Posts Taged coaching-tools

Want to Add Coaching to Your Skill Set?

The next three-day intensive coaching launch is September 15-17, 2015 in Grapevine, Texas near the DFW Airport.

The easiest way to know what happens is to listen to three of our student describe the three days.

Whether your interest is in adding coaching skills to your leadership, taking your life in a new direction, or becoming a professional coach, this three-day dive into key topics will 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 The Power of TED* *The Empowerment Dynamic by David Emerald
  • 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: The host hotel is the SpringHill Suites, Dallas DFW Airport North/Grapevine, 2240 W. Grapevine Mills Circle Grapevine, TX 76051.  You can use this link to receive our special rate of $119 per night.

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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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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Four Easy Guidelines When Advising Like a Coach

Advising like a coachMuch as coaches try to avoid giving advice, clients sometimes are very good at pulling out of us.  Just when the client seems to be rolling along quite nicely, they will throw in a “I don’t know, what do you think?”  You, as the coach, are caught off guard and before you can help yourself, you have turned into a mentor and a font of wisdom.  Here are four easy guidelines to follow when in this situation.

Always ask permission.  When advice is permission based, you will keep ownership of the strategy with the client.  You will often have the opportunity to ask permission several times.  Think about using questions like:

  • Are you asking for my advice? (This is your real-time opportunity to confirm what you heard.)
  • My advice is offered from outside your activities, so feel free to reject it or tweak it to fit better.

The other key benefit of asking permission is that you prevent resistance. Unsolicited advice immediately generates a backlash.

Start with what they’ve done.  Want to appear foolish?  Blurt out your advice and then listen to your client say, “I tried that and it didn’t work.” Discover what your client has done before giving advice.  You will save time and ego.  Ask the simple and straightforward question, “What have you tried?”

Be clear on what is requested.  Sometimes clients will ask for advice and, while it may be clear in their mind, it may not be in yours.  Ask questions like:

  • Is your question about your goal or your strategy?
  • Are you concerned about your process or your point of view?
  • What’s the advice you would like me to give? [This sounds like a weird question, but you will discover what they want.]

Avoid being Directive.  The phrase “you should” is usually an invitation to trouble.  Alternatively, try phrases like:

  • Other clients have found that. . . .  You are the expert on this situation.  How does this fit you?
  • Here’s another option. . . .
  • What I’ve found helpful is . . . .

These four guidelines keep you thinking and acting like a coach while providing an opportunity to partner with your client.  What have you found useful?

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Twenty-one Questions to Ignite a High Performance Leader

High performance opportunity

How would you ignite a leader to create a high performance team?  I was talking with an executive about someone he thought would really grow through coaching.  I asked him an obvious question, “What would you like to see happen?”  His answer was “I really like to see him develop a high performance team. It’s not that they do bad work; the team is just closer to average than a top one.”

My imagination exploded!  I already had an initial coaching call with the new leader, and he expressed some ambitious goals.  He wanted to be in front of his team rather than just herd them along.  While I know that coaching questions are organic and arise in the course of a conversation, I couldn’t help but think of some questions that might be helpful.

  1. What’s your vision for the team?
  2. Where does this lead?
  3. How do you make this happen?
  4. How can you push it to the level beyond what you describe?
  5. What will get your team to unite behind the vision?
  6. Have you seen the Nike commercial, “One more”?  What’s yours?
  7. What does a bigger game look like?
  8. What happens when your team performs beyond expectations?
  9. How will you execute to the vision?
  10. What will you do to meld your people into a team?
  11. Who gets to provide input on the vision?
  12. What’s your team’s mission statement?
  13. What does it look like when you are at peak performance?
  14. What’s your first step?
  15. What’s your first step to change you?
  16. What needs to change in you to lead like this?
  17. What’s holding your changes back?
  18. How did you feel when you first thought of this possibility?
  19. What excites you most about becoming a high performance team?
  20. What makes this important to you right here, right now?
  21. What’s the core difference between now and what you are creating?

Whether corporate or an entrepreneurial team, creating a high performance may be a real goal.  How will you coach higher performance?  Please share questions that come to your mind.

