Why won't managers coach and what to do about it? We've been teaching managers how to coach for almost 20 years now. One fundamental thing continues to be prevalent when we hear about the struggle to get managers to coach. They don't have enough time. In reality, they do have time. When we think about situations where a manager has to hire because they've lost employees due to another company or a competitor hiring them, what do they do? Scream that they don't have time? Of course not. They have to be involved in the interview process. Where does this time come from? The time comes from the everyday day to day timeframe of 8 to 5. Managers do have time. Let's be honest, they choose not to use the time to coach because in their mind, there are potentially other things that are more valuable.
Can managers have a conversation? Okay this sounds really ridiculous doesn't it? Think about it, can managers really have a coaching conversation and what's the difference between a coaching conversation and a regular conversation?
The objective of a coaching conversation is to ask questions and learn about employees strengths, and inhibitions, and opportunities to improve. Telling someone what to do such as, "being friendlier to customers in customer service", or "we need to increase our sales because we're running behind", those are mandates and rhetorical directives. Where as a coach would ask, "what's inhibiting you?" What do you need to improve in order for your sales or customer service metrics to go up? These conversations seem to be very difficult for managers so why do managers struggle with this type of conversation?
- They do not practice.
- They need to understand it's a totally different conversation unique to itself.
- They need to be trained in the art of crafting questions that create understanding and discovery as well as promote and motivate employees to preform better.
- They need to practice and have time afforded to them that allow them to practice.
- They need to be supported on an ongoing basis long after the training is over.
If we take the time and really craft an approach to support managers to learn how to have the coaching conversation the training will not go by the wayside. For far to long training departments have been blamed or positioned to deliver more training when in fact, training's never really been the problem especially when it comes to managers coaching, it's getting the managers to sustain what has been taught.
When we think about support, what does support look like? Support is actually crafting sessions such as, a best practice session around a customer service team who needs to deal with angry customers more effectively. The session could literately have managers crafting out questions of what they would ask their team, or particular members of their team, to better understand why they are struggling with handling angry customers.
These type of sessions usually create an "ah-ha" moment for managers meaning, they come up with questions and once they apply them they start to learn what their people can or cannot do, this sadly is a huge eye-opener for many managers.
This is not to blame managers but I think we as training professionals have a wonderful opportunity of making it more comfortable for them. It's much like going into a foreign country in immediately been expected to speak their language when in fact it takes time much like a coaching conversation. This is not meant to be presented solely as a challenge, rather this is a huge opportunity for training leaders to position managers to have such conversations. How does a training professional do this? First, they also need to be able to have the coaching conversation with the manager to enable them to coach. Second, we need to streamline the coaching conversation and make it easy for them!
NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH:
Making Coaching Conversations Easier With Coaching Prescriptions:
There are so many ways people are using webcasts from sales presentations to thought leadership to traditional training. Many organizations use webcasts as a platform to facilitate meetings. All of this is perfectly appropriate.
When we think of coaching we often think about sitting down with an employee and facilitating a one-to-one conversation. Coaching is about building awareness and giving another person a choice to change and improve in a particular area. This does not need to always happen with a one-to-one conversation.
Here are five creative ways to use webcasts as a coaching platform :
- If an employee needs to possess knowledge have them teach via a webcast to the rest of the group. The old cliché is to know something is to have the ability to teach it.
- If a group of employees need to possess knowledge from a presentation test them before they can start practicing the actual skill. This can be accomplished in a webcasting platform easily.
- Use video to facilitate an in person and online discussion. For example, shoot a simple video but delivered via webcasting platform in a live or on demand version to facilitate observational coaching. For example, a sales team could watch a simulation a role-play in action and literally use the video as a basis to facilitate conversation of what the salesperson did well and what they did not do well. In addition a coach could ask people what they observed in the video that they found in themselves that they have an opportunity to improve.
- Create a sequence of events to be learned and ultimately tested for knowledge understanding. For example if you have a customer service team needs to understand five very specific things the organization organization in the way it handles customers you can create a webcast or series of webcast to address this. Each employee can take the webcast to ultimately pass a test and receive in an automated certificate of completion.
- One of the things that I absolutely love about a platform we use is to have the ability to facilitate tools within the webcast to facilitate a coaching experience. For example, if I'm teaching a group of managers how to coach to a very specific situation but I want them to be engaged I can load into the platform evaluation sheets along with what we call what would you do coaching sheets that are easily accessible. One thing I like to do is literally have these sheets completed and emailed and/or uploaded within 10 minutes of the webcast being completed. This prompts absolute engagement and not passive participation.
We are all busy and the number one objection we get when it comes to coaching for managers is that they don't have time and that's understandable. What we do with progress coaching is look for creative ways to apply coaching principles using tools and resources that facilitate the ultimate coaching experience: That is giving someone a choice to change and improve and facilitating that improvement with them. Webcasting is an absolutely fantastic and create a platform to do just that. Think about employees who need to increase their knowledge or awareness of the skill they need to practice? What are some things that people need to behaviorally change such as attitude or self-awareness where webcast or a video within a webcast could help facilitate? These are all opportunities to improve the coaching experience.
We have used a variety of platforms when delivering webcasts. I think I have personally used over seven different platforms and they all have their positives and certainly some drawbacks. Recently we signed on with a company out of Seattle called Workcast. This platform provides organizations some of the most unique ways to facilitate not only events but webcast sessions that allow you to almost have like a live e-learning experience. The tracking and simulation of what I try to do with coaching is so easy to implement with their platform. I would encourage you as a training or thought leader or coach to check out whatWorkcast.
We are not a reseller of work cast but have found it to be the most effective platform for what were trying to accomplish: if interested contact Doug Cardinale at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their webcast platform:www.workcast.com
Change is hard. People avoid it. It's rarely embraced. It's tough to get people to even look at things that require change. It's also important coaches understand that change needs to actually occur before desired results occur.
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Coaching sales teams is not easy. What is a manager to do? This free and 100 % educational webinar may help!