How do you get past major learning barriers when you learn how to be a coach?
Imagine these scenarios:
Derek stepped into the training room, but from his perspective, it might as well have been a jail cell. He felt like a prisoner in his own workday. Why? The PowerPoint slide projected on the screen said it all: Welcome to a Coach’s Refresher Training. The refresher training might be needed for some people but Derek already knew all this material . . . but the training was mandatory. Besides, he had a schedule full of more important work. He told himself how unnecessary this mandatory training policy was; that he hated to attend training on stuff he knew.
Anne’s supervisor asked her to attend the coaching skills training being provided by her company. The problem was that Anne wasn’t a coach. She wasn’t even a supervisor. She didn’t see any value in attending this workshop. The only question that was on her mind was, “How can I benefit from this training?”
Meredith was really excited about the coaching workshop session she had registered for. Coaching was a topic she was interested in and wanted to learn more about. She saw how mastering coaching skills would help her reach her goals. She arrived early and sat in the front row. The problem became clear very early on though. The material was too basic. She already knew this stuff! She was disappointed, to say the least. She spent her money and time on something that was not valuable.
You can probably relate to at least one, and perhaps all of the scenarios you’ve just read. These are just some of the common barriers that get in our way of learning new things: we are forced to attend a training, we don’t see learning as relevant or valuable, and we feel like we already know what is being taught.
Smart Strategies That Help You Learn How to be a Coach
While these barriers are real, there are things we can do to overcome or break through these barriers to make the time invested in these situations more valuable and useful to us. Here are three specific suggestions that will help you in each of these situations and many more.
1. Use the time to review and focus. So, you don’t want to be there or feel that you already know what’s being taught. Rather than being cynical about the material and the experience, use the time to review what you know. Use the training as an opportunity to do some thinking. Reflect on your experiences with these concepts. Think of ways to improve on what you already know. You may become a valuable resource to other coaches, or you may learn something new through your reflection. The time is there, use it wisely and take something valuable from your time spent.
2. Look for the nugget. If you already know some of the material being covered, be a detective. Look for and uncover at least one nugget that you had forgotten, that you have stopped applying, or a new twist on something you already know well. Often one well-applied nugget will pay off many times over. And it is a value you would never have received.
3. Be a beginner. Remember what it is like whenever you learn something new? You are excited, interested and having fun. Once we think we know it all, we stop learning and one of the best ways to remove all learning barriers is to come to any learning situation as a beginner. Ask yourself, “What can I learn?”. Learn how to be coached. Give yourself more options and view the world from a possibility perspective.
These three suggestions can have a major impact on the value you get when you learn how to be a coach. Once you know and apply these strategies, the learning barriers will be a thing of the past. And you’ll get more value out of all your future learning experiences.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community”