Business Coaching: Your Emotions and Decisions

Once upon a time, I received an email. When I read it, I thought it said my sky was falling. Then I stopped and asked myself a series of questions to take my emotions out of the issue. It turned out that my sky was not falling, that the person sending me the email was under stress and had expressed their stress (with a situation that did not involve me) in their choice of words in the email they sent me.

If this has ever happend to you, either in an email, a conversation, or a business meeting, I suggest that your first step is to acknowledge your emotional response internally.
Whoa! Why has this statement upset me? What emotion am I feeling AND WHY?
You already know that your internal physical response to stress is not beneficial to your longterm health and happiness. You owe it to yourself, your career, and your long term goals to take these few seconds to monitor and understand why statements upset you. The more you understand about your behavior, the stronger you become.

Managing Change: 3-ring Binders are History!

I have a shelf of 3-ring binders full of printed information. I need them…just in case. The contents are my resource materials I use in my executive coaching practice. It’s pretty important stuff, and I probably should scan the contents to pdf so I can access the information anywhere.

So if I do scan the contents to pdf, why do I need the 3-ring binders? In a word, I don’t. And that’s the way resources and information are flowing these days: Away from the 3-ring binders and into the cloud.

Which brings me to the theme for this blog post: managing change. The world we live in is constantly changing. It’s difficult to keep up. Now that I’ve said it out loud (figuratively speaking), you can agree. Now you know that you are not the only one who feels like the world is constantly changing.

Why do the constant changes cause such turmoil in our lives? Because we don’t have the knowledge we need to adjust to the change. Or perhaps we think we don’t because we react emotionally at first. At the core of the change, what is required of us?

Learning is at the core of change. When you get right down to it, you need to learn something different than what you already know. That’s where the stress comes in.

  • When are you going to find the time?
  • How can you afford to pay for it?
  • What are you going to do about family demands?
  • If you learn this new thing, how will you change as a person?

Your cumulative life experiences provide you with a springboard for managing change. Emotion aside, you know more than you realize or accept, especially in times when you are feeling stressed by situations that appear to be out of your control. Step back, get your emotions under control, and devote some time to understanding what you can do to respond.

And above all, don’t stop learning.

Business Growth: Ready or not, here comes 2013

I don’t know where November went, or October or September or the rest of 2012 for that matter, but 2012 is close to being in the history books.

We’ve seen upheaval, tumult and turmoil on a local, national, and global level. While we might think there’s more happening now than ever, that may not be accurate. We now find ourselves inundated with what is referred to as “news” 24/7/365 whether we want it or not. The words chosen by the reporters and their editors may have more to do with building viewer numbers or selling newspapers with success measured by shares and retweets rather than with the truth or the accuracy of the reporting. Chances are a lot of what’s being reported will not help you grow your business nor will it harm your business. It will just distract you.

So what can we do to manage all the noise and take control of our situation? At the core of everything we do every day, our attitude has the most to do with how we view our success. If you’re tired of the status quo, start with these steps today.

First, figure out what really affects or impacts you and your business. There’s a lot of junk being reported. Does it really mean anything to you? Probably not. And if not, why should you pay any attention to it?

Second, what do you need to know at this point in order to make 2013 turn out the way you want it to? I’m talking about business intelligence or data or education or whatever it is that you need to know. Where can you get this? When will you begin?

Third, what do your customers need that you can provide in 2013? If you don’t know, why don’t you ask them? Things wear out. Situations change. Your customers have friends and relatives who need your product or service.

Once you figure out your responses to these questions, then you can begin to move forward and grow your business towards a profitable 2013. You will probably find that these are not the only questions that will be important to you. What I’m suggesting is that you plant your feet firmly on the ground, take a look around you at what people need and you can provide, and then you get busy working with direction and purpose so that a year from now in December 2013, you can look back and truthfully say out loud that you’ve had a darn good year.

Coaching and business: Who, what, when, and why?

I am often asked for information about the assistance I offer to businesses and people, and those questions most often center around the cost to do business with me. It seems there are many people asking about coaching now. Here’s an article in the New York Times about executive business coaching.

The cost or your investment in coaching is not the place to start the conversation. The Return on Investment (ROI) for a coaching program with me far exceeds the amount of money you will pay me to assist you. In addition to financial rewards, you may be interested in reducing conflict, managing stress, or finding peace of mind. All of these and more are possible through an executive business coach like me.

