Inheriting undertrained or poorly-trained talent is frustrating. In this video, learn how to position yourself as a coach rather than a trainer, while making sure your coachee gets the training they need to be successful.
- Have you ever inherited poorly trained or untrained people? It's frustrating when someone doesn't know how to do the basics. In this video, I'm going to show you how to position yourself as a coach, but still make sure your employee gets the training they need. To start, let's make sure we agree on the difference between coaching and peer training. Training is typically skill-based. How you process an invoice, or fill out an expense report, or use the CRM system.
Coaching is more about personal development, it's nuanced, like how to better communicate with customers, foster more innovation, or become a better leader. In this conversation, I'll be coaching Elizabeth. She's new to my customer team and hasn't been properly trained in product knowledge. Watch how I navigate the conversation away from training and towards coaching. - Oh, and I had one more question, - Yeah - I noticed a lot of our Enterprise customers are calling about a system four error, what does that mean? - Well, sometimes the new software doesn't integrate as seamlessly with what they have and it pops up to an error message.
- Okay, I think I remember someone talking about that in training. - And I think about this, you know what I think would be helpful? Before you get on the phone with more customers, why don't you go back through some of that product training and pay careful attention to how the products interface with the customers current systems. - Okay, I can read it over again. - Yeah, we want you to be really deep in your product knowledge before you get back on the phone with customers. - Yeah, it's just a lot to learn. - It is, you know another thing I think might be helpful for you is, after you're up to speed on the product training, why don't you sit with one of our more experienced reps, and watch how they interact with customers and pay particular attention to the toughest scenarios they encounter.
- Okay, I can ask Scott if I can sit with him. - That would be great. So, after you do those two things, get the product training down, work with one of the experienced reps, why don't you come back to me and we will role play through some of the most difficult scenarios? In this type of situation, you have to address training needs. If they go unaddressed, this person, no matter how well you coach them, will not succeed. But the way you address their need is critical to how this person will view you, as a trainer, or as a coach.
I started this conversation by making sure Elizabeth knew I was all in to help her be successful. I was happy to answer her questions, even though it was clear she didn't have enough training. Next, I gave her opportunities for more training. And did you notice, that the work is on her, not me? Onboarding can be like drinking from a fire hose, especially in product heavy roles. She may just need a few days to go through the material a second time.
Finally, I positioned myself as the coach. I'm not the one reading her the training manual as a bedtime story. I pointed her to the information, then I'll coach her how to use that knowledge to better help customers. Of course, be willing to answer questions and do what you can to get this person appropriately trained. That said, the more you can emphasize self-study, and peer training to shore up that last bit, the better you can position yourself as a strategic coach, not a tactical trainer.
- Define coaching.
- Describe the foundation for successful coaching.
- Explain how to coach someone who is older than you.
- Articulate how to coach someone who makes excuses.
- Identify how to coach poor performers or bad communicators.