How the coaching model of theory and practice is the best way to learn

You can’t expect to get fit by having a session with a fitness trainer, without doing the work between sessions. Of course, turning up is better than doing nothing, but you need deliberate practice if you really want to achieve your aim to get fit. The fitness coach doesn’t do the work. They may guide you with specific suggestions to strengthen muscles and build aerobic fitness, but putting it into practice is your responsibility. That is the best way to learn.

You need to be accountable for consistent practice to achieve your goals. I know from personal experience when I had a fitness coach I was more likely to practice between sessions because he was holding me accountable. That didn’t stop me from coming up with lame excuses when I hadn’t done the work!

It’s not dissimilar when you take on an executive coach. There is going to be work to do between coaching sessions. The coaching model is a mixture of theory and practice, which the research suggests is the way we learn best. You take new insights from a coaching session and put them into practice. Later you debrief on your successes and challenges and what you learnt.

“Success has to do with deliberate practice. Practice must be focused, determined, and in an environment where there’s feedback.”

Malcolm Gladwell

The 70/20/10 model for learning and development suggests in many cases we get 70% of our knowledge from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events.

In my experience, coaching works best when coachees commit to do the work of putting new knowledge and insights into practice.

Anything less will not develop your fitness as a leader.

🙋 What’s your experience of the value of coaching? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian