Feel. Think. Act. Talk. like a Coach
October 8, 2012
4 Dimensions of Leadership Coaching Excellence
December 3, 2012

There may be no better model for excellence in leadership than the coaccoach_pointing-yelling-191x300h model, because no group of people works more effectively than a well coached sports team.

Watching a great coach working from the sidelines of a basketball court or football field, it’s difficult to miss one of the most important elements of coaching—feedback. Great coaches understand that to improve an athlete, they have to give each player honest, direct, and timely feedback on their performance.

But coaching feedback in sports is hardly confined to the playing field. Athletes receive feedback in video reviews. Coaches monitor player fitness, diet and metabolism. They go so far as to analyze their muscle fiber.

As a rule, the more specific the feedback, the more the players have at their disposal to improve their performance.

That’s why I call healthy feedback the Breakfast of Champions. It nurtures just like healthful food. To extend that metaphor, a champion’s breakfast must meet certain standards.

Feeding Good Feedback

  • Be direct. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Speak as someone with an opinion, rather than an all-knowing authority.
  • Address only those issues your receiver can do something about.
  • Be specific, accurate, and timely.
  • Attentively monitor emotional and rational reactions when giving feedback.
  • Back your observations with pinpoint examples.
  • Be sensitive to the receiver’s goals as well as your goals.
  • Don’t suggest how the receiver should feel about your feedback.
  • Allow the receiver to accept or reject your feedback.

pancakes-butter-syrup-150x123If you take feedback seriously, both giving or receiving, you will indeed find you and your team thriving, just you do when you sit down and share a hearty breakfast of pancakes or bacon and eggs with a team of champions.

For more about giving and receiving the feedback that produces championship performance, see Feedback—the Breakfast of Champions.


Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.