April 23, 2014

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Becoming a Coaching Leader Step 4 – Share Your Coaching Vision

The fourth step in becoming a coaching leader is to share your coaching vision.  This can be a scary step to take because you are sharing a part of your personal vision with others and you don’t know how they will respond. Will they want to be coached? Will they trust me to coach them? Don’t let these fears deter you from taking this critical step. Sharing your vision will have a significant impact on the overall success of you creating a coaching culture within your organization.

Puplic Speaking

Sharing your coaching vision is so important because it redefines the way you will interact with your team, it creates new cultural norms, and sets new expectations for your own performance as a leader. When you share your vision I recommend you focus on achieving four outcomes:

  1. DEFINE coaching – clearly layout what coaching is, what it is not, and what coaching will look like within your organization.
  2. Give PURPOSE to coaching – articulate why you believe coaching is vital to the success of your organization and why you believe it will help each individual that participates.
  3. INVITE OTHERS into coaching – ask team members to participate in coaching. Do not make it mandatory.
  4. Describe what you plan to BUILD through coaching – layout what you believe you can achieve together and as individuals through coaching.

In order to achieve these four outcomes I believe you need to create a Vision Communication Plan. This plan should have at least three phases you implement over the next twelve months.

Phase 1 – Rally Key Supporters – In this phase you need to bring together the key supporters on your team that will be torch bearers for your coaching vision. Communicate your vision to them, get feedback from them, answer questions, and invite them to be your first coaching “clients”. The goal of this phase is to recruit a small group of people, that are well respected in the organization, to help you communicate your coaching vision to others on the team. 

Phase 2 – Dynamic Rollout – Once you have aligned your key supporters its “show time”. You need to plan a dynamic rollout of your vision to your entire team/organization. The rollout should be memorable, done through creative mediums (video, social media, presentation), and allow enough time for you to focus on the four outcomes listed previously. 

Phase 3 – Consistent Messaging – After you have rolled out your vision its time to start coaching and just as important its time for consistent messaging and follow-up around your vision. Use team meetings, videos, emails, texts, and other creative ways to talk about different parts of your vision, the successes people are having in coaching, and how coaching can help team members. I recommend having at least one unique coaching message each month for your team.

To help you create your Coaching Vision Communication Plan, I created the following worksheet for you to reflect on and complete. When you complete yours, please send it to me and I’ll be happy to review and provide feedback.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

April 11, 2014

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Becoming a Coaching Leader Step 3 – Develop Coaching Tools

The third step in becoming a coaching leader is to develop your coaching tools. The purpose of coaching tools is two-fold. First, they should help bring clarity and action to your client’s thinking, priorities, and goals. Second, they should also help you set expectations and provide a framework from which to deliver a great coaching experience.

In our first year of marriage, my wife bought me my first tool box and tool belt. When I opened the toolbox there was a basic set of tools that allowed me to do most projects around the house. Over time the need for new and specific tools arose and I would go and buy them but it was wonderful to have a basic set of tools that helped me do 90% of the projects around the house. Today, I want to share with you a basic set of tools that I believe will help you deliver a great coaching experience.

Tools

The 10 essential tools for becoming a coaching leader are as follows:

Coaching Agreement: This basic agreement should include how long you will coach the team member, if there is any cost involved and how to pay, how you will deliver coaching services (phone, in-person, video conference), and any expectations from both parties.

Client Questionnaire: This questionnaire should focus on basic information about the client, their goals, priorities, and areas for personal and professional growth. The desired end result from a questionnaire is to provide you with insight into your client’s business, mindset, and priorities. 

Commitments Statement: This statement should outline the commitments each person is making to the coaching relationship. These are like your coaching vows and should be signed by both parties acknowledging they are committed to the coaching relationship. See the example under the resources heading at the bottom of this post.

Behavioral and Communication Analysis: There are so many wonderful tools you can use to assess someone’s behavioral style. At Building Champions, we prefer the DISC behavioral assessment. I’m also a fan of Marcus Buckingham’s StandOut Assessment.

Coaching Session Update: This tool is completed by the client prior to each session. It should be a simple form with questions that provide you with insight into your client’s greatest victory and challenge since you last spoke, and what they would like to focus on in the upcoming session.

Action Plan Record: This tool is also completed by the client prior to each session and allows them to update you on their progress towards completing action items from the previous sessions.

Personal and Professional Priorities Worksheet: This tool is completed during the initial on-boarding of the client and should result in a list of 3-5 top priorities to focus on in coaching. These are generally areas that need to see growth or improvement.

Planning Tools: This set of tools should include at minimum a life planning, business planning, and business vision tool for your clients. Depending on your industry there may be specific plans already available for you to use. Make sure each of these plans is simple, meaningful, and measurable.

