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The Outcome: Personalities at Work


This week John Copeman spends some time getting to know some of the personalities at Air Filters International.

I spent the next 15 minutes allowing Nitesh Chowdrey - Air Filter International telesales manager - to explain the stats on the telesales team. The spreadsheet that he showed me on the PC was complex, and had a tab for each of the team members. On each worksheet, was a complex array of colours and columns showing product types, appointments, areas, inbound, outbound, and various other categories? “Am I looking at results here, or data entry sheets?” I asked. “Both,” Nitesh said as he pointed at the cumulative columns amid the jungle of colours and numbers.

He explained that he produced a monthly report from the figures and presented it at the sales meeting. He also explained that new targets would be developed and given sometimes monthly, but mostly quarterly.

“Did you develop this yourself?” I asked. “Yes I did” he said with some pride, “although I must admit, it is taking a fair bit of time to gather and enter the data, which I try to do weekly whenever I can.” Nitesh went on to explain the directors had been pleased with the information in the report. Also, they have asked for other breakdowns to be included, and that he was currently working on adding more factors into the spreadsheet to accommodate them, but that it was getting a little tricky and unwieldy. “I am wondering at the moment whether to adapt what I have, or rebuild it from scratch,” he said. “Either way, it’s going to be a ‘burning the midnight oil’ job, he said with a smile.

Nitesh let me have a printout of the worksheets and a copy of the last monthly report. I left and went back over to the team.

I spent a few minutes with each of the team between calls, just chatting and enquiring how long they had been with the company and with the team. The atmosphere was positive and the general attitude was enthusiastic. I did pick up a hint of sarcasm when people mentioned Tina’s ‘flu’. The impression I got was that it was not a genuinely held belief in the team that she was ill. I didn’t press anyone on the subject, and directed the conversation towards them as individuals. During the 20 or so minutes I was there, I noticed that Rachel Warwick would stand up with her wireless headset and move around when she was talking to the prospects or clients. She was animated and the conversations were easy, friendly and for the time I was there, very productive as far as I could tell. I made a mental note to look at her stats later that evening.

I said my goodbyes to the team and headed to Bill’s office. Shelia was on the phone as I walked passed. I motioned to her that I was going into the office and she smiled and nodded.

I entered a few notes into my mind map, so I could clear my mind, ready for going to another area. I decided that I would pop into HR and see if I could catch HR manager Maurice Palmer for a few minutes, but on the way, I wanted to have a few minutes with administration manager Trudy Bradshaw.

I caught her just as she was coming out of the ladies toilet. “I was just on my way to see you,” I said. "I want to ask you a question about the sales meetings, have you got a couple of minutes?” We agreed to get a coffee on the way to her office. Back in Trudy’s office, she motioned me to a chair and we sat down with our coffees. “I wondered if the admin office were involved in preparing information for the sales meetings and if so what it was you did?” I asked. “Actually, that’s one of the things I was going to mention when I saw you.” Trudy started to explain what her section did in preparing info for the sales meetings.

    Key Points:
  • The key factor to coaching is identifying goals – equally important and often insufficiently done, is finding out a true picture of where we currently are – not just where we think we are!

  • Identify natural personalities that inspire those around them. Is this being used effectively and recognised?

  • In any organisation, or department, there will be a key person to whom you can turn to gain understanding of systems and gather key operational information. Identify them as soon as possible, and engage rapport with them to promote a productive relationship for the outcome of the coaching.

  • Always make clear notes so you can establish and preserve Outcome focus and Outcome thinking.

* Catch up with all instalments of The Outcome, including a profile of John Copeman at here.


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