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.

How People Buy

This information comes primarily from a blog post by my friend Jay Niblick, founder of Innermetrix (http://www.innermetrix.com/index.html), the company that provides the DISC Index, Values Index, and Attribute Index tools I use. Thank you, Jay, for this great assistance!

The topic is sales. I don’t think it matters what you do, you are selling in some way even if your title does not include the word “sales” in it. Whether you are leading a team of people or trying to get someone to do something, you are trying to persuade the person to take action.

Many times we encounter people who seem reluctant to buy or who make decisions quickly. What’s up with that? The answer might be that their buying style is governed by their type of personality. Read these descriptions below to understand the different buying styles. When you recognize these styles, you will also know how to respond to people to move them through your sales process.

Buying Style #1 – The Decisive
The first buying style is called the Decisive. These buyers have a clear picture in their mind of what results they want. They are often seen as “Type-A” people, preferring to make buying decisions very quickly. They are more often interested in “winning” or “promoting their own agenda” so they like to buy when they feel they have “gotten their way,” so to speak. They are attentive to actions or communication that will speed up those results. Discussions about details and minutiae are distracting to these individuals. They prefer to discuss top-line, big-picture concepts when considering the value of any offering.

Buying Style #2 – The Interactive
The second buying style is called the Interactive. These buyers want to shape and mold events and enjoy “getting their way” when it comes to negotiations or buying something. Unlike the High D, however, High I’s tend to go about this by working with or through people – much more collaboratively. They are interested in people and like to interact with others, understand others and to be understood by others. They are most receptive to making a buying decision when they feel a sense of connection with the person, are in a more social environment and have had the opportunity to express their emotions, thoughts, fears or excitement about the offering first. Like the High D, this person is also particularly inattentive to details, preferring to stick to the big-picture and emotional benefits of the solution.

Buying Style #3 – The Stabilizer
The third buying style is called the Stabilizer. These buyers are more passive and introverted and interested in the how and why of a solution (i.e., the details and minutiae that the I and D couldn’t care less about). Their primary interests are in maintaining stability within themselves and whatever situation they find themselves in. Messages that don’t address the specifics, or that champion radical change, are likely to alienate rather than resonate. They prefer to buy things that will increase the stability in their lives, provide more security, and are well known and well proven. They prefer to “take their time” more than any other dimension so any offering should give them plenty of time to decide.

Buying Style #4 – The Conscientious
The fourth and final buying style is called the Conscientious. These buyers are also more passive and introverted. Like the High S, they too take a much more detailed (the most) and accuracy-based approach to their buying habits. Their buying decisions are very much driven by questions of accuracy, detail, reliability, level of proof, etc. Without sufficient data to prove any statements made to a High C, you will fail to achieve their buy in. Why is a favorite question for a high C buyer. Prove it is the second most common one. They are very concerned with doing things accurately. They are receptive to offerings that provide proof that the solution works, proposals that are meticulously detailed and absent of ANY grammatical mistakes or typos.

In my practice, understanding this type of information about the people I work with is invaluable to me. Approaching people in their style makes me more effective and makes their results better for them. I think this is a key to being a good business coach.

For more information or clarification on this, drop me an email at sbarr@thebarrassociates.com.

360 Degree Feedback at the Organizational Level

I was helping a friend who was teaching a Masters-level course. The group had completed DISC assessments, and I was doing a group debrief as a way to help the group understand the impact and value to management of assessments. As one of the conversation topics, the group was asked if any of them had ever participated in an individual 360 Degree Feedback. Not surprisingly, some had.

How about 360 degree feedback at the organizational level? Unheard of, you say? Not exactly. It’s possible, and it  uses some very well established parameters, namely the Malcolm Baldridge Criteria. The quality assurance push of the 1980’s was influenced by these Criteria There’s even an award.

Why should you do an organizational 360? Because you don’t know an awful lot about your organization at the deep levels.There are a lot of impacts that occur at this deeper level and affect your bottom line. To only look at the bottom line and wonder what’s happening should be a strong indicator to you that you need to do an organizational 360 degree feedback. You need answers, and you need them now.

360 organizational feedback can be open to everyone in your business or only to certain departments. It’s completed on-line, of course. The responses are confidential, so much so that no one can access the individual responses.

You use this tool when you want to focus on performance for the entire organization in an overall management framework. The benefits of the tool are that it identifies and tracks all-important organizational results in these areas: customer, product/service, financial, human resource,  and organizational effectiveness.

The Criteria include these core values and concepts:
Visionary leadership
Customer-driven excellence
Organizational and personal learning
Valuing employees and partners
Agility
Focus on the future
Managing for innovation
Management by fact
Public responsibility and citizenship
Focus on results and creating value
Systems perspective

As our economy recovers locally as well as nationally, it’s important that you get your feet underneath you so you can go forward. One of our greatest fears is that we will make a mistake. There are no seminars you can attend that will pinpoint and resolve the issues covered by the organizational 360. You need to listen to your people, and this tool gives you a way to hear what they know to be the reality of your business. We can get you the answers you need within 30 days, so it’s time to get moving before you get left behind.

 

 

 

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?

 

 

Which path will you choose?

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find short articles that will help you find the right action for you.You may want to check my artcles for more complete information on topics that matter to you business.

We all understand that life is full of choices. We go down the path we choose. College. Life partner. House to buy. Job to accept. What we’ve got is all a result of the choices we have made to this point.

But what about the future? Does it do you any good to identify a path to follow?

Yes. Especially if you are dissatisfied with where your present path is taking you or if you are one of those people who prefers to have control over your future and the quality of life you have.

How do you find a different path that’s right for you?

Assess. Analyze. Plan. Take control.

So you have a choice. The status quo and a life you don’t control, or a life you control that is headed in the direction you have chosen along a path you have identified  and prescribed as the right action for you.

You only have one life. Let’s make the most of it so you feel satisfied with the results you are achieving.