Carl's Coaching Tips

The "Teacher" Becomes the "Learner"

Posted on January 19, 2015



It would seem strange to walk into a classroom and find the teacher sitting among the students waiting to be taught.  Why?  Because the roles of that classroom have already been established: the teacher teaches and the student learns.  And yet, the teacher had to acquire the skills necessary for the role.  The teacher had to learn.  In fact, the teacher probably continues to learn in order to remain effective.    

The role of manager is similar.  The manager, like the teacher, is responsible for training others and for providing focus and direction and must acquire the necessary skills in order to fill that role.

And so the “teacher” becomes the “learner” . . .

The very methods used to evaluate, train, and improve employee job performance can be used to evaluate and improve your own performance as manager.

·    Evaluate.  Ask yourself: What are my talents, skills and abilities, my “career enablers and accelerators?  What are my “career stallers”? 

·    Learn.  After thorough evaluation, take the steps to acquire the skills needed for particular responsibilities, and strengthen areas of shortcoming. 

·    Improve.  Use both your natural talents and newly acquired skills to work more efficiently and productively.

And so the manager becomes the motivator . . .

Nothing inspires others as quickly and as thoroughly as a living example.  Being open and willing to improving as a manager in order to meet the demands and responsibilities of the role will not only serve as a positive model for employees but will inspire them to do the same. 

© 2015 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

Crafting Your Recognition and Reward Strategy

Posted on January 12, 2015

James and Julie are the newest employees at their company.  The two are similar in many ways.  Both are excellent workers.  Both are smart, dependable, hardworking and efficient.  When it comes to rewarding their efforts, however, the two couldn’t be more different.  Julie works hard for the opportunity for greater responsibility; she responds positively to the challenge.  James, on the other hand, finds the same ‘reward’ disconcerting, and feels as though the harder he works the more he’s given to do.

Recognition and reward are essential motivational tools.  Whether it’s a pat on the back, a word of praise, or, as in Julie’s case, an increase in responsibility, positive reinforcement gives incentive for employees to continue positive behavior and even improve job performance.  The problem is, not everyone is motivated by the same rewards. 

To craft an effective reward and recognition strategy you may want to consider the following steps:

·    Observe the employee  

·    Identify potential motivators

·    Reinforce desired behaviors using the identified motivators

Because behavior is conditioned by the feedback that follows it, positive recognition and rewards tend to reinforce behavior while negative or nonexistent rewards tend to extinguish behavior.  That’s why it’s important to craft a reinforcement strategy that is as unique and sometimes as varied as the individuals themselves so that you are able to effectively encourage and motivate positive, productive performance rather than unwittingly discourage.  Reward and recognition are just another way you as a manager can “coach” your team to greater success! 

© 2015 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

Do You Know How Engaged Your Employees Are . . . And Why That Matters?

Posted on December 30, 2014

Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace, Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders reports, “engaged employees are the lifeblood of their organizations.”

Gallup found that the manner in which managers interact with employees was the major determinant of employee engagement.  “…Managers who focus on their employees’ strengths practically eliminated active disengagement…”

Managers who actively found ways to connect with each employee’s needs and expectations had more engaged employees.

Are you engaged in the process of enhancing your employee’s level of engagement?

© 2014 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.


Posted on November 28, 2014



  1. The neck or mouth of a bottle.
  2. A point of congestion or blockage in particular.


We all recognize the shape of a bottle.  There is the base, which is the widest, fullest part of the bottle where the largest amount of volume can be found.  And then there is the top, which is smaller than the base and holds much less.  The narrow section between the two, of course, is the neck.

Often, organizations are like bottles.  The majority of employees make up the base, busy making significant contributions to the organization.  Quite often, however, before their work is complete, someone at the top of the organization wants to see it, touch it, review it or tweak it.  This could create a "bottleneck" effect, potentially slowing down the "flow" of work.  Or, a final "look" by a fresh set of eyes could enhance the final output.

The neck of the bottle is always at the top of the bottle.   The person at the top of the organization can be a gateway or a barrier.  

Are you helping or hindering the flow?  

© 2014 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

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