Life, Love & Photography :: Mentors

April 22, 2018

The Power Of Teaching and Coaching Your Team Members

In my field of photography, I’ve had many incredible mentors: Steve, Allan, Carlos, Mel, Ahmet… one I’d like to talk about specifically is Allan. Allan coached me on my shooting style and on photography in general. I deeply appreciate the time he poured into helping me refine my skills. However, that doesn’t mean it was always easy; in fact, he was actually really tough on me. He pushed me to do better and better each time we worked together. Because of this, I call him drill sergeant! That’s part of what made him a great mentor. Allan was also very specific and very good at coaching. I’m fortunate to have him as a mentor and friend and I’m grateful that he cared enough to point out ways in which I could improve my work. 

This brings me to the importance of teamwork. Teamwork is essential for your business, whether you are a photographer, wedding planner, florist or designer. When members of a team don’t perform well together, performance and productivity can suffer. The power of coaching a team makes a team perform that much stronger.

Hostility, conflicting goals, and unclear expectations are all symptoms of an unhealthy team. With good teaching and coaching on your part, you can have a good, healthy, productive team that is clear about all goals and expectations.

Here are some coaching tips I’ve picked up over the years:

  • Make sure to highlight what you think they are great at too
  • Be specific – don’t be vague
  • Show and tell people
  • Be a good example
  • Repetition is the key
  • Stress good communication
  • Focus on interpersonal skills
  • Push them to be their best

Keep in mind that everyone is different. You may have one person who is seen as a sort of “pushy” person, or an aggressive person. Your job as a coach, then, would be to curb that aggressiveness so that they fit in more as part of a team.

You may have another person who always walks away from a conflict and needs to learn to be more assertive, and it’s up to you to teach him/her that skill.

Part of your role as a coach is to bring your team members closer together and to help them to understand each other better. For example, if Linda knows that Tom is shy, she can better understand why he prefers to work on tasks independently, and not take it offensively when he does. Perhaps you can also help Tom step out of his comfort zone and enjoy the company of others once in a while.

Your team will be looking to you for direction. Make sure that you are “on top of things,” and that you are organized and professional at all times. Practice good communication and interpersonal skills with your team and expect them to do the same with you.

Good coaching can give you a great team . Then someday they’ll speak highly about you the way I speak of drill sergeant Allan!

Our hope for this blogpost is that it continues to inspire you to dream, to grow and to create in fabulously authentic ways. May we all deepen our sense of creativity, cultivate change, fulfillment and joy in our lives and take time to acknowledge all that we have to be thankful for!

As always, we truly appreciate your friendship, your continued support and generous referrals.

If you have any suggestions, questions or thoughts please feel free to call me


Judith Rae

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