Just tell me what to do

We all love someone who has that magic trait of “coachability”. The ones who are primed for feedback and waiting to absorb advice. We help them climb a steady ramp of improvement week over week, quarter over quarter.

But managers often tell me they have someone who they can’t coach. 

Not because they are bad. They hit numbers consistently. They are experienced. There’s no sales skill to give them feedback on, because they have it down. Gifting them back their 1:1 time feels noble because their time is better spent selling than being told something they already know, right?

I read a lot about how it’s great as a coach to help someone figure it out on their own rather than handing them the answer. On the surface, that sounds a lot like asking them “so what do YOU think you should do?”. The “coachable” rep might get frustrated thinking “if I knew that I wouldn’t be here, just tell me what to do!” and the experienced rep, well, they’re already off doing what they think is best because you cancelled their 1:1. 

Having someone eager to hear your advice can lead you into thinking that you’re the keeper of the correct answer and it’s your job to lead them to it. 

But if you can think of it more as you having experience that you can bring to a conversation so you can *both* figure out the way forward, you’ll get better results from both types of people and less likely to end up turning the coachable rep into the uncoachable one…

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