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Real field implementation experiences… from a different angle

PRE-SUMMIT SPECIAL: How To Get The Most Out Of Summit Content

It can be a little daunting when embarking on a new learning journey. There is a wealth of wonderful content to consume. You want to organize it in a way that ensures you’re getting the most out of it. We get it. So, what is the best approach? The 2019 WBECS Pre-Summit got off to a great start last week. We’re thrilled at the feedback we’re getting from our global coaching community. By way of a bit of extra support, we thought we’d offer some tips as to how to truly utilize the content of the event to your best advantage. Come prepared Minimize unnecessary nerves by making sure you have everything you need before you attend your session. Reach out to the WBECS Support Team if you have any questions you’d like to ask. Prepare your essentials ahead of time, like a pen and pad for scribbling notes, thoughts and ideas during a session. Something you jot down in the moment may be fleshed out into a brilliant new initiative for your coaching practice later on. Also, you may want to use a wall chart, an online or hard-copy calendar, or an organizer/diary/planner to pencil in the dates and times of the sessions you’ve selected. Attendees of the Pre-Summit can add sessions to Google Calendar via WBECS emails. Personalize your organization tools to make it fun! Choose designs and styles that spark joy. Whatever helps you to create a helpful reference guide you can easily refer to. Attend the Implementation Mastery (IM) Sessions Each session of the Pre-Summit has an accompanying IM session. These take place after the main session, designed specifically so that you and your fellow attendees can openly discuss the themes raised by the speaker. Hearing the varying perspectives of your peers can offer further insight, revealing approaches to the subject matter you hadn’t previously considered. Also, it’s a great opportunity to recap the main takeaways from the session. You can elaborate on your own notes and ideas. You can even share your thoughts with the group and gauge responses. IM sessions are a great tool for deepening your learning experience. Register for the IM Session for each of the main sessions you plan to attend here.  Join the Study Buddy Program One great benefit of this year’s Pre-Summit is that you don’t have to learn alone! If you prefer to learn side by side with someone you can bounce ideas off, the Study Buddy Program is the perfect solution. You and your ‘Buddy’ can encourage one another, keep each other on track and swap insights and opinions on the session content. WBECS provide a personal Study Buddy Concierge service ensuring that you and your buddy have everything you need every step of the way.  As part of the program, you’ll receive suggestions for the types of questions to ask yourselves and each other during and after a session. You can even benefit from weekly Study Buddy Gifts! For more information on the Study Buddy program, reach out to the WBECS Support Team at studybuddy@wbecs.com. Utilize session recordings Pre-Summit speaker sessions are free if you watch them live as they happen. For those of you who hold an Executive Speed Learner (ESL) Full Summit Pass, recordings of the Pre-Summit sessions and slides used by the speakers during their presentations are free! This means if you miss the live broadcast, you can watch the session back, pause it where you want, and fully absorb the material at your own leisure. If you don’t hold an ESL pass, don’t despair - the WBECS Support Team send out a weekly email to all Pre-Summit attendees, containing the recordings of the top 3 sessions from the past 7 days. For more information on the ESL pass, visit www.wbecs.com/summit Ask questions and reflect You can test yourself to see if you have taken in what you have learned by asking a series of specific questions, such as: What are my three key takeaways? What will this information change for me personally and/or professionally? How can I utilize this information to best serve my clients and/or community? What actions am I committed to taking as a result of my learnings? What one thing will I commit to focusing on this week? How will I embody what I have learned on a long term basis? These types of questions can help you formulate a plan of action for your coaching practice, helping you to implement what you’ve learned and bring about real, measurable change. Enjoy the journey Most of all, remember to have fun! Learning new things and keeping your skill set fresh is what will give you longevity as a coach. Allow yourself to get excited about what your learning journey could mean for your future. You are investing time in yourself, and into delivering excellence for your clients. Such efforts can change their lives for the better - and yours too.

