5 Business Payoffs For Being An Effective Coach

As I look over the landscape of leadership development, here’s my conclusion: nothing much is new in the way of leadership principles. There are new tactics, but not many new principles. A good friend of mine used to say, it’s like “Old wine and new bottles.” And despite the sizable amount of research that exists on the tactics to improve leadership effectiveness, there are still many leaders who don’t feel compelled to learn.

This reminds me of a county agent who went out to a farmer to invite him to attend some classes on better farming techniques. He gave the farmer the times and place and said, “Will I see you there? ”

” Nope,” said the farmer.
“Well, why not,” asked the county agent.
“Well, you see,” said the farmer, “I’m not half as good a farmer as I know how to be. Why should I learn anything more? ”

This describes us all to a large degree. We’ve been talking about the advantages of employee involvement and participation for decades, yet sizable portions of our leaders don’t follow through. Why should they be interested? From our research, here are at least a few of the payoffs feedback and coaching can bring.

1. Improved Employee Productivity
Zenger Folkman did a study with 1,884 leaders in a large energy organization. We had bosses, peers, direct reports, and others evaluate their leadership and coaching skills. One important attribute we find among employees who have great leaders is their “willingness to go the extra mile.” We also found a direct correlation between leaders’ coaching effectiveness and team productivity. As you can see in the graph below, better coaches have three times as many people who are willing to go the extra mile.

2. Greater Employee Engagement
In the same study we found that employees were not only more productive, but good coaching also increased their engagement. Leaders in the 90th percentile for coaching effectiveness had employee commitment scores in the 88th percentile. Butleaders in the 10th percentile for coaching had employees at the 15th percentile for commitment. Correlation is not always causality, but this is impressive data.

3. Improved Retention
Who likes trying to find new talented employees and get them up to speed? The loss of time and money spent with new hires causes harm. Our research is clear about the effective business coach have on retaining employees. More than 60 % of employees who report to managers who are not good coaches are thinking about quitting, versus 22 % who report to the best. As we looked, we found the data differed slightly from company to company, but the pattern is consistent.

4. Employee Growth
Employees who receive coaching and feedback feel they are given real opportunities to grow and improve. They want opportunities that will challenge them and coaching that will guide their success. Employee development is clearly related to satisfaction, commitment, and retention. It’s the right thing to do.

5. Supervisor Effectiveness
From my experience I have found that most people want to be liked. This study also shows that employees who received coaching and feedback rated their supervisors more positively as well. A boss who takes a little time out of their busy schedule to have a coaching discussion can greatly increase the positive relationships both ways.

In the same study we found that employees were not only more productive, but good coaching also increased their engagement. Leaders in the 90th percentile for coaching effectiveness had employee commitment scores in the 88th percentile. But leaders in the 10th percentile for coaching had employees at the 15th percentile for commitment. More than 60 % of employees who report to managers who are not good coaches are thinking about quitting, versus 22 % who report to the best. Employees who receive coaching and feedback feel they are given real opportunities to improve and grow.

Ways to Make A Great First Impression On Anyone

You only get one chance to make a great first impression. No one will remember you, or pay you much attention if your first impression is so unmemorable. But there are many different ways to make sure you make a powerful, memorable first impression, and we’re going to look at four of the most effective methods.

Making A Great Impression

1. Prepare your elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is how you describe what you do for a living in a short amount of time, usually about thirty seconds. It’s called an elevator pitch because 30 seconds is the amount of time you will normally have to wait for an elevator. During that time it’s important that you can sum up what you do and how you do it. This is also useful in social situations when meeting people for the first time.

Along with your business card this is the most important way of getting your message across if you network with other business people.

When starting a new business your main marketing tool is … YOU! By speaking and meeting people to them you are going to spread awareness of your business. When I first started working for myself, I had never heard of an elevator pitch or a 30 second story.

If someone asked me what I did I would undermine the importance of my business and be quite vague. This was because I was afraid of what other people would think and also because I hadn’t developed enough confidence in myself.
You don’t have to be starting or own your own business to benefit from having an elevator pitch. Write a thirty second script that you would say to someone when you meet them for the first time. Learning this off by heart can help you make a really good first impression.

It’s very important that you deliver it with confidence as you won’t be saying it again to that particular person.
Since I developed my elevator pitch I have stopped sabotaging myself through introductions where I appeared nervous and lacking self-belief. Knowing my elevator speech well allows me to introduce myself with confidence and clarity and describe concisely what I do. You have to look as if you believe in yourself, and sound as if you believe in yourself, to enable others to believe in you too! You need to make it easy for them to connect with you.

