There are lots of coaching programs and approaches, though I suspect that many of them overlap quite a bit. But when I hear that a coaching program “isn’t working,” I generally wonder if it really has anything to do with the quality of the program itself.
I suspect we’re dealing with implementation and pull-through issues, leading inevitably to a lack of coaching quality where the rubber meets the road (out in the field).
Improving coaching practices involves changing habits, not giving out more information or enforcing new acronyms. A half-day coaching training session won’t automatically translate to productive behaviors in the field.
It seems to me that a combination of two things will best lead to an increase in coaching quality:
- A data-driven analysis to diagnose the current state of practice, and to define “what good looks like” – along with a prescription to move from A to B (one of my consultant-partners specializes in this).
- A structured and realistic roll-out/reinforcement plan that ensures peer-reinforced improvement as the coaching approach is implemented.
I had a chance to interact deeply with one of my established Selling/Coaching partners about this crucial element of reinforcement – they feel that it really is the key to success with any coaching (or selling!) program.
How has your company been doing with improving coaching quality? Do you have some ideas or best practices to share? Send me an e-mail at AskSteve@impactiviti.com and let’s compare notes.
Glen Drummond says
Regarding coaching, I have some very strong feelings around this as I have seen it done poorly and I have seen it done well.
The key elements from my perspective are as follows:
-identify the culture and climate to ensure the correct coaching model represents both
-design and develop the model (I designed the model myself)-needs to be simple for managers to learn, recall, and utilize it
-need to not only have a coaching model but also a counseling model for the need to move to the next level if coaching doesn’t work ( I also developed our counseling model)
-ensure buy in along the way during design and development with senior sales management who will use these models and support use with their management
-ensure buy in along the way with HR so it maps to performance management standards and easily fits into their process
-use a DM Advisory council to get user input to also help buy in with the sales managers when rolling out
-integrate it into the field coaching report
-laminate the models for roll out and user retention
-hold a separate DM workshop to roll it out-don’t merge it with something else that takes away from the priority of this
-frequent reinforcement should be done to ensure adoption, understanding, feedback-best practice sharing, every time managers are together to reinforce it
-hold trimester DM training workshops (or what ever your frequency is) where you integrate simulations so as to practice the models (just did this last week at our national managers meeting to prep for POA)
-integrate the models into new DM training as well as management development process for future leaders, and for field district trainers to ensure you cover all users
-Finally, link the models to the selling model so role playing for managers includes a specific component of the selling model followed by simulations using the coaching and counseling models to pull thru the selling model
This has given us a common language also amongst the field management and training team.
Hope this helps