3Providing Genuine Support

“The best business coaches also act as a valuable mirror for their direct reports and help them to better assess what they are doing and how they are doing it.”

—John H. Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett, The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow

Okay, what does it mean to give someone genuine support? How does a good coach—or leader, parent, or teacher—support his or her player, colleague, family member, student, or friend? There are lots of ways, big and small, verbal and nonverbal. Basically, providing genuine support comes down to making people feel good, whether about themselves, their performance, their progress, their prospects for the future, or all of these at once. A gift of genuine support is literally inspiring—it breathes spirit into the recipient—and heartening—it gives them heart, boosts their enthusiasm, and encourages them. Here are some of the ways you can provide genuine support in a Coaching Up Conversation.

Offer Positive Feedback

We all like to hear we're doing well, especially from someone we trust to speak the truth. So tell your player what he or she is doing really well. Be specific, and also be general. If your player has been working on a particular skill and is getting better at it, be sure to mention that you've noticed that improvement and are very impressed by it. If there hasn't been much improvement, but the player is working hard at it, tell your player how much you respect the effort he or she ...

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