Article Details

The Baby Eagle and Coaching

What you will get: Clarity on the importance of coaching


“Coaching is essential in life”


So what is coaching?


To demonstrate this I’d like to tell you a short story about a baby eagle.


You see…


The baby eagle was nervous.
Because that time had come when he had to fly for the first time. That leap of faith from the nest to take that important life development step.


But naturally…


The baby eagle had lots of questions. So he asked for the leader of the eagle flock, a wise old eagle, to come to his nest.


“Good morning my child, how can I help you on this fine day?” asked the wise leader.


“Wise leader,” replied the baby. “When I fly for the first time, how high will I be able to fly?”


“How high would you like to be able to fly?” replied the wise eagle.


The baby eagle paused for a moment, and then decided to ask another question:


“Wise leader, when I fly for the first time, how fast will I be able to fly?”


“How fast do you think you will be able to fly?” replied the leader.


The baby eagle paused again, thinking about the question and scratching his head.


He decided to ask another question.


“Wise leader, when I fly for the first time, how far will I be able to fly?”


Once again, his question was answered with a question:


“How far would you like to be able to fly my child?”


The baby eagle looked puzzled.


After a few moments he picked up the courage to share something with the wise leader.


“Wise leader, I am confused. You see, I thought you were the wisest leader of all the eagles. Yet every time I ask you a question, you reply with a question.”


“That’s right my child. And that is precisely why I am the wisest leader of the eagle flock.”


And that’s just it…


Wise leaders realise that asking more questions, encourages people to think for themselves. It encourages them to find their own solutions. It encourages autonomy and responsibility.


And that’s where a coaching style of leadership is invaluable.


You see…


Leaders that know how to coach people spend more time listening and asking good questions, and less time telling.


And what is coaching?


It is essentially listening to people, asking them useful questions and helping them to help themselves.


It is not telling.
It is not advising.
It is not controlling.


And effective coaching, used at the right time in the right situation, empowers people to think for themselves.


It’s pretty simple – if you have a habit of just telling people what to do, don’t be surprised if they don’t carry out tasks whole heartedly and with conviction.


Think about it – are you more likely to want an idea to succeed if you created it or if you were just told to do it by someone else?


So what can we learn from the wise eagle?


That to be a truly effective leader, you need to have some basic coaching skills as part of your toolkit.


And remember, leadership applies to all aspects of your life.


You can coach your kids.
You can coach your friends.
You can coach just about anyone.


So coaching can become part of your way of life.


And to finish this Monday Motivation? Here’s some coaching questions for you about your coaching…


How would you currently evaluate your coaching skills?
What ideas have you got (anything at all) that could help you to become a better coach?
What else could you do?
What advise would you give a friend if they asked you how they could improve their coaching skills?
Which of these ideas will you use to become a better coach?
What could stop you?
How will you make sure it will not stop you?
How will you measure your success at improving your coaching skills?
How will you celebrate that success?


I’m off to coach someone, how about you?


To your success.







Steve Neale
“Europe’s Leading Expert on Personal and Professional Growth”


Psychologist, Executive Coach, EI Practitioner, Award Winning Trainer, International Author, Psychodynamic Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Instructor, International Speaker, Creator of the LPS, Creator of the Accredited Masters in High Performance Leadership

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