Coaching for Success: Good Managers are Good Coaches

December 10, 2014 | Michael Curran-Hays, Practice Leader, Kepner-Tregoe | HCI
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Good coaching principles can help run a sports team—and manage a production line, a project or an office team. Successful managers demand the best performance, while recognizing the current and emerging needs of their team.  They are the managers that people want to work with, running teams that function particularly well.

Use these coaching tactics to improve the success of your team:

  1. Clearly spell out requirements, standards for performance and what success looks for each team member and explain how everyone fits into the whole team and contributes to accomplishing the team’s mission.
  2. Insure your team members have adequate resources to do the job (tools, materials, time) and that everyone is free from competing demands.  Make it your job to eliminate task interference.
  3. Make sure that team members are trained in their respective positions. Each team member needs the knowledge and skills to get the job done. A good coach recognizes when a player is in trouble and refers players to the appropriate resources for assistance.
  4. Manage consequences by supporting and encouraging desired performance. A good coach takes steps to discourage, eliminate or modify undesired performance without a “carrot-and-stick” approach. No one questions the critical importance of consequences to the individual when safety is involved. Can organizations afford to accept less against other performance measures?
  5. Provide timely, accurate, relevant and specific feedback to each team member. This lets the team and individuals know how they are doing against their goals and where improvement is needed. Feedback is given on a constant, ongoing basis—not just after the big game. In business, managers need to give their players more than an annual performance appraisal. We all perform better if we know the score.

With a strong game plan—that’s supported by communicating the rules of the game, supplying the necessary equipment, providing appropriate trainers, setting up performance consequences and giving constant feedback—you can be a successful coach with a winning team.