Chapter 15Coach to Improve Performance

In addition to helping people self-actualize (which is a long-term process), managers must also coach people to improve their performance in the short term. Many managers used to do the job of the people they are coaching, and based on their past success they believe they know the way to achieve success. Many sales training programs are based on this sort of belief. The limitation of this approach to coaching is this: It does not occur to the coach that others may not be capable of demonstrating the recommended behaviors.

If you are coaching someone remember this: Just because you were (or are) capable of doing something, that does not mean the person you are coaching possesses those same capabilities. Of course, there are some behaviors you can teach. But managers routinely make two mistakes:

  1. They assume that what comes naturally to them comes naturally to everyone.
  2. They overestimate their ability to help others demonstrate behaviors that are not aligned with their themes.

Those mistakes are not consistent with accepting people as they are. As a manager, if you do make those mistakes you are not optimizing all the elements of the GIFT Formula.

For example, if a person is not good at telling jokes, coaching him to tell a joke at the beginning of a speech will not improve his performance. In all likelihood, he will tell it poorly. People will not laugh, and it will make things worse. A great coach will help the person identify a different ...

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