Teach Like a Conductor

By January 21, 2014 January 25th, 2017 Business Execution

Last Updated on January 25, 2017 by Dave Schoenbeck

I recently watched a musical group rehearsal and I was especially interested in the method that the conductor used to carefully evolve improved competency. He insisted that the group sight-read the entire piece of music, all the way through. regardless of how many mistakes were made (and clearly there was many). He drove the group to finish the piece completely the first time through even though the musicians were frustrated and their confidence was low. Once the first run through was complete, he praised the group for their patience and found several ways to compliment the musicians even though it was hard to find much good.

The conductor immediately went to the hardest passage in the music where there were many problems and patiently worked each section through their individual parts until they were more confident. Amazingly, the quality of the performance had improved significantly.

The next step was to go to second most troublesome part of the music and he did the same. This was repeated and the quality progressed until all of the tough parts of the score were at an equal level of competence.

From there it was back to a complete run-through of the music to discover where he needed to teach and reinforce. In the end, the consistent doubling back to the problem areas, coupled with constructive encouragement, allowed confidence to soar and ultimately deliver a near flawless performance.

My guess is that you have just quickly compared my story to how you and your team manage employee performance. So let’s recap what will work for you and your business.

  1. When teaching a new method or process run through the entire process completely and look for good things to say
  2. Find the most troubling area that needs work and drill until it’s good
  3. Go to the next most troublesome area and do the same
  4. Reinforce, cajole, encourage, and raise expectations.
  5. Enjoy the applause

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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