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Coaching, Coding and Learning By George Evjen

Book Notes from 'You Win in the Locker Room First' By Jon Gordon and Mike Smith


  • When there is a void in communication, negativity will fill it.
  • Fill the void with great communication.
  • The Most Important Thing a Coach Can Do
    • Doc Rivers: Head Coach LA Clippers - what was the most important thing he does as a head coach.
      • I communicate with my team. Not just collectively as a team but individually.
      • I have to know where each person is in order to lead them where I need them to be.
      • Since I communicate often with them, I know who is struggling with a personal issues.
      • I know who needs encouragement.
      • I know who needs to be challenged.
    • Communication is the foundation of every great relationship.
    • Communication builds trust, trust generates commitment. Commitment fosters teamwork, and teamwork delivers results.
    • Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams are built and communication begins the relationship developing process.
  • One on One Communication
    • Get feedback on why the Falcons had struggled with consistency
    • Met with every member of the team over a three week period.
    • I realize it's not easy to consistently have one-on-one communication with everyone in the organization.
    • The key is to meet with your leadership team and the people you lead directly.
      • Make sure that they are communicating well with the people they lead
    • If everyone does this throughout the organization, relationships, teamwork, and performance will improve dramatically.
  • Listening Enhances Communication
    • People often think of communication as talking, but for me it's all about listening
    • The best communicators is the person who has the ability to listen, process the information, and use it to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team and organization.
    • When you listen and hear what your team members are saying, you open the lines of communication and develop a team that is 'all in'
    • Your team feels heard and buys in to your leadership because they know and feel that they are part of the process of building and sustaining success.
    • One of the keys to listening and communicating is to ask the right people - the right questions.
  • What's the Temperature Today
    • To be the most effective leader possible - you have to know the temperature of the building
    • Talking about the pulse of the team and the energy of the building.
    • Having an accurate assessment of the mood of the building at all times will allow you to make the best decisions for your team or organization.
    • By asking what the temperature was I not only learned more about the team but I also engaged different people throughout the organization and reinforced the fact that they were part of the process of being the best organization possible.
    • As a leader you can't just speak to other leaders who have a similar vantage point as you.
    • You have to engage people who are closest to the potential challenges facing your organization.
  • Leading by Walking Around
    • A big part of taking the temperature of the building is leading by walking around.
    • The most effective leaders are the ones who are mobile and visible throughout the building - not just in the office.
    • You lead by leaving a footprint in every area of the building.
    • Trips to the training room to visit with players receiving treatment.
    • Visits to the weight room were of equal importance.
      • This was just another way to strengthen the culture and communication in the organization.
    • The cafeteria is another opportunity to have conversations with the players in a different setting.
    • Spent a lot of time in the locker room.
      • Able to feel the pulse of the team and learn who is connecting and what potential issues are arising.
  • Communicating the Message.
    • A big part of every coach's job is to share key messages, themes and principles with your team
    • Critical to make sure that you drive the message home the first time you present it.
    • Want to make sure you reinforce the themes and messages over and over again - almost until they become annoying to the players.
    • You want these themes and messages at the forefront of the thoughts of every player, coach, and member of the organization for the entire season.
    • It is also essential that your leadership team also share and reinforce the same messages with the team.
    • Every leader in the organization must be echoing the same beliefs and sharing the same message, especially the mentors and leaders in the locker room.
    • You know that the message was accepted by the team when you hear it being talked about in the locker room, on the practice field, in the cafeteria, the training room and to the media.
    • When the message becomes something that you are hearing from the players over and over again in the media - then you know that they have bought in and are all in.
  • The Power of an Outside Voice
    • Also key to have outside voices reinforce the messages and themes that you are sharing.
    • We brought you here to reinforce our message - our folks get tired of hearing us say it, but when it comes from an outside voice it's new, fresh and exciting.
    • The more times they hear it, from different people, in different ways and styles, the more it will resonate.
  • The Enemies of Great Communication
    • The enemies that prevent us from communicating well.
      • Busyness and stress that sabotage your communication.
    • The key is to be aware that these enemies exist, take a deep breath, slow down and make communication an priority.
  • Communication Must Lead to Collaboration.
    • When staff members and players are included, they take ownership of the process.
    • I became increasingly convinced that it's not just communication that helps a team be successful, but rather the collaboration that follows.
    • Communication without collaboration can lead to underperformance.
    • Collaborative teams and organizations are also much better prepared to deal with ever-changing dynamics that are caused by both internal and external factors.

For more information about me and Polaris Solutions follow me on Twitter at @gevjen
Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2016 2:26 PM Agile , TeamBuilding | Back to top

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