We don’t know what we don’t know

In 1997 Tiger Woods won The Masters by 12 shots, and then scrapped his record-breaking swing to come back two years later with what’s been referred to as ‘the best swing in the history of golf’. He’s continued to shake up his style over his career.

Last year I pulled apart my coaching approach, laid all the pieces out on the floor, and then slowly put them back together again. This was time consuming, exhausting, and at times utterly discouraging and I was tempted to give up! It was also exciting, consuming, and ultimately rewarding for both for me and my clients.

Why did I do this? I was completing the final requirements to apply for the highest level of certification offered by the International Coaching Federation – Master Certified Coach (MCC). There are less than 25 coaches in Australia with this designation – it is a challenge and an honor to achieve!

The final step was undertaking mentoring in my coaching – my mentor listened to recordings of me coaching, and then offered me feedback and improvement strategies. Over the six months I went from thinking I was an excellent coach ready for MCC, to thinking I was dreadful and getting worse, to believing I was MCC standard. Now it’s over to the international panel to listen to my recordings and make the final assessment.

What did I learn through this?

  • Learning can be awkward and requires vulnerability. I was way less confident as a coach 2 months into the mentoring process than I was at the beginning! My natural flow had vanished and I felt clunky and ‘in my head’ as I integrated the new learning.
  • We apply so little of what we learn. Even though I have completed hundreds of hours of training and even more of reading and podcasts, I have ‘favorite’ approaches and use only a small part of what I have been taught.
  • We don’t know what we don’t know. I thought (somewhat arrogantly) that I was an excellent coach already! I was… At the level I was playing at then. To operate at the MCC level I needed to step into a greater level of skill and application.
  • We benefit from expert help. With a very experienced coach listening into my coaching conversations and offering feedback, I was able to see new distinctions and opportunities for development.
  • Learning never ends. Now that’s done I am ready to undertake a similar process with keynote speaking. Aghhhh!

 

How could you shake up your game? Who would benefit? What supports do you need?

 

 

PS Thank you to Sam Patterson my mentor coach. Thank you also to all my current and past clients who have trusted me and included me on their leadership journey.