Quite often coaches of all different kinds are brought in when there is a crisis. That’s ok, and it’s when most engagements are started. But really it’s like asking an athletics coach to train a casual jogger for a marathon with 3 weeks to go! Wouldn’t it be better if the coach was engaged before the crisis presented itself?
Yeah but “you can’t prevent what you can’t predict.” I here you say.
True, however let me use another analogy. When professional sports people are in the off season do they stop everything and put their feet up and chill? Do the armed forces only worry about wars when they happen or do they conduct war games?
In addition you can identify what areas needs to be addressed by:
- Reviewing formal 360-degree feedback
- Your own perception and observations and that of their colleagues
- By asking them
Yeah but “we do training to cover that possibility”, I hear you say.
That’s probably why you need a coach when a crisis hits because the training didn’t stick! And it didn’t stick because anyone involved in training or coaching worth their salt can tell you that training without follow-up coaching is a waste of time. This is evidenced in the following two quotes:
According to a study conducted by the Xerox Corporation, 87% of the desired skills change targeted with management training was lost without follow-up coaching. Adler School of Coaching
“However excellent your classroom training, without good coaching you are probably wasting 87 cents out of every dollar you spend.” Neil Rackhan, “The Coaching Controversy” Training and Development Journal 11/97
Yeah but “our budget doesn’t stretch that far”, I hear you say
Then you need to do two things:
1. Develop great training material and disseminate it according to the preferred learning styles of your audience. Don’t assume everyone needs to be in a classroom to learn. You can save on time out of the business, travel, accommodation etc.
2. Don’t train everyone. Firstly not everyone needs training and secondly ask yourself whether you are trying to make poor performers mediocre or good performers exceptional. Save money by focusing on the biggest payoff.
So think about introducing coaches into your team, because as Benjamin Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and the decision will save you and make you a fortune.