Is coaching sufficient to achieve peak performance?
We all aspire to be at our best, professionally and personally. Achieving that collaboratively speeds the acquisition of the skills, knowledge and attributes that we need.
In theHarvard Business Ideacast featuring double gold medal Olympian Greg Louganis he discusses in vivid clarity the power of his intense focus.
The interview reflects the early experiences that encouraged Greg to value the benefits of repeated visualisation and practice. It is amazing to hear how he experienced those benefits at a pre-school age and, as children do, assumed that this was what everyone did!
Moving on to his impressive athletic career Greg pays tribute to the guidance of his coach. Here the discussion blurs the distinction between coach and mentor. It seems clear that, in a sporting context, coaching and mentoring have a different definition from that usually applied in education or business. Greg describes coaches in the sense of them having technical expertise that a sportsperson requires to learn from, whereas he portrays himself as a mentor and considers that to be a more holistic and pastoral role.
In some training programmes in education a spectrum is presented to participants that distinguishes between instructor, mentor and coach. Participants often assume that the spectrum also represents a hierarchy. An instructor is needed where there is little or no capability and there can be little or no professional autonomy. A mentor is appropriate where there is capability, or at least the potential to develop it, and professional engagement that means the person will put in place the recommended actions. A coach is best suited to a situation where questioning and listening will open the potential of an already enquiring professional.
However, like all paradigms this interpretation of the roles may miss nuances that help to achieve peak performance because it dwells on the roles rather than the intended outcome.
Listening to this brief (12 minute) podcast may give you, as it did me, a different perspective on what is required to perform at our professional best.
If you would like to see the benefits of school improvement through coaching that is accessible 24/7 please find out more at Trust Me Coaching.