2. Speak for Yourself
Sometimes you will be introduced to someone and the person who is making the introduction will do all the talking. Smile and say Hi if you are anxious or nervous then it is much easier to just stand there. In my own experience, I found that people don’t remember you if you don’t say anything and let the other person do all the talking. Speak for yourself.

After you have been introduced, make an effort to engage with that person with a question, for example, ‘do you come to these functions regularly?’ or give them some information about yourself. Try to ask open questions, beginning with ‘how do you …’ or ‘what do you feel about …’ When you really can’t think of anything to say, find something in common, or if you know a little about them, then use it to your advantage, for example ‘Jim tells me you were born in Hawaii, what was growing up there like?’.
Remember, most people love to talk about themselves!

3. Treat Everyone Like The Gatekeeper To Your Destiny.

Joel Osteen, the American preacher and speaker, says that you should treat everyone like the gatekeeper to your destiny. What he means by this is that everyone you meet has the potential to change your life immeasurably and help you get to where you want to be. This is why it is vitally important to treat everyone the same and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, as you never know who will change your life for the better.

I recently met an old family friend whom I had not seen in many years. He did not recognise me and in the past I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and not said hello. These days, I am a lot more confident than I used to be, so I introduced myself and then used my elevator pitch to tell him what I am doing now.

I would have been happy with just the process of introducing myself and using my elevator pitch but the outcome of that chance meeting has been amazing and has provided me with huge opportunities. That is what I’ve found from introducing yourself well and using your elevator pitch. People will think of ways in which they can help you.
Try it out for yourself, and you will see more and more people will want to help you. Enthusiasm is infectious and people want to be a part of your success. You will also realise that there may be ways in which you can help other people and you might even be the gatekeeper to their destiny!

4. Body Language and Attitude.
These are common sense tips that you probably already know but are easy to forget about and not to put into practice. Body posture is very important when you meet someone. The human brain will pick up many signals subconsciously from a meeting in a split second to help it form an opinion of you. You want to make sure you are giving off as many positive signals as possible.

Standing up straight is the most basic but the most important. When you stand up straight with your shoulders back you are giving the signal that you are confident in yourself. You also need to speak clearly and purposefully.
Your introduction and elevator pitch will have no impact if you look and mumble at the person’s shoes or over their shoulder. Always look people in the eyes. If you find this difficult then look at people’s eyebrows as they will think you are looking into their eyes. Make sure you smile throughout your meeting. Happiness and enthusiasm are attractive and infectious.

If you are anxious or nervous then meeting people may be difficult for you. It will help you immensely to control your breathing. Take slow deep breaths, this will help you to remain calm and be confident. Say to yourself “I’m calm and relaxed; I want to share who I am and what I do with others”.
If you believe in yourself and seem confident, genuinely interested and enthusiastic in the other person, then you will make a great first impression. Some people may not like you for reasons that are beyond your control, perhaps you remind them of someone or they are just simply having a bad day. If you have negative responses, don’t let this affect you. You are only in control of your own actions and thoughts. The outcomes of your meetings are out of your control so focus on the process!

The majority of the first meetings will be great and you will begin to attract new people into your life who want to help you and be friends with you.

Then it’s best to carry them around with you everywhere you go as you never know who you could meet, if you have business cards. Having a case is important to keep them in good condition. I’m not suggesting you give them out like confetti to everyone, but it’s important to have some to hand to give to the people who are interested or you think could make a difference to your business.

If you find introducing yourself difficult or you want to improve your first impression then a great way to do it is to practice. Go to a place where you can introduce yourself to someone. A networking event is a great place to meet lots of new people.

If you haven’t got an event coming up soon, practice by introducing yourself to the person serving you in the supermarket, in the bookstore, your neighbour, etc. You will learn something from every interaction especially the ones that are less than perfect.

I hope these tips will enable you to be your authentic, positive, confident self when meeting people and make memorable impressions at every opportunity.

By speaking and meeting people to them you are going to spread awareness of your business. In my own experience, I found that people don’t remember you if you don’t say anything and let the other person do all the talking. If you are nervous or anxious then meeting people may be difficult for you. I’m not suggesting you give them out like confetti to everyone, but it’s important to have some to hand to give to the people who are interested or you think could make a difference to your business.
A networking event is a great place to meet lots of new people.

