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Change Your Habits in 2015

chocolate barsIf you are like most of us, you made a resolution or two to start the New Year.  If you were like me, you probably made a wish and then gave a thought or two of planning an action step crossed your mind.  The sad news is that there is very little likelihood that anything worthwhile will come from your resolution.  One researcher found that by the end of January, 30 percent of us would have failed and by the end of June, over half would have gone by the wayside.  Michael Hyatt says that between 150 and 200 million Americans make resolutions and the research shows around 8% succeed with them.

Now about wiping your slate clean and trying something different?  Most of us fail at our resolutions because we plop this idea down in the midst of a lifetime of habits.  So instead of a resolution, think about changing a habit and see if you can be more successful.  Here are five questions to ask yourself.  Your answers will be the pathway to a successful change in 2015.  By the way, whether the habit is having sweet deserts, Facebook, or interrupting people, the process works the same when it comes to changing a habit.  We’re going to talk about sweets, since that is my annual resolution and has been for several years.

  1. What’s the habit I want to change? The more specifically that you identify the habit, the better you will be able to change it. The answer to this question may take some time.  Habits are routines, and most pieces are performed subconsciously.  Take some time to think about your trigger.  In my case, the difficulty is stopping at a meal.  I wanted to go back for second helpings until I developed a habit of having something sweet as a signal to my system that the meal was over.  Now I have a new habit of having desert. (I’m not sure which is worse.)
  2. What’s the replacement for the habit? We can’t create a vacuum in our behaviors or thoughts. We have to find a substitute.  In my case, I decided a healthy sweet would be the way to go.  So what I want to do is have coffee with a sweetener or maybe some dried cranberries.
  3. How do I begin strongly? You can’t just ease into a new habit.  If you ease your way in, you’ll soon find yourself easing your way back out.  Draw a line in the sand.  Say or do things like:

–Announce it to people (more on this later).

–Write it down.

–Set a starting day and time.

–Have a clear new routine. My question used to be, “What’s for dessert?”  Now, it’s “Ready for some coffee?”

  1. How do I stay strong? There is no better way to say it that the old cliché: DO NOT DEVIATE DESPITE TEMPTATION. What will you do when tempted? How will you avoid temptations?
  2. Who will I ask to hold me accountable? If you are a softy, you might want to call this, “Who do I ask for help?” For either question, you are making your behavior change public.  Moreover, once you announce it, you make it hard to retreat.  If you are making a giant change or an unpleasant one, then think about a support team.  There is no limit on the number of supporters you can have.  You might even want to work with a coach if you are talking about a deep-seated habit.  There is some pretty clear research that making public support does very powerful things to your efforts. id

How will you know when your habit is changed?  The answer is that you will know when it feels wrong to not engage in the replacement behavior.  Since I’ve given up on desserts, I feel guilt reaching for one when it’s offered.  That’s a good sign.  Since I’m still tempted, I know I don’t have the new habit in place.

What’s your new habit going to be?

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Why Sales People Can Become Great Coaches

Today’s top sales people possess different skills than the top ones from a decade ago.  The internet changed everything, including sales skills.

A decade ago, the sales person was in information control.  That’s why you hated sales people.  They knew more than you know and didn’t ever appear to tell everything.  They present the features and benefits of a product in a way that worked to their advantage. Now flash forward.  The best contemporary sales people operate in conversational mode.  You don’t need them for information anymore. The sales person is responsible for helping you sort through all of your information so that you can make a good decision. Market needs have shifted the core skills of the sales person.

Daniel Pink in his book, To Sell is Human, focuses on three core sales skills:  attunement, buoyancy, and clarity. The International Coach Federation stresses similar core competencies for coaches.

Attunement is at the heart of understanding the other person.  It is empathy on steroids. You give up some control in order to step into the other person’s world more fully.  You listen with your head and heart so that you understand the other person in their world, and not so you can sell them on your idea. The ICF stresses co-creating a relationship based on trust and intimacy.  Active listening and awareness are also part of core coaching skills.

Buoyancy is the skill of staying positive in a world filled with “no’s.”  Sales people get this. Top people in sales tell themselves, “I’m just one more ask away from a YES.” By its very nature, coaching requires positivity.  The coach has a goal to create and raise awareness that leads to positive action. If the client isn’t progressing, the coach is charged to “positively confront” the situation.

Clarity is finding the right problems to act on and the right solutions for the situation. For the sales person, it’s finding the right frame for the circumstances.  Coaches do exactly the same thing. Coaches create awareness around an issue and support the client in designing actions that fit the situation.

