Posts Tagged ‘Atul Gawande’

I recently read a New Yorker article (Oct. 3, 2011) about coaching by Atul Gawande,  Personal Best: Top Athletes and singers have coaches.  Should you? The article is about all different types of coaches…more traditional athletic coaches and voice coaches, as well as an innovative coaching program for teachers, and his own quest to be coached on his surgical techniques by a retired surgeon.

I read the article from the perspective of a life coach and asked myself how his observations related to what I do.  The big take-away for me is that no matter what type of coaching he was talking about, it always came down to fresh eyes and a different perspective.  There is great value at having fresh eyes look at a situation and give input and observations.  An athlete can’t observe herself in the way a coach can, a teacher can’t see what he’s doing the same way an outsider can, a surgeon can’t notice the subtle things she does out of memory and habit, and we as individuals have a hard time seeing some of our patterns because they are all we know.

The big question Gawande poses at the end of his article is:  are people ready to accept that everyone has room for improvement?  Are we ready to hear what those fresh eyes see?  Are we ready to consider a different perspective?  Of his own first experience with a coach, he says “That one twenty-minute discussion gave me more to consider and work on than I’d had in the past five years.”

Whether you’re an athlete, executive, parent, teacher, surgeon or just someone trying to figure it all out…what might fresh eyes tell you?