16 Feb

Successful businesses are flexible businesses

Many people can think ahead three, five or maybe even ten years, and talk about what they hope their life will look like at that point. Some will also have a specific business or personal long term goal. Even fewer though, will have a plan as to how they will achieve those goals.

Why does this occur? Why do people become less confident with their action plans? It is as if they have put all their eggs into one basket and then start praying that they don’t drop or lose the basket. Why do so many people follow this high-risk strategy?

The challenge lies in the action planning. There is never just one way of achieving something. People become set in their ways of how they can achieve their long term goals that they put on their blinkers, dig in their heels and convince themselves that the one plan they have come up with is the only way to achieve their end goal.

Picture yourself taking  a road trip to your favourite beach holiday home. On the way you encounter road works and unfortunately a detour. It will add 30 minutes  to your trip, but you will still get to the holiday house, just a bit later than expected.

This above example is the reality of the situation and what actually happens with goal setting and planning the way forward. The holiday home is your end goal and the road route is your plan. Sometimes there will be detours and roadblocks in the road, but there will always be an alternative route. You just have to be open to the idea of looking for alternatives and accepting that deviations do occur.

The slippery slope to becoming unsuccessful in achieving the end goal starts when people refuse to see alternatives. They get stuck at the road block and instead of following the detour route they wait, expecting the roadblock to magically disappear so they can continue on the set route.

By becoming so set in your ways and believing in only one route you can prevent yourself from ever achieving your goal. That’s why people often give up quickly. The first plan didn’t work, so they convince themselves that they have failed and the long term goal goes back to being a beautiful dream of something they would like to have, but deep down feel they will never achieve.

Reviewing different plans or routes  is not a sign of failure, it is a sign of being comfortable with change and being open to alternative thinking. Those are the traits of successful people. Its not just about the plan.

Need professional coaching assistance? Contact Nicole nicole@tikumu.co.nz

04 Nov

3 Coaching myths, busted!

Over the years I have heard some rather interesting interpretations of what some people think coaching is and who would require the services of a coach.

My favourite one is, “You only need a coach if you are an under-performer”. This kind of statement does give coaching a bit of a bad reputation and probably prevents a lot of people from seeking out a coach, when they actually really need one, as they don’t want to be labelled as an under-performer. Coaching is not for the “underperforming”, “lazy” “unproductive” team members. It is for anyone who believes that they need to move forward in their work or personal lives. People who want to change the status quo, but just need some assistance. If they happen to be under-performers then so be it. The most important character trait about the person seeking coaching is not about how productive or unproductive they are, but that they want to change, be coached and will voluntarily hold themselves accountable throughout the coaching engagement.

On the flip side the second myth I often hear is this, “If you are performing well, you don’t need a coach” 

Here’s some food for thought. If high performers don’t need coaches, then why do people such as Sir Richard Branson, the late Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey have coaches?

These  high performing individuals are the smart ones. They know that you are never always running on optimal speed. That there is always room for improvement. They harness the power of coaching to catapult themselves forward in order to achieve their goals.

The third coaching myth is as follows. “If you are trained as a coach, or have acquired coaching skills  you cannot  take disciplinary action against your employees?”

Many people, especially business owners believe that if you start coaching your employees that you somehow lose the ability or right to take disciplinary action against your employees if it is required. That somehow if you did take disciplinary action you would fail as a manager. Well, I can assure you that that is definitely incorrect. As a manager or business owner you may take a different approach to your employees, due to your new coaching skills, however you are still their manager and it would be to your business detriment if you didn’t take corrective action if and when required.

Remember as a business owner you wear different hats. Some days you are a mentor or a coach, a cheerleader, a negotiator or even a consoler. Just because you up-skill yourself with certain coaching competencies it doesn’t mean you have lost the ability to take on other essential roles within your business.

If you are finding that there is a conflict of interest when coaching your own employees, perhaps think about bringing in an external coach.

Probably the best investment you could make in your team members is to offer them the services of a coach. Allow them to:

  • Create focused goals and action plans
  • Build confidence in themselves
  • Work through their own personal goals
  • Develop and grow within their position.

What is your people plan? How are you or your team members moving forward?