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Feed Your Head: Coaching Blogs

AppetizerIf all you ever ate was chicken and rice, my guess is that you would get very bored with your diet very quickly.  The same is true for what you read. Pick the two or three main topics you want to more knowledge in and read those areas. In this, Part Four of the Feed Your Head series, you will hear about several outstanding coaching blogs.  The last piece in this series, Part 3 is about leadership blogs.  Part 2 is about those blogs that whet your appetite.  Part 1 is on finding and subscribing to blogs.

A Daring Adventure.  Tim Brownson’s blog, A Daring Adventure is the best coaching blog available in my mind.  He covers topics from goal setting to failure to what’s right and wrong with NLP and other approaches.  He is also very, very funny.  He has a blog, a newsletter, and several free e-books.  If you like what you find, you can also join his Google+ group.

School of Coaching Mastery.  Julie Stewart’s blog covers all of the important bases for coaches.  Julie is a Master Coach through the International Association of Coach.  Her goal is to support coaches in building a business and becoming great coaches as part of the process. She does a great job of incorporating current research on the coaching business and you will see references to the ICF, IAC, and Sherpa Coaching. Her thought pieces like the blog on Top Ten Reasons You Need a Coach are must read idea generators for new coaches.

ICF Blog.  The International Coach Federation has made a strong commitment to their blog and it is showing in the quality of the entries. http://coachfederation.org/blog has entries from top coaches from around the world who are writing about everything from transformational coaching to LinkedIn to develop strong core coaching habits.

IAC Voice. Most coaching blogs have a commitment to helping their readers see the difference between coaching and great coaching.  The ICF and the IAC do that by looking at coaching skills as pieces of core coaching competencies.  The International Association of Coaching Voice does an unparalleled job of clarifying, exploring, and developing the essence of a strong core competency.

The Success Alliance. Karyn Greenstreet has been working with Mastermind Groups since 1994.  She writes about Mastermind topics ranging from the big issues like getting started to the management ones like fees and confidentiality.  You’ll also read occasionally about how to deal with the crazies that can pop up. If you want to get started with a Mastermind, the Success Alliance is for you.

Coach the Life Coach. Tim Brownson has added coach training to his offerings.  As a result, he has added a second blog call Coach the Life Coach. While this blog is too new to evaluate, it holds great promise as a place for new coaches to understand what they need to do to find and keep clients.

Try them out. The worst you could do is decide they are not for you and then you can unsubscribe.  On the other hand, they may just change your life.

Part 5 is coming soon. Every meal needs a desert.  Some blogs are just for fun!

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Enrollment is Open for UCU Fall Launch Workshop

On September 17, Ultimate Coach University opens its door for the next cohort of coaches at its Launch Workshop.  Here are a few things past students have said:

Why should you consider coming? If any of these reasons for attending apply to you, please join us.

IMG_0613You want to see “coaching training” up close to see if it fits your vision. You’ve seen trainers and you’ve seen consultants, and something seems to be missing.  Maybe coaching is it.

Mike Least at Coach SchoolYou are a coach and want more formal training so you can play a bigger game.

You get pumped beyond belief by supporting others to play full-out.

You are looking for the pieces of getting your International Coach Federation credential.

You want to succeed. You want your team to succeed. And you know that with the right type of support you can improve your ability to inspire and hold others accountable for accomplishing significant achievements.

IMG_1021Let’s face it; we all have experienced coaching and have seen coaching in action.  Have you ever thought about understanding coaching without the pressure of results? That’s what the UCU Launch workshop in September offers. Three days to understand coaching.

  • Day One is about thinking like a coach.
  • Day Two is about acting like a coach.
  • Day Three is about being a coach.

When you attend the three day Launch from September 17-19 in Dallas, Texas, you receive:

  • 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

Cupid Shuffle 2Want to talk about how this might just be what you are looking for?  Email dana@ultimatecoachuniversity.com for more details or a personal conversation about how UCU may be for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feed Your Head: Read Blogs

beautiful woman holding rss logoYou are what you eat, and that’s especially true about your brain food.  While you’ve heard all of the reasons to read, think about what happens if you don’t stretch your brain.

You will never ever get any better than you are now.

