The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    Sales Coaching: Are you using debriefing as a coaching tool?

    by Sherri Daubert / May 8, 2014


    When our team returns from our spring and fall Summits we immediately schedule a 2 hour debriefing.  In this meeting we review the part that each of us plays in the production of those events as well as what we could have done differently to increase performance and thereby outcome.  These coaching debriefings are invaluable to the quality of what we do and the type of team we aspire to be.  The questions asked and the new answers posed are always non-threatening, authentic, and in the spirit of making our Summits that much better each time.

    At spring Summit, keynote presenter and expert on performance, Karyn Garossino, spoke about this very thing:  

    "Make it a habit to debrief your team member on a regular basis through short and long conversations in which you engage them on their performance be it good or bad.

    Debrief Good and Bad Performances

    According to Garossino, really effective coaches debrief on good and bad performances but always start with the good performances first.   Excellent debriefing skills can be an art as the conversation needs to be focused on the performance and not the numbers.  During these sessions it is important to ask questions that reflect on their inner world and how they saw the perfomance. 

    •          How was their confidence level during the performance?
    •          Were they prepared?
    •          How did they feel during the process?
    •          What were their regrets?
    •          What were they most proud of?

    The query process not only creates an open dialogue between you and your team member, but questions themselves are the best way to build self awareness and create self-responsibility.  During this time your goal is to lower defenses, unblock their minds and listen to an honest appraisal from them on how they thought it went.  In addition focusing on "deeper questions" about the team member forces them to really think about the performance at hand and how they might have been able to make positive altercations at the time and will do so in the future.    The old adage that your grandmother shared with you has likely never been more true than during a successful debrief.  

    “You Never Learn Anything By Listening to Yourself Talk.”

    When coaching debriefings are done on a frequent basis by asking questions in an authentic manner and listening, both you and your team member receive a gift.   You, by receiving insight into who they really are and they by understanding they are in the presence of a leader who cares and wants to affect change.  

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