Constructive Coaching

Have you ever been criticized by a superior, a cohort, a spouse, a client? How did it feel? Did it empower you to be better, did it inspire you to do more, or did it pop your bubble?

Good coaches are hard to find. Some are too nice. They don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Others are too tough. They end up chopping the legs out from under people, promoting severe, long-lasting insecurity and under-performance. Lastly, some are too general. They simply are not specific as to what it is they like and/or what it is they feel needs improvement.

While our intention may be to help others be better, the truth is, we may be doing the opposite. Instead of helping others, we may be demoralizing them, demeaning them, and destroying them. Not good.

Here's an idea. Try praising them first. Find something specific you can credit them with. Give them accolades for something you deem admirable. Then identify something else you see as positive. Then identify another observation of them that you genuinely like. Then encourage them to keep doing those things.

Then, and only then, can we offer some 'areas for improvement.' We recommend you phrase it that way too! Stay clear of saying things like... "Here's what I didn't like." or "Here's what sucked." or "Here's what I hate." or "Here's what didn't work."

The result, you will find, is that the individual we are coaching, is able to clearly identify, recall and repeat the things that you deemed positive and are therefore encouraged to continue doing those things. At the same time, you have helped them identify one or two areas that you feel may need some improvement or modification.

It's also important to note that not everyone sees things the way we do. This is simply our opinion. It is but one perspective. Others may view it differently.

So, now it's your turn. Let us know your take on this article. If you Like It, then please Like It and tell us why. If you see areas for improvement, please share your thoughts. Lastly, if you or someone you know, has a need for some constructive communication coaching, please visit our website at www.triviumperformance.com. Or simply call us directly at 843.681.6283 to talk!

 

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Personal Insight Into Public Speaking

Public Speaking. There, I said it. Public Speaking. I said it again. Don't you LOVE to speak in public? Some do. But most don't. Why? Because it's nerve racking!!! It makes us feel uncomfortable. It's the Number #1 Fear people have. It actually trumps death! This factoid prompted Seinfeld to say... "That means people would rather be 'in the coffin' than 'giving the eulogy'!"

I know! That was me! As a young boy, at school, I was asked to speak to my classmates. I tried, but it didn't go so well. My classmates laughed at me. I was embarrassed.

In college I took a class in public speaking. Unfortunately, it was more about writing than it was about human behavior. I learned that being prepared was important, but what I didn't learn was how to solve the real problem.

I played football at The College of William and Mary. On Wednesday nights during the season, select players were asked to go to 'The Quarterback Club,' a group of local alumni, business professionals and other W&M Football enthusiasts. I can remember the discomfort I experienced when we were asked questions by the members.

After I graduated from college I was asked to do the color commentary for WMBG, the William & Mary Football Network. Needing cash, I accepted. The athletic director and I both thought this might be a good fit. It wasn't. The anxiety I experienced being 'on air' with potentially thousands of listeners took its toll. I lasted one game.

I kept asking myself..."What's wrong with me?" I knew I had a problem, but I didn't know how to solve it. I decided I needed to 'face the tiger.' So, I cashed in an IRA and invested in a corporate training business. I did it for one year. I didn't make much money, but I really enjoyed facilitating the programs. Sharing with people valuable information that they could use to be more effective helped me become more effective. So essentially, by helping other people, I got the help I needed.

There's a saying... "A teacher always teaches what he or she needs to learn the most."

That was 29 years ago. Poof!  I'm fortunate to be able to do what I love to do for a career. Seeing participants literally transform themselves in a relatively short period of time is tremendously fulfilling. My gift is in the giving.

So, do you sometimes get butterflies when you have to speak in public? Here's a little golden nugget. "Nerves come from an inappropriate direction of focus. "Nerves come from focusing on yourself. That's right, the butler did it... and you're the butler!

Here's my close. If you or someone you know is looking for an experienced and empathetic communication coach to help them get the butterflies to 'fly in formation', please visit our website www.triviumperformance.com and/or call me directly at 843.681.6283.

 

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TAKING RISKS.  FOR A CHANGE.

Years ago, I was in Chicago, about to commence my first Message Consulting | Team Project with a client. I approached the women sitting behind the central reception area. I greeted her with pleasantries and we began a short conversation. Then I noticed something. It was a small picture on the inside of her work area. It read...
’Change is Good. You go first!’ I will never forget that moment, nor the tremendous meaning behind it, and the lesson it teaches us.

