RSS Trust + Coaching = Wisdom

There have been times in my life where I find myself reacting to a situation or conversation in a way that “isn’t me.” When this occasionally happens I am surprised by my behavior and find it bit funny. For example, at a recent family gathering I caught myself reverting to my inner-child self, when I “got the best” of my older brother in a round of golf, reacting to the win with excitement and flair. I realized afterward that my reaction could have been perceived as insensitive. Fortunately, my brother understands my humor and responded by putting his baby brother (me) in my place. I chose to share this story because I think it is relevant to today’s Musing.

Trust is a Must
In the workplace, anytime there is a component of reprimand within a communication between two or more colleagues – for instance, my older brother and me – it is best received if the relationship between the parties is built on trust.

Without trust, the individual receiving the instruction may question both its purpose and the impact the coaching will have on the professional-relationship following the discussion. In my example above, I have no doubt that my relationship with my brother will remain strong. Our interaction served to establish a greater family bond between us and created a wonderful memory for me.

Coaching with Care
As leaders, it is our job to create an environment of trust for our employees prior to offering them coaching advice. All team members need to feel freedom (within reason) to create value for their organization. That said, teammates also need to be held accountable for their words or actions; especially those that could be detrimental to the organizational goals.

At times difficult coaching sessions need to take place between leaders and their teammates, with the expected outcome being improved performance. Too often, the anticipated result is an improvement in activities, which can easily be monitored and measured. Personally, I like to focus on an expected outcome of growth and individual-wisdom, as opposed to performance adjustments.

One definition of wisdom that I particularly like is, “the ability to discern what is true, right or lasting.” To me, this is the ultimate goal of all coaching opportunities: to create unique, long-term insights that will have a positive impact on the individual and the organization. In reference to my golf story, I admit that I was far too delighted following the game with my brother. It just so happened that it was the best round of golf I had ever played and my inner child just couldn’t help himself. While I don’t recommend that you let your inner child come out at work, I do think it’s appropriate to celebrate your successes.

If a mentor were to offer me coaching advice, concerning the reaction I had to my golf game, it might be the following:

When celebrating your own success comes at someone else’s expense – think twice. Real and lasting achievement comes from exceptional teamwork. Wisdom comes from the trust that is created within a team that fosters open dialogue and trust.

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4 Responses to “Trust + Coaching = Wisdom”

  1. Julia Tierney (employee at Pacific Continental Bank) says:

    Thanks for the great post, Mitch! I really appreciate your introspective point of view. It is no easy feat to look at oneself from that perspective.

  2. Mitch says:

    Thank you for your feedback, Julia! I am delighted that my “musings” are valuable to you.

  3. Dooley Stevens, Employee of Pacific Continental Bank says:

    Dear Mitch,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. Your musings are great food for thought.

    Dooley Stevens

  4. Mitch says:

    Thank you for sharing, Dooley!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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