Timidity: The Fifth Enemy from Within

In the previous four posts we have looked at the fears that is based on indifference, indecision, doubt and worry. In this post we will look at timidity. And, like the other fears, timidity at times can certainly be appropriate. Yet, when you are overcome with timidity it will keep you from advancing.

As a business coach in The Woodlands and as a business coach in Houston I have seen and experienced timidity. What is timidity? Quite simply, timidity is overly cautious. Timidity or over caution, will keep people on the sidelines when they need to be in the game of business and life. Read more

Building A Good Culture: Sharing Vulnerability

One of the most overlooked attributes in building a good culture, mostly because leaders are not aware of it, is sharing vulnerability. They are not aware of it because it is counterintuitive. You are told that to be a good leader you must be strong. Yet, the strongest leaders are the ones who admit to and share their vulnerabilities.

What makes them stronger is several things. First of all, when you admit to your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, you are showing self-awareness, and this causes others to see you as authentic and to trust you. Secondly, when you and your followers are aware of your vulnerabilities you can give those that support you responsibility for taking care of those things that are not in your strength zone. This gives them ownership which is important in creating a good culture. Read more

Building Safety (Part 2): Do I Belong Here?

As a business coach in The Woodlands, I am always struck by the great sense of belonging that this community generates. It is welcoming but not overly so. People there have to get to know you. Yet, there is something special about The Woodlands. And the people who live there are proud to be part of this vibrant community.

All of us want to belong. As human beings one of our primal instincts is to look for belonging cues. And, like The Woodlands, we want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. Belonging is about connection. Very often, one of the challenges I work with as a personal business coach in companies is with the culture and creating a greater sense of belonging. Read more

Group Culture Is a Powerful Force

As a personal business coach in Houston I have the opportunity to work with teams in corporations. In my personal business coaching in The Woodlands, I get to work with small businesses and the teams within the businesses.

Whether the organization is large or small there is a desire to have good culture. It has been shown in studies that a strong culture can increase income by several hundred percent! We know that a good culture works. We are generally not sure why it works. Read more

How the Kindergarteners Won

In the previous post I related an experiment that was done to highlight aspects that create a good culture in which teams can be productive. As a self-improvement business coach in the Woodlands one of the areas of focus in corporations and small businesses that I collaborate with has been regarding culture and how culture impacts not only a team’s efficiency but effectiveness.

The kindergarteners in the experiment won against teams of business students. They also carried the experiment to other groups. The kindergarteners defeated lawyers and CEOs. So, what was going on that created this unexpected result? Read more

A Contest to Reveal Culture

In the last post I spoke about some of the foundational components to building a strong culture. It is necessary for people to feel safe and to believe they belong to something bigger than themselves. Also, for a culture to thrive it needs a clear mission, vision and an established purpose.

As a business coach in the Woodlands and as a business coach in Houston, a clear sense of purpose makes the possibilities for growth and advancement of an organization much clearer. Why? With clarity comes pointed and focused action. The individuals and teams who make up the culture have a clear purpose.

Several years ago, a designer and engineer, Peter Skillman, held a competition to find out the following: Why do certain groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts, while others add up to be less?

To this end he assembled a series of four-person groups at three major universities and a few other places. He challenged each group to build the tallest possible structure using the follow items.

  • Twenty pieces of uncooked spaghetti
  • One yard of transparent tape
  • One yard of string
  • One standard sized marshmallow

The contest had one rule. The marshmallow had to be on the top. The most interesting part, to me, was not so much the task but the teams he assembled. Some of the teams were business students and some were kindergartners.

The business students strategized. The kindergartners had a different approach. They did not strategize, analyze or share experiences. They were too young, not only to strategize, analyze and share experiences. They did not know how to ask questions, propose options or hone ideas. All of which the business students knew how to do. Their entire technique was about how to bunch stuff together.

In dozens of trials around the country and in other parts of the world, the kindergartners won. Their structures averaged twenty-six inches tall, while the business students’ structures ended up averaging less than ten inches in height.

The results may be hard to absorb. Suffice it to say, as a personal development business coach, it was the kindergartners who had the greater personal development and self-improvement. In the next post I will discuss how these results came about. In a word, it is surprising.

Culture: When One Plus One Equals Five

I have observed in my in my practice of personal business coaching in the Woodlands and also in business coaching in Houston that certain concepts become the major focus of the time. Time management was big and coming into its own in the 1980’s and 1990’s. You just weren’t with it if you hadn’t taken a time management course. And, time management is still just as important today as it was back then.

Today, much of what I encounter has to do with company culture and how it is either helping or hindering a company. Culture comes from the Latin word cultus, which means care. Culture at its highest level has a clear purpose as expressed in the vision and more importantly, the vision statements.

These statements are more than just words. They define a purpose and a way to get there that is bigger than any one person. It gives the individual something to belong to and helps form a sense of team and cohesiveness. Culture sends a number of signals of how we belong to something. And when we belong to something as a teamwe can do greater things than if we siloed ourselves off and did it alone.

