Coaching Axiom #7--The simple parts of the coaching process fit together in a very elegant way...like the parts of a piece of j

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July 19, 2011

Over the next few weeks on the CoachNet blog, we're going to look at simple axioms that make for more effective coaching. Here's the next in our series of coaching axioms. For the next few weeks, we'll be walking through some of the best, short statements that apply to coaches and coaching.

Axiom #7--The simple parts of the coaching process fit together in a very elegant way...like the parts of a piece of jazz music.
bass playerIf you've ever tried to listen closely to a piece of music, say a jazz combo, you know that what the individual instruments are doing during any particular piece really isn't that interesting.  Take the bass guitar...it walks up the scale until it gets to a particular note, say a 6th.  The bass line hangs around there for a while and then works it's way back down the scale, say to the root or the 2nd.  Up and down the bass line goes.  Up and down.

All the while the drums are playing some variation of the rhythm, over and over.  The guitarist is strumming or picking the same progression as the bass, over and over, up and down.

There are few other instruments in there as well...and by themselves, they're really not doing anything that powerful.  BUT, when you put the whole thing together, NOW we're getting something going.  

Each part fits together with the other instruments, like puzzle pieces.  And before you know it, the band is swinging and anyone who's listening starts to tap their feet, sway back and forth, or maybe sometimes, shed a tear.  An emotional reaction to the band playing together is altogether possible.

Coaching is the same way.  Listening well to someone is powerful all by itself, but add in a few good questions and the working relationship between listening and questions makes it possible to cover more ground in a conversation that a single skill does.  Strategic action planning means that the effect of the back and forth continues after the conversation is over.  Each part makes it's contribution, and the whole makes the best possible results happen.

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