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

A Chairpersons Guide To Keep Meetings On Track

Meetings are the greatest waste of time ever invented by man. How often have you sat in on a meeting, wondering why you were even there? Have you ever walked out after the meeting was over – having not accomplished anything? We aren’t born knowing how to run a successful virtual or in-person meeting, and unless you have been a member of a social club like Rotary, Kinsmen or the Lions Club, you most likely never learned how. Meetings can be productive if you don’t allow anyone to sabotage them. It takes a strong chairperson to keep meetings on track.

Worth Remembering … “All the real work is done by those low on the food chain. Everyone else just has meetings.” – Mick Herron.

Here are some suggestions on how to keep your meetings on track:

  1. Decide what type of meeting you’re going to have. Is it for sharing information or a group discussion to devise a solution to a problem? Does your meeting require a vote to reach a consensus?
  2. Successful meetings take planning. Have an agenda, who is talking on what subject and for how long. Keep your meetings 90 minutes or less. Anything longer than that, everyone will be asleep, and you’ll accomplish nothing.
  3. Distribute the agenda a week before the meeting to those attending so that everyone knows what is being discussed.
  4. Be sure to begin and end on time.
  5. Get everyone involved by having open discussions and healthy debates, and don’t allow anyone to take over the conversation. Make sure everyone gets an opportunity to express their opinion.
  6. If it’s not on the agenda – don’t allow anyone to introduce a new item.
  7. Does it require a minute taker to record all the items discussed during the meeting and the outcome of each item? If not, you should take notes for follow-up.
  8. Sum up the meeting. What was accomplished – what agenda times are still outstanding?
  9. Who should get a copy of the minutes if minutes were taken?

In the words of Dave Berry, an American author and humorist – “If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that one word would be – meetings!”. Feel free to add to this list – but above all – keep your meetings on track.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian works with people who want to develop soft skills to communicate and interact more effectively and discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com or email him at – brian@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

The Leadership Imperative- How To Attract and Retain Gen Zs

We are entering a new era of leadership. Generation Z – born between 1996 and 2012 – is the latest generation to enter the workforce. They are projected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. They are like no other generation that has come before them. They are the first generation to grow up in the digital age. The jury is still out, but there is one thing for sure, your business future depends on this generation. You must change how you manage and lead to attract and retain Gen Zs.

Here is what the research conducted by Deyan Georgiev, Beresford Research, Forbes and Extreme Research is telling us.

Connecting: Most Gen Zs see diversity as a significant factor in choosing a job. Employers should focus on inclusivity to tap into this future workforce. They want a job that will impact the world and work for an organization that believes in and shares their values. The virtual space has become convenient for hanging out with friends and family. To this generation – social media is a way of life. Gen Zs are interested in working in a place that allows fun, friendships and life-enriching activities. Is your organization a fun place to work? Having fun at work can lead to creativity, increased productivity, better decision making and collaborative teams. To attract and retain Gen Zs, you must make them feel welcomed and treat them like family.

Communicating: Smartphones are a natural extension of Gen Zs. As many as 98% of all Generation Zs own a smartphone. Fifty-five percent are on their smartphones for up to ten hours a day. They consider social media a valuable workplace tool. Fifty-one percent still prefer face-to-face communication, which explains why Zoom, Tik Tok and Teams have become popular ways of interacting. They don’t read traditional newspapers; they like to get their information online. To attract and retain Gen Zs, you need to be tech-savvy and comfortable communicating in a virtual world.

Educating: Gen Z is the most educated generation. However, because they rely on technology, they lack the soft social skills of previous generations. The good news is they are eager to learn how to communicate and interact face-to-face, resolve conflict, problem solve and learn how to work in a team environment. You must create an environment that is conducive to learning. They are comfortable learning online or watching an instructional video. To attract and retain Gen Zs, you must teach them the skills they lack.

Delegating: It is essential to provide opportunities to learn and grow. Still, Gen Zs lack the experience and self-confidence of previous generations, so you need to teach them how to perform a task. If the student didn’t learn, the teacher never taught. Give them autonomy and ongoing support once they’ve learned how to complete the job. You must learn to delegate and give up control. If you don’t delegate effectively, you rob Gen Zs of their growth opportunities. Upward mobility is important to them. To attract and retain Gen Zs, you must provide a path forward.

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