ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
Great managers view themselves as coaches more than managers. There is an old adage: “Lead people and manage things.” There is a fine line between creating and utilizing systems and processes and micromanaging details without emphasizing the power of personal interaction.
Good systems and processes should allow employees to raise their performance by giving them confidence in their direction and lessening the burden of the manager and coach from having to constantly inform people of their expected actions.
The problems and obstacles for mangers and coaches happen when the process is elevated over the players who utilize those systems and an improper implementation training process is used. Great systems with poor people make for poor results. Great systems tied to poor coaching of people in the system results in poor results. Managers and coaches can’t give a process to their players and expect the process to work without consistently motivating and leading the players in the system.
Think of your process like a machine. A machine is created to perform the desired function. Once you create the machine, you test it and know it will work. It fails when the mechanics of the machine break or when the operator has an error in operating the machine. Your business process is much the same.
When you integrate a player into a system, you must explain what they are to do. Next, a coach must explain why the player must perform the tasks required utilizing the desired process. When the why gets strong, the how gets easy. If a player is clear about the why, the process will be performed with maximum results.
The third step is to demonstrate how the tasks and process work. Don’t just tell – demonstrate. If the player believes the process can be executed properly and has evidential proof that his or her coach or someone else can do it in the way that is expected, the player will emotionally buy into the process. The coaches must get the commitment or buy-in for anything to work. Therefore, coaches must have the trust and respect of the players. There is also a second part of the demonstration that must take place. The demonstration phase should move from the coach demonstrating to the player to the stage where the player performs the functions with close direction and inspection of the coach.
The last step of the implementation is never-ending. This stage is continual coaching and inspection. Players must know they are continually being coached, inspired and reviewed in their performance.
Recently, my daughter Erin secured a summer job after her first year in college. She is employed by the J. Alexander chain of restaurants. The process employed by J. Alexander’s is not only a good reference point for the steps of coaching that I have mentioned, but is a reference for excellence.
Erin was interviewed and profiled by three different managers on three different occasions. When Erin was hired, she had to complete detailed training that would make many businesses green with envy. Erin had to train with a study guide consisting of more than 100 pages. Erinhad to pass six written tests just to begin serving as a waitress or as they are called in their culture – champions. She had to be able to recite the company creed. Further training and testing was required to be able to serve on the weekends, which are their busiest days. Before being released to begin her position, Erin had to shadow another trained champion and then switch and have the experienced person trail her. Both Erin and I were amazed at the commitment to process, training and implementation.
Remember, the processes and dedication of J. Alexander’s produces a champion who can serve and produce an experience that is measured in small dollars. Your business may produce a product and experience that is measured in many thousands of dollars. Based on your process, training, implementation and coaching, are you a coaching champion?