Some people – like Dilbert’s Boss – think “managing” is all about telling people what to do.
Others of us think of it more like “coaching.”
Here are some great ideas on “managing like a coach” from a recent Harvard Business Review article that uses a COACH acronym: Care, Organize, Align, Challenge, Help.
Care: Build Understanding and Trust. Trust is fundamental in relationships. Be honest and show you are worthy of that trust. If you begin by respecting others and showing them that you sincerely care, you are off to a strong start. And remember, you cannot fake sincerity.
Organize: Get People in Their Sweet Spot. Get to know your team and learn all about their natural talents. Consider using the Clifton StrengthsFinder instrument so everyone understands and appreciates one another’s strengths. As you get to know people better, you may shift some of their responsibilities. A team really rocks when everyone can utilize their natural talents.
Align: Unite People Around a Common Vision and Purpose. Regularly reminding yourself and your team of your Purpose and your future Vision is one of your most important responsibilities. Work can seem like drudgery sometimes as we run from a meeting to a phone call to a zoom check in and then you realize that your email In Box is out of control. We need to stop regularly to remember why we are doing this and where we are going.
Challenge: Summon People’s Best. Set Big Goals and encourage your team to give their very best! Make sure you tie the Goals to the Purpose and the Vision so there is meaning behind them. Lead the way! You really are like a Player-Coach.
Help: Solve Problems and Celebrate Success. You don’t need to have all of the answers to every problem. But you can facilitate creative problem solving. And – if the team needs resources – you need to be the champion for them and get those resources from your bigger bosses. And definitely take time to celebrate your successes!
Good luck using these ideas to sharpen your COACH skills and help lead your team to even greater Mission Impact.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: George, B. & Clayton, Z. “Successful Leaders Are Great Coaches,” Harvard Business Review online, October 6, 2022.