Posts Tagged ‘emotional intelligence’

Identify the Deliberate Practices for Your Team

Now that we know about deliberate practice, the question becomes what should I be practicing in the deliberate practice sort of way?  Only you and your team know what would be a stretch past your current capacity.  Think about that and decide.

Let’s take a page out of  Bill Shover’s coaching book and consider focusing on fundamentals.  Having worked with some of the most respected companies in America, I still see the need for building skill in the fundamentals.  To me the fundamentals in business are:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Collaboration and being open-minded
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Task management
  • Commitments management
  • E-mail management
  • Self-management
  • Emotional intelligence

This list gives you a comprehensive set of skills to work on; when you finish you can start right back at the top again.

Small Business Challenges

The biggest challenge I see my small business clients facing is leadership in the “new normal” business climate.  Their staffs are constantly bombarded with negative economic news, mounting economic pressures and increased workloads.

Leaders need to find a way to help their teams be focused, resilient and ready to compete in this new economy.  The brain scientists have proven that stress seriously limits people’s access to their own creativity and effectiveness.  Today’s business leader needs to understand how to create the right mindset, mood and messages that will create a focused and highly competitive business team.  Most small business owners reach their position because of their passion for the business, not their the leadership prowess.  The most successful leaders know their team’s winning record will be a direct result of their leadership effectiveness.

Leaders who can become Coaching Leaders will learn from the best lessons of effective sports coaches. They’ll learn how to coach people to be more successful and competitive and at the same time build loyal teams. When you are a demanding boss you are a jerk…when you are a demanding coach you are respected and loved. Think about it.

Make sure to take charge of your team!

The number one thing is to show genuine concern and appreciation for the people doing the hard work.  Great leaders forge strong connections through both words and actions.  They walk the talk.  When you have loyal and dedicated followers they will scale mountains for you.

 Unfortunately too many leaders are either too task oriented or too relationship oriented.  The most successful leaders I see have found a beautiful balance between those orientations.

 Secondly make clear connections between personal vision and company vision.  Make sure the people can see their own personal gain for all of their hard work.  Great companies have simple and clearly articulated compensation systems.  When the rewards and consequences are clearly outlined hard-working, smart people take care of their own accountability for results.

 Lastly, learn how to have some fun.  Some of the most hard-working, productive and successful teams I work with also know how to have fun and not take any of it too seriously.  Mood has a huge impact on productivity and focus.  Great leaders have an artful way of creating environments that have intensity with lightheartedness and humanity. 

 As we all know, is a highly competitive world out there.  It is going to take hard work, dedication and focus to succeed financially.  But that doesn’t have to mean at the cost of human spirit.  We aren’t going to go back to the days of factory work/sweatshops.  Successful companies of the future are creating highly productive, hard-working, yet intrinsically rewarded workers.  It can be done I see it happening.

Coaching Leader Quality 7 – Emotional Intelligence

Great coaching leaders develop strong emotional intelligence. They know that reading people, connecting, and maintaining healthy relationship energy is the key to trust, commitment, and high-level performance.

In his groundbreaking research, Daniel Goleman proves that emotional intelligence can be developed and learned. Specifically, two competencies are critical to the coaching leaders. Empathy is about being able to connect with others and understand their concerns and motivators. Nurturing relationships is being able to develop meaningful and emotionally rewarding relationships that endure over time. If you want to be a successful coaching leader, you will develop these two competencies along with the other three competencies: emotional self-regulation, emotional motivation, and emotional awareness.

Why we avoid difficult conversations

The most common challenges that we see in teams and organizations is the avoidance of difficult conversations.

The top reasons people avoid difficult conversations:

#1.  They are afraid they might open a big “can of worms”

#2.  They think that what they’re going to say might hurt someone

#3.  They don’t believe saying anything is going to make a difference

#4.  They think based upon the history with this person nothing will change

#5.  They are afraid of the emotions will come up

Here’s the five Coaching perspectives we take about those reasons:

#1.  True you may open some sort of can of worms, but remember ignoring problems generally don’t make them go away.  In fact there’s that old saying that when it gets buried, it’s going to cause an even bigger crater when it blows up!

