Convener: Margaret Walter, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
Lisa Marie Pane, Associated Press, Providence
David Kessler, Essential Coaching
Paul Janensch, Quinnipiac University, journalism professor
There’s telling (do this) and mentoring (here’s how I do it) and coaching (let’s see what works here).
Coaching can work on deadline, but you have to make it happy. Stay calm and directed.
Don’t assume, for example, that someone is unhappy or that they agree that something about their performance is an issue. Ask the person if he/she agrees there’s an issue or is unhappy. Be direct and communicate.
LISTEN — and listen again to what is said and NOT said.
Compliment publicly; criticize privately.
Care about the “coachee,” want them to succeed.
General comments made as part of the discussion that could prove useful to others who want to think about how to coach:
- Catch someone “doing something right” and reinforce it.
- There are different styles of coaching, but look for where the passion is.
- Give generous and honest compliments. Always criticize privately.
- How to handle “old dogs” — Ask for help solving problems. “I don’t know. What do you think?”
- Think about how to manage your manager
- A “culture of coaching” is needed.
- Environment fosters a coaching environment
- Talk about coaching, not being soft or letting people off the hook
- How to each some without doing it for them.
- Ask “What’s the news?”
- Look to other disciplines (e.g. abstract of a scientific paper is a lead for a story) for tips on getting into the story.
- After news gathering, have reporters debrief with editor or co-worker before writing.
- The qualities of a good editor are not necessarily the qualities of a good reporter.
- Listen — Journalists are not necessarily good listeners, reporters so often intent on next questions that they miss what person said to take a different tack
- When trying to get change, ask “changee” if they agree there’s an issue. Perhaps pair person with another for mutual mentoring
- A lot of coaches among peers, if fostered: How would you handle this?
- Group setting without cubicles best to foster interaction
Joe Torres’ “12 winning ways”
Phil Jackson, football coach, book on coaching