In the world of professional Tennis the coach is paramount. So important is the input of a coach that no professional player would be without one for an extended period of time. In fact to become a Grand Slam champion is considered virtually impossible without the input of one of a tiny handful of men and women who can help a player to find that extra 1% of effectiveness that is the difference between winning Wimbledon and going out in the first round. The above is broadly true of most sport and as such is an accepted necessity on the part of most athletes. If you were to say to Andy Murray that he shouldn’t bother with spending all that money on Amelie Mauresmo because there’s this great book about how to play tennis and he should just read that instead he’d probably laugh in your face. Why do you laugh Andy? Well, at the risk of putting words into the mouth of a two-time Grand Slam Champion, I imagine he’d say that reading about how to play better isn’t enough. I imagine he’d tell you that the only way to truly improve is get on the practice courts with someone who really knows what they’re on about and let them help you to hone yourself to perfection.
So given all this why is it that in business simply reading about how to do something practical better, such as communication, is considered satisfactory?
The problem with reading instead of doing is that it is a one-way process. The reader can take the information on board or discard it in such a way as to keep them comfortable. This means that it is terribly easy to read something you’ve been asked to read about improving yourself and not gain any improvement from it at all! Only in the presence of a quality coach can you examine your strengths and weaknesses. How else can you achieve meaningful improvement in a fulfilling and comfortable way if you have no one there to help you personally?
You may have gained some insight from what I’ve just written and I hope you have. But if you really want to improve your face-to-face communication you have to get on your feet and work with a coach. If you want to learn how to take command of your body and voice and focus in a way that will make better at pitching, presenting or selling you need a coach. If you want to learn how to make your comfort zone at work bigger and more secure you need someone who can teach you to communicate effectively with confidence. You need to learn about Communication Through Improvisation.
If that is what you want then I’m pretty sure I can help you out.