Coaching franchisees is not easy. They are dealing with the daily stress of being the leader and running their business, making sure they can take care of their team as well as themselves and their families. And, as there is an contractual relationship that often requires financial and other performance factors, franchise owners will sometimes bend the truth about their business…almost as a subconscious protective measure. It is important to dig deeper, and be supportive and positive about their opportunity for growth.
“The optimal positive-to-negative emotional ratio is 5:1”Fredrickson and Losada
Truly Getting to Know Your Franchisees
Consider avoiding “yes / no”, or “why” questions, and instead use powerful questions. Powerful questions are open-ended questions that are designed to help the franchisee think more deeply about their goals and challenges, and to explore new possibilities. These questions encourage franchisees to share their thoughts, think abstractly and come up with new ideas to achieve their goals without the concern of providing a “wrong” answer.
A powerful open-ended question will evoke personal (self) exploration by the franchisee:
- What is your desired outcome?
- How will you know when you have achieved your goal?
- What is standing in your way?
- What are your options?
- What resources do you have available to you?
- What are you willing to do to achieve your goal?
- What are the consequences of not taking action?
- What is one small step you can take today towards your goal?
- What support do you need to move forward?
- What can you do to improve team meetings?
Franchisees are business leaders, and successful leaders are the key to a franchisor’s success. So ask powerful questions, and help the franchisees develop their skills and abilities, lean about their goals, and help them improve the performance of their teams.
By asking these types of questions, you will identify areas for improvement, help franchisees set goals, and be able to help them create a plan to achieve those goals. In turn, as leaders, franchisees will develop their skills, increase their effectiveness, and achieve better results for their teams and organizations.