You give up your right to be called “professional.”  By their very definition, professionals are always working to improve.  You have chosen to be an amateur.

You cut yourself off from other people.

One of the best ways you can feed your head is by reading and one of the easiest ways to access reading material is through blogs and newsletters.  How do you find them and how do you access them easily?  Here are a few ideas.

CaptureThe best way to find blogs that you like is to follow the breadcrumbs that others leave.  May be you’ll find a link in a Facebook post.  If you like what you find, subscribe.

I love to uncover lists.  Here are three recent ones that were very productive for leadership coaches.

Wouldn’t you like to find Hidden Gems? Maybe you want to check out socially shared blogs.  One of my favorite lists comes from Julie Stewart, who gives previews of the entries in her list of coaching blogs.

Once you find a blog you like, subscribe.  Honestly, every blog wants you to subscribe so you won’t have any problem figuring out how to do it.  There are three basic ways to subscribe.

Subscribe by email.  Nearly 90 percent of the Ultimate Coach University blog subscribers choose email.  That means whenever something new is posted, it shows up in your in box.  The biggest problem with this method is when you are buried in emails.  You delete the blog posts or simply unsubscribe in frustration.  How about something different?  Create an email folder called blogs and just shove them in that folder until you have a chance to read them.  Better yet, create an Outlook rule that sends the emails directly to that folder.

Subscribe by online RSS. This is the most popular way to subscribe.  Until recently, Google Reader was the app of choice.  When Google decided to end their reader, others have sprung up.   I started using the old reader.  It’s a lot like the Google reader and I think it is actually easier to navigate.  If you want to try this approach, Duct Tape Marketing has a great list of alternative blog readers.

Subscribe by Outlook RSS. If you use Outlook 2007 or newer, you have a blog reader built into your outlook.  It’s relatively easy to start using and the blogs will automatically go to separate folders. (The worst part about the whole process is understanding the Microsoft instructions.)

So go hunting!  Feed your head.  This is the first in a five part series about reading blogs.  Part 2 is on appetizers:  those great bits of head food you just can’t skip.

 

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Leadership Coaching

crowdsourcing leadership trainingI need your help.  Badly.  I want to develop some teaching tools on to help train leadership coaches in direct sales.  Direct sales leadership is not about sales and recruiting; it’s about growing others to become leaders in their own way.

It’s hard to train people in leadership coaching without being formulaic.  Don’t get me wrong: I coach people through corporate transitions as they move higher up the ladder. I know how to create and hold a coaching space for my clients.  I ask them questions like:

  • What does a leader do?
  • What do you do when you are wearing your “leader” title?
  • What separates your leadership from what you used to do?
  • How are you a leader at home?
  • What are the characteristics of a great leader you have?

I love asking questions like these and giving people a chance to think aloud about their answers.  And the coolest part is that every answer is right!

My problem is that I want to develop some training tools for leadership coaches.  To make it fun, I want to crowdsource some tools to teach leadership coaching.  You can help develop some teaching tools to help train leadership coaches in direct sales. Please hit reply and leave a comment.  Here are some things I want your insights on:

  • What would you like to know about training sales leaders?
  • What makes sales leaders different from other types of leaders?
  • Are there core values of a direct sales leader?
  • What are the best tools you have?
  • How do you know you are successfully training leadership?
  • Curious random thoughts about leadership that you would like answered.

As you can tell, I am wide open to hear your thoughts.  If you share, I’ll respond in kind.  As I develop some tools, I’ll be happy to share them with you.  For example, one common tool for values clarification is to sort through a list of terms and narrow it down to three or less core values.  Would a tool like that be useful to explore the core concepts of a leader? When it’s ready, you can try it out first and have full access to it.

Worth a comment?  Please leave one.

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Early Signs of a Coaching Culture

Early warning signsLanguage often foreshadows the development of a coaching culture.  Imagine yourself in the midst of a major transition.  You want your top leaders to show their independence.  In short, you want them to lead.  You decide that coaching is the way to make this happen.  And so you begin.  You set appointments; you support your team as they make goals and set plans.  You struggle to be as coach-like as possible.  How will you know it is working before you see results?  The answer is to listen to what your team is saying.

