How to Coach Your Team to Amazing Results

In today’s competitive work environment, the emphasis is on winning and teamwork. So it is little wonder that today’s managers often are referred to as coaches. Being a coach to your staff is crucial to the success of your department, and the organization as well.

As a manager or as a coach, your job includes evaluating the different talents and skills of all your employees and then using each person’s unique strengths to the advantage of the entire team. At the same time, you’re expected to motivate and inspire members and help them stay on track toward achieving team goals.

Remember that the most successful managers, like the most successful coaches, know how to breed success in others. They keep the team focused while building members’ confidence, commitment, and trust in themselves and each other. By following a few basic coaching techniques, you can become a better manager and simultaneously help your employees perform better, too.

Managers and coaches are both paid to get results—in other words, to win. To accomplish that, they have at their disposal three resources: time, money, and people. Since time is a limited resource for all of us and money for most of us, that leaves people. And believe it or not, every one of your employees offers an unlimited resource—despite his or her shortcomings.

The key of being a coach is learning how to tap into each resource and make the most of it:

  • You need your people more than they need you. Your time is limited; you can’t do everything. You need everyone’s help to achieve the team’s goals.
  • You get paid for what your people do … not what you do. Because your employees actually do the work, they are responsible for the team’s results and ultimately your paycheck! Again, remember, you couldn’t do the job without them.
  • Management means getting things done through others. It’s your job to lead as a manager or coach. Count on your team members to do the actual work. If you try to do too much yourself, or if you think only you can do it right, then you’re cheating yourself and your team. Furthermore, the team’s results will suffer because you’re spending precious time performing routine tasks that others should do.

These three facts alone should convince you to take on the role of coach—to invest your time and energy in developing your employees. No other investment you make will pay higher dividends.

But you may wonder if you have the ability and skills, as well as the right attitude to become a successful coach. Actually, anyone can learn to be a coach as long as he or she has the desire. One trend that has gained enormous popularity over the past few years is using the principles that guide successful college and professional athletic coaches to ultimate success through others.

The ten principles of teamwork, team-building and leadership are:  

  1. Clarity—a strong sense of direction and purpose
  2. Supportiveness—a willingness to stand with, and behind, team members
  3. Confidence-building—an ability to build and sustain the self-confidence of each team member
  4. Mutuality—a true partnership with members of the team
  5. Perspective—an ability to focus on the “big picture”
  6. Risk—a way of managing that reduces punishment for mistakes and instead encourages learning from them
  7. Patience—a realization that learning curves and business demands affect time schedules and performance
  8. Involvement—a commitment to allowing team members to control their own work
  9. Confidentiality—an ability to respect and protect “sensitive” information
  10. Respect—a commitment to value and appreciate each and every team member

Respecting individuals on your team is probably the biggest key to your success. No manager or coach ever has a “perfect” team. At times, you may find certain members to be unproductive, uncooperative, or just plain difficult. But if you take the time to get to know and understand all your team members and, more important, learn what motivates them, you will be well on your way to personal and professional success.

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