Improving Team Effectiveness When You’re Not A “Coach”
November 17, 2015
by Beverly Flaxington
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Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.
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I have heard you speak about the importance of coaching newer advisors. Quite frankly I’m not the coaching type. I never played sports so I don’t get the analogies that are made, and I don’t think that my time is best spent spoon-feeding newer advisors. These are educated people; in some cases they already have advanced degrees and certifications. Why can’t the newer generations learn the way we did, at the “school of hard knocks”? I think we are creating a generation that needs constant input and teaching. That’s not going to be good for the future of our industry.
Thank you very much for your note. I don’t see a specific question, so I’ll address a few things that I believe could be useful to our readers.
- The issues you are raising may also be generational in nature. I’m assuming that you are from the Baby Boomer era or shortly thereafter. This generation was definitely raised at the “School of Hard Knocks.” They believed in hard work and individual effort and did not expect much from their employer. Younger generations have learned the power of coaching and mentoring, and the positive impact they can have on being more successful in less time. This is a goal for many of our advisor firms, getting younger team members up to capacity more quickly – saving time and making money!
- Many lead advisors have not developed their own coaching approach. Coaching skills are not often taught in financially oriented programs. I’m a college professor and, while I teach courses like Leadership, Entrepreneurship and even Organizational Behavior, we don’t teach many elements of coaching for managers. All coaching requires a willingness to spend time helping your team members understand what they are doing well and where they need to make shifts for greater effectiveness. Time is the key component here.
- There are many, many resources for outside training. In today’s world there are “in the office” options, there are courses your team members could take and there are many very effective industry coaches you could hire to work with your team members on an individual basis.. Please visit our newest offering www.advisorssalesacademy.com for one online, easy to access option for your team members.
- Lastly, one important thing to address is your own belief system with regards to this issue. Fundamentally you may disagree that your team needs or can benefit from any coaching or mentoring. If that’s the case, that’s a philosophy and culture being created. You may find people who want to work in that culture but if you are struggling to attract good talent, or you have turnover related to this issues with younger staff members, you might want to take a look at the thought process and see whether keeping this belief and operating from it is ultimately benefitting your overall goals.