Be a Coach: Learn to Inspire Commitment. Part 2

Being clear

Employees may begin projects with great enthusiasm, only to become bogged down in collateral issues, personality conflicts, and other irrelevant and counter-productive matters. In these situations, personal interaction is the key. Meet with each staff member and clearly explain to them what their goals are. This type of “coaching” uses a similar reasoning as half-time and time-outs in sports: People who are imbued with a mission find it much easier to demonstrate commitment.

Having influence

Let employees contribute their ideas; make it clear that what they think does count. Seek their advice by asking, “How should we solve this problem?” “What have you tried before?” “Did it work?” This will allow them to contribute creative thoughts, and they will feel more committed to their work.

Being competent

Competence results from knowledge and confidence. If your employees have never been trained, they won’t have the knowledge to do their best work. Have a well-designed training program for every job in the club. Encourage employee confidence by making it clear that mistakes are part of the learning process, not a reason to go ballistic. Bring people along in baby steps, and applaud each small increment in improvement. As their knowledge and skills grow, so will their confidence, and therefore, their competence.

Feeling appreciated

People strive to be their best when they know it makes a difference to someone. Yet many times managers only seek out employees to point out something that is wrong. Many managers seem uncomfortable with simple expressions of appreciation, yet it is these sincere statements, spoken directly and without embellishment, that people cherish for years, long after the “motivational” corporate gift has been thrown out and forgotten.

As Kinlaw accurately states, “Coaching is an alternative to leading by control.” Since it’s ultimately impossible to control the behavior and the attitudes of your staff, inspire them to new heights of enthusiasm and performance by interacting with them on a personal level.

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