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Why Professional Coaching is a Smart Leadership Strategy

Professional Coaching

When it comes to professional coaching, too many of us think “leadership coaching” or “leadership training” is an oxymoron. 

“How can you coach a leader?” is the question we often get asked. “If they’re already leaders, they don’t need professional coaching.” 

Those two statements are both inaccurate. If you believe them, you’re operating under a competitive handicap. 

We’re going to assume you’re a Top Performer in your field. By that, we mean you run a company that’s #1 or #2 in its industry, and/or you are the best in your company at what you do. 

As you know, there’s a term in business called “benchmarking.” The practice of comparing your company’s performance to either industry standards or looking at best practices in other industries that you can adapt to yours. And, of course, comparing your individual performance to those same standards.

But business leaders have a blind spot. Probably acquired while getting our MBA degrees. Most business schools studied…businesses. Very few business schools look outside the corporate universe to give us case studies that we can apply to our jobs and our careers. 

“I’m Already a Leader; I Don’t Need Professional Coaching”

Most of us were involved in some kind of organized activity growing up – sports, music, theater, dance. No matter what we did, every activity had a coach (or two). Sometimes a volunteer dad or mom. Sometimes a local artist or semi-retired professional. They taught us the basics and stayed with us until we got the hang of it. 

Like training wheels on a bicycle, one day we realized we didn’t need them anymore, we put them away…and that’s the level at which we stayed. Somewhere on the spectrum between “I’m Not Embarrassed” (most amateurs, for example) all the way up to “Local Hero” (your annual golf club or YMCA champion).

But if you want to be the best at what you do, you need a coach right up until (and after) you become the G.O.A.T! Dustin Johnson has a coach—fellow Tour professional Rory McIlroy! Maroon 5 has a coach—Steve Memel. Every top performing artist in the world has a coach. Tennis star Naomi Osaka has a coach—Wim Fissette. And when they interviewed him after Naomi’s 2021 Australian Open victory, he articulated exactly what Mastery Under Pressure is all about: 

“When her attitude is good, her mind is very clear what she needs to do, what she wants to do and then she plays well.”

What’s Your Leadership Style?

In a February 2020 blog posting on HubSpot, Braden Becker lists eight common leadership styles: 

  • Democratic
  • Autocratic
  • Laissez-Faire
  • Strategic
  • Transformational
  • Transactional
  • Coaching
  • Bureaucratic

What almost everyone forgets is that in order to be a leader you need people to lead. Whatever you call them:

Employees, Teammates, Associates, Peers, Co-Workers, Partners, Staff, Colleagues or Collaborators—how well you’re able to engage with them will determine your success or failure as a leader.  Being a leader automatically implies you have a relationship with the people around you. And suddenly, your skills as a leader require you also to have skills connecting with and managing other human beings.

A friend of ours was president of a global advertising agency. People who worked for him loved him, respected him, and were in awe of his mind and his knowledge of marketing. But one of his direct reports also knew his weak spot:

“[He’s] like the drum major of a college band at the halftime show. He comes out first or bursts out of the band wearing that beautiful fur hat and pumping his baton in time to the music. Then he ups his gait and starts striding down the field two to three yards at a time. But he forgets to look back to see if the band is following.”

What good is being a leader if you don’t engage your followers? 

Professional Coaching is a Smart Leadership Strategy

If you want to get to the top of your game and stay there, you should add a coach to your organization or your toolbox. A professional coach is not a “therapist.” Not a “trainer.” Not someone with a “method.” Rather, an individual or organization with the ability to understand what you’re looking to achieve and can help you get there. 

It’s what Naomi Osaka’s coach talked about: “When her attitude is good, her mind is very clear what she needs to do, what she wants to do, and then she plays well.” All of those attributes are learned skills. That’s what we mean by benchmarking athletes. The great ones know how to let anything that’s bothering them go…in the moment. 

Do you have a good attitude when things get tense at work?

Do you know how to keep your mind clear and focused on what you need to do at all times? Do you keep your eye on your goals and not get distracted? 

A great professional or leadership coach should focus on a top performer’s unique talents and abilities. They should be able to assess and evaluate what it is that makes the person great. But they should also be able to evaluate the blind spots. To see where that performer’s skills get in the way of being even more successful. If you get that kind of coaching, well, who knows how far you and your company could go?

Or as we like to say, “Make your best, better.”