  • WBECS Team
  • by WBECS Team
  • Jun 03, 2019

5 Secrets to Success in Small Business Coaching

On the journey of your coaching career, you’ll have the opportunity to help businesses of all shapes and sizes. From sole traders to well-known brands, all enterprises can falter from time to time. However, there are subtle differences between the needs of a small-medium enterprise (SME) and those of a larger organization. Here are 5 secrets to success in coaching smaller businesses: 1. Awareness of Size vs Scale The idea that coaching an SME is a smaller undertaking than coaching a larger company is something of a myth. The size of the company does not necessarily dictate the scale of the problems your client might be facing. More often than not, SME leaders wear many hats, and that means, the issues preventing their optimum success can be far more complex and multi-faceted. The percentage of loss of revenue as the result of a particular issue can be exactly the same in scale as a bigger company (with a seemingly bigger problem) in terms of impact and implication. The secret, as an Executive Coach, lies in knowing this, and approaching both situations with the same tools and strategy - treating them as equal in scale no matter how big or small the business. 2. Pre-emptive problem solving One benefit of larger companies is that smaller businesses can learn from their mistakes. This success secret relies on careful observation. As a coach, you will recognise similarities in situations you’ve seen unfold for larger enterprises, and assist your SME clients by recommending preventative measures. This will reinforce your client’s confidence in your expertise, as you will not only be helping to solve current issues, but prevent future mishaps. 3. Honesty For smaller business owners, their enterprise is their baby - the culmination of years of hard work and determination. A good coach will not be afraid to point out inconsistencies that show up in language and behavior in spite of this, and will do it in a clear way. It doesn’t mean you have to be as blunt or tactless, but being too nice dilutes the opportunity for your client to learn, and won’t do them any favours in the long term. 4. Don’t do all the work for them Make it clear to your client from the outset that you are not a Band Aid for the business. You are there to help them help themselves. Your coaching sessions will generally focus on how behavior can be adapted, encouraged and/or minimized so that goals can be met. In the space between sessions, set your client homework assignments to promote faster learning and adoption of the desired new behaviors. This will also help them to further engage in the methods you are enabling them to implement. 5. Take into account the Human element Behind every business is a person. Everyone deals with stress and emotion differently. A business owner’s ability to manage stress, doubt and work/life balance matters more than they probably realise, and should be brought into the discussion. How your client manages themselves in adverse circumstances might be having a ‘poisoned well’ affect on their team, for example, i.e. causing undue stress and anxiety for others. An off-shoot of this can be a high turn-over of staff or essential team members choosing to leave. Bringing this to your client’s attention is not a judgement - it’s an observation. As long as you provide the tools for them to better organise their thoughts and keep a clear, calm head, they will thank you for your frankness later on down the road. Size really doesn't matter A small business is not small to its owner. To them, it’s their everything - their livelihood, their ideas and their passion. For every small business making money, the dream behind it had to have been a big one, and the likelihood is that their vision and ambition knows no bounds. If you bear than in mind, as well as these five key secrets, your success when coaching SMEs will soar to dizzying heights. You can learn directly from our industry's top thought leaders for FREE at the WBECS 2019 Pre-Summit - secure your spot by registering TODAY at https://www.wbecs.com/wbecs19/ Subscribe to our blog below!

