by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
If you can’t play well with the rest of your staff in the office or at practice, you will never accomplish the goals that have been established your program. Effective work relationships form the cornerstone for success and satisfaction with your job and for your career.
Staff members need to enjoy their work and the atmosphere in which they work. You want your staff to look forward to coming to practice or to the office. Every day should be new, different, exciting, and rewarding.
These are seven of the ways you can play well with others at work. They form the basis for effective work relationships and are the actions you want to take to create a positive, empowering, motivational work environment for your staff.
Bring suggested solutions with the problems to the meeting table
Ever work with a coach who is constantly talking about what is wrong but is never offering up solutions on how to fix it? Identifying problems on the field, the court, or the office is the easy part. What solutions can you bring to the table? Coming up with solutions and then successfully solving the problem is a great way to quickly earn the respect of the rest of your staff.
Don’t ever play the blame game
If you are the problem, take responsibility for your actions and hone up to your mistake. Claiming it is not your fault and then publicly identifying and blaming others for failures will earn enemies.
Your verbal and nonverbal communication matters
Just like with your team, EVERYTHING you say or do, verbally and nonverbally, around the staff you are working with gets noticed. If you talk down to another staff member, are constantly complaining, or look pissed off, the other staff hears and sees you. It is also noticed when you are being positive, complimenting others, and are sending out positive nonverbal messages.
Dealing with conflict
Staff conflict can be one of the most detrimental things that can happen to a program. Conflict will inevitably arise and if left unresolved, the friction can make the day-to-day life around your program difficult and unproductive. Early intervention does wonders to ease tension, make the staff more cohesive and fulfilled, and improve a program’s efficiency.
Keep your commitments
If you say you are going to have a meeting at 11:30 to discuss the practice for the day and it will only last for 30 minutes, you better start your meeting at 11:30 and make sure it goes no longer than 30 minutes. No matter what sport you coach, time is valuable and work is interconnected. If you fail to start meetings on time or fail to meet commitments, you affect the work of the rest of your staff. Always keep commitments, and if you can’t, make sure all affected staff members know what happened.
Share credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions
Coach, how often do you sign a recruit with no help from others? How many of the great ideas you implemented with your team was contributed by one of your assistants? Take the time, and expend the energy, to thank, reward, recognize and specify contributions of the people who help you succeed. This is a no-fail approach to building effective work relationships.
Help other employees find their greatness
Every staff member in your program has talents, skills, and experience. If you can help fellow coaches harness their best abilities, you will benefit your program immeasurably. The growth of individual coaches benefits the whole.
If you regularly carry out these seven actions, you will develop effective work relationships. The coaches you work with will value you as a colleague. You’ll accomplish your work goals, and you may even experience fun, recognition, and personal motivation. Work can’t get any better than that.
Mandy Green is helping busy college coaches be more effective with their time and make the most of their opportunities as a college coach. Want her help with your time management as a college coach? You can email Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call.