Need assistance? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz

10 Jun

Begin with the end in mind

Begin with the end in mind – One of my favourite habits from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

At the beginning of any goal-setting process it is suggested to start with what you envisage the end result to look like. Begin your process with the end result in mind. Put your dreamer’s hat on and think about the following… Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel in that space?  What is your life like, your routines, your focuses and what is important to you? From creating this detailed picture you will be able to start identifying what you want and what you don’t want. Having boundaries in place from the beginning, you are able to start drafting your action plans.

This all seems quite simple and not too difficult to follow. Then life happens! We get side-tracked by irrelevant, unimportant issues which can hijack our attention and our time. We become overwhelmed with all this stuff that we feel obliged to do, and we lose sight of what we want. So how can we stay on track?

The following points may assist you with staying on course.

1) Make it part of your weekly routine to check your goals. By constantly reflecting on your goals it will allow for them to become part of your front-of-mind awareness and everyday focus.

Don’t fail yourself and your goals by only spending time in the beginning on creating them and their action plans. Don’t shelve your goals and plans to only review them in 6 months time. If you only do 6-monthly and yearly goal or strategic reviews on your business you will find yourself in reactive mode, as opposed to proactive mode.

2) When you are completing your weekly goal review, remind yourself why you wanted to achieve that goal in the first place. This reminder helps to re-motivate and remind you of your vision.

3) Do your monthly/weekly action plans need to be broken down into smaller more manageable actions? Are you just not getting to everything that is on your to-do list? Remember there is a fine line between procrastination and overworking yourself. Work out how many actions and activities you can productively manage over a week or month and make that your benchmark.

4) It’s okay to rework your plans. Remember that nothing is set in stone and by adapting and reworking your plans you keep your vision alive. Being stuck on how your goals must be achieved and refusing to change your action plans will only cause frustration.

Its the end goal that’s important, not the plans on how to get there. If in doubt, always go back to the end.

14 Apr

Less is more

“I wish there were more hours in the day!” I’ve heard this expression too many times before and sadly even from my own mouth. “ If I just had a few more hours, I could complete so much more!”. 
 
Of course if we were granted these extra hours, we would excitedly fill them up with more appointments, projects and stuff and then when we couldn’t squeeze anymore engagements into the already crammed and overflowing diary we would quickly turn around, bat our eyelids and with open hands ask for more time, please. Unequivocally we are our own worst enemies and end up back were we started, time-poor.
 We somehow believe that the more we do and the busier we are, the better, more successful and productive we will become. Sadly, this delusion doesn’t make us more productive, it just makes us more stressed, tired and unfocused. This coming from someone who has bought the original T-shirt and seen the movie, multiple times on the subject.
I believe there are a couple of lessons to learn here. So for all the busy, overextended and overcommitted people out there, If you only had three hours in your working day how would you spend them?
Stop, put on the brakes.
Before you start overloading your precious time with meetings, take a step back and ask yourself these questions:
1) What are your long term goals? Have these long term goals been broken down into manageable medium and short term goals?
If you had to rack your brain and rummage around to look for your notes on your goals, or you’ve just been to busy to even define them, then I’d suggest that you first spend some time reminding yourself what you ultimately want to achieve.
2) Once you have a handle on your goals, review your to-do list. Do the tasks on your to-do list align themselves to your goals?
Those irrelevant items that have somehow snuck onto your to-do list, why are they there? Just remember, being busy isn’t going to win you any awards. It’s about the quality of those tasks, not the quantity of tasks.
3) Be ruthless with your to-do list. If the tasks, projects, appointments etc. do not drive your goals, then remove them from your list.
4) Now that you have reduced your list, select a maximum of 3 items. These tasks should be fundamental to achieving your business goals. These are the tasks you want to work on first. The other tasks can be scheduled after these critical ones. Not everything is important and urgent. By being objective your to-do list can be streamlined significantly.
By reducing our time, it forces us to think about how relevant the tasks that we perform are. Don’t fall into the trap of asking for more time, change your mindset and rather ask yourself. “Which tasks are irrelevant and if removed from my to-do list will give me more time in my day?”
 Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.
16 Feb

The dirty little secret of goal setting

The need for instant gratification, I believe has become our worst enemy in the goal setting department. Consciously or subconsciously,  we tend to expect for change to take place overnight and when it doesn’t we become desponded and convince ourselves that we failed.

Once the goal has become clear in our minds and the decision to change has been made, we pop on our rose-tinted sunglasses and fall in love with the goal and the idea of success. We however tend to forget about what actually needs to happen after the goal-setting process. We fail to do a reality check and put things into perspective. We often under-estimate how hard we actually need to work in order to achieve the goal. This is where the love-hate relationship with our goals starts.

The message is not to not dream big and have goals. Please do and dream as big as you can. As Jim Collins says, have big, hairy, audacious goals. However, if you want to be successful you need to think and be realistic about how you to want to achieve your goals. Here are a few thoughts to consider when planning for your next goal.

  1. How does this goal fit into your current life? Yes, most of us  have extremely busy,  stressful lives. The reality of living in today’s world. So if you want to achieve something, how will it fit into your current situation and are you willing to give something up in order to make this goal part of your life?
  2. What is your action plan and how will you measure your achievements? A goal is wonderful to have, but if there is no action plan, their will be no success.
  3. What is your timeframe? We unfortunately give ourselves very little time or should I say we allocate a very unrealistic time frame to the actual “doing” part of achieving the desired goal. Think twice about your time frame to achieve, not just the deadline.
  4. What is your plan B? If your initial action plan fails, what is your fall back plan?  If you are hell-bent on only following one plan, one strategy, then what happens to your motivational levels and drive if it doesn’t go according to plan? Being able to review the failure, adjust to the situation and shift course will not only benefit you, but it teaches you to learn from your mistakes and to be open to change, new ideas and opportunities, which you may not have seen or considered before.
  5. How well do you deal with failure? How resilient are you? This is not about shifting course and moving to plan B. This is about how quickly you can snap out of the  “failure feeling”. None of us like to fail, but the reality is that we all fail at some point in our lives. So, what steps will you put in place to deal with bouncing back to continue pursuing your goal?

The reality of the situation is that you have to accept the good, the bad and the ugly of goal setting. Build reality checks into your action plans and walk into your goal’s action plans with your eyes wide open.

16 Mar

Taking control of your internal saboteur

Sometimes when we embark on something new in our lives, such as a new career, moving cities or working towards a promotion, a little voice appears inside our heads, which can be extremely chatty and creatively cruel at times.

And unfortunately, to our own detriment, we sometimes listen to this voice and succumb to the negative feelings it conjures up. This voice is our internal saboteur and it can be extremely debilitating. Preventing us from changing our current situations. Preventing us from being something better. Boldly telling us that we are no good, not clever enough or completely undeserving of happiness and success.

How can we remove this little voice and its crippling agenda ? How can we move past the feelings of unknown and doubt it creates?

Well, the most powerful tool is to simply face your internal saboteur head on. By not cowering and hiding away when it starts its negative speak. First off, give this little voice a name. Become aware of its presences when it gets chatty and start recognising those times when it starts to dominate your thoughts. For example, it could appear when you  have to speak in front of a large group of people, and tells you that you are a poor public speaker. Or it appears when you are in a conflict situation and tells you that you are incompetent, useless at confrontation and less important than the other party.

Once you have labeled your internal saboteur and recognised its favourite topics you can start dealing with it. These topics are what you can call limiting beliefs. I think it, so therefore I am it. The more you entertain those limiting beliefs the stronger your saboteur becomes.

An easy exercise that you can do is to firstly challenge the limiting belief. Start to actively question where the limiting belief came from? Is this belief in fact true? Where is the proof?

Then begin to change the negative thought into a positive one. Honestly recognise your weakness and come up with an action plan to improve it. This is were you start taking the control back. At this moment the saboteur has had the wind blown out of them.

So you might be a poor public speaker. So what can you do to improve it? Take charge of your saboteur and turn the situation into something productive. You might need to attend a public speaking class, or ensure that you try to speak only to smaller groups. The options are endless. Once you stop letting the little voice take over, you are able to see things clearly and you can proactively change your situation.

If your saboteur is preventing you from achieving in your life, don’t you think its about time to take control?

Name it, question it, recognise it, create an action plan, and move on!