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  • Writer's pictureRachelle Millar

Anti Racism training isn't enough to save your Business or Life. Coaching is.

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

I was watching some good clean coaching going on between my horse trainer and my horse. She asked for a movement and she was super clear about that ask. She was clear about what was a no in the movement and the second that he switched to the yes, she praised.

It was fast, it was swift and it was incredibly effective. Timing is everything.

He did not have to complete the whole movement, he literally had to think about it and make a step towards it and he was praised. It was magic to watch. There are not many people who would be able to see and interpret what she was doing. It was so fast.

Our team or employees, could benefit from the same type of coaching.

In order to be a great coach you need the following 4 things:-

  1. Can know and see exactly the behaviour that you want.

  2. The coachee trusts you.

  3. You set an Action point not a Goal

  4. Feedback is focused on being positive.

One thing that I look for in a great coach for me, is someone who is capable of reading the environment as well as the action that they want me to take. For example, if I am horse riding, then my coach has to read my horse as well as the action that she wants me to make. Just asking for the action doesn't give me the trust in the coach. Why? Because I am riding a young horse and they have to be able to understand that that horse may need a different action one second later than when they instructed me to do something. This is where the feedback comes in, it is not that they have to change their instruction to me, but it would mean that they would be capable of giving me feedback that indicates their assessment of the environment that I took that action in.

With soft skills training, such as sales or customer service, there are two people in every situation. Just like a horse and rider. Generally people become a sales manager & coach because they were good at sales. Their sales behaviour is largely unconscious. They don't know what actions work and what don't. Therefore it is hard for them to teach or give feedback in an effective way. Most of the time I see people coaching based on results. That would be like someone praising me for getting a red ribbon. Absolutely no help at all.

Managers are well aware that they have to manage the performance of their team. It is one of the trickiest parts of management. Employment law mandates it. Yet it is when things go wrong, that managers take a good hard look at what they are not doing. Simply getting this right in the first place, means there is a lot less to undo. Hence why I was contacting a horse trainer before I stuffed up my my equestrian partnership.

I spent 20 years running training workshops and when I hear that people are currently doing anti-racism or sensitivity training at the moment. I am well aware that whilst this is a great step forward, it simply only ticks a box on developing your skills in this area. That box is awareness and knowledge. Knowledge does not change your behaviour without implementing that knowledge into action.

To take it one step further, you don't develop those skills without some good clear feedback of whether that action was a step in the right direction or not.

This is an incredibly sensitive subject at the moment. Bringing up uncomfortable feelings. Which is why I wrote it. Giving people feedback that they are not answering the phone correctly when they thought they were doing the best job they can is also pretty confronting. But leaving your employees performance up to chance when your business is on the line. Should be a major deal.

Reading a book or going on management training is a great start, but getting a great coach even more so.

For me any coach worth their salt has to have been there before. They need to have the adaptability and clear know how of the behaviour and actions that they want to see. They have to be capable of adapting their instruction to the environment and giving feedback/praise when you take a step forward in the right direction.

As a leader or manager of people, learning and becoming fluid in coaching is imperative to a successful business that is built on it's people and not hard sweat and tears.

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