You may be developing your internal training program, and that means a lot of great things are about to happen: clarifying procedures, increasing results, connecting on purpose, and boosting confidence. But it also means you are about to get hit with a big challenge!
Do you know one of the biggest challenges facing service companies during training? Keeping the feedback positive!
You know exactly what I’m talking about here. It’s the challenge of staying positive when you see plenty of things going wrong during training.
The Power of Positive Feedback
As a rule of thumb, you will get more of what you focus on. So, if you focus on the negative, you’ll get more negative. If you focus on the positive, you’ll get more positive.
I see this in training all the time.
A young tech steps up to the challenge of getting in front of his peers and doing a role-play. This is his first time. He stands, does his best, and sits down. If we are being honest, it’s usually pretty terrible.
What happens next is critical not only for the tech, but for every other person that is going to follow him.
If you shoot the tech down in front of his peers with negative feedback, no one is going to want to get on that stage.
However, if you focus on the positive, you are going to boost his confidence, and reward his bravery.
4 Simple Techniques to Boost Positivity During Training
#1 – Set the stage
Create a culture of positive feedback. This must be done before the tech starts his role-play. Here is how I would communicate this step to the team:
“We are about to work on reviewing service agreements with our clients. For many of you, this will be your very first service agreement role-play.
I know you are probably a little nervous, and that’s normal. I know I was super nervous the first time I did a role-play. I bet some of our veterans will agree they were too, right guys?!
Here’s the good news, we are here to help you win! We are on your side! Let’s give everyone a hand in advance.”
#2 – Establish the rules
My #1 rule for role-playing is the following: DON’T BE A JERK
Here is how you can communicate this rule.
“Guys, if you are playing the part of the homeowner today, do not be a jerk! I know we get the occasional homeowner that is a jerk. It is good to train for those clients, but not today!
Today we are going to focus on helping these young techs grow! Let’s give them answers and reactions that we expect to receive 90% of the time from our great clients!”
Rule #2 is: ROLE-PLAY LIKE IT IS REAL
When your guys role-play, have them stand-up. Movement and action automatically boost the performance of every role-play.
#3 – Clap at the end
Clapping is a powerful form of positive feedback and acceptance. Always let a clap happen before words are spoken. If no one is clapping at the end, then you go first.
#4 – Oreo your feedback
Oreo cookies are awesome! That is a pure scientific fact – look it up.
Feedback should be given in the style of an oreo cookie.
The black cookie on the bottom and the top is pure positive feedback.
The cream in the middle is the helpful advice. It is the suggestion of improvement, yet it is still very good. Some would say that the cream is the best part!
Here’s as example:
The Top of the Cookie
“Great job Isaac! Very nicely done. I really liked how you introduced the service agreement. You were enthusiastic, and you focused on the benefits for the client. That is exactly the way it is done.
How did that feel? [wait for response from tech] That’s great.
The Cream of the Cookie
Here’s something you can do that will make it even more powerful:
When you cover the 4 benefits with the homeowner, point out that the benefits are in writing on the form. Then at the end, and before you ask them to make an investment, ask the client if they believe the benefits would be good for them. When they say yes, assume the sell.
How does that sound? Great! Want to try it now?
The Bottom of the Cookie
That was an awesome job Isaac! You are such a great example. Keep it up!”
Did you notice what each of these techniques had in common? Positivity! People are usually more open to taking a risk, and receiving feedback, when they know they are going to get a positive response.
Great training is like a great company. It is planned and intentional.