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Sunday, August 17 2014
The difference between 'training' and 'coaching'!

Know the difference between 'training' and 'coaching' employees

Laurie Glover, Apr 24, 2014, 2:31pm EDT

Managers often use the terms “training” and “coaching” interchangeably. This leads to a lot of confusion for both managers and employees, and makes it difficult to evaluate the outcomes of each.

Both training and coaching have their place in every organization.

Understanding the main differences between training and coaching can help managers make sure they use the right tool for the right tasks. If they can do that, everyone benefits.


Training is used for things like new-hire orientation, changes in processes, procedures, or technology, and new governmental regulations.

It trains something specific and can be a one-time event.

Key characteristics of training:

  • Learning focused
  • Provides new knowledge and skills
  • Often takes place with groups
  • Usually structured
  • Used to get someone to do a specific task

To be successful with these initiatives, managers need to:

1. Know the basics. Train the audience using the following key phrases:

  • Tell me
  • Show me
  • Let me
  • Test me

2. Understand adult-learning theory

Adult learners are pressed for time and are goal oriented. They bring previous knowledge and experience and have a finite capacity for information. They have different motivational levels and learning styles.

3. Make it fun

Everyone likes to have some fun. It certainly breaks up the tedium of lectures.

4. Prepare, plan, practice

Because training is a structured activity, you need to spend more time preparing before the actual delivery to get it right.


Coaching sometimes has a bad reputation because it’s so often used to deliver critical or constructive feedback. But it shouldn’t be.

It should be an on-going activity with each of your employees designed to keep everyone on track.

Key characteristics of coaching:

  • Development focused
  • Facilitates critical thinking and decision-making
  • Usually takes place one-on-one
  • Informal or unstructured
  • Used to improve performance and behaviour

Here’s a good roadmap for successful coaching:

1. Do it Often

I’m a firm believer that offering five minutes coaching each week is better than 30 minutes once a month.

2. Ask Questions. Ask your employees the following questions:

  • What are you proud of that you’ve accomplished in the last week?
  • Where are you stuck?
  • What can I do to help?
  • What are your goals for the coming week?

Laurie Glover is an organizational development professional with extensive international experience in corporate training, academia, and sales and marketing management. Glover is CEO of QSTS, a consulting firm that helps organizations and individuals move from “good” to “great” by igniting organizational excellence. The firm specializes in workplace learning programs on leadership, management and supervisory skills and in programs for lawyers and accountants in building their practices.

Posted by: SMP AT 01:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, August 17 2014

Real Motivators For Sales Success

Daniel is a very successful sales professional. Last year his income was higher than he ever imagined that he would earn. However, Daniel hired me as a coach and joined my elite sales mastermind group because he dreaded going to work each day. It was not the process of selling that he dreaded... it was the fact that he was struggling to motivate himself. You might wonder how someone making a great income could be unmotivated regarding his job.

Research on motivation began with the pioneering work of Dr. Abraham Maslow, who determined that people are motivated according to a hierarchy of needs, and money happens to lie near the bottom of that hierarchy. Consequently, once someone makes a good income, the higher order needs become paramount in driving that person’s passion. Earning more money does not satisfy a deficit in higher order needs, such as a feeling of belonging and a sense of accomplishment.

In Daniel’s situation, he didn’t trust his sales manager, believed he didn’t genuinely care about him, played favorites, and rarely gave him verbal recognition of his success. As a result, Daniel didn’t see a future with the company, regardless of his sales success.

Another pioneer in the research regarding job-related motivation was Frederick Herzberg, with his two-factor model. Herzberg’s research showed that salary or commission rarely motivates people. Not having enough money will make them dissatisfied with their jobs, but earning more than they need is nice, but that alone will not motivate them or enrich their jobs.

So, what motivates a sales professional? It’s an age-old question, of course. Money has always been considered the big carrot for sales people. However, as both Maslow’s and Herzberg’s research showed, financial compensation is an important determinant of job satisfaction only when a person doesn’t have enough for her/his needs.

An executive vice president of sales of a major insurance carrier describes it this way: Salespersons in general have more needs than simply getting a paycheck. That is part of the reward, certainly, but once you have a fair compensation plan in place, then the real work of employee motivation begins.

To create satisfaction, a sales manager needs to provide job enrich­ment by addressing what motivates his team to do their jobs, then finding out how to make it better and more satisfying for each of them.

My own research into job stress showed there are marked individual differences in the way working people are motivated. However, we can generalize from the vast number of motivational studies conducted with thousands of sales professionals in hundreds of working situations. Survey data shows that beyond a good income, most sales professionals need to feel a sense of trust, for both their colleagues and managers, a real sense of achievement, and recognition of their hard work.

Creating a Culture of Trust. Sales professionals need to trust that their supervisors want them to succeed, not just to hit quotas and the monetary rewards that come with that. They need to believe that their supervisors genuinely care about them. As a sales manager, it is critical to take the time to show a genuine interest in the families and lives of your sales people.

Creating a Culture of Achievement. Setting individual and team sales benchmarks is fine, however, it is even more motivating to show your sales force how their performance has enhanced the image and success of the company. They need to feel as if they are important ingredients their company’s success. They need to buy into the their products or services play in the lives of the end user. All of this ties into Maslow’s need for a sense of belonging and feeling like an important a part of a successful group or team.

