By Neil Phillips.
Well-designed action plans are an important part of working with a direct sales team. That’s a DUH type of statement. Slippage inevitably occurs between plans and activities. Without an action plan for future business development, it’s more like tectonic plates grating than the flipping of pages in a book.
Actions plans are a great place for a leader to use their coaching skills rather than their mentoring and training skills. When I train, I help someone fill the gap between what they don’t know and what they know. When I coach, I support someone in crossing the gap between what they know and don’t do.
As a coach, there is another crucial component that occurs in the development of an action plan. When you coach someone to develop an action plan, they own it. They invest in its success. They will fight to make it succeed. You don’t tell them the plan; you ask them the questions that will allow them to find their answers.
While you can make action plans into a complicated activity, at their heart they are a very simple process built around three questions:
- What do you want to achieve? In other words, describe the goal. The more specific the description, the more clearly the target becomes.
- What do you need to do to get it? The actions. Without these, nothing occurs.
- What do you need to give up to get it? While this question may seem a little surprising, it’s a question about changing your activities in a manner that will free up the time for goal-related activities. You can’t make your day longer, so something has to come out to make room for your new behaviors. What is coming out of your life?
There are obviously many more questions to raise. Starting with these three as your coaching framework will set your team in the right direction, and your partnership will be appreciated.
Who Asks You About Your Action Plans?
Every leader learns they can’t do it alone. You need a spark to set your goals, an ear to listen, and resources that you can use. At Team Connections Pro, you’ll find all three. You can join our Facebook group and see what other leaders are doing. You can access well over 100 hours of video and audio, as well as training documents and eBooks. And you can have a professional coach to support you along the way.