Coaching phrases will start to pop up in conversations. Unless you are listening for them, the language changes will be so soft that they are noticeable.  If you are listening, you’ll start to hear things like:

  • Wow!  I just had an AHA!
  • What do you want to do with it? (You’ll also start to hear more questions and fewer declarations.)

I’m familiar with one coach at a company who is fond of saying, “Would you like to unpack that idea” in her coaching calls.  At a recent meeting, I heard three different people use that phrase.

Accountability becomes a natural part of conversations. One key part of coaching is the management of progress and accountability. Think of the answers to questions like:

  • What do you want?
  • What will you do to get it?
  • When will you have it done?

In a simple sense, people who engage in coaching start to think in goal setting and goal making language.  Phrases around goal setting will show up regularly in everyday conversations.

Behaviors trickle out from your beginning.  Once you start coaching your team leaders, you will see them start to replicate the behavior with their direct reports.  A sure sign of a coaching culture is when the willingness to coach and to be coached become important expectations.  You may not be seeing tangible results from the coaching, but they are coming.

As you work to develop coaching as an important part of your team’s culture, you want to make sure and stay the course.  Coaching is not a quick fix.  I like the way Daniel Goleman describes it, “Our research found that the coaching style is used least often.  Many leaders told us they don’t have the time in this high-pressure economy for the slow and tedious work of teaching people and helping them grow. . . Leaders who ignore this style are passing up a powerful tool: its impact on climate and performance are markedly positive.”

Language clues may let you smile while you are waiting for results.  What do you think?  What other clues can you point to as an indication that coaching is taking hold?

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Sharpening the Saw

sharpening of saw bladesWhen I coach high performers, one of the hardest things for them to do is relax.  They are so tied up in performing that they can’t turn it off.  The result, after a while, is a loss of emotional balance and a weakened  work performance. When we talk about it in their coaching call, they start to identify the issue (“I need some time off”).

In Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the very last one is called the “Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal.”  More commonly, it is known as Sharpen the Saw.  The metaphor he uses to explain this is straightforward.  If you were cutting down a tree, it would be much easier with a sharp saw.

What we don’t often think about is the four dimensions of self-renewal.  On a holiday weekend, there is a perfect opportunity to experience a little of all four.

1. Spiritual Renewal.

In the U.S., we have an opportunity to reflect on gratitude.  What was your part of remembering gratitude on Memorial weekend?  What are you grateful for and how will you show it?  Can you spend a little extra time this week contemplating all that has gone right in your life so far this  year?  Who will listen as you share those perfect feelings?

2. Physical Renewal.

Food is a part of your holiday weekend.  Holidays are also some of the highest alcohol consumption days.  While the consumption binge is briefly satisfying, we also get an opportunity to catch a little extra sleep, relaxation time, and (for the food guilty) even some exercise.

3. Social/Emotional Renewal.

With time away from work, you have an opportunity to spend more time with our family and friends; you can renew familial bonds and friendships.  Sharing a meal is more than breaking bread.  You also share the bonds made and strengthened over the table.

4.  Mental Renewal.

When you take the time to slow down, you can spend a little time letting your minds wander in some new directions.  You catch up on the news, daydream, plan without pressure, and maybe even catch-up on some list making and office cleaning.

While these four areas all seem unique, they share a common trait:  you can only engage in renewal by being proactive.   When you are driven by the urgent, renewal doesn’t happen.

Ask yourself a simple question:  Do I really need a holiday to sharpen my saw?  Obviously, you don’t have to have a holiday.  You can establish a habit by building time in your schedule for renewal.  This doesn’t mean just thinking about it.  Unless you build the time in your schedule, you won’t set the time to break your old habits.  Ironically, the one that most people don’t take seriously is mental renewal.  We schedule time off; we have vacations.  What most people don’t do is schedule time for mental development.

  • When is that last time you took a class to improve your job performance?
  • What are you scheduling on a regular basis to develop new skills and attributes?
  • How often do you talk with outside business acquaintances without trying to sell them something?

With a three day weekend just finishing, you’ve found time to do a little sharpening.  I know I did. But don’t stop there.  What are you doing to sharpen your saw this week?  Month? Summer?

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Find the greatest research about Leadership and how become one of Them.

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