  • WBECS Team
  • by WBECS Team
  • May 20, 2019

PRE-SUMMIT SPECIAL: How To Get The Most Out Of Summit Content

It can be a little daunting when embarking on a new learning journey. There is a wealth of wonderful content to consume. You want to organize it in a way that ensures you’re getting the most out of it. We get it. So, what is the best approach? The 2019 WBECS Pre-Summit got off to a great start last week. We’re thrilled at the feedback we’re getting from our global coaching community. By way of a bit of extra support, we thought we’d offer some tips as to how to truly utilize the content of the event to your best advantage. Come prepared Minimize unnecessary nerves by making sure you have everything you need before you attend your session. Reach out to the WBECS Support Team if you have any questions you’d like to ask. Prepare your essentials ahead of time, like a pen and pad for scribbling notes, thoughts and ideas during a session. Something you jot down in the moment may be fleshed out into a brilliant new initiative for your coaching practice later on. Also, you may want to use a wall chart, an online or hard-copy calendar, or an organizer/diary/planner to pencil in the dates and times of the sessions you’ve selected. Attendees of the Pre-Summit can add sessions to Google Calendar via WBECS emails. Personalize your organization tools to make it fun! Choose designs and styles that spark joy. Whatever helps you to create a helpful reference guide you can easily refer to. Attend the Implementation Mastery (IM) Sessions Each session of the Pre-Summit has an accompanying IM session. These take place after the main session, designed specifically so that you and your fellow attendees can openly discuss the themes raised by the speaker. Hearing the varying perspectives of your peers can offer further insight, revealing approaches to the subject matter you hadn’t previously considered. Also, it’s a great opportunity to recap the main takeaways from the session. You can elaborate on your own notes and ideas. You can even share your thoughts with the group and gauge responses. IM sessions are a great tool for deepening your learning experience. Register for the IM Session for each of the main sessions you plan to attend here.  Join the Study Buddy Program One great benefit of this year’s Pre-Summit is that you don’t have to learn alone! If you prefer to learn side by side with someone you can bounce ideas off, the Study Buddy Program is the perfect solution. You and your ‘Buddy’ can encourage one another, keep each other on track and swap insights and opinions on the session content. WBECS provide a personal Study Buddy Concierge service ensuring that you and your buddy have everything you need every step of the way.  As part of the program, you’ll receive suggestions for the types of questions to ask yourselves and each other during and after a session. You can even benefit from weekly Study Buddy Gifts! For more information on the Study Buddy program, reach out to the WBECS Support Team at studybuddy@wbecs.com. Utilize session recordings Pre-Summit speaker sessions are free if you watch them live as they happen. For those of you who hold an Executive Speed Learner (ESL) Full Summit Pass, recordings of the Pre-Summit sessions and slides used by the speakers during their presentations are free! This means if you miss the live broadcast, you can watch the session back, pause it where you want, and fully absorb the material at your own leisure. If you don’t hold an ESL pass, don’t despair - the WBECS Support Team send out a weekly email to all Pre-Summit attendees, containing the recordings of the top 3 sessions from the past 7 days. For more information on the ESL pass, visit www.wbecs.com/summit Ask questions and reflect You can test yourself to see if you have taken in what you have learned by asking a series of specific questions, such as: What are my three key takeaways? What will this information change for me personally and/or professionally? How can I utilize this information to best serve my clients and/or community? What actions am I committed to taking as a result of my learnings? What one thing will I commit to focusing on this week? How will I embody what I have learned on a long term basis? These types of questions can help you formulate a plan of action for your coaching practice, helping you to implement what you’ve learned and bring about real, measurable change. Enjoy the journey Most of all, remember to have fun! Learning new things and keeping your skill set fresh is what will give you longevity as a coach. Allow yourself to get excited about what your learning journey could mean for your future. You are investing time in yourself, and into delivering excellence for your clients. Such efforts can change their lives for the better - and yours too.

  • WBECS Team
  • by WBECS Team
  • Jun 03, 2019

5 Secrets to Success in Small Business Coaching

On the journey of your coaching career, you’ll have the opportunity to help businesses of all shapes and sizes. From sole traders to well-known brands, all enterprises can falter from time to time. However, there are subtle differences between the needs of a small-medium enterprise (SME) and those of a larger organization. Here are 5 secrets to success in coaching smaller businesses: 1. Awareness of Size vs Scale The idea that coaching an SME is a smaller undertaking than coaching a larger company is something of a myth. The size of the company does not necessarily dictate the scale of the problems your client might be facing. More often than not, SME leaders wear many hats, and that means, the issues preventing their optimum success can be far more complex and multi-faceted. The percentage of loss of revenue as the result of a particular issue can be exactly the same in scale as a bigger company (with a seemingly bigger problem) in terms of impact and implication. The secret, as an Executive Coach, lies in knowing this, and approaching both situations with the same tools and strategy - treating them as equal in scale no matter how big or small the business. 2. Pre-emptive problem solving One benefit of larger companies is that smaller businesses can learn from their mistakes. This success secret relies on careful observation. As a coach, you will recognise similarities in situations you’ve seen unfold for larger enterprises, and assist your SME clients by recommending preventative measures. This will reinforce your client’s confidence in your expertise, as you will not only be helping to solve current issues, but prevent future mishaps. 3. Honesty For smaller business owners, their enterprise is their baby - the culmination of years of hard work and determination. A good coach will not be afraid to point out inconsistencies that show up in language and behavior in spite of this, and will do it in a clear way. It doesn’t mean you have to be as blunt or tactless, but being too nice dilutes the opportunity for your client to learn, and won’t do them any favours in the long term. 4. Don’t do all the work for them Make it clear to your client from the outset that you are not a Band Aid for the business. You are there to help them help themselves. Your coaching sessions will generally focus on how behavior can be adapted, encouraged and/or minimized so that goals can be met. In the space between sessions, set your client homework assignments to promote faster learning and adoption of the desired new behaviors. This will also help them to further engage in the methods you are enabling them to implement. 5. Take into account the Human element Behind every business is a person. Everyone deals with stress and emotion differently. A business owner’s ability to manage stress, doubt and work/life balance matters more than they probably realise, and should be brought into the discussion. How your client manages themselves in adverse circumstances might be having a ‘poisoned well’ affect on their team, for example, i.e. causing undue stress and anxiety for others. An off-shoot of this can be a high turn-over of staff or essential team members choosing to leave. Bringing this to your client’s attention is not a judgement - it’s an observation. As long as you provide the tools for them to better organise their thoughts and keep a clear, calm head, they will thank you for your frankness later on down the road. Size really doesn't matter A small business is not small to its owner. To them, it’s their everything - their livelihood, their ideas and their passion. For every small business making money, the dream behind it had to have been a big one, and the likelihood is that their vision and ambition knows no bounds. If you bear than in mind, as well as these five key secrets, your success when coaching SMEs will soar to dizzying heights. You can learn directly from our industry's top thought leaders for FREE at the WBECS 2019 Pre-Summit - secure your spot by registering TODAY at https://www.wbecs.com/wbecs19/ Subscribe to our blog below!

