Dave Buck, coaching maven and Coachville CEO, who is also a soccer coach, has a gift for applying insights and approaches from coaching games in the sporting arena to other areas such as life or business coaching.

"If not now, when? Get started with a coach."I admit that there was a time when I thought  the idea of applying the principles of coaching for sport to coaching in other areas was  interesting enough, but not compelling enough for me to try and apply it in any systematic way in my own coaching.

Then early last year I decided to get out of my comfort zone and undertake a Coachville Business Academy course Dave Buck was running, called Coach the Game – the Spirit of Play.

Benefits of the course included:

  • Understanding the important distinction between focus on outcomes vs. mastery
  • Recognizing how to organize practices and projects into a game worth playing

At the outset of the course we were given the task of identifying a game we wanted to coach. It had to be a game we had played: one thing Dave Buck is quite insistent on is that we can only coach effectively the games we’ve played.

I chose to work on social media for business.

Admittedly that was a challenge at first. Social media for business as a game? Surely social media in the business context was a serious subject, not readily considered as a game?

Well, I’d gone into this with my eyes open. This was a Coachville program and Coachville these days has as its motto “Reinventing Coaching with the Spirit of Play”.

I decided to go with the flow. Actually not a bad approach when thinking about games.

It opened up a lot of fresh thinking for me.  And the possibility of a fresh way to help business people in enterprises, large and small, become not just effective in the social space, but masterful.

Now a year and a bit down the track, having had my previous attitudes shaken up by Coach Dave and having begun to look at social media in a broader context of “social business”, I have now developed a mentor coaching program for the game of social business. Watch this space! 🙂

For anyone who might be interested in the concept, I have a short, heavily bullet-pointed document, Coaching the Social Business Game: an Introduction, available for free download .(Update April 26, 2011: since that document was written over a year ago, a lot has changed and I’ve developed some new coaching programs for social media which incorporate some more current thinking. I don’t currently have the time to review or update that document from last year. If however you are keen to see it “as is”, please let me know via the Contact page here and I’ll be happy to email a link for you.)

As the mentor coaching program is still in (the final stages of) development and as I have now committed to launching it before the end of this month, I’m particularly keen to get feedback on the idea, including questions and suggestions. Do you have a thought or three on the subject that you’d like to share? (Update April 26, 2011: although some people downloaded the document, there was no feedback and the concept went into the “interesting thought but not now, or maybe not ever” box. See the menu bar above for links to current Coaching programs.)

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).