6 Coaching Skills to Lead Your Team to AEP Success
Agent Pipeline offers an Agency Development and Building program that focuses on identifying growth potential during the recruiting process and ensuring your agency is equipped with the knowledge products, and opportunities to succeed. However, we also dive a bit deeper to show agency owners how to coach their agents into success stories. Here are six solid coaching skills to help you be a better coach for your team of agents in preparation for this year’s AEP.
1. Explain why you’re coaching.
When you commit to coaching your agents, as opposed to merely training them, take time to explain why you’re coaching. Let your agents know you are making the commitment to develop everyone on the team, and this will be an ongoing event. The reason behind this is to help them get where they want to go in their career and to help them achieve their goals.
2. Coaching is for everyone.
Everyone in the agency should be given the opportunity to be coached. Everyone on should be given a chance to grow, to develop, and to be better at what they do. They all have potential, and they need someone to believe in them.
3. Coaching should be tied to their goals.
The first step in coaching should be to ask people about their goals, short-term, mid-term and long-term. Don’t be surprised if your team members need assistance with developing their goals. It’s sometimes hard for individuals to see the smaller scale, easy to meet goals. Everyone can see the bigger picture and the “home run goal.” However, through the coaching process, you can hold a compelling discussion with your agents to show you genuinely care about them and not just about their functional role at work, but what their dreams and aspirations are and how you can help them get there.
4. There are two types of coaching – don’t do just one!
Based on our experience, there are two types of coaching, corrective and developmental. Let’s define corrective first. Corrective coaching is usually trying to coach someone on something that needs to change or is a problem. For example, if someone is habitually late, they need coaching on how to correct that problem. Developmental training, on the other hand, is when you help your team members achieve their goals, help them grow and develop new skills, knowledge, tools or techniques.
5. Coaching must happen.
Everyone has something they can improve upon or a skill they’d like to develop. One of the most common coaching opportunities is prioritizing. Ask your team members what they think they struggle with and start there (for corrective), then work your way through their goals. You will be surprised what a small amount of bi-weekly or monthly coaching will do for your team’s growth.
6. Understand the psychology of coaching.
When you are coaching, don’t forget you are coaching a human. Humans come with insecurities, ideas, feelings, and history. That history can let them have certain misconceptions about coaching. At first, you may get that reaction from your agents and they may ask, “Am I in trouble?” when you ask to meet with them. They may be defensive from previous experiences. You have to reassure them! The sad fact is that many people met with their supervisor only when they were in trouble. They have never had a true coach, just reprimands from their managers, sometimes for their whole career. Let your team know that you are different and ready to help them jump-start their new career with your agency!
Embrace this method of agency building and growth by coaching your team members and preparing for a successful AEP. If you would like more information on our agency building and growth programs, please contact your Regional Marketer at 800-962-4693. You can also reach out to learn more about our AEP Prep Kit, launching soon!