Leadership vs Management Page 4Authors: Byron and Catherine Pulsifer, © 2016
Here you will find more common traits of a coach that you may want to consider as you are taking over a Manager position.
One of the most important traits a leader can have is inspiration. Do you have the ability to inspire people? You must paint a picture of the outcomes of the team goals. You must inspire people to give it all they have by using yourself as an example.
You have to have a passion for your work.
How can we expect people to be passionate if you, as their coach, do not have passion? Coaching has to visibly incorporate both passion and energy. One of the reasons why some coaches do not succeed is due to their lack of passion for the role.
Showing appreciation for a job well done can be a motivator in itself! You have to make sure recognition is given both at a team level and at an individual level. Expressing words of appreciation can be a powerful motivator. We all need to hear that our efforts are appreciated.
"The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
Do you involve people in your decisions? The power of the team in their collective knowledge and experience is greater than your knowledge alone. Being a good facilitator ensures that everyone contributes their special knowledge and expertise.
"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."
View change as an opportunity
Change is coming at all of us at a rapid pace. You must accept that change is inevitable. Rather than resisting the change, you look for opportunities and ways to make change work to the benefit of the team. As a coach, you have to remember that change in itself isnít a bad thing; the real issue, however, is that most people feel comfortable with how things have been done in the past.
They know what they have to do; they know when to do it; and they have mastered the skills necessary to complete their jobs. What all of this describes is what has been referred to one's "comfort zone." When you ask people to move forward with whatever change you are introducing, you are asking them to step out of their comfort zone to a place where the unknown is greater than the known.
As a coach, and not a manager, your role is to help others accept and adapt to change. Communicating the positives of the change will help people overcome their resistance. As well, if your team members need to adopt and adapt to new skills and techniques, you will need to reinforce that adequate training will be provided, and that some mistakes are inevitable. Employees need to know that there is time allotted to grow; and time allotted for readjusting to a new way of doing expected assignments and tasks.
Although, at times, coaches also need to communicate honestly if there are any negatives. Treat your team members as adults. Don't hesitate to inform them of the complete picture both good and bad.
Allows others to shine
You must ensure the spotlight is on your team. This recognition is publicly given.
Have a positive outlook
People need to hear the positive even when faced with negative situations. There is positive in everything although you may have to look for it, and communicate it to the team. While you need to be realistic, you also need to provide hope.
I once worked with a leader who only saw the negative. This leader also painted a doom and gloom picture. The morale of the people I worked with showed doom and gloom. I caught myself spreading the doom and gloom; it does rub off. I have also worked with leaders who have a positive outlook, and the morale is so much more uplifting. Even when faced with challenges, the people looked for solutions. The leader gave us hope and encouragement.
Needless to say, the leader who had the positive outlook didn't remain at the level they were at for long. The success of the team became that leader's success and successful leaders are promoted. Whereas, the doom and gloom leader, that I mentioned previously, is no longer around!
What Are People's Expectations of A Coach
We've talked previously about the role of the coach. Let's flip the viewpoint to the employee and find out the team members expect of a coach as opposed to a manager.
In talking with people, and from our own experiences, the following are expectations of the type of attitudes coaches should have.
A Genuine Interest in People
The best coaches really care about people. They have a sincere interest in people. And, people will soon know if you are just pretending to care about them as people and as employees.
Those coaches who have enthusiasm for what they are doing influence the rest of the team. As Walter Chrysler once said, "The real secret of success is enthusiasm."
Enthusiasm means more than being excited about positive results for the company. It means that you model the behavior you expect. That is also to say that you can't expect your team members to be conciliatory when you are not, or when you are occasionally.
You need to consistently demonstrate that while you may have to spend more time with one or two employees before they meet your team standards for performance, you are only reacting to their work performance and not to them as a person. In other words, you must show you accept the person but not the work performance.
Sense of Humor
We all enjoy working with someone who has a sense of humor. At times the workplace can become a stressful place, and a sense of humor lightens the environment. We agree with Konrad Lorenz comments of, "Humor and knowledge are the two great hopes of our culture."
Fairness and Integrity
One of the most important qualities people look for is fairness and integrity in a coach. When I know the way I am treated is the same as my co-worker, it brings cohesiveness to the team. There are no second class employees in the team. Everything is upfront and put on the table. There are no hidden agendas. Honesty is one of the important values of a coach. As a member of the team, I know that my coach and leader will not show favoritism to any one member of the team over another.
Willing to listen, not just hear
A good coach is one whom I can go to and discuss issues that are bothering me. The coach knows how to ask questions to get to the root of the problem. The coach does not necessarily accept the first reason; they listen and question to get to the heart of the problem. The coach does not get upset or "fly off the handle" as I am talking. They listen. They then help me to see the issue clearly or where I went wrong. They teach me to learn from my experiences and push me to find my own answers. There is no fear in admitting mistakes or what went wrong. The coach will help me identify a solution.
With changes to the working environment, it is extremely important that a good coach has a lot of patience. I know that if I don't understand something I can go to my coach and they will help me. I also know if I didn't get it the first time the coach will patiently re-explain the issue or process to me.
As a team member I need to know what is expected of me. A good coach communicates the expectations clearly. Every team member understands clearly what is expected. There is no confusion on what the end result needs to be.
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