The Joy of Coaching


CoachingI had the privilege of coaching people to advance their career and attain certain fulfillment and the satisfaction, as well, of coaching my daughter’s 3rd and 4th and later 5th and 6th grades basketball team.   On both fronts, the satisfaction is in seeing people grow and develop while keeping their joy of learning.

The greatest reward as a coach is to be able to motivate your team to achieve goals they otherwise think they cannot achieve.   To give them the extra push in challenging times that enables them to overcome the obstacle.   Ultimately as a coach I learned something new throughout the journey about my players. That same is true for my executive coaching.   When your client overcomes an obstacle or becomes unstuck, that’s a win for you as well.

While anyone can say that they’re coaching, saying you’re a coach is not same as acting and conducting yourself like one.   Based on my experience, a great coach has the following characteristics:

They focus on YOU – the focus of the coach is you and your development.

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”John Wooden

Challenge you – they challenge you to overcome things you otherwise thought you couldn’t achieve.   In challenging times, they help you transition from having distractive thoughts to creating constructive thoughts that enable you to move forward.

Good communicator – communication is the key to a successful coach. They’re able to communicate in good times and challenging times as well. They always find ways to come up with the right choice of words to encourage their people.

Has a philosophy – They have a belief and principles.   In my case, I always emphasize learning fundamentals and the value of sportsmanship, team work and hard work.

Discipline – Discipline is the foundation of any successful undertaking. Without discipline you cannot be successful.   You need discipline to help you focus on the overall goal.

Understand their people – It is easy to push your team, but failure to understand your team will lead to frustration and result in eventual failure. A good coach takes the time to learn and understand their people.   They know when to push and hold back and nurture their team.

Aim to serve – Coaching is a service. To succeed, a coach must aim to serve their constituents and be there for them.   Their unselfish attitude will ensure that their constituents’ best interest is always front and center.

analazing market situationIn my experience, the biggest difference between sport coaching and executive coaching is in client confidentiality.     In executive coaching, you need to uphold client confidentiality. It is job one.   Both bring joy to the practitioner and often provide lifelong learning as their relationship progresses over time.

Coaching is a blessing – a blessing to touch people’s hearts and develop them and see them grow.   I’m thankful for the opportunity to make a difference.


“The test of a good coach is that when they leave, others will carry on successfully.”   Author Unknown

Feeling down on the job: Give it a chance

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, CLDC

Reaching OutSometimes we feel like we were passed up on an opportunity to take on a big project, selected to work on a new project, a promotion, or were not provided a career path that could help us advance our career.  You’re in a bad situation and you feel like you’ve dedicated many years with the company and yet nothing came your way.   Worse yet, you’ve seen other folks being offered those opportunities you’ve missed and those folks succeeded making progress with their careers.

You could be a victim of the situation of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or perhaps you report to a manager who does not care about the development of their people, or your manager is ill equipped to focus on developing their people because they themselves never received appropriate training to do so, or the economic situation limits the opportunity because of the financial challenge your employer is experiencing.   While the reasons are valid, you still feel like you got the short end of the stick.

So, how do you go about making the change that can improve your situation?  You can speak to your manager to find out what you can do to make it to the next level.  Ask for guidance and come up with a plan.   If your manager is not receptive, you need to decide if you still want to work for the company.   If you want to work for the company, seek other opportunities within the organization.  However, if you’re not interested, you need to decide if it is time to move on.   Sometimes people get stuck by holding out hope that things will be better.    But the reality is that we’re responsible for our career.   We own our career development and the manager or company can only help by providing the training or the opportunity to achieve our goal.  It all starts with our own initiative.

In case you have a new manager, seek your manager’s advice and discuss your situation.   However, don’t expect your manager to pay for the sin of the past and retroactively make adjustments for you.   You need to prove that you deserve that opportunity and the reward that comes with it.    It is important that you recognize that you need to establish trust with your new manager.

I recently was on a receiving end of a frustrated employee who felt that I must correct the situation for him.   It is unjust for that person to expect that he will be rewarded unless he proves that he deserves it.   As his manager, I can only vouch for his work during the time we are working together.   Just like a stock in the stock market, prior performance does not guarantee any future performance.    Unfortunately having a bad attitude can never help your cause; it can only put people off.  You need to understand that trust is earned and not given.   If you don’t demonstrate the behavior that shows you deserve the reward, it will be difficult to achieve you goal.   It is essential to step back and give your new manager a chance to make it happen for you.

There is a tendency for us to feel that we were wronged, but you need to step back and take a deep breath.   If you report to someone new, you need to earn their trust.   You might ask why you need to earn their trust; without establishing a working relationship it is impossible for your new manager to ascertain if your claim was legitimate.   Give the person a try and take ownership of your career development.   Keep an open mind and make it happen.   If you’re truly unhappy, it is time to move on.