Business Coaches Train, Teach and Educate
As a business coach, it is your job to teach new and struggling business owners how to operate with success and profits. This is a very serious job. When dealing with your client one-on-one, be professional at all times. However, if you are working to retrain not only your client, but their employees too, use fun training exercises to your advantage. They increase excitement, generate interest, and can help ensure your client’s employees are actually paying attention.
Since there are a number of benefits to training small to medium sized business employees with fun training exercises, what works? Develop a plan. Start with common business aspects, such as marketing, sales, communication, conflict, and organization.
A fun exercise for marketing is to break the room into groups.
The larger the audience, the more groups you will need. Set a timer with about 10 minutes worth of time. Make sure each group has a leader, a notepad, and a pen. Ask them to come up with as many ways to market a business as possible. This includes marketing not just to the company’s targeted market, but the general public. Be sure to emphasize that marketing can be done both locally and online. The group with the most ideas wins. See if your client, the company owner or business manager, will offer a small prize, such as a new ink pen or ice cream after the session.
This fun exercise for marketing not only promotes teamwork, but the company owner or operating manager gets many good ideas. In fact, some team members may see their impulsive idea turn into a reality.
A fun activity for sales is role-playing.
This type of exercise is best for those working in retail environments. In retail, multiple sales are key to increased profits. For example, if a customer is buying a flashlight, the cashier should ask if they need batteries. Take items from your client’s retail store. Choose items that can lead to multiple sales, such as shoes, flashlights, and bath soap. Divide the room into groups. Give each group a different item. Ask them to develop phrases to say to the customer that could lead to a multiple purchase, like the above mentioned example of flashlight and batteries.
After the time has expired, have a representative from the group go to the front of the room and read their suggestions. Audience members can vote on whether that phrase would cause them to make a multiple purchase. They can raise their hands for yes.
A fun activity for conflict resolution is to role-play.
You will need to choose a few volunteers from the group. Conflict resolution occurs on many levels at the workplace. Supervisors have conflict with their employees; employees have conflicts with their bosses, coworkers, and clients. Conflict is unhealthy in the workplace, but it is common. Use different scenarios, such as a supervisor yelling at their employee for arriving late to work, an employee who is fed up with their coworker’s inability to work as a team, and a customer who is unhappy with the service received.
Your options with this type of exercise are virtually unlimited. You can let the volunteer act out the scenarios themselves. Review and highlight the rights and the wrongs. You can also give volunteers script cards to follow. Have them act out the wrong way to handle a conflict and then the right away.
A fun organization exercise is to take a picture of a messy or unorganized office or sales floor. Print that picture on a piece of paper and copy. Distribute the picture to all team members. Ask them to circle everything wrong with the picture. This may be a stack of files on a desk that should belong in either a desk organizer or filing cabinet, a trash can filled to the brim, and so forth. The team member or members who noticed the most thing wrongs with the picture can get a big congratulations or a prize.
This fun exercise encourages employees to think about their own personal space, whether it be an office or a portion of a sales floor. After your training exercise, they are likely to closely examine their work environment and make any needed changes.
The above mentioned examples are just a few of your options. Although your job is professional, it is okay to let lose and have fun from time to time. Your client’s employees will appreciate it. In fact, it may actually get them excited about turning the company around. Afterwards, return to your professional self and highlight the many examples learned from these activities.