I believe my skills lie in getting the best out of people on a daily basis. To me, that’s what performance coaching is all about and these are 6 key principles I try to stick by.
Be selfish – The world will benefit the most from the best version of you. To maximise your energy, positivity and love, you need to pursue your own purpose. Do the things you love, spend time with the people you care about, master your body & mind and grow in the way you need to grow. Only that way will you become the best version of yourself, creating whatever awesome art you intend to. The best musicians, sports stars, architects, painters etc. in history all pursued their passions and we have enjoyed what they have brought to the world in doing so. We are all artists in some way or another.
Imagine the alternative, living your life serving others. Doing your best to make others happy. Allowing your thoughts and emotions to be dependent on the thoughts and emotions of others. Is that truly fulfilling? Not for me. What if they’re never happy with what you do? How would that be fulfilling? I’m in this because I love coaching. I like getting the best out of people. I find it highly rewarding and satisfying knowing that I contributed to getting people fitter, faster, stronger; improving movement, guiding rehab, ultimately playing a part in enabling people to perform to the best of their abilities and continue improving. (There’s a big difference between finding purpose in helping others on the basis that you take pride and fulfillment out of doing something good as opposed to entirely selfless acts. Does such a thing even exist?)
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in teamwork, I believe in working towards shared goals and bigger objectives, BUT you’ve got to share those goals as your own. If they’re not your goals, you’re not working towards something you want and that’s not fulfilling. On that note, buy and read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
Bring energy – smile, move with purpose and work with enthusiasm. If this is hard, see above and change what you do.
Reflect – The key to self-improvement is reflection. The best way to learn from our experiences, especially interactions with others is through reflection. Whether it be a good or bad experience, we can always ask ourselves:
- What happened from my perspective?
- What do I think happened from the other person(s) perspective?
- What was good?
- What was bad?
- What can I learn?
- How can I make similar experiences go better in the future?
You don’t need to write an essay, you don’t even need to write it down. Just consciously reflect at the end of each day or a few times a week. Personally I find it most helpful to carry a small notebook jot down my reflections as and when I have a moment to do so (otherwise I forget at the end of the day).
Be positive – shit happens, everyone has bad days and no one is perfect. There are always lessons to be learnt and positives to take from every situation no matter how hard that may seem at any one time. Problems teach us to find solutions, to grow, think differently and improve. Death teaches us to value memories, moments and those we love. Disaster teaches us to value life and make the most of it. Injury teaches us to value what we have and what we take for granted. Appreciation is a key to both happiness and humbleness. Life is amazing. We live at the peak of human existence. Our quality of life is incredible, we have the world in our hands and new opportunities exist with every step we take. Make the most of every situation and allow your positivity to spread.
Be honest – Praise when praise is due but make sure feedback is honest. Telling someone they’ve done a great job when they haven’t won’t help anyone. This one often trips me up; it comes with a WARNING: understand that everything is just a matter of PERSPECTIVE and you need to know when to offer yours. I can be too honest with my perspective sometimes, I’m open about what I believe and sometimes people don’t like that. That’s ok by me because I choose to portray myself as who I am and what I believe. I’m also happy to admit when I’m wrong and I’ll go out of my way to do so. Ironically as I wrote this I received a call from my girlfriend and got in trouble for presenting a fact that was apparently not necessary! Nor was it positive. The lessons at home seem to be the hardest ones to learn.
Be genuine – “Be true to yourself” said some spiritual guru. This encompasses the above 5 points as well as worth noting separately.
Pursue your passion; it’s part of who you are. If you do this, you should be excited about what you do and the energy will come naturally.
Practice what you preach. If you want to help others improve, you’ll be dedicated to improving yourself. Reflection is a necessary part of that process and will help you find positivity in each lesson.
Being genuine and honest should come hand in hand.
Pay genuine interest in the people you work with. This is so important. Learn who they are, what they believe, their likes, their humour and what they are interested in. If you can’t do this, you’re in the wrong job. Only a genuine interest and empathy will lead to a worthwhile relationship. Don’t judge people; seek to understand them. Forming strong relationships through genuine empathy, interest and shared objectives is the most important foundation to successful coaching. You will need to work together, have fun together and learn from each other in every way you can to ensure everyone thrives in a positive environment.
I hope you found this interesting. If you’ve got any feedback on my writing, I’d love to hear it as I’m always trying to improve. Thanks.