Priority Management Tools: This tool should provide your client with the ability to take all of their priorities and high-payoff activities identified from your planning tools and put them into a schedule or routine. I like to have my clients develop an ideal week or a thematic time block to bring clarity and focus to their daily routine.

Review Tools: My favorite tool to use for reviewing plans or periods of time is the Keep-Start-Stop tool. The goal of this tool or any review tool should be to have your client spend time reflecting on their past performance and evaluating what they need to keep doing, start doing or stop doing to improve results/relationships in the future.

I highly recommend two books to help you create your coaching tools. Both of these books come with sample tools for you start using immediately:

Here are a few other resources to help you get started:

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

 

April 8, 2014

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My Life Plan and Coaching Story

Last year at the Building Champions Experience I had the privilege of speaking from the main stage about my experience with life planning and my story of becoming a coaching leader. In my message I discussed the life changing experiences that led me to Life Planning and the impact it has had on my personal life and key relationships. In today’s post I want to share a video of me delivering this message.

I also had the pleasure of introducing author and speaker, Donald Miller. His book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and his Storyline Conference both had a tremendous influence on me becoming a coaching leader and eventually an executive coach at Building Champions.

To setup the video you’ll need to know that the day before I spoke I twisted my ankle and was forced to wear a very bulky and uncomfortable walking cast on stage. I begin by sharing that experience. I hope you enjoy hearing my story. Perhaps you have a similar one. If so, I’d love to hear yours. 

If you do not see the video in your reader, please click here.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

April 4, 2014

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Taking Time To Reflect

I can’t believe we are already through the first quarter of 2014. For my business and me personally it has been a very fast paced 90 days filled with both blessings and trials. Today, I want to encourage each of you to spend time reflecting and completing a KEEP, STOP, START exercise. It is a great exercise to help you reflect, adjust, and recommit to disciplines and goals that you may have set earlier in the year or in your Life Plan.
Reflecting
Here are three questions to ask yourself as you reflect back on the last 90 days…
  • What do I need to KEEP doing that has helped me grow and achieve success?
  • What do I need to STOP doing that is preventing me from achieving success and growing?
  • What do I need START doing that will help me grow and achieve greater success?
When you’ve answered those questions, take some time to ask a similar version of these questions to the most important people in your life. I’m going to ask my wife and my children the following:
  • What do I need to KEEP doing that serves you and lets you know I love you?
  • What do I need to STOP doing that frustrates you or hurts you?
  • What do I need to START doing that would fill your love tank and allow me to serve you better?
Taking a few minutes to ask these questions and sharing your answers together will help you grow in your relationship. Have the courage to be authentic and transparent with each other!
Make it a great day!
Coach Dan

April 2, 2014

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Becoming a Coaching Leader Step 2 – Create Your Coaching Systems

The second step in becoming a coaching leader is to create your coaching systems. These systems should help you deliver coaching with excellence while supporting your efforts to provide a great coaching experience. Without the right systems in place, you may find yourself distracted, disorganized, and unprepared for your coaching sessions.  Before you adopt a system in your coaching it must meet certain criteria:

  • It must be easy to use.
  • It must be quickly accessible.
  • It must create efficiencies in your coaching.
  • It must help you stay focused during sessions.

Coaching Systems

Today I want to share with you five systems that I believe meet these criteria and are essential to helping you become a coaching leader. A coaching leader must have a system for:

Conducting Coaching Sessions: This system provides a framework for how standard coaching sessions will be delivered. This system acts as a guide for you to follow and should include general categories to discuss, time frames for each category and the opportunity to create action out of the coaching session.

Recording Action Plans: Driving to action is one of the key skills of a coaching leader. You must have a system for recording actions steps to be taken within a specified period of time, generally before the next coaching session. The ability to review previously completed action plans is also essential to this system.

Taking Session Notes: Taking notes while actively listening during the coaching session is both an art and a skill. Session notes should serve as a reminder of successes, challenges, proposed solutions, and hot topics discussed in the sessions. Your session notes will help you stay connected to your clients needs and progress.

Tracking Goals: Recording and tracking the progress of your client’s goals is essential for discussing return on investment and monitoring the benefit of coaching. These goals should be reviewed in each coaching session and updated as needed.

Sharing Thought Leadership: As a coach you must have a system for storing and sharing thought leadership articles, tools, posts and quotes with your clients. Many clients need this additional thought leadership to help them gain clarity and understanding of opportunities and challenges they are facing. You don’t want to have to do a Google search for articles or tools every time a clients needs additional assistance.

A quick reminder: Having all the right systems does not make you a successful coach. 

At Building Champions we have proprietary software which provides us with a suite of coaching systems. However, when I first became a coaching leader I had to create my own. Today, there are wonderful web-based solutions that I believe provide wonderful options for you. I am currently recommending both Evernote and Microsoft OneNote for creating your coaching platform of systems.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan