by Elizabeth McCallum
When I learned to play golf, I had the great fortune to have a wonderful golf pro take me in hand. A gifted teacher, when Shelley had a goal in mind she tried many different ways to explain what she wanted until we found one that clicked and I could work on it. I have memories of hitting while standing in garbage cans, hitting while her hand held my head in place, aiming for tees placed further down my swing path, and all sorts of tricks to help me visualize and eventually embody her lesson. Once Shelley had adjusted me in a lesson, it was up to me to hit hundreds more golf balls on the range, and then apply it into my regular golf game, until that skill became a natural part of my swing.
At e-roleplay, each participant will practice with three or four different roleplayers with different scenarios. When a participant is first coached on a skill, it can be difficult for them to wrap their head around the entire concept; there can be a lot to take in in a short period of time. It is a remarkable benefit to have the chance to work with three or four different coaches in a session. While each of us may coach on the same skill and leverage our client’s coaching process, the way in which it gets presented, discussed, and practiced is different, due to each of us bringing our unique perspective to bear.
Just recently I listened to one of my colleagues work with a participant on a skill I had coached them on in the previous call. The insight he offered was quite different from how I had approached it. I was impressed with the way he presented the skill, and by getting a second viewpoint the participant gained a greater understanding of how to apply it. They now had two choices with which to approach it, as well as a more rounded experience in practicing it. The ‘aha’ moment for the client was significant.
Thanks to Shelley’s different approaches to my golf swing, I found many things that worked for me: when I realize I’m swaying instead of turning, visualizing that garbage can puts me right back on target. As a coaching team, our separate teachings on skills offer participants a variety of techniques to experience so they find a way that stays with them. The different approaches combined with consistent processes build a strong foundation, and participants can now practice until the skills become second nature, requiring no more than an occasional adjustment.
Like golf, strong skills stay with you for life.