Coaching the Social Business Game


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Dave Buck, coaching maven and Coachville CEO, who is also a soccer coach, has a gift for applying insights and approaches from coaching games in the sporting arena to other areas such as life or business coaching.

I admit that there was a time when I thought  the idea of applying the principles of coaching for sport to coaching in other areas was  interesting enough, but not compelling enough for me to try and apply it in any systematic way in my own coaching.

Then early last year I decided to get out of my comfort zone and undertake a Coachville Business Academy course Dave Buck was running, called Coach the Game – the Spirit of Play.

Benefits of the course included:

  • Understanding the important distinction between focus on outcomes vs. mastery
  • Recognizing how to organize practices and projects into a game worth playing

At the outset of the course we were given the task of identifying a game we wanted to coach. It had to be a game we had played: one thing Dave Buck is quite insistent on is that we can only coach effectively the games we’ve played.

I chose to work on social media for business.

Admittedly that was a challenge at first. Social media for business as a game? Surely social media in the business context was a serious subject, not readily considered as a game?

Well, I’d gone into this with my eyes open. This was a Coachville program and Coachville these days has as its motto “Reinventing Coaching with the Spirit of Play”.

I decided to go with the flow. Actually not a bad approach when thinking about games.

It opened up a lot of fresh thinking for me.  And the possibility of a fresh way to help business people in enterprises, large and small, become not just effective in the social space, but masterful.

Now a year and a bit down the track, having had my previous attitudes shaken up by Coach Dave and having begun to look at social media in a broader context of “social business”, I have now developed a mentor coaching program for the game of social business. Watch this space! :)

For anyone who might be interested in the concept, I have a short, heavily bullet-pointed document available for free download – see Coaching the Social Business Game: an Introduction.

As the mentor coaching program is still in (the final stages of) development and as I have now committed to launching it before the end of this month, I’m particularly keen to get feedback on the idea, including questions and suggestions. Do you have a thought or three on the subject that you’d like to share?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Des Walsh
Des Walsh is an executive leadership coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn expert. He is passionate about sharing his understanding of the benefits of social media in a way that makes good sense for business.


  1. Hi Des,

    Great to hear your experience in applying the sports coaching philosophy to business. When you said that at first the idea was “interesting enough, but not compelling ” that rang very true. Most of my potential clients (I do product development coaching and consulting) would rather wait until they need a troubleshooter than get a coach earlier on. Somehow it makes a much more compelling case when you are already hurting.

    I did a survey recently and on the question “how often would you get a project health check done by an independent consultant” the majority answered “at every milestone”. Wishful thinking, lip-service or business opportunity? Time will tell.

    I wish you success with your mentor coaching and love to hear more in the future.



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