The four Cs of coaching skillsNancy Friedmancustomer service, coaching employees, boosting performance
When most people think of the word "coach," they immediately
imagine someone on the sidelines screaming at their players to do a
better job. That may be true in certain sports situations, but in
business, a coach must use a completely different approach in order
to help employees improve performance.
Let's have a look at the role of a manager/coach and how that
integrates with employee development. Where does traditional
training come in? How does training relate to coaching? And what
are the differences between training, coaching and counseling? The
process starts with training. That's the first step.
Let's say you're training a group. What usually happens is that
most of the group understands, learns and benefits from the
information you've presented. Unfortunately, however, not everyone
"gets it." What do we do about that small percentage of employees
often good, conscientious people who may need personalized
attention after training? Those are the ones who need coaching.
Remember, coaches strategically guide their team members toward
improving performance. They analyze feedback to determine the areas
where the training hasn't taken hold. Is remedial training needed?
That's where the coaching comes in. These are the people who need
one-on-one customized help to develop their skills. Now that we've
talked about training and coaching, where does counseling come
Counseling helps people explore, and possibly resolve, personal
problems. Counseling is utilized if, for whatever reason, the
employee isn't performing. It's for that special situation when
training and coaching haven't worked, where the employee is not
willing, or is unable, to do the job especially if there is some
distraction that is not job related.
We're going to give you the Telephone Doctor Four-Step Model for
effective coaching in a call center or business environment. We
call it the 4 Cs of Coaching, and they are as follows:
Concurrence is critical. Unless you and the trainee agree that
there is a gap, and they commit to the improvement that is needed,
you won't be able to coach to your full capacity. You and the
employee must concur that there is an issue. Once that's done, we
can move on to the next issue.
Identify the content that needs to be improved. What needs to be
done? What are some of the issues involved? Normally, coaching is
needed because the employee doesn't know how to do the job (they
just don't "get it") or doesn't want to do the job. You need to
find out which explanation it is. The coach and the employee need
to agree on the content, issue and problem. Only then can they make
a commitment to solve it.
It is important for the coach and the trainee to agree. Then they
can make a commitment to solve the problem. Normally, we're working
with an intelligent, conscientious employee who wants to do a good
job. With some coaching, the job will be done right.
Congratulations or Continuation
Once you and the employee have found the content that needs to be
corrected, you've given them the instruction on how to do it right
and there is a committment that it will be done, it's time for
congratulations. Let them know they've done a good job. It is
critical that you don't leave this part out. The worst case
scenario is continuation. A little more work may be needed with
some employees to reach the congratulations step.
Much coaching takes place to fill a perceived need. You find out
that there's a gap in the performance of an employee and then plan
a coaching approach that should improve the employee's performance.
Formulate your plan and decide when you're going to do your
Coaching, while immediate, should also occur in private,
especially when it becomes on-the-spot coaching. Never embarrass
the employee. That's not coaching, that's being mean!
Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer
Service Training in St. Louis, Mo. and was a featured speaker at
the NAMB 2004 Annual Convention and Exposition in Salt Lake City.
For more information, call (314) 291-1012 or visit www.telephonedoctor.com.