How is racing cars like leadership coaching?

Leadership coaching and racecar driving are more alike than you might think. I’ve never been a fast driver, so when I was invited to participate in a performance driving school, I was NERVOUS.

The BMW performance driving school is an incredible place to hone a skill like driving – something that most of us know how to do but wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) brag about. The teachers are patient, communicative and extremely knowledgeable. Their experience on the road and their ongoing mechanical and performance training made it easy to trust them and follow instructions – which allowed everyone in the class to learn and improve quickly.

A lot of people come into coaching feeling nervous – not knowing what to expect. They wonder how to prepare or if they’re going to have the “right answers” to the questions their coach asks. Luckily, a coach is lot like a BMW driving instructor – patient, communicative and knowledgeable.

What do patience, communication and knowledge look like in leadership coaching?

  • Patience: Coaches practice self-management, knowing that it is not in anybody’s best interest to rush through feelings, perspectives or discoveries. By being patient coaches allow people to identify their emotions, desires and goals. Often people discover that giving themselves the time to sort through everything that’s rushing around their brains enables them to prioritize, create a plan and hold themselves accountable to taking meaningful action.
  • Communication: Typically a coach is not in the business of instructing clients what to do. Coaches communicate by asking powerful questions and holding space for clients to uncover what they already know. A coach doesn’t need to be an expert in their client’s professional space or have had the same life experiences to invite someone to discover their values and their vision. Effective communication avoids leading language and holds the client as creative, resourceful and whole.
  • Knowledge: Powerful coaches know the value of coaching because almost every coach has THEIR OWN coach! Co-Active Training Institute coaches are required to be coached throughout certification and most choose to maintain a relationship with a coach even as their build their practice and become more skilled. Through training and experience we know that articulating our thoughts and challenges is the most powerful way to move through and forward. We know that sitting in a safe space provided by another coach allows us to open up, release the things that aren’t serving us and focus on where and who we want to be. We receive, process and share the skill and compassion that our coaches offer to us on to our clients.

As people go through coaching their mindset begins to change about who they are and what they are capable of achieving. Whether focused on personal or professional growth, leadership coaching provides tools to see what’s in front of us and make decisions on how to react more effectively. Instead of creeping slowly towards our destination, we move efficiently through whatever curves lay ahead of us.

By the end of the day, I was zooming around the track at speeds I’d never imagined possible. I felt powerful and in control as I took calculated risks that accelerated my heartrate (in a good way!) and my performance.

Are you ready to step on the gas when it comes to achieving fulfillment, joy and success?