Coaching is a very important skill all managers should develop to be able to motivate and engage with the team, as well as work together to deliver sales. Yes, developing salespeople with coaching is an investment that requires time and effort, but it has proven to increase productivity and engagement as well as solve challenges and reach team goals. So why would managers choose not to coach? It doesn’t necessarily make them a bad manager for not taking up coaching, but they are forfeiting an effective tool to develop talent.
1. It’s not my role
It is their role, but they may feel it is the role of HR. HR / L&D should make sure they have the skills to do it, but it is their role. However, there is still a significant proportion of managers who still don’t understand what sales coaching really is. If HR push coaching onto a manager, there may be a chance they won’t effectively follow through. Instead, managers need to be educated on the importance of coaching a team as well as developing it as a personal skill, then managers are able to use this towards their role.
2. I don’t know enough about the subject
It’s a common myth that you need to be an expert in the subject. You don’t! The best coaches aren’t they just know how to ask great questions and bring out the best in people. Managers are more skilled in the subject than they may think. Coaching is a skill that can be learned and easily picked up along the way with the correct tools from leadership and can form themselves into great coaches. Instead of micromanaging and controlling what must be done, to effectively be a manager-as-coach, they will ask questions instead of providing answers. They will support and encourage development instead of judging and criticizing.
3. I don’t have the time
Those managers who choose not to train may think it is too time-consuming, especially if they don’t know where to start and have a heavy schedule. However, coaching takes time and doesn’t have a deadline but is easily put down as less of a priority than other tasks. What managers don’t realize is investing in others, will bring you more time in the future – everyone will win! The good news is that you will not need to invest too much time to see a change in behaviours if you use coaching effectively to solve solutions.
4. I am not trained or qualified
Another reason managers may not coach is because they think you must be qualified. You don’t need to have a professional qualification – most coaches don’t. You do need the skills and knowledge on how to coach and this can be achieved in a short training course. The skills then can be picked up easily and used to become a great coach towards the team to improve everyone’s performance. The diversity of coaching means every coach can take a different route into becoming a coach, therefore can start with little experience or no experience at all! As long as you are able to listen carefully and not feel the need to take over, as well as pursue ongoing appropriate training to maintain your personal development as a coach, you can do it!
5. You only coach people when they are underperforming
Yes, coaching is to help underperformers improve but also help great performers get even better! Who’s to say you can’t learn more than what you already know? Coaching isn’t necessarily just for those who need the help, but also for those that can develop even more skills than they already have, to master their role and progress even further. It is about helping someone explore, understand and identify new ideas, ways of working and new opportunities and possibilities.
6. It’s easier and faster to tell them
Yes, in the short term but not in the long term. As you keep having to tell them and they don’t grow. Even though learning a new skill may take time for it to become familiar, it will eventually become a habit and easily memorized! On the other hand, telling creates an error message which turns people away from new information and may affect the way people resist and make it difficult to accept new ideas.
7. My team doesn’t want it
Even if true people grow and flourish under great coaching. It’s your job to make them realize this. Employees may feel they don’t ‘need’ coaching, but without educating them on how it can benefit them and the company, they may not understand the true positives it may bring to them and their development. Rather than taking no for an answer, a good coach will begin to ask questions and acknowledge the reason you want to particularly coach an employee, as well as acknowledging their progress and performance.
8. It’s a bit “fluffy”
Don’t properly not! It’s about building capability and increasing performance what is fluffy about that? Many managers like to use this term to describe coaching before they have actually tried it for themselves. Yes, coaching can be challenging and time-consuming, but overall is very rewarding! Learning to stop telling others what to do is the difficult part, but once you are past that, being able to see improvements and others achieving their goals creates great personal satisfaction for you as a manager.