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Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

Top 10 Coaching Commandments

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 22, 2012 No Comments

When it’s time to coach a team member, these 10 Coaching Commandments can help you create an effective session that gets results.

Coaching is an often underused but powerful tool. It’s underused because coaching is sometimes associated with negative situations, but you can also use coaching for positive behaviors. Coaching can encourage, set new direction, or establish authority. When you make the determination to coach a team member, here are the 10 Coaching Commandments that you should keep in each session.

One: Recognize good work. It’s easy to forget that a coaching session can be a pat on the back – a reminder that someone is heading in the right direction. Be on the lookout for corrective coaching, but always remember to look for opportunities for coaching the good work.


When Coaching Fails

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 16, 2012 No Comments

As a coach, you should always be aware of what other teams, both within the organization and outside it, are doing. It seems that Belichick did not want team members looking forward and outside the organization – and he took the Giants lightly because of the wide popular opinion against them. It stands to reason, then, that an effective coach will not underestimate the competition’s preparation and determination – even if they seem to be losing.

Communication within teams is extremely important. Just as Coughlin created a communication strategy, Belichick could do the same thing in the next season. Each team member needs to know his or her role in the big picture, no matter how big or how small. When a coach takes the time to communicate this, either personally or through senior team members, the entire team takes on a new life of ownership and accountability. (more…)

The Difference Between a Coach, Mentor, and Consultant?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 9, 2012 No Comments

When determining the difference between a coach, mentor, and consultant, it is necessary to look at specific roles and functions. First, we must look at the focus or concentration – what is the specific focus of the person? Second, we should look at the type of agenda or role the person has. Third, look at how the relationship is chosen and or cultivated. Fourth, how does the person garner influence? Fifth, what is the expected return for the services of the person? Finally, we must determine the scope of the person’s work.

Coaches appear in various forms, such as professional, life, relationship, and sports team coaches. All coach types share the same criteria. The focus of the coach is in specific performance – for example, an organizational coach is usually responsible for increasing or improving performance in a given area. The agenda for a coach, then, is usually fairly specific – improve batting average, increase sales, etc.

A coach usually arrives in the relationship selected by someone other than the “coachee” – in other words, the relationship is not self-selected. Coaches also influence through their position, such as in the sports world. But what is the expected return for a coach? As we’ve already discussed, a coach is looking for performance and possibly teamwork. Finally, a coach’s scope is usually task-related. (more…)

How To Get The Most From Your Employees

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On July 5, 2012 No Comments

Production is at the center of all business.  Knowing exactly how much you’re getting from your managerial staff and the employees working under is imperative.  Under-performing sectors of the office can shed light on quarterly gains/losses, and it’s here where you might determine how understaffed or overstaffed your company is once the accountant comes calling.

But sometimes it’s not about the size of the employees.  Sometimes it could be the structure of the business where, in some cases, it isn’t as uniformed as it should be.  Part of that could be from being a startup and not having immediate access to amenities such as a larger office space and/or top-of-the-line technology at their employees’ fingertips.  Mostly though, it’s a case of insufficient training for all parties involved…from the CEO on down to supervisors to entry-level employees. (more…)

Developing a Leadership Bench

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 15, 2011 No Comments

Creating a leadership bench takes the skill of a coach and the precision of an engineer. But there are five distinct steps you can take to build your leadership bench – and keep it moving.

First, and most obvious, you must create and maintain a leadership development program. This isn’t simply an order to the training department to create leadership courses. You must obtain buy-in from your management team by showing the benefits: the leadership bench, succession planning, talent management, and career pathing. Your program should begin with classroom training -at all levels, if possible. Everyone in your organization should know what your definition of a leader is – and how to get there. But as you move up the ranks, leadership development should be ongoing, challenging, and not necessarily a sure thing. The program should include real-time projects, seminars, assessment, and evaluation. Program participants who slip should be coached back up – or out. Once someone is in the leadership program, he or she should continue to improve in all aspects. (more…)

Corporate University:Include Technology

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On June 7, 2010 No Comments

In today’s environment, technology is king. We know this because first of all because technology is cost effective and efficient, but also because, let’s face it, technology is popular. Smart phones, MP3 players, and social media almost make it a necessity to include a technology plan in the roll-out of the corporate university. Obviously this use of technology will help the university to stay fresh and cutting edge, but what’s better is that effective use of technology will save money and help you show more ROI.

