As I was growing up, I had the opportunity to have a few coaches in my life, but I did not do a lot of sports until volleyball in high school. I had a dance coach, youth football PomPom coaches, and a high school PomPom Coaches. What I remember about the coaches is the care they provided with encouragement.

When I began my career in education, I found myself in need of not just coaching but mentoring. It was so helpful to have these individuals provide me with both support and encouragement and resources and information. I enjoyed talking to them about daily issues and having someone with similar problems.

I have a love for acronyms, and that is great because education is full of them. I enjoy using a word and creating an acronym. So when I was able to begin coaching and mentoring, I decided to think about what I wanted coaching to be like for those I was working with during my opportunities.

C=Care

Care for the individual you are coaching and help them to learn the importance of having a caring attitude toward the service they provide. When you are caring, you are seen as trusting. A caring leader creates an environment where everyone feels:

O=Organize

Organized leadership is not just a skill but a habit that entails directing, coordinating, and scheduling individuals within an organization—planning and implementing action steps to achieve its goals or mission. When we coach others, we will guide them in recognizing the benefits of an organization by highlighting the benefits of being stress-free, prepared, gaining more sleep, and being more productive at work, to name just a few. To develop organizational skills, it is best to help provide them with a framework to work from with some of these ideas to start with:

A=Authentic

The best advice I can ever give anyone is to be authentic. Do not try to be someone else. Always be who you are no matter where you are. Trying to model yourself like the previous leader or someone you think the staff wants you to be, is never going to work. You have to be true to who you are. Life is better when you can be who you are. Authentic leaders are passionate, committed, and focused on the future. They are true to themselves and the principles that guide them, modeling what they expect from their team. Other characteristics of Authentic leaders are:

C=Courageous

Courageous covers so much when we speak about coaching, leading, and changing. I did not want to start with the word change as this sparks fear in some and thoughts that something is wrong with them when we talk about change. This is not the case in any situation. Change is about growth. The trees and flowers change depending on the season. We are constantly changing as well and growing! What we do is keep up with the fast-changing world in which we live. We coach others in helping to be courageous to face these changes, barriers, opportunities, and innovations. Courageous leaders understand, accept, and believe:

H=Help

The vital part of coaching is to know our responsibility is in helping our individuals achieve the goals they have set to perform. Not doing the work for them, but how we can support them with resources, suggestions, “Have you thought of? Would you like this if you were? Why would I like this if I was a teacher, student, or parent?” Coaches are always asking questions to help look through different lenses to see all perspectives. Asking questions is an essential part of coaching. Helping to look at all points of view is critical when making decisions and designing programs. As you coach, you are helping them to unlock their potential to be the best they can be. You are helping them to identify areas of strengths, find areas for improvement, and find strategies to utilize to continue to grow. Coaches will be:

Coaching is a great! I appreciate having a coach, being a coach and experiencing coaching. I brushed the surface of coaching by mentioning a few of the things involved with coaching and there is so much more in the depth of coaching relationships. The first thing a coach or mentor will do is build a relationship. Relationships are the most important part! If you are not able to build a relationship then the coaching will not be successful.

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

Steven Spielberg

I love the quote by Steven Spielberg. Mentoring is so meaningful and is so rewarding for those involved. As mentoring begins, it is a foundation built on trust, honesty, authenticity, and raw, real stuff.

The best mentors listen carefully and hear what is not said to shine the light on what is not seen. Hope, talent, strength, and courage are hidden in the layers of doubt, uncertainty, and fear.

Mentors create opportunities to tell, explain, and demonstrate, but most importantly, inspire those they work with to see what they can be. It is about guidance and facilitation of development.


Coaching is a broad term today and is found in many areas and professions. We are coaching in sports, as coaches work with teams to capture titles in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf, tennis, and so much more. We see coaching in our personal lives as we may have life coaches to help us with emotional, nutrition or physical needs. In addition, we have coaching for child delivery in finding the best ways to bring our child into the world.

