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.