How to Quickly Evaluate Coaching Needs by Being BOSS

BOSS with Man Smoking PipeTo properly coach your people, you need to focus on behaviors, outlook, skills, and stature. In doing so, you’ll be able to quickly identify their coaching needs.

Today’s post is by Jonathan Whistman, author of The Sales Boss (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

A part of every leader’s job is to provide the coaching necessary to each of the individuals on the team. The challenge is that sometimes what we end up coaching on is the thing that happened the most recently, or the thing that most stands out and not the thing that would most impact the future results of the person. At other times, we might struggle with how to evaluate what the needs of our people are and what will be most helpful.

In my work with Sales Managers whose ability to coach salespeople is critical to the success I teach the acronym of BOSS as a way of thinking about the coaching needs and to quickly evaluate what might be most impactful for each individual. This method will also work as you evaluate the needs of your non-sales staff.

Let’s look at what each letter represents.


What are the behaviors of your team member? This is the WHAT they do not the HOW they do it. What are the critical behavior activities they need to be involved in for success? For a sales person it might include the number of calls, the contacts they make and the emails they send. It would also include things like eating, drinking and exercise. How organized are they? How well do they use resources available? Taking a close look at behaviors might provide an area rich for coaching. After all, it doesn’t matter how great someone is at something if they never actually do it.


This is the area that has the biggest impact on results once you have a team of A-players. Outlook is how someone feels in any given moment. It changes. It could be outlook towards themselves, the marketplace, the economy, the competition, the company, and towards you or any other person or thing. Stay in tune with the changing outlooks of your team members and you’ll be way ahead in performance. When quickly evaluating coaching needs, simply ask yourself which outlook has changed?


This is the HOW they do it, not WHAT they do. What level of skill do they employ at the tasks they are doing? If it’s a salesperson you are evaluating you might look at the quality of questions they are asking, how they are describing the company and your product or services. If they are utilizing some technology essential to their role, how skilled are they in its use? People can be working hard but not effectively. When evaluating coaching needs you might ask, “Is there a particular skill they are needing to improve?”


This phrase is meant to capture the “essence” of how people are viewed by others. Their look, their tone, online presence or anything that changes the way they are viewed by others. If they need to be respected do they have the demeanor of a trusted advisor? Is the way others view them commensurate with how they need to be viewed to be enjoying the highest level of success and cooperation from others?

So when you need to quickly evaluate the coaching needs of your employees remember to use the acronym BOSS. As in, “What would it take for them to someday be the boss?” This is a significant question as all great leaders are actively involved in grooming the future bosses of their organization and that only happens through effective and personalized coaching.

The Sales Boss– Jonathan Whistman is the author of The Sales Boss: The Real Secret to Hiring Training and Managing a Sales Team (CLICK HERE to get your copy). He is the Senior Partner at Elevate Human Potential (link to and believes the greatest business results come from elevating the potential of individuals.

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