In short, the same skills that a good sales person has are the same competencies that a coach has.  This is NOT to say that people good in sales are good coaches. That’s like saying a good quarterback will be a good football coach or a great business executive will make a wonderful executive coach.  The potential has to be developed.

Sales and coaching are profoundly different activities.  Just because you are good at one doesn’t automatically make you good at the other.  How do you see the difference?

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Why Sales People Can Become Great Coaches

Today’s top sales people possess different skills than the top ones from a decade ago.  The internet changed everything, including sales skills.

A decade ago, the sales person was in information control.  That’s why you hated sales people.  They knew more than you know and didn’t ever appear to tell everything.  They present the features and benefits of a product in a way that worked to their advantage. Now flash forward.  The best contemporary sales people operate in conversational mode.  You don’t need them for information anymore. The sales person is responsible for helping you sort through all of your information so that you can make a good decision. Market needs have shifted the core skills of the sales person.

Daniel Pink in his book, To Sell is Human, focuses on three core sales skills:  attunement, buoyancy, and clarity. The International Coach Federation stresses similar core competencies for coaches.

Attunement is at the heart of understanding the other person.  It is empathy on steroids. You give up some control in order to step into the other person’s world more fully.  You listen with your head and heart so that you understand the other person in their world, and not so you can sell them on your idea. The ICF stresses co-creating a relationship based on trust and intimacy.  Active listening and awareness are also part of core coaching skills.

Buoyancy is the skill of staying positive in a world filled with “no’s.”  Sales people get this. Top people in sales tell themselves, “I’m just one more ask away from a YES.” By its very nature, coaching requires positivity.  The coach has a goal to create and raise awareness that leads to positive action. If the client isn’t progressing, the coach is charged to “positively confront” the situation.

Clarity is finding the right problems to act on and the right solutions for the situation. For the sales person, it’s finding the right frame for the circumstances.  Coaches do exactly the same thing. Coaches create awareness around an issue and support the client in designing actions that fit the situation.

In short, the same skills that a good sales person has are the same competencies that a coach has.  This is NOT to say that people good in sales are good coaches. That’s like saying a good quarterback will be a good football coach or a great business executive will make a wonderful executive coach.  The potential has to be developed.

Sales and coaching are profoundly different activities.  Just because you are good at one doesn’t automatically make you good at the other.  How do you see the difference?

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Hug the People Who Will Tell You NO

Really, they deserve a hug.   I’m not saying they should get one for “no;” I’m sure you would prefer an affirmative answer.  They get one for being open and forthright enough to tell you that.

Think about it:  Would you rather hear the “no” or be strung along thinking you will eventually get a “yes?”

As a coach, you have two categories of people you want to hear “no” from.

–Potential Clients. For most businesses, you have to have several conversations to get a “yes.”  You could end up spending a month or two cultivating a potential client only to hear that dreaded two-letter word.  What a waste of your time and energy! What do you think could happen if you tell someone early in the sales process, “If this isn’t for you right now, please tell me so I don’t waste your time.  Will you do that?”  You’ve not closed off all business, just coaching for right now.

–Clients.  When a client tells you, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell,” you have learned a lot. You have a clear-cut boundary and you don’t need to go around it.  You can ask, “What am I missing?” and discover other avenues the client wants to explore.

You have a lot to do with someone telling you “no.”  I don’t mean you should be so over the top obnoxious that people can’t stand to be with you.  You can create an atmosphere where someone isn’t afraid to turn you down without damaging the relationship. You keep the future open for possibilities.

What do you need to do to create that openness everywhere around you?

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Breaking the Coaching Mold

Have you ever coached a client who just couldn’t seem to move forward?  And she was stuck for week after week after week? I was recently working with a UCU student coach on one of her clients.  I have permission to share the following.

The UCU student coach wanted to spend her session talking about her client.  Her client was saying all of the right things and appeared to be doing all that she committed to do, but there was no progress.  Sales, recruiting, and promoting were all stagnated.  Coaching calls also seemed to have stagnated. Neither coach nor client could figure out a way forward.

As we talked our way into the scenario, the student coach had an amazing AHA moment. For a client to do something differently, she has to think differently.  The same is true for a coach.  You have to coach differently in order for your client to respond differently.  The rest of our call was taken up with possible alternatives to the “business as usual” coaching model. The student coach was going to ask the client to “experiment” with some different coaching techniques.  (Let me stress that without client permission, none of these would occur). Here are some of the alternatives that might be used:

  • The coach may ask the client to allow interruptions.
  • The coach may ask the client to describe her week like a movie script or fairy tale.
  • The coach was only going to ask “what” questions.
  • The coach would speed coach as if the session was only half as long.

