It’s Game On for a sporting outlook on coaching.
Our coaching is performance-focused, aligning our approach with that used by sports coaches worldwide. Here’s how we use a game plan, coaches, players, practice drills and observations to play the coaching game.
Coaching can take many forms, such as the non-directive executive coaching function, the holistic life coaching angle, or the performance-based sport coaching approach.
Our experience in implementing leader as coach programs that support business outcomes has shown us that leaders operate much more similarly to sports coaches than executive coaches for the following reasons:
- They understand the game their players are playing well, often better than their players do
- They have the benefit of observation which gives them insight into how their player is playing the game, what’s working and what isn’t
- They share an interest in the outcome of the coaching process with the player since the outcomes the leader is trying to achieve depends on their players achieving their own outcomes
- There’s a power difference between coach and player because the coach can fire the player but the player can’t fire the coach
- Performance in the work place has more to do with the “Outer Game” than the “Inner Game” to use Tim Gallwey’s terminology from his seminal book, The Inner Game of Tennis
- If the team fails to perform, the first competence called into question is that of the coach.
Here’s how we play the coaching game:
Sports coaches invest their team’s success in defining, coaching and practicing the “Outer Game” of techniques and strategies which they call a game plan and so do we. A game plan is a comprehensive description of HOW the team or player will win.
Observation and feedback
Watch any sports coach at the side of the field and you’ll note how they zoom in on their players, picking up on every action or movement and noting the results it yields. After the game coaches replay the match over and over, observing behaviours in slow motion and providing players with feedback on their performance on the field. At Game On we train our coaches to observe the behaviour of their players in the workplace with equal vigilance, providing feedback that appreciates, highlights, challenges and inspires change.
We support sporting principles of practice makes perfect. When a player needs to develop a new skill or embed a new way of work, we encourage practice drills. These drills see players doing something physically over and over until they’ve become comfortable with the new skill. Change doesn’t happen magically – people need to change a behaviour and repetitively practice the task at hand before it becomes second nature.
Our Game On coaches play the performance game. A game plan guides every movement of our players, coaches and players interact, connect, collaborate and grow together. Through practice drills we embed new skills or required behavioural change. And we’re watching all the time, observing the player, following the game, ready to provide the performance feedback that takes our players’ game to the next level.