What is a coach to you? Let me tell you what it means to me.

Posted by Brenda Yoho

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:

  • Valued
  • Supported
  • Appreciated
  • Heard

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:

  • Develop routines, systems and practices
  • Have a place for everything, and put everything in its place.
  • Touch things once!
  • Maintain a current to-do list.
  • Utilize a daily calendar- Color code it to manage your time or someone else will manage your time for you. A visual of how their time is spent helps to recognize areas to improve and strengthen.
  • No perfectionism-Time management, prioritize how to get things taken care of in a timely fashion.
  • Toss, purge and leave with a clean desk. Always come in with a clean desk to start the day in a positive frame of mind.

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:

  • Empathy
  • Emotional Control
  • Accountability
  • Self-Awareness
  • Relationship-Driven
  • Outstanding Listening Skills
  • Humility
  • Long-term goals
  • Vision-Mission

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:

  • In forgiveness and acceptance
  • Taking a stand on what they believe even if unpopular
  • Not afraid to say no
  • Embrace failure
  • Not afraid to ask for help
  • Show their emotion, communicate their fears and face them

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:

  • Supportive
  • Trustworthy
  • Enthusiastic
  • Focused
  • Resourceful
  • Positive
  • Goal-Oriented
  • Respectful
  • Confident
  • Organized

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.

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