How to Talk to Your Employees About the Way They Talk to Customers

the-boys
My husband helping our son with homework a couple of nights ago

Story highlights

Maintain employees’ esteem when giving constructive feedback, so you protect the relationship and get behavior change

I’m sitting on my patio, with my feet up. It’s cloudy, and there’s a light breeze. Such a contrast to the oppressively hot and humid summer we’ve had

Sitting here on my patio I made a list of 50 things that I’m happy about right now. I do this exercise from time to time, whenever my mood needs lifting. Some of the things on my list are:

  • I got all of the wood polished.
  • Though Warren’s team lost, his spirit remains high.
  • ClearCorrect trusted me to train their team for the second time, and I’m fully prepared for the big day!
  • We had a fantastic getaway to Dallas, and I’m so glad Dad was able to join us.
  • My homemade lunch, Portobello Mushroom Burgers, and Sweet Potato Fries were amazing!
  • Michelle’s Dad’s cancer is gone! God is good!
  • My lunch yesterday with Toneille at the Vault was fantastic! The vegan food was fabulous, and I loved catching up with Toneille. 

My husband is one of the coaches on our son’s football team. We got beat 43 – 0 on Saturday. The loss felt as bad as it sounds. Right now my husband is sitting in front of the computer with my son watching game film. He was pointing out everything my son did wrong.

My son’s body language and tone told me my husband was bringing him down. That’s why I’m on the patio. I had to get out of the house.

Continue reading “How to Talk to Your Employees About the Way They Talk to Customers”

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Coaching Employees

Espresso for Writing

 

I’m sitting in my office sipping bold Ethiopian espresso, my favorite, and doing a run-through for this week’s big training event. The big event? We’re calling it:

“How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Coaching Employees.”

If you’re a Member of my Full Access program or you registered for this event, your handouts were sent to you last night, so be sure to check your email for the packet.

It’s a fact. Most managers don’t give employees the constructive feedback they need in order to develop and grow. Some managers shy away from conflict. Perhaps they hope the problem will correct itself.

iStock_000000732981XSmall

Many fear getting a difficult to handle response from the employee. We never want to admit it, but some managers want to be “friends” with their employees and this “friendship” keeps them from the giving the constructive feedback their employees need. And then there are those who just wait until the annual performance review to lay it all on the employee.

Why are managers so ineffective when it comes to giving constructive feedback?

It’s simple really. Managers never learned exactly how to assertively address unacceptable performance. And let’s face it; giving constructive feedback about a person’s performance can be a little intimidating.

Join me for a 60-minute discussion on Wednesday, February 10th at 1:05pm ET where I’ll share:

  • 4 Pain points of coaching agents and how to handle them.
  • The Manager-Tested-and-Proven 6-Step Strategy for Addressing Unacceptable Employee Performance that Myra has taught managers in Fortune 100 companies, contact centers, government agencies, school systems, a spa and a plumbing company.
  • How to avoid sounding critical and nitpicky, yet still get your point across.
  • 3 Keys for coaching underperforming employees.
  • Special take-away packet: A powerful 9-step coaching strategy for coaching calls in contact centers. +++ Get a sneak peak at Zappos monitoring form.
  • How to get employees to take ownership for performance improvement using a super-simple 4-step Coaching Through Questioning technique.
  • 3 Techniques everyone who coaches contact center agents should be using.
  • Myra’s KFD principle for how to fully prepare for constructive feedback discussions with employees. Using this principle, you’ll be prepared and confident!
  • A 2-minute exercise that you can do at your desk that will instantly boost your confidence by boosting your testosterone levels (this works for women too) and lower your cortisol (stress hormone). Do this quick exercise right before having high-stakes conversations and you’ll have the confidence of Olivia Pope.

Sneak Peak at what we’ll cover in “How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Coaching Employees.”

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After our discussion I will give you:

  • Full webinar digital recording
  • Unlimited viewing within your organization with no expiration
  • Rights to download and save webinar video
  • Rights to incorporate webinar within your Learning Management System (LMS)

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Coaching Agents

February 10th, 1:05pm – 2:05pm ET     $299 per organization

Register now

4 Pain Points of Coaching Employees and How to Handle Them

 

pro

As I sit down to write this, I have an unsightly burn on my right hand. Before my keynote tomorrow morning, I’ll have to find the nearest drugstore and buy a discrete looking Band-Aid to cover the sore. Perhaps the front desk of this lovely bed and breakfast has Band-Aids. I’ll check there first. But not before I talk to you about hot stoves and pain points to coaching your employees.

My children and husband love my homemade bread, so before business trips I try to make a fresh loaf and leave it for them to enjoy. In addition to my basic white bread, I made a dessert bread for my daughter, Key Lime Bread.

It was my first time making this dessert bread. I did the toothpick test to make sure it was cooked nicely all the way through. When I removed the toothpick from the bread, I bumped my hand on the top of the inside of the hot oven. It immediately stung. I stood in front of the open oven, toothpick in hand, for a couple of seconds wondering how I could have been so careless.

Two days later in a bed and breakfast in Ohio, I have an ugly sore on my right hand. I talk with my hands, so this a problem on the big stage. I’ll definitely get a Band-Aid for tomorrow.

I was careless and I got burned. The oven is impersonal. It didn’t care that I was baking bread as a loving gesture for my family. I touched the hot surface, so I got burned. The sting of the burn was immediate. If I went back and touched the inside of a hot oven again, say in two weeks, I’d still get burned. I knew the oven was hot, so, the heat was foreseeable. If you touch the inside of my oven while it’s hot, you, too, will get burned.

Giving feedback and addressing unacceptable performance with employees should be like an oven throwing off heat. The feedback should be immediate, impersonal and consistent. Consequences for not making corrections after receiving feedback should be foreseeable.

old stove

 

It’s what Douglas McGregor, management consultant, calls the Hot Stove Rule.

Feedback to employees should follow the Hot Stove Rule.

 When we fail to follow the hot stove rule, we make coaching harder for ourselves; we’re unfair to our employees; we may put our companies at risk for litigation.

1. Immediate – Unacceptable employee performance or attitude needs to be addressed immediately. Not after things have built up overtime, not on the annual review; immediately. I felt the burn immediately. Your employees need, and deserve, immediate feedback on their performance.

2. Foreseeable – I knew my oven was hot. I simply got careless and allowed my bare hand to come in contact with the metal surface. The potential for injury was foreseeable. I turned the oven on, I let it preheat, I felt the heat. Any disciplinary action you take on an employee; verbal warning, written warning, probation, etc., must be foreseeable. Your expectations must be clear. Consequences for failure to meet expectations must also be clear. Constructive feedback and discipline should never be a shock to your employees.

3. Consistent – If I go into my kitchen next week and touch the oven while it’s hot, I will get burned. Again. The oven is consistent in delivering its consequences. Feedback, coaching and discipline are to be consistent if they are to be effective in ushering in change. You can’t ignore a variance today and then stand firm against the same infraction 6 months from now. You must consistently address unacceptable performance and poor attitudes. You must consistently offer support, coaching and counsel.

4. Impersonal – I touched the inside surface of a 375 degree oven. That is why I got burned. It was not personal. The sting and ugly sore are the consequences I must endure because I touched a hot oven. The burn had nothing to do with my years of experience in the kitchen, or lack thereof, professional title, or how the oven felt about me. It was impersonal. Your feedback and discipline must be impersonal too. Consistently give the same level of feedback, coaching and discipline to any employee who fails to meet expectations.

The bed and breakfast does not have Band-Aids, but there is Target 3 miles away. I can cover my mistake with a bandage. But it’s not that easy for you. You have a professional and ethical responsibility to coach your employees fairly and to give them every possible opportunity to deliver their best performance. You do this by ensuring that your coaching and discipline is immediate, foreseeable, consistent and impersonal.

 

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We Need to Talk About How You Coach Your Employees

Live Webinar with Myra Golden

This new program contains a step-by-step approach to coaching agents to deliver the best customer interactions

And right now, you can get a special $50 discount when you use code COACHBETTER2016, but only if you hurry.  Go to:

https://myragolden.com/webinar_WeNeed2Talk.php

You’ll gain a new sense of confidence, satisfaction and pride in your quality assurance efforts and lower your stress level.

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Improve the Customer Experience by Coaching Call Center Agents the Right Way

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.”

~ Steve Jobs

iStock_000001404919XSmall

It’s a fact. Most managers don’t give employees the constructive feedback they need in order to develop and grow. Some managers shy away from conflict. Perhaps they hope the problem will correct itself. Many fear getting a difficult to handle response from the employee. We never want to admit it, but some managers want to be “friends” with their employees and this “friendship” keeps them from the giving the constructive feedback their employees need. And then there are those who just wait until the annual performance review to lay it all on the employee.

Why are managers so ineffective when it comes to giving constructive feedback?

 

It’s simple really. Managers never learned exactly how to assertively address unacceptable performance. And let’s face it; giving constructive feedback about a person’s performance can be a little intimidating.

Sit down with me on Wednesday, February 10th at 1:05pm ET for a 60-minute discussion on how you coach your employees. Here’s what I’m eager to share with you:

  • 4 Pain points of coaching agents and how to handle them.
  • The Manager-Tested-and-Proven 6-Step Strategy for Addressing Unacceptable Employee Performance that Myra has taught managers in Fortune 100 companies, contact centers, government agencies, school systems, a spa and a plumbing company.
  • How to avoid sounding critical and nitpicky, yet still get your point across.
  • 3 Keys for coaching underperforming employees.
  • Special take-away packet: A powerful 9-step coaching strategy for coaching calls in contact centers.
  • How to get employees to take ownership for performance improvement using a super-simple 4-step Coaching Through Questioning technique.
  • 3 Techniques everyone who coaches contact center agents should be using.
  • Myra’s KFD principle for how to fully prepare for constructive feedback discussions with employees. Using this principle, you’ll be prepared and confident!
  • A 2-minute exercise that you can do at your desk that will instantly boost your confidence by boosting your testosterone levels (this works for women too) and lower your cortisol (stress hormone). Do this quick exercise right before having high-stakes conversations and you’ll have the confidence of Olivia Pope.

After our discussion you will receive:

  • Full webinar digital recording
  • Unlimited viewing within your organization with no expiration
  • Rights to download and save webinar video
  • Rights to incorporate webinar within your Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Take-away packet with resources to help you design or refine your coaching strategy. 

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Coaching Agentss (Live webinar with Myra Golden)

February 10th, 1:05pm ET – 2:05pm ET  

$299 per organization Register