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Week of 6/10/24


Morning Minute 6/11/24

“Will You Coach Down, Up, or Sideways?”

“Coaching is getting people to do what they hate, to achieve what they love!”

With that in mind, how do you maximize the effectiveness of YOUR coaching?

You can coach down, coach up, or coach sideways. Let’s examine each.

1st: “Coaching Down:” This is the method most leaders think of when they think of coaching, It involves recruiting, teaching, and motivating team members to be more, do more, and achieve more. Whether leading a business team, a sports team, or a non-profit team of volunteers, the coach’s job is to win through the efforts of those whom they coach. This is accomplished by communicating the goals, organizing the team based on their strengths, and teaching them how to win. You coach down in order to have your team members execute your plan to achieve the team’s objectives & win. That is what is meant by “coaching down!”

2nd: “Coaching Up:” In numerous assignments as a team leader & coach, I worked with owners and GMs who felt they must be in control by making all the decisions. Thus, in order to affect improvements by making needed changes, it was necessary for me to ensure that the solutions were “their” ideas. This required coaching up.

Coaching up involves asking questions like: “Have you considered this alternative method?” Or: “One of our competitors is doing _____. I am sure that you have considered that. How do you think that would work for our team? Or: “You mentioned that you wanted a different approach to solving this problem. What are some of your peers doing to solve similar problems? Would you like to try that solution here?” 

To effectively coach up, you must do lots of research so you will have numerous solutions to problems. Present your GM or owner with multiple options, with the last option being the one you want him/her to choose. Then, ask their opinion of each, And, get them to choose the option they prefer. By having the “Boss” make the decision, they will appreciate your input while still feeling in control.

3rd: “Coaching Sideways:” You can coach other managers who are at your same level. This will work only if you want to help the other person succeed. For instance, let’s assume someone is leading another team that is similar to yours. You have a solution to a problem that they are experiencing. You contact them to share how you have experienced a similar issue, and how you solved it. When they use your solution successfully, you will have gained an important ally. Plus, in the event that you may be promoted over that manager, he/she will respect your integrity and follow your lead.

Using your skill to coach down, coach up, and coach sideways, you will increase both your leadership skills, and your ability to persuade others.

In closing, here is a quote from Steve Jobs: “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could!”

Decide now…to be an inspirational coach and leader!

“Will You Coach Down, Coach Up, or Coach Sideways?”

And, that is today’s Morning Minute!


Morning Minute 6/14/24

“Proper Planning Keeps You Focused For Success!”

You need a process to keep you focused on completion of daily and future tasks.

Successful people have the ability to get things done properly and on time. They use either a written or an electronic “To Do” list.

Daily tasks can include both personal and professional tasks, Personal tasks can include household and family events. Professional items are to keep you focused on your success at work. Today, let’s discuss your professional daily “To Do” list.

Your “To Do” list will keep you focused in any occupation. Here are some suggested tasks. Schedule times for task beginning & task completion; for contacts & follow-ups either electronically or in person. For training for yourself and/or your team; reviewing data and reports; planning for the future, personal development, exercise, and rest.

For instance, if you are a brick mason, you will need the materials on site with help to complete your job. Thus, the day before the job, you need to have the materials delivered and secured and the helper scheduled. With these and your best processes in place, you will maximize production. Your “To Do” list for yesterday included both laying brick, getting the materials and help lined up for tomorrow, and following up on future jobs to keep you and your team focused and busy. Today’s list will be similar.

If you sell for living, your plan may consist of client visits, office appointments, client follow-ups, and prospecting either in person or electronically. You must schedule time for continuous training to sharpen your sales skills. Plus, time to review new products and services. If selling at a particular location, plan your on-floor & off-floor time. You must have a separatelist of prospects and what they are searching for. Review that list daily. Plus, schedule both rest and exercise to keep your mind and body in good shape.

If you manage a business, schedule meetings keeping them brief and focused, using a meeting agenda. Eliminate unplanned or unfocused meetings. Your job is to achieve your goals working through other people. Schedule time for both inspections and follow-up. Plan time for reviewing data and reports, to ensure compliance. Plan for the future. Remember, you must successfully manage People, Processes, Products, and Promotion; the 4 Ps.  Schedule time for each. Plus, schedule time for rest and exercise to keep your mind and body in good shape.

Here is a sample list:

6:30am: exercise & breakfast;

8:30am team sales training;

9:15–10:30am interview prospective hires;

10:30-11:30am meeting with marketing team;

11:30am-12:30pm review & return messages/calls;

12:30-1:30pm lunch;

1:30-2:15pm Zoom session with team leaders;

2:30- 3:00pm conference call with suppliers;

3:00-4;30pm MBWA, manage by walking around, having discussions with team members;

4:30-5:15 review and return message/calls;

5:15-5:30pm: make your plan for tomorrow.

Events will occur taking you away from your plan. Go back to your plan once those events are handled.

And remember, “If you fail to plan, You plan to fail!”

“Proper Planning Keeps You Focused For Success!”

That is today’s Morning Minute.

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