Meredith Bronk Talks Coaching
When we say “we are your partners for people development,” our minds go straight to OST. Our work with their incredible company has unfolded over time like any good love story. In 2018, a handful of team members attended our public programs before they brought us in to deliver Strengths-Based Leadership, and this month we kick off our fourth round of Elevate, a 6-month leadership development experience (this is the program referenced below). To say OST values their people is an understatement. In fact, it is a literal statement on their website:
“We honor our people and their families first, clients second and the rest will fall into place.”
It is our honor to partner with them to unleash the potential within their team. To give you an inside peek, we swiped this reflection from Meredith’s desk and just had to share it with you. (Okay, we are kidding. We asked permission first.)
World Class Performers…and their Coaches
By Meredith Bronk, President & CEO of OST
We talk about bringing your “whole self” to OST, because we recognize that things happening outside of OST influence how we show up. Those influences can be personal situations, or just perspectives or experiences that weave into how we think.
Like the Olympics, and leadership. [What are you talking about, Mer?!?]
Here’s the connection for me.
It’s Olympics-time – a time of both celebration and competition.
If any of you have watched the events, you’ve likely seen some heroics and some tears. I haven’t watched a ton, but one thing that has stood out to me is that in almost every situation, when an athlete finishes his or her event, the first person they approach is their coach. To celebrate with, to rely on, to seek feedback from. Watching those coaches in action triggers the connection to the sessions that are happening in our Elevate leadership development program on Leaders as Coaches.
The best performers in the world need a coach.
It strikes me that even performers who are among the best in the world need coaches. Those athletes seek out the guidance of a coach (who, little tip, have often not actually done what they are coaching.) Abbey and Greg from AG Collaborative shared this perspective on leaders as coaches, “The role of the coach is not to be the problem solver for you, but to serve you in solving the problem for yourself.” (Translation: you can coach even when you aren’t the expert!)
What about top performers in the workplace?
As I watch these world-class athletes, I’m struck by how hard it is for top performers in the workplace to seek out coaching. Is it because in the workplace, we have other “roles” that confuse the role of coach? Manager. Leader. Boss. Peer. Colleague. Or because as leaders, managers, and colleagues, we may play coach, mentor, advisor. Lots of roles, lots of relationships. No wonder it’s challenging!
The coaching approach can be simple.
The session with AG Collaborative provided simple clarity around what coaching looks like: more asking, less telling. We each have the opportunity to seek out coaching to help us excel, and to provide coaching (through asking lots of questions) when someone approaches with an issue.
I want to be the best I can be and am surrounded by others who want the same. Winning gold doesn’t happen alone, after all – for world-class athletes or professionals. As I take in the activities happening in Tokyo, I will continue to observe the relationship between athletes and coaches and wonder how I’m doing.