The Progress Coaching Blog

    Coaching Employees to Become Influential Leaders

    September 6, 2022 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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    One of the most valuable things we can do as leaders is to position people within our own teams to be what I call influential or internal leaders. Now, just for our own definition, internal leaders or influential leaders are those people who don't have the title yet can help you lead the team. Now, let me give you a really fundamental example. Years ago, I was working with a number of branch managers at one of our client sites at a credit union. And one of the managers said, geez, I've got 10 people. I really don't have time to coach all of them. I am scheduling time with them, but I know that I'm really fractured in terms of my time. And I said, well, do you have some people on your team that you really trust that are well respected by others that could really invest in your team as well?



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    And she said, yeah, I've got two people. They're senior. They're great. They're upbeat. They don't really wanna move up in the organization. They don't want people management responsibility and I said, well, what about using them as influential coaches? She said, what do you mean? I said, well, influential coaching sometimes is more accepted than from somebody's boss because it's from a peer. It's someone who's in the trenches. It's somebody who's trusted. She said, yeah, I, I think that's great. And I said, okay, well, let's come up with a couple ideas. I said, what do you want your people to do? More of? She said, we have to ask more questions. We have to upsell and cross sell. It is a core function of what we do, cuz the more we upsell and cross sell, the more we, you know, bring business into not only the credit union, but the more we're allowed to service our, uh, customers.


    And I said, okay and what is the resistance? And she said, rejection people don't like to do it. I mean, you're talking to people about, you know, money and it's personal and you're kind of out in the open, it's uncomfortable. And it is. And I really love that she depicted it. So what we did is we worked with two leaders and we said, look, no constructive feedback for 90 days. None! Just when you see it, don't be overzealous. Don't overdo it. Don't be theatrical. Just acknowledge. Just acknowledge what somebody does really well when you witness it. When a member walks away, go up to someone and say, Tom, wow, you really ask some great questions. You really sounded confident. And I loved how you really listened to the member. Now we call these nudges. Yes a little corny and cliche. Those are nudges. So when you go up to somebody and say, wow, you ask great open ended questions. What are we really saying? Keep asking open ended questions. And then when we say you demonstrated active listening, really, really well. What are we really saying? Keep demonstrating active listening. And then when we have someone who might be lacking a little bit of confidence and you say, wow, Tom, you looked and you sounded more confident. What are we saying? Continue to be a little bit more confident. 

     Results? Sales went up over 30 % and the team progressed and the Branch Manager found herself building future talent and saving time!

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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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