Rory Rowland is a mentor, colleague and friend. He’s been a faithful coach through the years, both before On The Mark Strategies and since. But I’m not the only one Rory has coached.

He recently launched a new employee coaching program that teaches credit union and bank managers across the country how to guide employees toward success. Learn more in our recent Q&A.

Q: Tell us about your new training program?

A: The program is called “Coaching Skills for Winning Managers.” Between 80 and 90 percent of managers have never been taught how to coach. Teaching them how to coach drastically improves employee development, which makes the organization more profitable and more effective. Now I don’t do sales training without doing coaching.

Q: Why is coaching so important for credit unions and banks?

A: Coaching works because it’s a nonlinear conversation style. Traditional conversation is linear: “You ought to do this and you ought to do that.” It’s not holistic thinking. But when you—as a coach—ask someone a question, they’re able to think about it in a holistic framework and use their whole brain. It forces them to think about the issue in a completely new way.

We all go through four phases of learning: unconscious incompetent (don’t know we don’t know), conscious incompetent (know we don’t know), conscious competent (think about what you’re doing), unconscious competent (don’t think about what we’re doing).

Coaching takes people through those stages faster, meaning your organization performs at a higher level faster.

Q: What are the keys to effective management coaching?

A: In the book “Coaching for Performance,” John Whitmore tells a story of making ski instructors tennis coaches. The instructors didn’t know anything about tennis, so they just asked the players questions. They asked what the players noticed, how they could respond differently and what results came when they did respond differently.

Whitmore’s model uses the power of questions to create awareness and responsibility. It’s the secret to getting high performance.

Q: Why is manager training an important investment for credit unions and banks?

A: Of all the training models I’ve done, coaching has the highest level of return. It’s the difference between teaching someone to fish and giving them a fish.

In 2015, I began working with a credit union that had lost .5 percent of its assets in one year and was still losing. Now, after more than two years of using the coaching method, the credit union is making money and by the end of the year will be at 10 percent capital.

Q: What are the top insights you’ve learned in the last year from working alongside credit unions?

A: I’ll answer that question with a story. At the end of one of my trainings last year, three branch managers broke down crying because they were overwhelmed by having to implement coaching methods and still accomplish everything they were required to do.

When I came back for training again a year later, all three women were confident, self-assured and able to spend more time with their families. Delegation through coaching had completely transformed their lives. That’s when I realized the power of coaching.

If done effectively, it’s remarkable what can be done. It’s a win-win all the way around!


Be sure to check out Rory’s podcast, “Coaching for Potential,” for more insights and employee coaching tips!