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Chapter 8. Be a Leader, Be a Coach > The Team Leader as a Coach - Pg. 94

Be a Leader, Be a Coach 5. 6. 7. 8. 94 9. 10. Encourage slow learners by praising their efforts and reinforcing the training to help them catch up. Rather than working to achieve several goals at the same time, help team members build their skills by working on one goal at a time. Once they're on the way to meeting it, add another goal. Be a role model to associates by your own pursuit of learning and your application of new approaches to the work. Pass on tips, information, and ideas that you acquire to team members. This may take the form of articles you read and clip, Internet resources you e-mail to them, or sharing new con- cepts orally. Assign associates responsibility for all or part of a project and give them the leeway to do it without your interference. If the coaching session didn't result in improvement, ask yourself these questions: · What was the purpose of the coaching session? · What did I do to achieve the purpose? · What action resulted from the session? Have the team member answer the same questions, and compare the results. For details on the tools and techniques of training members, see Chapter 23. Coaching the Team Training each member of the team to perform superbly is just one aspect of the coach's responsi- bility. Equally important is melding the group into a coordinated working unit. For a new team, it starts with a thorough orientation on the objectives of the team--what is expected from each associate and from the team as a whole. This can be done in group sessions or, when a new member is added, one on one. Team Builder Create your own training guide book. Include ideas that specifically apply to your company. Encourage asso- ciates to add their original ideas and those they learn from their own research to this book. Make it available to all team members at all times. Let's look at Erica Frost, leader of an information technology team. When the team is assigned a new project, Erica spends the first day or more of the assignment discussing it with team members --both individually and as a group. She commented, "The more time I spend up front, the better the success rate." She draws on the experience that various team members have had with similar projects and together they plan the entire operation. As the project proceeds, she keeps tabs on each associate's progress and jumps in with assistance, added training, or whatever is needed to make them more effective on the job. Just as the coach of an athletic team gives pep talks to the team before the game and during breaks, team leaders find that pep talks stimulate production and reinvigorate members when their enthu- siasm wanes.