  • WBECS Team
  • by WBECS Team
  • May 20, 2019

Toxic Culture: 3 Things For Your Senior Leadership Clients to Avoid

It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Antiquated ways of thinking. Refusing to embrace change. Unwillingness to hear the views of others. These are just some of the reasons why you may be called in by a company to coach them out of what has developed into a toxic situation. More often than not, problems run from the top down, with senior management responsible for setting bad examples, embedding them as the norm into the consciousness of those who report to them, the wider team, and, in some cases, the entire company. To help a business overcome a toxic work culture, you can offer them these three pieces of advice: Get your priorities in order One of the main reasons a toxic culture develops in any team or business, is people not knowing where their focus should truly lie. A leader should provide a clear idea of direction for their staff, through the setting of key performance indicators and regular communication. The mistake often made is when a manager’s attention span is a little short. Their excitement about the next exciting trend hops about sporadically. Forcing staff to down tools and perpetually start new things is damaging to productivity. Projects will remain unfinished or take far longer than they ought to have done. The knock-on effect of that on a team can be potentially disastrous. When people are constantly pulled in several directions, they can lose sight of the bigger picture - the reason why the work is important - leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. The answer to this one is simple: make the team’s focus proactive, not reactive. Of course, sometimes things come up out of the blue. It can be good to seize opportunities when they arise. However, if a leader can help their team to avoid knee-jerk reactions to trends by preempting and forward planning as much as possible, the more productive they will be. They will be able to clearly see their own progress, and what it means for the business as a whole, promoting a sense of worth and purpose amongst staff. ‘We’re better than them’ syndrome Unhealthy rivalries between managers, teams or colleagues are not conducive to efficient, professional working environments. Authority figures should have the ability to make an entire company feel like one big, united team. Managers who promote an ‘us versus them’ ideology are not helping themselves, let alone the business as a whole. Everyone works differently. If people are encouraged to constantly measure themselves against others, they will struggle to feel accepted, supported, and/or appreciated. Any business is only as good as it’s staff. Richard Branson himself once said, “Healthy, engaged employees are your top competitive advantage.” Place them in unhealthy situations, however, and they will take their disgruntled attitudes to your customers, which is detrimental to commercial success. Help your client to understand alternative incentives which can be implemented company-wide - incentives that are results driven, rather than about winners and losers. Deal with conflicts of interest Nothing de-motivates staff members more than if they repeatedly voice a concern that is ignored, or resolved unsatisfactorily. A manager’s team members need to know that, a) their opinions and feelings matter; and b) if something is making them uncomfortable or affecting their ability to work to full capacity and with optimum enthusiasm, it will be taken seriously. A company that frequently mishandles grievances will often see a continually-high turnover of staff. This ends up costing thousands of dollars in wasted training and misspent man hours. People won’t want to stay where their voices can’t be heard. No one wants to be in an endless spiral of negativity. Conflict is unproductive, damaging and potentially expensive. Communication is key. First: a leader must cultivate an environment where staff feel safe to approach management with their views without fear of reproach. Second: time must be set aside to properly discuss the problem. Third: any issue must be resolved in a manner that everyone is happy with, in a timely manner, and, preferably, confirmed in writing. This way, all parties are satisfied and no one is left in any doubt that all has been done that could be done, and the outcome is proven for all to see. Oftentimes, a toxic culture can exist within a business like gas escaping from a burner - it can pose a threat without being seen, and can go unnoticed for long periods of time - but the fallout can be devastating. As an Executive Coach, it’s imperative that you help your client be a breath of fresh air, rather than a struck match. Subscribe to the WBECS Blog below - all new articles will go direct to your inbox!

