Dr Bev Smallwood

Articles Library: Coaching

How To Become an Effective Coach

Tom Peters said “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.”

Great managers must be great coaches. Like athletic coaches, organizational coaches win by developing a winning team.

I might mention, however, that the coach in a magnetic organization is not like the traditional athletic coach, who allegedly said, “Football develops courage and initiative. Now get out there and do exactly as I say.” No, the magnetic leader/coach is one who is able to see each member’s potential, developing and equipping each for his or her maximum contribution. The coach is skillful at such behaviors as team goal-setting, two-way communication, positive and negative feedback, performance problem discussions, and performance appraisals. (Other articles address these skills in detail.)

The goal is for the members of the team to assume more and more responsibility for people, for performance, and for progress. A great team coach, like a good parent, essentially “works out of a job.”

“What? I need a job! I don’t want to do that!”

Not to worry. As the team learns to function efficiently without extensive coaching interventions, the team leader’s job is more and more secure, for the high performance team is the mirror of the coach’s success. The team leader well understands the old proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Leadership is much more than position. It involves thousands of little daily actions that invite and encourage others to follow someplace worth going, and helps them understand the steps along the way.

Dr. Bev Smallwood is a psychologist and professional speaker who is the author of “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen to Me.” Visit her website, www.DrBevSmallwood.com; or contact Bev at 601.264.0890 or by email, Bev@DrBevSmallwood.com. Also connect with Bev on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and her blogs, Shrink Rap and New Morning Devotionals.

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