The primary purpose of leadership coaching is to support others in accomplishing their goals. It also helps people deal with blind spots and with reality. Being coached means you're not working towards your goals alone. You have someone there to hold you accountable to your tasks and congratulate you on your achievements.
To avoid confusion, it should be noted that “Leadership Coach” and “Coach” are used interchangeably throughout this article.
Coaching applies to everyone. Senior leadership and peers act as coaches and “coachees” (those being coached). Peers can include fellow salespeople, people in Marketing, and people in Operations. Leadership coaching also includes the coaches being coached. It's also important to know that coaches can be rotated in and out so that everyone gets a chance to experience development and being a part of an accountability culture.
I suggest that senior leadership implement a sales department coaching program. Here is the one that we at CFS advocate when working with our clients.
Leadership Coaching Program Overview:
As a participant in the CFS Leadership Coaching program you have the opportunity to:
- Give and receive support
- Accomplish your sales goals
- Grow as an individual.
The Leadership Coach:
The leadership coach commits to meeting on a weekly basis with their coachees. Moreover, the coach meets with their team of coachees typically once a week as a group, but may occasionally meet with them individually as well. The primary responsibility of the coach is to help their teammates execute best practices in the sales department.
We recommend that coaches meet in coaching circles. Meeting with fellow coaches enables you to exchange best leadership coaching practices that apply across the entire sales department.
Just like the leadership coach, the coachee has things they are accountable for. With that said, each coachee commits to developing and publishing goals on an annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis. Additionally, they must discuss these goals with their coach. In order to accomplish their goals, the coachee is encouraged to leverage all the resources and best practices for selling given to them by their coach.
The Coaching Meeting:
Attendees of this meeting provide each other with progress on the goals they made. This is when the leadership coach holds the coachee accountable to accomplishing their goals as well.
To help build accountability, we recommend coaches ask best-practice questions. Here are a few examples:
- How do you want me to hold you accountable?
- What do you want to be held accountable to?
- How should I interact with you when you have broken an agreement?
- What’s the impact to you of not being accountable?
- What’s the impact to others of not being accountable?
- If you continue doing what you’re currently doing, what outcome do you think you’ll produce?
Potential Topics for a Leadership Coaching Discussion:
It's not always going to be Q&A when going through the leadership coaching process. Check out these potential topics to help you and your team get the conversations flowing.
- Coach and coachees discuss execution of goals and work on developing new goals.
- Both parties commit to specific actions they will take before the next meeting.
- Coach and coachee discuss barriers and challenges and brainstorm potential solutions.
- One or more coachees provide an issue he or she wants coaching on. For example, identifying prospect/targets or finding new ways to reach a known prospect/target.
- Discuss background on the issue.
- Ask and answer clarifying questions.
- Give coaching.
- Provide feedback to each other, including specific follow-on actions each person commits to.
- After the meeting: Provide updates, as agreed.
Leadership Coaching and Emotions
It’s important for the coach to evaluate the emotional state their coachee is in. Apply coaching with a level of sensitivity that matches this state. For example, if the coachee is under stress or regrouping, help clear their mind by identifying the facts. Suggest actions that should be taken. Alternatively, if the coachee is in a state of momentum, then encourage him or her to maintain their focus on executing best practices. Furthermore, if under stress, the coachee will likely require more interaction and frequent check ins. At momentum, the coachee can be interacted with on a less frequent or even on a per request basis.
Ultimately, keep these things in mind if you're looking to roll out a leadership coaching program. It's easy to lose momentum quickly. Your team members must be accountable for one another for this program to truly drive best practices in selling.
Please leave me a comment. I’d love to know your thoughts on leadership coaching!