Be Specific, Be in the Now
So the best way to focus on this if you can is bursts of short, corrective language. So if someone is... Say you zoom in and you figure out what they need to do. You get what the skill is. So let's say we're coaching Lauren to just keep the thread going so that people can understand and she had been using "we" with people, instead of "you" and "I". So "Hey I need you to do this, and how "I'm gonna support you is that." Instead of "well, we're gonna work on this." And what she really meant was "you", but she didn't say it. So what I would do if I was coaching her, I'd say "Let's run it again, role play it." She'd start talking and she would accidentally be framing it as "we". She'd either say the word "we" or the language would be more "we" and it wouldn't be clear and I might just say "You." And she'd go "Oh." And it would trigger her and she'd go back and go "Okay." and she'd say it again with "you" and "I", right? So you don't need to tell her everything all over again, you already c...
oached her on that. You're just giving her short, corrective bursts of language. And you heard me earlier with Scott. He said "Big Rocks." And I said "Louder, stronger." And he gave me exactly what I wanted. (deep voice) "Big rocks." And it was funny, right? Just short, corrective. I didn't like, give him a lecture. "You know, Scott, when I need you to do 'rocks' "You need to be louder." You know? You need to project, projection is how people respect people and that's how you become an adult. I didn't give you a lecture, just short, corrective bursts of language. People will get it, right? Specificity of language is power. In previous courses I repeated myself and I'm gonna do it again. Specificity of language is power. Specificity equals power and the more expertise or mastery you have as a coach, or any area, the more you're gonna be able to be specific. If you talk to someone who's an expert in something, they're gonna be far more specific than someone who's not an expert. Now sometimes, if you're too advanced in something you will lose the person. They can't follow you. So calibrate your specificity to the level of competence or understanding of that person you're talking to and you can add more specificity over time. That's the deep frameworks. I might start with simplicity and then I'll be like "Oh you're getting that? Cool, let me turn it up. "Let me turn it up, let me turn it up." So now we're gonna do something I think is very fun to practice this. So we're gonna need two volunteers. I need someone who is willing to be very silly. Sam? Okay. Sam is very silly. Now, no you're good, you're gonna do it. Okay, who is willing to, and would like to practice short, corrective bursts of language with Sam? You're gonna be doing the language, Sam's gonna be doing the other role and I'll explain what that means. Who will be his partner? Who's got his back?
I can do it.
Yeah? Awesome. Okay so, Sam, I want you to come up here and I want you to get comfortable for a second, 'cause I'm gonna have you do some of these. You're gonna be under the lights with me and I'm going to, if you could close your eyes really quick.
My drink is the one on this side.
Okay. Great. So don't show that to anyone, including Sam. I'm going to explain what we're doing here, okay?
Should I keep my eyes closed?
No you're good, you can keep them open. So what you're gonna do is, there's a word on that paper and you're gonna try to get Sam's body into the shape of that word, but you can't tell him what the word is and you can give him like, sort of visionary or evocative description of what it is. You're just gonna give him short, corrective bursts of language on his physical body, okay? So there's no perfect way to do this, okay? I want you to just practice. What we're all looking for is notice the moments where it's going well and any moments where it might not be going well and see how they adjust, potentially. All you're trying to do is do exactly what she's telling you to do. Don't help her too much. If you get what the shape is, try not to jump there. Let her move your body, does that make sense?
Okay, any questions.
Let her coach me.
Let her coach you, exactly. Are we good from a visual standpoint? I'm aware of where Sam and I are standing, are we good on that, Chris?
Yeah, we're good, stand over there.
Cool, all right. So do you feel ready, both of you?
All right, so when you're ready go ahead and start.
Okay, sit down. With your legs crossed and then... put your head down... And then use your right arm to put on your waist. And then make the left arm go up and then... curve it down, yeah. Maybe a little more. But your head came up, so can you put it back down? I think that's...
You're good? Okay so class, what is this?
Teapot, yes! Maybe the spout was broken there. Thank you for doing that. So what did we notice about that experience and how it was to do it, how it was to receive it, or how it was to observe it?
I thought the direction was very clear and specific. You talked about which body part needed to move and then what direction. Oh, and you also did a good job of prioritizing, 'cause if you had told me to put my head down before I sat down, then that'd be a weird motion for me to do. So you kind of were deliberate in choosing the order in which you told me to do things.
That's a really good observation, yeah. So I thought, I agree with that. You didn't bombard him with directions, it was very deliberate and clear. Was there any part where she got a little stuck or could've been maybe a little bit more specific, corrective?
Just being the subject of the coaching and having done that exercise earlier, I loved the challenge but I could've used a little bit more encouragement. More like, "Yes, that's exactly right." or "Looking great," you know?
So if we're doing deep practice which is at the edge of our ability in error correction, she wasn't helping you necessarily know whether you had gotten it right or not. "Am I doing it wrong, or did I nail that?" Right? So there was gonna be a lack of confidence or understanding about what was working and not working, absolutely, and maybe then a little bit of challenge with ignition. As a coach, bringing your energy and your joy and your play to the experience, I mean it's hard when people are watching you on camera and everything, but just for everyone. It's not just for you, it's for all of us, you know? We can tailor that experience to be right and silly fun, or it can be just kind of go through the motions there, right? So both on the error correction and on the mission. Is that kind of what you were getting at? Cool, anything else that we noticed? Any observers?
I think maybe Sam could've asked some more clarifying questions too. Being the one that's kinda learning the new thing or new concept, you know, clarifying. "Am I doing it right?"
I restricted him, pretty much. However, your point about if there's feedback from the client or from the person being coached, that really helps the coaching. I didn't really encourage him to do that but I think you're exactly right. It would've made that better, right? He could've said "Am I doing this right?" and she's like "Oh yeah, of course, that looks great." "Let me just tweak something for you." Right? I would say one thing I noticed too was on the spout, that was maybe the most complicated part of the teapot. That's what I was wondering, how you were gonna do that. Because here is not really a teapot, this is definitely not a teapot, right? This is not quite a teapot, it's kinda like that, right? That's a very complex shape to make with someone's arm without telling them what they're making. So you could see there, maybe a little more specificity of language could've given us more power to get a really beautiful spout on our teapot, right? So just if I was coaching you, I'd say "Great, we got some of the basics down." Now maybe a little bit more rapid fire bursting on how that arm should be. Correcting, correcting, correcting. Tweaking, refining, refining, refining and then boom, we get it locked in. Does that make sense? Anything that that's making you think of in terms of when you're helping people on a task? Or are you just gonna make people turn into teapots at the beginning of every session, or every interaction?
I feel like checking in with them, that's one thing I'll take away from it.
Yeah, "How are you feeling about this?" "Where are you now?"
Absolutely, that's a great question to ask on the emotional side. So "Where are you right now?" "How are you feeling right now?" Don't make them say it over all but just in this moment, where are they at? Great.
I think knowing the end goal is very important. So one, as a coach, knowing the goal but also being able to tell that to the person as well. It doesn't always have to be a mystery. In fact it shouldn't be a mystery most of the time.
Yeah, and what I would add to that, 100% agree. Knowing the goal and being aligned, we're going here, helps people not get frustrated or know how we can correct. Sometimes we have to do exploration to know what the actual thing, the goal is, or the skill, how we actually want it to be. So at the beginning, you might not know what you wanna coach them on, 'cause you gotta figure out what's actually not working. That was that whole chunking, breaking in pieces. Then once you get into coaching, before you start maybe correcting or teaching, letting them know what we're actually aiming for, beautiful.