As my daughter swam in the state long course swim championships this recently, I thought about how her swim coach needs to train and develop her swimming talent just like a manager who needs to train and develop the talent on his team. After each race during the competition, he talked to her about what she did well and what to focus on for the next race. He makes training fun sometimes and more challenging at other times to push her to higher goals; and listens to her when she reaches a plateau and is frustrated from her lack of progress.
How good are you at coaching and developing employees? An excellent coach in any arena (business, sport, etc.) needs to be able to do the following:
- Ask questions to uncover roadblocks/solutions
- Believe people can get better
- Encourage them
- Hold people accountable
- Celebrate accomplishment
- Motivate higher levels of performance
- Know your people
If the talent on your team isn’t accomplishing what you believe them to be capable, have you determined what you need to do as their coach/boss to help them get there? Can you honestly look at the list above and say you consistently perform all of those behaviors for each team member?
As the leader, you need to be many things to many different personalities and what works for one person may not work for someone else. Maybe one person needs you to recognize them when they meet small goals. Perhaps another person just wants you to listen to them while they try to process the problem and discover the solution.
Learning the workstyle of yourself and your team through a DiSC® workshop will help illuminate better ways to communicate with each one, learn what is more important to them and identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Greater understanding leads to higher performance.
So take the time to learn about your team and each person’s workstyle and preferences. You’ll be developing talent and improving your ability to coach your team while increasing your team’s performance levels. Now, if only my daughter would listen to her swim coach so she could improve her performance!