Smart Talk: 'A great coach, a great team'

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Q. In this climate of dwindling reimbursement, there's lots of talk about lowering costs by improving operational efficiencies, but what should HME managers do to get the most out of their employees?
A. First, one must grasp the new team terminology. For decades we have been called managers, supervisors, leaders, even team leaders. Today the terminology has shifted in many businesses to coach. Webster defines coaching as: A person who trains, tutors or instructs. This definition can give us a start as to how to think about the role of a coach.
As a coach you must be invested in your team member's success, as well as the organization's success.
- Plan and strategize to achieve the results you and the organization desires.
- Counsel problem players and set them on the success track.
- Support exceptional team members and help them realize their fullest potential.
Coaches don't succeed without team members and team members don't succeed without coaches. The legendary coach Lou Holtz may have said it best:"Bad coach, bad team. Good coach, good team. Great coach, great team."
No matter how exceptional a leader may be, with mediocre team members at best, the team will be fair. It is in the development stage that a coach grows. As the coach grows and develops so grows the team members. Remember:
- Coaching is about performance, feedback and learning.
- Coaching can take the form of teaching or of stimulating new thinking.
- A coach helps a person focus on the learning process and on learning the skills that are associated with the process.


Ty Bello is vice president of homecare business development at Gulf South Medical Supply. Reach him at or (800) 532-4035, ext. 1640