A good coach will find good opportunities to give feedback at the right times.
It’s far too easy to enter into certain routines with any type of repetitive work. Although coaching English varies widely, it’s possible to enter into certain mindsets. One of which is in how you communicate and give feedback. You might notice that you start communicating with your peers like you would with a learner or vice versa. The downsides to having the wrong mindset at the wrong time is that you will self sabotage. When it comes to coaching, there is a certain dynamic happening in that interaction that allows the coach to give feedback, which can be uncomfortable. The trap here is that a coach can enter into a habit of giving feedback so much that they end up giving unsolicited feedback in situations where that is not appreciated. This can happen if the coach spends many hours coach and a small minority of time interacting with people in other contexts. In order to overcome this obstacle, I’ve found that it helps to be part of a vibrant local community that you see on a regular basis. Some examples of these include working at your local coworking space, participating in a sports club, going to church, living in a coliving space, being part of a fraternity/sorority, your dance group, and even by just going to social events. Each of these solutions comes with their pros and cons and everyone is subjective in terms of what is best for them.
I like to think that this can even go as far as saying that it is part of the job of being a coach to “practice” socializing. Not only does it minimize the trap of giving unsolicited feedback, but it also keeps us closer to our peak in performance. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to deliver top-notch services and being able to do so involves maintaining a high degree in the skill that we are coaching. It is our responsibility to train. Just like how an athlete needs to regularly train in order to maintain physical performance, we need to train our minds. Having a strong social bubble will maintain a strong baseline but that isn’t going to be enough. Just like how a trainer advises an athlete to use the bench press to isolate and train one muscle, coaches advise learners to use LessonSpeak curriculum to isolate and train one muscle, speaking. Here’s the key difference… An athlete can learn to use a bench press, rendering the trainer less valuable as they understand training theory. Unlike a bench press, a learner can use LessonSpeak curriculum but it still relies on the learner needing a speaking partner. This is where you come in.
I’ve sold fitness programs to clients who sought confidence through self-defense exercises. What I realized through spending time at the gym was that people thought they were getting one thing but really something else solved their issue. In this example, people thought they wanted confidence but I noticed that most people got most benefits from the exercise aspect. The key here is that in order to properly simulate defending yourself, you need a partner to execute the maneuvers that you need to practice. With instruction from a coach, the whole class would take turns simulating the movements required in order to create that subconscious-level connection. There is no denying one important thing… In the process of selling these fitness programs, I would ask a series of questions to understand the client’s needs. Most of the time, they were simply not exercising enough and what they needed was more exercise, not necessarily self-defense. These clients can easily go and exercise on their own but the gym provides more than that, at a cost.
Just like with fitness programs, LessonSpeak gives learners that practice that they likely ultimately lack and provides more, at a cost.
Learners come to me seeking confidence but what they truly lack is actual practice. Getting actual practice requires uncomfortable lifestyle changes and people need support to help get through that. As a coach, you help the learner by holding their hand and guiding them to a solution where they no longer have to rely on you.
Even coaches need to train their speaking abilities on a regular basis. To be able to sustainably train, a coach needs a lifestyle that can support this. For this reason, I believe solutions like coliving are one of the most efficient solutions that addresses these concerns for both learners and coaches. The reason why something like coliving is good is because you have a very convenient community that you can tap into when you need to. The problem with most people is that they don’t have this kind of lifestyle that a coliving space provides and they have to go out of their way to fulfill this need and thus it takes more resources, namely time. Accepting certain discomforts and adapting allows us to take advantage of certain resources more efficiently, ultimately providing us certain benefits that are hard to see short term.
Something that supports a lifestyle of a coach is having a side hustle, or another source of income.
With even just one other source of income, the coach will have the ability to truly take capitalize on certain advantages. Problem is… most jobs in today’s society means working for 40 hours a week which would leave 0 time for coaching. A part-time job could work, as long as you can cover your living costs with less than 20 hours of work a week. Most jobs don’t work this way.
I miss the days of internships.
My career in the corporate world was fine and dandy, when I was only working there 20 hours a week. A lot has changed since then but what boggles my mind is that the standard is still 40 hours of commitment when it comes to work. Even if you don’t truly work 40 hours, your mind space is occupied by this job all day long. As a coach, you need to have empty space for your mind to drift and wander. You need emptiness in your schedule to appreciate the beauty in nothingness. This is impossible if your mind-space is occupied all day by your job.
At its core, a good conversationalist will need to be well-versed in many topics. Having your mind-space occupied by something else all the time makes it difficult to delve deep into anything new or maintain any other skill. This is a huge limitation in how our society currently operates. Here is a video that explains it:
I hope you found this blog post useful and inspiring!
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