Coaching by being silent

The July 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review includes an article about coaching that drew my attention. In a laboratory setting (with, I imagine, Psych 101 students doing planks and riding bikes, so not exactly your typical support organization!), silent coaches improved performance by 33% while “vocal” coaches improved it by only 22%.

Why should we care? The study did go a little further and found that good coaches:

  • speak directly and personally to the people they coach (duh)
  • lead by quiet example
  • provides examples of performance that are better than that of the person being coached
  • provides opportunities to perform as a team, especially for “weak links” who improve the most in a team format

Maybe team goals deserve another look…

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