Auto Shop Coaching Blog

Do You Need to Move From Awareness to Action?

“Do you always take the action that you know you need to take?” As I reflect on this question, I’m reminded of a scene from my favorite movie “The Matrix.” There was a pivotal point in the picture where Neo, the lead character, is having a conversation with Morpheus his coach.

I refer to Morpheus as a coach because, throughout the film, he had been coaching Neo to overcome his limiting beliefs and to embrace what he was truly capable of. In the scene, Neo confirms that everything Morpheus had been telling him was true.

Neo finally knows the path. But before he could become overconfident, Morpheus reminds him of the following truth: “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” 

The fact that you attend coaching calls, classes, and conferences, proves that you know the path. You have an awareness of what to do.  

But sometimes, there’s a disconnect between what you know and what you do. So, what can you do to move yourself and your team from awareness to action? Since you chose the red pill, I will explain it!


In a previous life, I was a frustrated corporate trainer. Every week I would facilitate a phone training class where the service writers were tested at the end to verify their ability to execute the phone script like they were taught.

I recall one of the writers named “Ray” who passed my class with flying colors. He then went back to his location and failed three consecutive mystery phone shops!

Consequently, the manager sent him back to my class citing the training as the reason for Ray’s failures. Ray knew the path, he simply chose not to walk it.  

Accountability is the bridge between awareness and action. The first step to ensuring that your writers do what they know is to record all incoming and outgoing phone calls. 

The incoming calls will verify that they are following the phone script like they were taught in class. The outgoing calls will confirm whether they are presenting the estimates correctly.

Once you have recorded the calls, the next step is to sit down with “Ray the writer” and have him tell you how his recording compares to what he was taught.

If he can tell you what he did wrong, you know he’s aware, but not acting. Ray will leave the conversation feeling accountable and with additional motivation to do what he knows the next time.


In the National Football League (NFL), the average player spends two hours of practice time for every minute of game time. During a typical week,

A starting player may play a total of 30 minutes of actual game time, but he spends close to 60 hours reviewing film, lifting weights, practicing drills, and doing a walk-through of the game plan.

In the Automotive Service League (ASL), we tend to practice on the prospects!   

Practice gives you the opportunity to verify that your people know what to do. For example, after “Sarah,” your service manager returns from advanced sales class, have her sell you a 30K service. You’ll know right away if she has the “know-how.”

Sometimes, the individual is aware but lacks confidence because the behavior is new and feels awkward. Repetition builds confidence.

I challenge you to schedule time blocks on your calendar each week to practice and role play with your team. This could be worked in as part of the weekly one-on-ones you already have scheduled.

Role-playing the process on a regular basis will increase the chances of them acting on what they know to do.


Throughout the movie, Morpheus referred to Neo as “The One.” If you embrace accountability by recording the calls and commit to regular practice sessions, you and your people will be the ones who move from awareness to action.

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.