Where do you do your learning?

As I go about my coaching I notice that a few key practices help my learning as a coach. Reflecting on my practice is essential. I experiment with ideas that arise out of my reflection. I push my boundaries – trying ‘scary’ stuff. And I am hungry to deepen my awareness of who I am. But none of that happens in a bubble. I also learn from other areas of my life where success turns on my performance in the moment.

From playing jazz I have learnt what enables me to out-perform my expectations. I have discovered that I play my best when I know the music deeply and without thought. I have command of the necessary technique. I let go of needing to be ‘perfect’. I turn my attention outward and focus on the other musicians. And I express myself with freedom.

From playing tennis I have learnt about how to unlearn ineffective habits. Taking what I have practised with my coach into my competitive play is hard. To do that, I need a clear intention and a single focus. I need to practise without pressure. I need commitment and resilience. And I need to be willing to fail.

Other coaches I have spoken to have told me about learning stillness from fishing, responsiveness from the Tango, and empathetic connection from horse-riding. Those are just a few examples; there are many others.

Where do you do your learning?

For more on this topic, see my article “The Mystery of Coaching Mastery” published in September 2018 in the International Journal of Coaching and Mentoring, EMCC. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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