What Helped You the Most

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck

My first job out of college was with a large sales organization and I was fortunate enough to be working in the same division as a truly remarkable, venerable icon of the company who became a mentor and lifelong friend to me. When Tony Arminio would visit our branch and run sales meetings, he always concluded them by asking various attendees, “What helped you the most?” While to some, this may seem like a tactic to ask for pats on the back, when I moved into management and was running meetings of my own, I realized that this was a fantastic way to reinforce the most important items we’d just covered. The feedback given served as a recap of what we’d gone over and allowed me to reiterate the points I’d made while they were still fresh in everyone’s mind, but do so in a way that was participatory. In other words, the audience was engaged and more attentive than they would have been had I simply subjected them to a verbal summation of everything I’d said.

When I began coaching kids in sports I learned that this technique had the same beneficial effect as it did with adults in the business world. When we’d conclude practice and have all of the kids take a knee, I’d ask a few of them, “What did you learn today?” Usually I’d get responses that would allow me to further extend what we’d just taught, while also ensuring that everyone “got it.”  If you try this out you might find it to be a very useful tool to help the kids help you coach them.

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