Digital information bombarding you from every angle?
There’s a new book, new podcast, new video, new newsletter released every 20 seconds. Each one has the promise to make us better at what we do. Our screens offer an endless stream. Our bookshelves swell. Our desks flow over.
It’s enough to make a sane coach dive under the bed and hide.
But there is a trick you can use to keep the overwhelm at bay.
How To Find Gold When You’re An Overwhelmed Coach
In the mid 1800s, Americans by the thousands went west to California, searching for gold. They’d arrive, and dig anywhere.
Few actually struck gold. Most went broke, limped back home, or died in their efforts.
Despite all the excitement of that gold rush there was a trail of human disappointment, tears and waste.
The thing is, there WAS gold under those California mountains. And if you knew exactly how and where to dig, you could find it.
The information tidal wave hitting us today is our new gold rush. And like the gold miners of old, if you know how and where to dig, you can find the golden information you need. But if you don’t know, you’ll be spinning your wheels when you can least afford it.
Gold Mine Learning
The sheer amount of information produced, and the attractive ways it’s marketed, makes it easy to get overwhelmed. Which makes its hard to know how and where to find your gold.
There is a way. I call it “gold mine learning” and it goes like this:
- Know exactly what you are looking for. Identify the important issue facing you right NOW. Chunk it down to the true problem, stripping the emotions away
- Determine where to find it. What source will be best considering the problem? Where is the answer (Wikipedia, book, peer, boss)?
- Dig. Dig. Dig. Stay focused, avoid being sidetracked
- Make a map. Record the problem-chunk and the solution. Make it easily available for future reference
Last week I had to do research for a task force I’m serving on. The information I needed (the social media policies at certain schools) was buried deep in web page after web page. It was a time suck that could have taken weeks. I took a breath. I know what I was digging for, but just not where to dig.
Determining where to dig, I looked if I knew anyone who worked at the school. In 70% of the schools I did. I wrote them an email asking for their help. Some sent me exactly what I needed, and the others pointed me to the place to look.
I use this system of gold mining all the time, and it helps me be a better coach.
Actions You Should Take
Could gold mine learning help you? Possibly — give it a try. Here’s a nudge:
- Identify one issue that you think will be a coaching problem this week. Pretend it’s an athlete who cannot master a basic skill. What would a solution look like (a new drill)?
- Determine where to find a solution (a peer coach)
- Ask him/her for help.
- When you get a solution, take action and try it.
- Follow up with your info-source, and thank them. (That way if you get stuck again, you’ve mapped a way for future gold.)
The overwhelm we face is one reason why I’m writing short, specific ebooks, like Build Your Team. And another reason why I like to share with you the gold that I’ve learned.
And if you’re generally overwhelmed and stressed you might find this post from friend Pamela Wilson helpful How to Find Calm in the Chaos and Dedicate Time to Your Priority Tasks.
If you found value in this, I’d appreciate a share. And here’s to your week of coaching. May it be a golden one!