Colin's Blog

Some Key Habits that Could be Interfering with Your Leadership Capabilities

Some Key Habits that Could be Interfering with Your Leadership CapabilitiesHabits are those things that can develop over time. They begin as routines and then eventually form into habits, which are things you do without even thinking about them. There are good and bad habits and some, regardless of whether they are considered good or bad, can actually interfere with your leadership capabilities.

Hiring a leadership coach can help a person become more effective as a business leader, and identidy some habits that could be interfering with your ability to be a positive leader within your organization.

Below are some habits that could actually be impacting your leadership abilities right now.

Punctuality. If you have a habit of showing up late to meetings, to work, or to anything else, it’s going to negatively affect your ability to effectively lead others.

It’s a good idea to be on time as often as possible. If you have a tendency to show up 5 or 10 minutes late, consistently, set your alarms to go off five or 10 minutes earlier so you are on time.

Interrupting. If you have a habit of interrupting people, begin working on eliminating this habit. Let other people finish what they have to say before stepping in to offer your opinions.

You may be right in a specific discussion, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to interrupt somebody else, usually in the desire to save time.

Distraction. If you are constantly distracted when talking with other people, it can be problematic in your leadership abilities. Be willing and able to focus on the person to whom you’re speaking and who may be speaking to you.

By eliminating some of these habits, it will strengthen your leadership abilities and it will also help improve the effectiveness of leadership coaching.

Good Manners, Good Leaders: How Your Personal Behaviors Influence Your Executive Abilities

How Well You Hire Will Impact Your Executive AbilitiesPeople who have relatively good manners don’t automatically become good leaders, but those individuals who have bad manners will have a much more difficult time being effective in any type of leadership role.

Hiring a leadership coach can offer tremendous benefits to the driven professional businessman or businesswoman, and it’s a good idea to think about personal behaviors and habits, especially manners and how it can relate to leadership qualities and prosper perspective abilities.

What good manners can tell about a person.

If you go out to a restaurant and eat with your wife or husband, you may have a habit of looking around every once in a while at other couples. You may notice certain behaviors of some individuals. Some people may be short with the waitstaff, temperamental, complaining about the food not being hot enough, not having enough seasoning, or the water not being as clear they want.

When you go to eat a restaurant, you deserve to have quality food, good service, and enjoy yourself. After all, you’re paying for it. However, being rude, insensitive, not leaving a tip for decent service, and more is highlighting bad manners.

Not saying thank you when somebody holds the door for you, answering the phone by saying, “Yeah?”, says a lot more about a person than their abilities or talents.

Understanding good manners will help you on your way to becoming a better leader. People respond to those who treat them with respect in a much more powerful and productive way. That will include all of your team members. Having good manners will also set the stage for positive leadership coaching.

Changing Minds: Is It Really All that Complicated for Exceptional Leaders?

Changing Minds: Is It Really All that Complicated for Exceptional Leaders?Trying to change another person’s mind can be incredibly difficult and even frustrating. People often get set in their ways, believe certain things, and have various prejudices that make it very difficult for them to accept new information and a different way of thinking.

Leadership, especially effective leadership, is a product of skill, understanding, knowledge, and being clear on specific goals. Leadership coaching can help just about any person becomes stronger with the skills and that can help to influence the people around them to change their minds, especially when it’s necessary.

How difficult is it to change minds?

Difficulty will depend on a number of factors. The topic can certainly be one of the most influential factors. For example, when you’re talking about politically-based issues, such as climate change, for example, whether or not you believe that climate change is caused by humans or not, it is a hot button topic and many people become entrenched in their viewpoints and will refuse to see the other side of the argument, even faced with irrefutable facts.

Changing minds about goals, effectiveness, or even products that a particular company produces may not be as difficult, as long as a person has the facts to present to others.

When changing course, when shifting goals within a company, there will likely be some resistance to those changes. A strong leader will have a clear vision for the new future and be able to articulate that to his or her team members.

In order to fully appreciate what it takes to change another person’s mind, hire a leadership coach. This individual will be able to explain why people get entrenched within their views and what helps them change their perspective most effectively. That will help make you a stronger leader in the future.

Define Your Executive Coaching Expectations First

are you a good leaderAnyone who is looking into executive coaching is likely seeking to improve their leadership abilities, productivity, and efficiency. You likely already recognize the value of the coach, and if you haven’t worked with any type of leadership or executive coach in the past, it’s a very good idea to sit down and define what your expectations are.

What do you expect to gain from executive coaching? Do you want to become a more effective leader? Do you want to improve your time management skills? Do you want to learn how to establish goals in a more effective manner?

Do you wish to communicate more effectively with your team members, partners, and even those who are higher up the chain of command than you?

Take some time before you actually start working with an executive coach to sit down and write all of the potential things you wish to improve about yourself and your abilities at the moment.

