If you want to create an effective coaching plan with your clients, keep in mind something known as Deliberate Practice.
During a talk in 2012, a programmer and author by the name of Kathy Sierra gave a really great description of deliberate practice. She said this:
“Deliberate practice is when you work on a skill that requires one to three practise sessions to master. If it takes longer than that, then you are working on something that is too complex.”
When you’re working on a client, break down their action steps into pieces that are so small so that it only takes them one to three sessions to have that thing mastered.
For instance, let’s say that your client wanted to learn to play the violin, and they’ve never played the violin before. The deliberate practice for them would be to get their violin case, walk up to a table, and spend 20 minutes just putting the violin case on the table, then taking it off the table.
Your client should keep doing that until they do it as perfectly as the world’s best violinist.
Then, the next step would be to practice opening the violin case over and over again.
Who thinks that if I gave you three full coaching sessions, one hour each to open a violin case, you would be able to do it at a world-class level? Of course you could do it!
So, now that the client’s been able to place their violin case on a table and open it up like a world-class player, they now have to practise picking up the violin.
If I ask you to pick it up and put it under your chin for three full hours, broken off in three sessions, you would eventually be able to get a violin under your chin and look just like a world-class violinist.
Therefore, if you practice the little pieces individually, you myelinate them with precision, and if you myelinate them perfectly, it will always be perfect every time you do it.
Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.
So, you do your myelination slowly, and you allow it to occur - depending on the activity that is. There are certain things that require myelinating rapidly. Like if you’re learning soccer, you don’t learn that slowly. You learn it quickly because of the nature you need your myelin to operate.
But when you’re learning a musical instrument like a violin, you need to myelinate with absolute precision at every step of the way because the song must be played identically every single time.
So, the idea of deliberate practice is to break things down for your clients. When you break them down into small pieces, they will get the results that they’re looking for.
“Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life's hard.”
3 Questions To Ensure You Are Using Deliberate Practice To Create An Effective Coaching Plan
Deliberate practice has three questions that need to be addressed to ensure that you are doing it so you can create an effective client coaching plan.
Effective Coaching Plans With Deliberate Practice Question 1: Do They Understand The Fundamentals?
Do you and your client, or even just your client, understand the fundamentals of what it is that they’re trying to achieve?
For example, if they’re wanting to have a deeply loving relationship, do they know what the fundamentals of a deeply loving relationship are?
If they don’t, chances are, we’re not going to be able to break down a very good coaching plan.
If they don’t know what they are, ask them to do some research for a couple of weeks. Then, tell them to come back to you and tell you what they believe are the top five fundamentals of a deeply loving relationship.
Whatever they tell you is going to be right because that’s their reality now.
As long as they have some concept of fundamentals, we’re in a good position.
Question 2: Are They Working On The Very Next Step?
Not two steps ahead, five steps ahead nor one step back, but the very next step. If they’re working on the next step, then we’re producing myelin correctly. As long as we do it step by step with our myelination, we get the road set up, and it will fire with precision every time.
Anyone can do anything perfectly if they slow it down and do it properly. The best violin teachers in the world say that if anyone walks past their classroom and they can recognise the song, you are not practising.
They believe that the only time you’d be able to recognise the song is if you’re playing it at the right speed. And if you’re playing at the right speed, you’re not practising.
The song should be so slow that nobody can recognise the song. If you’re practising at THAT speed, you are myelinating correctly. For different types of art forms, the slower you do something, the better the wrapping or the myelination occurs.
Question 3: What Are You Missing?
The last question that needs to be addressed to ensure that you’re doing deliberate practice to develop an effective coaching plan is, “What are you missing?”
This is when you constantly ask your client, “What are you missing here? What are you not seeing? What’s missing in this whole process?”
By using these questions, you’ll be able to create a great coaching plan, a great process and great systems to put in place with your clients, and they’ll be able to build myelin in a really effective way.
This is because no matter what their goal is, it’s going to require myelin and neurons to achieve it. It doesn’t matter who you are. That’s just the rules.
So, if they’re the rules, use deliberate practice to get them wired up correctly.
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