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People don't join organizations ... they join cultures. Make yours a culture of RESULTS!
Think/Plan/Commit (TPC) Coaching Process

Neil Dempster will wow your audience!The Think/Plan/Commit (TPC) coaching process addresses many critical behavioral expectation goals:


  • Many people have never developed the ability to perform basic problem-solving functions and have difficulty finding root cause. As a result, they cannot identify the appropriate steps to resolve the problem. The TPC process helps 'train the brain' to be better equiped to solve problems and overcome obstacles.
  • When employees ask questions, you have no idea what they do know about how to solve the problem until you probe further. Are they asking because they really don't know? Or, are they just not sure and need some reinforcement? Perhaps they tell you they "don't know" because they don't want to look foolish if they have the wrong answer. You have no way of knowing the real reason behind the question unless you ask! The TPC questions help uncover the facts to let you coach with surgical precision.
  • Using the TPC questioning method helps break potential dependencies the employee may have with his or her supervisor by putting the employee in the problem-solving 'driver's seat'. This method helps employees solve problems on their own when you are not around.


An important point to remember: the TPC process does not remove your support—it actually strengthens it. Think of it this way . . . you are not in place as a supervisor to solve problems; you are there to help the employee solve problems. An additional benefit is every incremental increase in an employee's self-reliance is an equivalent increase in YOUR discretionary time (a pretty good deal all around, wouldn't you say?).


Think (gets the employee involved)


When employees come to you with a problem, or if they have a question you are reasonably sure they should have an answer to (or, at least, some idea how to solve), or if you suspect employees are seeking out the 'easy answer' instead of solving it themselves, ask one (or several) of the following questions (pick the questions with the most relevance to the specific issue):


  • What do you think you need to do . . . ?
  • What have you done before in this situation?
  • What do you think would work here?
  • What have you seen other people do?
  • What has worked in the past?


Plan (eliminates any misunderstanding)


Once you are satisfied that the employee has thought through the issue and, between the two of you, options have been discussed to solve the problem, state "Okay, I like what you're thinking." Then ask:


  • What's your plan?
  • What steps are necessary/required?


Commit (commitment to action)


The final step is to get a commitment to a deliverable by asking:


  • When will you need to start?
  • When must this be completed?
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