Words of Wisdom
Here at InsideOut Development, we’ve seen the benefits of coaching first hand as we help organizations reach their goals and grow their people (see some real life corporate examples here). But don’t just take our word for it. Check out these coaching quotes to discover what some revolutionary leaders (and thought leaders) have to say about the importance of coaching.
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." — Bill Gates
How does a leader empower? Here’s a secret: It’s not by telling them how to be successful. No, a leader empowers by giving others the opportunity to determine their own route to success. That’s why we believe a coach’s role is not to fix problems for those they coach, but to support those they coach as they fix their own problems.
"I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals." —Steve Jobs
We agree that humans are noble, honorable, and smart. We believe that everyone is capable of learning and performing at a higher level. That’s the crux of the InsideOut Mindset. Everyone is capable. Coaching helps those capabilities shine, because it gives people the opportunity to take control of their situation, solve their own problems, and prove just how smart and capable they are.
"If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two mouths and one ear." —Mark Twain
One of the hardest parts of coaching is to remember to stop talking and really listen. Active listening is one of the most fundamental skills a coach can learn, which is probably why it’s one of the hardest. Listening helps you learn where things really are wrong, helps those you listen to see you care, and helps you remember that your role as coach is not to fix, but to support.
"To be as good as it can be, a team has to buy into what you as the coach are doing. They have to feel you’re a part of them and they’re a part of you." —Bobby Knight
One of the easiest ways to lessen the impact you can have as a coach is to appear a foreign entity to your team. You need to be someone they trust, someone they feel they can speak to. As former Hoosier coach Bobby Knight said, your team needs to feel like you are a part of them. You cannot be a looming figure above them.
"Withhold guidance until you’re sure it’s warranted." —Nancy Q. Smith
At first glance, this quote may seem counterintuitive, surely as a leader your role is to guide—and thus guidance is always warranted. The truth behind Nancy Q. Smith’s quote is this—people don’t need their path spelled out for them. More often than not, individuals can figure out how to make their own way forward without having their hand held. A leader’s role is to support them as they do so, and then, only when truly warranted, help guide the way forward.
"People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care." —Theodore Roosevelt
Every conversation should be candid, caring and constructive. Employees won’t fully engage with you or take action on your advice until they know you care about their problem, will be honest in your interactions, and will use the conversation as a chance to help them solve their problem.
"Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things." —Peter Drucker
That’s well and good, but how do you figure out what the right things are? That’s a good question, and thankfully one we have a good answer for. We call it the GROW® Model, and it’s an effective tool for making better decisions, faster. The GROW Model, when used right, makes sure that your focus is where it should be, so that you aren’t wasting time doing the wrong things.
On human performance:
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." —Mahatma Gandhi
Focus, Faith, and Fire are three of the four components of the Performance Wheel, and it is with these that individuals and organizations can be successful. It may not be altering history, but it can alter the course of your organization—for the better.
"The finest service we can give to other human beings is to make it safe for them to explore their own experience. This is when transformation and breakthroughs happen." —Alan Fine
Breakthroughs happen first at an individual level, and they happen when people have the opportunity to explore their own capabilities. Progress and success come, not from being pushed to it, but from reaching for it. And each time an individual experiences a transformation or breakthrough, they are pushed forward toward further progress and success.
"If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." —Michael Jordan
Roadblocks are everywhere. We call these roadblocks interference—anything internal or external that acts to keep us from moving forward and reaching our goal. Figuring out how to move past these roadblocks is the hard part, but with the proper focus, you can make it happen.
"If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control—myself." —Stephen Covey
There are a lot of things that you can’t control. Not your environment, not your situation, not the way others will react. But what you can control is yourself, you can control where you focus, how you’ll react, where your aims are, how far you’re willing to go. That’s all on you.
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, 100 percent." —Dr. Seuss
While you may not be an elephant, this mindset of saying what you mean, and then sticking to it, is part of what it means to take ownership. Here at InsideOut Development we believe that saying what you mean, and sticking to it, is part of SayDoCo a philosophy or saying what you’ll do, doing what you say, and then communicating along the way.
"If knowledge were all it took we’d all be incredible managers, teachers, parents, and performers. But obviously we’re not. The biggest obstacle in performance isn’t about knowing what to do; it’s doing what you know." —Alan Fine
None of this coaching wisdom does anyone any good if it stays simply knowledge. If you want to truly succeed, then knowing isn’t enough, you must also do. Use the knowledge you have to do what you know you have to do. That’s how you succeed.
Check out our infographic about the 7 Cs of Good Leadership to see if your coaching is ready to set sail.