How to Coach a Team of Champions

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In this passionate vlog, Eric Siu rages against people who resist coaching and explains why helping your team grow is so important. Listen in to hear Eric's tips about how to guide your employees, encourage them to become independent, and build up a team of champions.

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Full Transcript of The Video

Eric Siu: All right, so real quick. I want to talk about the power of coaching and why you shouldn't resist it.
I think for those of you that are managers, those of you that run a business, just today something that really bothered me, that frankly made me so angry that I had to cancel the next call, was around kind of coaching. This is actually something, a book that I read when I was in Japan. It's called The Coaching Habit and this is from Michael Bungay Stanier. I actually interviewed him on the Growth Everywhere podcast, so you can check it out in terms of like how you can get better at coaching, but it's a really good read. I think every manager should read it.
The whole concept is around how you should oftentimes not try to spoonfeed the answer to your team members. The reason for that is this. You talk about teaching someone how to fish or feeding them fish all the time. What's better at the end of the day? Longterm, it's better to teach them how to fish, and if you're trying to feed them the answers all the time, if you're the manager, you're feeding them all the answers all the time, how are you going to have the time to do what you need to do to succeed?
That's why longterm, it's better, but short-term, when you're coaching people, you're not giving the answers, it's actually harder. Sometimes when you just want to give them the answers, it actually just solves the problem right there temporarily, but they're going to come back to you. It's going to be this vicious cycle where they keep asking you for more questions over and over and you have to keep solving their problem. At that point, why even have them on the team? They're there to help you take the load off your shoulders so you can do other things. That's why when you coach them and you ask them the right questions, they can figure things out for themselves eventually and they because very self-sufficient.
A couple questions that you can ask when you're coaching people, is just simple, "Tell me what's going on? What else can we do? What are some other solutions?" You just kind of keep going down and down, and then they eventually start to figure that out for themselves. Once you see the light bulb pop up in their head, it's very empowering. Also, you feel very empowered too because even though it takes you a lot more effort, they eventually are able to just problem solve on their own, and you want people that are problem-solvers on your team, right?
What happened today was I was coaching someone else, I was asking him questions, and he got really frustrated. He's like, "I could be using that time somewhere else." I'm just like, "Wow. You could be using that time somewhere else?" Do you know what happens longterm? I'm going to keep feeding you the answers and I'm going to be using my time that could be used better somewhere else, okay? I was getting really pissed. To be frank, I actually lost my cool today. I usually don't really raise my voice, but even right now, this really grinds my gears. This pisses me off.
This guy was raising his voice at me telling him that I'm challenging him, da-da-da. I'm like, "Dude, I don't want to spend 30 minutes of my time coaching you and having you raise your voice at me, getting really tense about it." It's like, "Dude, do you think I have any incentive to talk down to you, to be condescending, to challenge you? I'm just trying to help make you better so you can succeed. That's the freaking incentive here." Again, I'm not going to spoonfeed you all the answers. "Why can't you just tell me? Why can't you just tell me?" That's lazy. That's fucking lazy, dude. I don't know. Even right now, this happened a couple hours ago, I got so pissed that I canceled my next call.
If people on your team aren't receptive to coaching ... This is for sales, actually. Sales is ... The number one trait you should be looking for is coach-ability. When people aren't coachable, that's when you should consider that they're no longer a fit. That's why this book is called The Coaching Habit. You've got to learn how to coach people well and ask the right questions. Longterm, I mean, this book, for me, I think for the rest of my life is going to be one of the most impactful books. It's going to help me, I think ... I mean, people should be receptive to the power of coaching and the people that are, they're going to end up growing.
I look at a lot of people at this company and they've all gotten a lot better. We have people on the team that are great coaches, and they ask the right questions, and people are just like, "Light bulb moment," right? It doesn't feel empowering. It feels weird when I keep telling people ... When I do webinars or when I'm speaking to people, when I keep telling them what to do, it feels weird, but when a teacher teaches you how to think, when you tease the answer out of you, that's so much more empowering and that's so much more longterm. I'm going to get off ... I can just keep going around circles beating a dead horse on this, but that's just kind of a wrap. I mean, people have to be receptive to coaching, managers should learn how to coach, and yeah, that's it.

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