Hello everyone, welcome to the Balanced Business Leaders Podcast hosted by yours truly, Claire Jones, owner of Liminal Clarity. We are a business development agency that helps small business leaders scale and grow without burning out.
This is the next podcast in a series where we will be discussing the various trials and tribulations that lead me to creating my Three Pillars of Business Success, a framework that represents the foundational systems that contribute to sustainable business growth.
If you’re interested in learning more, please join us in our free Balanced Business Leaders Facebook Group at facebook.com/groups/balancedbusinessleaders.
Ready? Alright, let’s dive in.
So I started this podcast as a way to tell my story, particularly when it comes to the many, many different lessons that I have learned over the years when it comes to founding, developing, running, and growing small businesses.
This particular episode is about Coaching Habits, which represent the fifth step in creating a Sustainable Schedule for yourself as a busy small business leader.
Coaching the people you are working with is an important aspect of Sustainable Schedules because, again, we all have our personal limits. BUT we also all have our personal geniuses.
And when you coach people, instead of just telling them what to do, you get the chance to tap into the inner brilliance of the people around you.
If you could surround yourself with people who are all working within their zone of genius, can you imagine what a total powerhouse your business would be???
Everyone around you knows something you don’t. Everyone around you has experiences, skill sets, and knowledge sets that you don’t.
And in the coaching industry, professionally trained coaches believe that everyone is the expert in their own life. They know their lives best and they are the ones who are best able to come up with solutions, behaviors, opinions, or habits that align most with their inner guidance system.
So your Sustainable Schedule journey started with scheduling your time in a way that enhances your own brain functioning by prioritizing the 7 areas of the Healthy Mind Platter.
Then, you used Flexible Time Blocking to make sure that you stay on track and keep yourself accountable to your new schedule.
Then, you tapped into Self Regulation techniques to effectively manage your emotional experience of your new schedule, thereby empowering yourself with a sense of control.
Then, you started Delegating the tasks or activities that aren’t in your zone of genius.
And, finally, you want to Coach the people around you so that they are better able to tap into their own zones of genius.
All of this adds up to a schedule where everyone involved is producing their best work, because they are primed for optimal brain functioning, they are accountable and in control of their experiences, and they are kicking ass with their own unique skill sets.
That’s the formula for sustained long term success, right there.
Imagine if you and the people around you were consistently and intentionally energized, productive, and happy… how would that impact your business and your life?
Alright, so before I jump the gun here, let’s get into the nitty gritty when it comes to coaching the people around you.
You can do this for yourself, you can do this in your community groups, you can do this in your workplaces, you can even do this in your family – basically anywhere you’re interacting with people in a social context and working together towards a common goal.
Coaching has actually been shown to have a markedly positive impact on performance, culture, and the bottom line. And this is because, when you tap into other people’s inner brilliance, they are more intrinsically motivated, they are more energized, they are more productive, they make better decisions, they are more innovative, more creative, and basically happier overall.
And developing a Coaching Habit doesn’t have to be that hard really. It should be a daily informal act not an occasional formal event that only happens a couple times a year.
So today I’m going to provide you with some coaching questions that will help you bring the best out of yourself and your team members.
Number one is: What is on your mind?
This really helps target the topic of the challenge or issue. Maybe they have a people problem, maybe they have a project problem, or maybe they have a behavior pattern problem. So this question really identifies what exactly the challenge is and what approach this person wants to take toward that challenge. This question sets the stage right off the bat.
Number two is: And what else?
There are three reasons this question has the impact that it does: (1) more options can lead to better decisions; (2) you rein in your advice monster; and (3) you buy yourself time.
So by asking them to further this topic that they brought up in the first question, you can really get them to think about the solutions rather than you telling them what the solutions are. You need to remember that the first answer someone gives you is almost never the only answer and it’s rarely the best answer so you can really dive into what the other options are with this question and you can tame the advice monster.
Plus it empowers your team members to think for themselves and come up with solutions that are more aligned with their own inner guidance systems.
Number three is: So what’s the real challenge here for you?
This is where you’re really getting into the nitty-gritty. This is where you can really identify what the problem is at hand because the first problem that they bring you often is a surface problem – it’s usually a symptom of an underlying cause.
So this helps avoid several things: (1) you avoid working on the wrong problem, (2) you avoid doing the work that your team should be doing, and (3) you avoid a situation where the work doesn’t get done at all.
Number four is: What do you want?
This is basically how to be a grown-up. This creates an adult-to-adult relationship in which people are able to ask for exactly what they want, knowing that the answer might be no.
It’s often hard to ask for what you want, even if you know what you want. So this gives them an opportunity to cut through the fog and be courageous enough to ask for what they want out of this challenge.
Number five is: How can I help?
Now that you know what the real challenge is and exactly what this person wants, now you can ask what kind of support they want from you.
Again, this removes the responsibility to interpret what their ask means for you. Because, at this point, you may be tempted to offer a lot of stuff that’s not actually helpful to them. Sometimes people are just looking for someone to listen, sometimes they’re looking for advice, and sometimes they’re looking for you to step in and do something.
So save yourself the time and energy that it takes to guess what they want from you and just ask.
Number six is: If you are saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
So let’s be clear here, what exactly are you saying yes to and what are you saying no to in order to get this done? A yes is nothing without a no, because it gives the yes boundaries. Understanding this helps identify the implications of the decision – that’s really what we’re talking about here.
What options are automatically eliminated by saying yes to this? If you say yes to this meeting, for example, then you are saying no to something else that is happening at the same time as the meeting.
And what options are you committing to by saying this? It’s what you now need to commit to doing in order to make the yes happen. It’s all too easy to shove another yes into the bag of our overcommitted lives, hoping that in some magical sort of way it will somehow all be accommodated.
And, finally, number seven is: What was most useful for you?
We’re talking about creating new neural pathways in the brain here. Only when they have a chance to reflect on what just happened can they solidify the new neural connections that they made during this conversation with you.
So your job as a manager and a leader is to help create the space for people to have those learning moments and to do that you need a question that facilitates a stronger foundation for those new neural connections – those insights or AHA moments they just had.
This moves you forward so that you are better equipped for future conversations with this person. You now know what kinds of insights they were looking for when they approached you with this challenge, so you can more easily tap into their motivations next time they come to you with a problem.
It also assumes that this conversation with you was useful. It reminds people how useful you are to them, but, again, you didn’t do any of the work for them. That’s how you can be useful as a team leader.
So how can you capitalize on these coaching techniques to bring out the best in the people you are working with?
Because if you’re better able to tap into their zones of genius, can you imagine what kind of impact that would make?
This whole sustainable schedule journey adds up to an environment where everyone involved is producing their best work, because they are primed for optimal brain functioning, they are accountable and in control of their experiences, and they are kicking ass with their own unique skill sets.
That’s the formula for sustained long term success, right there.
So next time, we’ll be going over Marketing Strategies so that you can save time, money, and energy yet get better results with your marketing efforts.
And please let me know what you think! I am always open to feedback and love connecting with my audiences.
If you want to learn more, I personally invite you to join us in the Balanced Business Leaders VIP Group Program. In as little as one hour per week, you will walk away with a clear action plan to grow and scale your business sustainably.
Please visit linktr.ee/liminalclarity for more information.
You can find the episode outline, video recording, transcript downloads, related links, etc. below.
And, until next time, love you all, take care, and I hope you have a good day wherever you are.