There are lots of coaches and consultants in the marketplace. The question you may wrestle with is, “How do I find a coach or consultant will be able to help me or someone on my team?”
There are basic principles guide your search. Don't get sold by new management fads, buzzwords or hype. Here is a checklist for quality business coaching:
- Years in the business coaching profession...wouldn't last as a coach for years if he/she wasn't good;
- Advanced degrees in the fields of what makes organizations and people tick;
- Tools to help individuals and teams identify how to quickly improve thinking and behavior creating increased profitability;
- Comfort and proficiency with distance learning thus making the client comfortable with distance learning;
- Lots of success playing on and coaching teams.
There is a significant difference between being a Team Leader aka Team Coach and being an external contract coach like me. The Team Leader is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Team. The outside Coach is a resource to provide tools and insights about the culture of a team, individuals and ideas regarding how to experiment with new ideas to make individual and team performance even stronger.
Coaching the Team Leader
If you are leading a team, here are a few questions I might ask you:
- What are the 3 main team goals;
- What are you measuring to track your progress toward those specific goals;
- What team members work well;
- What do you think your influence is on the performance of your team(s);
- What would you love to do differently to significantly improve the performance of your team?
These are just a few of the many questions you can use to measure the performance of your team and your leadership. Like all things, leading a team has some paradoxes:
- When you are member of a team, as the leader, it is often hard to see how you are behaving in relationship to executing the team business;
- The team seems to be repeating the same behaviors over and over; everything you do has little impact toward changing the behavior;
- Team members say they are doing such and such, but his/her actions don’t reflect his/her words;
- Everybody waits for me to make the decisions, my team members seem to lack the initiative to “Bring crucial issues to the team table;”
- I wonder why people wait for me to make the decisions?
- How much of the time do I talk during team work sessions?
- What is my trust level to allow other people to make team decisions?
I could go on in infinitum listing questions about your team. The big question(s) is, “What actions can you take to gather data about what is really happening on your team?”
Here is a quick opportunity for you to understand more about your team and your leadership of your team. It is a simple process done using computers and phones to support a profitable and economical distance learning process. Here are the steps.
- Contact me to initialize your Team Directory and team member profiles;
- Send me team members names and email addresses and I will send them our easy to use, individual profiles to complete (they take less than 15 minutes to complete).
- Return the completed Team Directory to the Team Leader and debrief the results.
- Debrief the results with each individual team member who participated.
This will give your team and you clear direction for making immediate improvements on your key strategies, decision and executive of those decisions. Call, text or email Dr. Doug Adams (cell 831-245-8075 or email, email@example.com).
Coaching Individual Managers or Individual Contributors
It is important to coach individuals within the context of the whole business system. My individual coaching is geared toward people who are in positions to lead and manage people, and want to get better individual and team success. Most people are promoted, because they are good individual contributors. The classic mistake is promoting your best sales person to sales manager. Neither the person being promoted nor the person doing the promoting has a clear idea of how to increase sales. I see this pattern often in my coaching practice. Being a top-notch individual contributor be you a sales person, physician, teacher, customer service representative, or any other highly skilled professional has little to do with “creating environments for other people’s success” (Doug Adams’ definition of management/leadership).
The principles of management are basically the same at all levels. The systems one manages become more complex as he/she takes on deeper and wider responsibilities.
The greatest skill a person can develop is to constantly work on understanding and developing awareness of one’s own thoughts, feelings and behaviors, “Know Thyself!” In my experience this is an activity that we are privileged to be able to engage every day. Becoming more aware of oneself takes work and is often spurred-on by a personally, difficult situation. Self-examination, unfortunately, is not something that is taught in schools. One can have all the academic skill in the world and be miserable. But if one is able to look inward, reflect and receive input from people who really care, one begins to make much better decisions; decisions based on what is really good for me, not based on rhetoric. I tell all my clients, get one of those foam rubber “We’re Number One” fingers that we see at college football games; and re-paint the slogan to read, “Doug Adams is Number One.” It took me a long-time to figure out, “If I don’t take care of myself first, I can’t really take care of anyone else.” How can I become more profitable spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and financially; all are key components to knowing oneself? Let us help you become an even stronger leader and manager. Call, text or email Dr. Doug Adams (cell 831-245-8075 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org).