Brainstorming & a Shock Test

In a little over an hour, my leadership team and I will gather in a room to start a brainstorming session.  We’re going to talk about how we can become better/do better.  But instead of talking about ethereal topics, we’re going to put a timeline on our path to improvement.  We’re going to get specific on how we plan to improve.  We’re going to own our journey and our results.

MS Leadership TeamLast week, we all attended the Global Leadership Summit (#gls17, #fwgls) here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We were exposed to a lot of great content.  It’s time to put that content to work for us.  Today’s brainstorming session will kick-off this process.

Shock Test?  Yes.  We’re going to discuss what we would do/be differently when a deadline is applied to something we are expected to provide every day.  More on this later…

Today is about being intentional, creative, and influential.

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It’s about leadership.

Ask for the Commitment by Jim Johnson

I do a lot of coaching and work with coaches on their coaching.  Over the years, I’ve heard from coaches where they have team players that “do get it”.  Through many coaching sessions, the team player continues to remain where they are, not improving.  At times, this static-ness becomes a detriment to the team.

In a conversation with one of these coaches who had one of these team players, I asked, “Who does most of the talking during your coaching sessions?”

“I do,” the coach quickly responded.

“And you continue to see the same results from this team member?”  I ask.

“Yes, and I’m frustrated!”

“Then talk less,” I say, “it’s time you ask them for a commitment to change.”

This launched us into a good conversation about the coach’s focus – it had been all about what the coach wanted to happen.  The team member only had to sit and listen.  The team member “had to have skin in the game.”  They just had to endure a coaching session, and then it was back to the same behaviors.

There was no commitment coming from the team member.  None.

So the coach and agreed upon these next steps:

  • At the next coaching session, the coach would approach the same topic but this time ask the team member for their commitment to the process.
  • The coach would ask something such as:  “What things do you need to do more of or less of to bring about the change needed in your performance and to improve your relationships with your coworkers?”
  • The coach then needed to be quiet and expect answers from the team member. Ask more follow up questions and listen.
  • The coaching session would be documented and followed-up on.
  • The coach would take time in between coaching sessions to be around the team even more to observe and listen.
  • Feedback would be provided at future coaching sessions.
  • The team member’s commitment would be reviewed and evaluated in future sessions.

This plan was implemented.  It worked.  The coach remained consistent.  The team member complied and improved.  But she eventually left the company.  Why?

Expectations were backed up with accountability – the team member didn’t want this kind of accountability over the long-haul.  She knew (in my opinion) that she would not keep up her end of the commitment.  So she left.  And that was ok.

The coach’s team is now performing well together.  Their results have improved.  Their reputation has improved among their peers.

Leader, do not be afraid to ask for a commitment from your team.  Back up your expectations with accountability.  Be consistent in your coaching, documentation, and follow-up.  Your team can and will improve!

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Coaching to Become Better by Jim Johnson

coaching

Will your team get better just because they show up for work?  Doubtful.

Coaching is the only, sustainable way to improve your team.  Of course, your team needs training and communication, but coaching is the only way YOU, the coach/manager/leader, will be able to enable them to become better.

As a leader, you cannot rely on other leaders to improve their teams to compensate for weaknesses on your team.  Each team leader must dedicate themselves to team improvement.  Then, as a whole, your company becomes better.

Improve your coaching and you help your team members become better.  Then your team becomes better.  Your company (and your customers and communities) become better.

That’s a winning combination.

 

On the Road Again

Tomorrow morning, I fly to Denver where I’ll be giving two presentations at the annual NACCAP (www.naccap.org) conference.  I will be speaking on:

  1. “Right On” – working towards your “next level” opportunity while broadening your influence.
  2. Adding Value – discovering why this is so important and finding practical ways to do it.

I look forward to sharing, learning, and meeting the professionals at NACCAP in Denver!

NACCAP annual conference

Become Comfortable Outside of Your Comfort Zone

I am about to finish John C. Maxwell’s new book, No Limits.  If you have not read this book, order it now!  It will increase your capacity to lead and succeed!

Here’s an excerpt from the chapter on “Risk Capacity”.

“I knew I needed to develop a process to deal with fear, so I did.  It didn’t cure my fear, but it tamed it enough for me to keep taking risks.  It goes like this:

  • Identification:  Who am I?  I am a person of worth attempting to do something worthwhile.
  • Action:  What will I do?  Take action and do the right thing regardless of feelings.
  • Emotion:  How will I proceed?  I will allow my actions to shape my feelings.

My discovery?  Each time I acted with courage and did what was right rather than giving in to what I felt, my will overcame my fears.  My fears have never completely left me, but they no longer control me.”

No Limits

Why Coach? by Jim Johnson

I recently read some interesting/sobering facts:

  • Nearly half of managers spend less than 10% of their time coaching their teams.
  • In 2016, 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important.
  • In 2016, only 37% of employees indicated they were “very satisfied” with their jobs.  51% said they were “somewhat satisfied” with their jobs.

So if this is true, how are you becoming better at coaching your team?  They desire effective coaching from you.  They really want to be “very satisfied” with their jobs.  They do!

Someone once said the following:

                                ” Coaching is helping our team members to think.                                                                                    To help them become conscious                                                                                                      of what they are unconscious.                                                                                                         Our default is to give advice.                                                                                                           We must teach people to think.”

More on this later…

To coach effectively, you also need to prepare to be an effective coach.

Where are you on this continuum?

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Becoming an effective coach starts with YOU, the coach.  How can you develop yourself?

  • Expose yourself to materials that will help you grow as a leader (books, blogs, podcasts, articles, conferences, one-on-one meetings with community leaders).
  • Network in your community.  Use resources such as LinkedIn to meet, connect with, and learn from other coaches/leaders. You can be exposed to great content that will help you grow.
  • Add value to those around you everyday.  Put what you are learning into practice.
  • Help your team become better by becoming a better leader.

Becoming a better coach means you applying your EXPERIENCE in order to demonstrate EXPERTISE.  I know a lot of experienced coaches/managers.  I know far fewer leaders who demonstrate expertise in coaching people.  Note:  expertise does not equal perfection.  No one on earth is perfect, so rid yourself of that goal.  But any of us – all of us – can become better and become experts.

As a coach, you want to move your team from the ranks of the experienced to those who embody expertise.  Think about this:  what would your results be if your team was populated with experts vs those with merely with experience?  How would this impact your customers?  Your colleagues?  Your bottom line?

John Maxwell has said that “the growth and development of people is the highest calling of a leader.”  

I encourage you to answer this calling.  Become better.  Influence your team to become better.  Improve your coaching sessions (or maybe start having them?).

In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing some great questions you can begin using in coaching sessions that will enable your team to really think.  They will help you have more meaningful conversations.

Thank you for visiting Go, Leader, Grow!