“The First Rule of Coaching is that we must always talk about Coaching.”

The first rule of coaching is that we must always talk about coaching
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This thought came to me at the end of the first session with a client who had just taken on a new CEO role and was surprised to find himself suddenly struggling. He told me at the beginning of the session that he had only agreed to meet with me because I had been recommended by a mutual friend who was also a coaching client of mine.

He was sitting with arms folded. He avoided eye contact at the beginning and clearly wasn’t enjoying being in this session at all, complete with furtive watch glances and knee bouncing which vibrated his chair slightly. He had completed the Positive Intelligence Saboteur Test and, in previous phone calls and emails, was keen to discuss the results.

On his client information form, I noticed he had ticked that he had never used coaching services before but had diligently invested in a range of training and professional development activities. He was a well-informed, well-educated, and contemporary executive. He knew his Myers Briggs Type and had participated in numerous other profile tests, so he knew the value of personal exploration, reflections and development and had listed a successful career as well, but here he was quite stuck and hijacked.

When I asked him about not why he hadn’t accessed coaching before now, he gave a very interesting insight to an attitude towards coaching that I had encountered before. He said that he had always been able to deal with things and thought coaching was more about dealing with remedial issues or helping people who cannot cope or are stressed out. I asked what sport he played and if he ever used a coach to improve. He said he played golf and of course used a golf pro/coach to work on improving aspects of his game. Golf is hard.

I play golf as well. I know golfers of all levels need a coach to see what they cannot see and to work with and understand the player’s athletic abilities and limitations to extract the most performance and enjoyment from the game. Golf coaches also take note of what goals or handicap you are trying to achieve and will set up a focused drills and practice and play schedule to get you there. They take videos of your swing to help you connect and understand the required changes in technique and feel and to gently disavow you of the delusionary belief that your own golf swing is similar to that of Adam Scott or Cam Smith. All golfers can remember the shock of seeing what their own golf swing actually looks like on video for the first time. Golf is hard.

I then asked my client if he had seen the recent Wyndham Clark (2023 US Open Winner) interview. In this interview Wyndham Clark, after thanking his wife and family for their support then went on to thank his four (4) coaches. His swing coach, his short game coach, his putting coach, and his sports psychologist. Wyndham Clark is a remarkable, skilled, athletic and talented player. Why does he need 4 coaches and does that detract from his achievements at all? Will there be an Asterix *over his name in the record books (won by one stroke from Rory McIIroy – used four coaches)

Sport Coaches are in fact revered. Any google search on the top 20 coaches of all time will list household names in all sports from Basketball, Football, NFL with Tony Robbins – the first non-sport-based coach was ranked 16th in this list.

I asked my client what he would think if a high-profile CEO, when announcing a strong trading result, also thanked his four coaches for their part in the result? He admitted that the first thing that he thought of was “what is wrong with him?” “Why would he need four coaches?” Why is ok for elite sports, but somehow less ok for business or just life support and growth? The parallels between sport and life are quite clear. We revere and admire success in others and we measure it and assess it in several different ways. Would the US Open winner be more admired if he never used coaches to achieve his potential?

As coaches we believe that it’s not just about how good you are now; it’s about how great you are going to be. Our coaching philosophy centres around helping you envision and create the future you desire. We work collaboratively with you to set ambitious goals, develop action plans, and provide the guidance and support needed to help you realize your full potential and achieve greatness. We hope all high performers know that using a coach is the key to realizing the full potential of any individual, team or organisation.

The coach’s role is to question, challenge and inspire the client to take action and to achieve their goals. It is also an extremely efficient and effective process and delivers a stronger self-reliance result as well. You didn’t see Wyndham Clark’s four coaches following him down the fairways at the US Open.

The comparison of golf/sports coaching with life/business coaching really helped my client relax and be more open and he was now leaning forward, making eye contact and even enjoying the process. When I informed him that we were about to reach the end of our session, he looked again at his watch that he last glanced at 50 mins ago. He was beaming. He thanked me for a fantastic session. I calculated that I had asked no more than 10 questions. The fantastic session was all due to the coaching process itself. All the revelations and insight all came from my amazing client. (They were particularly brilliant questions though).

This is why coaches love coaching. It truly is a transformative process and helps millions of people everyday achieve their goals and find more meaning and joy in their lives and work.

Which is why the first and second rule of coaching must be that we always talk about coaching. Just ask Wyndham Clark. Golf is hard.

For more information on Empresario Group Coaching Programs contact Ian Lawrence by email: ian@theempgrp.com, or call on +61 0477 977 600.