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Sales Strategy
Jan 18, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Coaching is a critical part of success on a personal and company level. Having a mentor and good training is associated with career progression and success, and excellent training and coaching programs produce strong-performing teams that deliver results for the organization.

Often, the best coach is someone who has done the job themselves, which is why peer coaching is so effective. However, implementing a coaching program or simply building a coaching culture does not happen by accident. Follow these steps to create a peer-coaching environment that is impactful for your organization and your team members.

Discuss Goals and Expectations

Whether you are establishing a formal coaching program or an informal one, discussing goals and setting expectations is critical. Coaches and mentees should discuss the areas on which they want to focus their improvement, the cadence of their meetings or correspondence, and their own areas of expertise. Coaches and mentors have the most impact when they are aligned in their experience and expectations, so it’s important to discover whether they are a match from the beginning.

Establish a Connection

Mentorship and coaching requires a level of comfort beyond the typical workplace relationship. The person receiving feedback needs to feel supported in order to be receptive to the comments, and the person coaching needs to feel at ease so that they provide advice in the right way.

In a formal coaching program, it may be useful to have the team do exercises or personality assessments to break the ice. Having coaching meetings off-site (try going for a walk outside or to a coffee shop) may also create a more relaxed environment. Asking questions, listening, and being open are all important ways that peers can create the connection necessary for coaching.

Determine Areas of Improvement

Whether the areas for improvement are self-identified, or things that the coach recognizes in the other person, it is important that both the coach and the mentee have a frank discussion about skills or knowledge that the mentee needs to develop. In a peer to peer coaching relationship, both people are likely trying to develop and learn, which means that they will be more likely to share their weaknesses and lean on their peer coach to help them succeed.

Develop a Plan for Next Steps

Once the areas for improvement are uncovered, the coach needs to help the other person develop a plan to improve. This could be as simple as explaining how a process works, or it could involve several steps over months or years. Regardless of the time-frame or complexity, the coach should check in at regular intervals to ensure that the mentee is making progress towards their goal.

Growth and feedback is never easy, but it your team members are more likely to appreciate and use the coaching if it is coming from someone who they trust and who has done the job.

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