Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

5 tips for Effective Coaching

Heard at the Monster* Year Event: “Coaching people is about putting focus on the 8’s, not on the 4’s”

By Corneel Maes & Sylva De Craecker

Monster had a full room at its 2011 Year Event (#MYE11) in Amsterdam yesterday. The first speaker set the tone for the whole afternoon. Spot on. Right on target. Just as one would expect from a top sporting professional. Marc Lammers, coach of the Dutch women’s hockey team, simply owned the audience of senior Human Resources professionals right from his very opening sentence. What struck us most is that there is so much similarity between guiding a sports team towards a golden medal at the Olympics and coaching employees to run the extra mile for better performance. And you know what? When you think about it, it’s all quite recognizable, quite understandable, so simple and straightforward.

So how can an HR coach improve the performance of his team members by applying some of the learnings that brought Marc Lammers and “his girls” to the top?

  • Coaching is something you don’t do on your own. You need the support of other specialists. Because good coaching only comes with experience.
  • Understanding the processes and measuring them is the key to success. It helps you keep your feet firmly on the ground and focus on what really matters to improve performance.
  • When working towards improvement, make sure the team feels involved. Make them contribute to formulating the strategy. It’s all about creating an experience, a common commitment, together owning the plan for where the team is going.
  • Focus on the strengths of your team members, not on their weaknesses. Motivate them to excel in what they are already good at. Think about how to take the 8’s in their assessments to a 10, rather than spending time and energy on getting the 4’s to a 6 and maybe never getting there.
  • Innovate, think out of the box, dare to try completely new things based on insights, research, measurement and expert advice from different disciplines. And anticipate the natural resilience against new things by engaging the team in the process.

By applying these straightforward techniques, Marc Lammers  succeeded in elevating his team beyond the ever-close-second disappointment. Why don’t we start applying some of these techniques into our own working environment? Would be a great new year’s resolution!


* Monster is a client of Porter Novelli


Signed by two new Marc Lammers fans:

Corneel Maes & Sylva De Craecker