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Coaches must have Strength of Character
Coaches must have Strength of Character
One of the first things to look for in any coach is strength of character.
That famous evangelist Dwight Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” What he means is that character is that core person you really are – not the facade you might show to others. Character is that deepest part of yourself that guides your actions and from which springs forth the words you speak. Character is your unique identity and personality – the sum total of your individual characteristics.
“Character” can be good or bad. “Strength of character” refers to the sum of the strong and good parts of your character. The traits of a person who is “strong in character” might include standing up for what is right, clearly speaking their truth, and having the “backbone” to live out their convictions or “walk their talk”.
What are the qualities that make up good character?
Honesty, integrity, devotion, self discipline, determination, dependability, perseverance, conscientiousness, patience, and stronger ethic are some of these qualities. A person with “right character” does what they say, and say what they do. Their reputation is solid. They respect themselves, their family and their nation.
Though nobody is perfect, we can strive for an ideal. Still, all of us lack in at least a few of the strengths mentioned above. But we cannot ignore these gaps. According to John C. Maxwell and others, serious character flaws will eventually make for an ineffective coach.
If you notice any of the following situations in yourself, be careful! You might be losing your potential to be an effective coach.
Watch out for these:
• Not being able to do the task given to you.
• Undone obligations and broken promises.
• Not taking responsibility for your actions.
• Failure to meet deadlines and making excuses.
• Being oversensitive to criticism and comments.
Bringing Out the Strong Character in You
You don’t want to be the weak link that will disentangle the chain that binds you. Your family coaching and community people would imitate this. Be their role model and show them who the real coach is! Aspire to do the following:
Believe in yourself! - Before expecting anybody else to believe in you, lead by example! You must be the first person to believe in who you are and what you can do. Look at and treat yourself the way you want others to see and treat you. Want respect from others? Then respect yourself. If you want others to love you, love others first.
Focus on the things you do well and then work at developing the areas you are not good at. Or hire somebody else to do them.
Engaging in training - Practice makes perfect. Even if you think it is hopeless for you to possess a quality you don’t currently have, believe that you can change that.
By constantly engaging yourself in situations necessary to utilize such a quality, you might realize you are slowly achieving it. For instance, suppose you lack patience, but realize it is a skill you need to strengthen and so decide to develop. You can develop this skill by intentionally getting in the rear of long lines, choose restaurants where you will need to wait to be served, etc. You could also hire a coach specializing in this developing this particular characteristic.
Develop mental toughness – It’s part of life and the coaching profession that you will at times face discouragement from other people. Coaches need mental toughness for such threatening situations. A tough-minded coach sees things as they are and knows how to adjust when needed.
Ask authorized persons to criticize your work constantly. Treat criticism as construction, and learn from mistakes. Never be oversensitive.
Follow right examples - Even coaches need role models. Seek out coaches with strong qualities and make friends and learn from them. When you have chosen a person who possesses a characteristic you want, emulate what they are doing in order to create a new part of yourself.
Display integrity - Coaches must possess qualities - including honesty, uprightness, and trustworthiness - before they should ever coach. Warren Bennis says qualities that establish trust are competence, constancy, caring, candor and congruity (which he defines as authenticity, reliability and feeling comfortable with oneself).
To learn to assess your integrity, actively seek feedback from other people, whether they are friends, coaches, and even admirers – to determine our current attitude. Know whether your values and sense of responsibility coincide with expectations from you.
Work on your weaknesses - Start taking control of your actions and develop the right strength of character. Although character flaws cannot be changed overnight, they can be changed through right practice and attitude changes.
About the Author: Written by Doug Greene and June Davidson of http://www.coachesgonewild.com/