Do you have Playoff-Calibre Leadership Skills?

pacThe NHL and NBA regular seasons are over and the playoffs are in full swing. Within just a couples short weeks following the start of the post-season the field will have been cut in half; separating the top teams from this year’s championship contenders. It takes a top performing team to excel when the elusive cup is on the line, and this is when having a great coach can make a big difference. Here is why:

Leaders Build High Performing Teams through Effective Communication

In her HBR article titled “The Hard Science of Team Work” Alex Pentland describes her findings from a study carried out at MIT’s Human Dynamic Laboratory. Alex and her team used sociometric badges to capture how people communicate in real time. She found that great teams communicate frequently (typically a dozen or so exchanges per hour), talk and listen in equal measure, engage in frequent informal communication, and explore ideas and information found outside the group.

A Great Coach Lifts the Team’s Spirits and Productivity Levels

Study after study show that Canadians and Americans are becoming less happy at work and that’s a problem because engaged work forces generate more profit and revenue growth, deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction, and overall work more productively and are more likely to put forth greater effort to accomplish tasks and pursue results.

Leaders Guide Individuals to Performance Improvement

No one likes having small errors continually pointed out to them. As Senior Executive John Rey puts it, “Be positive, attack the behavior rather than the individual.” You want to lead your team forward by improving performance, not “destroy their motivation and morale with constant nit-picking.”

Team Leaders Reward Individuals for their Efforts

Reward and praise are important to keeping your team performing optimally. In fact, 2 recent independent studies have shown evidence of adverse health effects resulting from high-effort/low-reward conditions. The studies looked at the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension and atherogenic lipids).

Leaders of Championship Teams Uphold their Organization’s “Gold Standard”

Just ask Bob Bowman, a competitive swimming coach that is best known for coaching Michael Phelps to a record 22 Olympic medals. With regards to organizational performance Bowman states in an interview with Fast Company, “Each business has a gold standard. It’s up to the leadership to decide what that standard is and how the organization gets there. Once the gold standard is set, everyone on the team needs to buy into it, he says. “We try to be very process-oriented, performing up to a certain standard every day,” Bowman says. “(You can only) control what you can control,” he says.

Looking to Add Members to Your High Performance Team this Spring?

Follow Mentor Works to learn more about Government grants for hiring and training available in 2014.

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