Coaching for good?

(Image Courtesy: http://www.nyasa.co.uk)

I have worked as a call-quality coach at two contact-centers. So, in order to sustain good call-quality standards, we overhauled the quality sheet ; and brainstormed and designed contests, tests, scripts etc. Additionally, to tighten the loose cannons, we gave instant feedbacks for quality dips – instant reaction for a misconduct.

One of the zealots approached me and asked,

“Why don’t I get detailed assessments? I just hear ‘good job done’.”

“That’s because you are too good!”

“Thanks, but I still need to specifically know that what’s really working; that way I can make better presentations.”

Hmm, right, what’s working is what one needs to know.

Accordingly we did and involuntarily observed the difference it made. The reasons:

  1. It added to his confidence and mood-swings got abated
  2. He could focus or unfocus as required
  3. His accuracy multi-folded
  4. The relationships enhanced

Do click here to read about Appreciative Inquiry.

And if you are generally on a calendar but not on time then re-read the above!

“That’s great, tell him he’s Pele and get him back on.”

John Lambie responds when told a concussed striker did not know who he was after getting hit.


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‘Pull-learning’

When I saw Mr. Basu for the first time in my Literature class, my instant reaction was, “who appointed him as a teacher?” You see, it’s about the way he sheepishly found his way to his desk; tired and uninterested in the charms of the youth there. I was confirmed that the next one hour is going to be pallid. So, I started doing my favorite thing; writing my name in different fonts and sizes. I paid only an impulsive attention to him. Yes, he did make sense but I guess I was really put-off by his slouched and underprivileged presentation by now. I remember it was the 3rd or the 4th class that I realized that he, in fact, is enlightening!

In my second job as a teacher, I went through a train-the-teacher program. The concepts that instantly made me nostalgic:

  1. Enter the class like a lion would. Believe that you own the territory. They made everybody practice this over and over!
  2. Have an expression of chic confidence. Captivate them with your elegance.
  3. Greet them the way you are welcomed at a five star hotel.
  4. If meeting for the first time, design an engaging platform for introductions.
  5. Introduce the objective(s) of the session so plainly that the results are easily envisioned.

Mr. Basu is still one of my most favorite teachers.

Generating Their Interest

“I will make sure that this is an interactive session”, the trainer said. He asked questions, tried to make people talk. But why was I still weary? I wanted to sink my head in a basin, just couldn’t stop yawning.

Everybody seemed thoughtful but when the trainer poked, no answers and even  the pin didn’t drop! I thought, ‘weird people, show interest but don’t talk’.

Now, I was proved wrong at lunch. They were normal, talkative humans. So, upon probing (my forte), here’s what they told me:

  • I wish he looked happier; should’ve smiled at least once.
  • He seemed dragging himself; too casual in body-language.
  • Aye, he didn’t look at me even once.
  • He was either talking to himself or to the white-board. Just couldn’t hear him.
  • His (only two!) examples were too centered on ‘his life and his work’. There was no food for thought!
  • He pranced amongst his questions; should’ve waited a few seconds for the answer. In fact, he even answered his own questions.

The above proves this for sure that when in authority, you got to be careful!

You can also consider these tips when speaking publicly:

  1. About body-language, just imagine that this is the best day of your life and you have angels sitting in front of you. How would you behave yourself then?
  2. Feel good about yourself. Wear something that adds to your charm and that you are comfortable in. Spend extra may be. The difference will definitely be noticed by you and others.
  3. Read, read and discuss the read. Practice the read. Don’t discount on building knowledge.
  4. Since you have your (imagined or factual) perfect audience there, give them a few more seconds to give their best-answer.
  5. To insinuate a point, devise various ways – from physical to mental activities. Be ready to repeat yourself too.
  6. This one’s my favorite – keep a check on their responses. Don’t let any confusion or smirk go. Stay on your feet and reiterate with a different strategy.

Have a confused smirk or something nice to say? Do leave a comment.

Abbie Hoffman said – Never impose your language on people you wish to reach.