One of the most important roles we play as leaders is being a coach or teacher. But many agency owners seem to have unrealistic expectations about what that looks like. Coaching is never one and done. It’s an on-going effort.
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Hey, everybody Drew McClellan here from Agency Management Institute this week coming to you from Orlando, Florida. We just wrapped up a two day workshop with Carla Johnson talking about how to rethink about innovation inside our agencies. And it was spectacular. But one of the takeaways, for me, out of the workshop, was the attendees were talking about how do I bring this back to my agency? How do I coach and teach this to my employees? One of the things we talked about is that coaching and teaching is not a one and done activity. It is a tell everybody what you’re going to teach them teach them, and then teach them again, and again, and again. And I think this is something that we as agency owners, miss, oftentimes. I think we think, “I’ve told them once, I’ve told them twice, surely they’ve absorbed it and they’re all set to go.” And that is just not the case. A couple reasons; why number one, we get excited about a lot of things. We read a book, we go to a workshop, we listen to a podcast, and we bring it back to our team and we’re like, “hey, this is the hot new thing.” And our team is like, “mm, maybe for a week or two. And then you’re going to go back to normal. So maybe I’m not going to invest in this until I see this actually going to be sticking.” So that’s number one. Number two, we believe, that if we say something once or twice that they’ve absorbed it, that they understand it, that they have embraced it. That is just not the case. Much like how we are with our kids. If you repeat the same message over and over, and over again, and I’m not suggesting your employees are children. What I am suggesting is that they’re looking for clues to see how serious you are about this idea or this initiative or this new methodology. And so if something matters to you and to the agency this is something you’re going to have to repeat over, and over, and over again, for them to go, “okay, I get it, this actually matters and I should pay attention and I should invest in this.” So if there’s an initiative, or a methodology, or a new focus, or a metric, anything that you think is super important to your agency one of the messages I got out of this week’s workshop was we have to reinforce that over, and over, and over again, before our, our employees go, “okay he or she is actually serious about this one, I should pay attention, I should lean in, I should invest.” But if we don’t make it a priority, if we don’t talk about it on a regular basis, if we don’t emphasize and underline it over, and over, and over again, they think that it is the flavor of the week, of the month, and that they don’t really have to invest because we’re going to move on to something else. So if there’s something that’s important to your shop whether it’s quarterly KPIs, whether it’s a new methodology, whether it is a new strategy, for your agency, or a target audience, or whatever it may be understand that you’re going to need to talk about it multiple times for your employees to go, “okay I’m going to connect the dots and this actually matters, and we are going to invest in this, we are going to lean into this, we are going to spend time and energy to make this happen. So I need to embrace it.” So they are waiting for us to show them just how serious we are about something before they’re ready to sign on or invest. So keep that in mind, as you sort of take on initiatives coming up into the second quarter of 2022. What matters to you and how are you going to talk about it in a way that it begins to matter to them? All right, I’ll talk to you next week.