Are you struggling with the best way to develop your agents or employees when you see continued mistakes in their work? You’ve given them feedback and are bewildered when you do not see it implemented. This article’s focus is on the difference between feedback and coaching, an effective method to deliver both and the benefits of creating a growth-minded workplace.
Let’s first understand the definitions of feedback and coaching. According to Merriam-Webster, “Feedback is helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, system, etc.”
Typically, when feedback is given, it’s followed by advice. “This is what I would recommend doing in this type of situation.” Coaching, on the other hand, is delivering helpful information and giving receivers an opportunity to generate their own solutions and holding them accountable to their solution. When we use coaching, we empower the receiver to think like a leader, fall like a leader and learn.
Before rolling out a new system, take some time to think through what changes you want to see in your team. Visualize it in detail, write it down and make a list of things to be done to implement it.
How often will you give feedback? Where will you give feedback? What resources do you need to understand coaching? What changes do you need to make to move this forward?
Once you have all the planning laid out, it’s time to have a team meeting. Share with them all the awesome things that are working and your new vision to support each other’s growth.
Create a few role playing stints so they can see examples of coaching and feedback. Share openly and honestly so they will, too. Ask for their support, tell them you know change feels foreign in the beginning, and let them know that you believe you can do it as a team.
If you are looking for a simple feedback and coaching format to roll out, I’ve listed the one I use. I love this one because everyone knows what to expect. It eliminates a long conversation and leads to action and accountability. And it’s easy.
When you are the receiver of the feedback, do not interrupt or get defensive. Instead, listen and allow the feedback to settle 24 hours before responding. If you need clarity, then ask a few questions at the end.
A simple format I’ve used over the years is: Keep. Stop. Start.
Keep: Insert something the employee does well, and be specific. “Keep rocking out Monday morning open house follow-through.”
Stop: Insert the behavior or system you want to see changed. “Stop complaining when you are frustrated by a client’s comment or action.”
Start: Insert the coaching. “Create a new system you can practice when you feel frustrated by a client’s comment.”
There are numerous benefits coaching agents and employees bring to your business. Here are a few:
- Accountability: When the employee creates his or her own solution, he or she now has skin in the game.
- Stronger culture: Employees feel valued when given the opportunity to implement their ideas and have a voice.
- Leader development: Employees feel supported and learn to make decisions and take risks on their own. Goodbye micromanaging.
Enjoy trying this. Remember that with all changes, practice makes perfect!
What does that look like for you? Please share what works for you in the comments section below.