Coaching and Providing Opportunity

After reading multiple definitions of coaching by Eric Parsloe, John Whitmore and Richard Luecke, I created my “own” summary definition of coaching: an interactive process that enables learning and development to unlock a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. That’s a lot to live up to, but when done well it will transform a work environment and those around you.

Coaching allows for greater conversations to be had than simply about what work needs to be done if someone was simply managing a group of people. If you’ve ever been part of an athletics’ team (or seen a great sports movie – Ahem, Remember the Titans), an excellent coach makes the difference in a team. They may not step a foot on the court or field for a result, but they are the backbone to setting the standard and empowering their team. They see and draw out the potential in their athletes to ensure success. When a coach talks about success though, it isn’t just about winning the game. There is a greater good that coaches fight for their athletes to see and live by. A coach knows that when interacting with players, they are also teaching life lessons, caring for the whole person and empowering them to make decisions and grow as an individual.

At Interstates, we’ll be moving from having supervisors to having coaches. Similar to a football team, employees will have multiple coaches depending on the area of knowledge they are working with. Instead of an offensive line coach, a quarterback coach and a tight end coach, there may be a design coach, a project management coach and an estimating coach. Leaders will also be coaching “during the game” of project delivery to provide feedback and enhance the experimental learning process. All coaches are working for one team, pursuing excellence for the client, contributing in their area of expertise and developing their people.

At Interstates, we want you to gain experience in different roles, learn about topics you haven’t been exposed to yet and find what you truly love working on. Having coaches from different areas of expertise can allow an individual to learn and gather insights from multiple skilled professionals further enhancing their career journey within an agile organization.

While change can be uneasy at times, change is also an exciting opportunity! I encourage team members to lean into their career journey conversations, reflect on their role, what they enjoy doing and what they want to learn. As John Wooden said, “If I am through learning, I am through.” The coaches of Interstates are there to help team members try new things and try to work differently on projects. Take advantage of every moment and every coach to learn and challenge themselves in their current role to prepare for the future of endless possibilities!


Written by Sara Gresse, Stamp of Approval by Eric Van Den Berg


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