CASE STUDY: Coaching for Results

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

 TOPIC: Executive CoachingAIA 600x314 (2)

INDUSTRY:  Advertising

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: I had met with the HR Director of this organization several months before I received a phone call requesting a coach for one of their managers. The HR Director was looking for someone to work with this very high-potential woman and help her develop her communication and leadership skills, as she was being considered for a promotion as part of their succession plan.  I knew immediately that the coach would be a perfect fit.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I connect the HR Director to the Athena Alliance partner  who had extensive experience working with managers in this situation.

SOLUTION: The most important thing when selecting a coach is the fit. It is imperative that there is trust and that there is a connection.  I arranged for my partner to meet with the manager, and they had an instant connection.  My partner outlined a 1-year program that started with an assessment and included a combination of face-to-face meetings, Skype calls and books that needed to be read.  Everyone agreed that in order for the manager to make the necessary changes, it would take time and practice. The manager was grateful for the opportunity and expressed her commitment to do what needed to be done.

RESULTS:  This match was incredible! The manager embraced the coaching and did above and beyond what any of us expected.  She has now been promoted to a Director level, and there is even talk of her moving to a VP position in the next few years.  She still works with this coach on a less-frequent basis; in fact, she is now coaching some of her managers.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

CASE STUDY: Mentoring

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series  are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions  we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

 AIA 600x314 (2)TOPIC: Mentoring

INDUSTRY: Manufacturing

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: One of my long-time customers called me to meet with him as he was super excited to share with me his new performance model.  He had been using various Athena Alliance partners in different areas globally and wanted to add a new program.  We had already helped them build a very robust leadership development program that supported all management levels, from first-time supervisor to senior executive team.  My client wanted to add a mentoring program, but wasn’t sure all of his leaders had the skills to be able to do this effectively.  He had identified some key people whom he felt would make excellent mentors and wanted to see if I could help him with some training on how to mentor others.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  This was an easy match for me, as I have in the Athena Alliance a partner who delivers one of the best mentoring programs in the market today.  After I connected the partner to the client, my client said it was an amazing option for them, and he couldn’t wait to get started.

SOLUTION:  After assessing the leaders intended to be included in the mentor training, the Athena Alliance partner agreed that the leaders were excellent choices. The Athena Alliance partner proposed a 3-month program that was delivered in short 2-hour sessions bi-weekly, with homework in between.

RESULTS: This program was so well-received; they saw such immediate results that it has now been added to their senior leadership program.  The client himself participated, and he shared with me that mentoring done right is a very rewarding experience for both the mentor and the mentee.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

The Basics of Personal Coaching by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

images

Good leaders are always looking for a way to gain a new edge. Any tool that can help you be more effective is welcome. One tool you may not haveimages considered that has the potential to bring you great benefits is taking advantage of the guidance you can gain from having a personal leadership coach.

Personal coaching is new to a lot of leaders, but the concept has been around for a number of years. Personal coaches use their experience and skill to help executives and business owners develop into the leader they wish to become. Professional coaches can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas on how to handle the challenges you face in your business life.

How Do I Find a Coach That’s Right for Me?

Choosing the right coach is important to ensuring a successful partnership. Look for a coach that has a style similar to yours, but be sure he or she has some differences from your personal style, as well. We can always learn from those who handle issues differently than ourselves.

You might start by looking for a coach that specializes in an area where you have interest. Interview several coaches before choosing one. Don’t worry; they are accustomed to this process, and want to ensure a compatible fit as much as you do.

How Does the Process Work?

Your initial coaching session will be much like an interview, where the coach will want to learn about what you plan to get from the coaching process. Be prepared to discuss the challenges you face and where you would like to see growth. Your coach may also ask you to take some personal assessments to better understand you and your style.

Over the course of the relationship, you may have face to face meetings or talk over the phone. Keep a list of issues or things you want to discuss between meetings. Your coach will likely recommend articles and books for you to read that he or she has found valuable for others facing similar challenges.

Be prepared to evaluate the relationship in an ongoing way. Do your part to follow your coach’s advice, but be honest about what does and does not work. Over time, your coach should become better and better at helping you as you work together.

Many leaders have found personal coaching to be a valuable tool in developing themselves and growing their business. Even a few sessions of personal coaching may be just the help you need to move yourself, and your business, forward by leaps and bounds!

