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Picture this if you will… an hour glass with green sand on your desk that represents time and money. YOUR time and YOUR money. You see, we all get the same 525,600 minutes in a year, and as a leader, we must invest that time wisely. We must invest that time where we will get a return on that investment. That is why we operate under a Coach, Coach, Change methodology.

A few key questions to set the table:

  1. Do you spend a majority of your time coaching up a few under-performing employees while your top performers run on autopilot?

  2. Do you psychologically terminate the employee but forget to tell them they have been terminated?

  3. Do you have difficulty coaching employees whose skills are outdated or egotistical top-performers who forget they are part of team?

Tim Gallwey, author, describes the goal of coaching as the following:

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.

It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them”.

So how does Coach, Coach, Change work? It is pretty simple.

The Weekly One on One

In order to make Coach, Coach, Change effective, weekly one on ones are paramount. Again, it is about helping them to learn rather than teaching them. It is about the employee’s ability to self-diagnose and make the necessary adjustments. If we choose to hire an employee and put them on as a direct report, we need to give them undivided attention every week to ensure that behavior matches goals. Do not cancel one on ones. Your one on ones should be consistently structured and the employee should feel the need to prepare for the one on one. As an example: coaching one on one for a salesperson may consist of the following:

  1. Coach to Strategy: review their targeted accounts and buyer personas. Are they calling on the right types of companies? Are they calling on the right people? Are they selling the right products and services?

  2. Coach to Activity: assuming they are calling on the right companies and people, are they meeting the activity performance standards?

  3. Coach to Skill: assuming they are calling on the right accounts and people and are hitting their activity standards, do they have the right skills? Do they effectively plan their calls? Ask effective questions? Have the technical (product or service) skills? Can they handle common objections?

Action and Inaction Patterns Emerge

Having weekly 1:1’s this way will cause patterns to emerge. You will either have the engaged employee who grows through this experience and is able to learn from your coaching, or you will have the disengaged employee who works harder on avoiding you in between 1:1’s than their own personal development. Disengaged employees are where Coach, Coach, Change is deployed.

The First “Coach” Session

By having weekly 1:1’s, after several weeks, documented patterns emerge and in the event that you find poor performance or behavior, your first “coach” in the Coach, Coach, Change model takes place. This is where you highlight gaps in performance or behavior and work with your employee to mitigate. This is where you determine if it is an aptitude (can do) problem or an attitude (will to) problem. You document your conversation in writing and see if the behavior and subsequent performance changes—remember, actions speak louder than words.

The Second “Coach” Session

This could be as soon as the next 1:1 if you have not seen the behavioral change you agreed to. This is where you make sure, in no uncertain terms that the employee understands that if behavior does not change and things do not improve, there will be consequences, up to and including termination. Again, document your conversation and your performance standards in writing.


In the Change aspect of this methodology, the under-performing employee is either terminated or moved to a different role where they can be successful. This all depends on their aptitude and attitude. If they have tried hard to close the gap but simply cannot master the core competencies of the position and their attitude is strong, perhaps they are just in the wrong role and can take on a different role. We see this quite frequently in hunter/farmer roles. Note: do not transfer a “problem” to another manager or leader If they cannot close the gap, and make little effort to do so, the only consequence is termination. Under-performers not willing to change, or learn and grow, tear down the entire organization and should be removed from the company.

At Butler Street, our 4-B approach to leadership aligns your efforts to employee engagement and our Coach, Coach, Change philosophy will help you to optimize performance. To learn more about our leadership programs, click on CONTACT and let us know the best way to reach you.

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