A key ingredient to a successful mentor is his/her “likeability” (Yeah.. Yeah.. I know it’s not a word, I just made it up.) Likeability simple means how likeable are you? Do people like to be around you. Do they like listening to what you have to say? Do they like and respect you? If not, you will not be able to coach them effectively. What turns students off the most? This is a tough question that has plagued coaches, teachers and trainers of all sorts for years and years. The main answer is Criticism. People generally have a hard time accepting criticism. Especially negative criticism. It takes a great degree of humility to admit that we are under developed or need improvement. If a coach only uses hard negative criticism the student will most likely shut down and become closed to further instruction. If the coach only uses positive remarks then the student gets mislead and moves on to fail in the real world.
My answer to this dilemma is the 3 B’s. BBB… that is BUILD – BREAK – BUILD. I always try to sandwich the negative between 2 positives. When I’m evaluating a sales persons performance I find at least one thing that was done well. If there are none to be found I just use the fact they the student tried their best as a positive then I point out the part the needs improvement and end my review with a positive statement about how this change will greatly improve their sales. Here are two examples.
What Not To Say:
“Johnny that was a terrible sales pitch. My grandmother can sell better than you. You should just scratch the word salesman off you business card cause you cant sell crap!”
What You Should Say:
“Hey Johnny that was a good try because I noticed you were smiling. I think next time you should slow the pace down so more people can understand you. Once you get that voice thing down you’re sure to get some good responses from customers.”
I’m sure you will agree that over time the “likeability” factor of the manager in example #2 will greatly increase and his/her students will be much more receptive. Remember its not break-break-break. It’s BUILD-break-BUILD! Don’t break people down all the time. Build people up thats how they become winners!
To your success,