________

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Best Practices Entrepreneurship Human Resources Management Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

“Seven Quick And Easy Tips To Boost Your Negotiations” – Negotiation Insight

“Never assume because you have little that you can’t have less.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (click to Tweet)   Click here to get the book!

 

“Seven Quick And Easy Tips To Boost Your Negotiations”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

The first negotiator asked, “To what depths does one have to explore before they realize their deepest point is yet to come?” That’s when the negotiation took a turn towards the cliffs of negotiation hell. As it plunged, the second negotiator said, “If you think I’m going to purgatory with you, you’d better think again.” With that, the two negotiators decided to conclude the negotiation. The thought by both was, there’s nothing to gain by continuing.

How many times have your negotiations gone wrong? Some, you may not have noticed until afterward, you realized you’d had foreboding sensations. There are ways to boost your negotiation efforts. The following are seven quick and easy ways to accomplish that.

Click here to discover the seven tips. 

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

 

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

 

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight,” click here https://themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

 

 

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Best Practices Entrepreneurship Health and Wellness Management Skills Women In Business

Write Your Professional Goals Into Reality

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. When New Year’s Day arrived, I didn’t dream of achieving unrealistic changes to habits and behaviors. Instead, I thought through realistic goals. Then I snuggled up with a hot cup of coffee and began writing them down. At that point, something shifted.

Toward the end of 2019, as I thought through what I wanted for the new year, I never took the time to write down any of my goals. I brainstormed what I wanted to achieve and moved on with my day. Those goals didn’t seem real until New Year’s Day when I actually wrote them down. It was like signing a contract and agreeing to follow through on my promises. The commitment I made was undeniable since it was there in black and white.

When you have big dreams and goals, do you write them down, or do you only think about them? The difference may surprise you. One study by Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor of psychology, revealed participants were twice as likely to achieve their goals when they regularly wrote them down.

Science discovered that just thinking of our goals only enlists the help of our right brain — our creative centers. It is when we put pen to paper that we also engage our left-brain logic centers. By using our entire brain in the goal-setting process, we significantly increase the likelihood of attainability. As we repeatedly write down goals, our mind is reminded of their importance and begins to respond with subconscious day-to-day behavioral changes.

If you desire more influence, credibility, and opportunity in the workplace, I invite you to join me in this four-step, goal-achieving challenge:

1. Identify Where You Are Versus Where You Want To Be

Grab a piece of paper and settle into a quiet place of thought and reflection. Consider what professional success looks like. Perhaps you want a promotion or raise. Maybe you want more respect and authority with peer teams, coworkers, and colleagues. Or, perhaps you want your ideas to be heard and acted upon with enthusiasm and interest. Write down whatever your goal may be.

Next, consider the quality traits you believe necessary to achieve those goals. Would completing your high-profile project early lead to a promotion? Or, would more engaging meetings with colleagues lead to greater ideas and consistent follow-through? Write down every characteristic you believe is necessary to achieve your goal.

2. Define Your Current Status

Once you’ve defined and documented what you want professionally this year, reflect on what it will take to bridge the gap. This will help you identify the groundwork needed to guarantee success. For example, if you are a sales professional and want to earn a bigger paycheck, you need to close more deals. To close more deals, you need to convince more prospects to buy. To do this, you need more influence within the conversations and relationships you create to build a better rapport, deeper trust and greater credibility.

3. Engage A Support Team

Choose someone you trust and enlist their help to achieve your goals. Ask for their honest feedback and perspective about what you need to improve. Establish a routine appointment to discuss your progress and ongoing commitment to change. Research shows that while meeting with an accountability partner can increase your chance of success by up to 65%, routine meetings increase your chances of success by up to 95%. Make a weekly appointment with your accountability partner and commit to bringing your documented list of goals. Write down weekly action items and set a deadline or commitment. Discuss what you’ve done to implement their feedback and any progress toward your goals.

4. Realize Reflection Creates Reality

Choose a regular time each day to review your goals. Review what you wish to achieve and the steps necessary to get there. Read the notes provided by your accountability partner and write down the action items needed to stay on course that day. Personally commit to remaining focused on what you wish to achieve.

Don’t just dream of goals this year, but instead strive for success by engaging all aspects of your mind and body. Write down your goals. Develop a plan of action. Get feedback, enlist help and continually reflect on the next course of action. Increase your chances of success by grabbing a pen and paper.

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