Different Strokes for Different Folks – The Sweet Science of Great Coaching

Think of a coach you admire – what about their style that you like? What don’t you like? If you were to write down ten key traits that you believe a great coach should possess – what would you write down on your list? (Traits like patience, open-mindedness, flexible, empathetic, good communicator, excellent listener, a problem solver, knowledgeable, etc.) I don’t believe you are born a great coach. I think great coaches are made. You can be the kind of coach you want to be. You don’t have to be the most intelligent person in the room to be the most successful coach.

Worth Remembering – “The main ingredient for stardom is the rest of the team.” – John Wooden

I believe we are born with a particular style – a particular way of behaving – that heavily influences how we communicate and interact with others. Great coaches can assemble a group of people with different personalities, different skill sets, and varied backgrounds and mould them into a cohesive, collaborative team by identifying how they prefer to be coached and working with them in the way they like. If you can adapt your coaching style to be more in tune with how they want to be coached – chances are they will be more receptive because you are coaching them the way they like.

Worth Remembering – “The task is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply team performance by putting to use whatever strength there is in individuals.” – Peter Drucker.

Understanding yourself well and the behaviour of others will improve your relationships at work and home by increasing your willingness to change how you interact and respond to others who have a different type of behaviour than yours. Several assessment tools are available to help identify a person’s behavioural type. I use an assessment tool based on Dr. William Marston’s DISC Theory. Marston believed that are four distinct styles of behaviour: Dominate, Interactive, Steadiness and Conscientious, and each type communicates, interacts and prefers to be coached differently.

Worth Remembering – “To reach your goals and dreams, you must learn to assist others in reaching theirs.” – Joe Gibbs

If you are a coach that believes in science, then you should have four different approaches to coaching.

Dominate Personalities: Be direct. Make communication brief and to the point. Respect their need for autonomy. Be clear about rules and expectations. Resist the urge to micromanage.

Interactive Personalities: Be relaxed and friendly. Let them verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Provide written details. Keep the conversation light – use humour.

Steadiness Personalities: Provide a consistent and secure environment. Be logical and systematic in your approach. Be patient and let them adapt slowly to changes. Provide written instructions.

Conscientious Personalities: Give clear expectations and deadlines. Be precise and focused. Let them know your high standards are not negotiable, but how you accomplish them could be.

If want to be a great coach, then remember different strokes for different folks and the sweet science of great coaching.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you searching for a corporate trainer for yourself or your team? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com

Up Your Leadership EQ!

EQ – Emotional Quotient – known as emotional intelligence or soft skills is the ability to understand, use, and manage your emotions in positive ways to reduce stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflicts. Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book “Working With Emotional Intelligence,” said it best. “We are being judged by a new yardstick; not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also how well we handle ourselves and each other.” Sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to manage or lead others are emotionally based. If you can’t make an emotional connection and establish a relationship with those on your team, you will be a lousy manager or leader. If you want to continue retaining and attracting talent, up your leadership EQ!

Worth Remembering … “One of the most important things about being a good manager or leader is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what’s at the heart of the business and that’s people.” – Oprah..

We may live in a hi-tech world, but your soft skills – empathy, patience, flexibility, open-mindedness and the ability to communicate and interact with others – play a more significant role in your success. For the first time in our life, we have the potential to work with four different generations at the same time. Each generation – Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and the newest Generation – Gen Zs; communicates, interacts with others, manages and likes to be managed differently. Each generation has different values, wants and needs. Each generation prefers to be managed, communicated with and led a certain way. The successful manager or leader will be the one who can adapt their management or leadership style to work with others the way they like.

Worth Remembering … “Soft skills won’t guarantee you the promotion. But not having them puts you at risk of not even getting the offer.” – Brian Smith..

