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Five Tips on How to Coach Employees

Five Tips on How to Coach Employees

So, you have been coaching employees within your business for quite some time now. Your employees’ lives have drastically improved and they have achieved more than what they thought possible before. Nonetheless, you feel like you have reached your peak as a coach; you have given them your best work and all the techniques you know, and have taken them as far as you can take them. However, now you’ve run out of tricks up your sleeve, or tools in your toolbox, and you need a kick in the pants to take your coaching career and your coachees’ lives to a whole new level. Luckily, we’re revealing five tips on how to get a grip on coaching for greater effectiveness so that your employees or coachees will be challenged to be their absolute best.

We have all been there…we have all reached a point where we are stagnant in our careers, and we want to push further. When we get complacent in our coaching, we become too comfortable with the coaching techniques and tools we use and share with our clients. Yet, we know deep down inside we need to introduce some new ones for your own skill development. Fundamentally you know you need to be continuously monitoring your work to stay current and ahead of the marketplace in order to enhance your personal coaching brand and increase the value of your coaching sessions.

Let’s be honest. The Internet has assured us that there are no secrets. Anyone can get anything, anytime, anywhere, and for free. Essentially, everyone knows what you know. Therefore, great coaches understand this ideology and constantly strive to accelerate their learning. As a coach, you must be committed to life-long learning, honest personal and professional evaluation, and continuous self-improvement.

With that in mind, here are five tips on how to coach employees and the techniques to use during your coaching sessions to step up your game.

1) Focus on the word “Instead”

Have you ever had a coachee that is faced with a problem, but seems lost as to where they actually want to go? If this is the case, there is a simple technique you can use with them when they lose sight of their goal. It can help them get to where they want to go if they aren’t quite sure where that is.

The coaching technique I have found that works well is to use the word “instead”. For instance when your coachee is faced with a big problem…ask them to focus on the following:

  • What do you want to be doing, INSTEAD of what you are doing now?
  • What do you want to be thinking, INSTEAD of what you are thinking now?
  • What do you want to be feeling, INSTEAD of what you are feeling now?
  • What do you want to be saying, INSTEAD of what you are saying now?

Once they determine what they want to do, think, feel and say, you will be surprised at how quickly your coachee can come up with alternative solutions to do INSTEAD of what they are currently doing.

2) 10,000 Hours to Master Your Craft

In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell, says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  To motivate your coachee to step up their game, ask them to think about their goal, and work out how many hours they have put into achieving it. Then have them think about how they can increase these hours, and what they can do to reach their goal.

Asking your coachee to break their goal up into the number of hours they have dedicated to will help them figure out a tactical plan on what they need to do to achieve it, and when. Ask them how will they achieve their goal? Do they need support from anyone else? What resources do they need? If any problems come up then what can they do to overcome this?

Focusing on the fact that everyone needs to put in 10,000 hours to master their craft will help your coachee to push themself beyond what they think they can do. This will help them when they need the extra mental energy to push.

Challenge your coachee to push themselves to take one step further to reach their goals, even when they feel they can’t do anymore.

3) Help Them Learn From Their Mistakes

A technique on coaching and developing employees I find to be helpful for my clients is to encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Unfortunately in our society, making mistakes is often frowned upon. However, the purpose of coaching employees is to develop their careers and build meaningful relationships. Mistakes are bound to happen, therefore, the key is for your coachee to learn from their mistakes.

As their coach it is your job to encourage them to try new things…and help them realize that making mistakes should not be so feared or considered taboo. Whatever the past mistakes your coachee feels they have made, as their coach, you need to help them reframe it and look at them as learning opportunities. They need to look back and realize that they made a choice based on the knowledge and experience they had at that particular time, and that’s okay.

If they were faced with making that choice again today, they would make a more informed decision. As a journaling exercise, have your coachee share their learning lessons, and knowing now what they do, have them share how they would make different decisions currently. With their knowledge, ask them what they would do differently today based on what they learned from their mistakes.

4) Set Manageable Goals

To be a better coach, set manageable goals for your employees. Ask your coachee to set a goal that is short and to the point. In the book, Your Brain at Work, author David Rock states, “A goal that is three to seven words is fantastic. If you can’t remember something, it doesn’t live in your world. It’s got to be embedded in your brain.”

Ask your coachee to come up with goals that are expressed positively rather than pessimistically. For instance, “Relax More” versus “Be Less Anxious.” Then ask your coachee to draw out a chart and write down all of the items they want to achieve in one column. In the next seven columns beside each goal ask them to document what they did each day that week to focus on their goal.

By the end of the week, your coachee will have a record of how their week went. Did their actions line up with what they valued or wanted? If not, then why not? Where did their week break down? What areas need their attention?

This is a clear tool and technique for your coachee to see how their actions are lining up with their goals.

5) What Would My Hero Do?