#2.  You can’t control how someone else feels about what you’re going to say.  What you can control is how you say it like with some compassion and thoughtfulness.  Sometimes people do get a little bit hurt by what we have to say but we still need to say it and solve our problems and differences.  Not doing so usually causes bigger problems like people leaving the relationship (or organization).

#3.  Again, if you spend a little time and learn how to deliver hard messages that may actually impact whether your message is going to make a difference.  Secondly, one of the most common sources of frustration is the stuff we hold back and don’t communicate about.  So even if it’s not going to make a difference there is still value in getting it off your chest (remember when you do it correctly!)

#4.  You never know when one more hit of the hammer is going to knock down the whole wall.  Don’t give up on people and don’t ever stop saying what you need to say.  You can’t predict based upon people’s moods, emotions, and current life situation, when one of the things you’re going to say is going to finally make a difference.

#5.  Emotions do come up and quite honestly shouldn’t be avoided.  They don’t have to be all messy and uncontrollable.  Emotions are real and something we have to deal with.  Once dealt with it can make all the difference in the world.  Don’t forget a little emotional intelligence coaching wouldn’t hurt now and then either.

If all else fails, why don’t you let us do one of our Difficult Conversations Coaching Workouts led by Master Certified Coach, Pete Walsh.

Swift kick in the rear or a pat on the back? – let emotional intelligence be your guide

Great coaching leaders always seem to have a way of knowing how to motivate their employees.  As a business coach I’m always working with CEOs to further develop their emotional intelligence so they can understand and connect with their player’s deepest aspirations and emotions.

Let’s look at Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest coaching leaders ever.  Jerry Kramer, an All-Star guard for the Green Bay Packers tells the following story:

In one of the practice sessions early in his career Kramer missed his blocking assignment on a play.  On the very next play he jumped offside.  He said “Lombardi really jumped on me and reamed me out; he had me feeling awful!  I felt like smacking him in the mouth!”

“I was in the locker room after practice, ready to hang it up and do something else.  Vince came up to me and patted me on the back and said ‘son, don’t you know that someday you’ll be the best guard in this league?’ “Those words lit a fire!

This little vignette is a great lesson for aspiring coaching leaders.  Lombardi knew in a moment on the field Kramer needed a swift kick in the pants.  He also had enough emotional intelligence to know that Kramer was in need of a pat on the back in the locker room.

Had Vince Lombardi not had that level of emotional intelligence or intuition about the player, one of the greatest guards of all time may have gone down a different road!

So how many times during the day are your employees at a fork in the road relative to their attitude, motivation or performance?

If you’re going to be a great coaching leader you are going to be tuned into your team’s emotions and know whether they need a swift kick in the pants or a pat on the back.

The beauty of what Lombardi said to Kramer was the fact that it “lit a fire” in Kramer’s words.  So how important are words?

I’m reminded of a story of one of my clients Scott.  He was a young aspiring insurance salesman.  Scott and I reviewed his aspirations and his plans but given what I had seen in terms of his work ethic, balance, and consistency I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to execute on this plan and reach his goals.  In the coaching session I said, “those look like great plans and wonderful aspirations”.  But I followed up with “honestly I don’t think you’ll get there.  Based upon what I’ve seen of your work ethic and your inconsistency, I don’t foresee you reaching that goal, but I could be wrong”.

Scott came back to our coaching session 2 weeks later and reported “that really pissed me off! And I’ve been in my highest level of focus and production over the last several weeks as a result of it.”  I said to him, “good then it served its purpose”.    

With some clients if I made the assessment that they’re not going to make it, it would send them down a hole or crush their confidence.  In that moment with Scott, I had a sense that he was tough enough that he could take it in and that was exactly what would motivate him to succeed.

Scott and I have remained close over the years and that’s still one of his favorite stories about our relationship.

So what’s it going to be today?  What does your staff need?