8 Questions You Can Ask to Coach Others to Success

This guide can help you lead a team, co-worker or friend into a more successful way of life.

8 Questions You Can Ask to Coach Others to Success

This guide can help you lead a team, co-worker or friend into a more successful way of life.

How to Turn Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Coach

One simple mental trick could be the difference between your frustration and happiness.

Coaching and Parenting Have Similar Goals But It’s a Big Mistake to Do Them the Same Way

Good parents want their kids to grow up confident and empowered with a positive outlook. Managers want their employees to grow the same way, but they won't if you treat them like children.

Put Your Experience to Work for Yourself and Others as a Life-Coach

Mentors with real-world knowledge to share can help others unlock their potential through one-on-one coaching sessions.

No Matter How Good You Are at Anything a Coach Makes You Better

Name the biggest stars at whatever and they have a coach, which has to make you think a coach is a good idea when you're just getting started.

How can I encourage managers to shift from blaming to coaching?

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q. How can I encourage managers to shift from blaming to coaching mode? What works best?

yec_Patrick Linton1. Create clear lines of accountability

At the end of the day, you as the business owner are ultimately accountable for each issue that occurs in your company. Blame is what happens when people try to avoid accountability for something they own, but sometimes those lines aren’t clear. One thing we try to do is lay the right foundation for taking responsibility, outlining clear lines of accountability and responsibility within the management team. — Patrick Linton, Bolton Remote

yec_Travis Smith2. Have your team evaluate themselves

The best way to encourage managers to shift to coaching mode from blaming mode is to have them evaluate themselves and take ownership of what goes down in the company. There’s no magic bullet to this. It takes the right type of person, and the work of getting this done occurs in the hiring process. — Travis Smith, V.I.P. Waste Services LLC

yec_jared brown3. Build on praise

The best way to manage a team is through praise. When you scold, employees get defensive. When you remain silent, employees get confused. When you praise, employees know what you expect and they learn exactly what success looks like in your company. Ask managers to coach their teams through praise, instead of punishment or silence. — Jared Brown, Hubstaff

yec_Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer4. Encourage managers to break down barriers

A manager’s job is to make it easy for his/her employees to succeed. That means removing barriers that could be getting in the way of an employee’s work and fostering the development of new skills. Thinking about management in this way encourages support versus critique. The manager is there to help the employee build muscle, not run laps because they were late. — Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

yec_Brian Smith5. Give your team the right tools

Coaching is more than a shift in management style; it’s a culture change. If you want the change to stick, you have to give your team the right tools. Managers should to be trained how to coach and receive coaching from their supervisors. Employees should be trained in receiving coaching. Coaching as a management style requires buy-in by the whole organization, not only managers. — Brian Smith, S Brian Smith Group

yec_Elle Kaplan6. Give actionable feedback

You don’t have to sugarcoat your feedback (I certainly don’t), but the make-or-break factor for its effectiveness is one’s ability to act on the criticism you dish out. For instance, saying that a marketing piece is “terrible” will accomplish nothing besides hurt feelings, while saying it’s “too vague” will lead to an actionable improvement for both the project and your team member. — Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital

yec_Kelsey Meyer7. Instill a team mentality

We love the philosophy that it doesn’t matter whose fault it is once it happens, so blaming anyone is a waste of time. I try to instill in our managers that they only look good when their teams are performing incredibly well. So if someone on on their team messes up, instead of the shifting blame, the manager should discuss how they are going to help the individual so it doesn’t happen again. — Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

yec_Corey Northcutt8. Encourage transparency and automation

At the heart of our agency is a dashboard that shows current progress on everything from work completed, results achieved, and quantified communications. Every metric is rated red/yellow/green. I’ve found that when quality control becomes automated and transparent, nothing is ambiguous, emotions are removed, and there’s no need for anyone to pass around blame. — Corey Northcutt, Northcutt Inbound Marketing

yec_Stephen Gill9. Practice improvement over perfection

I always advise managers to ask questions rather than make statements. Inspire through inquiry by asking employees if it’s their best work. What could they have done better or differently? Strive to create a culture that values the practice of improvement over an expectation of perfection. Show them what others have done or what they’ve done better before and avoid making them feel defeated. — Stephen Gill, Tiller

yec_Nathan Hale10. Hold yourself accountable

Lead by example. Managers will only learn to be accountable for themselves if you set the precedent and create a culture of accountability. If you spend the majority of your time pointing fingers and shirking responsibility yourself, managers can only emulate that attitude — and will do so quickly and unapologetically, as it is in our nature to protect ourselves. — Nathan Hale, First American Merchant

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How can I encourage managers to shift from blaming to coaching? originally published by SmartBlogs

The 3-step process for creating better habits across your team

As a leader, it’s your job to ensure you’re always pushing your employees to form positive workplace habits. But like any ingrained routine, it takes more than motivation for it to truly sink in. Even the most promising change can fizz out if it’s not repeated on a daily basis.