We have all had someone we look up to. It could be a great artist, philanthropist, a fictional hero from the movies or a comic book, or even a mentor or family member.

They embody who you want to be and have something you want. Now ask your coachee what your hero would do to get what they want.

Ultimately your hero is an ideal version of you…a better version of yourself. They will tap into what this third person would do and realize their true potential.  Your coachee will then use the strength, imagination, and qualities that they admire from their hero to get them closer to their own goals.

So there you have it – five coaching points on how to coach employees to help you stay on top of your game. Whether you are a manager or a coach, you need to be constantly finding new techniques that will help you get the best out of your coachee.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If these five coaching tips above are not enough to help you and your coachee maximize your full potential, connect with us for more tips and programs on how to reach your coaching goals.

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How to Build Quality Relationships

How to Build Quality Relationships

In the corporate world, it’s easy to see the importance of relationships, and the benefits they can bring to your business. Mike Fishbein, in his book, Stop Networking!: Building Relationships, Meeting New People and Connecting with Authenticity, highlights the importance of truly connecting with others on a deeper level versus the superficial niceties we are expected to do at networking events. “Both consciously and subconsciously, people are motivated to do business with people they know, like, and trust.” This means you can’t just try to develop a relationship with someone because you want/need something from them. There needs to be a benefit to both parties. Not to mention, people know when you are trying to befriend them for ulterior motives. This is where emotional intelligence comes in…we need to strengthen our interpersonal skills and develop mutually satisfying relationships in business.

Dale Carnegie, in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, states, “If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.” This means we need to learn to be more supportive. Being socially responsible means caring about others and contributing to the community. That community may be the community in which they live, the organization in which they work, or the people in which they lead. In essence, it means giving back.

On a personal level, we all know how much high-quality relationships matter. Brandon Burchard, in his e-book, Transformation Truths, states, “Much of the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships. Healthy relationships are those that support your well-being and growth.” Having strong connections with others satisfy a basic human need for us to be close to and supported by others. Many studies show, we are happier, healthier, and can even live longer when we have solid relationships in our lives. Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, who also happened to be the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree said it best, “walking alone in the dark with a friend is better than walking alone in the light.”

So, knowing all of this, why is taking time to strengthen our relationships put on hold so often? Many people have difficulties networking & building professional and/or personal relationships.  For some people, the ability to build strong connections comes naturally, for others it is a challenge.

Here are four simple tips to deepen your relationships:

1. Schedule It

Often we get so caught up in the daily activities that we don’t stop to take time to strengthen our relationships. It’s important to schedule time for friends, whether it is a week in advance, or a month.  Make sure you have a specific date picked out to spend time together. By actually scheduling a specific date instead of saying something like, “let’s hang out next week sometime” will dramatically increase the chances that it will happen.  Tony Robbins states,  “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”  When you actually schedule something in your life, you are making it a priority in your life.

2. Disconnect to Connect

With technology limiting our face-to-face interaction, building strong relationships is more valuable and more challenging than ever before.  When you are out with others, be it business or pleasure, unplug and listen!  Today, the majority of our communications are filtered through virtual media devices.  Multitasking is commonplace. When you put your phone down and listen, you will improve your listening skills and become a better friend or business partner. The quality of time you are spending will improve, and it will give your brain the much-needed break from the next item on your to-do list.

3. Don’t Be Judgemental

As we get older, we tend to settle into our daily routine and can start to judge others who may do things differently than us. It’s important to be open-minded and realize that different people do different things. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors stated it best, “A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.” Instead of judging your relationships, try instead to understand the person. Use your emotional intelligence and empathy skills, and try to put yourself in their shoes. This open-mindedness could create an opportunity to face a problem in your life with a different perspective, open up the potential of a business idea, or make you more effective at communicating with that challenging team member.

4. Stay Connected

Making time is important, but staying connected when you are not physically together is just as important.  Like most of us, our schedule fills up quickly, the to-do list is never-ending, and you forget to schedule time for yourself, let alone your friends. Your friends, peers, or subordinates will appreciate you checking in, even if you don’t have time to get that face-to-face time scheduled.

Follow these four simple tips and you will be one step closer to building stronger friendships!

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help building quality relationships in your organization, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

Working with different groups of people is unenviable. Whether it is in the workplace or the classroom, at some point you will have to work with a team to pursue a common outcome.

When you are in a group you are faced with differences in opinions, beliefs, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Introducing emotional intelligence (EI) into a group setting will allow the whole team to work together with minimal clashing.

When working in teams, the first thing you should do is observe the team and see if there are any visible signs of EI already taking place.

What to look for:

  • When a person is talking, are others paying attention?
  • Is each person’s opinions and ideas being heard?
  • If someone has a different opinion, does everyone acknowledge it and try to understand it?
  • Is there a sense of optimism?
  • Is the group focused on seeking solutions?
  • Does everyone respectfully speak their mind and feel comfortable doing so?

Benefits of an emotionally intelligent team:

  • It allows for the group to have open and honest conversations
  • You gain respect for others that may have different opinions
  • Individuals gain more confidence
  • Grows trust in one another
  • Productivity improves
  • Increases efficiency

Implementing emotional intelligence into a team:

When introducing a more EI forward group dynamic, it is important to start an open conversation. If there isn’t a clear leader in the group, that is ok, you can be the one to take on this role. A leader’s guide to solving challenges with emotional intelligence starts with building unity. In the first meeting start a conversation that allows everyone to speak on what their ideal result of the project is. Some questions to get the conversation flowing are as followed:

  • Why is the group working together?
  • What is the common outcome needed by us working together?
  • What are everyone’s ideas?
  • What role is everyone comfortable with having?
  • Are there certain things you don’t want to do?

Remember, when someone is speaking, active listening is key. If you are initiating the conversation, facilitate the discussion to ensure everyone is listening and accepting differing opinions.

The next thing you should be doing is having regular check-ins with the team.  A check-in is a great tool to use to make sure everyone is on the same page. If someone is unhappy with the direction the team is going, everyone needs to listen and understand why he or she feels that way, so the team can find a resolution together.

Now that the team is communicating and using active listening, you need to create opportunities for continued bonding. A great team is only as strong as the connection between all team members and comradery can happen both inside and outside of the workplace. When team members gather outside of work, it makes the team more cohesive. Keep in mind if you are not working, don’t talk about it!

Emotional intelligence and team effectiveness go hand-in-hand. Working in a team setting can be challenging at times, but with the help of emotional intelligence, individuals are able to feel a sense of group identity and achieve results more efficiently.

If you are interested in a free emotional intelligence team activity to help build trust and develop intimate and authentic connections quickly click here.

To learn more about leading with emotional intelligence and how it impacts your team, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help building an emotionally intelligent team, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Communication in Groups & Teams

Communication in Groups & Teams

There is no doubt the importance of teams. As our jobs and skills become even more specialized, it often becomes necessary for people from different disciplines to work together. Companies are commonly doing multiple projects, and people can be a part of multiple teams. This focus on group work and social learning has even been on the rise in the education system, beginning in elementary school, continuing to post-secondary and beyond.

It seems the way the trends are going that the future of business is going to involve more teams and more projects. Sometimes when looking at the makeup of the group or team you’re on, you may find yourself wondering “How can such a disparate mix of people work together?”, but you may be surprised. The goal of effective workplace communication is to bridge the gap between a diverse range of workers. As long as everyone remains open-minded and focuses on the overarching vision while balancing the group dynamics, there is no telling where the group can go.

Groups vs Teams

The words “group” and “team” are often used interchangeably, but I think there is an important semantic difference that makes them distinct from each other. A group can consist of any number of people doing any number of things. Groups are considered teams only when a group of people is working towards a common goal or cause. There’s a reason why they are called sports teams and not sports groups. Although a team is also a group of people, a group of people isn’t necessarily a team.

What is at the core of effective communication and positive group dynamics? The answer: Face-to-face interaction. Miscommunication is a very real threat to your group, and personal interaction with all the group members present is key to avoiding this. Just think about how easily a message can change and distort depending on how many people it is passed on through to the target receiver. Or how easily text messages or emails can be misconstrued. Things that are readily apparent when talking to someone, such as humour or sarcasm, can turn into potential landmines when written.

Personal interaction is imperative to a successful team. Groups by nature are social, so it makes sense that if you take away that element, you are risking the social bonds of your group, which often manifest as misunderstandings that lead to countless hours of frustration. Remember how they say that human communication consists of 93% body language and other nonverbal cues?

There is also the issue of response time, as some people can take forever to respond to an email or text. With face-to-face meetings, this isn’t an issue as you can talk to people directly.

Introverts and Extroverts

Personality is another issue that comes into play during group work. Some people are just naturally outspoken, while some prefer to listen quietly. To best use the skills of all your people, you need to make sure that everyone has a chance to talk, and everyone has a chance to listen. But you also need to be aware of and respect personal comfort levels as well.

Doing a quick self-evaluation can also reap many benefits. It is important to know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and values. Ask yourself questions such as:

“What kind of personality do I have?”

“What are my values?”

“How do I react to situations of stress or strong emotions?”

These will help give you a better idea of what kind of communicator you are, and your likely, or preferred, role in the group.

Working in a team can be exhausting, but with the power of communication in business, it can be extremely rewarding as well. There are things that we can accomplish when we work together that we’d never have been able to do individually. That’s why we work together. No matter who’s on your team, or what you’re working on, you should look at your group members and their individual personalities and skills, and strive to cooperate with each other to maximize what each and every one of you bring to the table.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help mastering the elements of clear communication within your team, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

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