When you go to a celebrity chef’s famous restaurant, the most popular dish on the menu is proudly highlighted with all kinds of banners, stars, and its own fancy font. Its nearly impossible to describe how delicious this particular dish is, and you only fully grasp it once you’ve tried it for yourself.
When you leave, you’ll be headed home with enthusiasm to make it on your own…and there is no doubt that you’ll come up short. Naturally, your best bet for getting close to the same flavor is by following the recipe. After a while though, you can make it from scratch and without measuring tools.
Coaching is a lot like that. The best way to lead someone through a personalized session when you are getting started is by following a script. Put another way – a fixed lesson. Imagine teaching someone to put on a seatbelt:
“Take this pointy end and stick it into the other end.”
This is much easier if you first understand that you need to tell them how to hold the ‘pointy end’ and the ‘other end.’ Don’t believe me? Have you ever been on an airline flight next to a new air traveler? If so, there is no doubt you’ve seen someone get it wrong!
Similarly, the way to set yourself up for success with delivering the fixed lesson is by taking just one person through it. There is no need to complicate matters by trying to manage a group, its inherent dynamics, and the difficulties that come with them.
First degree coaches are curious. They can be thought of as new cadets, anxious to get out and learn. They need clarity, not complexity.
And no, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to take someone through their first few sessions.
You just need to know enough.
Thus, the ‘First Degree’ in coaching, the first step in the process, is learning to deliver a fixed lesson to a fixed audience.