1How the Coaching Up Model Works

“Whether the manager likes it or not, creating great relationships is how careers are built, how businesses are built, and how great teams are built.”

—Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson, 100 Ways to Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy

The world is awash in clutter. Our brains are being shaped by the media. Attention spans are shrinking. Videos are getting shorter. Nobody wants to read a long e-mail message, let alone write one. Fewer and fewer people even communicate in whole sentences. (Noticed that? Right!) There's a lot of noise out there. How do you cut through the noise to deliver a critically important message—fast? How do you reach somebody with a transformative, inspiring message in a crunch?

The answer—based on my broad and deep experience as a basketball player who has had many coaches at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels, and as a coach who has coached teams and worked one-on-one and in small groups with basketball players for over a decade—is the very simple process I am calling the Coaching Up Model. Sometimes that model encompasses the full span of an ongoing relationship; at other times, it takes the form of a compact conversation. Here's an example of the conversation.

An Actual Coaching Up Conversation

Let's imagine that you are the trainer/coach for a young heavyweight boxer, who, after just a few months of training, has signed up for his first real ...

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