How do you know you’re doing a good job?

When you’re in the everyday of your coaching you are working hard and doing everything you can to help your players improve and your team to win games day in and day out. Sometimes it’s difficult to judge the quality of your efforts objectively and you know that if your team wins on Sunday ’everyone’ is happy anyway. You get pats on the back from fans and people surrounding the club that serves as a recognition of a job well done. That might feel good at the moment, but imagine that you know that the only reason you won on Sunday was luck. Your opponent weren’t able to score on their ten chances and you scored on the wrongly appointed penalty shot. Now, on your way home from the game you might ask yourself the question ’am I really doing a good job or am I just lucky?’. By the way, if you are asking yourself this question, congratulations, it means that you are reflecting upon your practice as a coach which in turn means that you probably are or have the chance to develop into, a good coach and leader.

You know that you keep a high standard for yourself when it comes to the coaching and leading of your team. Your standards are probably higher than the ones for everyone else around you, at least that might be your perception. However, in your daily work it may be difficult to know if you are really keeping yourself to your own high standards all the time. But that not the worst thing, there is actually one thing that is worse than not knowing how you are doing. It could be that the other coaches you are working with don’t regard your perceived high standards as high standards for them. That seams strange right? High standards are high standards right? Not necessarily.

The expectations from those you lead, and their standards, might differ from yours for different reasons. Maybe the club culture has installed a certain set of standards for coaching and leading that the coaches in your staff has become accustomed to and follow. It could also be that since the coaches you are leading have a different personal background they may interpret things in a different way. That can make what you think of as a high standard be something that they don’t understand or it may be so uncomfortably different for them that it doesn’t register on their scales of standards. Regardless of the reason for a perceived difference in standards, you need to know that there are differences and that your high standards may need a revision. Now the question becomes, how can you find out what the other coaches standards are and if you as a leader are doing a good job?

Ask them. Sit down with your coaches and ask them if you are performing up to their standards in different areas of your leading and coaching. Are their expectations of you as their leader in different areas being met? Don’t panic if there are differences in perception, think of it as a good thing that you get to know what they expect from you and how they perceive your actions in correlation to your high standards. A difference in perception is the perfect opportunity for a learning experience for both parties. For you as their leader you get to see yourself from the outside through their eyes and you get a chance to explain and educate your coaches on the what, why and how of your leading and coaching.

Instead of counting the pats on the back after the victory and take them as a measure of the quality of your job as a leaders, ask the people you lead if you are living up to their (and your) standards and expectations.

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