This is where one plus one equals five. This is where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When it comes to culture, I become more of a personal development business coach in the Woodlands with an emphasis on self-improvement business coaching.

In order to have a geometric progression in growth, efficiency and effectiveness a team must feel safe. This allows them to be creative. The members of the team must feel like they belong. And, the individuals in the team must focus on their personal development or self-improvement. Why? Seldom will whatever we want to achieve individually or as a team exceed our personal development.

Definitions: Part 5-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the last post we looked at the terms shifts, leaps, strengths and their definitions. In this post, we will look at symptom, motivation, and vision. Looking at how these four terms are defined will give us greater insight into what a personal business coach or a personal development coach may need to know to better coach his or her client. These four terms, symptom, motivation, vision and tolerations are key to understanding what is going on your business and life as well as those you may coach.

Symptom:When you think of a symptom very often it is in relationship to health. For example, if someone has a fever it may be a symptom of the flu. Very often symptoms give us a clue to something bigger that we can’t see, yet encourages us to ask more questions and to explore.

What is a symptom? The visible expression of a condition or situation; something that indicates the presences of something else. For example, if my client is speaking very quickly, he or she may be upset or not sure of what to say.

Yes, symptoms are clues. And in self-improvement business coaching, being able to recognize symptoms and to dig deeper to discover what they may be covering is essential to supporting my clients.
Like a good detective, the personal development business coach must see the symptoms, the clues, and then piece things together to solve the puzzle.

Motivation: An incentive or inducement to action. An example may be a client who is working hard at improving his or her communication skills because he or she wants to be promoted.

Notice that motivation is an incentive or inducement. Once the incentive or inducement is no longer available then what? A big part of continuous self-improvement is to always have an incentive or inducement to be your best.
Yet, to have success, motivation alone is not enough. If your intuition and discernment are off and you are not employing your strengths, you could set the wrong goals and priorities. When this happens, you start hurdling down the wrong path.

When you realize that your motivation has taken you down the wrong path what must you do to turn yourself around? You need more education. You must become educated about what brought you to going down this path that is taking you away from your goal of self-improvement. Secondly, you must get more education, or at the least re-educate yourself, so you can create a new pathway to turn yourself around.

Vision: A vision is simply something you see. A personal vision is something seen for the future. It involves anticipation, foresight, perception conception, and desire. It is a scene you create that is your vision of the future.

A personal or business vision is based on wants, needs, values, and goals. A vision may be singular in nature or involve many facets. The greatest value of creating a common vision that you and your client can share is that you both have a clear focus on where you want to be in the future.

With a common vision of the future it becomes much easier to co-create the mind maps that will be needed to take the client to the future he desires. Finally, the power of a vision, the future, is an awesome force. The vision of the future encourages us to become more. Also, it brings purpose to the present. With a clear vision of the future what you need to do in the present becomes absolutely clear.

Take a close look at these three terms, symptom, motivation and vision. Understand what they can do for you and your client. Symptoms can help uncover the true challenges. Motivation will create positive momentum for you and your client to achieve his or her vision. And lastly, but not least important is vision. With a clear vision of the future you will uncover the symptoms to problems that may be holding you back while creating the motivation to accomplish the vision.

Self-Improvement: It Is All About Your Personal Foundation

As a personal business coach, I have observed that your level of self-improvement will not exceed the strength of your personal foundation. What is your personal foundation?

An individual’s personal foundation is his or her structural basis that supports him or her in living an exceptional life. Just as a house must be built on a strong personal foundation to avoid collapsing under stress, so must your life. A house’s foundation is made up of earth, cement, and steel. Your personal foundation is also made up of three major elements. The are the What, the Who and the How.

Let’s look at the “What.” The “What” is self-improvement business coaching is the package that person presents to the world. It is “What” the world sees when it looks at us. This element is also composed of several sub parts as well. We can include such things as behavior, the public self, what we show others. The “What” can be related to the “body” part of the body, mind and spirit.

The ”Who” part of you is easily understood as the real you, the core of who you are in reality, not in presentation of the “What.” As a personal development business coach, I find that discovering the “Who” is the key to unlocking an individual’s self-improvement. The “Who” often drives the “What,” but it is not always consistent with it. The “Who” can also be identified with the “spirit” part of the body, mind and spirit analogy in the previous paragraph.

The “How,” the third component of personal foundation is the set of processes, methods, and values that drive our behavior–“How” we do the things we do, and “How” we are “Who” we are. The fuel for the “How” of us is the “Who,” which essentially yields -the “What.” If you put his into an equation it would look like this: “Who” + “How” = “What.” The “What” equates to the “mind” part of body, mind, and spirit.

The “What,” the “Who,” and the “How” are the components of personal foundation that I start with as a personal development business coach. When looking at your own self-improvement start with these three areas. Know your “What,” “Who,” and “How.” They are the keys to unlocking your future growth and personal development.

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.