You may very well feel that you are highly skilled with interpersonal communication. That may be the case, but sometimes we have a tendency to over inflate our own estimations of personal abilities. An executive who is in tune with himself and those around him will have a pretty good idea about his interpersonal communications and relationships within the workplace.

By defining your expectations about executive coaching, it will be much easier for you to see the results as they begin to progress. Improvement in anything does not necessarily occur along a straight line or even a curve on a graph. There can be jumps and dips along the way.

As long as you define your expectations and are clear about them, it will be much easier for you to track the improvement, ask pertinent questions of your coach, and be focused on the advice, tips, and information provided for you, including critiques and commendations.

The People Pleaser: Why This Doesn’t Define Good Leadership

avoiding arroganceThere are plenty of different personalities, especially in the business world. One of those personalities may be called the People Pleaser.

The People Pleaser is the individual who will do everything that he or she can to make sure the people around them are satisfied in their work. This may seem like a great way to motivate employees to do their best to help the company, but it can actually have the opposite effect.

Employees who have a people pleaser for their boss may have a tendency to slack off, kick back, and not work as hard as they need to. Since they understand their boss is more intent on making then them happy, they don’t focus as much on the company’s goals and bottom line.

Leaders understand the importance of mentoring their team members, but that’s not the same as being a People Pleaser. A mentor is somebody who will recognize mistakes and then instruct those team members on how to avoid them in the future, thus giving them stronger skills moving forward.

A mentor isn’t somebody who will yell at somebody else for making a mistake. A mentor understands that mistakes happen and they are great learning tools, when used properly.

A people pleaser is somebody who will notice the mistake and then try to correct it themselves, tell the person who made this mistake it’s no big deal, not to worry about it, or pass the project on to somebody else. A people pleaser may also begin experiencing more and more challenges with regard to internal strife among their employees.

Being nice to employees can be an asset, but that doesn’t mean a person is a leader. The best way to become a strong leader is to understand the difference between pleasing and mentoring. The best way to do that is to hire an experienced and professional leadership coach.

The Power of Positive Feelings and How They Can Build Teams Up

The Power of Positive Feelings and How They Can Build Teams UpAttitudes can be powerful. With the right attitude, a positive one in which team members actually believe they can accomplish the goals set forth by the organizational leadership, can lead to success.

In the same way, a negative attitude can have serious repercussions. A person who is negative about nearly everything will have a tendency to begin dragging down people around them, causing them to believe that a certain goal or objective it is essentially impossible. What happens when people think that something is impossible? Do they have a tendency to give up on it?

For any executive leader looking to find a way to boost productivity, encourage team members to more actively involved in the process should focus on generating positive emotional feelings within the company or organization

There are plenty of ways to develop a positive environment within any organization.

First, establish clear organizational goals. Short and long-term goals are important for team members to focus on. Being able to accomplish small, short term goals can help people feel as though they are accomplishing something.

Second, recognize the accomplishments. When people do something on deadline, under budget, or even beyond expectations, make a note of it. Let them know their effort was appreciated.

Even though you probably required and expected the deadline to be met, when it is, drawing attention to that helps to create a more positive environment within the department or company as a whole.

Third, stem negative infighting. Any personal problems among team members should be addressed immediately. Allowing things to fester, allowing employees to complain about management, talk negatively about others, and even gossip around the proverbial water cooler can begin to instill negative feelings among some or many of your team members.

In order to learn more about instilling positive feelings within the team environment, you could benefit from an executive coach.

How Well You Hire Will Impact Your Executive Abilities

How Well You Hire Will Impact Your Executive AbilitiesWith so many responsibilities that executives and managers have, it may seem like hiring is something that should be done as quickly as possible. There are some estimates that for every new employee a company hires, they will have to invest $10,000, $20,000, and even more for each position. That all depends on the type of company, the work required of the new employee, and many other factors, but hiring the right person is essential for many reasons.

Not only is it vital from an economic standpoint, it’s also crucial from an executive leadership standpoint.

The employees any executive hires and surrounds himself with will become tantamount to their long-term success. Each employee is going to play an integral role in the success of the company in the long term. Hiring the right employees, ultimately to become team members, will have an enormous impact on the abilities of any particular executive.

How team members influence executive abilities.

In order to fully understand and appreciate the value of employees and the people that an executive hires, let’s talk about the influence they have on executives. Employees will generally be answerable to their direct supervisors. They may not directly work for executives within a company, but their ability to meet deadlines, accomplish their job, and be productive is going to have a direct result on a leader’s ability to focus on long-term goals.

An executive who is working with team members who are not responsive, who don’t believe in him or her, or who don’t really understand the organizational goals will be less inclined to follow direction from executives they aren’t directly involved with on a day-to-day basis.

Hiring people with experience, talent, and knowledge are certainly important for any company, but is also essential to find individuals who have a passion for the work they do and who believe in the mission and long-term goals of the company. Tapping into executive leadership skills, developing new ones, and growing as a leader can help any executive hire the ideal team members at any level and position within the company.

Executive Failure: It Happens, but that Doesn’t Mean You Have to Stay on the Dark Side

Executive Failure: It Happens, but that Doesn’t Mean You Have to Stay on the Dark SideDepending on one’s position within any company, the impact of mistakes on their behalf can be significant. An executive, such as a CEO, is tasked with running the company, including establishing long-term visions and goals that all team members will need to adhere to.

For some, failure is not really an option, and when you’re talking about the company as a whole, if it fails or some goal is not met, it can cost a significant amount of revenue, jobs, and even the survival of the company itself.

Executive failure does happen, but when it does it’s the decisions the executive makes that can impact the company for the future. A strong leader will step up, take responsibility, and seek out ways to avoid making the same mistake in the future. This may not be enough for him or her to retain their job, but it usually provides a powerful force for the entire company to get behind.

An executive who experiences failure and chooses to remain on the dark side will essentially blame others, shirk responsibility, and may even continue with the same shortsighted goals they had established previously.

It’s important to acknowledge mistakes when they happen. This is especially true for anyone who expects to hold others accountable. If they aren’t being held accountable for their own actions, decisions, and those mistakes, it will have a ripple effect throughout the company. Before long, employees and even team members will be less resilient, less dedicated to the company and its goals, and less inclined to take responsibility when things go wrong.

Every mistake a person makes is a learning opportunity. Failing to accept the lesson it provides is a tragedy in itself.

Tame the Technology Beast: Ways to Maximize Productivity with Tech, but also Keep it Contained

Tame the Technology Beast: Ways to Maximize Productivity with Tech, but also Keep it ContainedTechnology is absolutely enormous. When compared to the way things were just a few decades ago, anybody who had been transported from the 1980s, for example, into 2015 would likely suffer from culture shock almost immediately. From personal computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even computer technology on cars, the changes have been dramatic.

Many of the technological innovations have made it so that businesses run much more efficiently than ever before, but it’s important to temper the desire to innovate with more technology with the need for personal communication and interaction.

Many companies are encouraging employees to work from home in order to save money, especially when it comes to heating bills during the winter. Just shutting down a major office building for one day a week during the winter can save tens of thousands of dollars on heating expenses throughout the year.

While it may be tempting to have team members separated by distance yet communicating on Skype or Google Talk or other methods, it’s important to keep technology within the reins of control.

Nothing replaces personal interaction with regard to developing new ideas, being innovative, and allowing team members to be as creative as possible.

If you are scheduling conferences and meetings among team members on a regular basis, and if you have a tendency to rely on technology to get people into those meetings, even if they are at another location, it’s a good idea to encourage personal attendance whenever possible. That may require moving the meeting until such time as every single person scheduled to be there can physically attend.

That physical interaction helps to forge stronger relationships among team members. When a person is working digitally, from another location, they may not have the same connection to their fellow team members as they would if they had been in the same room, met them in person, and got an opportunity to interact on a regular basis.

Strong executive leaders understand the importance of personal connection and temper technological innovations with personal interaction.

Brainstorming: More than a High School Exercise … It’s Great Business Sense!

Brainstorming: More than a High School Exercise … It’s Great Business Sense!Back in high school, one exercise your teachers may have had you do, especially when you broke off into groups, was to brainstorm new ideas. Many students in middle school or early high school are first exposed to the concept of brainstorming.

Brainstorming is a process in which an individual or group of people work together to come up with as many different ideas that could help them achieve a certain goal.

Within the corporate world or modern business, brainstorming is an essential component of short and long-term success. However, the value of brainstorming has a tendency to be overlooked and this activity is relegated to the dustbins of history for some people.

For any leader in a company, ideas are what drive success well into the future. The company may have well-established goals and a solid reputation, but with so much competition (and new competitors entering the marketplace every single month) it’s essential to remain fluid and malleable. A strong leader will encourage his or her team members to come up with new ideas and innovations that can help them expand and grow into the future.

One of the best ways to encourage brainstorming and to help employees and team members feel like they’re part of something bigger is to establish a certain time, such as a meeting or conference, and have people divide into groups of 2 to 4 individuals to brainstorm various ideas that could help the company.

You can also encourage brainstorming on a slower model. Have a suggestion box set up somewhere in the office where team members can drop in ideas, either anonymously or with their name, regarding anything to do with the business and its future.

Discourage people from complaining about others, complaining about management, or using that suggestion box for a new coffee maker in the employee lounge or anything like that. This should be simply about creative ideas that can benefit the company within its goals for the short and long-term.

Strong leaders encourage creativity and allow their team members to ‘think outside the box.’