It's not about me, it's about you. Coaching lessons from Pharrell

OK, I admit it: I love The Voice on NBC, and clearly I'm not alone. Sure, there's some amazing vocal talent on display − in my opinion, the 'Finale' shows are better than the Grammys − but for me it's really all about the coaches.

I love watching Pharrell Williams coach his team. I've never met him, so I don't know for sure, but it seems that it's not really about winning for him. Watching Pharrell over the season, he seems to have that rare capacity to put his ego aside, and focus on empowering his protégés to live into their potential. The following three things really struck me about his coaching style − three things we could maybe all use as a reminder as we work with trainees, employees, or even our own kids for that matter. 

  1. Back your people. Show them you believe in them, talk about how great they are − out loud − to people who matter, and let them hear you. This builds their self confidence that they can continue to do great things, and shows them they have your support, 100%. 
  2. Challenge them to live into their potential. Help them dream bigger, − scary big − then challenge them to live into those dreams. Inspire them to work their socks off, confident in the knowledge that you are there for them with every single step. 
  3. Support, don't judge. Pharrell loves to push his team, but he refuses to compare them with others. For him, it's not about better or worse, it's about individuality and helping each of his team fulfill their own unique potential to ultimately become the best that only they can be.