27 Sep

Why you need to prioritise your goals

A few years ago I wanted to shed a few kilos, and get fit for a cycling holiday. Piece of pie I thought. I would be incredibly disciplined, focus on both goals and pull this off in no time. Unfortunately, reality hit when my dietician at the time informed me that I should be prioritising. Lose weight or get fit, which one would I like to achieve first?

This principle can be applied to business too. Think about your main business goals. Have you prioritized them or are you trying to provide equal focus and attention on all of them at the same time?

The problem with not prioritising is that there is a risk of objectives clashing with each other. This could result in time being wasted in decision making, internal conflict, employees getting frustrated or confused and you land up not achieving anything.

Say you have selected four or five main objectives for the year, and increasing sales and product innovation are two of them. Before drawing up your action plans you should confirm how your resources will be split up to achieve these objectives. You likely have funding constraints and therefore resources must be allocated strategically. So should you focus on increasing your sales first, or will you place the focus on research and development for product innovation?

If you decide that innovation is your first focus, you will acknowledge that sales growth will need to come in at second place. Why? Your resources, such as money, time and people will be directed to innovation and development. Not to say that sales growth is not important, but by clarifying which objectives take priority and therefore the bulk of the resources, it ensures that everyone is reading off the same page. This in turn allows for your team to have laser focused attention for the selected timeframe, which saves time, money and relationships.

Define your objectives, clarify their importance, develop your action plans and assign your resources.

29 Sep

Coaching should always be client-centric

I was chatting with a business owner the other day and they commented that they were not too sure if their business goals would “fit” into the coaching model.
When you operate in the coaching world and you are continuously in the coaching mode it can be very easy to slip into a comfortable position and think that everyone around you absolutely, one hundred percent gets what coaching is all about.
When I heard this comment it was yet another reality check for me of how some people perceive coaching and how they believe it works. Here was a great opportunity to move out of coaching mode and shift into educator mode.
My response to this business owner was that it is not the responsibility of the business to fit into the coaching model. Firstly, because there isn’t just one coaching model. There are many techniques, tools and styles that can be used to coach businesses.
Secondly, and very importantly, it is the responsibility of the coach to identify which strategies would best suit that specific business’s needs at that particular time. The coaching would need to “fit” into the business.
A point that needs highlighting here, is that it’s not actually about the coach. It’s not what’s best for them or how they think your business should be operated. Coaching or the coach’s mindset should always be  client-centric, always putting the needs and goals of the client first.
Working with a coach can be hard work. The process will cause you to step outside of your comfort zone, challenge you and stretch your thinking in many ways, but the coaching process should always operate in a safe space and never force you to do something you don’t want to do. You are in charge of your own destiny, your own business and your own success. It is your choice, and your choice alone.
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