Everyone needs a little coaching

Everyone needs a little coaching

Yesterday as I sat watching my six-year-old twin girls create paper airplane after paper airplane I remembered one exercise I did at a leadership summit a few months ago.

The facilitator asked all the participants to take a piece of blank paper and create the best paper airplane that you could. A few of us groaned because the year before we had done the same exercise. I scrambled to remember what I learned from the previous year and create a better airplane than before. After a few minutes, one by one all the participants flew their airplane and we looked to see whose airplane flew the farthest. Once all the airplanes had taken their maiden voyage, anyone whose airplane went at least past the halfway mark of the room was asked to step forward. The rest of us were to find our airplane (ha!) and go to one of those folks for some coaching. After a few minutes of coaching and reworking of our airplanes, everyone lined up again and gave their airplane one last flight. (Here’s a video of this exercise thanks to one of the participants)

The point of this exercise was to show that sometimes everyone needs a little coaching to improve and grow their skills. Sometimes the pressure of our performance goals or peer pressure from others can stop us from asking for help and receiving the coaching we need. On the flip side, if we are the person with the known skills already we need to stop and share that knowledge with others to help everyone grow.

How have you been a coach recently? Is there some skill that you need coaching in?

How do you define a leader?

How do you define a leader?