Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

Help Is Here – Another excerpt from the new Color at Work booklet

October 2nd, 2012

Help! is usually one of the last things we or anyone else on our teams tend to say out loud. But why? Or better yet, why not?

Self-improvement and a desire to grow and learn are the key building blocks to success, which can lead to an increase in pay or responsibilities, or a chance for promotion. This growth can begin when we simply admit we don’t know something, or ask for help, when we really do need it.

Unfortunately, most Colors seldom ask. Blues are contrary to this norm. Blues are the ones who are most likely to ask for help. However, when they do, it can often be perceived as a sign of weakness or incompetence, which is not only patently false, but also damaging to every other person who also take their clues from the subsequent actions or reactions of others. Whether it is perception or reality, everyone on our teams must either build the courage to keep asking for help, or willingly offer help to others by providing feedback, training, suggestions, support, or input.

Our careers do not have a remote. We actually have to get up and change things ourselves!

Successful companies are likely to have specific orientations or on-boarding programs. Studies prove that within those companies, employees are 58% more likely to still be with the company three years later. On the other hand, up to 30% of new hires quit within the first year when they do not feel included, connected, or involved. That becomes extremely counterproductive and very expensive for corporations.

According to an Aberdeen Group study, the cost to lose and replace employees is an average of three times their yearly salaries. Clearly then, companies must invest a lot of time, energy, and resources into training. Many companies should even have a significant amount of money which every employee can draw from over a calendar year. Yet in companies that do offer this, many of them don’t even spend half of the allocated funds.

Competence = confidence = compensation

At some point in time, the impetus is on us to continue the drive to learn, grow, and ask for help. However, after about three months there seems to be an unwritten rule for most of us, that asking for help is no longer acceptable. Just three short months later we all seem to have forgotten how helpful everyone was! They still are helpful– but we just stopped asking. If we just asked, all those same people would continue to help us grow and learn. They would love to be our cheerleaders, go-to people or mentors – if we just asked.

All four Colors love to help others. The only differences are the specific ways each Color does it.

Working Hard or Working Smart?

July 12th, 2010

The training firm Leadership IQ did a study some years ago of more than 5,000 hiring managers from a wide variety of industries. Some of the findings are quite eye-opening.

The bottom line, according to Leadership IQ, is that most companies fixate on hiring criteria which is based on technical competence. Yet, it is one of the last reasons for anyone to actually lose their job. Here are the top five areas of failure, according to the study:

26% Coachability – our ability (and willingness) to accept and implement feedback

23% Emotional IQ – the ability to manage and understand our own emotions, or put another way: our interpersonal skills

17% Motivation – the drive and desire to reach our full potential

15% Temperament – the personality type and attitude suited to fit the job

11% Technical competence – the functional skills, training, experience, and education required for the job

Ironically, the first four areas outlined in the study are directly related to understanding Colors! If only companies knew the tools and insights, imagine how turnover would be reduced, employee satisfaction in their jobs would grow, and employees would be set up in a win-win situation from their first month on.

We Want Our Company to Share Our Values

October 1st, 2008

The number of employees happy at their jobs keeps dropping. But at the same time, in lots of areas, it keeps getting harder and harder to attract and to retain good employees.

But why is there such a disconnect? In the 2007 RBC study only 36% of respondents surveyed answered that they are “very satisfied” with their jobs. When asked to rate their employers the results were even worse. Only 18% of people actually graded their employers with an “A,” while 43% gave their company a “B” grade.

Now compare that to the small 14% who expressed that they are worried about losing their jobs and the problem areas are clear. RBCs Christinne Paris had a great comment to CanWest News: “Employers committed to being successful are going to have to work harder and do better to attract and retain valued employees.” Paris goes on to make a compelling case for Colors: “Creating inclusive working environments is paramount…” We can keep working harder or work smarter…

Finally, here is one more eye-opening response from the survey: Three-quarters of all respondents believe that it is very important that their employer share their values. Yet those values (whatever the respondents used for their definition) are very different for different Colors, just like the definitions of organized, family, honesty and many more.

Why Colors? Some Feedback

September 1st, 2008

“The daily, continual reiteration of the Colors impact on folks from my shop is phenomenal. I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your huge impact in making this world a better place to live. Lives have been changed for the better. Couples are more at peace and my agents now understand potential clients/recruits much better. Thank you.” C. M.

“I just wanted to say thank you for the Colors seminar here in Regina. It was absolutely amazing and the girls in my office and I are still talking about it. It relieves a lot of tension because we all make a joke out of it. “Oh she’s having an Orange moment!” or “talk to the Gold guy, he’ll handle it right away. You really helped us understand each other much better.”

“My best friend and I work in the same leasing office. We came to the conclusion the best gift that our company could ever have given us was getting you in to teach Colors. Everyone in the world should listen to you for a few hours. I really think the world would be a better place for it.” S.F.

“George: I just recruited a high Gold that lives on Reliant Close – how appropriate!” (A.W. from the U.K.)

