Coaching Business

Weekend Love, June Thirteenth

iStock_000029910540Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

Meetings got you down?  You are not alone.  Ray Williams shares some ideas on avoiding meeting and/or making them more productive when he talks about How Mindfulness Can Make Your Meetings More Productive.

Who among you doesn’t hear a customer say, “I’ll think about it” and then tell yourself it’s a done deal?  Emma Snider of HubSpot has some on point insights about what customers are really saying when she writes about The Sh*t Buyers Say, Translated [Comic].

We often think that if we just focus on our strengths, then our leadership will improve.  Dan McCarthy thinks we can sometimes have too much of a good thing when he writes about how Leadership Strengths Can Turn into Weaknesses.

I’ve long believed in the benefits of understanding other’s DiSC styles.  I was ecstatic to see I was in agreement with Dr. Tony Allessandra.  He recently wrote about Diversity through DISC Styles Adaptability.  You might want to hold onto this one so you can read it again.

Read More

Creating Your Summer Game Plan

Coaching summer plansIs it too early to be thinking about summer plans on tax day?  I had a coaching call this week with an entrepreneur and that’s what she wanted to discuss. For her, June was a major month for convention, travel, vacation, and kid-out-of-school-time and she wanted to be prepared.   I had my AHA before the call was done:  If you are an entrepreneur, it’s not too soon!  While we usually think about an intensive work time before and after a summer break, the entrepreneur has more to do than just the immediate tasks.

Whether you are in direct sales or some other business, as an entrepreneur your planning needs to go beyond a two-or three week period.  Think about direct selling, for example.  The people who join your team now will really be hitting their sales stride around late June.  The work you do in the summer will set the stage for your fall selling season.  Since you are in business for yourself, you need to constantly engage in high level planning.

During our coaching call, six core questions absorbed most of our time.  I wanted to share them with you as you start thinking about your summer.

  1. How up to date is your calendar? She was like most of us.  Her schedule was very complete for April, mainly complete for May and June, and then sketchy after that.  While June was her key month, she came to the realization she needed to be thinking about work for post-June.
  2. What business goals do you want to accomplish this summer? She had a clear vision.  Many of her summer goals center on building business relationships through follow-up from the conventions.
  3. What are the most important things you need to do now to prepare for June? This turned out to be a very important question. As she talked through the answer, her accomplishments in the next two weeks will make a lot of difference.
  4. What do your stakeholders need to know? While she thought a lot about his business, she hadn’t gotten to thinking about what her clients expectations are going from now to the end of June.  This will be the topic of several conversations between her and her clients before the summer.
  5. What do your contractors need to know? Like the previous question, she hadn’t talked with her support team and needed to bring them into the loop on her plans and work requirements for the next few months.
  6. What do you need to do to fill your fall pipeline? She realized that with a time lag of 90-120 days from starting the sales process to her first payment, her October-November business depends on starting in July. This is a new awareness and shifts her July business focus a bit.

How about you?  Are you thinking at a high level about your summer and fall business?  If you were, how will things change?

Read More

Cheryl Pope: New Certified Business Coach

PopeBy Dana Phillips

We are pleased to announce our newest Certified Business Coach, Cheryl Pope. Located in Dallas, Cheryl is a Principal of Carlton Human Capital, an organizational effectiveness consultant and executive coach with a passion for helping people achieve shared success.

After working in the human resources sector, she discovered she loved coaching and enrolled in Ultimate Coach University to formalize her coach education.  Neil Phillips, worked with Cheryl as her mentor coach and describes her as “always upbeat and always looking ahead.  She’s a great integrator of what she learned into her practice.”  Cheryl is currently working on her International Coach Federation credential and we expect her to achieve it soon.

Cheryl appreciated the community provided by UCU, especially the accessibility of faculty and support.  “Unlike many training programs available, I truly felt there is a vested partnership in my success.”

One of the unexpected benefits Cheryl found at UCU was the exposure to student coaches from other fields.  She enjoyed discovering how coaching applies in a variety of professions.  “It was interesting to see coaching used for sales, performance, and values clarification.”

Companies looking to enhance their organizational effectiveness, create leadership effectiveness, or improve engagement may reach Cheryl at www.carltonhumancapital.com.

Read More

Weekend Love, February Twenty Eighth

Link loveHere are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently.  Most will be a handful of links to tools or great content.  Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file that hits my mood.

Some of the best advice ever comes from Seth Godin this week when he talks about The Trolls Inside.

Does your elevator pitch stink?  Could you at least make yourself sound normal when you give it?  The HBR has some concrete advice for you in their article on Your Elevator Pitch Needs an Elevator Pitch.

My new favorite blogger is Frank Sonnenberg.  He writes about character, personal values, and personal responsibility.  He makes you want to slow down and absorb each word topic over a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning.  Take this week’s offering called 13 Ways to Spot a Lie.

Think you are coaching?  Want to find out?  Dan McCarthy writes How Managers Can Become Awesome Coaches.  It’s a standalone article, but there are lots of links to other articles if a particular piece strikes your fancy.

Once you become a coach, who makes sure you are doing your job?  Who can help you do it better?  An emerging role, coaching supervisor, may be the answer for you. You can read about it in The Case for Coaching Supervision.