Today coaching is part of what we do to help everyone grow and to be better than they are today.

“A coach is someone who (1) sees what others may not see through the high quality of his or her attention or listening, (2) is in the position to step back (or invite participants to step back) from the situation so that they have enough distance from it to get some perspective, (3) helps people see the difference between their intentions and their thinking or actions, and (4) helps people cut through patterns of illusion and self-deception caused by defensive thinking and behavior.”~Robert Hargrove, author of Masterful Coaching


What Adults need

Mentoring or Coaching adults need a different approach to learning. Building a relationship is the first step, and the next step in the relationship is built on trust. In addition, trust is essential in the relationship, but also having permission.

A coach brings continuing support to the individual. It is a safe and confidential relationship of trust to nurture significant growth in the areas of personal and professional. In addition, the building of a strong foundation of skills to support the organization to meet the needs set to achieve success.

There are a wide variety of podcasts to select from to tune in and to help you sharpen up the areas you want to grow. Listening to podcasts is a great way to spend time driving to and from work, doing your chores at home, and taking a walk. Finding the one you want to follow or checking out the wide variety of the ones out there takes a great deal of time, or you can begin with those someone recommends as you start your journey.

Usually, podcasts are around 30 minutes long. Each one will provide you with the time allotted for the session, topic, and highlights. A transcript of the show will be made available at the conclusion and the best thing is the show is recorded for you to go back to listen to again or to share parts with others you want to highlight.

I began listening to podcasts three years ago and have listened to a wide variety of them. I want to provide you with a list of a few I believe you will find to be helpful as school leaders to utilize in all you do.

There are many leaders to learn from! These are just a few. In my decades of growing, I find myself continuing to grow as I enjoy reading, listening, and attending webinars or conferences. My advice is always to keep looking for more to learn! In addition, never be afraid to share your wisdom as well. My friend Danny calls his group “Ruckus Makers,” which I think is excellent! Have you ever been called names? Silly question, yes, we all have! My editor has recently called me radical. I have never thought of myself described in this way. How do you describe yourself? Something else to reflect on as you think about which one of these podcasts fits your needs right now. Bookmark the others to listen to when you have the time and the need. The best thing about these is they are recorded to listen to when you can!

Sharpen Up

In our life journey, we receive many messages from others on ways to improve, set goals, and just about any other advice you can think of as you reflect. I did some reflecting as well and thought about all of the things I have been told. What are the key factors to take away? What can you share about the advice you have been given?

Professional Learning

One glove does not fit all was a post last week. Professional learning is an important part of growth for each of us, but are we utilizing all the resources and tools available to maximize the time and cost?

What is the best way to receive professional learning? Do you conduct book studies? Attend Podcasts? Zoom meetings? Share your thoughts. How are you changing the way professional learning is happening in your corner of the world?

Questions ?? YES

If you are in a large group setting, do you ask questions? I am asking this question because my next question is this: When you were in school, did your teacher encourage you to ask questions? Can you reflect on your experience with questions? Now think about how you approach questions if you are a teacher, a leader, a parent, a friend, or a spouse. How different are your approaches or reactions?

Motivation-Inspriration

Motivation and Inspiration are essential parts of every organization. Often you will find an individual within an organization who is the key to propelling others into these positive feelings and transforming cultures. Individuals like this spread and awaken others to the possibilities. It is exciting to watch others join in on ideas, celebrations, and opportunities to lift all.

When you see those individuals who are always doing for others and keeping everyone up, pause to ask who is helping to motivate and inspire them.

Mentoring—Coaching—Supporting

One, two, and three different ways of working with others in reaching goals and achieving them—Mentoring looks at the future and potential; coaching looks at the present and how to improve to a future state and is skill-focused, and supporting encourages the growth process.

Have you been involved with mentoring or coaching? Share your experiences.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2023 Brenda Yoho
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