My son’s soccer coach is an ideal communicator. He’s firm and direct when he’s teaching the team new skills, but also supportive as they practice what they’ve learned. He encourages the boys to try new things and provides candid feedback about their efforts.
Coach Marcus also does all this with an audience of highly competitive, yet easily distracted nine-year-old boys.
Below is advice he gives from the field—along with four ways it applies to corporate communications:
1. Same team
My son’s coach will yell, “same team” when two or three players from the same team fight each other for the ball. It’s a reminder to not fight your teammates for control.
How many times have you seen staff from different departments—or even staff from the same department—fight each other for control of a project? How about departments that don’t communicate with each other about projects?
A “same team” reminder could go a long way toward breaking down silos and preventing power struggles.
2. Tell others you like their ideas.
When one of the boys tries something new or unexpected at practice, Coach Marcus will say, “I like the idea.” Most importantly, he says it even if the effort is not successful.