 

The Manager as Coach by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

1to1coaching

The idea of a manager as an employee coach is one most of us have heard of. However, many people may not really know the difference between the two. Coaches and managers have many things in common, but there are some distinct differences, as well. Here are the primary differences between managers and coaches, as well as some guidance as to when each style is most beneficial.  1to1coaching

  • Managing is all about directing activity toward specific outcomes. Managers manage processes, and direct the people using those processes. The desired result is generally related to a specific goal, and managers may give specific instructions that should be followed. Managing works well when a person is new at performing a task or lacks confidence in completing the task. It is also a good way to get results during a crisis.
  • Coaching, on the other hand, is related to developing a person, rather than a process. Coaching requires offering advice and suggestions, leaving final decisions to the employee. It is focused on helping the employee grow into his or her potential, rather than on reaching a specific goal.

Which Should I Be?

As a business leader, you will likely use both the manager and the coach role at different times and with different employees. As mentioned earlier, crisis situations require management, as does developing processes with new or less confident employees. Coaching, however, takes your employees to the next level.

The employees who will respond best to the coaching style are those who are already performing at a high level, and who are ready for the next challenge. It also works well with employees who are creative and who are confident enough to try new approaches and think on their feet.

Coaching and managing must each be part of your repertoire as a leader. Managing processes and less experienced staff will help develop employees to performing at a high level. Once they have reached this level and have confidence in their abilities, coaching them will develop them in ways that can propel their career forward. Think of coaching as a way to develop your employees to take your place. This idea should not create fear, since you should always be grooming someone to fill your shoes as you move up the ladder as well.

The mindset that leads a manager to be a coach is one that improves the skill and confidence of both the employee and the coach, as well. As you develop into a coach for those employees who are up for the challenge, you will see benefits for both of your careers.

Making the Shift from Manager to Coach by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC (Part One)

coachingcycle

Making the Shift from Manager to Coach by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC (Part One)

For the most part managers today spend a great deal of their time managing projects, data, processes, troubleshooting, problems and information.  Although the usual job description would state that managers manage people, this is often not the case. When managers move to a coaching model it gives Sales Representatives the opportunity to generate their own insights, solutions and possibilities that will have them drive their results.  It is an advise free conversation and process of discovery.  Coaching is based on the belief that the question is the answer.

coachingcycleWhat is Sales Coaching?

Coaching is a process of inquiry that is interactive and collaborative.  Coaching builds accountability when it is performed in a safe environment for people to honour their commitments.

Coaching helps tap into a person’s unused strengths and talents that advances their personal growth and learning.  Coaching helps people discover their personal best.

Effective sales coaching is a co-creation without attachment and wanting more for your sales people than they want for themselves.  Coaching is about the sales person not the coach. If you find yourself thinking about or using the word “I” a lot while you are coaching – it has become about you.  Sometimes new coaches make it about themselves and wanting to “do it right.”

Often new coaches are so committed to providing results they give the person the answers prematurely.  Give the sales person the space they need to arrive at their own conclusion.  Sometimes just listening is a powerful coaching process and may be all that is needed. Providing a safe place during a coaching session where the sales person can talk freely and openly without feeling vulnerable is one of the most powerful coaching strategies.

Coaching Sales Representatives is about what they want for themselves more that what you want for them.  People unintentionally lie to themselves and believe the lies to be true. 

Sometimes people are afraid to admit they don’t have the skills. Good coaches need to constantly gauge the resistance level, if pushed too hard Sales Representatives will either shutdown or push back.

Finding out what the salesperson’s expectations are from the coaching, the value they expect and how they would like to be coached will greatly impact the results.

Once the sales manager takes full accountability for themselves as well as their team members, they will then be able to empower others to be fully accountable for themselves.

Making your people right, even when they are wrong makes a huge impact on their productivity and attitudes.  To see the rightness in Sales Representatives, you must believe that people are doing the best they can at any given moment.  If their best doesn’t meet your standards, you always have the choice to make changes.

Managers may think they don’t always have time to coach their Sales Representatives, but think about the things that are taking you away from coaching and meeting with your Sales  Representatives in the first place. Coaching is about having the Sales Representatives grow on their own.  Questions broaden their peripheral vision so they can best respond to the events or things that are coming at the.  Ask your Sales Representatives how they want to be coached. Three fundamental rules of sales coaching:

1.    Let your Sales Representatives do all the work.

2.    Let your Sales Representatives do all the work.

3.      See rules one and two and let your Sales Representatives do all the work.

Sales Coaching for Accelerated Results

sales manager - coach salespeople, support, encouragement, accountability, rightness

 

Sales Coaching for Accelerated Results

by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

 

Coaching is about change. Change comes from a dream of something better.  Coaching engages your imagination and at the same time is immensely practical in the real world.

