20 Competencies of a Great Coach

20 Competencies of a Great Coach

Would you want to work with someone who has passion, focus, integrity, and positivity?
Or how about someone with great planning and interpersonal skills?
Of course! (No wait, give me that team mate who is Debbie Downer, always late with her work and tactless…)

As a coach of People, you want to demonstrate both the business skills expected of peers and the leadership traits that build trust and engage a team.

Here is a fun and quick list compiled by a very creative guy, Barry Feldman.
He calls these the “monsters of influence” but I call them essential for a Coach.

Influence pulls your team together, rather than pushing them.

Homework: Want to do your own “self-assessment” for this year– how would you rate yourself on these? (And how would your team rate you?)


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Wrong manager is chosen 82% of the time

Wrong manager is chosen 82% of the time

Want passionate engaged employees?

Then you need a passionate engaged manager with great leadership and coaching ability. One who focuses on productivity, accountability, and also cares about and builds trust with his or her team.

According to Gallup research, they say only 10% of people have the innate talent to do this, and that about another 20% can be effective if they are provided coaching and development to hone these elusive skills.

Gallup found 5 key behaviors that differentiated great managers from the poor ones (quoted verbatim):

  1. They motivate every single employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.
  2. They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
  3. They create a culture of clear accountability.
  4. They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency you could check here.
  5. They make decisions based on productivity, not politics.

If the Fortune 500 can’t find good managers, how can your firm?
The good news is that people exist in your organization and in your neighborhood with these talents. The trick is to find them, develop them and give them a good team to work with.

If you have one or more managers, here are your action steps to find out if you have the right person in the right role:

  • Evaluate your current team for job fit (those in manager roles and those you see a high potential for that role in the future)- using a combination of personality assessment, performance analysis, and co-worker feedback
  • Coach and train you managers to build relationships (focus on the people) while emphasizing productivity and accountability (focus on the task)
  • Move those that are not succeeding in the role to another position

If you do not develop great managers, you are guaranteed to disengage everyone and are likely lose your top performers. They will leave to find a better manager somewhere else.

Read full Harvard Business Review blog article


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Training won’t solve an issue with Job Fit

Training won’t solve an issue with Job Fit

The following is a version of a conversation I have regularly with clients:

Client: “We really need some help with our sales process. Some of our bids require hours of preparation and document gathering. Our estimator needed extra help as he uses all his time to get vendor estimates and compute the final price. So he had Mary take over the non-pricing part of the bid.”

Diana: “So how did that work?”

Client: “Well, Mary started well, but the day before the bid she seems frazzled and needed the estimator to help her finish the packet.”

Diana: “So did you win the work?”

Client: “No, the bid was disqualified because it was missing two important documents.”

Diana: “Was there a list of all requirements in the bid package?”

Client: “Yup- right in the first two pages, there was a checklist of every required items.”

Diana: “Okay, we have two areas to concentrate.

First, you might want to talk about process improvement—what could be done better for the next bid. (For example, one person is responsible to double-check everything is there 2 days before the bid is due.)

I would suggest you get those involved in the bid process in a room and outline and clarify the ideal process and timeline, and then assign responsibility.”

The second area- Do you see a trend in Mary’s performance in planning of projects and detail orientation? Is she normally prepared with every item needed, well in advance of a deadline? Does she “future pace” what is coming next, reaching out to others to get what she needs to do her part of the project?

Or do you see the frantic last minute dash to pull something together at the last minute, and then something is usually forgotten?”

This is a function of job fit, some people are comfortable working in the moment, and do not typically focus on the future requirements. Some people have the opposite work habits- they setup checklists, verify that the list is complete and double check everything.

Planning and organizing is a competency—a soft skill that is based on our consistent personality traits, and can be somewhat refined and developed. (And you  can assess for this in the hiring process with a basic personality assessment).

If you step back and evaluate the trend of someone’s work habits, you will likely see a clear pattern of planning and organizing behaviors and results.

If Mary has not demonstrated a strong competency in planning and organizing, the solution is to give those tasks with someone else who has a stronger competency in this area (higher job fit). And then find short term and less detailed and crucial tasks that are a better job fit for Mary (increase her job fit).

Training and systems are most effective if someone already has the competency/ job fit in that area.

Want to learn more?

Find out how about how to identify the three main reasons someone isn’t keeping up (gap in ability, motivation or values) in our webinar “Evaluating Your Current Team for Job Fit.”

See our current webinar schedule and register here: People Plan Webinars


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6 Practices of Leadership

6 Practices of Leadership

Hundreds of studies have demonstrated that the most critical factor that impacts employee productivity, performance, retention and engagement is the relationship between an employee and his or her direct manager. As the book title clearly states “people leave managers, not jobs”

What can you do to transform your interaction and dialogue away from being a “manager” to being a coach and leader?

Brendon Burchard created an enthusiastic 11 minute video to outline 6 steps. Here are excerpts from this video below.

