What Makes a Good Coach | 120 Seconds to Better Leadership

So I think most people at this point know I’m an equestrian, and I’m not a very good one, so I require quite a bit of coaching. And I had a clinic a couple weekends ago that I got so much out of. Way more than I think any clinic I’ve ridden in before. And so, I was trying to think about what it was about this guy’s coaching style that added so much value, and I boiled it down to two things.

Be Fearless

Number one, he ignored what I was afraid of. I was off for about a year because my horse was sick, and there were things that I just hadn’t built up the nerve to do, and he gently, supportively, but quietly ignored what I didn’t want to do and just went ahead and asked for it anyway, and guess what—I was able to do it because, well he asked me to. I think sometimes, you know, people hold themselves back, and as coaches it’s really important that we see that they’re full of more potential than perhaps they feel that they are at that particular moment. So, believing in a bigger version of the people that we coach.

Stay Positive

I think, two, he was very focused on the positive. I don’t have the most talented horse, I’m not the gutsiest rider. But he was very good in that he was able to, not just pick my horse apart for not being perfect, but to really acknowledge that there are some things he really has going for us that will really help us be successful.

It was nice to just feel both: my fear ignored and to be really pushed out of my comfort zone in a big way, but also to be acknowledged and supported along the way. So, it made for a great experience for me. Certainly, things I try and apply in my coaching practice, and I hope you’ll apply them to the folks that you coach at work, too.