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Step It!™ Coaching Model

Neil Dempster will wow your audience!Picture this . . . you are setting out on a road trip to a destination you have never been to before and someone starts giving you a series of verbal directions: "Follow the freeway until you get to the Adams Street exit; take the exit, go to the light and turn left; now follow the signs toward the city; once you get to 7th Avenue turn right; go approximately 3 miles and then . . ."


Feeling uncomfortable? Probably. Why? Because that much information delivered verbally is hard to remember—there is a good chance something will be forgotten or misinterpreted. What helps in a situation like this is when the directions are written down or, better still, the person draws you a map!


This analogy is a perfect way to look at the Step It! coaching model, a visual step-by-step breakdown of all of the activities necessary for an employee to achieve a specific result, objective or goal. The Step It! method can be used in a number of ways, including coaching, planning, project management and brainstorming.


To better comprehend the Step It! methodology, there are a few definitions you need to understand:


  • Big R: A Big R is the big result, objective, goal or outcome that an employee needs to accomplish (e.g., sales quotas, production goals, quality and accuracy levels, deadlines met, customer satisfaction levels). Big Rs can either be quantified or verified and are positioned at the very top of the Step It! worksheet.
  • Steps 1-4: The steps leading up to the Big R are reserved for the higher-level strategies that are necessary or required to achieve the result, goal, objective or outcome. The information placed in this area answers the HOW an employee will achieve the desired outcome. Each step captures the plan, method or course of action he or she will take. Don't confuse the steps with the 'drill-down details' (below).
  • Drill-Down Action Plan (DDAP): Every one of the steps leading to the Big R requires a specific course of action to bring the step or strategy to life. The information captured here answers the WHAT needs to be DONE to deliver on each strategy and includes developmental needs, resources required and activities necessary to achieve success.


Here is a link to a royalty-free PDF Form-Fill version of the Step It! worksheet (pdf file). This copy can be filled in online and then printed and/or saved. The file can also be downloaded onto a local drive for immediate access.


Here is a link to a royalty-free copy of the Step It! worksheet (pdf file). This copy is perfect for those times when you need to print a copy and fill it in by hand.


Administering the Step It! Coaching Model


1. Once the Big R has been established, write it into the space provided. If the outcome you are striving for occurs at a fixed point in time (i.e., a deadline such as a report needed on Friday), you can proceed to the next step. However, because many Big Rs are results or performance outcomes that will increase over time (i.e., a new employee will improve month-to-month until performing at an acceptable level), the Step It! worksheet provides two additional questions that allow you to gain commitment to an Incremental Improvement (I²). The 'What was your previous result?' question establishes a performance benchmark for PREVIOUS performance (e.g., last week, last month, last year). The 'What is your Incremental Improvement (I²) goal?' question allows you to seek commitment to improved performance by taking into consideration increases in the employee's ABILITY or SYSTEMS enhancements that have occured since the previous performance benchmark.


2. Your next question will be: "What Steps are [Required/Necessary/Essential] to produce the [Big R]?"


3. The steps leading to the Big R are not normally specific to the employee. In essence, because the steps are the higher level 'strategies' to achieve the Big R, they would be the same steps anyone would take to achieve the same result, objective or goal. The employee-specific activities and commitments occur in the bottom portion of the form.


4. The bottom-half of the Step It! form (DDAP) is reserved for the individual employee action steps and commitments. This area is personalized for each individual based on his/her experience level, amount of previous training, job responsibilities, previous performance levels, position within the Performance Grid, etc.

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