One of the most common objections we get as coaches and trainers is, "I think I can do that myself."
And yes, it's true. Everything we do as coaches and trainers, you can do yourself. You're already paying managers that can train, that can coach, that can mentor, that can teach. So ask yourself, "why am I even considering an outside coaching or training service?" "What problem am I trying to solve," or more importantly, "what result am I trying to achieve?"
With that thing in mind, there are two main reasons you're struggling to get it done. The first one is fairly obvious -
You know how to get it done, but you're stuck in your own whirlwind of daily tasks and activity. If you could carve out the time to set procedures, set goals, and roll them out to your team, then you'd have a way forward, right? Here's the problem: because of your lack of time, solutions you enact will tend to be authority-based, meaning you'll set forth the new process and expect your people to "just do it, because it's their job." In this case the best you'll get from your people is compliance. Remember, to achieve the result and get it to stick, you need to effect a change in human behavior, or your time will have been wasted.
The second reason is related to the psychology of human learning -
People learn best when they're invested. Which means they've decided for themselves to pursue the result they want, and to acquire the needed learning and understanding to bring about the success they seek. People who go to conferences are invested; they attend with an expectation of learning. People who pay for classes are committed; they've invested in the class for a specific reason, and they expect to achieve a result. These decisions are marked by events, which solidify the initial impulse for change, and produce a firm commitment to improvement based on internal desire. So why can't you do this yourself? Here's an answer that maybe you weren't expecting: you're too close to your people! Let me explain.
Having worked with you every day, your people assume that as their leader, you've been doing your very best. Then suddenly you announce you have more to teach them, and their first thoughts are, "Where was this information yesterday? Did you just make this up? Why should we believe you?"
Lasting change results from the realization of a problem, the enthusiastic discovery of possible solutions, agreement to a course of action, and ongoing accountability to "committed others."
For your people to embrace learning, you also, as their leader, must be learning alongside them. By discovering solutions together, you help to open the minds of your people. If you announce a new process and simply enforce it, you fail to create the necessary belief in the minds of your followers. Put simply, when you limit choices you encounter resistance.
When you make changes based on authority alone, you get compliance. Compliance is generally good enough for good enough results, generally. You can micro-manage the minimum standard, but if you want inspired results, you need inspired people. You need people with open minds.
When you start a project of learning together, you create accountability to each other, which is vitally important for the success of your team. Without a regular cadence of accountability, your project will fail. When you learn together, you BOTH become accountable to the new way of doing things.
This is why partnering with a coach, a trainer, or an outside authoritative expert is often the first step in producing a meaningful change in human behavior. It creates an opportunity to pause your whirlwind and focus on one wildly important goal. Within this framework you can bring focus, clarity, and begin to inspire the internal motivation required to make a lasting change. By bringing in coaches, you create excitement around learning from authoritative experts. By preparing for a launch event that will rally your team around a common goal, you create a mindset of expectation. By sticking to a cadence of accountability, you create a sense of ownership, responsibility and personal commitment, not only for personal improvement but for the good of the entire team.
Think about moments of breakthrough in your own life. Not the milestones, but the originations. In most cases, you weren't there alone. Something came in from outside your space and lit up your world, helping you to break out of your routine and embrace a change. Beyond a checklist, beyond a formula, it was a change of mindset, a change of behavior, a change of habit, and that's the hidden benefit of coaching.
Benjamin Dykstra - Sales Educator, team learning facilitator, on a mission to improve the lives of salespeople and change the public perception of automotive retail.