A great coach can make a difference in getting exceptional performance from an athlete.
With the Olympic Games just around the corner we can all take a lesson from the great athletes and coaches who will be heading for RIO.
Individual athletes have unique capabilities and skills that, when added to a solid training program, make their sports performance soar. To get employees to their peak levels, it’s helpful to mix their strengths with a defined development plan, and then work on those areas where they need to improve.
Athletes have goals just like employees. They know what is to be achieved. Working with their coaches, athletes consider their strengths and the capabilities they need to work on to achieve their goals. Together with their coach they build a development plan which they follow to get the desired results and achieve their goal.
Does this sound familiar?
It’s helpful to reflect on an athlete’s or employee’s capabilities. Be sure to note them at the beginning of the coaching process. What are they great at without trying? What comes naturally to them? Taking inventory of what makes an element of their performance exceptional is important. Building on core strengths is a key element in developing exceptional athletes as well as employees.
Having a great coach is equally important. If you look at the exceptional sports men and women around the world, you will find they have partnered with great coaches.
In the workplace we seem to have forgotten this key element. So let’s take a moment to focus on it. If we want exceptional performance from our teams then we need to be spending the time coaching them. Here are five steps to consider to maximise the potential in your employees.
Tell them and set goals. It seems so obvious, but people sometimes fail to explain to those they are managing just exactly what it is they wish them to accomplish. A manager must tell a person specifically what it is he or she is to achieve. All good performance begins with clear goals and an understanding of what is to be done.
Show them. It’s one thing to tell people what you want, but another to provide them with a clear picture or model of what or how to perform the task so take the time to show them.
Let them try. This is the step in which you give the ball to the employee and let him or her run with it. A wise manager will be careful not to let the trainee try to achieve too much initially. Frequently, you’ll find that beginners are naively enthusiastic. In their excitement, they will take on more than they can handle. This sets them up for an inevitable fall when things start to go wrong in the learning process and the learner becomes disillusioned with his or her progress.
Monitor. It’s necessary to monitor and observe beginners closely throughout the very early stages of development and for those taking on new responsibilities. Observing is one of the biggest problems in training. Here’s what frequently happens: The coach, also known as the manager, who is supposed to be supervising and directing, adopts a delegating style of management. The learner is set adrift to fend for himself or herself without supervision. The manager will be looking over the learner’s shoulder and will react only when something goes wrong. You can imagine the outcome. The manager lets rip and the poor learner, who has had no positive direction falls apart. With this type of training technique, all the manager achieves is to teach people how to avoid punishment, which is an unproductive skill.
Praise or Realign. The key to praising is progress. It isn’t necessary for a job to be absolutely perfect. The goal of a manager is ultimately to transfer the praising process from the manager to the learner. As employees get better and more adept at performing tasks, they should be able to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. The objective is to create mature, self-reliant achievers. Realigning is what a manager does when things go wrong. Remember, never punish a beginner or someone learning new responsibilities. A good manager-trainer will redirect the learner and have him or her try the task again. If a person has trouble successfully performing a job, he or she should be redirected to try and try again. If success is still not achieved, then it may be necessary to go back to the beginning and reset expectations.
Coaches in the sports arena are focused on the present. They stay focused on the goal and the capabilities needed to be successful. They focus on each individual member of their team, understanding their strengths and areas of development to get the best results.
Following the steps highlighted above should help you in building an exceptional team that can land on the podium this year!
Brownie Points are experts in helping maximise staff potential with recognition programs tailored to meet specific business requirements. To learn what we can do for your business give the team a call today on 03 9909 7411 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org