Color Mindset To Give Your Business An Edge

wheelWhether you’re wondering what color to paint the office, or you’re looking to redesign your retail space, the colors you choose can increase your chance of reaching your goals. Color greatly influences human emotion and behavior. If you’re hoping to make your workers more productive, or you want to encourage shoppers to spend money, understanding the basics of color psychology can help you design a space that will maximize your potential.

I interviewed Sally Augustin, Ph.D., to find out more about color mindset. Augustin is an environmental psychologist and internationally recognized expert on person-centered design. Augustin operates Design With Science, where she teaches businesses and individuals how to use color to their advantage.
Change People’s Perception of Temperature

The color of a wall can actually change how a person perceives the temperature, according to Augustin. Warm colors, such as orange, red and yellow can cause people to think the temperature in the room is warmer than it actually is. Cool colors, such as blue, green and light purple cause people to estimate the temperature is colder.
Business owners can use this to their advantage by saving on heating and cooling costs. If you live in a cold environment, painting an entryway a warm color may cause people to think your establishment is a few degrees warmer than actually is. This may allow you to keep the temperature at a slightly lower setting.
Evoke Emotional Responses

Augustin states that color evokes similar emotional responses in most people. There aren’t always universal truths about color. People of different cultures may have different thoughts and emotions about certain colors. A person’s past experience can affect feelings about a certain color. Augustin notes that she dislikes a particular shade of blue for example, because it reminds her of an allergy medicine she had to take as a child. Despite the exceptions, there are some basic generalities about how certain colors evoke specific emotional and behavioral responses.
Green Sparks Creativity

Research has linked green with broader thinking and more creative thought. People generally like green. “There seems to be a positive association between nature and regrowth,” notes Augustin. So if you want your employees to be more productive, consider painting work areas green.
Red Reduces Analytical Thinking

There’s a reason why red sports cars cost more to insure. When humans see the color red, their reactions become faster and more forceful. However, that boost of energy is likely to be short-lived and ultimately, red reduces analytical thinking. Augustin cites research conducted by Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, that shows athletes are more likely to lose when they compete against an opponent wearing red and students exposed to red before a test are likely to perform worse.

The research indicates that red can be helpful if you’re trying to attract a mate, it isn’t helpful if you need to stay on task. One possible reason why red makes it hard to concentrate, may be tied to a cultural-specific issue, says Augustin. Those of us who got a lot of answers wrong as children, may associate the color red with the red ink our teachers used to mark up our papers.
Blue is Most Accepted

When asked what their favorite color is, the most common answer around the world is blue. This may be because when our ancestors used to see blue– like a clear blue sky or a watering hole– it was a good sign, according to Augustin. Painting a common area of an office building blue is likely to satisfy the majority of people.
Yellow isn’t Usually a Hit

Avoid painting public spaces yellow because most people aren’t a fan of the color. However, the people who do like yellow, seem to have a huge preference for it, whereas most people only slightly favor one color over another. Overall, yellow remains the least likely favorite color for most people, so pick a different color if you want to appeal to the masses.

Orange is Associated with Good Value
People associate the color orange with a good value. The orange color in the Home Depot HD +0.00 % logo for example, helps customers view them as a low cost provider of valuable goods. Some high-end retailers have been able to overcome this association with orange and they’ve successfully incorporated orange into their brand.
Pink Calms People Down

There’s an explanation some sports teams paint the opposing team’s locker room pink– it’s known for draining people of their energy. Baker-Miller pink (the same color of Pepto-Bismol) calms people down for about 30 minutes, according to Augustin. They’re often able to remain in a calm state once people have remained calm for that time frame. This could be a great color for lawyers who are conducting mediation or a board room where conversations may get heated.

White May Lead to Boredom

White has a modern appeal. Apple AAPL +0.83 %, for example, has used white to brand their clean, sleek look. Too much of a monochromatic look can cause people to reflect on their own thoughts, warns Augustin. A person shopping in a monochromatic store may become distracted from the task at-hand when their mind begins to wander because of the lack of stimulation.

Changing Colors

One of the best things about color is that you can change wall color often. Think carefully before you paint your space about how you want people to feel and perform. Although the wall color can’t perform miracles, it can certainly give you a boost in the right direction.

Whether you’re wondering what color to paint the office, or you’re looking to redesign your retail space, the colors you choose can increase your chance of reaching your goals. Warm colors, such as orange, yellow and red can cause people to think the temperature in the room is warmer than it actually is. The people who do like yellow, seem to have a huge preference for it, whereas most people only slightly favor one color over another. Overall, yellow remains the least likely favorite color for most people, so pick a different color if you want to appeal to the masses.
One of the best things about color is that you can change wall color often.