Coaching & Training
To understand people and be understood, know that communication is a process that requires three elements to be successful. These are a sender, a receiver and a message. Since we all hear with our own attitudes, often we are unable to listen to what was said. With communication skills, leaders can understand styles of behavior and overcome communication barriers. The silent language of communication is body language which makes up approximately 60% of the message. Words only constitute 10% of the message (sounds and inflection are the missing 30%) but making communicating more difficult is the fact that the 500 most often used words have more than 15,000 different meanings. By listening actively and clarifying with open ended questions, the “communication breakdowns” which are stressful and time wasting are minimized. Since communication is the “human connection”, it is critical for any meaningful relationship but unfortunately it isn’t taught at every level in school although we communicate from the day we are born.
Learning to lead people requires many skills. These include coaching, communication, human relations, management, motivation, organizational development, psychology, supervision, team building and time management. Leaders need to possess a positive attitude, persistence, perseverance and the willingness and ability to accept failures and mistakes as part of the learning process while keeping an open mind and looking for ways to improve. Starting with a vision, executives want to help develop their people by delegating responsibility and holding them accountable for their actions and behaviors. Leaders are goal directed and self motivated while exercising and inspiring initiative. They possess and exhibit genuine self confidence, have the ability to concentrate, see situations as they really are and evaluate them properly. Creativity and imagination are characteristics as well as the ability to make decisions and act upon them. In addition they are caring and concerned about people while knowing how to motivate them to action.
Broken down into two words motivation consists of a motive for action. In other words, a reason, purpose or goal for doing something – for taking action with the desire to accomplish and achieve. People do things to gain a benefit or avoid a loss. Success is built on failure and the desire to continue working toward the goal, in spite of disappointment and setbacks, is what allows an individual or a group to avoid giving up. The word quit isn’t in the vocabulary of a motivated person. There are several different types of motivation. Fear motivation is based on force and is only temporary. Incentive motivation based on reward is also temporary and external. The only kind of motivation that lasts is attitude motivation which is based on change. Attitude motivation affects how you react to other people and how they react to you. The person takes action because they want to (desire) not because they think they have to. Desire means that you can be whatever you want to be and obstacles can be overcome with a plan. You can create an environment which allows you to continue moving forward and overcome those roadblocks which are inevitable on the path to attain success.
We are told that most people use very little of their potential. The average person only uses somewhere between 15 and 20% while high achievers, our leaders, use about 1/3. Since we are all creatures of habit (approximately 95% of what we do every day is done by habit), the attitudes (habits of thought) we possess direct our behavior. Unfortunately, because we were conditioned with negatives throughout our childhood, we become adults who often believe that something we haven’t done before cannot be accomplished. The words no, don’t, can’t and shouldn’t were repeated over and over again by parents and significant adults and they are internalized so we are afraid of trying something new or different. Although success is built from failure, we do not see the opportunity. Our attitudes direct our behavior which determines our results. To change the way we think, we first need insight. It is said that to make a change we need the three A’s which are awareness, acceptance and action. Once we gain the recognition of what we do, we have a choice. Most of us have a vast untapped potential for achievement and success but our greatest enemy is those messages that invade our sub-conscious mind.
Supervisory & Time Management Skills
Supervision involves both hand holding and letting go. It means directing, which requires communication skills, and motivating. Sometimes supervisory skill involves guiding the work, organizing the work, developing the staff (to increase the skill level of each employee), managing performance (which can involve removing obstacles to allow for better performance) and enforcing policies and procedures. In other words, like so many other areas, multiple skills are essential. One of these is time management. Time is the most precious resource because it is not replaceable. Once spent, it is gone and learning the tools and techniques to utilize one’s time capital productively is crucial for success. Effective personal and organizational productivity is a measure of how well time is utilized. It involves attitudes, actions and behaviors. Self image and self discipline both play a role in how well time is used. So do balancing effectiveness and efficiency. Overcoming procrastination which is usually caused by fear, worry or doubt is essential. Since we really cannot manage time, we need to focus on how we think and respond to circumstances and situations.
The most powerful means for achievement and accomplishment is setting goals. These provide a sense of direction to keep us focused on the most important activities. Since success can be defined as the progressive realization of worthwhile, predetermined personal goals the process is designed to move us from wish or hope to fulfillment. Goals create a magnetic attraction that draws us toward their achievement. Writing the goals forces you to clarify and crystallize your thinking. In other words, we act on the goal and the goal acts on us. Goals save time, help measure progress, produce motivation, stimulate visualization and form a basis for action. Studies show that the difference between those who write their goals and those who just think them is comparable to night and day but most of the population, at best, set day to day goals because goal setting is a skill and was not taught in school. Learning how to write goals that are specific, measureable, attainable and realistic with a definite timeline for achievement will make a tremendous difference in every aspect of your life.
Effective management requires many different skills and talents. Managers need to be visionary, analytical, decisive, flexible, proactive, honest, ethical, goal setters, humble, sensitive with superior leadership and human relations skills. They want to believe in continuous improvement for themselves and their people while they coach and help their team to reach higher. Understanding effective communication and knowing how to motivate are traits good managers possess. At the same time they need to learn finance, marketing, operations and sales to hold their people accountable to take action to reach organizational goals. Managing people is difficult because everyone has different needs and wants and the job of a manager is to bring out the best in all. He/she must learn how to delegate and prioritize. Learn to let go and say no but stay involved. Respond to their staff and be responsive to clients and/or customers in addition to every department or area in the organization that they serve.
An organization begins with a dream, an idea and a plan and organizational development (OD) is a planned, organization-wide effort and process to increase an organization’s effectiveness and viability. OD focuses on developing the structures, systems, and processes within the organization to improve and attain higher goals.
Determining how and where to grow and move requires attention to detail, facilities, people, procedures and systems. Since change is the essence of life, reviewing goals and planning for necessary resources is a vital function for executives with this responsibility. Start with the vision, mission and purpose to know what the organization is about and allow the team members to have something to believe in. Then build an organization chart to define the lines of responsibility and reporting. After the goals are determined the people can develop action plans for the organization and themselves. These will integrate change management, continuous improvement, interviews, feedback and numerous additional tools.
Every organization is only as strong as the weakest part and everybody needs to work together. Team participation provides powerful opportunities while creating loyalty, building confidence and generating competitive spirit. Working in teams help people learn to work collaboratively, help others and give others credit for their contributions to the overall effort. Team building helps team members learn to provide direction, inspire, motivate and organize. One of the biggest advantages is that there is no “I” in team. Effective teamwork requires cooperation, accountability, effective communication with feedback, synergy in drawing from strengths of each team member, strong relationships built on mutual respect, trust and an abundance of positive energy. Good teams make use of diversity which includes age, background, education, ethnicity and gender. Opinions, feelings and suggestions of all need to be encouraged and considered.