Building Safety (Part 1)

As a personal business coach in The Woodlands and also in my business coaching in Houston the first thing I must do to build trust and rapport is to create a culture of safety. This is true in collaborating with and supporting individuals and groups.

Whether it is the small business owner, a large corporation or individual clients my primary goal is for them to feel safe. If you don’t feel safe you will always minimize your sharing of what is going on that needs to be addressed. In other words, without safety, fear rules. And when fear is your guiding force, whether it be in your business or personal relationships it will ultimately lead to difficult situations because it promotes a lack of trust.

In organizations, this lack of trust creates a culture that will stifle creativity. Why is this important? The only way to remain relevant as a company, a team or organization is to embrace change. When there is a lack of trust and fear dominates people are not willing to change. They think that if they change and don’t do things in a new way correctly, they will be held back professionally or at worst, be fired. Cultures that are punitive are not safe. In this type of atmosphere self-improvement or group improvement is very challenging and as a result, the creativity to bring about change is virtually non-existent. Creativity happens in the area of how to survive, not thrive.

The second thing that happens when the culture is not safe is that efficiency will start to diminish. If there is “Holy Grail” in business, it is a focus on efficiency. When I speak with some of my fellow business coaches in The Woodlands, the topic of efficiency almost always comes up. Yet, in a culture that is not safe, efficiency ends up being sacrificed.

How? I am reminded of a client I had who does international manufacturing of “widget” (a made-up name) devices. These are produced in plants around the world as well as Texas and several other states. A new leadership came in that was very authoritarian in its implementation and leadership. Everything was about the bottom line. They decided to cut back on the frequency of maintenance on the manufacturing equipment. They also reduced the capital expenditures budget for new equipment to keep up with the changes in the industry.

The result a year into this was higher maintenance costs, more downtime, more overtime to meet the orders because of equipment breakdown and delays and worst of all, a loss in sales. The employees no longer felt safe because they did not have the tools or resources to do a good job. And, when things did not go right, they were reprimanded for lapses in production that were caused by the new culture of scarcity and threats.

Building a safe culture in your business and personal relationships will allow you to embrace change and stay current or ahead because you can be creative and efficient. Without safety, creativity and efficiency are sacrificed on the altar of survival and an ongoing fear that things are going to fall apart.

How to Have Your Best Year Yet Part 3

In the last post I shared with you three more questions to ask yourself on your path to achieving your best year yet. Altogether here are the six questions presented to this point.

1. What did I accomplish in the past year? Or what did I accomplish in the last 12 months? You can start having your best year yet at any time.

2. What were my major disappointments?

3. What did I learn?

4. How do I limit myself and how can I stop? This question, to me, is one of the most challenging. You have to take a deep introspective look at yourself and come to an understanding of how you may limit yourself and how can you stop.

5. What are my values? As with the other questions, there are no right or wrong answers here. If is important to define your values. It will give you a mirror into how you conduct your business and your life. It will show you your priorities in how you accomplish things.

6. What roles do I play? This is critical. Identify all the roles you play in your life. Most people are fascinated when they discover all the roles they play?

In this segment, I will finish up with the last four questions. As I have shared in the last two posts, I do business coaching in The Woodlands and surrounding areas, including Houston. Not all business coaches offer the same types of services. I am definitely not the business coach for everyone. It is important that you interview your coach thoroughly and that they do the same for you. This is a collaboration. My practice includes not just the business, but the personal side. The two, in my opinion are strongly linked and it is a must to address both areas in order for a client to achieve the success or results he or she desired. My role at times can be strictly as a business coach. Other times it can be more focused on self-improvement business coaching. And, when you put it all together it adds up to what is personal business coaching. All business coaching, in the end, is personal. It is about what you, not the coach, is going to gain from the coaching relationship.

In striving for your best year yet, it is important to have someone to hold you accountable. This may be a coach or someone else. Regardless, when you have accountability, you increase your odds greatly of achieving your goals.

On the road to your best year yet, here are the last four questions.

7. What are my goals for each role? You have defined the roles you play. Now what are the goals for each role.

8. What is my major role for next year? This is a great question because your answer guides you to where you will want to focus a large part of your time and energy in the coming year. And most importantly, it starts you on the path to creating priorities.

9. What are my top 10 goals for next year? This brings greater focus.

10. How can I make sure I achieve my top 10 goals? Here is where you put in the action steps you must take to achieve your goals and to have your best year yet.

In the end, everything you have done can be distilled down to one page. Start with listing the top two or three priorities in terms of behavior and habits, not goals that will allow you to achieve your goals.

Next, write a paragraph about your belief system that will enable you to achieve your goals. This is your new paradigm.

Next, write down your major focus and how you are going to make it a reality.

Finally, write down your top 10 goals for the year and when you wish to have achieved them during the course of the year.

Keep it brief. The goal is to fit it all on one page of paper. When you have it you now have your blueprint for your best year yet. Keep it where you can read it once a week. When you do, you will be on your way to having your best year yet.

How to Have Your Best Year Yet Part 2

In the last post I started with three questions to ask yourself on your path to having your best year yet.

1.What did I accomplish in the past year? Or what did I accomplish in the last 12 months? You can start having your best year yet at any time.

2.What were my major disappointments?

3.What did I learn?

In my practice, which for the most part is as a personal business coach in The Woodlands, there are different roles I must play to be effective for my clients. Part of what I do is collaborate with them on purely business challenges. That is the business coach role. I may also collaborate with them on personal challenges that can lead to breakthroughs in their business. That is when I do self-improvement business coaching or what some call personal development business coaching.

When focusing on how to have your best year yet all these roles come into play. After all, I believe you must look at the whole situation. It is easy to develop strategies for the business but maybe those strategies don’t fit the leadership style or the person. Then adjustments need to be made as we discover what needs to be addressed. The exciting aspect for my clients and me is that they are not the same person today as they were two weeks or a month ago. When you are involved in the business coaching process, regardless of who you collaborate with, you must be willing to stretch.

So, you have answered the first three questions. I find that these are relatively easy for most people to address. Based on your accomplishments, your disappointments and what you learned, here are the next three.

4. How do I limit myself and how can I stop? This question, to me, is one of the most challenging. You have to take a deep introspective look at yourself and come to an understanding of how you may limit yourself and how can you stop.

5.What are my values? As with the other questions, there are no right or wrong answers here. If is important to define your values. It will give you a mirror into how you conduct your business and your life. It will show you your priorities in how you accomplish things.

6.What roles do I play? This is critical. Identify all the roles you play in your life. Most people are fascinated when they discover all the roles they play?

Once again, write down the answers to these questions. In the next segment we will start putting together the goals to have your best year yet.