Research by McClelland, Goleman, Kouzes and others tells a compelling story about the link between an organization’s success and its leaders. Emotional intelligence / soft skills are the magic ingredient that separates the mediocre from the exceptional performing companies. Senior managers or leaders with a high EQ component were 20% more profitable and had less staff turnover. How much fun are you to be around? People like to work with people they like. People want to work for an organization that makes them feel accepted and valued as essential team members. How often do you get out of your office and have a friendly conversation? How often do you sit in the lunch room, getting to know your team members for more than the job they do? If you want to continue retaining and attracting talent, up your leadership EQ!.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Think it, Act it, Become it. You Are Whoever You Think You Are

Your internal dialogue has everything to do with the image you project externally. You are whoever you think you are – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you can – or can’t – you’re usually right. If you feel you can’t, you’re beating yourself before you even start. David believed he could defeat Goliath. He had confidence in his ability to get the job done. Great managers and leaders aren’t born – they’re made. You need to believe in yourself and have confidence in your ability to be a great manager or leader

Worth Remembering … “Dress how you want to be addressed.” – Unknown

Image is everything. How we dress and present ourselves projects what we think of ourselves and who we are. People will judge you based on how you look and how you behave. I knew within 20 seconds of an interview if I was going to hire the person or no. Was it fair? No, I let my unconsciours bias influence my perception, and I may have missed the opportunity to employ a star performer – but our gut feelings and intuition are right more often than they are wrong. Being a great manager or leader is looking and acting the part.

Worth Remembering … ” I don’t want to be liked. I want to be respected because if you like me, you can throw me away too quickly. If you respect me, you may not like what I have to say, but you’ll say I respect that.” – Ray Lewis

Awe and respect are two completely different thngs. We all have a fundamental need to be liked and accepted – Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Some people need to be liked more than others. The danger for managers and leaders is wanting to be liked rather than respected. You aren’t participating in a popularity contest. I didn’t like everyone I worked with, and I knew everyone didn’t like me. And trust me; everyone won’t like you. But you can’t let wanting to be liked rather than respected get in the way of making decissions that not everyone will agree with. Being a great manager or leader is about making decisions based on what is the right thing to do.

Worth Remembering … “Fear and self-doubt have always been the greatest enemies of human potential.” Brian Tracey

Imposter syndrome. We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves at times. We all have self-doubt – especially if we are doing something we’re uncertain of or doing it for the first time. No one wants to look silly or make a mistake. If we had a choice, most of us would rather back into the future instead of turning around and facing challenges head-on. We take comfort in the familiar. The error is not in taking action – the error is in inaction. Not everyone will agree on the direction you’re heading and the changes you make. Great managers and leaders are agents of change.

Think it, act it, become it. You are whover you think you are.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit – https://briansmithpld.com or email Brian directly. – brian@briansmithpld.com

Educate Don’t Terminate

Educate don’t terminate. Terminating someone is taking the easy way out. You shouldn’t terminate someone unless you’ve done everything in your power and used all the resources available to you to turn that situation around before you let them go. You rarely get to hire someone fully trained. Your number one task as a manager or leader is to teach someone what they need to know to complete the task to reach the goal. If you haven’t done that – you aren’t doing your job.

Worth Remembering … “Do you hire stupid people or do they just get stupid after working for you?” – Unknown.

Managers and leaders will not be judged by what they know. They will be judged by their ability to teach others. Trust me when I tell you that teaching someone else what you know is not easy! If that was the case, superstar athletes would have successful coaching careers after their playing days were over. In most cases, that doesn’t happen. Teaching requires a different set of skills. Think of the most informative class or training session you have ever attended. What distinguished that learning experience from other classes or sessions? What helped motivate you to learn something new?

Worth Remembering … “There is no such thing as a dumb student, only dumb teachers who wouldn’t use everything at their disposal to help the student learn.” – Brian Smith

Malcolm Knowles, a subject matter expert on adult learning, believes that we are born with a particular learning style, which dictates or at least heavily influences how we like to learn. Think of learning styles as personality characteristics that affect our preferences for learning conditions. Adults will learn in an environment that they prefer – in an environment that they believe is conducive to learning.

Worth Remembering … “If you think education is expensive – try ignorance.” – Derek Bok

Managers and leaders need to understand the person’s learning style they are trying to teach and incorporate that understanding into the way they are teaching them. Are they auditory learners who learn by hearing key points and asking questions? Are they visual learners who prefer to have it in writing to refer back to their notes later or do they learn best hands-on?

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or training session? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly at – brian@briansmithpld.com