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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Coaching Your Teammates

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.

While your immediate boss is expected to be your coach, the span of control of managers is becoming so great that they are having difficulty helping their people. This creates opportunities for people to help each other improve their jobs in an informal way. Here's how you can contribute to your work area's success by assisting your co-workers.

  1. Share your technical knowledge with those around you. This will improve productivity. It will also demonstrate your collaborative skills — something that could help you secure a promotion.

  2. If your boss is very busy, offer to take new associates under your wing. Show them the ropes. Introduce them to their peers and key people in other departments. Help them to start off well by showing them the best of what the organization has to offer. This will assure them that they have not made a mistake by joining your organization.

  3. Get detailed instructions from your boss. Find out specifically

    • who needs to be trained;

    • what they need to know;

    • when you should begin and complete the training;

    • where the training should take place;

    • why training is needed;

    • how they should be trained.

  4. Meet with the trainee. Find out

    • his confidence level;

    • any previous training that he has had;

    • what concerns he might have;

    • any special needs.

  5. Increase your associates' skills by

    • explaining what you want them to do;

    • showing them how to do it;

    • letting them try while you observe;

    • giving them feedback on their performance;

    • making them aware if their performance has not met the standards expected.

  6. If associates fail to do the job right, redirect them. Show them again. Ask them to confirm their understanding. Have them demonstrate their understanding by showing you how to do the task.

  7. If the task is large or appears difficult, break it into smaller pieces. Learning one stage at a time will build the trainee's self-confidence.

  8. If your new associate struggles with English, help her by writing down instructions in language that is

    • simple;

    • point by point;

    • free of jargon;

    • enhanced with pictures and diagrams wherever possible.

  9. The more complex the task, the more important it is that you document your instructions. When you do, make sure that the instructions

    • are easy to follow;

    • use simple language;

    • follow a logical sequence;

    • complement diagrams wherever needed;

    • are in point form.

  10. Give people regular feedback. Wherever possible, measure their performance so that they know when they are improving or getting worse.

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