This post was originally published by Jenny Boling on lessonly.com.
Every individual is unique, and everyone brings a unique set of traits to the workplace—from their personality and past work experiences to the way they learn. In order to ensure that employees get the most out of their effective coaching skills, it’s best to tailor skills coaching to address the needs of all types of learning styles as much as possible. By making small adjustments to existing training or larger changes to your coaching techniques, you can position your organization to see true training ROI, improve employee engagement, and sustain important behavior change.
What are traits of different types of learners?
There are a number of elements that can be included in workplace training to make it appeal and connect to each and every learning style and ultimately help individuals learn new behaviors that will improve job performance and effectiveness. It’s important to understand how different learners best absorb information in any context, but especially in a digital work environment. In general, the three most common learning styles are: visual, audio, and kinesthetic. Everyone’s a little bit of each type, but one style typically prevails over the other two.
- Visual Learners thrive by seeing and building understanding of new concepts through pictures, images, and the spatial relationships of objects. Coaching for performance training can be tailored to include presentations with images, videos, and even charts. By including things they can look at and reference, they’ll be more likely to connect to the material.
- Auditory Learners do their best when listening to content that’s being shared. By providing more information with an online training platform, these types of learners will benefit from more voice-over videos, audio recordings, and uploaded in-house training recordings.
- Kinesthetic Learners retain the most information with their senses, as they learn by experience. Essentially, these employees learn best by experiencing things hands-on. Simulations, walk-throughs, and sessions that include building or working with physical objects are all speaking to the kinesthetic learner in their learning language.
What are traits of a winning sales coach?
Most managers struggle with the finer points of coaching because they’re more used to directing their employees on how and when to perform specific tasks. So, what are the skills of a coach that you can start teaching your managers right now?
- Active listening: Instead of telling employees what to do, a good sales coach will empower the employee, offering the tools they need to work on themselves.
- Effective communication: Communication skills coaching includes verbal, written, and visual aspects so that all employees’ learning styles are met.
- Intuition and empathy: An experienced skills coach is sensitive to each individual’s needs and not hyper-focused on their managing agenda.
- Indirect leadership: Instead of telling a rep what they did wrong and how to fix it, a winning sales coach asks reps what they think went wrong and how they’d like to fix it.
In our experience, employees who feel heard and appreciated are more engaged, have lower turnover rates, and score higher on-the-job performance metrics.
Why do you have to refine your coaching skills for different employees?
We’ve found that, because different employees have different learning and communicating styles, in order to achieve effective communication coaching, coaching skills for managers need to be adjusted for different employees. The skills and qualities of a coach may seem ambiguous, but any good manager can acquire the basics with a bit of training. A good coach brings out the best in those they are trying to help, and that often entails an approach that is a little less direct.
So, just as individual training is tailored to a specific role, but the framework for training new employees applies to everyone, the same should go for coaching too. It’s important to have a general coaching framework that allows for customization and different approaches to better connect with each rep. It may seem difficult to mesh all of these types of employee learning styles together, but it’s essential to be adaptable and open. By taking into consideration the natural traits of learners when developing your management coaching courses, sales coaches are likely to see increased engagement and better retention, leading to a greater impact on overall sales performance. Not only will this increase the confidence of the seller, it will also generate revenue growth for your organization’s bottom line. #winning
Warm up your sales team
Though it may be challenging, it is possible to deliver effective skills coaching that addresses the needs of each individual rep. If performance coaching is about helping reps boost their batting averages, skills coaching is about logging hours with them in the cages. So, are you ready to maximize your sales coaching? See how we can help.