  • WBECS Team
  • by WBECS Team
  • Mar 04, 2019

6 Key Questions to Ask in a Coaching Session

You’ve heard the expression, “give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; but give a man a net, and he’ll be able to feed his family for a lifetime”? The same principle applies when coaching clients. If you give your client the answers (providing you have them, of course), they won’t benefit from the value of the lesson. The solution will be a one-time deal. However, if you empower your client to identify causes, analyse behaviours, and create solutions for themselves, not only will they continue to go from strength to strength, but they will keep coming back to you time and again, knowing you were the magic that made everything better. How do you put this power into your clients’ hands? The key is in the questions. Knowing the right questions to ask is essential to the success of your coaching practice. Of course, there are many questions you could ask; but once you master the six most important questions, you can adapt them for pretty-much any scenario. QUESTION 1: “What would be your most valued outcome as a result of this session?” This question hones your session in on a specific result. Without an end game, your session might meander aimlessly and end up going nowhere. However, by focusing on an ideal scenario (not for the bigger picture, but just for that particular session) you are helping your client out of a crippling sense of overwhelm, encouraging the kinds of baby steps that make problem-solving much easier to tackle. Establishing where they will arrive progress-wise by the end of the hour will enforce the value of your services too. QUESTION 2: “Which do you think are the key areas to discuss today?” Asking this question aligns the session to the opinions of the client, rather than your own. Though it might be tempting to advise them based on your assessment of the situation, your opinion on what should be done is irrelevant. No one knows the challenges they face better than the client, so let them dictate the direction of the session from the outset. This will also give you an opportunity to learn the most you can about the client’s own thoughts about their issue(s). QUESTION 3: “What insights have you had so far?” Once you have conducted some active enquiry into the current state of business affairs with the client, ask this question to stimulate the discussion further and help them develop their take on things. Also, listen carefully for indications of the progress made so far. QUESTION 4: “What would you like to talk about next?” This question helps to refocus the conversation. It reminds the client to come back to the key areas of discussion they listed at the start of the session. This will do wonders for their confidence and add value to their experience. QUESTION 5: “What steps can you take right away to achieve your goal?” This is an important one. Establishing actionable items to use as a to-do list will illustrate to the client exactly what needs to be done to get the ball rolling. It makes the task less daunting if they know they can tackle it a little at a time and still affect the wider outcome. Also, it will motivate the client to take immediate action as a direct result of the session. QUESTION 6: “What, for you, has been the most important thing to come out of this session?” This final question will highlight the time you’ve spent together as a value-added service. You may realize that you’ve achieved all that the client set out to achieve at the start of the session. They may have gotten something else entirely out of it.  Either way, check that they’re happy with everything discussed. If they’re not, schedule a future session in which unresolved areas of discussion will be addressed. In summary, Putting the session in the client’s control makes them accountable to set things in motion. Allowing them to speak and to lead the session gives them ownership of their predicament and the fixing of it - further encouraging them to act. Most importantly, these questions maintain a sense of positive reinforcement, rather than focussing on any negativity stemming from ‘what if’ mentality. Train their eyes on the prize, get them to identify everything in their power that can be done, and guide them there one step at a time. Do that, and both coach and client will see the true value that can come of these critical questions. Andrew Neitlich is the founder and director of the Center for Executive Coaching, a leading coach training organization based in Central Florida. Neitlich is author of five books and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. Andrew and WBECS partnered to create Coach Master Toolkit - the ultimate package of frameworks for professional coaches. To find out more about CMT, visit http://www.wbecs.com/cmt/program today! Subscribe to the WBECS blog below

  • Andrew Neitlich
  • by Andrew Neitlich
  • Feb 18, 2019

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