We have an acre paddock next to our house and this year I inherited a second hand sit on mower from my father who no longer needed it. For the first few months I enjoyed driving the mower around the field having a great time. Briggs and Stratton engine with 12 horse power, effortlessly cutting swathes of grass on every turn with a top speed of 8 MPH and a metre long cutting blade that rotates at tremendous speeds.
She’s a massive beast
But like most men with their new toys the novelty soon wore off and it became a chore.
Eureka, I spotted my eldest son kicking stones looking to earn some money for his holiday. Now Lewis is 14 and quite capable but I was a little fearful for my first born on top of this monster and took to giving him plenty of lessons and guidance on how to navigate the field, work the gears and understand the safety aspects at the same time showing him how to cut neat lines like my wife likes. I was determined to put all my training skills into practise to give him the very best education.
But then I realised that he just needed to have a go without me hovering over him. Just have a go and make mistakes and trust that he’ll sort it out himself.
It was difficult to wrench myself away and just let him drive the machine. Sometimes when coaching you just have to let go.
So next time you’re training or coaching someone, let go a little earlier than you would normally do and revel in the difference it makes to your coachee. Yes, be on hand to help, but let go of the helicopter approach to sales management.
Learn to let go.
And Lewis, how did he get on? A few wobbly moments, some decidedly skewed lines, some stalled engines, plenty of Mohican strips…but on the whole a great first month and with a little gentle feedback from me, he has begun to master the art of lawn cutting.
Next step – the hedge.