The best managers are the ones who help their sales team discover lessons for themselves. The "lousy" ones not only tell, but they yell, using phrases like, "If you screw this up…" "I hate to be so negative. . ." and "You've got to make quota this month or else . . ." These are classic Critical Parent statements that sap motivation and an environment of defiance.
Managers deliver their message this way to make themselves feel stronger (to feel more "OK" about themselves and their own self-worth) - most times on a subconscious level. "Telling" doesn't build sales character; unfortunately, it can either cause your salespeople to lose respect for you or de-motivate them to not really try.
Effective mentoring and coaching strategies include asking good questions, especially when you already know the answers. This helps your protégés come up with the "light bulbs" on their own. It’s all about the light bulb effect. Good coaching is caught, not taught.
- Jody Williamson