One way to work on your own self improvement, is to get a good student.
I’ve been working with an intern who wants to learn more about how I run my business, and it’s been a very interesting and rewarding process for me.
I’m always honest with my clients about the fact that I’m not a “certified” coach, and I’m certainly not schooled in any psychology or sociology. My coaching methods are best described as the fruit of a ton of working experience and a love of, and fascination with the study of business and all the people in it.
I coach management and leadership (with business as our playground of opportunity) because those two things are all I’ve done, consistently and passionately. I’m pretty much in love with the stuff. No surprise that my number one strength in virtually every kind of profile/assessment I’ve ever taken is FOCUS.
Working with my intern now has been a return to so many basics, and it’s been very good for me to get first hand practice again in so many of the things I coach my clients in. For example,
— how teaching is about the student, and not about you
— how to look for the aha! moments that light up their eyes, and how to keep the light turned on
— how to make meaningful assignments, and not assign busywork, keeping work enjoyable and worthwhile
— how to give instruction that is just enough but not too much, leaving the door open for initiative and creativity
— how to not hover over someone’s progress, and have patience for the final result, letting mistakes be cool
— how to delegate well, understanding there is little accountability without ownership, full authority, and the knowledge they have your trust
— how to listen with genuine interest and with humility, and listen more than we speak
— how to mine their good ideas, and how to look deeper into the why of their early mistakes for the hints of other possibility
— how to always, always talk about why, trusting the how will get improved along the way
Boy oh boy I love this stuff.
I don’t understand how managers can ever say, “I’m glad we were able to hire, but I just don’t have the time or patience for training them!” because the entire process is such a win-win for everyone concerned.
Teach and get taught. Coach and get coached.
What’s this about?