Both CrisMarie and I come from an athletic past: CrisMarie as an Olympic rower, and me as a short, not-so-fast basketball lover, who talked myself onto the team. Very different stories but one common link is that we both knew coaching would help and were willing to utilize the feedback and support whenever it was offered.
I don’t know very many athletes who started a sport and can say they made it to the Olympics six years later. Generally, folks spend their lives training and developing to reach that level, yet CrisMarie started in college and went to the top in that short time. After spending some time hearing her story, I believe the difference between her and many others who don’t make that leap is her willingness and effort to seek out coaching. Not only has that been true of her athletic life but in her professional development as well. She is always seeking to improve her performance and looks for coaches and mentors along the way.
Too often business people don’t get the assistance of a coach unless one has been assigned for performance issues. For us that is the hardest path for coming on board and working with someone. Sure we do, and have had many success stories. However, what we like and truly find inspiring is when someone comes to us and says, “I want some help in getting better. I know I can improve.” It’s funny, usually the folks who come to us like that are already the peak performers. They probably would not be the ones who others would think need a coach, but they ask for one to be a sounding board or to provide straight feedback because they know as a leader they don’t get that readily.
What is coaching? Basically, coaching is a relationship with someone who listens, observes, provides feedback and a means of accountability for ensuring that you stay on track and aligned around your highest personal and corporate goals.
When we are coaching, we are generally working with the Executive team and providing coaching for individuals on the team between off-sites. Often the coaching starts as a way to ensure team members stay on track related to the thematic goal and around personal commitments made at the off-site. Our conversations are about the barriers to progress and encouragement in the early stages of implementing new meeting structures and accountability measures. However, as time goes on, the coaching generally becomes more of a sounding board process for leaders. The sessions are spent dealing with the many challenges a leader is facing which can include multiple urgent issues, inter-team dynamics and even personal challenges that are getting in the way of high performance.
Coaching is designed to focus the person forward and to help dislodge ineffective beliefs and stories that are getting in the way of reaching their highest potential. Coaching isn’t just for poor performers. No, quite to the contrary, coaching is for anyone who wants to have someone looking out for their best interest and making sure they stay focused on what’s important to create the results they want.
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke
Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict
CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.
They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.
Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.