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Work on becoming a collaborative Coach

by ZwemZa on January 17th, 2020

Some coaches are great people who tell staff what to do.

Some Coaches are too hands-off, creating a lack of accountability and cloudy communication. This leads to mediocrity.

In-between is the collaborative Coach.

Collaboration thrives:

  • When every coach is on a journey of self-awareness. Along that path, you learn not to take things personally. The coach who always has to be right is not going to be collaborative.
  • In a no-judgment zone. Anyone can say, think, or believe anything without fear of judgment. Disagreement and conflict are NOT signs collaboration is lacking.
  • In a permission-giving rather than permission-withholding culture. Permission is always given to play within the bounds of the mission and values

Areas of Focus:

1. Work on yourself as a person who happens to coach. It’s wellness (see December issue), but more: self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-leadership, the crucial foundation to collaboratively lead others.

2.  Be clear about team values. Values are like guardrails, keeping us from falling off the path. Values show what is out-of-bounds and creates trust. Everyone is on the same field heading the same direction.

3. Have a mission statement and follow it. Words on a wall aren’t enough. There is some hard work here to make sure the results are clear and measurable.

Highlight every piece of the process that looks like it leads to fulfilling that mission. The more you share stories, the more everyone will understand the goal. Include in every board report and newsletter a story that illustrates progress toward mission fulfillment.

Jeff Raker | USA Swimming


Jeff Raker is a former D1 swimmer, coach, pastor, FINA starter, USA/NCAA/YMCA official, and now certified Executive Leadership Coach for the past seven years, helping leaders stay out of their own way.

Jeff sends a weekly “Level Up Leadership Tips” email, which you can receive by contacting him at You can also follow him on Twitter @jeffrakercoach.

From → Inspiration

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