As a business owner or leader you have already learnt that you are good at making things happen. You will have come to rely on your own abilities and determination and stamina to make things happen.
Which is good.
You will also know about all those things that you have put off or parked. And about areas that you know you are not good at but are ignoring or doing really badly. But if those things are fundamental to the success of your business you need to address them as soon as possible.
Only undertake this exercise if you are seriously prepared to make some changes. Don’t waste your own time if your mindset is that nothing can change because that will be a self fulfilling prophecy and potentially a self limiting belief.
1. Plan your own Coaching session
Allow yourself a day to coach yourself. Choose it wisely. When the business will be quiet. A Bank Holiday. During the summer. Or a Friday.
You may decide to break that day up into pieces. A few hours here and there. That is fine too. Most coaching sessions don’t last more than a couple of hours although some people go straight into action planning which might be you.
Think about where to meet with yourself. In the office when the phones aren’t ringing or going to a quiet place where you can think undisturbed.
The most important thing to think about is what you want to get out of investing in yourself and identifying areas for development or self improvement. The benefits to you. Those benefits will be your drivers for change.
2. Gathering feedback
There will be people that you have worked with that can give you some good feedback on you, your business and your future even. They may be your partner, business or personal, your staff, your suppliers and of course your customers. They might be people that you admire or aspire to. Ask them as well.
Be mindful about whether you are someone that takes things personally or can be a bit reactive. If you are ask someone else to filter and summarise for you.
3. Leading your own coaching session
So you have an agenda and before we start can we look at you?
Are you in the best physical, mental or emotional condition to lead a business? What is your lifestyle like? Do you eat well and get exercise and regular check ups. Do you have any medical issues that need addressing? Or perhaps there are issues from your past or in your personal life that keep on popping into your head but you don’t want to deal with it? Please do. It’s so obvious but being in peak condition, will just give you a big advantage. Niggling issues absorb energy that you could be putting into your business and or career. Issues like that grow and grow and eventually take over.
So take action now because it makes real commercial sense to do so.“The most important thing to think about is what you want to get out of investing in yourself and identifying areas for development or self improvement. The benefits to you. Those benefits will be your drivers for change.” Tweet This!
4. Your coaching questions
Here are some questions to ask yourself around your development. Write the answers down or tap them into your laptop. Keep a separate list of any actions or issues requiring follow up that you have identified for yourself.
• What is the next milestone for my business/my career?
• What are the issues that are stopping this happening?
• What makes these issues now?
• How important are they on a scale of 1-10?
• How much energy do I have to find a solution on a scale of 1-10?
• What are the implications on my business/my career of doing nothing if I let things carry on as they are?
• What have I already tried?
• If I managed to solve this problem how would my business/job feel?
• What is standing in the way of the ideal outcome?
• What early signs are there that things might be starting to improve?
• What criteria will I use to judge the different options?
• Which option seems the best one against that criteria?
• So what is my next/first step?
5. Understand your personality
Your personality and how you work with others is one of those things that can make or break you in business. To have got this far you will be confident and will have learnt to adapt your personality to the needs of your business.
There are many tools out there that will help you to understand your personality. Myers Briggs is very good and my personal favourite is the Golden profile by Talent Lens as it also measures how you respond to stress.
This is something that is worth investing in. Having your profile done and arranging a feedback session with a qualified practitioner. Doing a random quiz on the internet is not advisable.
6. Your existing team
Make a list of your existing team and their strengths.
Rate them and identify what you’d miss if they left as well as what you’d like them to improve in. Then identify how you can help them develop and grow.
Something that is also worth doing (and fun) is getting hold of the Belbin Team types questionnaire to see what team roles you and your key staff play. This is a simple exercise to do and provides great food for thought.
It will also help you identify the types of people that are perhaps missing from your team. People often recruit people that are very similar to them and that can create big gaps. Know what they are so you can fill them in future.
7. Your action list
You will now have an action list and will want to get going!
Remember you have invested in yourself today and just like your business you need a return on that investment. So make some of the actions you have identified happen and follow through. Not just the easy fun stuff but the things you feel a slight dread about facing.
Plot and share your progress and look forward to the many benefits they will bring you and your business.
Ruth Cornish is the Managing Director of Amelore a Coaching and HR consultancy. She is the HR expert for Moneywise and is also the HR expert in the latest book from Notonthehighstreet.com “Shape up Your Business”
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