It's been a great start to the new term at Everyball Tennis at Halton Tennis Centre and it was really good to have the coaching team together yesterday for our first team meeting after a long summer of camps, tournaments and holidays.
I was reminded by another colleague (thanks Kris Soutar) of Sir Ken Robinson's Ted Talk on Education https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley?language=en and used this to generate a little discussion as we set the scene for the weeks to come.
Robinson talks about 3 principles which drive human life to flourish and what education could do to support them (and in our world of coaching how can can we do the same so that our customers flourish):
1. Human beings are naturally different and diverse so individualise your coaching. What works for one won't necessarily work for another. The old phrase I hear so often in my work as a Coach Educator is 'oh, they'll never/won't/can't learn.' Generally it's because the coach has used their one approach 'my way or the highway' rather than look to use a level of creativity/different communication styles/coaching techniques to unlock learning.
2. Humans are naturally curious - light the spark of curiosity and you don't have to do much more; curiosity is the engine room of achievement (what a great phrase!). Great teachers (and therefore coaches) mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage. Teaching (coaching) is a creative profession, it is not a delivery system!
3. Humans are inherently creative. We all create our own lives through this restless process of imagining alternatives and possibilities. Awaken and develop these powers of creativity.
Death Vally isn't dead - its dormant (as he refers to the sudden bloom in flowers in Death Valley in 2005 after a short downpour in the autumn of 2004). Right beneath the surface are the seeds of possibility waiting for the right conditions to come about. You change the conditions, you give people a different sense of possibility, a different set of expectations, a broader range of opportunities, you offer people the discretion to be creative and to innovate in what they do.
The real role of leadership is not 'command and control' but 'climate control' - creating a climate of possibility. If you do this, people will rise to it.
Have a great term everybody!
(all content quoted/paraphrased from Sir Ken Robinson's Ted Talk - How to escape education's death valley)