30 Aug

The difference between training and coaching

The other day a friend mentioned that his business had brought in a training company to conduct some personal development programs with their staff. He commented that he was a little bit disappointed due to the fact that the trainer didn’t conduct any follow up after the training was completed.

Firstly let me say that I love hearing that businesses are investing in their teams, especially on personal development and soft skills training. I wish more businesses would do this.

Secondly, my response to him was as follows: That’s the difference between training and coaching. Quite simple.

So many businesses will do one or the other, but very seldom both. To get maximum return on your training investment, both disciplines, training and coaching need to be taking place within your business.

Training is all about teaching or introducing new concepts or skills. It doesn’t or very seldom alters the training delegate’s behaviour. They learn something new which can tweak their curiosity, but then the training ends and they go home. Perhaps there may be some altered behaviour change for a week or so after the training has taken place, but on the whole, most people will go back to their old habits.

To counteract this and to really get bang for buck I would highly recommend that coaching is introduced straight after every training initiative. Coaching is the safety net or the catalyst for change. The new skills are taught in training and the coaching is there to help reinforce these new skills after the training has taken place.

Naturally human beings find it very difficult to change a habit or implement a newly learnt skill straight away. It is even harder when that change is completed in isolation or not supported. We need help to stay on track and keep focused. This is the role of the coach.

A coach is there to help you define your habit change and then to support you through the change process.

To really set your team up for success, by all means give them the opportunity to attend training sessions, but then make coaching available to them afterwards.

Let them reinforce their newly learnt skills over time so they can then add the right value back into your business.

26 Jan

What does it take to build a sustainable business?

There is no such thing as a silver bullet strategy when it comes to business success , that being one action or activity that will miraculously build a successful business. We all intrinsically know this, but yet, so many business owners set themselves up for failure and disappointment by taking on for example the mindset of, “If I just do this one promotion, then everything will be fine.

Not to put a damper on your efforts, but sometimes we do need a reality check. One of the key components of achieving one’s goals is that you must be realistic, very simple. If you want to build a sustainable business and avoid being a one hit wonder there are a few key components you will need to ensure are part of your business structure and business ethics.

Vision and mission

Before you excitedly start setting business goals, think about what your long term vision is.  What is your ultimate goal and how do you want to be seen in five or ten years time? Once that has been defined then confirm your mission statement.

Completing your business vision/mission statement shouldn’t be done begrudgingly, rushed through or be viewed as an afterthought. Put the time aside to build this part of your business. Why? Your vision and mission are your guiding lights whenever a business decision needs to be made. They keep you focused in good times and very importantly  they guide you when times are tough and there will likely be many tough times in your business. Therefore, establishing strong, powerful and bright guiding lights makes good business sense.

Courage, resilience and grit

In my opinion these are probably some of the most important character traits to have when running a business . Having the strength and courage to pick yourself up after failure will turn you into a survivor. If you have the ability to do this, you can achieve anything. These character traits do not always come easily and we are often only asked to prove ourselves when we have already fallen on hard times. No opportunities for test driving these qualities.

To boost these character traits it is advised to have a solid business plan and a business purpose that is true to your values. It can be tricky and extremely demotivating to be courageous if you don’t really believe in your purpose one hundred percent.

Support

Being a business owner is not for the faint-hearted. So make sure you have a good strong pool of people you can call on during the tough times. This can take the form of business partners, family, friends, mentors, coaches or professional networking groups.

Support is also good to have in times of success, sharing your wins with your support network can be extremely rewarding.

Consistency

Consistency in business builds trust and loyalty with your customers. Whatever your business goals are make sure you are consistent in your delivery, follow through and follow up. Customers will very quickly look elsewhere if you are inconsistent and unreliable.

To make sure you are consistent in your business, always have a plan. Yearly, quarterly, month, weekly and daily. There is much to be said about the saying, “proper planning prevents poor performance”.

Business success will be different for every business, depending on what the end goals are, however one thing that all businesses have in common, is the need to achieve the goals.

So, when you are planning your goals for the year or quarter ahead, also think about these  components. Do you have a strong vision? How courageous are you and how would you persevere during tough times? Who is your support network and do you operate your business in a consistent manner? Some food for thought.

27 Jul

10 truths I have learnt from being a coach

Recently I spoke at a business function. My brief was to talk about coaching and how being coached can open up opportunities for you. What an awesome brief, as I am usually asked to speak about more specific topics such as goal setting, prioritising or deadlines. This brief certainly was a breath of fresh air and also a  source of great indecision. There were so many aspects of coaching and it’s benefits that I could talk about! Where to start?

In the end I took  inspiration from Anne Lamott’s Ted Talk, 12 truths I learnt from life and writing 

Enjoy.

“Anne Lamott has inspired me to speak this evening about the 10 truths I have learnt from being a coach. Hopefully some of these points may resonate with you and will prompt  some thinking on the way home. This being a big goal for any coach. Making you think.

