Most of my life I have been involved in coaching. My college education was paid for by giving tennis lessons. I didn't know much about soccer but that didn't stop me from coaching my children when they signed up to play. Our pet dog, Lady, joined the fun and I taught her how to score goals in our backyard practice sessions. In the business world, I offered pointers to my team-mates that I learned by trial and error. The biggest lesson I learned from my experiences is that the student's success is dependent on the coach's ability to inspire confidence. If you are a parent, coach, or manager, these ideas may help you bring out the best in others:
- Catch others doing something right. It doesn't matter that the ball is going in the wrong direction when they hit it -- what matters is that your student made contact. You can build on that.
- Avoid criticizing the errors. Errors are part of the learning process. So are moments of brilliance. By focusing on the mistakes and not recognizing the times when your student shines, your student loses confidence and gives up.
- Be humble. Remember the times when you were learning something new. Your student needs to know you stumbled in the beginning and that you're not super man. Great coaches are willing to share how they failed early in their career.