Today (Monday) was my first day back in the branch since Tuesday of last week. I left a branch with slow sales and returned this morning to a branch that had fallen even further behind. I left the branch on Tuesday feeling discouraged and daunted. Today, refreshed from my break, I felt more ready to take on the challenge.
I forced myself to focus on the positives, even though they were harder to find. I crafted my weekly “coaching opportunities” to focus on praising successful changes. Our communication whiteboard featured the message “Let’s breeze past our goals this month… EASY for a branch this talented!!” I posted a report that showed only 2 of 10 employees are meeting a given standard, with the names of successful team members highlighted with an arrow and a “WooHOOOO!!”
And we blew our daily goal out of the water.
I’m not scared to be Bad Cop when need be. And I worry that focusing so much on what people are doing well makes me come off as an easily-manipulated Pollyanna. My coaching strategy, “You’re so good at A, B, and C! How can I help you fix D?” comes off as naive to some.
Because I am naive. Nothing has become so evident since I started this new position. I think one of the Great Secrets of Adulthood is that calling someone “competent” is really saying “she learns fast enough to keep us from realizing how little she knows.”