Build a Stronger Team by Being a Better Coach (June 2021)

Coaching is one of the most crucial skills for successful leaders. It’s coaching that develops your young reporter into an all-star investigator. It’s coaching that counteracts burnout and low morale after the latest newsroom disruption. It’s coaching that motivates, challenges and fosters collaboration so that your newsroom produces powerful journalism.

But too often, leaders feel like they don’t have the time to improve their ability to coach. It’s faster to be a fixer. Fixing, or just doing it yourself, bogs you down with extra work and distracts you from thinking strategically. More important, it robs your reporters of a sense of ownership and the chance to grow.

This new, hyper-focused workshop from Poynter will teach leaders at news organizations how to build stronger teams by being better coaches. You will explore the language and art of coaching, how to actively listen and demonstrate empathy to your staff, strategies for handling conflict, what change management looks like in the news environment and more.

Poynter’s leadership faculty Cheryl Carpenter is designing and overseeing this new program. She is sought-after for custom leadership training in newsrooms around the world, built Poynter’s virtual executive development training programs in 2020, has served as a leadership coach for Poynter’s Table Stakes program since 2017, helped develop Poynter’s inaugural anti-harassment training program, and co-leads Poynter’s core leadership training programs, including Essential Skills for Rising Newsroom Leaders, all Leadership Academies, and Poynter’s other new virtual programs, Starting Poynt and Power Up: Leadership in Tough Times.

Program details

This workshop builds on Poynter’s rich tradition of teaching editors and leaders to be effective coaches:

  • Poynter senior scholar Roy Peter Clark and Don Fry wrote the original book on coaching: “Coaching Writers: Editors and Reporters Working Together Across Media Platforms.”
  • Former Poynter president Karen Brown Dunlap collaborated on “The Effective Editor: How to Lead Your Staff to Better Writing and Better Teamwork.”
  • Former Poynter leadership faculty Jill Geisler wrote “The Writing Coach in the Broadcast Newsroom” and “How to be an Effective Coach.”

You’ll learn the foundations of coaching developed over decades by Poynter’s leadership experts; you’ll also apply new techniques of change and conflict management to the ever-changing news organizations of 2021.

How do you effectively coach people who work remotely? With deadlines looming and shrinking staffs, how do you prioritize these “how can I help” conversations? As the lines among editorial, product and technology blur, how do you negotiate the conflict that emerges from those different roles? How do you ensure that you’re coaching everyone you oversee fairly?

Carpenter, with the help of expert guest instructors, will help you navigate your specific challenges through hands-on activities, peer coaching sessions and evidence-based presentations. You’ll leave with an action plan to put in place immediately and new ideas to coach each of your employees and others you work with.


If you need assistance, email us at [email protected].

Who should apply

Experienced or new newsroom leaders who want to improve their organization’s journalism and focus on retaining and growing great talent. If you feel like you would benefit from learning how to effectively coach your direct reports or mentees, you should apply.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interests and basic demographic information.

In order to complete your application, we require authorization of payment. Your card will not be charged until you are accepted into the program. Upon acceptance to the program you will receive an email notification and your credit card payment will be processed.

The deadline to apply is Monday, May 31, 2021, at midnight Eastern time.


Tuition for this three-day online program is $499 and includes live instruction from esteemed Poynter faculty, peer group interaction, 360-degree feedback from your own newsroom and a conflict management style assessment.