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The Best Employees And Leaders Possess This Incredible Skill

Source | | Ian Altman

This weekend, I attended a twelve-year-olds’ soccer game. For simplicity sake, the blue team was playing the red team. The red team was clearly the better skilled team. Each time the blue team lost the ball or conceded a goal, the coach would yell at the referee.

“That was a foul!”

“He was offside!”

In contrast, each time the team in red lost the ball, their coach would remind them of skills they had learned in practice to counteract that situation.

“Use your body position to protect the ball.”

“Pass to a teammate sooner next time.”  

When the blue coach wasn’t yelling at the referee, he was yelling at his players.

“Don’t give the ball away!”

“Don’t let them score like that!”

Unfortunately, I see a similar behavior in business.

You Are Always Teaching And Learning

When things begin to unravel, it’s easy to lose your cool. For a coach, when mistakes are made, it’s easy for him or her to admonish players or shout expletives at officials. We see that sort of thing happen all the time. Similarly, for a sales manager, when his team underperforms, it’s easy to lay blame or underscore problems. It’s easy for him to blame marketing, blame product development, or tell his salespeople they should be converting more sales or losing less deals. That would be easy. The smarter thing to do, however, is for that manager to coach for better results.

It’s not enough to point out the problems. The problems are obvious. The better course of action is to provide direction — to coach on specific ways to overcome the problems.

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