make sure you’re coaching NOT bitching

I was observing a manager coaching session recently and something was off.

The manager set the stage well. Created a space for the coaching conversation effectively. Things were going along nicely (from a coaching perspective) and I could hear the manager asking great questions. The salesperson was engaged and almost enthusiastic about solving their own problems.

Then the salesperson started sharing some struggles with a specific target account.

THEN like a light switch going off, the sales manager stopped coaching and started bitching.

I will not go into details but from where I was there was a lot of “me me me” in the conversation. No questions… no dialog… a pure rant.

Rightfully, the salesperson was a bit confused about this sudden change in direction.

They just stared at the sales manager.

Who took a breath and asked “well what do you have to say for yourself?”

no I’m not kidding it sounded like a parent speaking with a child vs. a manager in a coaching session.

the debrief
In my debrief with the sales manager I asked; do you remember asking “well what do you have to say for yourself?”

The manager responded; yes they looked so confused it just came out of my mouth.

Not surprisingly, I asked another question; why do you think they were confused?

No a light bulb didn’t magically turn on. Instead we ended up having a discussion around the salesperson and that specific target account.

To the sales manager, the salesperson always was complaining and never following through on what they said they’d do.

The lack of follow through made the manager feel like a parent not a coach.

*POOF* the light bulb went on.

Today I want you to think about the things that trigger strong emotions in you… then make sure you have a plan for when (not if… when) that happens in a sales coaching session.

Don’t allow your emotions to turn a coaching moment into a bitch session.

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