As a consultant working with credit unions all over the country, I often find myself sitting on airplanes more than sitting in my own living room. On a recent flight, a very well-dressed woman took the middle seat next to me. I made eye contact, smiled and turned my attention to my playlist selection on my iPhone when she leaned in and started talking to me. I couldn’t hear her, so I reached up and very dramatically removed my ear bud. Because I couldn’t hear how her dialog started and she just kept talking, I wasn’t sure what her point was. Without missing a beat, she proceeded to tell me she was studying to be a life coach and she was on her way to Denver to complete a course.
Somewhere in her lengthy one-way conversation, she asked if I knew anything about coaching. I replied that I’ve worked in and around coaching for the last 20 years. She didn’t acknowledge my response and just kept talking about herself and what a great coach she is going to be.
I tell you this long tale of woo to make a point: coaching is about listening, not talking – let me say it again – coaching is about listening.
Coaching is thinking strategically about the person who is trusting you to speak into their life. Coaching is about leading a conversation where you can help uncover hidden strengths and together explore concepts and ideas. Never lose sight that coaching is a gift you get to give someone.
I’m not going to list what coaching isn’t, I know you’re already smarter than that. The real question is – if you get it– are you doing it?
If you want to build and deepen relationships with your team, or your goal is to have a team with a shared vision that knows what it looks like to win – follow these simple actions:
When your staff feels heard and appreciated, personal performance, member experience and your bottom line improves.
Remember, it’s all about listening more and talking less.
Jayne Hitman, national relationship manager, CUNA Creating Member Loyalty