3 Tips for coaching success

Coaching on the retail shop floor

Any way you look at it, coaching is the best way to encourage positive change in your business. Since it is such an important part of your role, we thought we’d give you a bit of a hand! We’ve picked out the three most important factors you should know before even beginning to coach your team.

One: Get to know your team

Think about when you deal with customers. Would you treat every customer the same and expect to get a sale out of each of them? Probably not. Much the same, you shouldn’t coach your staff in the same way and expect the same results. It’s important to understand that everyone is different.

Everyone has their subtle nuances, and as a manager it’s your job to make sure you know what your team’s are. Does your trainee respond better to sugar-coated feedback? Do they prefer feedback from someone who’s not scared to ‘call a spade a spade’? Whatever the preference is, get to know your team before you begin coaching so you can appeal to them on their level.

Love it or hate it, if you’re a manager, coaching forms an integral part of your role. Studies have shown that by coaching your team, you can expect a minimum increase of 17% in both productivity, and revenue. This is why we place such emphasis on the face-to-face aspect of training in our courses (not to mention other benefits like; increasing staff confidence, and improving customer satisfaction).

Two: Know the ‘What’…and the ‘Why’

Every technique we teach trainees involves a process; a correct order of things. Before you complete an observation it’s important to know exactly ‘what’ it is that you’re observing. And, your team will expect you to know. The bottom line is; you can’t effectively teach a technique that you don’t completely understand.

HINT: Login and refresh your memory before you begin an observation. You can access your RedSeed training material at any time!

Just as important is knowing the ‘why’ of a technique. If you can clearly explain ‘why’ to a trainee, you’ll build credibility. Not only is this good for the current coaching session, but it builds stock for future sessions. If you’ve logged into RedSeed and reviewed the training material, you’ll already be aware of the ‘why’ factor.

HINT: Different businesses have different reasons why they expect things done in a certain way. Another place you can look for the ‘why’ is in your company policies and procedures.

Keep it Simple, Stupid

You owe it to yourself, and your team to invest time in setting down the foundations of quality coaching and training in your business. Excellence doesn’t just happen. Excellence is the product of habitual good practice, and coaching is an important step to establishing good habits within your team. Through ongoing coaching, your team will become more self aware. They’ll have a greater understanding of their strengths, and areas for improvement.

Three: Keep it simple, stupid

It can be hard to hold your tongue at times. But, in the interest of your trainee (and for your own sanity), don’t over-complicate your feedback. Remember, your staff aren’t always going to get it right, and sometimes they might even get it horribly wrong.

When you’re giving feedback, particularly to someone who’s learning a new skill, pick just one part of the technique for them to improve on. Resist the urge to pile your trainee up with a list of things to fix. Sure, there may be a few things you want them to improve on, but you’ve got two options:

  1. Pick the first error – Following the logical order of the process, work on it from beginning to end. Pick the first error and work on that until they get it right, then move on to the next error in the process.
  2. Pick the error having the biggest impact – Sometimes, some errors are too big to ignore. Here’s where you can make a judgement call to skip the linear approach and cut straight to the problem.
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