Should you have a coach?

The New YorkerNew Yorker staff writer Atul Gawande is also a surgeon.  In the October 13th, 2011 issue, he makes the case for professional coaching in his article “Personal Best“.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Élite performers, researchers say, must engage in ‘deliberate practice’—sustained, mindful efforts to develop the full range of abilities that success requires. You have to work at what you’re not good at. In theory, people can do this themselves. But most people do not know where to start or how to proceed. Expertise, as the formula goes, requires going from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence and finally to unconscious competence. The coach provides the outside eyes and ears, and makes you aware of where you’re falling short. This is tricky. Human beings resist exposure and critique; our brains are well defended. So coaches use a variety of approaches—showing what other, respected colleagues do, for instance, or reviewing videos of the subject’s performance. The most common, however, is just conversation.”

We’re interested in hearing your experiences with having a coach or being a coach.  We’re also interested in your experiences with peer support, mentors and other collegial relationships.  How have you improved your performance or honed your craft?

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