Dr Bev Smallwood

Articles Library: Coaching

From Team Cop to Team Coach

The traditional manager role essentially involved “policing” employees to see that they were doing their job correctly. These managers saw themselves as having the responsibility to enforce the laws, and sometimes to make the laws. Their daily routine involved “patrolling the beat”, watching to see who was keeping the law and who was transgressing. They had the task of “catching the criminals” and then seeing that they were appropriately disciplined and/or punished for their “crimes.”

This “cop” role may be contrasted with the role of the coach.

1. Assumptions of the coach.

While cops assume that people will do wrong and are looking for examples of that, the coach brings different assumptions to the workplace. Here are the assumptions of a team coach.

  • All employees bring potential strengths and potentially valuable contributions to the team and organization.
  • All individuals have the right to be treated with respect.
  • All employees should be give the opportunity for personal development as a member of a team dedicated to the accomplishment of the organization’s goals.

2. Employee development activities of the coach.

The coach understands that employees have value and have strengths that will allow them to potentially contribute to the success of the organization. Therefore, he or she spends a significant amount of time developing the talents and strengths of employees. Here are some of the development activities of the coach.

  • Communicating organizational priorities and setting team and individual goals in line with organizational goals;
  • Getting to know each employee’s talents, strengths, personal values and goals, personality style, and areas for development;
  • Helping employees understand themselves and their roles in the organization;
  • Training employees in technical and interpersonal skills;
  • Ongoing development, guidance, and coaching.
  • Team building and team participation in process improvements, problem solving, and goal achievement;
  • Teaching;
  • Demonstrations;
  • Provision of opportunities to practice new skills and desired activities in line with philosophy and goals of the team;
  • Ongoing feedback on technical and interpersonal performance, including informal feedback, performance problem discussions, disciplinary discussions; and,
  • Performance appraisals, which are two-way discussions of past performance and as well as looking ahead to the future.

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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