How to be a better team coach in the mining industry


What are the secrets to great leadership within any team in the mining industry? Here are 4 tips everyone in a leadership role needs to read.

Is being a coach really just about developing on-field tactics and improving skills?

Spend any weekend watching a sporting event and during the breaks you will see the coaching staff holding up a whiteboard explaining tactics and strategies to beat the opposition.

If only it were that simple. What we don’t see out there on the field are the hours and hours spent practicing, honing skills and tactics, and reviewing the competition’s play.

Coaching in business is just like leading a sports team. Get it right and you’re on a winning streak. Get it wrong and you and your team are heading down the ladder (or the KPI chart).

So how do you lead or coach a winning team?

A clearly defined common goal or purpose


Just as in sport the purpose is to win the game, in the workplace the team needs to focus on the result. So, the starting point is ensuring everyone on the team knows what the goal or purpose is, how they will achieve it, and what the outcome will be when the goal is reached.

READ MORE: How great leaders in the mining industry inspire action

Everyone must be clear about the part they need to play to achieve the common goal. If they are not, it’s entirely possible you may have all your players running towards the opposition goals, constantly defending. It is up to you as the coach or leader to ensure everyone understands their role, the roles of the rest of the team and how to work together.

Practice behaviours that lead to success


Do you lead by example or simply direct people on what to achieve?

If you’re not demonstrating how a goal can be achieved, or working on tasks with the team to achieve a goal, then your team is not being led effectively.

A basketball goes through the hoop, symbolising coaching helping achieve goals.Please enter an image description.

Demonstrate the behaviour and actions you want in your team and they will respond in kind. If you’re not engaging with them, then why would they engage with you? If you’re only checking in at preset times, for example, you risk creating the impression that you are unavailable outside these times.

Your actions and behaviours will be modelled by your team. So, if you are passionate, committed, engaged and focused, they will be too.


Give your team space to shine and allow individuals to work to their unique talents


Let’s face it: no one likes being “over-managed” or “micromanaged”. It helps no one learn and it’s not effective. Insisting on regular check-ins, for example, does not lead to increased productivity. It just prevents people developing skills and belief in their capabilities.

By giving your team “time to shine”, they develop self-belief, improve skills and, in turn, feel empowered to improve on their performance and continue towards achieving the common goal.

A good leader encourages, supports and empowers their team. Respect is a two-way street and trust is built by creating a workplace that values open and honest communication. Ideas from team members should be encouraged and the status quo challenged.

READ MORE: It’s a mining executive’s job to stop employee burnout

Mistakes should not be criticised, there should be no blame games, and your team should know you have their back if things go astray. Lose any of this, and you risk losing output from your high-performance, results-oriented team. Worse, people may well begin to look for their next opportunity outside your team.


A good leader appreciates their team’s efforts

Each team member needs to understand the contribution their efforts are having on outcomes and your goals. Not everyone will aspire to a leadership role or be results-focused, but once you find what drives each of your team individually, you’re on track to winning that premiership!

Make sure to register your details with us to ensure you’re considered for upcoming opportunities that match your skillset.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International