Thursday, December 06, 2012

Did You Start Your Day with Coaching? I Did!



You’re probably thinking that I’m going to tell you about my Security Job Coaching or my Security Career Coaching.  Well, I could but not today.

My Quest to Find the Best Assessment Tools

I’ve been on a quest to find an assessment tool to build into the front end of my executive coaching methodology.  I want to start my coaching process with a powerful, objective and scientifically validated assessment.  I lean towards coaching to someone’s strengths rather than investing a lot of time to try to improve their weaknesses. 

My Personal Assessment Experience

I recently took an assessment as part of my journey to find the right assessment for my coaching process.  As part of my trial run, the company that gave me the assessment also gave me an hour of coaching time so I could dive a little deeper into how they suggest using their assessment tool.

This hour I invested with a coach was extremely valuable to me.  Not just to help me understand this company's assessment tool but also for the personal benefit of having someone else objectively walk through my scores with me.  I have always found assessment tool results to be fascinating.  The more business-focused these tools are, the more intersting to me.  It's just the way I'm wired.

I Practice What I Preach

Why am I sharing this information?  Because I want my coaching clients  and my future coaching clients to know that I practice what I preach.  I’m a strong proponent for not only coaching but also for being coached.
My Adult Hockey Journey

Nearly 3 years ago, I started playing hockey for the first time in my life.  I’d never invested much time to watch hockey on TV.  I started playing hockey because a friend who played on my softball team at the time talked me into playing.  It didn’t take very much convincing as I have never found  a sport that I didn’t ultimately learn how to love to play.  My friend took me to Play It Again Sports store and helped me to purchase the right equipment.

A week later, I was on the ice in an outdoor adult hockey league at 8500’ in the Colorado Rockies where  I live.  I was with a bunch of guys who grew up in places like North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan and who had played hockey since they were able to walk.  My friend failed to tell the rest of the team that he’d invited a newbie player.  I learned the rules of the game by way of the referees blowing the whistle when I violated a rule that I didn’t know existed.  A tough way to learn the game of hockey I must say.

My friend guaranteed me that if I joined his league that they’d teach me how to play hockey.  Well, that guarantee didn’t really come through but I figured it out the hard way.

A Better Approach with a Coach
A few weeks later I joined an adult novice hockey league at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.  This was truly a league where someone who had no prior hockey experience could come to learn.  I’ve played in that league for nearly 3 years now and for the duration of my time in the league, I’ve had a volunteer coach named Jim.

He's the guy in the black jacket in the picture shown above.

Jim has played hockey for many years.  He is generally a pretty quiet guy and is very careful to gauge the personality of a new player before he starts coaching them.  In many cases, Jim doesn’t say anything to new players if he senses that they don’t want to be coached.

I'm Coachable!

I on the other hand had gone through the ego crushing experience of stepping onto the ice with a bunch of highly seasoned players who skated circles around me (literally).  From the very first game I played on the Red team, I asked Jim for help.  Every time I came off the ice, I would turn to my coach and ask for coaching. 
After a while, Jim started offering coaching advice without me having to ask because I made myself coachable from the very beginning of our relationship.  To this day, he proactively coaches me when I come off the ice from a shift.

Jim doesn’t play the game for me and he doesn’t make choices for me when I’m on the ice.  What Jim does do is to guide me.  From his vantage point standing behind the player’s bench, he sees the game in a way that I can’t see the game when I’m on the ice and the game is happening around me.
Without Jim’s constant adjustment of my game, I wouldn’t have reached the level of playing proficiency that I now have.   If Jim weren’t there,  I would have eventually figured it out on my own but his presence and his willingness to work with me so that I could become a more skilled player has made all the difference in the world to me. 

Coaching Works!

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