By Jean McDonald

I LOVE coaching. I love being coached and I love being the coach. It’s an opportunity for growth, self-awareness and in my opinion, the best way to improve your life. We talk a lot in Toastmasters about mentoring others but coaching offers even more benefits. Coaching can be part of mentoring, but mentors are not coaches.

Coaches are responsible for helping the member meet a specific short-term goal – a goal that is skills-based and specific, and that the coach is qualified to teach due to his or her training and experience.

In the “Leader as Coach” program from the Toastmasters’ Leadership Excellence Series, coaching is described as “the process of guiding and encouraging team members to achieve superior performance results . . . Your purpose as a coach is to ensure team members do what they are supposed to do, perform better, and reach their full potential.”

COACHING HAS SIX PARTS: According to Toastmasters International, the coach provides direction and feedback. A coach:

  1. Sets high but achievable expectations by making sure the person knows what is expected.
  2. Guides by ensuring the person has what he or she needs to achieve the expectations.
  3. Offers support by answering questions and assisting in breaking through barriers.
  4. Gives advice, providing specific input and techniques to keep the person on track.
  5. Provides feedback by reflecting back the improvements the coach has noticed and offering guidance on how to keep improving.
  6. Encourages by providing accountability and support, letting the person being coached know he or she is heading in the right direction.

What can we as Toastmasters learn from actual coaches? You can find out on January 14, 2021 when Inspiration to Creation Coach Nina Amir presents “Learn to Comfortably Wear Your Speaker’s Hat” at Jefferson County Toastmasters from Noon – 1:30 pm Pacific Time, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm Alaska time.

Like me, Nina fell in love with coaching. Her realization that her own life had changed from working with a coach led led her to become a Certified High Performance Coach. Although Nina specializes in coaching writers, this virtual event is for anyone who wants to improve their comfort speaking in front of audiences.

Register for this event here.