Using Coaching to Give Your Staff Room to Grow

A discussion this morning with my colleagues on offering push notifications prompted further discussion and thought about why it’s so common in this business to boil things down to yea or nay.  Crosstalk or no crosstalk, instead of, what kind, or how to do the best.

It is a frustration of many managers I work with that talent and staffers seek out the rules – the yeas and nays.

In a climate of frequent ownership and management changes, people are even more likely to want to know the rules, in an effort to be able to mold to new philosophy and keep their jobs.

The truth is, rules that are absolutely beneficial or “right” are very hard to come by. Very often the good stuff occurs when someone breaks the rules – recognizing special circumstances and applying the treatment to suit and enhance a moment or story.

How do you get the people on your staff who are independent by nature to understand – beyond the yea or nay – how to deliver good work that suits the profile or brand you’re trying to craft and support?

Coaching provides an opportunity for discussion – the kind of discussion that allows for exploration of ways to achieve the bigger picture goals.  In cases where there is regular on-going discussion, it is more likely that people understand there is always room for growth and evolution. Creating regular opportunities for discussion can help re-charge efforts with thoughtfulness and depth.

It also helps create opportunity for different kinds of discussion.  An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests practicing Calendar-driven, as well as Event-driven coaching, either of which offers the opportunity to help individuals understand and craft the kind of product you are trying to create.

Quarterly coaching visits or reviews for your staff certainly offer calendar-driven opportunities to finesse performance.  But don’t forget the view that comes from taking a look at something more specific, such as performances during breaking news, severe weather or election coverage.  Very often that is where a newsroom shines – in the exceptions, rather than the day-to-day ordinary coverage.  Discussing the right stuff that comes from the exceptional days can help you secure exceptional performance more consistently.

 If you’d like to talk about how this can apply to your on-air team, please contact me at

About the Author:

Laura has been coaching TV news anchors, reporters and program hosts for more than 20 years – the past 15 years on behalf of for CJ&N, Inc. Prior to that, she worked as a producer and in syndication. Laura's clients span a variety of market sizes -- from Reno to New York – and include professionals from local television stations as well as cable and network news organizations. ​Laura is adept at making connections with people so their experience is positive and productive. She strives to help individuals not only grow to reach their greatest potential, but make choices that make sense for the team and reinforce the strategy of the organization. Laura's approach always includes leaving people with actionable points to help them reach their goals, points that help managers carry the torch, and complete accessibility for follow-up that ensures lasting change.