The visual that puts it all in perspective.  http://hereistoday.com/

Read More

Five Ways to Lead More Effectively

iStock_000017068249LargeLeading a team is not always the easiest of jobs.  Some days you just want to go back into the field and work with vendors and customers.  You can get immediate gratification by being a “doer” and ignoring team issues for a while.  Unfortunately, they’ll always come back to plague your team’s development without you at the helm.  As a leadership coach, I work with my clients to take the path that they think will be most productive.  As you might expect, they seldom all go the same direction.

Here are five ways a team leader or can be more effective in leading their people to success:

  1. Create a compelling vision of what success looks like and then lead to it. Your responsibility as a leader is to paint a picture of your idealized future, support everyone in knowing and understanding that vision, and inspire your team to reach for it.  For example, a strong sales leader keeps the basics in front of the team and keeps a vision of building from those basics time and time again.
  2. Step into your leadership role so that your team sees you as a leader. Make decisions that make sense so that you can explain them to the team.  Your whole team will start to perceive you as the leader (in more than name) and look to you for visionary guidance.
  3. Keep your commitments and expect the same from others. Your commitments are a promise to your vision, to yourself, and to your team.  When you break your promises, what can you expect to have happen with your team?  Keep your commitments, and it will be easier to expect the same from others.  Support your team members in making commitments they can keep and praise them for doing so.
  4. Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member. One of the most important pieces for success is knowing what the target looks like.  Clear task and role expectations will prevent things from dropping through the cracks.
  5. Review, adjust, and repeat. Part of the leader’s vision is to keep everyone on track.  Your responsibility requires you to stepback, evaluate progress, and then adjust.  Then you do it again.

What can you expect?  While you aren’t guaranteed success, you can rest assured that you are closer to your ultimate goal than you would be otherwise.  Your team will be more engaged and productive that they would be otherwise.  In short, you are taking your best shot to get what you want.

Read More

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

Read More

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!

Read More

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?

Read More

Good and Bad News about Coach Income

Coach earnings looking upWe’d all like to earn more money without working harder, right?  Unfortunately, that seldom happens.  The flip side of that coin getting a fair return for your coaching expertise.

Sherpa Coaching just released their 2014 Coaches Earnings Report.  The results are very mixed. The hourly earnings for executive, business and life coaches have rebounded to the 2012 levels although it is still less than 2011.

As expected, annual earnings are significantly lower than a few years ago.  However, experience matters!  The average coach who has been working for 5-10 years earns double what a beginning (0-2 years’ experience) coach earns.

The coaches in the survey continue to expect the demand for coaching to increase.  It’s been moving steadily upwards since a 2011 low.  Sherpa created an overall Coaching Confidence Index (CCI) which hit an all-time high.  The CCI is based on a number of factors include rates, number of clients, marketing time, etc.

There’s more, and you should read it in the report.  It’s a quick way to find how you compare to your competitors.

Read More

Four Key Topics to Brand Your Coaching Business

Key branding issues for your coaching businessI make no claims as a branding expert.  When that subject comes up, I try to look at people like Walter Landor, who helped companies from Coca Cola to Shell Oil to Levi Strauss define their brand for the public. He would say things like, “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”

As new coaches come into Ultimate Coach University and create their businesses, some key branding questions often come up.  They are simple and yet profound questions.  If branding is the something created in the minds of others, how will you approach this task?  Here are four core ideas.

1.  Who is your Ideal Customer?  This is your core question.  Start with your customer’s demographics.  Then work out from there to understand their values in action. This might be a business group (direct sellers, lawyers, salon owners, etc.) or it driven by the group’s characteristics such as entrepreneurial drive, introversion, or leadership development.

Once this image starts to come together, your opportunity is to become the expert for these customers.

  • What do they want that they don’t have? Don’t think about what happens in the coaching; what do they have afterwards?
  • Will these customers be better after coaching than before they started?
  • Will they know it?

2. How will they find you?  You have an image of your ideal customer.  How will they be able to find you?  Your goal is to have their mental image match the one that you are creating. Your passion and excitement need to be obvious.

  • Is your value statement clear as well as front and center?
  • How compelling is your mission or brand statement?
  • What visual images are you making available?
  • Is your headshot saying what you want?
  • What action shots or Pinterest options are available?
  • How well does your simple graphic represent you?

3. How will they know the real you? The answer is very simple: others will tell them.  Let’s face it; with information access at an all-time high, what others say is the most trustworthy source of information.

  • How often do you do a Google or Bing search for your name?
  • Who’s talking about you on Facebook?
  • How do you ask new customers, “How did you hear about me?”
  • One great suggestion: Ask your clients, “What is the one thing you would tell others about our coaching?”

4. Can you tell someone without blushing, stalling, or talking more than 30 seconds?  Seriously, you have to get comfortable talking about yourself and your business.  Have conversations.  Don’t just spew a prefab statement.  Tease, talk, entice, and solicit questions. You are not a megacorp.  You are having one-to-one conversations.

  • How will you practice your conversational skills?  Who with?
  • How can you describe the opportunity you are creating?
  • What question will you ask to continue the conversation?
  • How will you ask for a follow-up?

This is by no means a complete list.  Branding is creating a promise in the minds of your potential customers.  Your job is to have a solid idea of the promise and a solid idea of how you will communicate it.  The rest is strategic.

Please share.  How are you focusing on your branding?

Read More