In my last blog post I explained how great coaching is built on two key functions – recognition and correction.
Today I expand on one of the tactics I have found exceptionally helpful in mentoring and coaching recruiters to outstanding performance, ‘Live Feedback’.
This may sound unusual, but a good leader who wants to have an impact as a coach should actively look out for opportunities to catch their consultants in the act of doing something good!
Yes, live feedback starts with the positive.
If you want to see a behaviour repeated, reward it via recognition. So for example, if you hear a consultant doing a great job of selling a temp rate to a candidate who was hoping for more, as soon as that recruiter puts down the phone, tell them. ‘Heard the way you handled that conversation Bob. Great job! It’s really crucial we keep our margins up on this temp desk and that starts with paying our temps market rates, but no more. Well done’.
What’s more I think you should pass on this recognition publicly and immediately. It is wonderfully uplifting for the individual, and will certainly reinforce that behaviour. But it also starts to create a team ethos and culture that rubs off on everyone in the team.
But of course as a manager you must also be on the lookout for practical situations to improve a consultant’s skill and performance. This is the ‘correction’ component of effective coaching. This will mean keeping an ear out for conversations where you feel the consultant has said the wrong thing or could have said something differently or better.
The key here is not to be punitive or demeaning in words or tone. It’s a real skill to position your feedback as constructive, but it can be done. Say you heard a consultant making a bit of a hash of handling a counter-offer. You may start with something like this. ‘That was a tricky situation Bob, and you handled it well, but just thinking, when your candidate said he had been offered more money to stay, do you think it would have been good to take him back to his original reasons for considering a move…’ And out of that question will come an impromptu coaching session on handling these situations. It’s immediate. It’s powerful. It’s positive.
Always be prepared to speak to the consultant immediately they have put the phone down. The learning and retention by the consultant is far more powerful if you can relate a concept to a real and recent situation. This takes discipline and means that you often have to consciously listen out for situations and opportunities.
Live feedback is incredibly effective. It’s real because the consultant has just felt the euphoria of success and or the pain of failure. You will never have a better time to really drive home behaviour.
And that is coaching.
Coming up next week in this consultant coaching series of blog posts – ‘Real Life Situations’.
- Posted by Greg Savage
- On July 6, 2010
- 6 Comments