How exciting to share with you last week that we have a new book coming out called: What Makes a Great Coach? And it’s also exciting to be getting ready for the book launch!
Natalie partnered with our friend and colleague, super-star High-Performance Coach Emma Doyle. Emma has asked over 500 of the world’s leading tennis, sport, and business coaches: What Makes a Great Coach? And together with Natalie they have distilled this down to the top 10 practices.
This week we explore the number one practice: Passion.
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What does it mean to be passionate?
It seems like such a simple question. Yet we took some time to explore this. We might say ‘oh that person is so passionate!’ or ‘I admire their passion’. Furthermore, we can see passion in a person’s behaviours. But we are not talking about ‘ra ra’ passion. Importantly it is the authentic, genuine passion that becomes a driving force behind our practice.
When you say a person is passionate about something. Or brings passion to what they’re doing, you see it in their actions and body language; you hear it in the tone, pitch, and volume of their voice. Furthermore, you can actually feel it.
Importantly, as coaches, it our role to bring out a person’s passion. Whether that person is a manager coaching their employees. Or perhaps a coach on the sporting field. Alternatively, when we are coaching kids. It is incumbent upon us to identify our own passions. And then using quality coach questions to identity the passions in those we coach.
What Makes a Great Coach? features wisdom from former AFL Coach and premiership captain Dr David Parkin, (OAM)
Emma tells the story of story behind meeting David Parkin and seeing his passion for the first time. David Parkin strode into the lecture room into Emma’s very first university class. He stood at the lectern, surveyed the crowd in front of him slowly and then announced:
‘Coaching is about passion. You need plenty of it if you are going to survive in this world.’
Emma says: I could see his passion from the way the veins in his neck stood proud. And the blood rose to his cheeks with every word as he continued to speak. The audience of eager students mumbled to each other in response. Clearly it was not just me who was impacted by this first impression. We spent the next hour with Parko. Furiously scribbling down his every word. I remember my hand aching with the need to ensure I captured every morsel of inspiration.
Dr. David Parkin
Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
Victorian Football League (VFL) Premiership Captain – 1971 Australian Football League (AFL) Premiership Coach – 1978, 1981, 1982, 1995; and Adjunct Professor, Deakin University, Australia
Passion can show up differently
As we talk about in the book: We need passion in the workplace to ignite high performance.
Unfortunately, in today’s culture, however, passion can be misunderstood. As being evangelistic and zealous. Often people hold back what they’re passionate about for this reason. They don’t speak up and when they do speak out, they are almost ‘shouted down’.
But it’s important to understand that passion can show up differently in the workplace. Some people will go about things in a quiet way. And because they’re not wearing their hearts on their sleeves, people think they don’t care. It’s just not true.
People will express their passion and what they’re passionate about in different ways. It’s our job as coaches in the workplace to work that out with them and then channel that into high performance.
Reflecting on our own passions
What Makes a Great Coach? gives us the opportunity to reflect on our own coaching practices. We share stories around passion in the book. Importantly, drawing on the knowledge and insights from over 500 coaches. Furthermore, one of the features of the book is the key questions. These are asked at the end of the chapter. Here’s some questions for you to consider:
- What am I passionate about in my work? And my home life?
- What am I passionate about as a coach?
- How do I bring out the passion in the people I am coaching?
Testimonial from Dr David Parkin
Finally, we are so honoured that David wrote the following about Emma and the Book
‘From our first moments as student and teacher, I knew Emma Doyle to be special. Her commitment, energy, and persistence to become an elite athlete, a quality coach, and a motivational speaker have been second to none. Em is a highly motivated individual, who has this uncanny ability to excite and inspire those she engages with, both as a sports coach and a public presenter. This is a book for those coaches seeking to optimise their own individual talent, both on and off the court. Certainly, to assist athletes and players to help themselves, but also a rich source of guidance for parents and business coaches in maximising high performance.’
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I feel I have the skills to better lead, manage and coach people in the workplace. The communication skills I have learnt have assisted me in my communications and have improved my relationships at work and home. I thought the program was great. It was challenging and a lot of work. But in the end there were real and useful learning outcomes. I really enjoyed this course and got a lot out of it. It provided me the opportunity to grow personally (the most important output) and gave me some very useful coaching skills
I have grown in confidence and started the journey of becoming a coach. The course provided me with some excellent theory and practical components which have worked together well in helping me along the journey. I now have greater confidence and much better listening skills. I’ve learnt what active listening actually means. The higher level of confidence has allowed me to develop my coaching skills at a faster than expected rate.
My approach to all personal and professional discussions and my confidence has grown with what I have learnt from the program. I truely believe this program has changed my approach to all I do. I believe I have enhanced my communication and how to read and interact with different personalities types, listening with purpose and communicating with intent to learn and grow others.
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The way I view things has changed from trying to provide answers to helping people find their own answers. I have improved my listening skills and allow space for other’s answers.