Here is some basic information you should have in mind when you and I sit down to discuss your coaching program.

Who needs coaching?
Executive business coaching is recommended for people who want to move ahead, are frustrated with their current results, are considering making a change, or are considering starting or selling a business. If you are content where you are right now and you have absolutely no interest in moving ahead or changing your circumstances, then you don’t need a coach.

What is coaching like?
Typical coaching arrangements are 30-minute phone conversations either bi-weekly or once a month over a period of time we will establish. My approach is to help you find the right action for you – I am not a counselor or therapist and I’m not going to tell you what to do. I firmly believe that you know what you need to do, you just need my assistance helping you design your plan to get it. During our coaching contract, I will ask you lots of questions – tough questions as well as easy – to help you develop your right action. Additional planning or goal development on your part may assist you in finding your right action, and I have materials available if needed.

When should you use an executive business coach?
We all have points in time when we know it’s time to move ahead or develop ourselves so we can be better at what we do. Call it self-improvement or professional development. Or we have times when we are frustrated with our results and we want to talk to someone impartial so we can figure out what we need to do. That’s when you should call or email me so we can discuss some coaching for you.

Why should you work with me?
I am really, really good at aligning your natural talents with your business tactics. I take my commitment to being the best executive business coach for you very seriously, and I am certified by the Resource Associates Coaching Academy so you can have peace of mind that I am going to do a professional job of coaching you based on quality and integrity standards followed by hundreds of coaches throughout the US. You can learn more about my affiliation with Resource Associates in my bio.

You need to call me right now at 215-0077 or email me at sbarr@thebarrassociates.com so we can begin the conversation that will move you forward. Remember: you get what you accept. As soon as you choose to not accept the status quo, your change and your future can begin.

Business Coach? They have one for that.

To say we watch a lot of sports at our house is an understatement. It often seems to me that if the show does not include someone in a black and white striped shirt with a whistle, we don’t watch it.

While listening to this weekend’s golf tournament, I heard the announcer talk about a golfer and how this golfer’s attitude coach had really helped the golfer to overcome a recent tournament loss.

Hmmm, I thought. An attitude coach? A swing coach? A business coach? They probably have a putting coach, too. It sounds to me like the sports world is more in tune with the benefits of business coaching than the business world.

In reality, the professional athletes are businesses worth millions of dollars. Their investors – from sponsors to managers – have a vested interest in seeing the athlete be in top mental condition for the match, whatever it is.

What happened to business? If business is smart enough to insist on coaches for athletes, why isn’t business smart enough to insist on coaches for the people working for the business?

Do you know what a disengaged employee costs you? You should. It would scare you. I recently facilitated a group on Customer Loyalty in a Social Media World, and we walked through the numbers. The class participants were amazed at how much money they were wasting on disengaged employees who had bad attitudes.

So here’s where the rubber meets the road. How much is your attitude hurting your business?  Here is a quick quiz you can use to test yours.

Please answer yes or no for each question. As you will see, every no represents an opportunity to change your attitude.

1. Is my current mood free from any negative experience from the past? Yes ( ) No ( )

2. Is my current mood hopeful and optimistic in anticipation of the future? Yes ( ) No ( )

3. Do I currently feel that I am in control of my life? Yes ( ) No ( )

4. Do I feel that the problems I am currently facing are really stimulating challenges? Yes ( ) No ( )

5. Do I feel free from self-abuse, such as overeating, drinking, or using drugs? Yes ( ) No ( )

6. Do I currently pursue a realistic and challenging goal? Yes ( ) No ( )

7. Am I committed to an ongoing exercise program? Yes ( ) No ( )

8. Are my family relationships a source of love, pride, and support? Yes ( ) No ( )

9. Do I consider myself a success? Yes ( ) No ( )

10. Are my thoughts stimulated by positive people, books, videos, and personal role models? Yes ( ) No ( )

11. Do I seek out challenges that are in line with my present potential? Yes ( ) No ( )

12. Do I automatically look for the positive in every situation? Yes ( ) No ( )

Rating scale: 10-12 yes answers: Congratulations! Your positive attitude is helping you win. 6-9 yes answers: Several negative attitudes are inhibiting your performance. Begin your personal attitude-improvement program by talking with us. 5 or fewer yes answers: Reach out to us today to get your attitude on track for the success you are ready to realize.

What are you waiting for?