In a recent coaching session with a client I was discussing issue of encouraging commitment from team members. The conversation arose from my client saying that there seemed to be little sense in taking the time to establish a relationship with staff members who may only be in the business for a relatively short period of time.
This reminded me of a discussion that I had with my son, Nicholas, when he played under 13’s rugby. Just before he was due to run onto the field for a game Nicholas realised that his coach had changed the positions around and he would not be playing his usual position. Now that Nick wasn’t playing in his usual position, he also wouldn’t get to play for the entire duration of the game. Nicholas told me that because he wasn’t going to get a lot of playing time he didn’t feel like putting any effort in. I responded that I thought it was important he put his best effort into the game. To illustrate my point I asked him if, when he played his favourite position, whether he only put in maximum effort to a few minutes of the game. Somewhat indignantly, he replied that he didn’t and that he tried his hardest for the whole duration of the game. This led me to ask him why it was that he would give the game his best if he played the whole thing, but not when he played only parts? As I explained to Nicholas, his game, which is sixty minutes, is simply broken up into sixty one minute sections and if he could put his best effort into each minute then he could expect to receive the best reward from playing the game.
On that basis, it wouldn’t matter if he was on the field for one minute, ten minutes or the entire game. However long he had played for, he knew that he had put his best effort into each minute and he could expect to be acknowledged for that and to enjoy each minute of the game. In many ways it is like enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
I related this story to my client because I felt the same principle applied in making time for staff. Whether the team was going to be with the client for one day, one month, one year or forever, the client could get the most out of each team member by investing the maximum effort with them every day.
As a part of the coaching process, I asked the client how it would be if one of the team members decided to come in for a day and simply not make any real effort for that day. Of course, my client would not be impressed and so this helped to explain that the length of time that each team member was with the business was simply made up of series of individual days.
Whether a team member is with you for one day, one month or one year, that length of time is simply made up of a series of individual days. If you expect each day to have the maximum input from each team member, then building relationships on a day-to-day basis is crucial. It’s well worth the effort!