Put Me In, Coach!

Sitting on the benchAs cliché as that title is I had to use it.  It conjures up the correct mindset for the blog. Since I have you picturing in your mind some time in the past when you were in pee wee football, t-ball, softball, volleyball you name it and you can recall looking to a coach and asking for playing time or just some attention.

In business, coaching takes on a different but similar approach and impact to your employees.  They are looking to you for mentoring and help to achieve the next job opportunity or project.  You, as the leader, have a responsibility to your team to make each one of your team members consistently better.

How do you do it???  “TOSS EM” the ball and let them run!

If you have read any of my prior blogs you know I’m a guy that likes to have a plan for things.  Sometimes it’s in a formula and sometimes in an acronym.  Mentoring and coaching come down to following a certain path with your team and helping them get to where you need to take them.  So, here is an acronym for you “TOSS EM”.

“T” – Trust.  It is the key to great coaching and it’s required.  If your team does not trust you nothing else will matter.  Building trust takes time.  Doing what you say you will do when you say you’ll do it.  Also, offering a certain level of transparency to your team so they’re able to clearly see your motives.

“O” – Open the door and release talent.  This simply means that as a great coach and leader, under most circumstances, you know that your team will operate better if they’re left to themselves to work through things with their own creativity and talents and not be micromanaged each step of the way.

“S” –  Status Quo must go.  Allowing things from the past and the “we always have done it that way” limit your creativity and output as a team or individual is a killer.  So, as a coach, you must make sure you remove any of those barriers that might be there and allow the team to move freely and creatively

“S” –  Simple Strategic Goals.  You must help the individuals set clear, easily definable and achievable goals.  Goals must be easy to measure and have accountability built into them.

“E” – Execution.   Execution of goals, plans and projects are critical.   Setting all the goals is great, but getting the work done correctly and on time is confidence to help the individual grow and want to take on more and more over time.

“M” – Make feedback a priority.  Slow down and listen.  The feedback I am talking about here is the individual and teams feedback to you, not yours to them.  You should be ready to listen to suggestions and be open minded to considering a change.  Once you have heard what the team needs to say then it is fair game to offer your own observations to help them as well.  Just don’t shut down their feedback or ever retaliate with feedback to them for what they said to you.  That will not only destroy feedback but it will destroy trust and any chance you have of being a successful coach.

Look out for your team and “TOSS EM” the ball.  Chances are they will run up the score for you.

Wishing you growth and success.


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