At Stanford Graduate School of Business, I was part of the one-year Arbuckle Leadership Fellows program that taught us how to be a coaching manager. We applied concepted learned from class by coaching each other in the program and coaching first year MBA students.
While learning coaching and dancing at the same time, I drew a lot of parallels.In coaching, we were taught to “dance in the moment.” Instead of worrying about asking the “right” question or making the “right” comment, being a good coach involves being present and spontaneous. This is very similar to social dancing. Richard Powers, who teaches Social Dance at Stanford, always reminds us that there’s no one right way to dance. Just as Carole Robins, the faculty in charge of the Arbuckle Leadership Fellows program, also reminds us that there’s no one right way to coach. While some ways may be better than other ways, there are multiple ways that are all great and will achieve the same or similar outcome. The classes just teaches us a wide variety of moves or tools or that we can expand our repertoire.