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Seb Anthony

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Creating a peer coaching session


We are releasing a new product initiative in our company, and are taking the approach of training a few "experts", who can then go forth and train their peers in the details of the new product. When the "experts" leave the centralised course, I want to give them a reasonably prescribed coaching session to use when training their peers, to make it as easy as possible for them.
Everyone will get a reasonably extensive training/reference guide, which they will be expected to read before they attend their coaching session.
Does anyone have any tips, ideas, etc on how to make this coaching session as useful as possible? We know what info we need to include, it is more how we do it that needs some work.
Our people are all branch staff with customer contact, so the session needs to be reasonably short (no more than 1 hour), but still get the message across well. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Tony Boon

2 Responses

  1. coaching as opposed to teaching
    can I suggest the following:
    ~the individual training reference guide that goes out to all includes instructions that the “Coaching session” is to test and ambed the learning from the cocuments
    ~the coaches then have a series of set exercises/questions to ask about the product
    ~each person then has their “coaching session” where they carry out the exercises/answer the questions.
    ~in the event that a delegate has questions about the product the expert can answer them or open a discussion with his/her peers if appropriate. If a delegate is utterly clueless because they haven’t done the pre-learning they can be re-scheduled.

    This will allow your coaches to “certify” that people know the product rather than simply report that they have delivered material. It also allows (within reason) delegates to learn at their own pace. Delegates should have increased confidence afterwards that they have proven their knowledge rather than just being sheep dipped in a one hour session.

    If the exercises/questions are comprehensive enough the fact that some of the later people could “cheat” becomes almost irrelevant, alternatively you could devise several different sets of exercises and questions.

    I appreciate that this isn’t really coaching but is more of an assessment session but so long as the “experts” know their stuff it will be less repetitious for the experts that delivering the same proscribed hour long event several hundred times.

    I hope this helps


  2. Update!
    Just to let anyone know who reads this, I basically took Rus’s advice to the letter. We sent out the Training Guide, and made them read it before the sessions. They then came and went through a long quiz/discussion, which allowed them to answer questions on the product. We allowed time at the end for them to ask questions, but almost every time we had already answered these.
    This is an excellent way to train people in this type of launch. Thanks Rus!!
    Tony 🙂


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