I am a golfer. The type that loves to spend 4+ hours at a time playing on regulation golf courses. But, did you know that there is a little known culture dedicated to the practice and perfecting of the game of Putt-Putt Golf?
You know the game! The sometimes gimmicky putter-only courses you typically only play with kids. This group can teach us a great deal about coaching. More on that later..
Over the past 2 months I've shared with you some basic principles of great coaching, and I hope that you've benefited from the concrete structure around the art of coaching. A recent article in Forbes by Candice Frankovelgia, gives us an excellent synopsis of what we've discussed over the last few weeks.
1) Building the relationship. It’s easier to learn from someone you trust.
2) Providing assessment. Assessment often focuses on gaps or inconsistencies, on current performance vs. desired performance, words vs. actions and intention vs. impact.
3) Challenging thinking and assumptions. Coaches ask open-ended questions, push for alternative solutions to problems and encourage reasonable risk-taking.
4) Supporting and encouraging. They encourage employees to make progress toward their goals, and they recognize their successes.
5) Driving results. Effective coaching is about achieving goals.
All of these principles are important. But, what is the real key? What is the bottom line to great coaching? What have I witnessed in every great coach who I have ever had the pleasure of being inspired by? What can make you a great coach?
The answer came when I watched the following video on a group of gentleman who have spent most of their lives perfecting the game of putt-putt golf.
The Key is Reverence!
Every great coach conveys a reverence for their craft. The craft that they help teach others to learn and execute appears to me as some extension of the divine; a love of the game (whatever it might be).
A husband of one of my clients sells copiers and fax machines for a living, and does quite well. When I asked him what got him into the business, he told me a great story. As he was interviewing as a new college graduate, he told the hiring boss..."But I want to sell something important... something that saves lives..." His future boss looked at him sternly and said, "I sell copiers to people who save lives every day." And he meant it.
So the big question is: Do you have a reverent or sacred view of what you do and what you are inspiring others to do. Beyond what you sell, the lives and inner dreams of those you manage can be approached with reverence.
When you combine the human element with the structured principles, then you are a truly great coach and the results will prove it!
Enjoy this great video of a perfect Putt-Putt game and experience the reverence and dedication of the best putt-putt players you'll ever see.