Coaching for Performance: What Can We Learn from March Madness?

Maybe it’s the hubbub of “March Madness” but coaching and its link to high-performing teams has been on my radar these days.

Throughout the tournament, I’ve had a number of “aha” moments watching these high-performing players and examples of coaching excellence.   These coaches are able to instill a “you can win it all” attitude in their players. And they are able to bring out the best in their teams within tight time constraints. Each player is coached to bring their best to the court and perform at their highest level before the clock counts down to the end of each game. At the end, it is crystal clear from the numbers on the scoreboard if their goals were achieved.

Coaching in business is really not all that different. At ALG, we’ve had the opportunity to work with leaders at top global corporations to enhance and fine-tune the coaching skills of their leadership teams. While there are countless models used to build these valuable skills, we’ve found a few key elements that are key to building conscious and consistent coaches.

Just as with an award-winning sports team, one of these is the establishment of clear and agreed-upon long and short-term goals. We all know that the most effective objectives are SMART but it is important that goals not only focus on the end result (which often times may or may not be entirely under the team member’s personal control). By also focusing on those specific and incremental behaviors that have proven to be critical to past success, we’ve found that clients are able to maximize results and the achievement of their ultimate goals.

But no goal is achievable without clear understanding and agreement. This is where coaching comes into play. Through clear communication, keen observation and effective questions, managers can ascertain that their team members agree and understand their objectives and believe they may be realistically achieved by applying effort and skill.

Whether or not you’re a basketball fan, there is no denying that the tournament provides great examples of how both coaches and players thrive or fail to survive when faced with adversity.

Contact ALG Leaders to see how we can help your business by preparing your leaders to coach for exceptional performance.

Laura Soscia

About Laura Soscia

Laura Soscia is a nationally recognized expert in leadership development and co-founder of ALG, the Accelerated Leadership Group. Her complete bio is here

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