You're the sales manager and you plan to take your new rep on a call, so you meet to talk over objectives and roles. You say, "I'm on this call just to show the client they're important, but I expect you to lead and ask the key questions," then you agree on what the rep should say and do.
The call doesn't go well. The rep talks too much, blurts many of the questions without any positioning, leaves out two of the most important questions, and at one time interrupts the client. You discreetly make a few notes, finding six separate areas needing improvement.
In the car on the way back to the office you ask, "Let's talk about the call. How do you feel you did?"
The rep says, "Well, to be honest, I was a little nervous, and that caused me to rush a bit. And I talked way too much. I should have just relaxed and taken my time. That way I would have gotten to all the questions and I could have done a better job listening."
You say, "I understand. It's natural to be nervous when you're doing something important, and I appreciate that you were so excited for this call. So what are you going to do when we go back to them next week?" The rep says, "I'm definitely going to slow it down, and I think that will help with everything else. I guess it was just nerves." You decide to leave it at that and see how the next call goes.
So let's put the performance evaluation back to you. How did you do as a coach, and why do you think so?
You may think you did a good job because you were kind, and facilitated the discussion. Or you may think you did a poor job because the call was important, the rep did so many things wrong and you had an obligation to help him see that.
What should you have done? Drop me a line if you have some ideas to share.
On my blog right now I'm doing a series of posts about coaching, from analysis before coaching to the behaviors that effective coaches engage in. See the link on the upper right of this page and sign up.
Think Like Your Customer.