Coaching has become a catch-all term for helping to reach certain goals, be it professional or in sports: practical techniques for improving performance. So how does coaching relate to learning English?
Psychodynamics & Team Management
If you are running a team we must often be aware of different views and perceptions of those people we have to manage. As a leader, we must develop our emotional intelligence to deal effectively with the teams we manage and work within. Sometimes we don’t have the time to think about the needs and goals of those around us every day. When we do think about them, we can come to surprising insights into how teams function. Are we challenging those around us? Do they trust us? Do they fear us? How can we find our sovereignty in stressful situations? Imagination is an important skill to develop to look at issues in their complexity. By using metaphor we can build varied pictures of how to understand an issue or problem.
I will give an analogy, in order for you to understand where the distorted conceptions of things stem from. For example, I give to someone a walnut and tell him to do research on it. Someone will do research on its taste, he will try the external green shell, he will bite it and will throw it away. I give the walnut to another person, he, [being] quite sensible already, peels off its external green shell, but when he tries the second shell he breaks his teeth, and also throws it away. I give the walnut to a third person, he, however, [being] even more sensible, peels off the external shell, breaks the hard nutshell with a stone, takes out the kernel and eats it. If we gather these three together and ask them what [sort of thing] a walnut is, one will say that the walnut is an astringent, pungent and poisonous fruit; the second – that it is a hard fruit that breaks people’s teeth, the third – that it is something delicious and pleasant.
When we are able to look at situations through the eyes of different players we can see ourselves better within that situation. We thus grow in self awareness, which gives us more choices and freedom to act. Often, developing the courage to take responsibility for ourselves and others raises difficult ethical questions.
Business English Colloquium
The search for truth does not have to take us up a mountain or to a monastery in Tibet. When we ask ourselves about the truth we engage our thinking. We must sometimes challenge ourselves to find the truth. We must learn patience. But philosophy is not just for the temple. Philosophy needs practical action to reflect upon. That is why the greatest thinkers have to act. They have to create in the world. Thinking and decision-making is essential for business. He who can think immediately has the advantage. Yet, equally, if we lose the balance of our feeling life we lose the way.
The Impact of Our Actions
Have we fully thought through all the implications of our actions? Are we aware of the thought processes that go into our actions? A coach is there to challenge, to push you into new areas, but also to show you more clearly where you are. Sometimes change is not the right thing. Who says we have to change? We are not rewiring cars or machines here, we are human beings.
Coaching for English
When we take more care of what we say and how much we say we can develop a lot of power to change the world around us. The power of speech can be the power for Good in the world. For those in leading positions, we must be strategic in our use of language. What we say in meetings and social events is often extremely important. A good use of speech has also medical and psychological effects. When we speak with more clarity and fluency; and with the correct vocabulary, our levels of energy will also rise. For long term success, I believe every professional today – even native speakers – should have a language coach.