According to international business speaker and author Michael Kerr, successful people tend to thrive on routine and consistent habits. Of course, you can’t force your employees to adopt a habit, but by finding the right work pattern and reinforcing it daily, you’ll build a culture that’s driven by consistency. And as a result, you’ll foster a more productive workplace.

Habit formation is a team effort

In his book “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg attributes the formation of a habit with a psychological pattern called the “habit loop.” This routine consists of three key steps: the trigger, the routine, and the reward.

According to Duhigg, once a habit is formed, the brain starts working less and less while engaged in that task, and eventually, it can virtually shut down. As a result, mental capacity is cleared up for tackling other duties or forming other habits.

Still, knowing the science behind habit formation and putting those ideas into practice are two distinct concepts. Here’s how you can help your team form lasting, positive habits:

recite-1q65de7(1)1. Motivate. Gumption is what separates the desire to change from the will to change. As the leader, your teammates must share the same goals as you. You have to motivate them to care about the new habit you’re promoting.

Consider having an entire meeting based solely around the new habit you want your employees to perfect to stress how important this process is. By getting your teammates on the same page and placing a degree of urgency on the habit-forming process, they’ll begin to understand why these habits are such an integral part of their success and will draw motivation from you and from within.

2. Craft a plan. Once you’ve got the troops motivated, you need to capitalize on their gumption and help them create a plan to solidify their new habits. After that first meeting, you need to follow up with your teammates with snippets of advice on how to keep up the progress. Forming a new habit isn’t easy, but with a strong leader behind them every step of the way, your teammates will adjust more quickly than expected.

I recommend setting up a 12-week plan for your employees with ample opportunities for check-ins, one-on-ones, and constructive feedback.

3. Coach them. There are numerous ways you can coach your teammates — it all depends on how they respond. One technique I’ve found helpful is identifying an employee who is really taking the lead on forming a new habit and making him or her an example for others. For instance, if John in accounting was able to adopt a new piece of software, you might have him talk about how he was able to do so in your next meeting.

This is not only a great way for employees to grow into their new habits together, but it’s also a great way to boost morale. The key is coaching people until they find a way to do it themselves.

Small habit changes may seem granular, but minor improvements can add up to big results. By empowering your employees to make positive changes, you can reap the benefits of a more productive workplace. You just have to attack this process with the mindset of a stonemason: one brick at a time.

Chris Cutter is the founder and CEO of LifeDojo. LifeDojo’s evidence-based 12-week wellness programs lead employees through a journey of motivation, daily action, and support, resulting in permanent health behavior change.

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The 3-step process for creating better habits across your team originally published by SmartBlogs

4 leadership lessons we can learn from sports

I recently watched a high school state track and field championship. At the beginning of the evening, the excitement among the athletes was palpable. Each athlete and team had such determination and grit — but, of course, not all of them were going to win their races or the meet.

At the end of the evening, I watched as one coach brought his female and male athletes together. Some had won their events, others had placed, and others did not. The young women and men did not win their overall championships, though they came in second and third, respectively.

It was clear they had wanted to do better. The coach rallied his team in the middle of the track, with their arms linked around one another, and talked about their journey through the season. He celebrated their accomplishments as individuals and as a team. After tears, hugs and laughter, the team walked away from this impressive display of coaching excited to train over the summer and head into the next season.

Just as teams and athletes lose and move on, we can learn valuable lessons from how coaches and athletes manage what some might consider failure. Not all teams can be the champions of their sport — there can only be one. Coaches routinely work with athletes to help them manage failure and rebound to be even better.

