When I started my career back in 1974, the employer’s attitude was, “Do the work and if you need encouragement or feedback (actually that word didn’t exist then) go ask your mother.”
I didn’t really like that approach as I’ve always been a relational person. Obviously, things have changed, and if you want people to stick around, you’re going to have to learn how to be a coach. Here are some practical suggestions for you:
Stop thinking of yourself as a manager and start thinking of yourself as a coach
This is a mindset shift. Managers think mostly about systems and processes, and then worry about how to get the people ‘on board.’ Coaches spend most of their time thinking about people, and then how they’ll achieve the results.
Coaching is not something you DO. ‘Coach’ is who you must become.
In your mind, make that your new title. You’re now Coach Angela, or Coach Ethan or Coach Amanda, or Coach Liam. Put it on your nametag. Think differently than you have before.
The more you invest, the more you’ll get
Your people will produce in direct relationship to the amount of time and care you invest in them. Think of team members with the same care and attention you give to your customer. If a customer has a problem, the train stops. If your team member has trouble, take their problems seriously. Treat your team members like gold and they’ll automatically treat your customers like gold.
What you’ll care about at the end of your life is the relationships you built, not the productivity you achieved
As you get older, you’ll see (if you’re wise) that what matters in life is our relationships. When my great dad laid in hospice before he died, I asked him what he was most proud of as he looked back on his life, excluding his family. Why risk not making the list? 😊
His reply: all the wonderful relationships I built that I look back on.
Of course we have a job to do and we have to be productive. But productivity is best achieved in the context of warm, supportive relationships, and we grow best when someone is cheering, correcting, training, and advising us. In short, being our coach.
Get busy. You’re in the relationships business!
Getting ahead is about getting started!