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Commitments for Change

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Helping Agents Change Behavior

For employees to act on coaching commitments, or agreements to improve, the coach has to help guide them to specific behavioral actions that will help drive the desired improvement.

It’s not enough to only discuss what needs to improve or change, rather, we have to get to how they will do it differently next time.   Only after we’ve agreed on specific behavioral actions, can a person be expected to perform it!

Successful performance coaches do the following steps:

  1. Identify the metric to improve, such as NPS (WHAT / METRIC)
  2. Identify the absent/ineffective/inaccurate behavior that needs improvement, such as Empathy (WHAT / Behavior Topic).
  3. Ask the employee for specific ways to perform that behavior/perform it differently next time (HOW / Behavior Actions) – and document these actions for both you and them!
  4. From there, agree on which specific actions they will attempt, role-play, and set a follow-up date.
  5. Then, be sure to check back in and appreciate effort and progress!

individual change_3

Example 1

  • Metric to improve: IR
  • Behavior to improve: Probing Questions
  • Commitments/Agreements: After you identify the issue, ask a question to get them to elaborate and give you more details, like, “Okay, can you tell me more about what you’re seeing?”

Example 2

  • Metric to improve: NPS
  • Behavior to improve: Empathy
  • Commitments/Agreements: Try saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that!” with slightly elevated volume and emphasis on the word ‘so’!

Summary

Most people find it difficult to improve performance on a metric when the commitment is simply to “keep working on your probing questions”.  But most people are able to easily act on a commitment that includes specific probing questions to try next time!

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Coaching Skills

Answer Selection

Points = 0, 2, 5

1. Coach was prepared?

Data/prior commitments/progress/observed performance
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

2. Coach warmly connected?

Verbally and body language
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

3. Coach praised/appreciated first and genuinely.

Words + facial agreement + detail/examples
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

4. Coach addressed a single corrective behavior?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

5. Coach addressed the highest-value corrective behavior?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

6. Coach asked questions about causes/impacts and solutions?

Asking, not telling!
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

7. Coach avoided judging / mistrusting / aggressive language?

Verbally and body language
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

8. Coach addressed objections and get buy-in?

Resistance/objections
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

9. Coach asked for agreement/commitment for a specific action/behavior?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

10. Coach offered actions/commitment to take in support of Agent's commitment?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

11. Coach ended on a high-note?

Encouragement/positive expectations
Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

Commitments & Follow Up

Answer Selection

Points = 0, 2, 5

1. Coach got a specific, behavioral commitment for how Agent will improve?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

2. Agent's commitments were incremental/step goals, not just a mirror of the end goal?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

3. Coach's commitment actions were appropriate/supportive of Agent's commitment?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

4. Coach's follow-up date/timeline matches urgency/severity of Agent's opportunity.

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

Procedures

Answer Selection

Points = 0, 2, 5

1. Coach conducted session in appropriate location?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

2. Coach conformed to acceptable amount of time for coaching session?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

3. Coach followed prescribed coaching methods?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

4. Coach captured session details and notes if/as/where required?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

5. Coach recorded follow-up tasks/actions?

Opportunity +0
Acceptable +2
Strength +5

The higher the score, the more effective the coaching.

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