Would you like to get your team on a faster track this year? Do you need to find a better way to support your leaders scattered around the country? Do you need to keep your leaders motivated and in action in the summer months ahead?

Establishing a year-long coaching program could be the answer.

Do you need to duplicate yourself and leverage your time? If you have a team of people scattered across the country (or even internationally) you can coach them with just one tool—your telephone.

Many major US corporations and small businesses today use coaching as part of their training and development programs—and network marketing leaders are using coaching to develop their teams.

All sorts of great training and workshops are available to networkers these days, but long-term results are often limited. Once your team leaves the event, few will apply what they’ve learned long enough to see any lasting change. Most of us need additional support to help keep us accountable.

Coaching is like a “seminar in action.” It offers a consistent way to support your leaders so they can make changes in their business every single week. Over time, these shifts can add up to some significant breakthroughs. Results don’t happen overnight, but coaching can create radical changes in people and help them create a networking business that lasts.

Enroll Your Leaders

Identify the people on your team you would most like to coach. Who is serious about the business, fun to work with, and open to feedback and support? Choose partners who are a good fit for you and are serious about their business. The success of your program will depend on how much your leaders buy into it and how committed they are to it.

Call and offer them an opportunity to coach with you.

If they’re serious about their business, they’ll jump at the chance, especially if they feel that working with you will be fun and supportive and will help them grow, personally and professionally.

Here are some good questions to ask:

• What are your goals for the next two to five years? What are you most excited to create in your personal life and your business?

• What are your top three challenges? How could a coach be useful in helping you work through those?

• Are you willing to experiment with new ideas and have a lot more fun in your business?

• Are you open to developing yourself so that you can be more effective in your business?

• Are you coachable and open to feedback?

• Can you communicate honestly so we can get the most out of our relationship? How do you like to be coached?

Structure Your Program

Your program will offer a mix of business and personal development through a series of phone calls and homework assignments over the next 12 months.

It’s best to schedule a regular call time with each person you coach. These would be weekly phone calls of 30 to 45 minutes each. Between the calls, each leader will be taking action on her goals and working with personal development materials. If you want, you can also skip the last week of each month, to allow your leaders time to catch up and integrate what they’re learning.

On my coaching calls, topics vary greatly, from goal-setting and strategic planning to communication skills to financial issues and basic business-building ideas.

Sometimes we also focus on any areas of the leader’s personal life that may be affecting her business. I especially listen for any “blocks” that are keeping people from getting results or achieving their goals. These may include disempowering beliefs, unproductive patterns of behavior or other challenges that may not be so obvious to the people you’re coaching.

Success in network marketing often depends on how happy and balanced people are in their personal lives as well as what they are doing in their business. Simply helping your leaders become more aware of where they’re getting stuck will help them get unstuck.

Here is a four-part outline for your coaching calls:

1. Open Your Call With Recognition All human beings need acknowledgement and recognition to stay motivated. You may have heard the expression, “people will do more for praises than they will for raises.” Use the first five to ten minutes of each call to discuss your leader’s wins and what he has accomplished the previous week. Give him a chance to brag! Focus on the actions he’s taking—and even more importantly, the changes he’s making within himself. Network marketers often accomplish way more than they realize. Sometimes it takes a coach to help them see what they are doing well and give themselves the credit they deserve.

2. Locate The Challenge It’s also important in working with your leaders to help uncover what is not working. Where are they getting stuck? Are they following through on their commitments—and if not, what’s getting in the way? Helping your people become aware of what’s getting them off track is important for them to be able to move forward.

3. Brainstorm the Solution What can your leader do to create a different result? Can he take a different action this week? Perhaps he needs to develop a skill? Could he shift a behavior or adopt a new belief? What kinds of changes can he make internally to create better results externally? Creating better results often requires that we change our internal beliefs or behaviors, not just take a different course of action.

4. Get Clear on the Next Step and Get a Commitment End your session by having your leader make a commitment to what he is going to work on throughout the following week. This could be a plan of action around his business or an area of his own personal development. As the coach, be willing to make bold requests and challenge your leaders in areas you feel are appropriate.

By co-creating your weekly game plan and establishing this level of accountability, your people will more likely follow through on their commitments.

Sonia Stringer (sonia@coach4mlm.com) offers free coaching classes and a monthly coaching newsletter for network marketers.