Creating a Culture of Recognition. Sales professionals often feed off of recognition. This means that managers need to be personally recognizing them frequently. A common misconception by some sales managers is the belief their paycheck shows them how well they are doing, so I don’t need to pat them on the back. This notion is absolutely wrong. Everyone loves a pat on the back.

There are other forms of recognition that are just as important. The annual sales conference, where companies bring their sales force together, not only to interact with each other in a forum setting, but also to do peer recognition. Some companies backed off on this event when the economy went south. It’s important to continue these meetings and recognition events.

The other way to feel recognized is to belong to an exclusive group... such as the high producer’s group that is invited to attend seminars with powerful speakers at lavish locations, at company expense. This feeling of being a member of this elite club is the ultimate in personal recognition.

Sales Performance = Sales Skill + Knowledge + Motivation Minus Distractions

This simple formula tells it all.

The more the distractions, the less the sales performance, regardless of skill, knowledge and motivation.

And, the number one distraction is negative thoughts and beliefs about feeling unfulfilled in terms of trust, belonging, a sense of achievement or recognition.

Sales managers can certainly eliminate these distrac­tions from their sales professionals by consistently providing these powerful motivators to them.

Frequently ask them for feedback to get a pulse on how they are feeling and what you could be providing that is currently missing for them.

You will be rewarded greatly with a highly motivated team!

After working with me and the other members of my mas­termind group, Daniel learned how to ask for the recogni­tion he was missing and his manager became more sensi­tive to Daniel’s needs being under-served. Soon Daniel’s mo­tivation skyrocketed, resulting in record sales performance!

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional I/O and Sport Psychologist, speaker, coach and trainer for sales professionals. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, HR associations, sales staffs and elite athletes for more than 34 years. Dr. Jack is the author of Dynamic Health, The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide, The Financial Advisor’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide, and several series of self-help audio programs, directed at raising self-confidence for sales success.


LinkedIn Dr. Jack Singer

Posted by: SMP AT 12:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, August 09 2014

For many of our grandparents and parents, retirement was a well-earned rest from years of hard work. But nowadays, the desire to remain active and engaged, as well as financial pressures, are encouraging many employees to keep working well beyond traditional retirement age.

In fact, studies show that 80 percent of Baby Boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—want to continue to work. And since Generation X is half the size of that of the Baby Boomers, not only are people working till later in life; the number of those working past retirement will also continue to grow relative to younger generations.

For employers, this development has two significant consequences:

  • They must learn to adapt their workplaces to accommodate (existing) mature workers.
  • They need to consider the value of Baby Boomer workers as new hires.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Adapting the workplace to accommodate mature employees

Companies looking to harness the strengths of mature employees should consider the following points:

  • Flexible work options. Data from the 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index™ (2014 KGWI™) reveals that 58% of Baby Boomers value flexible work arrangements and 49% consider a good work-life balance a deciding factor in job satisfaction. And while the younger generations focus on having an appropriate amount of personal time, many Baby Boomers focus on remaining professionally active, albeit not always full-time. Interestingly, a study by The Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College found that flexible work options may support health and longevity due to higher job satisfaction and better work-life balance. So whether it’s transitioning into full retirement gradually, working part-time or making use of flex work and telecommute options, employers should consider offering work arrangements beyond the traditional 40-hour onsite workweek.
  • Development. Many senior employees want to continue to learn new skills and acquire more knowledge—not only to remain employable, but also for their personal development. According to the 2014 KGWI™, 56% of Baby Boomers stated that opportunities to learn were an important aspect of choosing one job over another. For employers, it’s important to note that offering continued education and on-the-job training can help these employees remain relevant and employable. In addition, implementing mentoring programs in which mature employees partner with younger workers to master the most recent technological developments can be beneficial to employees and employers alike.

The value of hiring a Baby Boomer workforce

Due to the relative increase in mature employees, the job market is going to see an increase in these candidates. That’s why it’s essential for employers to understand how not only retaining existing senior employees, but also recruiting a Baby Boomer workforce can add significant value to their organizations:

  • Baby Boomer employees are in general very loyal and committed to their employers. Whereas Gen X and Y first and foremost are committed to their work, Baby Boomers share a strong commitment to their employers and are less likely than younger generations to leave for another job.
  • Baby Boomers possess a wealth of experience and knowledge. Whether it’s decades of hands-on experience or well-honed leadership skills, mature employees often have solid backgrounds and extensive expertise that employers aren’t always ready to let go of. This is why the Society for Human Resource Management highlights the value of mentorship programs that allow experienced staff to advise and guide younger workers. These types of programs can help keep knowledge within an organization while simultaneously teaching younger workers valuable skills.
  • Baby Boomer employees can become contingent workers. Consider this: according to the 2014 KGWI™, 33% of Baby Boomers consider themselves to be specialists in their fields. Instead of employing mature talent full-time, employers can hire them as consultants and bring them in as needed. This allows senior employees to take their retirement packages while still accepting (temporary) consultation positions that allow them to use their expertise when and where they like.

Mature employees are a potent, large and growing talent pool. Employers who recognize their value and know how to accommodate them in the workplace are laying the groundwork to stay connected to a vibrant, productive workforce for years to come. 

Sources:;;; 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index™

Posted by: SMP AT 05:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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