Editor’s Note: We asked Bill Hart, a veteran coach at Building Champions (Lake Oswego, OR) to offer his insights on coaching and how it can benefit new and veteran loan originators alike. Future articles will highlight the perspectives of other coaches.
Broker Banker: Whatis the basic benefit of coaching?
Bill Hart: The approach that we take to coaching helps a client to crystallize their thinking about what they want in business and in life. We don’t believe you can be truly successful in one area without the other. Once the client has clarity on what they want to achieve and who they want to become, coaching helps them to “close the gaps” through accountability.
BB: Can veteran originators benefit as well as those newer to industry?
Hart: Often even more so. Originators who have been in the business for a long time have frequently established bad habits. For example, extended refinance markets often anesthetize LO’s to thinking that they only need to respond to requests for help (“can I refinance?”). They are thanked at closing and they get paid. Sales muscles atrophy and when the market shifts, as it always does, they are unprepared.
BB: Are all LOs coachable?
Hart: Not everyone is. We have seen situations where ego gets in the way of learning, listening and personal development. It takes a mature individual to assess one’s strengths and weakness and be sufficiently transparent with their coach to do the heavy lifting that is required to make progress. Not everyone is willing or able to do that.
BB: What is required of the LO?
Hart: In order to get the most benefit from coaching, clients need to commit to the process, which includes complete honesty, being on-time to coaching sessions, being prepared, coming to sessions fully engaged, and completing action plans on time. Beyond these commitments are best practices, and I believe one of the most effective is to schedule 30 minutes immediately following the sessions while intentionality is high to start or set in motion some of the action plans discussed in that session.
BB: What types of issues/topics are covered in coaching sessions?
Hart: Since our focus (at Building Champions) is to coach people in both business and life, it could literally be anything from health and relationships (Life Planning) to goal setting and tactical issues (Business Vision, Business Planning and Priority Management). I would say that the majority of my current sessions are focused on building purchase business in a refi market.
BB: Is the sharing of experiences with other LOs another benefit?
Hart: Those who are coached have a great opportunity to share their experiences with each other. In addition, as coaches we can share some of what we learned with other coaching clients , but in an anonymous way. We have confidentiality agreements with our clients, but experiences and lessons can definitely be shared, and I’ll often make introductions to clients who have accomplished what another client would like to pursue. In the words of Gary Keller, “Others have lived before us.”
BB: How do you determine if you need coaching?
Hart: We often say that coaching is all about closing the gaps between intention and execution. Former Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry famously said, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” I see this both as a coach to others, and as one who has been, and currently is, coached. One way to decide you need coaching is to start looking at the gaps in your own life and business. We all have gaps.
BB: What are the options for developing some type of coaching support?
Hart: I would start with the clarity of where YOU want to go. Stephen Covey (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”) said, “Begin with the end in mind.” In other words, focus on where you want to end up personally and professionally.
I would recommend speaking with your boss or manager. Have a frank discussion about your goals and vision for your business and talk about how you can work together to make that happen. Perhaps the manager will determine that all of the LOs should have access to outside coaching services. You might decide that this is a critical part of your future growth and include it in your own budget. You can also email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a Life Plan and Business Planning tool, which is a great place to start.