Get the picture?  The student coach is committed to coaching differently to see what different results she may get.

At the end of her experimental coaching session, the student coach will ask her client for feedback and thank her for experimenting.

How could you experiment with a client?

 

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The Art of Delegation

Coaching delegationMost of us learn delegation through the pain or pleasure process.  You don’t delegate until it becomes some painful that you have to do something.  The good news is that you don’t have to wait that long.  When you set some principles and procedures, you’ll be delegating the right things to the right people at the right time.

Kristi Pavlik, Chief Visionary Officer at Adonai Business Solutions, helps entrepreneurs navigate their business journeys to success. She has been teaching entrepreneurs and small business owners how to transform big ideas into business models that support profit and growth. Active in the business management field for over 20 years, Kristi is a skilled professional who helps entrepreneurs from beginners to business leaders “get out of their own way”. Clients who work with Kristi are amazed at how she can help their business move forward. She can help launch a new business, grow an established business, or explore uncharted territory with industry leaders. Business owners are thrilled at the results on a business and personal level.

Kristi is an expert on delegation.  This is the second of two articles she volunteered to write on delegation for us.  The other one is called Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. You can contact Kristi at kristi.adonai@gmail.com.  Her website will provide more details on how she works. Here are some of Kristi’s insights on the art of delegation.

The Art of Delegation

One of the most important skills a business owner can learn is the art of delegation. Many of us know we need to delegate more, but we hesitate. Why put off something that can help your business run more efficiently and effectively? It can feel overwhelming to try to figure out what and when to delegate, so we avoid it. Assigning tasks and giving ownership of those tasks to trusted associates is one of the wisest and most effective things we can do as entrepreneurs, and we need to learn how.

The basic rule of delegation is simple: If you aren’t good at it, or if it takes your time and energy away from the core of your business, delegate that task.

Every business owner should do this task, so why delegate it? The truth is, every business owner is different, with their own skills and preferences and they don’t do it all. Think about it: Bill Gates does not do his own filing, and you know he doesn’t do Microsoft’s accounts receivables himself! It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic business task, if bookkeeping, email management, or scheduling overwhelms you, or pulls you away from the tasks that make your business run? Delegate it. There’s no award for heroics in business! Forcing yourself to do tasks you’re unsuited for, or that you just plain dislike, doesn’t win a prize. In fact, experience shows us that someone who struggles with or dislikes a task takes longer to do it and makes more errors. Forcing yourself to do them really is a waste of time and money. Imagine the freedom you’ll feel when you can delegate to someone who has expertise and finds enjoyment in those tasks you dread.

It’s easier to just do it myself. This one is an excuse to avoid delegating, it really isn’t easier to do everything ourselves. Once you teach someone how to do the task your way, you’re done. Are you insisting on doing a job that sucks your time away from the real business of your company? Do you wade through hundreds of emails or phone calls each day only to find that your whole morning evaporated and you are constantly playing catch-up? Is basic office management getting in the way of doing business? It’s time to delegate the basic tasks like data entry, phone calls, email, calendars, and even travel arrangements and research. Be honest about what tasks only you can do, and build your job description around those tasks. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done when every task you do is important to your role! The art of delegation is the honest evaluation of every task you do. Should this really be your task? If not, delegate. You are the CEO, and created your business from the ground up. You are needed to do executive tasks, and to work at the core of your company steering and growing it. Focus your time and energy on the tasks that only you can do, and find good associates to accomplish the day-to-day tasks that keep your business organized, updated, and running smoothly. Delegation at its heart is pretty simple: Your company needs you to captain the ship, so put down the oars and hire a sailor who loves to row!

Kristi Pavlik

Adonai Business Solutions, LLC

www.adonai-llc.com

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Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

Coaching delegationDelegation is one of those topics that frequently comes up in coaching. Since time is a limited resources, coaching clients need to clear some bandwidth to make changes and that usually involves delegating.

At the ICF Convention in Cleveland, I met Kristi Pavlik, Chief Visionary Officer at Adonai Business Solutions, who helps entrepreneurs navigate their business journeys to success.She has been teaching entrepreneurs and small business owners how to transform big ideas into business models that support profit and growth. Active in the business management field for over 20 years, Kristi is a skilled professional who helps entrepreneurs from beginners to business leaders “get out of their own way”. Clients who work with Kristi are amazed at how she can help their business move forward. She can help launch a new business, grow an established business, or explore uncharted territory with industry leaders. Business owners are thrilled at the results on a business and personal level.

