When Lou Holtz tells us, “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired,” it might just be true for sports coaching. But when it comes to business writing, for me, coaching is a little more closely aligned to what Bill McCartney, another former football coach, has to say:
“All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself.”
Lately I’ve been getting quite a few requests to do one-to-one writing coaching. So much so that The Language Lab programs now include coaching as an ongoing service. And what Bill McCartney says about coaching really does apply to my experiences. Sometimes new clients seeking coaching just aren’t sure how to improve their skills or can’t figure out where the problems lie. They may have been sent to me by a boss, who’s concerned that the person is not able to advance in the workplace because of poor writing skills. And there’s a good chance the boss hasn’t clarified the
There’s certainly no shame in seeking the help of a coach, whether you choose to do it on your own, or because your employer has decided to invest in your development as a business communicator. At some point in life, we can all benefit from coaching – as Google CEO Eric Schmidt points out, a coach gives us a fresh perspective, and allows us to see ourselves more clearly.
So for me coaching is about helping to identify where any challenges may lie; then working through the necessary steps to meet those challenges, as the Language Lab Coaching Strategy explains. Or, to borrow from famed football coach, Don Shula:
“I think what coaching is all about, is taking players and analyzing their ability, putting them in a position where they can excel…”
The Language Lab’s Coaching Strategy:
- The warm up: Clients submit a sample of existing writing; direct feedback provides an objective, non-judgmental response.
- The game plan: Together we look at the strengths, and the areas that could use improvement.
- Executing the plays: Through exercises targeted to meet a client’s specific needs, we work through difficulties, with tangible goals…and results.
Of course, writing is not played out on football field or on the baseball diamond. And writing coaching never involves “tough love,” let alone yelling something like “go hard or go home.” But what writing coaching does provide is the motivation, the tools, and the perspective needed for anyone to bring their business communication skills to a new level. It also gives you the satisfaction of improving a skill that’s vital to thriving in today’s working world.
Do you have any questions about one-to-one writing coaching? Contact The Language Lab.