for grade 7 students for up to 10 kids. You cover 6 topic areas using games, skits, or whatever works in motivating 10 kids to learn topics such as coaching, goal setting, conflict resolution, etc.. You quickly get a sense of the generation differences when you start coaching these sessions.
If you live in the Toronto area and interested in volunteering in a local school then I would highly recommend you consider applying to be a kids.now coach. The non-profit group helps to locate a school that would like to run a program and the group also provides the training and materials.
Enjoy you next coaching experience wherever it might be: at work, at school, anywhere..