“I’ve tried coaching my team. It didn’t work.” Really? Was it the coaching that didn’t work, the manager’s coaching that didn’t work or was it more about how the coaching was delivered that didn’t work? As a manager, there are many things to consider when rolling out a coaching program for your team that will lead to a successful initiative, a mediocre one or a coaching program that will go down in flames.
Since my last book, Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions, I’ve been spending the majority of my time (every week!) delivering my management coach training programs for both domestic and global organizations. And the more I deliver my program, whether it’s to a team of sales managers who want to learn how to facilitate more effective sales coaching interactions with their salespeople that drives more sales or to a team of executives, VP’s and senior leaders who are in the position where they can provide a deeper layer of support by authentically coaching their management team, the more I find consistencies as to why coaching doesn’t work.
For any company wide coaching initiative to be effective and long-lasting within your organization, there are important obstacles that a manager or internal sales coach needs to address. Rather than do a deep dive into each of these 10 Points, leverage this as more of a checklist for you to use before rolling out your coaching program.
If you’ve already attempted to coach your people and have experienced varying degrees of success, do not give up! This checklist can be used for you to diagnose where the breakdown is so that you can recalibrate your coaching efforts and overcome some of the obstacles that may have been outside of your line of vision.
The Top Ten Reasons Why Coaching Fails When Managers Attempt to Coach Their Team
1. Coaching In Your Own Image. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I already know the ‘right’ way to sell which has always worked for me. So if I were you, I would do it this way.” Note: Your building robots using this approach, not tapping into people’s individuality.
2. Poor Positioning. How did you set the expectations of coaching? “All the underperformers, please stand up! Here’s your chance to redeem yourself!” Ouch. This ‘Broken Wing Mentality’ (Remedial Coaching) doesn’t create an atmosphere where everyone would want to be coached.
3. Past Experiences. “I’ve already tried to coach my people. It didn’t work.” Well, maybe it’s more about how you tried to enroll them in coaching that didn’t work. Every day, more and more statistics and surveys are showing the R.O.I. that good coaching generates. It’s time to do some self analysis and ask yourself what role you’re playing in this.
4. Inconsistent Coaching and Support. Sure, you may have been excited to coach your team but what message are you sending them when you cancel that coaching session you scheduled with them, regardless of how good a reason you had, your employee is thinking is “I guess I’m/the coaching isn’t a priority/important enough.”