The Progress Coaching Blog

    Coaching Adults ... Coaching Kids ... Often The Same Thing!

    November 13, 2015 Posted by : Tim Hagen

    How many times have we asked our kids to clean their room only to hear "I will" and they ultimately never do it when they say so. Now let's turn to adults and asking an employee why they didn't finish a particular project and we often hear "I am so busy" . During our training session when we teach our programProgress Coaching I often share the joke we leave our kids at home to go coach our kids at work as they exhibit the same behaviors. Almost every time I get a good laugh because the attendees often know it's true.

    How about the kid in the classroom at school who has a bad attitude and the teacher simply says "cut it out" assuming this kid is now been magically transformed. It's the same thing a manager does when they call an employee into the office and talks about their attitude and says the same thing and assumes this employee has gone back to the work area and immediately started sharing a smile with his or her coworkers - gosh I hope you're laughing?

    Coaching is about getting people to see themselves and ultimately the actions they need to take to improve or sustain improvement. How many times have we told our kids to study and honestly heard them reply "Thanks Mom and Dad for the revelation". It's the same thing with an employee when they are told they have a bad attitude do they honestly turn to us and say "thanks I wasn't aware and you can count on my improvement from this day forward." Permission to keep laughing granted !!!

    Here's another example. How often are parents overheard saying to their kid or kids "you have to play nice together" - gosh we don't have that problem in corporate America do we?

    So why do I share this insight from coaching kids to adults? The reason being is we have to realize that coaching is about getting people to look in the mirror and seeing actions to change what they ultimately and honestly are seeing in the mirror. This does not happen with simple rhetorical demands rather a thoughtful and consistent approach to working with employees for progress and continuous improvement. I am not saying adults are childish rather they possess some of the same attributes they did as children and rhetorical management simply does not work. Here are a few more examples:

    • An employee with a bad attitude needs time and practice to truly improve.
    • A salesperson who has a fear of handling objections and often complains about the company's pricing is someone who really needs to practice and be honest about their own abilities or lack thereof.
    • A customer service agent who struggles with handling angry customers cannot simply be told to be confident when doing so; whereas, they need the knowledge and skill to properly work with angry customers to ultimately win them over successfully.
    • Last think about the adult who has a heart attack because their kid struck out or missed a basketball shot during a game is that that child really willing to take the next shot or next swing? We have to coach people to produce effort and progress and results can become sustainable and predictable.


    Please add your thoughts to this blog post is I would love to hear your opinion!

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    About Author

    Tim Hagen
    Tim Hagen

    Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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