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Coaching Is Just Management Sped Up

Coaching is just management sped upWhen you coach you have to take in feedback and make decisions affecting other people in real time. You say one thing in the wrong tone and your team is turned off. Trust is lost. You have to be extremely careful in how you treat them at first, once you have trust though, it’s much easier to get them to buy-in to your system.

When you manage people in a business situation it’s very similar to a sports game with some obvious differences. The decisions you make as a manager will affect how your staff (team) view you in the future. If you’re a demanding asshole most of the time, your staff doesn’t have many reason to stick their neck out for you or really do the right thing for the company.

When you’re coaching you don’t have weeks to get things done, you have minutes. Generally you coach youth or kids much younger than you, who are less mature than you. You’re forced to abide by the nobler motive, you can’t argue, name call or act childish under any circumstance for fear of losing the trust of the team.

You see managers all the time who’ve lost the trust of their team. I like to ask managers what their staff would say about them behind their backs after several cocktails. If the answer is “not good” we have work to do. You can’t manage in a bubble, people talk, your reputation precedes you. It’s all to common these days to find disengaged staff and a leader who is completely delusional. It’s sad really.

I think the business community could learn a lot from coaches, especially management. Do you want to become a better manager? How about a better leader? Try coaching a team. You think motivation in the workplace is difficult, try convincing a bunch of 10 year olds to pay attention long enough to learn about Volleyball, that’s difficult.

Coaching forces you to be a leader, you get better by default. The more you try to learn to be a better coach, the better leader you end up being.

Coaching is the one area where the athletes provide instant feedback, you can look at the faces of most athletes and tell if they are enjoying practice or loathing it. That is a skill all on it own, I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning.

How To Get People To Not Share Their Ideas With You

(dont)Poke the bear

Tell them they’re wrong. Tell them you have a better idea. Back up your idea with some made up evidence based on opinion. Make sure they know you’re smarter about whatever topic you’re talking about. That’ll work! That person will never want to share an idea with you again.

Every time you shut down someone’s idea it’s like poking a bear. Sure you can get away with it the first time and maybe the second, but sooner or later if you keep poking, the bear is going to eat you.

Don’t strive to be “right” in conversations, that’s your ego coming through. Be confident in yourself, so confident in fact that you let others be right. Then more and more you’ll find others wanting to share their ideas with you.

6 Parables of Business Strategy

beautiful women

I found these a while back, I didn’t write them but they are gems of business advice.

Parable 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, “Who was that?”
“It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies.
“Great!” the husband says, “did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”

Moral of the story :

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Parable 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak” Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129 It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

Moral of the story:

If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Parable 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”Puff! She’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.”

Puff! He’s gone.

“OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Parable 4:
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him,

Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”
The eagle answered: “Sure , why not.”
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high > >> up.

Parable 5:
A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the
energy.”
“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

Parable 6:
A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying
there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to
realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep , it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

The New Generation

I consider myself a part of “the new” generation.

Tell us to go somewhere and we won’t go.

Tell us to watch something and we’ll turn off the TV.

Tell us to wear something and we’ll choose to go naked.

Tell us to do it your way and we’ll find a better way.

Tell us to be a part of something and we’ll avoid it with all costs.

Tell us we can make more money doing it your way and we’ll go volunteer somewhere else.

Tell us “this is the norm” and we’ll disagree, we have our own norm.

Tell us to believe in something and we’ll make up our own belief’s, because we can.

Give us the opportunity to be innovative and creative, and we’ll surprise you every time with what we can do.

How are you managing the new generation; by telling or by giving?

Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson

A Cinderella Story

A good friend of mine’s Father taught at the University of Regina, Al Derges was one of the best professors, ever.  You can even see for yourself here, an almost perfect rating on RateMyProffesors.com.  My time spent at University had very few memorable classes to say the least, but Al had more than one exceptional class and this one had some significance for me recently.

Pygmalian in Management was a Harvard Business Review article we were to read and write a response to.  It’s a great story and I encourage you to read it but the moral is “a manager’s expectations are the key to a subordinate’s performance and development.”

What we expect out of people is usually what we get.

I coach volleyball, high school senior boys.  When I go into a season I expect the best from them, nothing less.  This year we began the season with only one returning player, so we were a very young team, if not the youngest in the league.  Rebuilding year everyone thought, I’m sure even some of the players had thought that as well, but not the coaches.  The head coach and I decided that we were going to set goals as a team this year and expect nothing less but 105% of effort to get there.

Our season was far from perfect, finishing fourth place over all, we went into quarter finals as slightly favored to win, we did.  Semi finals we were under dogs, we won.  Finally we made it to the city final, fourth place up against the first place team.  The team knew what us coaches expected out of them even though we were a long shot to win.

On the back of our team room, sticky tact to the door resides a piece of paper stating our goals, one of which was to win city finals.  We did.  Even losing the first set and coming back from a deficit of six to one in the final set, our expectation of the team to do better than anyone else would expect won us a championship.  I don’t take credit for the win and it probably was a host of other reason WHY we won but I am positive that we never would have got anywhere if we didn’t have such high expectations of the team.

The next time your staff underperforms or you’re looking at how to motivate someone, maybe try inspiring them to outperform with an unbelievably high expectation.