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Praising Strengths, Progress & Effort

Why Bother

Taking the time to praise and doing so in a genuine and impactful way helps ensures ROI on your coaching time investment, because, if a person FEELS good, AND they know exactly what behaviors are being praised, they will typically WANT to repeat them in order to get more praise!

Conversation Structure

  1. Start with an Observation Statement : I heard/I noticed/I observed/I felt
  2. State the topic (WHAT) of the strength: ‍Names/labels let you discuss using common language‍
  3. Add context to clarify: Dates, frequencies/quantities, amounts up/down, customer scenario
  4. Add Power Words or Emphatic Phrases to communicate value: “I so enjoyed when you…” “I love that you said ”… “Many people struggle with this, but you do a beautiful job of…..”
  5. Provide the specific behaviors/verbatims (HOW/PROOF) of what was said and/or done: So they know exactly HOW they did “it” well and therefore, know what to repeat.

When Should I Praise?

BEFORE discussing what needs work. Bank some emotional equity before taking out withdrawals with corrective conversation!

What Should I Praise?

Praise is warranted any time there is ANY increment of effort towards the desired behaviors, even if the desired outcome is not yet attained. If we fail to observe and acknowledge effort, the effort will not be sustained!

"It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be progress!"
"What we reinforce, the repeat!"


Melissa Pollock, AmplifAI's Chief Coaching Officer

How to Supercharge Contact Center Agent Performance

Addressing Corrective Opportunities

Avoid calling these ‘negatives’ or ‘weaknesses’…instead, use ‘opportunities’ and/or ‘things that we can improve’ in order to keep the focus on ineffective behaviors, which can be changed, vs. the person, which cannot be changed. Also focus on BEHAVIOR; avoid ‘YOU’ at the start of your statements.

Conversation Structure

  1. Start with an Observation Statement: I heard/didn’t hear, I saw/didn’t see
  2. State the opportunity topic (WHAT): “I did not hear/did not see [topic], or, I did not hear/see an effective [topic]
  3. Add Context to clarify: Dates, Frequencies/Quantities, Amounts up/down, Customer Scenario
  4. Provide the specific behavior example/verbatim (HOW/PROOF) of what WAS said/done: So they know exactly what was absent/ineffective, and, so your input is credible and does not invite debate
  5. Ask questions to start discussion and make people think and participate: This is the coaching!
  • Impact questions ask about consequence, outcome, or result of an action/decision:
  • When we do/don’t do ____________, what is the impact to __________?
  • How do you think the customer feels when we _________?
  • Importance questions ask about the benefit, value, or reason:
  • Why is it important to/not to ____________?
  • Why do you think I’m pointing this out as an opportunity area?
  • Skills-assessment questions assess understanding of a skill:
  • Tell me what makes up a good ___________?
  • How would you define________?
  • Ask a causal question (why something happened or why a thing was chosen):
  • Why do you think that might have happened?
  • Do you remember why you chose to do A versus B?

"What we accept, becomes acceptable!"

Melissa Pollock, AmplifAI's Chief Coaching Officer

Download the Coaching Resource Bundle and view all 8 Coaching Guides!

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.

How'd you do? 👍 or 👎

Want supervisors to be more effective when coaching their agents?

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