Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More on Coaching

When was the last time you had a coach? Remember those days of hearing those words of encouragement? Or maybe, you're hearing the rant of coach who saw nothing but what you did wrong and needs you to fix it…NOW! Either way, that coach was doing whatever they needed to do to accomplish their job…to make you better. Sometimes those words made you feel great. Your hard work was paying off. Your coach was heaping the praise on you like never before. Other times however, you felt like you couldn't do anything right. The best coaches knew when they needed to offer the praise and when they needed to correct. And when they did, it would ignite something inside you that would make you want to reach deep within and do whatever was necessary to succeed.

When was the last time your manager made you feel that way? We constantly hear about all the things that make for a great leader. How they inspire, they're vision, you want to follow a great leader. But what makes a good manager? Your manager should be your coaches. They are there to inspire, encourage and correct individuals and to form a cohesive team that runs like clockwork. Coaching is not an easy job. You have to know what makes each individual on your team tick. You have to praise one and correct another. You have to know what their strengths and weaknesses are and where they best fit on your team. You have to be constantly aware of what's happening. Is everyone filling their role and are they filling that role correctly?

The coach has to have all of those leadership qualities we hear about. But they also have to manage the team. They know everyone's assignment and how it fits into the game plan. If someone isn't performing the coach is quick to correct. When things are running smoothly, the coach continues to encourage the team. If a team member is tiring (or burning out) the coach will substitute in someone else until that person is ready to go again.

It's a continual process for the coach. Feedback is given constantly. Imagine if the head coach of a Final Four team only sat down with each player once a year to discuss what they're doing right and where they needed to improve. There probably wouldn't be many more Final Four appearances. Yet, that's precisely what we see in business over and over. Ask yourself, are you giving your team constant feedback? Do you know where each person fits on the team? What motivates them? Their strengths and weaknesses? Teams function the same whether it's football, basketball, swimming, accounting, HR or IT. Each player has an assignment. Each assignment aligns with the overall game plan. And the coach puts it all together. The right people doing the right things at the right time for the right reasons. That's what creates champions. Is your team heading to the national championships this year?

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post Brett! You are so right about the day in/day out process that coaching is (and should be) vs. the once/year concept of performance reviews. Nicely said!