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How To Coach A Winning Team! 

A coach is someone who helps another person reach a higher effectiveness by creating a dialogue that leads to awareness and action. Read that again.

As humans, in order for us to be at the top of our game, we must get out of our own way, release our emotional baggage and obtain the skills, attitude and resources necessary for success. As managers, we can provide our employees with training to acquire the necessary skills and know-how, and we can supply the necessary tools and resources, but we cannot hand them the most important component necessary for success: Attitude. A proper workplace attitude is best defined as drive, confidence, focus, and determination.

Coaching is not just a nice way of teaching someone. Teaching is transferring skills and knowledge. Coaching is guiding a person to gain the confidence, motivation and drive to do a job right.

Coaching should not be the only tool in your management toolbox. Just as you wouldn't use a hammer to fix a leaky toilet, coaching will not be applicable to every situation.  Coaching is not the correct tool to use when an employee lacks aptitude, skills and ability. That situation calls for training. Nor is Coaching the right tool when an employee lacks resources, equipment or time to get the job done. Those things are self-explanatory. For example: If a teacher asks you for more learning centers, toys and art supplies for her classroom, no amount of coaching is going to solve that problem. She needs resources. Or if this teacher asks you for these things every three weeks because the children are misusing them and destroying them, the teacher needs training. If, however, this teacher has the resources and the training but her job performance is still not up to par, then this teacher needs coaching.


Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Winston Churchill

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. Zig Ziglar

It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task, which will affect its successful outcome.William James

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability. Walter Scott

Cock your hat - angles are attitudes.Frank Sinatra 


For more quotes on the importance of Attitude, visit Brainy Quotes.

At the post office near my home, there is a new manager. He is cheerful, he is positive, he frequently makes conversation with the customers, and he always offers a word of praise and appreciation to every employee he passes. Yet he is not an effective manager, and my bet is that he will not last long. Why? His cheerfulness is feigned, his conversations are about himself and his interests, his praise and appreciation are empty and non-specific, and he does not pitch in even when it is obvious to everyone that it would take jut as much time to really help out as it does when he pretends to be "trying." Simply put, he is a manager who wears his role rather than performing his role.

Leadership is action, not position.
You cannot manage your team from your office chair. You manage in the trenches alongside your staff. Effective leaders work throughout the organization. They do not just sit on top.

Leadership is service - not self-serving. A leader is someone who carries water for his people so they can get on with their jobs.
(Robert Townsend) Many believe that "Coaching" is going around patting people on the back, cheering them on, offering words of encouragement, and "catching them doing things right." Those are some of the tools an effective manager might use from time to time in certain situations, but they are not coaching.


Ten Steps to Coaching,

or "Rah, Rah, Ree! You Gotta Help 'Em See!"


1) Coaches ask questions. Lots of questions. Good questions. Short, simple, open-ended questions. Questions that help the employees see for themselves what needs to be done. Closed-ended questions - questions that elicit a yes or no response or, at best, one or two words - do not usually provide real information. They do not lead to awareness or action. Open-ended questions open a conversation of exploration and understanding.  "What's standing in your way?" "What about this situation most concerns you?" "What's confusing you about this situation?" "What do you think the real cause of this problem is?" "What's the main obstacle here?" "How would an outsider look at this situation?" "In what ways are you not being the person you'd like to be in this situation?" "What does your gut tell you?" "What's stopping you?" "How do you want your classroom to run?" "What do you need to do differently to make that happen?" "What do you need to do to get back on track?" "What do you want?" "What would success in this situation actually look like?"

2) Coaches do not give advice and Coaches do not "fix it." Coaches create a dialogue that leads the employee to awareness and action.  They keep questions forward-focused, asking more open-ended questions about the desired outcome. The employee will be more inclined to revisit and discuss past events. A Coach helps him/her to look toward the future - the next step toward what they really want.

3) Coaches listen to the answers. They take notes. They summarize and say it back to the employee. "This is what I'm hearing..." not "This is what I think..." They may even ask the employee to take a few minutes of silence to think it through. This can be difficult for some of us because one of the main reasons we were promoted to managers or directors in the first place is due to our ability to quickly assess a situation, solve the problem and move on to the next challenge. We need to remember, however, that a good coach is actually teaching employees how to do these things for themselves. Aha.

4) Coaches help employees determine what is really going on. 99% of the time the "problem" the employee brings to you or the problem you observe is actually just a symptom, not the real problem. Your job as a manager is to help the employee step back and contemplate the root cause of the issue. For example: Behavior problems in a classroom do not usually occur because of "bad kids" or "bad parenting." The root causes when children routinely misbehave are usually: Not enough fun and interesting projects and hands-on activities for the children. Lack of proper routines and schedules. A teacher that is either too rigid or too laid-back in her own attitudes and behavior. Not enough "big motor" activities that allow children to work off energy in acceptable ways. Failing to meet an individual child "where he is" in his social/emotional development and then bring him along one step at a time to where he needs to be. These are just a few examples. But a teacher with a poor attitude usually wants to blame the children or the parents for the misbehavior and make it your problem to solve rather than step up and improve her own behavior. Or she might not feel capable and competent to do so.

