May 20, 2014
It feels counter-intuitive. That's probably why it is so rarely practiced.
When you hear your morning show screw up in a massive way, it's almost impossible not to point out their flaw and explain why that should never happen again.
Even with new brain science proving this form of negative feedback is counter-productive, it's almost impossible to find a radio organization -- even one person inside one radio station -- that can resist the urge to coach by criticism.
What would you say if I told you the best way to improve the performance of any member of your staff is to help them envision a positive future, a future that includes them succeeding beyond their wildest dreams?
It just feels goofy, right? Like sitting around a campfire, singing "Kumbaya" while you watch your ratings sink into the PPM sunset.
Here's the point, though: Learning can't be optimized by an unreceptive mind, and the more negative you are when you're "coaching," the less likely it is that any real teaching is happening.
You've seen it happen. You've felt it happen to you when you're being criticized. Negativity brings up defensive walls, and the mind shuts down.
If nothing more, you should spend time every week helping each one of your employees talk about their desired personal vision, because 30 minutes of that kind of positivity makes them more open to growth and learning for a full week.
Like active listening, which so few people understand, this coaching technique will require practice, but it's definitely worth the effort.