Although coaching someone to put new behaviors into practice requires us to challenge them to move out of their comfort zone into the ‘uncomfortable learning zone’, it doesn’t mean that we should leave them there to struggle alone. Just like the swimming coach who runs along the side of the pool, keeping up with the learner at every stroke, we need to stand right beside the person we’re coaching while they practice the new behavior. Our learners need to know that they aren’t alone in the ‘learning zone’ – that they’ve got their coach right beside them, offering enthusiastic support and encouragement, nurturing their new skills and confidence and ready to throw them a life-line if needed.

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