Showing posts with label Dennis E. Coates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dennis E. Coates. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Support Coaching Is Essential for New Habits

“Mastering any kind of skill takes time, effort and patience. Along the way, there’s much you can do to help someone stay on track.” 
– Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D. in Support Coaching

Do you know someone who’s trying to break a bad habit or form a new, positive one?

Think back to when you’ve attempted to make such a change. It’s not easy.

People will experience setbacks and failures as they work to adopt a new way that’s different from their familiar, comfortable pattern. Along the way, they’re likely to feel discouraged, frustrated, and disappointed with the lack of progress.

There’s a risk they’ll give up because the change sometimes feels too hard. They question if it’s worth the effort.

As a caring person, you’d probably like to help. But maybe you’re not sure what to do.

I can tell you from personal experience that offering advice, giving criticism or pointing out flaws – no matter how well-intentioned your motive – will not be welcomed or appreciated.

One of the best things you can do is become their “Support Coach.” And you don’t even have to get “certified” to serve in this role!

But you do have to know the kinds of things you can do that will be perceived as helpful...from their perspective.

A few surefire tips…

1 – Listen.

That’s right. Get the other person talking. What’s going well? What’s holding you back? 

Most people are absorbed in their own lives. Very few are interested in learning about the struggles of a fellow human being. You’ll stand out by just taking time to truly hear what’s going on in their head and heart.

2 – Encourage.

Offering encouragement starts with listening, and then builds on it. You affirm past successes and offer a balanced perspective. You ask what kind of support they’d like from you…and then you deliver.

3 – Guide learning from experience.

If we don’t learn from what happens to us, we’re likely to repeat the same mistakes going forward. Asking someone to think about what happened, why it happened that way, and what the consequences were draws out important insights that can be applied the next time.

There's additional value you add as a support coach, things that communicate you care about their progress as they’re working to make a change or deal with challenges.

My business partner of 24 years, Denny Coates, and I have created some new resources to show how you can become an effective support coach.

And they’re FREE!

Access 9 short videos and an ebook on Support Coaching.

Then apply what you learn.

The people who are trying so hard to make positive changes will appreciate the ways you show that you’re in their corner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Top Tip: Master ONE Skill at a Time

"Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential." - Bruce Lee, Chinese actor
I've been an over-achiever for as long as I can remember. I was never satisfied with average grades. I wanted to excel in every job I ever had, not just show up for work. And as an entrepreneur since 1982, if there was something new to learn that would help me or my business become stronger or more effective, I wanted to know about it and figure out how to implement it.

But if you're a success-oriented person, too, you know that you can get into trouble at times with this kind of approach. Do you ever get overwhelmed by the sheer number of skills you want to master or the behaviors you want to change? Maybe you have an unrealistic expectation about what you can reasonably learn in a given period of time. Or you try to do many things at once and don't end up doing well at any of them.

If any of this sounds familiar, you'll appreciate the tips that Denny Coates shares in this final segment of my interview series with him. You'll get encouragement for combining lifelong learning with a sensible approach that helps you achieve the results you're hoping for.

What's your approach to learning a new skill? If you find yourself trying to take on too many at once, you'll get better results if you pursue ONE at a time.

You can watch the seven others videos here…

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

#3 – Leader Skills Are NOT Enough

#4 - Leaders Learn Best ON THE JOB, Not in the Classroom 

#5 - Why Leadership Habits Take Time to Ingrain

#6 - Learn from Experience with 5 Magic Questions

#7 - Why Leader Skills Are Also Life Skills

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Leadership Skills Are Also LIFE Skills

“Almost everything in leadership comes back to relationships." - Mike Krzyzewski, American NCAA basketball coach
When you think of someone who is truly a great leader, chances are that individual is also an outstanding human being in every area of his or her life. That’s because the people skills required to be effective in leading others are also needed when you relate to those outside of work.

Whether or not your title places you in a formal leadership position, you need to get things done through others. That means you’re trying to get people to follow you at some point – whether it’s a colleague, client, significant other or child.

Your ability to listen, receive feedback, and resolve conflict, for example, come in handy whether you’re dealing with a coworker who’s upset or responding to a child who doesn’t want to carry out instructions you’ve just given.

In this 7th segment of my interview series with Denny Coates, you’ll learn how both people skills and personal strengths are used in every aspect of a person’s life.

Do you find it easy to transfer the skills you use at work over to your home life…and vice versa?

In case you missed the first six videos…

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

#3 – Leader Skills Are NOT Enough

#4 - Leaders Learn Best ON THE JOB, Not in the Classroom 

#5 - Why Leadership Habits Take Time to Ingrain

#6 - Learn from Experience with 5 Magic Questions

Monday, October 4, 2010

5 Questions That Help You Learn from Experience

Not long ago I was at an out-of-town conference that included an evening networking event. All of us in the room had 60 seconds to introduce ourselves and explain how our product or service could benefit the others. Even though I had given thought to what I would say, after I had my turn I wasn't pleased with what I communicated.

