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Boost Your Own Skills by Coaching Others!

21.10.10 - 10 comments

Yes, you can boost your own skills by coaching others! Here’s how…

At a first glance, you might think that this statement is untrue and even if it was, it may not be applicable to you. You may even say: If I spend my time and energy coaching others, how could that help me? Plus I am not a professional coach so how can I coach anyone?

Well, whether you know it or not, you did! I don’t know who you are but I am so certain that at some point in time you have coached someone. How did I know?

“Coaching is the art and practice of inspiring, energizing, and facilitating the performance, learning and development of the player” Myles Downey

So if you ever inspired, encouraged or educated someone, it means that you have been involved in some form of coaching. The beauty of coaching that it is not about controlling others and that’s why, it always works. When you are coaching others you are not trying to change them. Instead you are offering them many priceless gifts including:

  • Giving valuable information, advise and/or insights
  • Asking them the right questions.
  • Helping them see the cup half full
  • Motivating them to reach their full potential
  • Enabling them to tap into their inner resources
  • Helping them master the art of self-discipline

So far so good but what’s in it for me?
How can coaching others boost my own skills?

Well, here is a real story that clearly explains that paradox. I once attended a seminar about success and friend of mine was planning to go too, but he couldn’t make it. So, he asked me to share with him what I learned. To be honest with you, I felt so discouraged in the beginning since I know that my friend is very detail oriented and will bore me to tears with his endless questions. Still, I couldn’t turn down my friend.

To my surprise, when I started sharing the seminar with him, I discovered many parts that I haven’t paid attention to before and his so-called boring questions inspired me to dig deeper and read between the lines which helped discover even more insights.
Instead of me being a passive recipient of the lecturer information, I engaged with my friend in a stimulating conversation which, in turn, helped me get a deeper sense of the main purpose of the seminar and how I can make the most out of it.

Even better, we decided to break down the main ideas of the seminar into practical steps and committed to accomplish them together. We formed a success team and decided to meet on regular basis in order to discuss what we accomplished.

After this amazing experience, I couldn’t help asking myself one logical “what if” question: What if my friend didn’t ask me to explain the seminar to him? Probably I would have ended up understanding half of it and applying even less of it! (Think of all the workshops/seminars you attended in the past and was fired up with enthusiasm to put them into action but soon all the rush fades away under life’s obligation and you ended up doing nothing). This time, coaching my friend helped me boost my analytical skills on the one hand and gave me a great motivation and call to action on the other hand.

In this case my coaching was educational in nature though I have to say that I learned a lot from my friend’s questions and contributions. So, I guess it is fair to say that I and my friend coached one another with me having only one added advantage – the seminar material.

This is exactly what happens in any form of coaching: you learn from the person you are coaching somehow. It is a two-way process. Plus you will feel ecstatic when you know you have touched someone’s life in a meaningful way. As the saying goes, “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. Are you willing to become “a friend indeed” and boost your own skills along the way?

I can’t wait to find out! Let me know in the comments below!

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10 Responses to “Boost Your Own Skills by Coaching Others!”

  1. piervix

    “You learn from the person you are coaching somehow.” I’m absolutely agree with you, dear Davy.

    This type of “confrontation” is always a two-way process, useful to grow.

  2. kirk

    Inspiring story! Why didn’t you discuss it after the seminar with the other attendees?

    I like this vid about How To Avoid The Idea Generation Trap (your text reminded me of this one)
    http://the99percent.com/videos/6701/scott-belsky-how-to-avoid-the-idea-generation-trap

    • Davy Kestens

      I truly love the video you posted, very good and true!
      About your question; I didn’t discuss it with the other attendees after the seminar, since I was busy pitching my own upcoming project :)
      (Want more info about my project, sign up for the mailing list at ghostbloggers.net)

  3. kirk

    What are your favorite sites btw?

    • Davy Kestens

      Actually, I don’t really have a list of “favorite sites”…
      From time to time, I do visit the videos on TED but it’s not like I visit it every week.
      Mostly, I browse lots of different sites and articles because of links I saw on twitter…
      What are your favorite sites?

  4. kirk

    techcrunch (ok, I am addicted!), engadget, gigaom, cnet, geeksaresexy.com, 99percent, ted, innovatrs.net, … and I like to use stumbleupon/twitter to find new things (if I have time ;)).

    I found the video via this website:
    emergentbydesign.com

  5. Ramón

    “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” Aristotle

  6. Suneel Jain

    Wise thought “You learn from the person, you coaching somehow”

    I completely agree.

  7. Moncler

    I always value my intuition and most of the time it tells me the truth. Whenever I have this “gut” feeling about something, I always trust my intuition because it’s the right thing to do and there goes my judgment. My job requires silence where I can think clearly. Despite the noisy modern world gives, I always see to it that I have my moment of silence.

  8. Benjamin

    Too true Davy. I’ve been coaching regularly for a few years now, and I still learn from most sessions. For some reason, the people that find me are also those that challenge me. It’s a weird process…

    I’ve also started training coaches, and that’s been even more insightful. Telling people how to do something puts a lot of pressure on you to do it even better yourself. Before classes, I find myself asking difficult questions people may pose – great to deal with any doubts :-)

    Sometimes I explain seminars I’ll be giving to my girlfriend – now that’s a challenge! Telling something to an outsider is the ultimate test of your material.

    Warm regards,
    Benjamin

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