The first step is to examine the organization’s existing technology infrastructure. To put it plainly, some organizations may not have the technology to offer the most advanced technology. You may know what your organization is capable of, but even if this is the case you should get your IT department involved in the planning stages. Use some of the examples we are about to discuss in order to begin a dialogue – and find out what you can and cannot do. Keep in mind that the “cannots” may turn into “cans” in the future – and the speed at which technology moves usually means that the future is closer than we think. (more…)

GLD 7: Managing the Program

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 27, 2010 No Comments

You’ve planned, analyzed, obtained buy in, and even wrestled with a budget for your global leadership development program. But before you move forward with implementation, you need to determine how the program will be managed effectively. As you have moved through the challenges to global leadership development, you’ve probably realized that with each challenge comes a separate program component. Each component will need to be managed, and managed closely in the first stages of the implementation of the program. Let’s look at this challenge from the process standpoint and discuss some best practices for managing the global leadership development program.

First, take a good look at all of the components for your program. At the high level you’ll probably have separate components for training, coaching, succession planning, and operations. Is there a person or group who will naturally manage each one of these components already? If not, decide how each component will be managed. For example, training and coaching most naturally fall to the training organization. Will you outsource the training function or keep it within your organization? What about succession planning? Do you have a talent manager within the training or organizational development functions, or is the talent manager part of human resources? Or are you the de facto talent manager because of your sponsorship and management of the leadership development program? Operational components, such as scheduling and travel, are also a factor. Do you have an admin staff that can handle the added responsibility? (more…)

GLD 6: Obtaining Buy-In in a Global Environment

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 20, 2010 No Comments

All of your best plans for the creation of a global leadership development program may be meaningless if you do not obtain the buy in of key individuals or groups. Any organizational development program needs this buy in and approval, but a truly global program is probably going to require more work on your part; after all, your key individuals and groups are probably just as diverse as your program itself. Let’s look at the best process to use when looking for buy in from those key groups.

First, it is absolutely necessary to define the individuals and groups from whom you need to obtain buy in or approval. Before we move on, let’s look at the difference between buy in and approval. You’ll need to obtain buy in from any individual or group who can push your global leadership development program forward. This could include line managers, key organizational leaders, executives, and even various work groups. The concept of buy in also includes approval, but try not to forget the people who need to approve the program before it can move forward. Divide the key people and groups within your organization and determine which ones should “buy in” and which ones should “approve”. Tailor your presentation to each group, keeping in mind the cultural differences you may encounter within the organization and its regions. Most likely, you’ll come up with an executive group, a stakeholder group, managers and front line supervisors, and key business leaders throughout your system. And each group will require you to “sell” the global leadership program from a different perspective. (more…)

Coaching as a Training Resource

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 20, 2009 No Comments

personal_and_professional_coachingEven if the recession is beginning to back off, it may take some time to build budgets and training staffs back to a serviceable level. Plus, one of the hard facts of the ongoing financial crisis is that organizations will have to emerge with much more lean and efficient training staffs and programs. Coaching in the field is a very effective and cost efficient method of keeping training going – and making sure that an organization’s associates are not left in the dark.<

The first question that may come up is, “how do I create a coaching program when things are such a mess?” Hopefully your organization still has some of its high performing, high potential leaders out in the field. Plus, your organization may still have its leadership pool, whose members are probably “chomping at the bit” to increase their skills. These are the groups to turn to when you need coaches. And most likely the members of these groups will be more than happy to help out. (more…)

Sales Analytics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 2, 2009 No Comments

20060828_fmk_webviewer_details_monthly_sales_analyticsIt’s easy to say that a great salesperson is that person who continually closes, and this is true to a great extent. But in a new economic environment, a closed sale is not necessarily the sole measure for effectiveness of the salesperson and the sales presentation. There are several ways to measure sales and all of them can be used together to get a good picture. In addition, you can use a combination of metrics to determine how to set goals – and how to coach salespeople in the meantime.

One of the most common sales analytics is revenue. For a business with only a few products and a few salespeople, it’s also a relatively simple leap to determine how much of the revenue was brought in through the sales force. But as products become more complicated and as the sales force spreads geographically, this determination is harder to make. The idea of using revenue as a sales metric is to take the total revenue and then break it down to relevant units, such as division, product, region, or salesperson. Once you have a hold on the numbers, you can determine how much revenue is generated by each product – and by each salesperson. (more…)



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