Coaching new team members

As I think back to last week’s post about Tom Brady,, I realize there is another lesson for us in his actions.  To refresh your memory, Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, was frustrated with his group of young receivers continuously making mistakes – dropping passes and running the wrong routes.  Brady showed his frustration by displaying very negative body language.  To his credit, after the game he commented that he needs to do a better job of controlling his body language.

In addition to controlling negative body language, this example also serves as a reminder to us that mistakes are a part of life.  And new or inexperienced team members will typically make more mistakes than others.  As leaders, we need to remember that one of our main roles is that of coach.  We need to “coach up” new team members and help them to get better.  This takes patience and empathy.  Rather than show frustration with new team members who make a mistake, it is our job to help them realize their mistake, to correct their behavior and to help them learn from it so the mistake never happens again.  If we chastise rather than coach, as Tom Brady did, we will damage the confidence of new team members and at the same time hurt the morale of our organization.

Be patient with team members who make mistakes.  Remember, even you as the leader will make mistakes on occasion.  When you do, you’ll want your team members to continue to support you.  So model empathy, patience, and coaching for them.  If you demonstrate these behaviors you’ll build an organization of supportive coaches who help each other to get better.

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


One thought on “Coaching new team members

  1. Pingback: Encourage mistakes | Jim Earle

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