1) Any endeavor in life or business can be designed into a winnable game worth playing
2) The purpose of coaching is: to guide an individual or team to play a game that matters, play the game better and win on their own terms.
3) Masterful coaching is possible ONLY when the coach truly knows the game the client is playing.
The Coach-Two-Win method
1) Takes the mystery out of coaching.
We have developed an open-architecture, yet highly focused way to coach virtually any game. We call this the Coach-Two-Win Method and it consists of 9 steps:
- 1) Define a winnable game with purpose
- 2) Design the next game with activities and scorecard
- 3) Personalized teaching the skills of the game
- 4) Craft a winning game plan / strategy
- 5) Expand internal game awareness
- 6) Design winning environments for sustainable results
- 7) Play the game with your heart and soul
- 8) Manage the game for results
- 9) Evaluate progress and make adjustments
2) Combine the method with your knowledge of the game
The purpose of the method is to create a framework to guide you toward helping people win. You supply the knowledge of the game based on your experience and the basic coaching skills such as powerful questioning, active listening and direct communication. The method does the rest.
The question becomes: what are the games you are playing? Is it the leadership game?; the business development game? or management, health and vitality, loving relationships, or career transition? As long as you know your game, this method will work very well for you.
3) The method has a natural flow, but is not linear
While there is a natural flow to the nine distinct steps in the process they are not necessarily linear. Typically defining the game comes first and designing the game comes next. But from there any of the steps can be used in any order depending on the situation.
The Nine Steps in the Coach-Two-Win method
1) DEFINE THE GAME: clarify focus on a winnable game worth playing.
In this part of the process the coach and player identify what the game is, why the game is being played, what winning looks like, determine if the game is winnable, assess the skills that are needed to play well and scan the environment for assets and obstacles. Whew!
The main ingredient is to make it a game worth playing; A game that is connected to what the player truly wants out of life; A game that touches the heart of the player in some way.
A winnable game that matters with coaching has real focus and impact.
The coach uses their intuition and game experience to help define the winnable game with the player. The player gets a winnable game that matters (a priceless gift in my opinion). As well as a learning plan for the game and the inspiration to get into the game; every time you choose to put your energy into something that connects with your heart you grow in wisdom.
2) DESIGN THE GAME: identify the activities of the game and create a scorecard
There are two essential ingredients to this step: The first is the art of designing a winnable game. A winnable game is right in the sweet spot between too easy and too challenging. If the game is too easy it is not inspiring. If it is too hard (not winnable) then apathy sets in. The coach must continually expand the game so that the player grows in ability by stepping into bigger and bigger challenges.
Once the winnable game is designed, the coach and player / client start preparing to play and win the game. A coach has four fundamental steps to help players play and win:
3) Personalized Learning
4) Game Planning
5) Internal Game Awareness
6) Environmental Design
3) PERSONALIZED LEARNING teach the skills of the game.
The coach must use their experience to design a practice plan that matches the current ability of your player / client. You must help your players figure out for themselves what to do and how to do it when the game is on.
There are two essential ingredients to this step: the practice plan and the game plan.
Integral to great coaching using your knowledge of the game to design practices that lead to improved skill. In today's world often it seems like the game is always on so there is no time for practice. It often requires a great deal of creativity on the part of the coach and a new perspective on the part of the player / client to get past this assumption and create a relatively safe environment to learn and refine the skills of the game.
4) GAME PLANNING teach the strategies of the game.
Here the coach uses their experience of similar situations and their ability to strategize to craft just the right next actions with the player. The player now has a clear action plan with a strategic foundation which is a real gift in the age of infinite possibility and endless information. The player also develops an expanded capacity to think strategically and formulate a game plan.
5) INTERNAL GAME COACHING: The internal game IS the game.
It effects every decision the player makes and nearly every action the player takes. Decisions and actions are what creates winning and losing in every game. The key to internal game coaching is to expand awareness of values, thoughts, feelings, emotions and motivations to help your player achieve peak performance.
The essential ingredient to this step is the ability to recognize patterns of thought, feeling and emotion. Most of life occurs in patterns so it is imperative to know which patterns are serving the player and which are not; internal game coaching requires having a variety of tools available to change the patterns that are limiting the player's ability to play well.
A typical way of thinking about this is to use the term blind spots. It is the nature of patterns that they become invisible to us. As a coach you are a highly informed outside observer that can see the patterns that the player has become blind to and then expand the self-awareness of the player.
The coach leverages their own self-awareness, life experience and ability to recognize patterns to the coaching relationship to help the player see themselves and the situation more clearly. The player ends up with clearer thinking, an expanded capacity to feel the subtle energies of the body (gut feelings) and a greater appreciation of inner harmony and inner conflict.
6) DESIGN WINNING ENVIRONMENTS: because the environment always wins.
It does not matter how inspired or motivated or skillful you are if the world around you is full of obstacles, you can not win. If your team mates are not on the same page, your best effort will not make a difference. The master coaching skill is to help the player design the world around them to inspire ongoing excellence.
The essential ingredient here is to realize that environmental design is the key to sustainable success in life and in coaching! The environment must be re-designed for the game the player is playing now. For most people the environment is a reflection of the games they used to play. Why is this? People have a two-way relationship with the world around them: they are adapting to what is there while at the same time the world around them is becoming a reflection of who they are. BIG INSIGHT: The adaptive process is fast and somewhat transient while the reflective process is slow but more substantive.
In other words, over time, the world around you becomes an accurate reflection of who you WERE are on the inside; This may or may not be good news! While in a new environment, quick change may occur, typically people return to the way they were before when they leave that new environment.
So in order to create sustainable change, the coach must use their creativity, design sense and awareness of workability to help the player make immediate changes to the outside world that reflect the changes made on the inside. Then the adaptive process works FOR positive change rather than against it! The player becomes more aware of the world around them and more connected to it. This leads to sustainable results.
Now it is time to get into the game!
7) Play the game
8) Manage the Game
9) Evaluate Progress
7) PLAY THE GAME: Give your heart, soul and energy and enjoy the process
Playing the game is what it is all about.
8) MANAGE THE GAME: Get the best result possible from the situation
When the game is on there are always opportunities to make the most from situations; to make adjustments to your plan or push through difficulties in pursuit of the desired result: winning the game. Often the game can pull the player through challenges where they would normally stop. As a coach, you have to stay in communication while the game is on and be available for quick advice.
9) EVALUATE PROGRESS: Learn and grow from judgment-free awareness.
Enjoy, celebrate and leverage victories. Debrief and quickly learn from losses. This is how coaches create long term player improvement and growth.
The essential ingredient here is to realize that there will always be wins and losses in any game. One of the BIG jobs of a coach is to transform losing experiences into learning experiences. If you lose and you are playing alone, often you feel like a loser. If you lose and you have a coach, you become a fast learner. BIG DIFFERENCE.
The coach utilizes their ability to skillfully observe the player to determine how the game is really going. Championing and empathy are just two of the skills a coach uses to keep the player moving forward. The player gets a scorecard which enables them to organize their actions around success in the game. Having a real game to play and win creates opportunities for real celebration which is unfortunately rare for most people. Expanding ones capacity to transform winning AND losing into learning is a gift that will last a lifetime.
I hope you have enjoyed this overview of the Coach-Two-Win method! Remember, this method is a framework. You provide the knowledge of your game AND use all of your existing skills and techniques. For example, if you have been an Interior Designer you probably have a lot of mastery in the area of Environmental Design - Use it! If you have studied human archetypes, it will give you additional power in the internal game - Use it! Use everything you have to help your players win. That is your job as a coach.