What You Don’t Say Matters by Jim Johnson

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months, and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.  (from The Book of Useless Information)

I believe in coaching.  I read about it.  I talk about it.  I spend intentional time observing my leadership team as they coach.  Effective coaching works.

Here is one thing I have learned about coaching:  what you don’t say matters.

Many of us can easily fall into the trap of doing most if not all of the talking during a coaching session with one of our team members.  We are passionate about what is going on.  We want the best performance from our team member.  And in our exuberance, we talk too much. We truly believe we are doing the right thing but all we are accomplishing is taking one slow step towards heating up a cup o’ Joe. As a leader, you need to generate a lot more energy towards performance and results than this.

How do you combat this tendency of many coaches?  Ask more questions. 

In your prep time, create intentional questions you need to ask your team member to get a bottom-line issues.  Here are some samples I’ve used in teaching coaching with coaches:

1.     What is happening now (what, who, when, and how often)? What is the affect or result of this?
2.     How have you already taken any steps towards your goal?
3.     How would you describe what you did?
4.     Where are you now in relation to your goal?
5.     On a scale of one to ten where are you?
6.     What has contributed to your success so far?
7.     What progress have you made so far?
8.     What is working well right now?
9.     What is required of you?
10.  Why haven’t you reached that goal already?
11.  What do you think is stopping you?
12.  What do you think was really happening?
13.  Do you know other people who have achieved that goal?
14.  What did you learn from _____?

Let’s commit to halt the “brewing” of future coffee.  Listen more.  Think more.  Ask more. Talk less.

old coffee brewer

I Read to Grow

I have set reading goals for 3 years now. The past two years, my goal was to read 12 books in a year. I did that two years ago. Last year I read 18 books. This year my goal is 24. I’m on my 8th currently.

I read about leadership, marketing, habits, biographies, and self-development. This is the book I just started last evening. I’ve read Dr. Helmstetter’s book What Do You Say When You Talk to Yourself. In fact, I’ve read and re-read it.

This new book is proving to be great as well.

“Your brain is changed by the thoughts you think. You can rewire your brain.”

I’m 59 years old. This thought brings me great hope! I can learn more. I can become more. You can, too!

I encourage you to live a life of learning. It’s not too late to start. For me, I learn most through reading. But there are seminars, continuing education, blogs, podcasts, mastermind groups…the list goes on. We have more resources available to us than ever before. Pick one and dig in.

You and I can become better. Go for it!

How long are you willing to listen to a podcast?

I’m conducting a very brief poll on the length of a podcast.  I plan to launch one in conjunction with our local networking forum, First Fridays Fort Wayne.  I would love to register your choice in podcast length.  Follow this link to take the poll:

https://firstfridaysfw.com/2019/01/22/how-long-are-you-willing-to-listen-to-a-podcast/

Thank you for your help!

Motion vs. Action

I am reading James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.  I was introduced to this book via a Craig Groeschel Instagram post (I look for intriguing books every where!).

In Chapter 11, Clear describes the difference between motion and actions.  If you are like me, you probably think these 2 words are the same.  But they really are quite different.

Motion, Clear explains, is about “planning and strategizing and learning.”  While these are good and necessary steps to take, “they don’t produce a result.”

Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.”

Think about your world right now.  I’m sure you spend a good amount of time in meetings – project meetings, strategy meetings, coaching sessions, planning meetings, etc.  Are you getting results in those meetings?  No!  You are planning.  You are outlining.  You are discussing.  You are meeting.

The real work begins when you take ACTION. In a meeting you coach your team member to increase client visits.  But that won’t happen until that team member takes ACTION towards that desired outcome.

In a meeting, you can talk about the need to improve the results in a particular metric, but those results will not happen until individuals in various departments actually DO something to improve the results – by taking ACTION that will lead to improvement.

Clear lands on a sensible idea.  We tend to procrastinate because we want to delay failure.  And because of this, many of us don’t take the necessary action because we are trying to find the perfect way of taking action, which can never be found, and thus we put off taking action because we are always researching, meeting, wondering…

“You want to be practicing.”  Repetition, taking action, is key to getting to your results.

Does your sales team need to increase sales?  Sure they do!  Perhaps they need to take action in making more calls.  Or asking better questions in the middle of a sales call.  Or by following up with every client after a call.  Take more and better actions to improve results.

Habits that improve our lives, Clear points out, works in the same way.  You can listen to lectures, podcasts, and seminars about improving your life, but until you take ACTION, you will remain as you are.

You may know this by now, but I am a proponent of reading.  A lot of people I run in to don’t want to read.  “I don’t have time.”  “I can’t read that entire book.”  “I stopped reading right after college.”  “I’m too tired to read at night.”  But they all (mostly) admit they would like to read more.

Make reading a habit by reading (take action) just 10 pages per day.  That’s it. TRead 10 pages per day.  Every day.  Find a consistent time and read those 10 pages.  It will only take about 15-20 minutes.  We all have that time.  Don’t think about reading.  Don’t talk about reading.  Read.  If you do this, you can finish a 300 page book in 30 days.

This works for dieting, exercising, journaling, etc.  It’s good to learn about theses things, but you will not see results in your life until you start doing them.  And the more you take action (repetition), the more results you will see.  And the beginning steps don’t have to be big:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast at home vs hitting the fast-food drive-up lane at the nearest fast food restaurant.
  • Walk for 10 minutes a day.
  • Write one sentence in your journal every day.
  • Read 10 pages per day.

take action

“Repetition is a form of change” Clear explains.  “What matters is that you take the actions you need to take to make progress.”

 

 

So, stop reading and get out there and start taking ACTION!  I’m going to do the same!