Minor gains are the coach’s aim

My eldest son is taking his driving test soon after 9 months of arduous and stressful driving lessons.

We forget how difficult learning to drive was; we take it for granted now that we’ve been road warriors for many years. But when you learn to drive you improve by inches.

Each week, you improve on one small aspect. It might be reversing, changing gear from 2 to 3, turning left at a junction, the hill start. Each improvement gradually builds your capability to drive and a good driving instructor knows implicitly which competency to develop at any given time.

In the same way, as coaches, we need to be skilled at recognising which area need cultivating in order to build long term capability. It’s all about small improvements, Sir Dave Brailsford from the Sky British Cycling Team calls it incremental gains and his boys keep winning the Tour de France.

So carry out regular coaching, work on small things, one at a time. Look for priorities not spectacular gains and let your salespeople develop at the same pace as a learner driver.

And treat experienced salespeople the same, they get into bad habits, as do experienced drivers, I know I do.