When we dream we use our imagination, we soar beyond the confines of our lives into a wider world where many things are possible and we are not restricted to the cards we have been dealt.  We are free to take any wild card and transform our hand.  Dreams take us beyond ourselves.  Every change in our life starts as a dream, We use our imagination to project ourselves into the best of all futures.

 

What is Sales Coaching?

Coaching is about giving salespeople the opportunity to generate their own insights, solutions and possibilities that will have them drive sales-manager-coach-salespeople-support-encouragement-accountability-rightnesstheir results.  It is an advise free conversation and process of discovery.  Coaching is based on the belief that the question is the answer. Coaching is a process of inquiry that is interactive and collaborative.  Coaching builds accountability when it is performed in a safe environment for people to honour their commitments.

Coaching helps tap into a person’s unused strengths and talents that advances their personal growth and learning.  Coaching helps people discover their personal best.

Effective sales coaching is a co-creation without attachment and wanting more for your sales people than they want for themselves.  Coaching is about the sales person not the coach. If you find yourself thinking about or using the word “I” a lot while you are coaching – it has become about you.  Sometimes new coaches make it about themselves and wanting to “do it right.”

Often new coaches are so committed to providing results they give the person the answers prematurely.  Give the sales person the space they need to arrive at their own conclusion.  Sometimes just listening is a powerful coaching process and may be all that is needed. Providing a safe place during a coaching session where the sales person can talk freely and openly without feeling vulnerable is one of the most powerful coaching strategies.

Coaching salespeople is about what they want for themselves more that what you want for them.  People unintentionally lie to themselves and believe the lies to be true. 

Sometimes people are afraid to admit they don’t have the skills. Good coaches need to constantly gauge the resistance level, if pushed too hard salespeople will either shutdown or push back.

Finding out what the salesperson’s expectations are from the coaching, the value they expect and how they would like to be coached will greatly impact the results.

Once the sales manager takes full accountability for themselves as well as their team members, they will then be able to empower others to be fully accountable for themselves.

Making your people right, even when they are wrong makes a huge impact on their productivity and attitudes.  To see the rightness in salespeople, you must believe that people are doing the best they can at any given moment.  If their best doesn’t meet your standards, you always have the choice to make changes.

Managers may think they don’t always have time to coach their salespeople, but think about the things that are taking you away from coaching and meeting with your salespeople in the first place.  Many of the issues and problems that need to be dealt with are often actually a result of not coaching and connecting with our salespeople.

Coaching is about having the salespeople grow on their own.  Questions broaden their peripheral vision so they can best respond to the events or things that are coming at the.  Ask your salespeople how they want to be coached. Three fundamental rules of sales coaching:

  1. Let your salespeople do all the work.
  2. Let your salespeople do all the work.
  3. See rules one and two and let your salespeople do all the work.

 

Athena Alliance Members – A Closer Look at Sharone Bar-David

Sharone Bar-David

Athena Alliance Members – A Closer Look at Sharone Bar-David

Since I started the Athena Alliance blogtalk radio show I have had the opportunity to share with our listeners the expertise of our diverse group of trainers, facilitators, coaches and consultants.  Each member has a profile featured on our website and I thought for upcoming blogs I would share with our readers a more personal look at some of our partners and in no particular order.

Sharone Bar-David

When you meet Sharone you experience a very calm, confident and well spoken lady.  I have enjoyed working with her these past few years as she has developed her niche in training and coaching programs that create respectful workplaces.  She has recently become Canada’s first Boss Whisperer.  When I first heard the term I was a little unsure as to what it exactly meant. It means she works with managers who have an abrasive tone about them and she works to help them to become more respectful with others in the organization. Sharone has a passion for helping organizations create respectful workplaces and provides the training and coaching to those who want to move in that direction.  She works both with groups and individuals to identify and change those behaviours that may be experienced by others as bullying or harassment.  A lot has changed in corporations in the past few decades and Sharone is definitely the go-to person when a company has any of these types of issues.

One of the things I respect most about Sharone is her commitment to results.  We once had an organization that was experiencing harassment issues from a senior executive and I was called to help. I connected this company with Sharone and when she couldn’t get anyone from the senior team to return her calls or emails she declined working with them.  When she called and explained that she would not work with them unless the senior team supported the program, I totally understood.  She is committed to results and without buy in from the top, it was not possible.  I feel very fortunate to have Sharone in my alliance and look forward to working together for many years to come.

