Why Coaching is the Way to Go in Team Management


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When you hear the word “coach”, what comes first into your mind? Do you picture a basketball team with a man/woman shouting out directions? Or perhaps a football team with a man/woman pacing to and fro and calling out the names of the players?

Coaching is no longer reserved to sports teams; it is now one of the key concepts in leadership and management. Why is coaching popular?

1. Coaching levels the playing field.

Coaching is one of the six emotional leadership styles proposed by Daniel Goleman. Moreover, it is a behavior or role that leaders enforce in the context of situational leadership. As a leadership style, coaching is used when the members of a group or team are competent and motivated, but do not have an idea of the long-term goals of an organization. This involves two levels of coaching: team and individual. Team coaching makes members work together. In a group of individuals, not everyone may have nor share the same level of competence and commitment to a goal. A group may be a mix of highly competent and moderately competent members with varying levels of commitment. These differences can cause friction among the members. The coaching leader helps the members level their expectations. Also, the coaching leader manages differing perspectives so that the common goal succeeds over personal goals and interests. In a big organization, leaders need to align the staffs’ personal values and goals with that of the organization so that long-term directions can be pursued.

2. Coaching builds up confidence and competence.

Individual coaching is an example of situational leadership at work. It aims to mentor one-on-one building up the confidence of members by affirming good performance during regular feedbacks; and increase competence by helping the member assess his/her strengths and weaknesses towards career planning and professional development. Depending on the individual’s level of competence and commitment, a leader may exercise more coaching behavior for the less-experienced members. Usually, this happens in the case of new staffs. The direct supervisor gives more defined tasks and holds regular feedbacks for the new staff, and gradually lessens the amount of coaching, directing, and supporting roles to favor delegating as competence and confidence increase.

3. Coaching promotes individual and team excellence.

Excellence is a product of habitual good practice. The regularity of meetings and constructive feedback is important in establishing habits. Members catch the habit of constantly assessing themselves for their strengths and areas for improvement that they themselves perceive what knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to acquire to attain team goals. In the process, they attain individually excellence as well. An example is in the case of a musical orchestra: each member plays a different instrument. In order to achieve harmony of music from the different instrument, members will polish their part in the piece, aside from practicing as an ensemble. Consequently, they improve individually as an instrument player.

4. Coaching develops high commitment to common goals.

A coaching leader balances the attainment of immediate targets with long-term goals towards the vision of an organization. As mentioned earlier, with the alignment of personal goals with organizational or team goals, personal interests are kept in check. By constantly communicating the vision through formal and informal conversations, the members are inspired and motivated. Setting short-term team goals aligned with organizational goals; and making an action plan to attain these goals can help sustain the increased motivation and commitment to common goals of the members.

5. Coaching produces valuable leaders.

Leadership by example is important in coaching. A coaching leader loses credibility when he/she cannot practice what he/she preaches. This means that a coaching leader should be well organized, highly competent is his/her field, communicates openly and encourages feedback, and has a clear idea of the organization’s vision-mission-goals. By vicarious and purposive learning, members catch the same good practices and attitudes from the coaching leader, turning them into coaching leaders themselves. If a member experiences good coaching, he/she is most likely to do the same things when entrusted with formal leadership roles.

Some words of caution though: coaching is just one of the styles of leadership. It can be done in combination with the other five emotional leadership styles depending on the profile of the emerging team. Moreover, coaching as a leadership style requires that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit most of the time since it involves two levels of coaching: individual and team. Your members expect you to be the last one to give up or bail out in any situation especially during times of crises. A coaching leader must be conscious that coaching entails investing time on each individual, and on the whole team. Moreover, that the responsibilities are greater since while you are coaching members, you are also developing future coaches as well.

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Manage your stress


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1. Acknowledge stress is good

Make stress your friend! Based on the body’s natural “fight or flight” response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right moment. I’ve yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big competition. Use stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most.

2. Avoid stress sneezers

Stressed people sneeze stress germs indiscriminately and before you know it, you are infected too!
Protect yourself by recognizing stress in others and limiting your contact with them. Or if you’ve got the inclination, play stress doctor and teach them how to better manage themselves.

3. Learn from the best

When people around are losing their head, who keeps calm? What are they doing differently? What is their attitude? What language do they use? Are they trained and experienced?
Figure it out from afar or sit them down for a chat. Learn from the best stress managers and copy what they do.

4. Practice socially acceptable heavy breathing

This is something I’ve learned from a gym instructor: You can trick your body into relaxing by using heavy breathing. Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down, your sweaty palms dry off and things start to feel more normal.

5. Give stressy thoughts the red light

It is possible to tangle yourself up in a stress knot all by yourself. “If this happens, then that might happen and then we’re all up the creek!” Most of these things never happen, so why waste all that energy worrying needlessly? Give stress thought-trains the red light and stop them in their tracks. Okay so it might go wrong – how likely is that, and what can you do to prevent it?

6. Know your trigger points and hot spots

Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines…. My heart rate is cranking up just writing these down! Make your own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it only presentations to a certain audience that get you worked up? Does one project cause more stress than another? Did you drink too much coffee?
Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, as you can take action to make it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do you need to switch to decaf?

7. Burn the candle at one end

Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise wreaks havoc on our body and mind. Kind of obvious, but worth mentioning as it’s often ignored as a stress management technique. Listen to your mother and don’t burn the candle at both ends!
So having stress can be a total drag, but that should not hinder us to find the inner peace of mind that we have wanted for a long time. In any case, one could always go to the Bahamas and bask under the summer sun.

Creating Effective and Efficient Relationships


Relationships of all kinds are often perceived as very delicate things, that require extra effort to maintain. However, a relationship can also be something that can provide security and can also be long lasting despite many trials. Building an effective and lasting relationships is a necessity for several reasons. For example in a group or organization, the well being of the people depends on how efficient and effective that group or organization works. The group or organization is also dependent on how the members work well with the management. An ineffective group or organization can really be very frustrating. An effective group or organization can also ask so much on their members, that sometimes the members would be having no life outside the walls of the area where they work or sacrifice the other aspects of their life just to meet deadlines. For an organization or group with this kind of scenario, relationships can be stressed or suffer from breakdown.

People or other entities who depend on these groups or organization also suffer.

Society is defined as a web of relationships, which requires all parties to work and contribute their share in order to achieve a common goal. Having a relationship that is good, where cooperation and respect are manifested, can make society work better. In this way each member works for the good of the whole and towards achieving a common goal. This can only be attained with effective and efficient relationships. Understanding the other parties’ feeling and position creates an effective and efficient relationship. The easiest method to understand what is important to another party is to ask them what they want and listen to what they have to say. When the other party realizes this, they would feel the importance given to them. Effective and efficient relationships require parties to openly express their feelings and positions on all matters pertinent on the relationship. Assuming that the other party understands our needs and give us when we need it without asking for it is not a good practice.

Respect is the key to relationship. In order to create a more effective relationship, parties should treat each other with respect. We can show respect just by listening to the other party and by trying sincerely to understand how they function. You can also show respect to other parties by confirming that they are doing everything they can. The opposite of respect is quick forming of judgements based on unfounded facts and prejudice.

Respect is the very foundation for a great relationship. This also means respecting yourself and respecting others.

Another key area in forming an effective relationship is to tackle differences of the other party directly. Differences between parties or people are quite interesting. For example in a conversation where each party listens to the other party, you may observe that each is having two different perspectives.

Work towards a win-win solution for both parties.

This can be done when at least one party acknowledges that the relationship is important. That party would then exert more time, effort and energy to understand the other party’s needs and deal with it to get it out of the way. Should they fail, it is comforting for that party to know that they tried. Effectively listening and no pre-judging. This is important if parties are to understand each other. Informal discussions are conducive for parties. They bring out issues and concerns comfortably. They also feel more relaxed making them think more clearly.

Developing an atmosphere where the other party can express their feelings when they need to.

When parties fail to express whatever is on their mind or their feelings, it can get in the way of building an effective relationship. Parties should be aware that certain things exist naturally but should be controlled in any dealings in any relationship. Human nature is one. Some of these things found in a relationship also include a history of stereotyping or mistrust, blaming the other person or party for a strained relationship, excluding the other party’s feelings when focusing on a task, no clear and defined objectives, roles and expectations of each party in a relationship is also unclear.

Relationships are important to anyone, addressing issues and problems right away is a must to further improve the relationship. As they say ‘No man is an Island’.

Self Improvement – Leader and Leadership


Most people are content just to stand around listening for orders. And it isn’t unusual to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. But maybe, somewhere inside of you, you feel the desire to make things happen – to be the head, not the tail. Then maybe leadership just suits you fine. Some people believe that great leaders are made, not born. Yes, it may be true that some people are born with natural talents. However, without practice, without drive, without enthusiasm, and without experience, there can be no true development in leadership.

You must also remember that good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their natural skills. This takes a commitment to constantly improve in whatever endeavor a person chooses. First of all, let’s define leadership. To be a leader, one must be able to influence others to accomplish a goal, or an objective. He contributes to the organization and cohesion of a group. Contrary to what most people believe, leadership is not about power. It is not about harassing people or driving them using fear. It is about encouraging others towards the goal of the organization. It is putting everyone on the same page and helping them see the big picture of the organization. You must be a leader not a boss.

First of all, you have to get people to follow you. How is this accomplished?

People follow others when they see a clear sense of purpose. People will only follow you if they see that you know where you are going. Remember that bumper sticker? The one that says, don’t follow me, I’m lost too? The same holds true for leadership. If you yourself do not know where you’re headed to, chances are people will not follow you at all. You yourself must know the vision of the organization. Having a clear sense of hierarchy, knowing who the bosses are, who to talk to, the organization’s goals and objectives, and how the organization works is the only way to show others you know what you are doing.

Being a leader is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do. You are a reflection of what you’re subordinates must be. Studies have shown that one other bases of good leadership is the trust and confidence your subordinates have of you. If they trust you they will go through hell and high water for you and for the organization.

Trust and confidence is built on good relationships, trustworthiness, and high ethics.

The way you deal with your people, and the relationships you build will lay the foundation for the strength of your group. The stronger your relationship, the stronger their trust and confidence is in your capabilities. Once you have their trust and confidence, you may now proceed to communicate the goals and objectives you are to undertake. Communication is a very important key to good leadership. Without this you can not be a good leader. The knowledge and technical expertise you have must be clearly imparted to other people.

Also, you can not be a good leader and unless you have good judgment. You must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of any decision, and actively seek out a solution. It is this judgment that your subordinates will come to rely upon. Therefore, good decision-making is vital to the success of your organization. Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. You should not claim to know everything, and you should not rely upon your skills alone.

You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents your subordinates have. Only when you come to this realization will you be able to work as one cohesive unit. Remember being a leader takes a good deal of work and time. It is not learned overnight. Remember, also, that it is not about just you. It is about you and the people around you. So, do you have the drive and the desire to serve required of leaders? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people? Then start now. Take your stand and be leader today.

Start your own coaching


Start your own coaching, find out about a step by step guide to building your coaching practice and start your own coaching business.
your own coaching

 

Have you ever been a coach to a neighborhood team? I know how it feels the first time I’ve coached a team of seven-year-old soccer kids and how much they can really test my patience, not to mention sanity as they run around kicking the ball like ants to a huge, white crumb. It feels strange at first, having to be stared at by a bunch of kids who they will know that I’m not the one in the field. Sounds wrong in a sense, right? But what is the dead about coaching?

Coaching is all about being a, well, ‘coach’ in the corporate world of handlers, front-liners and even a couple of benchwarmers biding their time to be given a chance to perform. I know how that feels when I go back to my regular day job. Some players are just MVP material, and some of them are just to support the MVP’s so why bother sticking around? It sounds ironic when they say ‘there is no I in team’, but even the underachievers can be sore losers as well.

These are steps that can be done within the day, and no matter what, it takes determination to be a coach.

1. There is a WHOLE lot of talk these days about Corporate Team Building. There are many, many options: vacation packages, rope courses, on-going office games, ice-breakers, etc. Management can also purchase videos, books, and seminar packages to assist them in building up their organization into a team worthy of belonging. A little later I will give you some ideas of where you can go for information on these team-building tools.

2. The truth about motivation is waiting to be grasped! It is ripe and ready for you to put into action today. Don’t settle for mind-numbing gibberish. Get practical in 3 small ways to begin looking forward to your alarm clock sounding off each morning before you huddle with the team.

3. Experience is the best thing despite of what course you graduated in. There is something about being a people person who knows how to stir the energetic side of one individual, and more so when you mix it up with an entire team.

4. To question a person by his or her performance is sometimes required, but never question their knowledge or their intelligence. Sadly, I have seen a few mistakes from past coaches who never seem to understand what a player has to go through to get the job right. It will lead to further aggravation and maybe even hostility. If you want the job done right, then go do it yourself. You’ll see how it is to be at the receiving end and it will help your set a much better course for improvement.

5. Sending a player to the bench is probably the worse experience a coach has to go through, especially if your player is the top performer. In dealing with this kind of person, see to it that he spills his guts voluntarily. Egotism in a performer tends to make them lose their focus on even the smallest mistakes, then you can catch him or her red handed. Be firm, but understanding about it.

6. Don’t allow your position to blind you from what you are supposed to do. Even coaches are human enough to think that they are far more superior, but only by rank. Even if you have been in their shoes when you were their age, it’s better to dole out a piece of wisdom in order for them to realize that this will be for their own benefit.

7. Lastly, you should learn to trust yourself and your team. Decisions and performance are primarily your goals, and there are many of them to see if they could perform the task much more efficiently. So before you think about sending one member to the bench, have a good chat with him or her and see if they have any problems. If it’s too personal, then just encourage them to do their best and it also helps to give them a good, encouraging slap on the back.

I guess there’s all there is to it. Being a corporate drone myself, I know how important it is for a company to be successful, and we’re all part of that success. Coaches are there not to make your work a little difficult just because you have either an attitude problem or not much a performer, but they’re the guides who will help you perform as hard as you can possibly can. You’ll do them proud one of these days, as well as you.

Stress management – Tips and Techniques


Tips and Techniques from Mind Tools

 

We all have this favorite expression when it comes to being stressed out, and I wouldn’t bother naming all of them since it may also vary in different languages. But when it comes down to it, I think that it is how we work or even relax, for that matter that triggers stress. Ever been stressed even when you’re well relaxed and bored? I know I have.

Since Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that can be done by just remembering it, since life is basically a routine to follow like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. You can do a few of them in a longer span of time, but as they say– every minute counts.

1. Managing time

Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.

To improve your time management:
· Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.
· Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.
· Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
· Manage your commitments by not over- or undercommitting. Don’t commit to what is not important to you.
· Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.
· Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like.
Build healthy coping strategies

It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you cope in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.

2. Lifestyle

Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:

· Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations.
· Have a sense of purpose in life.
· Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
· Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.
· Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
· Limit your consumption of alcohol.
· Don’t smoke.

3. Social support

Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the positive support you receive from family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.

4. Changing thinking

When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body’s stress, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress.

· Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress.
· Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly.
· Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it.
· Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style.

Even writers like me can get stressed even though we’re just using our hands to do the talking, but having to sit for 7 or 8 hours is already stressful enough and have our own way to relieve stress. Whether you’re the mail guy, the CEO, or probably the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor you would love to boot out of your homes, especially your life.

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