Change is often good. Not always, but often. When change occurs, we see things in a new way, from a different perspective, often times a better way, a clearer way. The change opens up our minds, it liberates us from the mundane, the repetitive, the traditional, and often times, the now purposeless or even inappropriate past.

However, because it’s different, we experience discomfort. It’s unfamiliar territory. At times, it can threaten what we’ve done before, and the righteousness of our past behavior. It can make us feel ‘less than.’  It can ‘make us wrong,’ and we don’t like to be wrong, ever, do we?

We are all guilty of hanging on to ‘what we know’ longer than we should sometimes. We choose to hang on to ‘what we’ve always done’ in lieu of venturing out in to the unknown,  uncharted terrain, and taking a risk. Why?  Because we don’t want to fail. We don’t want to be embarrassed, we don’t want to look stupid, we don’t want to be ridiculed, and we don’t want to lose.

So, let’s look closely at this dynamic. We let our fear of failure prevent us from learning, from growing and possibly enjoying greater success. We should take a page from Thomas Edison’s book. “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

If you believe that change is in order for you or your team, here’s a recommendation. Take it slow. Make small modifications, take gradient steps outside of your comfort zone. Gather new information, new insight, as you stretch. Before long, you’ll experience personal growth and professional growth in leaps and bounds.

If you or your team is in need of some healthy 'Change', that's Good! Be one of the First to visit our new website www.triviumperformance.com then give us a call at 843.681.6283.

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Selling. The True Story

There are two critical components in any successful sales initiative: A Great Story (presentation(s) and Great Story Sellers (presenters).

First, we need to have a Great ‘Story.’ I use that word judiciously, because too often people associate the word ‘story’ with fiction. In this context, it is anything but fiction.

Your ‘Story’ is the ‘Real Story.’ It’s the total truth. Your Story’ is just that… it’s ‘Your Story.’ It’s how you got in the business, it’s about a problem you had and how you solved it. It’s about something you did for fun and how it turned in to a career. It’s about your marriage, and how the dreams you had were washed away by the tears you shed, and how God became a real, living God. 

It’s about where you were when the light bulb came on, and your great idea was born. It’s about losing a loved one, and how you were overwhelmed by the kindness bestowed on you by people, some you did not even know. Stories touch people's heart, they relate to people in ways, facts and figures never will.

What’s your ‘Story?’ 

In addition, we need to be great ‘Story Sellers.’ Our ‘Story’ is our story because we had an experience, a life event. That ‘life event’ affected us in a way that transformed us for the better. It took us down a path, on a journey of discovery, and because we followed the path, we learned something. Now we want to share it with others. 

To not share our story with others would be selfish. It would be like ‘hoarding water from people that were dying of thirst.’ If we look at it closely, we would see that by NOT sharing our ‘Story’ we are doing people a disservice. So, when I refer to being a ‘Story Seller,’ I’m referring to the person that wants to ‘help’ other people by sharing their Story. We need to be that person. We need to be that ‘Story Seller.’ Because ‘selling,’ truly ethical selling, is about asking questions, listening to what people tell you, then sharing the ‘true story’ with others with an intention to genuinely help that other person. 

At Trivium Performance, that’s what we do. We help our clients Think, Create and Communicate.

If you’d like some help crafting a Great Story (presentation(s) and/or some help with your team becoming Great Story Sellers (presenters), visit our website  www.triviumperformance.com  then give us a call at 843.681.6283.

Selling People. Not Products.

Selling People. Not Products.

Years ago, I had a participant in one of my seminars deliver a presentation. He was poised and professional, yet his presentation was lacking pathos (emotion) so I recommended he open up a little, share something personal.  

Well, he thought about it, and wrote some things down. A while later, I asked him if he would like to try it again. He started his presentation by telling the audience the name of his company, how it was family-owned and how proud he was to work for them. Then he opened up his heart. He told us that family was important to him. He shared that his mother had passed away when he was 4 years old. 

I tell you this story because it illuminates the power of story. Sometimes we forget that we are selling people, not products. Stories touch peoples heart, they relate to people in ways, facts and figures never will.  

What’s your Story?