After watching the inspiring video- here are 6 things you do to implement this compelling model:

  1. Envision– Clearly (decide) define your vision for the organization, and outline your core values (I will give you bonus points if you involve your team in this process )
  2. Enlist– Share this vision in the most visual and engaging way and then ask “will you join me”
  3. Embody– Create a list of behaviors that embody your core values and then demonstrate them and recognize them <quick recognition template> and ask for feedback when you are not walking the talk
  4. Empower– Consider the language of your feedback, and modify to do more coaching less managing (nagging,  bossing) and have more frequent and open dialogues
  5. Evaluate– Employees want frequent, honest, appreciative feedback — formalize your management rhythm- with weekly conversations, monthly touch points, quarterly action plan updates
  6. Encourage– build in storytelling, recognition, celebration into your team updates agendas and process (think about little league)

Practice One: Envision The reason we say envision versus just have a vision is it’s a practice of envisioning – “what should tomorrow look like for my team?”

Practice Two: Enlist A great leader is always enlisting other people to believe in the dream, to shape the dream, to stay dedicated to the dream.

Practice Three: Embody as leaders we have to stand for and demonstrate and show and portray what we are really believing in

Practice Four: Empower Training other people and equipping them with everything they need to succeed has to be a vital practice of every great leader.

Practice Five: Evaluate Ethics and Progress That evaluation also brings up the incredible challenge that we face as leaders, which is to give honest, direct, immediate constructive feedback to those who are trying to influence and lead.

Practice Six: Encourage To encourage, to be the champion. To be the cheerleader. To be the person always motivating, inspiring, uplifting people.

Watch this video

Read the transcipt 


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Success Story

Success Story

In a recent meeting with a client, we began to recap what she accomplished in the business in the last six months. Although I was involved in each step of the planning, I was pleasantly surprised to see the whole list “on paper.”

During one spring and summer, we were able to recruit, select and train two new team members and a fabulous assistant manager, promote a department manager to general manager (and trained how to delegate and work with his new assistant), turn around one employee who had lost their enthusiasm, and free up the owner from day to day management responsibilities so she could grow her second business (which she did—at a rate of over 10% that year). Best of all, she did this by involving her team to take over more responsibility and they all enjoyed their jobs more. Whew! And yet the owner felt that this was a “fun” project that she completed in a few hours a week of her time, and with these amazing results.

I work with clients who have a burning desire to surround themselves with competent and enthusiastic team members, who want to build a team that works together to make the business a success.

Many of us are willing to “put up” with the quirks and quibbles of our team members, with some mediocre performers, with attitudes that waver from positive to pessimistic. After all, good people are hard to find, right? … but I am here to tell you that you CAN expect and receive great performance from your team and you CAN find people that are willing to join you on your path to business success.

So, ask yourself what you’re waiting for. If you want a business success that relies more on your team than on you, time to put a People Plan together and go for it!

And if you’re thinking: “I don’t know how,” “I am not comfortable with delivering feedback,” or, “I need help” … You’re NOT alone and, it’s ok!

Being an entrepreneur forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and that’s scary! And, it’s an essential part of the process of achieving success.

But, the good news is, you can  And, we are here for you… to develop a step by step plan, to answer your questions, to help you work through your People issues, and to support you through the process of growing your successful business team in whatever way you need.

So give yourself permission to create the business you that you want, right now. You can do this.

So if you’re ready:

*You can get started today for FREE by joining the free  

*Or, you can learn how our People Plan Toolkit program will create your Fabulous team!

 P.S. if you want to get get fast solutions to one People Pain, attend our next webinar


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8 Questions to Ask- Compensating Key Employees

8 Questions to Ask- Compensating Key Employees

As your business grows beyond just a single owner in the role of general manager, you begin to build team of managers and senior professionals.

You find people who are willing to come onboard and help you build the business, and they are committed and loyal and hardworking. They came to work for your company for a paycheck but ultimately they would like to share in the success of the organization. Or perhaps you have a profit sharing/ bonus/ incentive plan that you offer now.

Many organizations design plans with the intention of rewarding key people with more than base pay, and every possible type of plan can emerge as a result.

As Dr. Phil has been known to say “how is that working for you?”

Here are 8 questions to ask about how you are compensating your key employees (count how many you can answer with “yes”):

  1. Do managers know exactly what they need to do this year to achieve the business goals (do they have a dashboard or scorecard)?
  2. Do managers know what the reward will be if they hit the results on their scorecard? (For example, if they achieve the goals exactly, what will they earn?)
  3. Is there a significant individual component to incentive compensation?
  4. Does the current reward structure emphasize long-term (5+ years) results/ metrics (more than just annual ones)?
  5. Have you gathered official data in the last 18 months to check if current base pay and annual incentive is “market competitive”?
  6. What is the perception of your compensation including incentives—is there a meaningful reward for exceptional results? Is it considered “fair”?
  7. How have you designed a plan that uses the different levers (base pay, short term incentive, long term incentive and benefits) for the highest value to employees, the best alignment with company goals, and the lowest post tax payroll cost?
  8. Have you built any mechanism to use compensation for future plans- owner retirement and/or ownership transition?

If you answered YES to at least 5 of those questions, I would suggest you have a well designed and possibly effective “pay for performance” program for your key employees.

If you only answered yes to a few or several answers are “sort of” you are not alone— we work with many very successful small companies that have outgrown their rewards programs and are challenged with each of these issues. (Some are $50 to $500 million in revenue!).

The good news that you can leverage the impact of an effective Total Rewards program, and this will align compensation with business results and be designed for future growth.

Email us to find out about our systematic 5 phase design process that customizes a solution for your unique needs, and can be ready in about 6 months.


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