Here is a link to Sharone’s Profile:

 http://www.athenatrainingandconsulting.com/alliance-partners/sharone-bar-david

Sales Coaching

sales coaching

For the month of September I thought I would make it “Ten Tips Month.”   I will share with our readers ten tips to enhance team building ideas, customer service skills, leadership development and sales coaching skills.  Some of these tips may be new ideas to you and others may be reminders of the importance of the things you are already doing.  As I say in my workshops “We all know things, what is most important is what we do with what we know.”

Sales Coaching

sales coachingCoaching sales people can be very rewarding for a manager.  It is a model that will tap into the sales person’s inner drive to succeed.  I can also help identify any blind spots that may prevent the sales person from reaching their full potential. 

1)      Develop an internal coaching program – it can prove to be very beneficial to have your sales executivesdevelop an internal coaching model.  Using a coaching program to manage your sales people help set the expectations for performance and hold sales reps accountable for their results.

2)      Allow for creativity – effective coaching allows for the art of creating possibilities and opportunities that didn’t exist before.  This can be truly inspiring.

3)      Coach with no agenda – this concept is sometimes difficult for managers to understand.  After they have their targets and numbers that need to be met, right?  This is not what I mean by agenda.  I mean that during a coaching session the manager does not have any expectations of the outcome of each session.  This allows for more creative ideas to flow and for the salesperson to come up with their own solutions.

4)      Eliminate excuses for non performance – often the sale manager themselves have their own limited beliefs around what can and cannot be done.  It really comes down to choice.  I always say “reasons or results.”  Let the sales person choose and as a manager monitor and explore the validity of your own beliefs.  You might be pleasantly surprised at what is possible.

5)      Build trust – the backbone of all relationships is trust.  With trust comes respect.  When you enter into a coaching arrangement trust is paramount.  Do you trust them?  What have you done to earn their trust?  If you don’t trust them or they don’t trust you, then it is highly unlikely you will be able to effectively coach them. 

6)      Tracking performance – critical to success in every area of our lives, this is very important with coaching.  Tracking actions and results is mandatory for any successful coaching arrangement.  It keeps things documented and accountability where it belongs – with the sales person.

7)      Must be coachable – not everyone is coachable.  There has to be a willingness on the part of the sales person to participate in a coaching relationship.  Are they open, willing and determined to succeed.

8)      Clearly identify the “Gap” – the gap is the difference between where the sales person is and where they need to be.  As a coach you need to identify if they have the skills, beliefs and attitude to succeed.  A manager can co-create the strategy to achieve the desired outcome, then track the milestones. 

9)      Be selective –much like we are not able to sell to everyone and need to identify our niche customers, the same applies to coaching.  Be vigilant about who you spend your time and energy coaching.  Only work with those with the willingness and committed to the process.

10)   It’s an inside job – to be an effective sales coach you may have to change what you do and how you think.  Very successful people think and do things differently and this is large part because they are able to manage their mindsets and beliefs.

by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

WOW!!! What an Alliance!

alliance partners concept, learning culture match

alliance partners concept, learning culture matchWOW!!!  What an Alliance!

 

When I first started the Athena Alliance seven years ago I had no idea what great relationships and wonderful people I would have the privilege of working with.  I often hear from my partners what wonderful customers we have.  I couldn’t agree with them more.  We have been able to support small , mid-size and large organizations with a plethora of various training programs, coaching agreements and Human Resources consulting support.

I can remember the first time I met one of my long standing customers.  She was new in her position and had a mandate to create a learning culture for this mid-size construction company.  Her energy and passion for creating a powerful college was infectious.  Every alliance partner has consistently commented on how fantastic it is to work with her and their employees.  She loved the alliance concept right from the beginning and could see how aligning with me could save her a lot of time and also have trust that the trainers and coaches I introduced her to would be able to deliver the customized solutions she required.

To date she has contracted our alliance partners to provide training in the following areas:

  • Leadership (many areas)
  • Listening skills
  • Power hours
  • Empowerment programs for the Admin team
  • Priority/time management
  • Business writing
  • Disc
  • Presentation Skills
  • Mentoring program
  • Outlook

Every year we sit together and discuss what they have accomplished in the past year and what they want to focus on in the coming year.  I then get to work with my partners to make sure she has the partnerships she needs to make it happen.   She is such a delight to work with and we are all grateful for the opportunity to provide the ongoing support for this organization. 

Just one more reason I love what  I do!!!

By
Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC