How are you coaching your team?

How are you coaching your team?
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What kind of coach are you and how are you coaching your team?

“A good coach can change a game; a great coach can change a life.” – John Wooden

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them” – Timothy Gallwey.

I make use of the metaphor of a coach to explain the leadership needed in companies today since it is something that we all can easily relate to.  The above quote sums up the essence of the outcome you should desire when coaching or leading your team. 

If you want to address your team as their coach, you should check and make sure that your intentions are clear before you start.  Your core intention should always be to change the life of the person you are coaching.  If you don’t really care about the person you’re coaching, you will definitely not get through to them.  Coaching is not about the coach. It’s about the person…all of the person. As a coach, you are just the instrument purposed to assist the team member in achieving the level of performance that you know they are capable of producing.

As the coach, you should believe in the unlimited potential of everyone.  In coaching your team, you should also know what your ability is to lead them and what you need to change to be a great coach.

So what are some of the things that the team should expect from you when coaching your team?

Credentials:

In coaching your team, your team expects you to have a track record of success.  It includes technical sales knowledge, product or service knowledge and the proven ability to coach and lead.  The coach should have a hunger for knowledge and be continuously busy improving their skills.  Sharing this knowledge with the team and transferring it in a way that makes the individual and thus the organisation grow.

A training plan:

Your team expects you to have a training plan, customised to their individual needs and growth areas.  You need to clarify and set your expectations (in conjunction with the team member) for each activity for each individual.  If they know what the goal is, they will follow the lead and achieve accordingly.  Explain the plan and make sure everyone understands what every activity means and why they need to do it.

Motivation:

In coaching your team, you should be your team’s cheerleader as well.   But also the voice of reason when needed and always a positive influence.  The coach must be the first one to believe in the potential and to promote hope.  To show the way toward the ultimate goal of going to the world cup.

Support & Feedback

Support is all about mutual trust.  The coach must be honest even when the truth hurts, and hold you accountable for your actions.  But the coach must also be there to support you in difficult times, someone you can confide in and someone you will take a bullet for if need be.

Success:

Being the world cup champions is the success that every team strive to achieve.  The goal is, in essence, the definition of success.  If you don’t have this, you will probably never know if you achieved success or how far you are from obtaining it.  The core purpose of the coach is to guide the talent that they control towards living up to each individual’s unlimited potential to achieve success.  The expectation of your team is this; help us be successful.

What can you expect from your team members as the coach?

Feedback on experience:

For a coach to provide guidance and support, they need to get some feedback on how they are doing.  They need your input on how you are experiencing the training and activities.   They need you to tell them what is working for you and what not.  Reporting means using your CRM and reporting on the experience you have with customers.  From this feedback, they can assist you in becoming better. They can make some changes in the training program to emphasise the areas that need more practice.  The information will provide them with insight into your battles.

Hard Work:

Doing the training is a pre-requisite.  Working hard is essential.  No one is going to the world cup if you cheat on your training.  Cheating or not doing your part, is where you will lose the support of your coach and to be frank your teammates.  Your progress will be limited if you don’t do the work and commit to the program.

Respect:

The coach had the credentials to get the job and the knowledge to back it up.  If you don’t take the lead and respect the guidance, advice and suggestions given you, you will not experience the intended growth.  If you have a reasonable coach, they will be more than happy to explain, discuss and clarify their reasons for their actions.  Usually, they will also be open to alternatives.  But you must approach them with respect and show them your commitment to learning from their advice.

Reliability:

When you became part of the team, you were selected to join.   The selectors saw the potential in you to be a valued member of the team.  You had the potential to contribute to the success of the organisation, and you were perceived to be a reliable member.  They now expect the work to happen.   They trust you to contribute your share of the pie. 

When you are part of a team, you need not let them down.  By contributing positively, you will share in the success in the long run, and you will reap the rewards together. You are making not only the team more robust, but it will also take you closer to reaching your potential.

One-on-One interaction:

Go back to the drawing board, then evaluate, examine and learn.  Don’t take feedback personally.  Learn and improve is the aim of the exercise.

Trust in your coach’s experience and advise.  Know that you are in it together and that your success is also the success of the coach.  The coach is the leading member of the team, not the enemy.

Do you get lousy coaches?

Yes, you do.  A coach that doesn’t care about the team members he leads, in my opinion, is a lousy coach.  If a coach doesn’t address issues that affect either the team’s performance of the individual’s growth, then I also think you can call someone like that a lousy coach.

A coach needs to care and care a lot.

Do you get lousy team members?

Yes, you do.  Team members always late to practice, the ones that are not working their training programs and still blaming the system and the coach.  We all have been in a team with a member like this.  The end result is either they get replaced, or we lose the game due to this behaviour, or everyone ends up playing in a toxic environment.  Is this the type of teammate you want to be?  Do some self-analysis and make sure that you are the reason the team wins.

A teammate needs to care and care a lot.

Any team must have a mutual goal.  Each member must share a passion for achieving the goal. Please make sure you are the best coach you can be and if you are a member of the team, make sure you are the dependable one, scoring when you need to.

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