Coaching and Financial Stability
Before it is possible to implement any coaching activities, the definition of a coach must be made clear. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of coaching as well as the challenges that coaches face will establish the foundation necessary for the moving forward in the process of becoming a coach for salespeople.
In the business world, a coach is responsible for increasing employee and company success. The goal of coaching is to develop employees at all levels, including productivity, adaptability, satisfaction, and retention. There are professional coaching positions, but any manager can be a coach who develops the best in their employees.
Coaches are not mentors, although they share some of the same roles. Coaches work to help people discover information on their own rather than relying on direct teaching methods. In any coaching relationship, it is necessary to develop trusting relationships based on confidentiality.
Being a good coach demands a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities that a coach must provide. These roles include:
- Challenge assumptions – Ask team members to consider their beliefs.
- Offer encouragement – Celebrate achievements and build confidence in times of struggle.
- Provide education – Help team members find skills, knowledge, and expertise.
- Act as counselor – Develop interpersonal relationships between team members and those outside the team.
These roles that a coach plays requires balance. It is important to avoid focusing so much on one role that you fail to address others.
The coach is responsible for guiding and supporting the team. Responsibilities extend to specific activities such as:
- Maintain the team’s focus on a common goal
- Assist the team in different processes and provide support
- Monitor progress
- Give effective feedback diplomatically
These are not the only responsibilities that coaches have.
Remember not to take on too much. Your responsibilities need to support your
roles. When you go beyond this, you risk overextending yourself.
There are common challenges the coaches face when they are working with their teams. Many of these challenges become risks when coaches fail to address them. We will discuss risks later in the course.
- There is a lack of trust in relationships – Be honest and sincere in relationship building.
- Failure of individuals to come to their own conclusions – Allow them to struggle without interfering.
- Dependent team members – Do not allow team members to use you to solve all their problems.
- Uncommitted team members – Have members develop goals, and cut them if they refuse to engage.
- Lack of respect – Maintain boundaries to prevent members of the sales team from losing respect for your position.
Coaches need to be prepared to take on the roles and responsibilities of the job. Whether you are a coach manager or specialist, you must embrace the confidence and build the connections necessary to do the job. A successful coach will also need to communicate effectively and be able to focus in on the coaching process.
A coach needs to help instill confidence in others, but this is difficult to do if coaches lack confidence themselves. Confidence is an attitude that will bring success when combined with drive, focus, and enthusiasm. There are a few ways that you can build confidence:
- Think positively and avoid negative thoughts
- Focus on achievements
- Commit to small goals
- Increase goals
You have probably heard the saying, “Fake it till you make
it.” There are some characteristics of confident people that you can imitate.
Knowing these characteristics will also help you identify it in others and also
Building connections with team members and between team members is an essential part of a coach’s job. The easiest way to build connections is through finding common ground. Common ground can be as basic as sharing the same goals or enjoying the same activities. Begin coaching relationships by telling personal stories that are not too revealing. As you find common ground, your connection with the team will grow.
Help the team build connections among themselves using
similar techniques. As you grow your connections, you will develop trust and
loyalty within the team. This trust will require effective communication
techniques to develop.
Coaches need to be aware of their communication styles. The most effective method of communication is active listening. This method of communication has some very specific aspects:
- Encouragers: Encouragers are signals that you are paying attention to the speaker. These are phrases and sounds that encourage speakers to continue. They should only be used occasionally.
- Repeat the speaker’s key phrases: This is another way to encourage speakers to continue and to make them feel heard.
- Paraphrase and Summarize: Restate the speaker’s key points.
- Empathy: Offer empathy, but make sure it is genuine.
- Pay attention: Stay in the moment and listen carefully. It might be tempting to interrupt because you’ve anticipated what else the customer is going to say.
- Control emotions: Pay attention to the volume, tone of voice, and speed of speech. Higher volume, tone, and pace indicate not only emotion and enthusiasm but also anger, frustration, and anxiety.
- Take notes: Write down any questions or thoughts to follow up and ask questions.
- Open-ended questions: Open-ended questions are the opposite of close-ended questions. They are broad and encourage conversation.
- Be genuine: Be fully present in the interaction and care about the situation and the person speaking.
Remember to pay close attention to your body language and break down any barriers to communication that you may have.