I firmly believe that to have a successful team, you first have to understand the individual players in detail… and then use your understanding of the players to forge a winning culture. But once you’ve taken the time to get to know each player, how do you get each individual begin to do something different, change their results and start moving in the right direction?
As the coach, it’s up to you to create the type of work environment in which each individual, and the team can grow and improve their results. That being said, how do you get your team to put the lessons you have taught them into action?
It sounds like a question for the ages right? It’s actually not as tough as it may seem… as long as you know the three keys to creating a positive difference and start moving things in an upward direction…
Key #1 – Communicate What You Want
If you were coaching a baseball team and your pitcher was struggling late in the game, would you go out to the mound and tell him how terrible he’s pitching? Or would tell him to throw strikes and let our defense take it from there? Have you ever known a manager who gets frustrated and rants about how their people “don’t get it?” When the results don’t come, these types of managers focus on what they are NOT getting from the team and not what they want, pure and simple.
Those manager’s who talk constantly to anyone who will listen that their people don’t have enough desire, they don’t focus, they’re the “wrong” people for the job, or maybe they’re just not that bright.
That kind of talk is a sure sign of a manager who is clearly communicating the wrong thing. They are communicating everything that people do wrong and pay no attention to any gains or growth that the employee has shown in the process.
More than likely, the problem here isn’t that your team has a learning disability. It’s far more likely that the coach of the team has a teaching disability.
We all try things that fail once in a while, but a great coach knows that the first step toward fixing team problems isn’t to blame the team or its players… but to build on some of the things we are doing correctly. The expand on and focus on the strengths of your team not the weaknesses.
Switch things up. Teach your lessons in smaller chunks or in a different environment. Sometimes you should even step out of the spotlight and let a team member who understands the subject matter teach it to their peers.
Great coaches stay focused on what they want, not on where the team falls short.
It’s an inner strength of great leaders… and one that goes a long way to building trust and credibility with your team
Key #2 – Your Ego is NOT Your Amigo
If you’re in a leadership position, you most likely got there because you have a combination of advanced skills, experience, and charisma. And you should be proud of that.
But when pride goes too far, it becomes ego – resulting in inflexibility, stubbornness, and a “my way or the highway” mentality that kills both morale and productivity. People who are truly secure and confident don’t need to prove they’re in charge, and they don’t make everything about themselves.
Strong coaches know that mistakes of the people they manage don’t mean that they’ve failed personally. They also don’t make the successes or failures of people on their team (or the team as a whole) all about themselves.
Once your team picks up on the fact that everything is about you (and they WILL pick up on it), you’ll lose them. They’ll either quit growing… or they’ll quit literally.
Instead, great coaches treat successes and failures pretty similarly. They assess both with an even keel. They find ways to repeat their successes, and ways to minimize or eliminate their failures.
A winning coach focuses on long-term sustainable success – not just the wins or losses of the day.
Remember that it’s all about the team, not you. When you make it more about you, you’re headed down a very slippery slope.
Key #3 – Create a “Safe Place” Atmosphere
When you mix several different people with different types of personalities together, sometimes there can be friction. But left unchecked, normal and occasional friction can turn into more damaging behavior like petty jealousy, personal attacks, and even bullying between team members. Needless to say, these kinds of behaviors destroy teams.
Great coaches create a “safe place” atmosphere for all members of their team by setting clear and unwavering rules about how ALL members of the team are expected to behave.
They make it clear that the team is expected to be supportive of each other at all times, and that rumors, jealousy, insults, and unconstructive criticism will not be tolerated on your team. A great coach must insist that all team members come together in times of crisis, not fall apart.
A winning coach will not only immediately correct behavior that isn’t conducive to helping and supporting each other, but also takes the opportunity to use any slip-ups as a learning experience by pointing out more constructive ways the team member could have dealt with the situation.
Your team’s “safe zone” should promote constructive feedback and encourage your team members to behave a step above “normal behavior” when things get busy or tough.
When you’ve created a team who understands and willingly participates in treating each other “better than normal”, you’re well on your way to building a team of champions.
If you are interested in learning how to get your team to take action join us at our Performance Coaching Summit by going to www.tisummit.com and signing up today.