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Be a Winning Coach


A construction company sponsored a high school water polo team. The coach was also the head baseball coach who never played water polo and couldn’t swim. As the season progressed, the players learned the basics and began to gel as a team. They liked their coach and learned that the coach’s baseball team consistently went to the league championships and the coach held the league record for most coaching wins. Many of his players earned college scholarships and several were playing major league baseball.

As the league water polo games approached, the intensity increased. The baseball coach was beginning to get the best from everyone on the young team. They were beating teams ranked much higher and they rose from fifth to second in the league standings. Only one team stood in their way of winning the league championships. That final game was awesome. The team ended up beating their opponent and went on to celebrate their victory.

It’s the Coach That Counts

What made that young team succeed? They didn’t have raw talent or experience. They didn’t have the best plays or techniques. It was their coach that made the difference. Every day the coach approached each player, slapped their back, and complimented them. The coach made them want to get better, improve, and win. He always talked about the players’ possibilities, never their failures or mistakes. He never yelled or talked down to his players. He constantly reminded them that they can be the best only when they decide to be the best.

As you manage your staff and leadership team, it is a natural tendency to try and fix their problems. It is easy to find fault and criticize. Have you ever wished your people were as accountable, responsible, and hard working as you are? Do you often hope your people will change and get better?

People Want to Do More

Just as the high school coach improved every player, you can change the people in your company. Their output is the result of your input. All it takes is a regular slap of encouragement on the back. Ninety-two percent of people who leave companies say they never received any praise or compliments from their boss. Ninety-seven percent say they would do more if they were recognized and appreciated on a regular basis.

Think about your project or company. You can’t do it alone. You need staff, suppliers, subcontractors, managers, foremen, and workers to get the job done. Most everyone wants to do a good job. And, the simplest way to get what you want is to give them the recognition they deserve.

Recognition Systems That Work

Choose a simple recognition system. Try to recognize everyone who works for you at least once a week. You can use a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anyone. One on one, face-to-face, appreciative comments work best such as: "Thank you for ……" or "I appreciate you ………"

When you are out of town or when it is impossible to see everyone, make the time to write short, appreciative notes. You may even end up seeing these notes proudly posted on the staff’s bulletin boards. It is amazing how a little kind word goes such a long way. You can also leave short voice mail messages telling your staff how much you appreciate their work. Any praise or recognition now is better than waiting for the perfect time to do it.

Try to also send hand-written thank you notes to your customers, architects, suppliers, and subcontractors on a regular basis. This keeps them excited about being on your team. This also gets them to go the extra mile when you really need them.

Be a Winning Coach

Who is on your praise and recognition list? Who should you thank today? How often do you give out praises and words of appreciation? Remember the coach who took a bunch of regular guys and turned them into winners? He didn’t know how to do the work or play the game, but he did know how to turn people into winners. Give someone on your team an encouraging slap on the back today.

Business - Commercial Construction Industry

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This article contains general information only. Sunflower Bank is not, by means of this article, rendering accounting, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, before making any decisions related to these matters, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.