5) Coaches help employees brainstorm possible solutions. This is different than giving advice. The coach only offers a possible solution after the employee has suggested one or two solutions. "That's a good idea. What's another?" "Great. Let's think of three more." And if the employee is quick to accept your suggestion, a good coach asks, "How can you build on that and make it even better?"

6) Coaches require employees to create a S.M.A.R.T. plan of action. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-specific. It's okay to challenge the employee during this part of the dialogue. For example: An employee who is routinely late for work might make a plan to lay out clothes for her own child the night before and place his backpack by the front door so she can "arrive in the parking lot five minutes before her shift begins" instead of fen minutes after. The coach could challenge her by saying, "What would happen if you arrived fifteen minutes before your shift begins? What personal things would you have time to take care of if you did that? What effect would that have on your attitude and demeanor?" The employee may realize she would have time to drop off her own child in his classroom in a more relaxed and cheerful way thus helping him to have a better morning, too; go by the kitchen and pick up a large cup of iced tea, drop off her purse and other belongings while giving her classroom a quick set-up before picking up her class of children from the other teacher's classroom, etc.

7) Coaches hold people accountable. After an employee develops her plan of action, the Coach asks, "How will I know if you are working the plan you've decided on?" "How will I know the plan is working?" "How will you know the plan is working?" "What could cause you to lose your enthusiasm for this plan?" "What will you do if that happens?" "How will I know if you need a nudge?" "What kinds of nudges would be most effective for you?" "When will I hear back from you on your progress?" "How would you like me to follow up if I don't hear back from you?"  Whoa! Do some of these questions make you feel like, as a manager, you are taking too much of a subservient role in this part of the process? If so, stop and think about it. What you are actually doing is placing the responsibility (and the headache) where it belongs - on the employee. You are letting him/her chart her own course and pilot her own ship (See step 9, but don't skip 8!)

8) Coaches validate. Coaches inspire, encourage and motivate employees as the employee is working the plan of action. "I just want to take a second and let you know that I have noticed the calmer and happier atmosphere in your classroom the past few days." "You're really stepping up to the plate. That's a sign of a leader!" "Your energy is contagious. Thanks for spreading it around!"

9) Coaches create leaders. This is much better than running around "putting out fires" every stinkin' day.

10) Coaches use Coaching to make good situations even better. Example: "Miss Darla, I love showing your classroom to potential customers. And I am so proud of the positive feedback we get from the parents of children currently enrolled in your classroom." Miss Darla: "Thank you! I appreciate you telling me that."
Coach: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your overall effectiveness as a teacher of two year-olds?"
Miss Darla: "I'm a solid eight!"
Coach (with a gleam in your eye): "That's great. That's something to be proud of! Now, let me ask you a question. What would you do differently to give yourself a 9? I'm very pleased with your job performance. I am also interested in keeping you happy and growing. What would you need to click it up a notch?"

For more excellent information on Coaching, we suggest "A Manager's Guide to Coaching" by Brian Emerson and Anne Loehr.


2014 Winter/Spring Conferences

Director's Boot Camp #22 / $99.00
8:30am-1:30pm (5 clock hours)

"The Difference Between Supervising and Managing Staff"

Being aware of what your staff is doing is one thing, leading
your staff is another. This session will go over multiple
techniques such as evaluating job performance, guiding and
rewarding staff, and preparing for quality assurance,
all imperative to be successful in today's competitive market. 

Saturday Management Session

"Directors Round Table"/ $99.00
Hiring & Firing: What Every Manager Needs to Know

9:00am-1:00pm (5 Clock Hours)

(Each attendee will receive a 1 hr. take-away training module)

Successful Hiring: Use these practical, proven techniques to
avoid hiring mistakes that stay around to haunt you for years.
Successful Termination: Effective methods and proven
procedures for disciplining and discharging that won't backfire.

Staff Session/$29.00

9:00am-1:00pm (5 Clock Hours)

(Each attendee will receive a 1 hr. take-away training module)

*Keynote* Top Ten Secrets to Being Successful in Life"
In this energetic training, attendees will learn the latest
information available to the Child Care Industry on topics
such as: Minimum Standards and how they apply to the
caregiver with focus on risk management and supervision
techniques for the new and experienced teacher & MUCH MORE... 


Fri & Sat, February 7th & 8th
Southfork Hotel- 1600 N. Central Expressway 972-578-8555
PLANO, TX 75074

Fri & Sat February 21st & 22nd
MCM Elegante- 801 Ave. Q 806-763-1200

Fri & Sat, March 7th & 8th
Grand Texan Hotel- 4300 W Wall Street 432-618-9000

Fri & Sat, March 28th & 29th
Holiday Inn- 318 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd. 210-225-3211

Fri & Sat, April 11th & 12th
Holiday Inn Park Cities- 6070 N Central Expressway 214-750-6060
DALLAS, TX 75206

Fri & Sat, April 25th
Hyatt Place - 1909 Research Forest Dr. 281-298-4600

Fri & Sat, May 2nd & 3rd
Radison Fossil Creek- 2540 Meacham Blvd. 817-625-9911
FT WORTH, TX 76106

Fri & Sat, May 9th & 10th
Hilton Hotel- 6780 Southwest Freeway 713-977-7911

Fri & Sat, May 16th & 17th
Best Western- 2200 S IH-35 512-444-0561
AUSTIN, TX 78704  


Visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com to download

the registration form under the CONFERENCE tab,
or call 972-979-0282 for more information
on these exciting training sessions.



Well established licensed childcare center in Gregg County, with a capacity of 180+students. FULLY ACCREDITED FACILITY with a great reputation! The school serves children ages 6 wks-12 yrs of age. The campus offers a clean, structured learning environment based on Christian values. Located in a prime location for growth and stability. The economy in this area is healthy despite a national downturn; this county has been growing and home prices continue to rise. This city was also included in the "Top 100 best cities for young people." This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an appealing, profitable preschool with experienced teachers and an excellent curriculum.  


See you next month with more new and exciting ideas and information!

Staff News Header

Click here
to download this month's Staff Handout:

"Early Childhood Brain Development"


Two Little Groundhogs 

Two little groundhogs in a burrow so deep 

(make fists with thumbs inside) 

Stick out their heads to take a peek! 

(stick out thumbs from fists) 

They look to the left, 

(move thumbs left) 

They look to the right, 

(move thumbs right) 

And they hide from their shadows 

(pull thumbs back in fists) 

in the bright sunlight!


You're My Valentine (Tune: "Love Me Tender") Everyone should be down on one knee with both hands on their hearts as they sing this song like Elvis! 

You're my rainbow,  

you're my star,  

you're my bright red cookie jar.  

You're my goldfish,  

you're my pie,  

you're the apple
of my eye.  

You're my daisy,  

you're my vine,  

you're my own
true Valentine!  

And my darlin',  

I love you.  

Won't you please
be mine?

1,2 You Know
What To Do 

You know what to do. 

Sit on the floor. 

Your feet you fix. 

Sit up straight. 

Let's listen again.

Our Favorite Ideas from Pinterest this month:

*Eye-foot coordination, crossing midline, visual focus and fun! Make a right side line with red beanbags and a left line beside it with blue beanbags. Place a red sticker on the child's left foot and a blue sticker on her right. Tell the child to walk on the beanbags placing her "red foot" on the red bags and "blue foot" on the blue ones. This will cause her feet to cross the midline of her body and exercise her brain!

*Make a Rules Poster using Mr. Potato Head parts to accentuate each rule - "Eyes Looking, Ears Listening," etc.

*Write different letters of the alphabet on the bubbles on a piece of large bubble wrap. Pass it around the circle and let each child identify a letter and pop a bubble!

*Make up your own "...Hunt" songs using the Bear Hunt tune. Ask the kids what they'd like to hunt. Then brainstorm where it would be, what sort of obstacles they might encounter on the way, and how they would get around those obstacles. Voila! You've created a new movement song.

*The One Minute Club - everything is more fun when children are racing the clock! Challenge children to see how many jumping jacks or wind sprints to the fence or trips up the stairs and down the slide, etc. they can accomplish in one minute. All participants get a high five welcome to the One minute Club!


spotlight products

  • Employer's Reference Manual
  • Hiring Forms
  • Employment Forms
  • Employee Handbook
  • Parent Handbook
  • Training Materials
  • and more! 


You can purchase our products online right here! While visiting our website, be sure to click on "Newsletter" and scroll to the bottom of the page to view past newsletters. More great ideas you can use right away!     

You'll also want to visit our  document center for free information you can print and use today!  

Parent News logo

 Offer Valentine's Day babysitting after hours! This is a terrific service to offer parents! Even families who do not take advantage of it may brag about it to their friends co-workers and neighbors. Great word-of-mouth advertising!

Include a "Refer a Friend Coupon" for a free week of child care in your monthly newsletter this month and again each quarter.

Encourage parents to let their children write or "scribble write" their own names on the backs of valentines to distribute to classmates and other friends at the child care center. They should not be concerned with addressing the valentines to specific children. This will also allow the children to "deliver" the valentines or place them in the valentine bags themselves rather than sitting and watching the teacher do it for them.  



  • On-site Training for Staff and Management
  • Consultation
  • Brokerage Services
  • Products

For information visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com or call 972-979-0282

Previous Newsletters
February 2013 Newsletter March 2013 Newsletter
April 2013 Newsletter May 2013 Newsletter
June 2013 Newsletter July 2013 Newsletter
August 2013 Newsletter September 2013 Newsletter
October 2013 Newsletter November 2013 Newsletter
December 2013 Newsletter  

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