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AIBU - I just don't get coaching

(9 Posts)
Pluginbaby2 Sun 01-Feb-15 17:48:11

Help! I just don't understand the concept of coaching at my work. I work in a call-centre and have weekly coaching with my line manager. This is always about ways that I can reduce my call times or sell more.
If my call times are too long I sell loads but if I shorten my call times my sales drop off.
This seems to be the main topic for the whole hour. I think it is not rocket science but got told off for saying so as I was not entering into the spirit of coaching.
Oh, and my team leader is the most boring and personality less person I have ever met (sadly).

AHatAHatMyKingdomForAHat Sun 01-Feb-15 17:51:51

That's bad coaching.

Good coaching is fantastic.

A whole hour. Dear god.

Pluginbaby2 Sun 01-Feb-15 18:21:01

The fault is mine too. I let negativity seep into my brain and then I feel miserable. I do perk up when I get back to my team so the effect is fleeting. We all feel the same really but I am worse than most. The others in my team just see it as an hour off the phones!!
What is good coaching?
What is the purpose of it?

callamia Sun 01-Feb-15 18:57:07

That's not even nearly coaching. That's cod-coaching.

Good coaching is about personal development. It's about improving yourself in your role - this might be by working on your communication skills, or your anxieties about a certain part of your job, or pretty much anything that helps you to become better at what you do, with a view to moving you up in your career. I'm guessing there's none of that in your sessions?

Pluginbaby2 Sun 01-Feb-15 20:22:03

I know that I am far from perfect but I feel that I do a really good job already. I am able to motivate and develop myself because I am driven to do a good job by internal drivers unique to me.
Is coaching really going to help me?
I still don't see the reason for it.

FreeWee Sun 01-Feb-15 20:35:54

This kind of 'coaching' gives it a bad name. You need to agree what the goals are of the session and they need to be YOUR goals not your team leader's. It should be about how do you want to be better at your job and what steps you want to take. These ideas should be generated in the sessions not dictated by your team leader. Otherwise it's just bog standard line management.

GingerCuddleMonster Sun 01-Feb-15 20:41:13

I've been a call coach in previous companies, what your getting sounds dreadful!!

call coaching should be pretty simple, you listen to the call, tell me what you thought was good what was bad, we then together measure the call against company objectives/behaviours. Build on the good points improve on the bad, with tips on say reducing hold times or watching we don't drift too far off subject. call coaching should last max 20mins, you should also get some sort of personal development plan, so you can set goals career wise.

slightlyglitterstained Sun 01-Feb-15 21:33:22

Does your manager give you specific feedback that you can act on, or is it more general exhortations to "just get those times down"? Does he/she listen in to any of your sales calls, and pick out specific things you handled well, as well as specific things that aren't helping you hit call times/sales targets?

Coaching to improve needs to be about specific, timely, feedback that you can understand and act on. When I have coached people, we never aim to tackle everything - each week there's a specific task to act on.

That might be something like this (made up example): "when you talk about x part of the product, you sound doubtful and customers don't believe you even though we both know that your product knowledge is good. In the calls we listed to, you repeatedly said 'uh, I guess it's...' or 'well I think so'. Focus on eliminating those two phrases this week, and we'll review again next week. If you catch yourself using them, sit up straight, deep breath, and use the alternatives we rehearsed together."

Example is made up bollocks of course, but it is specific, gives clear actions to take, has worked through examples of good practice (not just "what you're doing now is wrong, do it better" handwaviness), and gives clear timescales.

Coaching is actually fucking hard to do well. It's one of those things that looks easy. But IME, even good practitioners (in various fields) often find it hard to analyse and identify what they're doing right, and what is wrong - often an inexperienced coach will be able to say X isn't right, but just won't have developed the observational and analysis skills to be able to pick out specifics - and without feedback on specifics, it's almost impossible to improve.

Pluginbaby2 Mon 02-Feb-15 12:00:55

Thanks for your responses.

Our whole teams experience is the same really. There is always the objective to get the call time as low as possible whilst still selling, selling, selling. We are all finding strategies to say what we think our tl wants to hear.

It is good to hear that proper coaching is really hard to do. I know I could not do any better so have no room I suppose to criticise.

We are a brilliant team with the loveliest customer friendly people you could ever wish to meet. We all give eachother the knowing wink as we take the weekly walk of shame to coaching!!!!

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