Think about the teams you are involved in.What roles do people on your team play?
What is your role on your team?
Whether we are looking at sports teams, cross functional teams or sales teams, there is a pecking order and certain roles that are filled by the individuals on the team. These roles are determined by personality, skills and industry experience.
Your team consists of a number of supporting people with different strengths and skills. You can look at your team comparing their degree of experience. They are at different levels in their careers from the Newbie who is just getting their feet on the ground and trying to figure it all out to the Veteran of many campaigns who has seen many things and also has seen many things change throughout their career when working at your company, a previous company or possibly their own company . There are all types of experience levels and skills possessed by the rest of the team.
There are people who are hitting and exceeding their numbers and expectations working their territories like super stars.There are the steady folks that make their numbers year after year but their territories seem stuck at a certain level. These are great supporting roles on the team and their expectations and visions of the future are more modest. Finally there are the stragglers. Those who are struggling with their territories, their customer and prospect conversations and their end results which are below expectations.
You are their coach, how do you approach each of them during your 1:1 and how do you coach each of these individuals? It is not one conversation that fits all. The best way to handle these type of coaching opportunities is to observe each of these individuals in the environment that they practice their skills, their craft. Make sure you know who and what you are dealing with.
Ask yourself these 5 questions when you are trying to identify where your team is at:
- How long have I observed this team member and is there a pattern in what they are doing? Is this a pattern that needs Nurturing or is it one that needs an intervention? Once you have done the evaluation, you will know who and what you are working with and more importantly, how to get this person to the next level of performance.
- Are you able to get all the people on your team to contribute from their experience level? How do you encourage this contribution and are you letting the voices of your team speak-really speak to one another? We already are talking about different experience levels. The Super Stars are wonderful for a team. We all need them but we also need those Steady Folks . A winning team can be made up of Steady Folks that all gel and come together so that the sum of the whole is greater than the contributions of the parts. It is difficult for a team to really excel with just one or two superstars. It is in the interaction between the team members at all levels that the team comes together. Together in a common Purpose.
- Is this Common Purpose clearly spelled out? During team meetings, in email correspondence, during I:1 meetings is this common Nobel Purpose repeated again and again. Some sports teams have a sign that the team must walk or run under just before they hit the court or the field. This is a reminder of their purpose. Of who they are as a team. This is a reminder of the Expectation. Repeat , Repeat Repeat. In sales, many times you need to repeat the same message on a number of occasions. Even if you are tired of saying it, repeat it again and it will sink in. Is parenting much different? Are you accepting your responsibilities as a parent and seeing it as a coaching opportunity with your children? For that matter, have you spelled out your family’s common purpose. This thinking is applicable in all we do in life. Think about volunteer boards that you are on. How can these ideas of the make up of this board be used to help the board to operate even more effectively?
- How are you developing your bench strength of your team? What are you doing to encourage the younger, less experienced team members to step up in a safe environment and learn and mature? Are these the future leaders of your industry? We owe it to the industry, to our company and to our team to continue to develop all of the people of the team to the level that they are aspiring to. How can we help them get this vision clear? How can we get them to 10X this vision once they see it. You then ask the questions during the 1:1 meeting ,skill development and career plan for each and every team member. How can you help coach all of your team to a higher level? How do you bring up levels of improvement needed and then make the team member accountable for these improvements. It takes work to lead and coach effectively. What worked 3 years ago may not be what works now. Things change, your industry has changed. Your team has changed. This is a dynamic process.
- What can you do to encourage the Experienced Veteran to help mentor the younger members of the team? These individuals have so much knowledge and experience. I have seen many times, this experience is not valued in our what have you done for me today society. When experience and knowledge walk out the door through organizational shakeups, mergers, offers of early retirement to get the highest paid team members off the payroll, the organization becomes less. This experience is so valuable and we as coaches need to make sure that we are fully utilizing this valuable resource . We need to tell our experienced team members that are on the final quarter of their career that they matter, that they can contribute . The idea of pay it forward comes to mind here. They are the role models who are showing other generations how to handle themselves as they move toward a greater maturity. Maybe they can’t run as fast as their younger team members but they have learned many things along the way that may not require them to run as fast. They have so much knowledge. We as coaches need to utilize this knowledge in helping to develop the rest of the team. These steady producers need to be recognized for the great resource that they are and shadowing such as joint sales calls together can help develop the next generation of leaders.
So again, I ask, what role do you play in your team? Are you a coach? Are you a tyrant? Do people feel you are just stressed and aren’t giving your full attention? Do conversations with you as a team leader feel trans-actual or are you truly present for each of your team members?
Coaches are not born, they work to improve on their skills. Our website is dedicated to Coaching Teams to the next level of performance. These teams make more money individually and for their companies. They are great than the sum of the parts. The goal of these team’s performance is to be legendary and they are proud to tell you that they make a difference.
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