Aim High

A college professor prepared a test for his soon to be graduating seniors.  The test questions were divided into three categories and the students were instructed to choose questions from only one of the categories.  The first category of questions was the hardest and worth fifty points.  The second, which was easier, was worth forty points.  The third, the simplest, was worth thirty points.

Upon completion of the test, students who had chosen the hardest fifty-point questions were given As.  The students who had chosen the forty-point questions received Bs.  Those who settled for the easiest thirty-pointers were given Cs.

The students were frustrated with the grading of their papers and asked the professor what he was looking for.  The professor leaned over the podium, smiled, and explained, “I wasn’t testing your book knowledge.  I was testing your aim.”

An anonymous writer once commented, “Make no small plans for they have no power to stir your soul.”  Robert Kriegel put it this way, “The key is to have a dream that inspires us to go beyond our limits.”  Not only are people short on dreams but even those with dreams often set their sights low enough to protect themselves from failure.

To stay on your course for continuous self-improvement and the benefits that will be attracted to you and your business—AIM HIGH!

What Are the Benefits of Working with a Personal Development Business Coach?

In a previous post, I talked about whether or not you are a candidate to work with a personal development business coach.  If you are ready to be held accountable, to collaborate and to co-create with another person, your personal development business coach, then you are quite possibly a good candidate for personal development, or as some call it, self-improvement coaching.

So, you are ready in all these areas.  You have started to look for a personal business coach.  How do you find a good self-improvement coaching?  Quite simply, find someone who understands that they are not the best coach for everyone.  This is critical.  Let me state that as for myself, I am definitely not the coach for everyone.  A good personal development business coach understands the value he can bring when he collaborates with others. And he is specific, not general in his approach.

For example, in my practice, I collaborate with only those people who are already successful in my facets of business and life, or who have been successful and are on their way back.  I have found that I work best with those types of clients.  I am better with those that have a sense of themselves, their strengths and their vulnerabilities. Find a coach who can specifically identify where they work best.  There is no right or wrong here.  There truly is a coach for everyone.

The challenge for you as a prospective client is to discover the best fit for you.  As your coach I should be providing you in each session tips on self-improvement.  For every ten people I interview for coaching I work with two or three.  I have a process that takes about four hours and about a week.  Both the prospective client and myself are determining together with guidelines and a process if we have the potential to be a good match.

During the qualifying process, the client or myself is free at any time to say, “I don’t think this is going to work.”  Very often, either the prospective client or myself will come to the realization that yes, coaching is needed, but that we aren’t a fit.  One way I go about doing that is offering my prospective client some tips on self-improvement.  If the prospect is excited about them and wants to take action, I know that the odds are more favorable for a good coaching relationship.

After all, when you seek self-improvement coaching, the personal relationship with your coach will determine not only determine your level of enthusiasm but what you are willing to undertake in order to accomplish your goals. If you see the benefits from the tips on self-improvement, but can’t see the relationship as a client, then it is time to step away before you get started.

Let’s say you have found your personal development business coach.  Now what?  You will start to develop a vision of the future and what you wish to accomplish.

  1.  You will determine your strengths because those are the areas where you can more quickly see personal growth and development in your business and your life.
  2.  You will discover how to strengthen your personal foundation. When you do, you can accomplish much more.
  3.  You will begin to understand the path or pathways that are most conducive to developing your personal foundation and subsequently yourself to take you on the path to accomplishing your vision.

These are three benefits you will see in self-improvement coaching and working with a personal development business coach.  There are many more.  The key is to start in these areas.  Do well in these areas.  When you do, you will increase the odds of your self-improvement taking you on a path to make your vision of the future a reality.

Proven Use of Team Roles

Dr. Meredith Belbin defined a team role as “a tendency to behave, contribute an interrelate with others in aparticular way.”

He named nine such team roles that underlie team success. It is important to emphasize that these are not set instone behavioral patterns of individuals, rather these are preferences and attitudes team members will assume in agiven team situation.

Therefore a certain individual might perform a certain role within one team and accomplish a different role within another team. Often however individuals do have a tendency to fill a certain rolewithin all the teams that they are a part of or at least strive to fill this preferred role.

Remember: Belbin asserts that when a team is performing at its best, one finds that each team member has clear responsibilities. Also noticeable is that every Belbin role needed to achieve the team’s goalis being performed fully and well. However it is likely that a team will fall short of its full potential not because skillsare lacking but because the Belbin roles aren’t harmonized across the team.

Balanced Teams

Teams become unbalanced when all team members carry out the same behavioral team role. When team members have similar strengths and weaknesses this can create problems. If the strengths arethe same they may compete instead of collaborate.

With this information in mind, the team leader together with the team can implement the model and investigatethe team members preferred roles as well as explore the roles which are missing.

By understanding your role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage yourweaknesses as a team member, and so improve your contribution to the team.

Belbin’s Team Roles Model

Belbin identified nine team roles and he categorized those roles into three groups:

  • Action Oriented
  • People Oriented
  • Thought Oriented

The nine team roles divided into the three groups are:

Action Oriented Roles:

Shaper (SH)

Shapers are people who challenge the team to improve. The Shaper is the one who shakes thingsup to make sure that all possibilities are considered and that the team does not become complacent.

Implementer (IMP)

Implementers are the people who get things done. They turn the team’s ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans.

Completer-Finisher (CF)

Completer-Finishers are the people who see that projects are completed thoroughly.

People Oriented Roles:

Coordinator (CO)

Coordinators are the ones who take on the traditional team-leader role and have also been referred to asthe delegate.

Team Worker (TW)

Team Workers are the people who provide support and make sure that people within the team are working togethereffectively.

Resource Investigator (RI)

Resource Investigators are innovative and curious. They explore available options; develop contacts, and negotiate for resources on behalf of the team.

Thought Oriented Roles:

Plant (PL)

The Plant is the creative innovator who comes up with new ideas and approaches. They thriveon praise but criticism is especially hard for them to deal with.

Monitor-Evaluator (ME)

Monitor-Evaluators are best at analyzing and evaluating ideas that other people (oftenPlants) come up with. These people are shrewd and objective and they carefully weigh the pros and cons of all theoptions before coming to a decision.

Specialist (SP)

Specialists are people who have specialized knowledge that is needed to get the job done. Theypride themselves on their skills and abilities, and they work to maintain their professional status.
In finding roles for actual or potential team members keep the above in mind. When a person has guidance on what role or roles (you can play more than one at a time) he or she can play for a team they will have clarity. With clarity they can take steps and provide thinking to fulfill their role, thus helping the team. They now have purpose.

And with purpose, it is much easier for a team member to contribute to achieving the team’s goals. Also, I have found this process to be liberating. You have a specific role or roles and you understand, instead of worrying, how you can make a positive contribution to achieving what the team is tasked to accomplish.