“I can honestly say your Colors seminar is THE most talked about, used and referenced tool I have ever seen in my twenty years of education. Today, three years later, it continues to be the basis of our teamwork, understanding and cooperation.” John Murphy – Principal

“Largely because of Colors, my life is so much better than it ever has been. A good friend told me that he has learned a lot from that book, which is why we are getting along so much better than we ever have.  Your book saved a very important friendship. Thank you so much for all that you do for people.” S.V.

“I just want to let you know how much I enjoy your newsletter. I work for a non-profit organization and after attending your Colors seminar, I find myself able to read my volunteers better. One of my executive is a high Orange, very loud. I used to think he was upset with me, a very high Blue, when he would come into my office yelling about something. Now I know that he isn’t mad or unhappy – he’s Orange and louder than me! Another volunteer is a high Green.  Once again, I thought his neutral face was because he didn’t like me, but Greens are like that.” D.C.

Goal Setting: Does Close Count?

July 1st, 2008

In sales, management, recruiting or many other areas, should goals always be realistic and achievable, or is it OK to set the bar quite high and make your best effort to get close?

Your answer will be a big clue of a Gold versus an Orange or Blue mindset. The former certainly applies to Golds, while Oranges will shoot for the moon and coming close definitely counts as a win. In fact, high Oranges and Blues will generally feel that achieving their goals meant the bar was set too low in the first place.

Two large seminars recently made that very clear with the response to a seemingly simple question: Would you rather set a goal of $100,000 income next year and reach $80,000, or a “realistic” goal of making $60,000 and achieving it?

Almost every Gold attendee chose the $60,000 realistic goal. After all, few things are more important to Golds than keeping their word – and this would be an integral part of that.

Yet every Orange attendee chose the $100,000 goal and falling short. Why? “We want to keep pushing ourselves, the higher the goal the better, anybody can reach $60,000” and more comments along those lines.

So what’s better? A goal you can take to the bank, or one that’s seemingly impossible and getting close? If it sounds silly, you don’t understand the mindset of Golds. A better question would be one that goes to their mindset: What would be more satisfying, what makes you feel successful, what creates less stress, or how do you believe others will judge you if you don’t reach your goal and keep your word?

At the end of the year, with this example, the Orange person has an extra $20,000 in their pocket AND feels like a winner. Seems like a no-brainer… And Golds can do that, too. But it takes some practice and courage to commit to a higher, more challenging goal. If Golds have committed to their goal out loud and make the promise public – you know they will do whatever it takes to keep it.

So with the tools of Colors, an open mind, and a little “living on the edge” commitment, they WILL be hugely stressed, but I’d bet money they’ll also reach the $100,000, and then who’d look like the winner? But that takes courage, stepping out of their comfort zone and taking a chance. That’s the place where Oranges and Blues have a huge head start…

This Month on TV: A Gold Reality Show

June 1st, 2008

The Golf Channel has a new series called Fore Inventors Only. It’s a great show, but only if you have any interest in golf, and yes, “fore” is a golf term. The show creates a forum for some huge exposure on some pretty cool golf inventions. It’s an elimination show, and the final 10 received a session with some marketing people, as well as a presentation to real consumers in a Golfsmith store.

The good news is that many of these great inventions came from high Greens. The bad news is that they came from high Greens. That is, the invention might be perfect, but many of the inventors had real problems with the marketing issues and connecting with actual consumers in the store. Of course, a bunch of cameras didn’t help.

Larry Kelly invented a club called the Gyroswing. At the marketing session he first realized that this critical step in becoming successful was miles apart from the Green world of inventing a product in peace and quiet. His pitch started with: “Using gyroscopic inertia, the laws of conservation and angular momentum….” At that point the marketing person cut him off, much to Kelly’s annoyance, and asked him to simplify it. After Kelly re-grouped for a bit, it became, “A high speed rotor powered by an electric motor with lithium batteries in the handle creates gyroscopic inertia…” Yes, he was cut off again…

With some coaching that was obviously edited out due to its length, the pitch developed to: “This golf club will show you what it feels like to have the perfect swing.” Great! The marketing person got him to start with the benefits, the “what’s in it for me” and “why should I buy this,” versus the technical stuff. But you have to know that Kelly’s brain was fighting this “dummied down” line, because it wasn’t perfect or worded correctly.

When it came to the live presentation, Kelly was back to his default technical information. His Green mind certainly took in the feedback, but it was hard when his brain screamed that it’d be pretty irresponsible not to relate the “proper” information. In fact, the president of Golfsmith had to cut in and ask to try the club. His feedback was “wow.” Hello, Larry! The president said wow – go with that and shut up!

In the post-marketing interview a frustrated Kelly shared that it was impossible to compress all that information into one minute. No it wasn’t, Larry! But it sure showed some huge Colors communication issues that all of us face each and every day.

Maybe that was the reason he did not get to the final five? A number of the inventions that did advance either had a partner or spouse with them who were obviously high Blue or Orange and could do the marketing with ease.