When I returned to my room, I was disappointed in myself. But then I remembered the five questions that Denny Coates describes in this interview. I wrote answers to each one. That process not only helped me analyze the experience. I was also able to let go of any negative feelings I had about what I did and maintain a positive attitude during the rest of the conference. If I hadn't made the effort to do that, I might have wasted valuable time replaying the scene and criticizing myself. That would have robbed me of the opportunity to focus on positive interactions with people during the rest of the event.

These are the most important questions you can ask yourself to learn from the positive and negative experiences you have in your life.

Next time you have an experience that doesn't turn out the way you'd hoped, take time to answer these five magic questions and you'll gain valuable insights that will help you in future situations.

In case you missed them, you can watch the first five videos in this interview series here:

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

#3 – Leader Skills Are NOT Enough

#4 - Leaders Learn Best ON THE JOB, Not in the Classroom 

#5 - Why Leadership Habits Take Time to Ingrain

Monday, September 27, 2010

Habits Take Time to Ingrain - for Leaders and Everyone Else

There's a reason why athletes spend hours and hours practicing to improve just one small element of their game. Whether they realize it or not, what they're doing is strengthening the neural pathways in their brain so the pattern becomes stronger and more natural.

It's the same process for any skill we're trying to learn or habit we're trying to change. And it takes a lot of concentration and time for the behavior to transition from feeling awkward to feeling comfortable.

In this fifth interview with my business partner Denny Coates, you'll discover why it takes time to ingrain a leadership skill...and think about how this explanation applies to something you're attempting to master.

Next time you need to learn something new, pay attention to the process you move through to become more comfortable performing the behavior.

In case you missed them, you can watch the first four videos here:

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

#3 – Leader Skills Are NOT Enough

#4 - Leaders Learn Best ON THE JOB, Not in the Classroom

Monday, September 20, 2010

How Do Leaders Best Learn New Skills?

When you’re trying to learn any new skill, there’s a big difference in reading a book or watching a video and actually using the skill in a real situation. Even if someone is coaching you or showing you exactly how a specific procedure should be done, the first time you try to do it, the action will feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Mastering leadership skills is no different. You can’t become proficient by sitting in a classroom, even if it’s taught by the best instructor on the planet. There’s a critical step that every person must follow in order to become really good at any skill.

In this fourth interview, my business partner Denny Coates explains what’s required for leaders to ingrain a skill so it becomes a natural behavior pattern.

What works best for you when you’re trying to learn a new skill, whether it’s on or off the job?

In case you missed the first three videos, you can watch them here:

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

#3 – Leader Skills Are NOT Enough

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Role of Personal Strengths in Leadership

Having strong people skills is absolutely critical to being an effective leader. You’ve got to know how to give and receive feedback, listen well, and resolve issues that arise between individuals on your team. But there’s another element that’s equally vital, and it’s not addressed in most training and development programs.

In this third video in the series of interviews I conducted with Denny Coates, you’ll discover what personal strengths are and why they matter. It’s not easy to exercise patience with others who aren’t like you, have perseverance when you encounter difficulties, or maintain focus when there are so many distractions in a single day. But the ability and desire to grow stronger as a person will be a key to your success in getting things done through others.

Think of the personal strengths you need to exercise in your work and personal life. If you could become stronger in just one area, which one would make the greatest positive difference for you and those who interact with you?
“All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me….You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." - Walt Disney, American movie producer 
“Change not the mass but change the fabric of your own soul and your own visions, and you change all.” - Vachel Lindsay, American poet

“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life – mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.” - Julius Erving, American professional basketball player

“Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet
In case you didn’t see the first two videos, you can watch them here:

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why People Often Don't Give Their Best Effort at Work

I once worked for a boss who brought out my strengths. I looked forward to going to work every day because he'd created an atmosphere that inspired my best efforts. At the time, I didn't analyze what was behind my strong motivation.

In this second segment from my interview with Denny Coates, I realized exactly what this manager did. Denny explains why most people do not typically contribute everything they're capable of in their jobs...and what leaders can do to engage their team members so they want to give 100% each and every day.

If you're in a position to influence others, it's a good idea to ask yourself on a regular basis, "What am I doing to inspire each person to give more than the minimum that's required?"

In case you missed my first interview with Denny, you can watch it here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

4 Key Actions An Effective Leader Must Take

There are many ways you can serve in a leadership position – whether you’re a business owner, a manager in a large company, on the board of a non-profit organization, a classroom teacher, a parent, or any other position where you need to get things done through others.

I’ve had my share of leadership roles over the years, and each had its own set of challenges. I’ve studied the topic of leadership extensively, and I’ve learned a lot from Denny Coates, one of my business partners at Performance Support Systems. In fact, today marks the 20-year anniversary of my first introduction to Denny. We met for breakfast on August 30, 1990, and ended up spending three hours in deep discussions about topics such as effective leadership and how the brain learns. We’ve continued having these creative exchanges ever since!

I recently sat down with Denny to capture his thoughts about what’s really involved in developing effective leadership skills.

In this first segment of this 8-part interview series, Denny shares the four key actions a leader must do to get people to perform at their best. As you watch, ask yourself if you use all four when you need to influence others to accomplish an important goal.

“I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.” - John D. Rockefeller, American business leader

“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.”
- Harvey Mackay, American author

“The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders—people who not only have an enormous amount of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.” - Jack Welch, American business leader