Bucket Theory, part 3 of 10

Created for coaches. Applicable to all…

–Coach D.

My players, past and present, know what it means to ‘fill your bucket.’

Now you can learn it, too. I hope you’ll follow our 10-step approach to filling your own proverbial bucket. Whether you’re a football coach, business manager, a parent or student, these 10 principles apply to you—no matter who the players/teammates in your world may be.

What does it mean to ‘fill your bucket?’

Over the years I’ve had players with incredible physical talent but who lacked in heart, leadership and effort. I’ve also had players whose physical talents were far from stellar, but who consistently showed heart, leadership and 100% effort.

Guess which players I started? Yep, you guessed right. The ones purposefully guided by inner heart, leadership and effort. They were filling their buckets with the habits of future champions.

In previous weeks, we’ve covered Step 1 + 2. Now, we move on…

Step 3: Create a place where everyone wants to be.

This is Marketing 101 and Psychology 101. And, frankly, it’s also Coaching 101—whether your team is comprised of athletes, businesspersons, family or friends.

Environment matters. Interpersonal relationships matter. And creating a place where everyone wants to be results from effectively addressing both ‘matters.’

As the leader and coach, it is YOUR job to ensure a comfortable environment. It must be welcoming. It must fulfill an expectation of kindness.

So how do we create an atmosphere where others want to come? How do we create a place where relationships flourish?

As with so many complexities in life, it’s actually basic simplicity that provides solutions.

Be welcoming. Really understand that the group before you is comprised of individuals. Each individual is unique, with strengths and weaknesses to grow and build upon. Each person has fears. Each has insecurities. And, at any time, each is likely dealing with something difficult in his or her life. Never become too busy or too important to forget this.

Connect with each individual. Look her in the eye when you speak. Encourage him with a pat on the back and words directed specifically to him. Make certain they know you see them as individuals before viewing them collectively as a group. Sure, there are plenty of times when it’s imperative to speak to the team (or group) as a whole. But to truly be heard when speaking to the group, it requires plenty of one-on-one discussions and connections. It’s how respect is strengthened. And, it’s how individual relationships are built. Remember, relationships are the foundation of building success, no matter the structure upheld by the foundation.

Be nice. Again, yes, it sounds so simplistic—but it’s profound. Genuine kindness is more powerful than any muscle. And it’s certainly received more openly than shouts and threats. We all thrive more prosperously when we feel like we are welcome and belong.

Encourage + Always Be Positive. Kindness and positive attention are closely linked. They work together like, well, like a coach with a championship team. They build relationships, trust, safety, and they help create a place where your team wants to be. Right there with you, to progress goals forward to champion-like success—no matter the turf beneath the feet.