Truth # 1 – Have your own goals – Make sure you are always working toward achieving your own goals. That is in business and in your personal life. These days the majority of us could be classified as borderline workaholics. It seems to be in our DNA to always be working hard and it seems to be the norm to always be busy. Don’t get to your deathbed one day and think, “oh gosh” I should have done my own thing. I should have worked towards achieving my own goals! Because by then it is just too late!

Truth # 2 – You can teach old dogs new trick – The dog just needs to be open to change. Once we realize that we are never too old to change, learn and grow, it is amazing how many opportunities we open up for ourselves.

Truth # 3 – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – You can be the biggest visionary in the world, with the greatest ideas, but here is the thing; if you don’t draw up action plans and deadlines in order to achieve these goals, they will just stay visions and dreams forever with no results.

Truth # 4 – There is some truth in the saying “ There are 101 ways to skin a cat” there are 101 ways to solve a problem, you just need to be open to new thinking, new ideas and also other people’s opinions.

Truth # 5 – Learn to be more objective. In coaching terms this is what we call maintaining the coaching position. The next time you find yourself in a heated situation. STOP, BREATHE and STEP BACK, removing yourself from the situation helps to place things into perspective and allows you to think objectively about things. You’ll also find that this process can lift a weight from our shoulders. The weight of our EGO’s, righteousness and judgment.

Truth # 6  – Learn how to practise mindfulness – this is not about whipping out your yoga mats, drinking green tea and finding your centre. This is about learning to be in the present moment and to be happy and accepting of the present moment. We are constantly thinking about the “next project” the “next win” and this is good as it motivates us, however don’t let the future-focus mindset sabotage the opportunity to focus on the present. Learning to be in the present moment. Appreciating the here and the now only makes our lives richer.

Truth # 7 – You don’t need to wait for permission to start something – Your life is not like a collection of bus stops. You don’t need to be waiting around for the next bus. You don’t need to be waiting around for someone else to give you permission to do something in your own life or business. This sounds absurd now, but I see it often. The only person who should be giving you permission is yourself.

Truth # 8 – Who are your supporters, your cheerleaders? Who is your confidante, your shoulder to cry on? We cannot work in silos. When you make a decision to make a change in your life, make sure you have organised your support system beforehand.

Truth #  9 – Celebrate the little things and the big things – Take a moment to think about your past week and what you have achieved over this week? Did you celebrate those successes or were the successes too insignificant that they were forgotten about? Learn to celebrate.

Truth # 10 – You are making a decision, by not making a decision. Decisions can be damn hard work and sometimes procrastination seem to be the easiest thing to do. Just remember, that by putting things off and not deciding, you have actually made a choice.”

To be coached is an active choice. if any of the above rings true for you and you actively want to be coached, then why not give me a call to set up a free consultation. nicole@tikumu.co.nz

22 Jun

How strong is your support network?

I met a young lady the other day, let’s call her Sue. She had made the bold decision to make a major change in her life. Sue had decided to start her own business. An exciting adventure with so many possibilities and opportunities and a very tough path to choose.

For those of you who have already made that leap into the thrilling world of self-employment, who have shifted from their everyday comfort zone to the scary unknown, you know it takes huge amounts of courage and tenacity to make it work. However, besides courage, grit, funding (yes some start up capital does help) and a good idea which you need to turn into a profitable business, you also need a little something  called support.

Sue had all the courage in the world, she was determined to make her business work. She believed in her abilities and also believed it was her time to shine. Unfortunately, her Achilles heel was the lack of support.

This is a vital component when it comes to building your own business or in fact if you are choosing to make any major change in your life. You need the support and encouragement of your nearest and dearest.

Sue’s family believed she was best suited to be in the home, looking after the children and cooking the dinner for her hard-working husband. Now as a coach, you should always stay objective, it’s part of the job description, but I can honestly admit that I found it very hard to keep objective in this situation. I had to check and make sure I hadn’t time travelled back to the 1950’s.

Without the support and motivation from the people around her, Sue was left on her own to try and juggle the daunting task of starting a business and at the same time running a household single-handedly.

I always like hearing about stories that have happy endings. Unfortunately I don’t know how this one will end. I can however draw a few lessons from Sue’s situation and share them with you.

Lesson #1 – If you decide to take the leap and start your own business like Sue did or you decide to make a life-altering change, ask yourself who will be your support network? Who will be your cheerleader, your shoulder to cry on, your confidante? Gather the support team around you from the beginning, they truly make your change journey so much easier.

Lesson # 2 – Think about the people around you. How many of them are going through some form of change? Is there a Sue in your life? Do you think you are providing them with enough support and encouragement? What could you do differently to make their lives easier?

And finally, when a person wants to make a change in their life it is their decision. It is not your place to talk them out of it and tell them what you think they must do, especially if they haven’t asked you for advise. Your job is simple, it is to support their decision and to perhaps make them a dinner once in a while.

Looking to add a coach to your support network? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz