When you watch a good game on a Sunday afternoon, you know that the best team doesn’t always win. So many factors are in play on the field, but most teams are only as good as their coach.
When you’re operating your own company, you have to be the best coach possible for your team. I keep that in mind every day running my water and fire damage restoration business. Over the years, I’ve developed effective strategies that I believe are worth sharing.
How to Effectively Coach Your Team to Success
Being a good coach means wearing different hats – leader, mentor, counselor, and friend. Whether you’re directing an office staff or coordinating field crews, these techniques keep winning within everyone’s reach.
1. Give Your Team the Power
While you make it a point to hire qualified workers, they need to master the details unique to your business. Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, my employees help people who face extremely challenging situations such as flood damage. It’s up to me to empower my teams to do their best.
When you provide team members with specific skill sets, you make it easier for everyone to navigate their jobs. Even when the learning curve is steep, you save a lot of headaches in the long run by using your coaching talents to get employees off to a good start.
2. Invest in Individual Success
Valuable team members strive to make positive contributions to your business, so help them expand their opportunities for success. Take the time to really know each employee. Understand his or her strengths and weaknesses, and nurture individual talents.
As the people working for me gain confidence and take on more responsibilities, we formulate expectations for the company as a team. We’re all in this together, and we all benefit when the business grows. Coaching individuals is an investment that pays off for everyone.
3. Encourage Employee Cross-Training
One of my office staff members showed a real aptitude for working with insurance companies. She followed through on that ability, and now she’s our go-to bridge between adjusters and customers. An employee who can wear many hats can be one of your most valuable team players.
When several employees can trade responsibilities, their flexibility increases efficiency and productivity. This really comes in handy when my crews face multiple emergency jobs. Cross-training boosts confidence too, and that’s always good for business.
4. Know How to Handle the Hard Stuff
Balancing professional lives with taking care of our families can seem overwhelming. Sometimes, situations in the office or the field create conflict. You need to stay in tune with how team members handle the load.
As I coach someone on staff through a difficult situation, I listen carefully and stay open-minded. I consider empathy to be a big part of my leadership skill set and use it to help employees work things out. It isn’t easy to handle the hard stuff, but you can’t ignore it.
5. Cheer Them on When They’re Winning
People working for you know when your interest is genuine. Everyone takes pride in doing their best. We all appreciate being told that we’re measuring up. Compliment that new hire for catching on so quickly. Congratulate the team for a job well-done.
As you set important business goals, ask your employees for ideas. Make them a part of the celebrations when you surpass expectations. Playing on a winning team is much more satisfying when everyone knows that their efforts are sincerely appreciated.
6. Keep Working on Your Coaching Skills
Always look for ways to improve your coaching talents. When you believe you’re doing a good job communicating, ask for honest input. If you face tough feedback, reflect on it instead of jumping to conclusions.
Distill the things that complicate your efforts, identify changes you can make right now, and concentrate on overcoming your shortcomings. No two great coaches do everything the same way, but we’re all better at our jobs when we focus on self-improvement.
7. As a Woman, Recognize Your Advantages
It’s important to recognize that our differences from men work to our advantage. In my experience, women are adaptable in all kinds of professional settings. We listen, understand and empathize, and that helps us help our teams.
We’re competitive, we know how to multi-task, and we’re natural-born leaders. We’ve made enormous progress in executive positions, and we’re finally getting the notice we deserve in male-dominated industries. When it comes to effectively coaching our teams, we’ve leveled the playing field, and we are fearless.
At the End of the Day
The challenges of running a business never end, but I’m confident that my employees know they can count on me no matter what happens. When you give your teams 110 percent, you make their jobs easier, and that makes your role as coach easier too.
Personal satisfaction goes hand in hand with professional success. At the end of the day, everyone heads home knowing they’ve done their very best. As their coach, you know that you’ve played an important role in making it happen.
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