More than a decade of my life was spent coaching my children and their friends sports teams and youth groups. This started unwittingly; actually unwillingly; not realizing that saying ‘I might be open to helping a little bit’ would have me receive a roster and thank-you for volunteering to be head coach. No doubt a familiar scene for many others, this meant for the next 12 weeks my schedule would be dictated by planning and executing activities that helped my new cadre compete against their opposition.
After completing my first tour of coaching duty, I said I’d stay for ‘just one more’. But there was another, and then another, setting up the pattern that continued for teams with all of my children. Like other involved parents, I considered it my duty to contribute. In my mind I was the generous one, the families of my players benefitting from my gifts to them. I was wrong. I was the one who grew most from the experience, and continue to benefit from my 10+ years investment in others.
I am blessed. I frequently bump into young adults who smile when they see me and easily slip back to some moment years ago excitedly saying ‘remember when’ and launching into their version of their success. Out of the million little moments spent together, who knew they would become big deals? I feel lucky that I’ve had similar experiences professionally, both as the role as coach as well as the one being coached. The positive karma is equally strong in all cases, and each interaction reinforces how coaching is a vital part of building a strong, effective team.
We aren’t alone in our successes. They are the product of our efforts that were guided by advice and investment by others, be they labeled parents, colleagues, coaches, or mentors. Coaching is just one style of management that a leader must successfully employ in leading their business, yet I argue it is the most critical one for building high-performing, successful teams. This article defines five essentials skills that will help you develop your coaching skills so you can build your successful team.