Here are some of the best tips I have gleaned from sports that can help employees (athletes) and managers (coaches) better manage setbacks and failures.

recite-1a5u7xx1. Clearly define success. Dictionaries define failure as a lack of success, but its true definition is personal and subjective. Amanda Scarborough, ESPN softball analyst and coach, stresses that coaches and managers must clearly define what constitutes success, mediocrity and failure. Lack of clarity from the coach about the ultimate goal sends conflicting messages and creates confusion and insecurity. Good coaches tell and show their players what they expect. Amanda also points out that winning the game may not be the only definition of success.

Similarly, business managers must clearly define success, failure and mediocrity and outline specific outcomes and directions. Just as coaches review winning plays and techniques, strong managers provide examples of successful projects and outcomes, and coach their employees to the desired outcomes. John Wooden, the famous basketball coach, once said that the journey (the practice) is better than the end (the game). Wooden’s philosophy was never to stress winning; he believed the outcomes would simply be a result of the team’s collective preparation.

2. Fail fast and move on. In his book “Players First,” University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari stresses the need for players to “fail fast” so they can learn from their mistakes, make corrections and move on. He explains that bouncing back faster leads to success faster. This advice also holds true in the business world. Gail Kelly, the CEO of Australia’s second‐largest bank, explains, “How are you going to learn and how are you going to innovate unless you fail? You need to fail fast, quickly, and then get up and off you go again.” Adapting to a rapidly‐changing world requires the ability to fail fast, make the necessary adjustments and move forward with confidence.

Managers can play a valuable role by helping their employees learn how to bounce back.Even successful companies embrace failures and figure out how to move past them proactively. The history of business has consistently shown the utility of failure a as springboard to success. Grey Advertising actively promotes the idea that one must try and often fail in order to succeed. On its company culture page, Grey highlights the quarterly Heroic Awards, noting that innovation occurs “by embracing the importance of trying, failing, dusting yourself off, and trying again.” The award serves as a strong symbol for employees to know that it is okay to be imperfect and to keep working toward success.

Similarly, in an October 2013 Forbes article, Halah Touryalai profiled the odyssey of the Domino’s pizza chain, which in 2009 put its CEO in a commercial to distinctively acknowledge that Domino’s pizza did not taste good. Patrick Doyle publicly apologized for Domino’s failure to deliver a quality product and promised to improve the recipe. This risky and honest move paid off. Domino’s 2013 revenue was $1.8 billion, it is growing faster than its competitors and opening more locations.

3. Recognize when to rally. Don Shula is the all-time winningest coach in the NFL. Spending 31 years as a pro football coach, he holds the record for most career wins and is the only coach to have had teams in six Super Bowls. Shula had a “24 hour rule,” a policy of looking forward instead of retreating from the loss. He allowed himself, his coaching staff and his players only 24 hours to celebrate a victory or wallow over a defeat. During those 24 hours, Shula encouraged them to feel their emotions of success or failure as deeply as they could. The next day, it was time to put their focus and energy into preparing for their next challenge.

Like the best coaches, managers should routinely stress to employees that everyone makes mistakes, and the sooner they accept this fact, the easier it will be to recover. As Margie Warrell noted in a recent article: “Iyou’ve made a mistake – whether taking the wrong job, or not delivering the right result, or simply not managing yourself or others as well as you’d have liked – the most important thing is never to let it define you.”

4. Taking yourself out of the game altogether can be costly. Coaches stress that players need to have the courage to take the big shot, to reach for the prize instead of giving in to failure. Research shows that task-focused thinking after failure leads to improved performance. Self-talk that focuses on correcting errors and attaining goals will motivate you to keep trying and move on from a setback. The fear of failure can prevent employees from trying new things and achieving their personal best, so managers can help make it safe for employees to fail by emphasizing that failure does not define them, and by alleviating their self‐doubt by encouraging them to try again. As Michael Jordan said, “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But, I can’t accept not trying.”

Managers must recognize that in business, as in sports, failure is possible and frequent. What happens afterward is what is important. I offer you these words to live by from coach Tom Krause, the co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”: “There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.” ​​

Christine M. Riordan

Christine M. Riordan

Christine M. Riordan, PhD, is the incoming 10th president of Adelphi University in New York. Her writing focuses on diversity and inclusion, leadership effectiveness, and career success. Follow her on Twitter at @Chris_M_Riordan.

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4 leadership lessons we can learn from sports originally published by SmartBlogs