Practice makes perfect. Some of us grew up hearing this phrase whenever we were learning anything new—whether it was playing the piano, learning algebra, or trying a new sport.
We accept the need for practice in these areas without question. We understand that continuing to practice and train is the only way to maintain a high standard of performance. But when it comes to our business life, we ignore the need for practice.
Professional athletes practice 40 or more hours a week for just a few hours on the field in the game. During their practice coaches are observing, modeling, and correcting performance in every skill required to play the game.
In business it seems the exact opposite is the norm. Team members receive a few hours of training a year for 40 hours a week in the game with clients. Okay, perhaps you also have regular, formal coaching sessions. But when was the last time you actually observed your team members interacting with clients and provided them with specific feedback on what they could do to improve?
The key to meaningful coaching that drives performance results is so obvious. It’s just like sports—it takes constant practice and the observation and feedback of a coach who’s focused on building the skills of his or her team.
Cynthia Leverich is Director of Global Business Development for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.