Category Archives: coaching

Coach, Critic or Cheerleader?

You get to chose     

It doesn’t matter whether you’re giving or receiving. Which are you going to be, and which do you need, right now? Coach, Critic or Cheerleader? Choose one.

It’s an important distinction and a choice of role has to be made. In every relationship: manager & employee, coach & player, teacher & student, partner & parent. Do you need a coach explaining how to do it? Or do you need a critic explaining how to do it better?  Or do you need a cheerleader encouraging you to do more of the same?

It’s easy to be a critic – no prior knowledge or experience is required. Just have an opinion and be willing to share it.

It’s important to be a cheerleader – pay attention, be impressed, and share your enthusiasm and encouragement.

It’s hard to be a coach – you absolutely must have knowledge and experience, combined with empathy and skill in communication. Don’t be swayed by the flattery of being asked for advice or assistance, if you’re not qualified to coach, admit it. Or agree to be a critic, or cheerleader, only.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, Your Uncle Ralph 

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Back to school

schoolNot just for kids

It’s time for back to school, but once the kids are settled in it's also a good time for you and your team to learn more and do better for yourselves and your business. Expand your knowledge or take a refresher in the fundamentals for better personal and business performance.

You probably have already established your preferred sources for ideas and inspiration, but consider expanding your horizons, dig a little deeper, try something new.

Go beyond scanning the Tweets and posts on Facebook or LinkedIn. Read your favourite guru’s latest book, or try somebody completely different. Take a course, hire a coach, or go to a conference or seminar outside your industry or profession. Maybe learn more about sociology, economics, political history or comparative religions to better understand what is going on in the world around us.

Share what you learn or coax others through the process. Become the teacher and be surprised by how much better you will understand the subject yourself.

Feel like a kid again, go back to school.


Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

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I had already learned from my seven year-old grandson that hitting balls at the driving range was not much fun. So yesterday we tried his suggestion of hitting balls on the soccer field. We made a game of hitting them from one end down through the goal posts at the other end.

His swing technique is getting better and he hit a couple of good 7-irons at least 50 yards. Scared me once as he sent a long one towards the parking lot and all those windshields sitting there. That and taking out a few of his little brother's teeth on the backswing were the biggest risks. The little brother, age four, also did quite well with his hockey slap shot technique from his hours of road hockey.

All in all we had fun and made progress. That's as good as it gets in golf (and business).

Business consultants and executive coaches often use the line "even Tiger Woods needs to consult with a coach to improve his game". Sounds reasonable and it's true.

Golf guru, David Leadbetter, was recently interviewed in Maclean's magazine. He does coach the pro's as well as teach mere mortals at golf clinics around the world. As he puts it, "I'm a bit like Robin Hood because I rob from the rich and give to the poor." Since he charges up to $10,000 per day (for the guys competing in multi-million dollar tournaments) he can afford to give free advice to kids and young pros.

He did admit though that some golfers are "instructionally challenged" He was not so crude as to use the term LOFT (for "lack of f***ing talent") but he does sometimes suggest maybe they should try tennis.

It's also true for some ambitious new entrepreneurs who need to be told "maybe you should try a real job." Sometimes you just have to be cruel to be kind.