Kristi is an expert on delegation, and she volunteered to write a couple of articles on delegation for us.  You can contact Kristi at kristi.adonai@gmail.com.  Her website will provide more details on how she works. Here are some of Kristi’s insights on the art of delegation.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

The art of delegation is important in a heart-based business like coaching and speaking. Many of us even urge our clients to learn to delegate, but we hesitate to put into practice in our own business. Why do we run from it? In a business we built on a passion for helping others, we get trapped in the idea that we should do it all ourselves. Intellectually, we know better: Assigning tasks and giving ownership of those tasks to trusted associates is one of the wisest and most effective things we can do as a business owner.

The basic rule of delegation is simple: If the task something you love to do, that you’re skilled at doing, or that builds your business and spreads your message, you should do it. If it isn’t, delegate it!

This task is essential to my business, so why delegate it? The truth is, every business owner is different, with their own skills and preferences and they don’t do it all. Think about it: Tony Robbins does not do his own filing, and you know Seth Godin answer every email himself! It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic business task, or a crucial task like scheduling or travel booking, if it pulls you away from speaking, writing, or designing your next workshop? Delegate it. There’s no award for heroics in business! Forcing yourself to do tasks you dislike or that don’t suit your skills doesn’t win a prize. In fact, someone who struggles with or dislikes a task takes longer to do it and makes more errors. Forcing yourself to do them is a waste of time, energy, and money. Delegate to someone who has expertise and finds enjoyment in those tasks you dread, and focus your energy on changing lives.

I should be able to do it all. This one is just isn’t true! Are you trying to play superhero because you’re afraid clients will doubt your expertise if you need help in your business? Becoming overworked and overtired doesn’t make you look like SuperCoach, you just look overwhelmed! Do you wade through hundreds of emails or phone calls each day only to find that your whole morning evaporated and you are struggle to find time for your heart-based work? Are basic office tasks getting in the way of  the work you feel so passionately about? You really do need to delegate basic tasks like data entry, phone calls, email, calendars, and even travel arrangements and research. Be honest about your coaching or speaking business and what tasks only you can do, and build your job description around those tasks. You’ll be amazed how far you can spread your message and how many lives you can change when every task you do is important to your role as speaker, coach, and mentor!

The art of delegation in the honest evaluation of every task you do. Should this really be your task? If not, delegate. You are the CEO and a Speaker or Coach, and created your business from a passion for making a difference. You are needed to do executive level business tasks to steer and grow your business, and to spend the majority of your time and energy spreading your message and changing lives for the better. Focus on the tasks that only you can do, and find good associates to accomplish the day-to-day tasks that keep your business organized, updated, and running smoothly. Delegation at its heart is pretty simple: Your company needs you to write, design, and speak your life-changing messages, so delegate those office tasks and put your full energy into changing the world!

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Post-Convention Coaching of Direct Sellers

Direct Selling Convention ChaosSummertime is convention time for direct selling leaders.  They get to see the fall product line and incentives, network with friends from across the country, recognize the best-of-the-best performers and attend the best training that their company can offer.  And they often return home with their heads spinning because they are not sure of what they want to do.  Here’s a baker’s dozen questions you might use to coach direct selling leaders if this is the case.

1. What’s got you excited?

2. How do you want to show up at the convention next year?

3. Which recognition let you say, “I can do that!”

4. How will the new _______________ fit into your goals?

5. What did you see that’s distracting you from your major business goals?

6. How are your emerging leaders handling the convention?

7. What can you get excited about?

8. What can you get your team excited about?

9. How will you say “no” to things that don’t fit?

10. How will you leverage the new tools?

11. What do you see for yourself?

12. What’s first?

13. What do you want?

I love the convention season.  My direct selling clients are so energized by it all that they can’t stop vibrating.  My job is to support them in pointing that energy where they want it to go.

What other questions come to your mind?

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Intensive Introduction to Coaching

The three-day intensive coaching launch in May, 2014 occurred in Irving, Texas. Three of our students describe what happened during those three days.

Plans are gearing up for the UCU Coach Launch Program in Natick, Massachusetts on September 5, 2014.  It’s a three-day dive into key topics to get you started as a coach. You’ll leave prepared to start coaching immediately.

