A while ago I added this tagline to my signature on my emails. Most people didn't even notice it but Linda Newman on our team is always very 'present' in her life and she noticed. She asked me to write about it - so here I go. I am the type of person that does not want to sit in my easy chair and watch life pass me by. I live life to the fullest and when I walk into a room, attend an event, a meeting or even a personal engagement I give it my all. I know too many people unfortunately that just glide through life without much passion. They get up in the morning, go to work, do just what is expected of them and no more, and without notice they resign their job without leaving a footprint. I want you to remember me when you meet me and I want you to feel my 'bold presence' which should leave you remembering the 'sharp experience.' You have this one life to live and no one can ask more of you than you will ever ask of yourself. You are either in 100% or not. That is why my definition of 'passion' is a combination of love and anger. When I really love something it royally ticks me off when things go wrong. So live your life this week with a 'bold presence,' and leave each encounter with a 'sharp experience.'
So many leaders watch as their direct reports stumble through a presentation, struggle with writing a report or simple miss their quotas. Any leader who allows this to go on is a coward in my estimation. As a leader it is YOUR job to deal with the uncomfortable, challenge the status quo and never back down to a problem.
Sure it is hard to give feedback, especially negative feedback, but no one will get better without a successful coaching session. This coaching session should give your direct reports the confidence to grow and change – if it doesn’t then it is useless rhetoric. Unfortunately, too many leaders don’t set the stage properly, don’t directly address the issue and fail to follow up accordingly to see how the employee is improving. This is a WASTE OF TIME.
So here are some tips to being a successful coach:
- Let the employee know that you want to meet with them to go over how they handled a situation (as an example). Let them know that you want to help them improve their communication style in order to be more effective and that is what you will discuss in the meeting with them tomorrow (as an example)
- During the meeting make sure they are taking notes and you should take notes as well. What is working, what isn’t and what the follow up will be
- Make sure you run this meeting in a comfortable place – not where anyone else can hear what you are talking about
- Show how you will support their development in this area
- Ask what they need from you to be better at this role
- Make sure you use SMART Feedback® - Sensitive, Meaningful, Accurate, Reinforcing and Timely feedback rules
All in all, it is a leader’s job to improve performance with everyone on their team. If you are not helping your team get better than you are contributing to their failure! Don’t be a coward and back away from feedback. Be a champion and create success on your team!
- Give a helping hand to everyone around you – yes you should spread good cheer throughout the year
- Take some well-deserved time off to go ‘think’, get a massage, and avoid hitting the over indulgence overload
- Work smarter during this hectic month. Yes you have to work the entire month of December but be smart about it. Don’t wait until New Years to clean off your desk – get motivated to get organized now
- Close more holiday sales. What a great time to call all your potential clients and ask for their signed contract – let them know it is better to give than receive!
- Deck the halls with whatever you believe in! That’s right – stop the madness of everyone going crazy over what holiday you celebrate vs. others. Embrace your religion, culture, heritage or whatever you call ‘festive’ and live a little. It wouldn’t hurt you to put up a twinkle light on your desk to avoid ‘bah humbug!’
- Share your favorite family recipe with your customers, co-workers, and friends. Embrace their traditional food as well. After all not all fruitcake is bad – have you tried it from Williams Sonoma for heaven’s sake?
- Hold your head up high – to inspire yourself and those around you during the hectic month of December stay POSITIVE! Pull out the awards and love letters you received over the past year and display them at your desk – Proud out Loud!
- Check your credit score – can you really buy that diamond ring?
- Ask questions of your clients before we move into the New Year. What should you change next year to serve them more effectively? What are you doing well and what can you improve?
- Get more sleep. Just try going to bed an hour early and you will be amazed at how productive you are the next day - just try it!
- List all the problems you dealt with this year and come up with a plan to avoid the same issues in 2015
- Commit to all your goals in writing – put them in frames and put them in your conference room for all to see – commit to it by ‘inking it!”