Did you ever use a word so much that it actually had become routine? This was a word that had power when you first read about it and spoke about it but then…it became more routine.
For me, that word was Coach. I knew what a coach was in sports. I also knew what a coach was in business. It became my goal as a sales leader to coach my team to higher levels.
I will speak about the differences between a Manager and a Coach in a different Blog but this time I wanted to let you know about a knew look and meaning around this word that had become more routine for me.
My new view of this word can best be broken down by an anachronism C.O.A.C.H.
Let’s begin with C and this stands for Communication. The real essence of coaching your team is to communicate often and to repeat things that may not be understood the first time they are presented. Communication is important for your weekly 1:1 sessions so that you and your team member are on the same page. You can never over communicate. The biggest reason for people leaving a team and moving to another company is that they didn’t feel understood or fully appreciated. Let people on your team know that you value them . Communicate with them when and where they can improve and do this often on a consistent basis.
When we think of a successful team leader and coach, one of the things that comes to mine is Openness. The O in Coach defines this trait. Openness means that the team leader lets people on the team know what their strategy and thoughts are so that the team can have a shared vision . When a leader plays things too close to the vest, people begin to think they are hiding something or have some alternative agenda. When they are closed, they instill fear instead of understanding. A good coach has a openness about them which makes people feel comfortable.
Where is your team going? How can you get your team members and the team in general to operate at the next level? The A stands for Aim. Aiming for the next level for each person on the team and the performance of the team as a whole should be a goal of all good coaches. There are certain metrics in which we can judge our team. These metrics depend on what your team does. In he case of the team that I coach, we are a sales team and so our metrics have to do with Sales Pipeline (new projects) , Successful Sales Completion of New Business, Managing Sales Territories and measuring success versus the year before and against the budget that has been submitted, Profitability…the list goes on but you get and understand that we are measuring our performance individually and as a team. How can you get your individual team members to operate at at the next level? What is your vision, as the coach for the team to reach the next level? How can you communicate this vision to your team?
How important are shared goals within a team? I think they are really the glue that keep the team moving forward. Common Goals are the next thing that is critical for a teams success. It is the C that we look for in successful teams. If you ask each individual on your team whether it is a sports team striving for a championship, or a Customer Satisfaction Associate with a goal of 100% customer satisfaction and the empowerment to make this happen, the goal should be known and in front of everyone on this team. Shared Common Goals are what binds people together. Families are no different. When was the last time you had some conversation with your spouse or partner about where you are going as a couple? If there are children involved, can they tell you what there understanding is of where the family is going? If you are leading your team and coaching your kids, they should have a good idea of this.
H is for Higher Purpose.What would a team be if they did not know their Higher Purpose ? It is the Higher Purpose that helps a team move through challenging times. Life isn’t always smooth. Personally, there have been many bumps and twists and turns in the road that I have traveled. Life also doesn’t come with a rule book. As a sales professional, I have experienced many set backs and have been knocked down a number of times. Remember, it is not how many times you get knocked down that matters, it is how many times you get back up off the mat, shake the dirt off and move forward. What keeps you getting up is a Higher Purpose. Teams also have a Higher Purpose. They have a share vision of why they are doing what they are doing. This isn’t about bringing home a pay check. Do not get me wrong, that paycheck is important to support you and your loved ones but I am talking about a Higher Purpose of how what you are doing has a positive impact on others. This positive impact may be to your customers, to your community and ultimately to the planet. This is getting heady so let me break it down for you a little bit. Our team is in the food ingredient business. We believe that we can help feed the world by showing other Food Scientists and Product Development Professionals new ingredients that are healthier, more nutritious, and more environmentally friendly for our planet by being renewable. We believe in the insertion of plant proteins into more people’s diets. We believe that companies on this track will help feed the planet with healthy foods. They will be Hero’s and that is our team’s Higher Purpose. Ask each of our team members what this Higher Purpose is and they will give you,in their own words, a version of this Higher Purpose. What is your team’s Higher Purpose?
How can we help you C,O.A.C.H. better? This is a process. A journey begins with the first step. If you like this ,pass it on to others in your company. If you would like to read more about these ideas, check out Oars Forward -Our Website . We have a number of free products and information to help you coach your team to their next level.
I would love to hear from you and talk about coaching your team. If you are interested in a course on Developing Your Team’s Higher Purpose you can check it out Here .
Until our next visit , I wish you all Good Coaching and Good Leadership.