This program is geared for coaches beginning their professional career and for those simply wanting to add coaching skills to their toolkit. Experienced coaches participate to refresh their knowledge base and to hone their skills. The program is approved for 16 hours of Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEU’s) with the International Coach Federation.

The program provides coaches with knowledge, skills, practice, and feedback on their coaching. The course will address specifics for running programs in person and virtually.

Participants leave the program with tools, resources, skills and practice in coaching, including:

  • An understanding of what coaching is, similarities and differences with counseling, training, mentoring, and facilitation
  • Core skills and competencies for masterful group coaching
  • Foundational principles: Learning styles, listening, asking curious powerful questions, and feedback
  • Creating Connection, Trust and Accountability
  • Exercises, Tools and Resources for Coaching
  • Working with, and engaging, different learning styles
  • Navigating Tricky Issues
  • Practice and feedback on your skills

The program includes:

  • 16 hours of training ( 15 Core Competency CCEU’s)
  • Online DiSC profile to assess your communication style
  • Experience as a coach and as a client (your first three sessions)
  • Your UCU Resource Workbook
  • Online Time Mastery profile and self-coaching application
  • Your copy of Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore.
  • Your copy of StandOut by Marcus Buckingham.
  • New Client Welcome Forms
  • Sample Coaching Agreements
  • Small student/faculty ratio for personal attention
  • Student rates on coaching tools
    • An opportunity for you to get hands-on practice and feedback on your coaching skills

Venue: Hampton Inn, Boston/Natick, Massachusetts Hampton Inn. Special rate of $109 per night is available until August 15.

Space limited to 15 coaches.

Cost: $1250 (payable in four installments). Register with one or more colleagues and save 10% each.

 

Here’s what past participants have said about the program:

“This is the place to learn the skills needed for coaching.” – Diane Dieffenbach

“Completely changed my mindset on the way I view people and life.  I am a better person now.” – Megan Salmon

“DO IT!  Sooner than later ” – Darla Oehlman

“A must to take.” – Diane Engle

For more details on-line, look for the Ultimate Coach University program descriptions. We are the only ICF ACSTH program that has an emphasis in direct selling.

Contact Dana Phillips, dana@ultimatecoachuniversity.com, with questions.

Looking forward to having you join us!

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What Consumers Know about Coaching

Coaching consumer opinionsThe International Coach Federation recently released their 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study.  The survey was done in 16 languages and utilized responses from nearly 19,000 individuals in 25 countries.  The study is an insightful look at how coaches and consumers see “coaching” in the marketplace.  The Executive Summary has its set of conclusions (p. 29).  Here are the four most important takeaways I had.

Coaching is a global phenomenon.   The size of the study is one indication of this.  Overall, nearly 60% of consumers are aware of professional business and/or life coaching.  17% (that’s nearly 1 in 5!) have participated in a coaching relationship. And participation is growing.

Consumers understand coaching as a definable activity.  Among the 60% of the population aware of coaching, there is also an awareness that coaching is distinct from mentoring, consulting, training, and counseling. The implications of this are important.

  • Distinct content lets you be a professional coach; you are distinct from counselors, trainers, etc.
  • Your prospective clients can see a difference between real coaching from a coach and quasi-coaching from someone claiming to be a coach.
  • The profession can develop best practices.  A good example of this is the ICF creation of evaluation markers to be used by assessors in awarding credentials.

The reasons for hiring a coach are becoming clearer. Are you a coach struggling to find clients?  Find out which reason they have and then speak to it.  New coaches often struggle with finding the right reasons to give.  Instead of being creative, you now have the opportunity reach into the consumer’s awareness of coaching to find the reasons they have.  What’s the most common reason?  “Defining strengths and weaknesses within oneself” is the reason for nearly have of those seeking coaching.  “Optimize individual/team work performance” is the most frequently cited reason for participating in a coaching relationship.

The more professional coaches produce more customer satisfaction.  For coaches, this is very good news.  The statistics on this make the conclusion a no brainer.  37% of all consumers were very satisfied regardless of the credential.  However, among the customers who were very satisfied with their coaching:

  • Of those who had a coach with a credential, 49% were very satisfied.
  • Of those who had a coach without a credential, 29% were very satisfied.

A 20% difference is very telling.  Credentialed coaches meet their clients needs much better than other types of coaches.

What do you think?  When you look for a coach, what criteria show u on your radar?

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  • Check our newest post about Leadership
  • Great inspiration to succeed as a Leader
  • Tips, Tricks and much more about Leadership
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