Managing is Like Coaching

Management is like coaching. Coaches do many things, but let’s focus on a few key elements of coaching that parallels managing. These should sound very familiar to us as managers.

  • The coach defines what success means for the team. Individuals contribute to that team success. Winning the world championship is likely not appropriate for every team. Different teams and players are at different stages. But, it is critically important to focus the team on the overall goal.
  • The coach recruits and selects the best team personnel possible.
  • The coach understands the strengths and weaknesses of each player and the team overall. He communicates that information to each player and focuses them on where they need to improve to help the team. And, he articulates each player’s role in the overall success of the team. It’s an honest, two-way discussion. The element of listening is key piece of generating buy-in. The discussions can be difficult. But, a good coach knows his success is dependent on the team’s success, so he has the tough conversations. Likewise, the coach acknowledges and rewards both the team and the players when they’ve done well together and achieved a tough goal.
  • The coach prepares the practice plan that will help develop the players and team. And, that plan is repeated day after day to ingrain the competency into their natural reactions. The players don’t need to think about what they need to do on game-day, it’s instinctive. They already know what to do.
  • Leading up to game-day, the coach tailors the practice sessions for the upcoming competitor – taking advantage of his team’s strengths and his competitor’s weaknesses.
  • On game-day, the coach puts the best team on the field – not necessarily the best players.

REMEMBER: The coach does is not on the field themselves playing – the players are. Are you PLAYING or COACHING?

As managers, our success is wholly dependent on the success of our team. We are coaches and it is in our best interest to learn coaching techniques to improve our performance.

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