Personal Development and Growth

You will become what you think about most.  This is a powerful statement when it comes to your personal development and growth.  What you think about most becomes the foundation for building your confidence and self-esteem.  And, what you think about most can help to improve your self-confidence or it can diminish it.  So, what are you thinking about most?

As a business coach, who also plays the role of a personal development coach, it is not necessarily easy to answer the question, “What do you think about most?”

I find a way to get something complex and deep started is to simplify it.  It is important to break it down into manageable pieces.  Let’s take a look at what I like to call the 5 Areas of Life.

  1. Spiritual-The spiritual is about how much you are conducting your life in alignment with your gifts and talents, who you are. If you are not, don’t panic or beat up on yourself.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good life.  You probably do.  What it means is, that when you are living your life using your gifts and talents that you and your life will be happier and more fulfilling.  That definitely builds your confidence and self-esteem.
  2. Family-How is your relationship with your family? This is critical. Poor relationships will drain you of energy, focus and the desire to expand yourself and your world.  It is important to get this as right as possible.  It is hard to have build confidence and self-esteem in a constant cauldron of negative relationships.
  3. Business-This is what you do to earn a living. Or, what you do to exist.  The goal here is to be doing things that not only let you survive, but thrive.  An environment where you thrive will accelerate your personal development and growth.
  4. Financial-This is pretty straight forward. Have your income exceed your expenses.  Be a good steward of your money.  And, if you aren’t earning enough money, even if you have good financial habits, you can embark on personal development and growth, which will increase your value and put the odds in your favor of finding something where you will be paid more.  Actually, in the United States, this is the easiest area to change.
  5. Personal-This has three sub areas: The Mental.  The Emotional.  The Physical.  This is the area where you recharge yourself.  When you recharge yourself by focusing your mind on good things and progress, by feeling good about yourself and what you are doing then you are much more likely to create new pathways for your successful personal development and growth and ultimately your successful performance.  The last area, the Physical, is very important to supporting the mental and emotional.  When you feel good about yourself physically it is because you are doing good things for yourself.  The physical serves as an impetus to build your confidence and self-esteem in your thoughts and emotions.  The physical acts as a reservoir that the mental and emotional can draw on.  Take care of the reservoir of the physical and you will have the energy to become all that you can be.

These are five areas that you can focus on to take your personal development and growth to the next level.  Let them guide you to what you think about most.  After all, you do become what you think about most.

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.

The Having A Challenge Executing A Strategy?

To move forward in business, you or your organization must be good at execution. It sounds so simple, yet time and again the execution of a strategy or change fails. How come?

Any time you seek to execute a change in strategy you are asking yourself and other to change your human behavior. It may be the behavior of a few, a team or an entire organization.

The answer to good execution of strategy is to change the behavior of the people, to change the human element. You can have written goals, tactics and deadlines. These are good but they are only “on paper” change.

Without commitment and proven practices to follow to execute the strategy or change “on paper” you will fail to change the one component necessary to success. That element is human behavior.

Behavioral change strategies are very challenging. You can’t just put them down “on paper” and order, let alone expect them to happen. Behavioral change has a better chance of success when the system is changed and people are held accountable for their behavior.

The last part to successfully executing a new strategy is to start with something small. Too often, I see organizations try to fix everything. When they do it is like throwing everything into a blender. The result, very often, is chaos and failure.

I have talked about ways to overcome the challenge of executing a new strategy or incorporating change. It is good to have written goals where everyone can see them. There must be commitment to proven practices. People must be willing to embrace a new system and to be held accountable. Lastly, start with a small strategy or change, experience some success and build on it.

Take all of the above and add a fanatical discipline to make sure these things take place. For without discipline there is very little chance of successfully executing a strategy or change. Success in implementing a strategy or change will come from having the discipline to execute