Coaches, be boring.
Spend the time to know-really know-what you care about, what your language is, what the standards are…what’s this thing all about?
If you have a simple set of terms that work for you on and off the field, a glossary that everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if people have a variety of accents.
Coaches who say the same thing over and over, in a language that people understand are not boring, they are consistent and easy to play for.
And they often win.
The social media era we live in allows so much great, positive and useful sharing of knowledge.
It also allows us to regurgitate others’ ideas without thought of what WE think, and how this idea might impact OUR work.
I’ve resolving to stop simply “liking” or “sharing” quotes, concepts or articles I see online. It’s too easy and I’m not getting the most out of it, nor are my teams or others who pay attention to the things I post (if there is anyone on that list!?).
So, I will consider and at the very least comment on these things so that I gain insight into what I really care about, become more judicious in my sharing and most importantly, develop my own WHO and WHY more fully.
We don’t spend time on strategies when learning how to talk.
Mostly, as babies, we listen to the adults around us, we watch as they are communicating and we do the same.
There really is typically not in a how-to guide to communication for developing humans. But there should be for organizations.
Organizations and teams that spend time with specifics–who strategize about how they best communicate–can make themselves into more effective communicators.
Every organization needs their own how-to guide. AND, they need to revise and rewrite it regularly.
Does this org value top-down manuals that tell people what to do? Do you want completely open, everyone-can-say-anything systems? Some hybrid? Decide what you want it to look like, and not look like, and get to work building it.*
*the “it” can really be anything.
Compass or map, which is more important?
Is is the goal? The plan? Maybe the execution?
Which way is the way for you? Who gets to decide.
Think about how or who draws your map, and who calibrates your compass.
The English word COACH is deemed to have been derived from the coach that was pulled by horses decades ago. The town in Hungary that is credited with this invention was called Kocs.
So, the word as we use it in sports and other types of coaching is a metaphor for getting things or people from one place to another. This is the job of a coach.
There are skills involved, mostly really, really human skills like listening, planning, caring, listening (yes, again) and figuring out how to get people to work to make themselves a more highly functioning person, either on their own or in a group/team setting.
Those skills are often overlooked when considered alongside knowledge sets like “knowing the game”, strategy and sport tactics. This second group of things is important, but without the first it’s challenging to really grow people to help make the world a better place.
How will you move people along?
- Pour the foundation. What are you all about, Coach? ID your drivers, your values, the things that you insist upon, or wish you did.
- Frame it. Determine the language and lens that you’ll use to see the creation of the program and team. What are the critical pieces? There is no shame in asking your people here either. Get consensus, have great conversations.
- Get the tools in line & get everyone to agree on the floor plan. Determine what the finished product will look like if it’s great.
- Decorate. What’s this season’s slogan? Do you have a hashtag? A secret handshake? A goal that everyone can get in line with?
Number 1 is mostly driven by the leader. The head coach, the person at the top. YOU must have an idea of the central principles by which you’ll drive the program and from there you can, and should, include all of the important people.
Start there. Simple. Not easy.
When people don’t know what’s going on, they make something up.
Most are uncomfortable with the feeling, “I don’t know,” so they insert a story into the situation. It’s really a part of the human condition.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“She must just be a &#^&$ ,”, or “He’s just reacting to that thing that happened.”, or “I’m pretty sure that those guys are not the kind of guys we want to hang out with.”
Things go south QUICKLY on teams when things are not easy and communication is not valued. Or perhaps good “communication” is not defined well to be understood among the individuals, and so people have to make up stories to fill the gaps in understanding.
What if coaches made it their top priority to define great communication, display the standards through positive and negative examples and talked about it
Would that help?
Or, put another way, only people who believe are likely to be followed.
As a “leader” one must have the values and principles of the program or organization not just committed to memory, but embedded in the fiber of their being. They must get energy from these things, and thus will transmit energy to others in their world.
To believe you must know, and you must work to be sure that ALL of the people important to the organization also know; that they look through the lens of the values and speak the language of the principles and standards.
True belief in an action, even if the outcome it uncertain, is a mark of a real leader.
Checking boxes, feeling productive when you get thru a pile of emails that have no real impact on your work, taking a deep breath and being relieved when the “workday” is over…FEELS GREAT!
We often celebrate “getting %*&@#$ done” without assessing whether or not we are actually moving forward.
What if we spent more time considering the bedrock concepts that drive us and our business/team/operation? If we dug into the why, the reasons behind, the what-if-it-worked, we might have more impact.
Spend time working on the plans, working the process (sound familiar?) to create a great plan and the execution itself will be easier.
“Learning from the past” should not be a random thing. We should have a planning process, make and execute plans and look at them after they are executed. Ask, “What worked?”, and do more of that and less of what didn’t work.
When someone says they learned their lesson, it’s often simply because a thing didn’t work out, and not often enough because we took the time to review our plans and our actions.
Take time more often to learn–the good and the bad–intentionally.