By Paul Cape, Director, Quazar Automotive
ConCoaMentorship – what does that mean?
When leadership, management or team members need soft skills development, we traditionally, in the automotive retail industry, provide a training programme. In developed brands, these end up as some kind of certification or accreditation of the position.
Simply attending, training and sitting an exam does not a leader/manager/skilled operator make – it’s the application of the knowledge that makes the difference, and this comes from personal attention in the workplace.
The dilemma stems from being unsure of what to provide in order to deliver skills development: coaching, mentoring or consultancy. While each has its own definition and methodology, in our industry, to truly deliver on the mandate, you need a ConCoaMentor.
It’s not enough to provide the dealership team members with either ‘coaching’, ‘mentoring’ or ‘consulting’. Rather, a concoction of all three is required for true success.
ConCoaMentorship can address each of these needs:
- Consulting – finding opportunities for improvement
- Coaching – encouraging the development of the individual
- Mentoring – showing new ways or ideas for improvement in the role
The truly influential ‘consultant’ can do this, but at the very least, they must have credibility in the industry from ‘having been there’. Simply taking a good ‘coach’, adding them into a department-specific programme and expecting great results is doomed to failure. The ability to think on your feet and adapt to whatever situation you encounter with a positive idea, solution or encouragement is vital to the success of any ConCoaMentor initiative.
This is our approach to manufacturer and retailer in-dealership programmes and will be the way forward. Building the skills of a manager/leader or team member takes more than training; I think we all know that. If only 15% of classroom training material is actually retained, how much of it gets put into practice? Yeah, not much!
In the early 2000s, I was privileged to have been a part of a revolution in automotive skills development that moved away from classroom training for soft skills training to in-dealership training.
Of course, the investment is much greater – but the results speak for themselves, especially when the company hangs in and sees it through. In this case, they did, and results meant improved dealer profitability and, of course, a significant increase in market share for the manufacturer. The programme only engaged qualified consultants, the majority of whom had exceptional credentials to DP level, and this made the difference.
While initiatives such as these may appear expensive at first glance, they are the only way forward and with more and more great ConCoaMentor agencies out there, we have a chance to move the industry that we love on to greater success.
To engage in the Quazar Automative’s ConCoaMentor programme, please contact me or my team on 021 701 2371 or email email@example.com.