And actually, all your staff members probably “coach” one another. And your board members recognize that some coaching help will make them more successful.
So let’s think about some key steps to successful coaching.
Organize the key messages you want your team to know, and cover them systematically. You can’t learn effective plays until you know the basics of how to pass and dribble.
2 – PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Like any skill, we get good when we practice. So have a good set of key points to make when meeting with prospects. Four or five is more than enough – for either party to remember. Have these printed on the back of your business cards and give your volunteers some to hand out. That way everybody can remember what was covered during the visit.
The place to practice this is in your meetings – both board and staff. Can everybody give you one or two sentences on each key point? Ask four or five people how they explain one point at every meeting. Hearing the variety of ways to talk about them helps everybody. And practice makes perfect!
3 – REMEMBER GENERATIONAL APPROPRIATENESS – These differences are real so don’t overlook the style and lingo of millennials that is different than seniors. Have fun with these styles. Encourage different stories. Engage people where they are comfortable and appreciate their contributions. There are many shots that will score points!
4 – COACH WITH INDIVIDUAL TOOLS - Not everybody can hit a 3-pointer. Recognize the strengths that each team member has and build upon those. There are countless ways everybody can help grow resources for your organization. Don’t make everybody do the same thing. Shy folks can write notes to key donors. People who love some of your programs and projects can tell stories about them with great energy. Sales people can talk with everybody and aren’t shy at all.
Your plan – step one, you recall – can accommodate a wide variety of ways for each individual to participate in some way.
5 – USE GAMES – Basketball players get good because they absolutely love the game! And it’s easy to learn something if it’s fun to do it. Can you create games to help your folks learn?
Matching lists of items. Defining some key terms in one short sentence. Picking out a few key financial data, such as the largest gift last month or year from a list of numbers. Selecting your biggest program or project. All these could be “fun” ways to learn, and remember.
Be a good coach and you’ll build a great organization with lots of raving fans both inside and out!
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