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Coaching Up! Inspiring Peak Performance When It Matters Most by Shane Battier, Kathleen Landis Lancaster, Jordan Fliegel

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4Offering Concise Direction

“The mind entertains one thought at a time, and only one. The greatest cause of feeling ‘swamped’ and ‘overwhelmed’ in life is…not knowing this.”

—Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson, 100 Ways to Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy

The more that you have connected and supported, connected and supported, over and over again, the easier it will be to offer direction. It's like priming the pump. Once you've laid the groundwork and established the relationship, the other person is in a place where he or she is open and trusting and ready to receive the direction.

How do you know when the person is ready? He or she may say: “Coach, tell me what you really want me to work on. Don't hold back.”

It's not necessary to authentically connect, genuinely support, and provide concise direction in every conversation. Sometimes you can skip the connection part and move right into supporting and directing. When can you do this? When you have a solid relationship. Think about your best friend. Do you need to start every conversation with a peer-to-peer greeting? No. You can tackle your best friend. You can pull a prank on him. You can greet him pretty much however you like, because your connection is real. Your best friend would likely question whether you are sober if you approached him with a “Hi, Bob, it's so good to see you today. How was your weekend?” What is that? No nicknames? No informality? That's certainly ...

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