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Who/ What do you listen to?

One of my coaching clients recently shared some CDs based on this question.  He provoked me.  And I loved it.

Take this quiz:

1.  I watch the evening news (despite its focus on violence and deprivation)

2.  I listen to negative feedback from customers more than positive feedback

3.  I regularly focus on the positive qualities of my life, and state them as choices

4.  I agree that over 70% of people are motivated by fear

Now pause.  And notice what you are feeling or thinking…

Who/What do you listen to?

If you listen to negative messages you will see the negatives.

If you are reading this blog, then you probably want to see positive results.

Here are three favorite resources: Martin Seligman’s research into Learned Optimism assures us that those who learn to be optimistic can have tremendous health and professional benefits.  And Marcus Buckingham’s research at the Gallup foundation in Significant Strengths found that individual and team success is a result of intentional focus on your strengths.

In 2008 I attended a 3-day coach certification program lead by iPEC in Chicago.  The gist of the content was to introduce the relationship between anabolic energy (positive, constructive, healing and growth-oriented) and catabolic energy (draining, destructive, potentially toxic.)

We have choices: to live anabolically or catabolically.

And we all know that who we listen to effects how we think/act.  Examples abound, from talk radio to war-based propaganda to marketing.

A better question may be:  Who/What do you CHOOSE to listen to?

Some people wake up and intentionally:

  • spend 30+ minutes in yoga, or regular exercise
  • spend 10+ minutes in prayer, or reading uplifting material such as “Success” magazine
  • spend 20+ minutes writing expressions of gratitude in a journal, or love letters to family, or  paint a gift

Throughout the day some people intentionally:

  • begin every conversation by asking, “Is this a good time for us to talk?”
  • end every conversation with a specific, genuine compliment
  • maintain a list of the 5+ daily calls to friends or positive people that they make
  • create a better future by focusing on HOW to make someone feel better, be more productive, own a success, etc

So, who/what are you CHOOSING to listen to?

How to Make Decisions using the Importance Screen

This morning one of my coaching clients was struggling with 1) a new manager, 2) a new role, 3) a former manager who expected him to continue doing the old work, 4) former colleagues who were not aware that his billable hours were now charged to a different business line.  He was distracted.

Sound familiar?

We all get distracted.  And the results are evident in 1) sloppy or inadequate work, 2) poor self care, diet, health, exercise, etc…

So what do you do to make smart decisions?

The Importance Screen is a great tool for sifting through choices.  Just as you sift sand through a screen before creating a cement foundation, this screen is a simple way to gain clarity.

The team at Stephen Covey’s “Five Disciplines of Execution” developed this screen:  Importance Screen v2.0

You can use it as a template and design your own.

Some tips:

1.  Start by listing the individual and team goals that you think are important… get it “out of your head and onto the paper.”

2.  Note that some goals have a net negative effect (-1) and assign a number to each goal in each column, then add them

3.  Trust your “gut instinct” so that it “trumps the data.”  We buy on emotion.  And we rationalize using techniques such as this Importance Screen.  Let it be predictive.  Not descriptive.  Use it to develop your 90-day plan, rather than explain your past 90 days.

4.  Tweak these headings to suit your scenario right now.

Oh, my client?  He stated that one takeaway from our session is that he will complete this Importance Screen within 48 hours, send a copy to me for review, then send a copy to his new boss when developing his 90-day plan.  If he needs to use it as a reference when talking with his former manager, then he will have this tool, “in his back pocket.”

So, how might you use this Importance Screen?

And if you have shared this Importance Screen with others, please comment below on how you have done so…

Using an internal champion to sell the value of performance based coaching

There are 2 kinds of coaches in the marketplace.  Those who 1) work based on value and those who 2) work based on hourly transactions.

(And perhaps a third kind, who are aspiring coaches or underemployed.)

The value of performance based coaching is based on transformation.  Too many people, such as HR professionals, regard coaching as a transactional event.  Yet coaching cannot be billed hourly.  That is unethical.  It leads to inflated billing, inaccurate expectations, or time waste.  Can you imagine how long a transactional coach might have to “work with you?”   It may be years!   Instead, if the coaches goal is to help someone change beliefs or behaviors, then the coach should be paid based on results.  The value is not time spent, or wasted.  The value is results.  I do not understand why any professional would suggest billing hourly.

Instead, we use internal champions to 1) show the value of coaching, 2) sell the value of coaching.

Here is a representative dialog thread.  It led to a meeting with the next buying agent, and a 12 month engagement.

From (Champion):

Thanks.  I am not suggesting it’s not fair & know that Lou has direct experience in this sort of thing.   Just instincts, and they may surprise me.  I may continue with coaching even if they don’t fund the shadowing.    I’ll follow-up with you after I can get in touch with Lou.

From: Doug Gray [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent:
To:
Subject: RE: next steps: performance based coaching

Good morning (Champion),

Welcome back from your well-deserved spa time.

1. There is nothing more important than driving employee engagement/ response.  What gets tolerated causes emotional responses and delay.  You have an urgent need.

2. This proposal reflects a fraction of your value to the company.  Assuming a 10:1 ROI, these numbers are more than fair.

3.   I remain glad to speak to Lou, or anyone at any time.

Respectfully,  Doug Gray, PCC

To: Doug Gray
Subject: RE: next steps: performance based coaching

Sorry Doug – I didn’t get a reply from Lou on the message I sent him before vacation.  (I kind of have a problem with that).   Have 1:1 with him tomorrow, but to be honest, not sure they will fund this expense.

From:

Hello Champion,

As we discussed on Tuesday, September 6, here is a proposal with 3 options.  We have an opportunity here to create significant change/ impact…

We have tentatively set aside Tuesday, October 4 as the first day to meet/ observe your team in Atlanta.  Please let me know which option you would like, by Friday Sept 23, so that I can submit an invoice.

(In the interim I certainly hope that you can enjoy your well deserved vacation time!)

I look forward to helping you apply/extend your leadership skills to your team.

Here are at least 2 questions for you:

1.  What does your team need?

2.   And how are you being a champion?

Naturally, I urge you to contact me ASAP so that we can discuss your needs.

Audio: Passionate Actions define human evolution

ActionLearningAudio

Yes, I am serious. Listen to this audio.

Consider how many people you know who have ignored their health, or made poor choices about their partner, or refused to relocate, or let a character trait such as stubbornness prevent them from some desire.

Now consider how many people you know who have chosen to define their values, develop daily habits to reinforce those passions, or chosen to serve thousands of others.

Passionate Actions define us.  Just as you choose to take care of your aging parents, or call that friend, or exceed your client’s expectations, or regularly exercise, your passions define your individual actions.

Passionate Actions also define us as a species.

Consider what happens when we build a business, commit to a relationship, care for others, develop long term friendships, congratulate a colleague, show kindness, speak positively about others…. Ultimately, we are choosing constructive acts for our species.

There is plenty of fear in the world.  And we can choose to polarize and divide (e.g. select any blog RE: political, ethnic, cultural, social, economic debates…)  We can choose fear.  Or we can choose passions.

You can make anabolic, constructive choices to live serving others.

What are you choosing to do?