Yelling - Okay, most leaders aren't usually yellers (at least I hope not), but the leader's focus on what the employee did wrong is often interpreted as being yelled at.
Telling - Telling is much better than yelling. In this approach, the leader tells the employee why he/she is being coached.
Teaching - Teaching is far superior to telling. When leaders teach, they take time to connect someone's behaviors and actions to customers, colleagues, and results. Teaching drives behavior changing much faster.
Here's an example
While working the floor with Courtney, you observe that she was so focused on putting out an order out she didn't notice a customer walking into the store.
Here are three ways you can address it:
Yell - "Courtney, you missed greeting that customer who came in." Remember, it is often a perceived yell whether you raise your voice or not.
Tell - "Courtney, I saw you miss greeting that customer. You’re expected to welcome every customer within five seconds."
Teach - "Courtney, I noticed you were so busy with the order that you missed welcoming the customer. It's important that we welcome within five seconds so our customers see that they are our priority. They also know we know they're here, and that we're ready to assist them."
Yes, teaching takes more time than telling and yelling. Imagine, though, what Courtney may think or say after each approach:
Yell: "Okay okay. I was just trying hard to get the order out as soon as possible like you asked."
Tell: "I know. She slipped in so quietly."
Teaching: "That makes sense. I'll try to be more aware."
It's obvious which approach is going to have the most impact.
Successful coaching recognizes what the employee is doing well so they continue to do so, and teaches what they can do to be even better. Something we emphasis and practice in my EveryDay Coaching and Leadership class.
So let me ask, are you more likely to yell, tell, or teach your staff?
How to use this article
Talk with your management team about the three different approaches, and what each person can do to increase the amount of teaching they do with the staff.
About Doug: Doug Fleener, the former director of retail for Bose Corporation, is a speaker and consultant known for bring fresh approaches and powerful actionable ideas to clients and audiences around the world. Learn more at DougFleener.com.