Coach for Success

Coaching Defined - "Riding a Bike"

While coaching is now very common in the corporate world and familiarity with it within SMEs is rapidly growing, for non clients and the uninitiated, I thought it would be useful to make some distinctions between coaching and other forms of assistance. The descriptions below are used with kind permission of Michael Stratford *.

Consultant: Studies the mechanics of riding the bike. He will then administer assessments/instruments to determine your riding style. Teaches you the laws of physics, how the bike is propelled, what is necessary for balance, and laws of motion/propulsion. A consultant tells you where to sit, where to put your feet and when to pedal. Gives you a program for you to follow through on. Then he/she leaves.

Therapist: Discusses the basis for your fears about riding and the consequences of falling. Discusses if your parents rode, and why that might be important. Explains why it is important for your self-esteem or psyche, for you to learn this and be successful.

Parent: Buys bike for you. May put on training wheels, and take them off when they think you are ready. Runs by the bike holding on until you have balance to continue, and then cheers you on as you go off riding into the sunset. Occasionally will threaten to take away riding privileges if you don't comply with ground rules.

Mentor: Shares with you their experience/expertise of bike riding. Gives you tips on the most effective way that they've found to ride. Models the way they think you should ride, gives you strategies about changing tires quickly in a race, how to get the most speed for your effort, what the best bike is to buy and how to negotiate gravel at the bottom of a hill. Warns you of the dangers of riding in traffic and tells you how to avoid them.

Coach: Listens to your desire to try riding. Asks if you need instructions on how to ride or how to find out about it. Asks what sort of bike you want. May even help you pick the bike up to get on. Runs along side the bike "checking in" to see if you're enjoying the experience and asks what might make it more fun. Helps you discover what you need to take care of yourself when/if you fall. When you stop, the coach asks about your experience, what was valuable and if you want to master bike riding. If you do, the coach helps you devise your own plan whereby you can attain that mastery. If you don't, then the coach may help you devise a plan to sell the bike.

If you would like to find out more about coaching/mentoring and whether it’s right for you, call 0845 658 0940 or e-mail to arrange a no obligation, 30 minute consultation call.


* Copyright 2003 Center for Creative Development and Michael Stratford. All rights reserved.

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