There is a massive untapped resource in almost every business, and that is that the large majority of employees are performing far short of their true potential. If a business can take an employee who is performing at 50 percent of his or her potential, increase that person’s performance by 10 percent, and then duplicate that improvement with the rest of the team, the exponential impact will be massive, especially to a small enterprise. In my coaching practice, I have used a simple process to help business owners and their employees improve performance to grow themselves and their business results. I wanted to share this process in a series of Insight articles.
The first step in coaching someone to high performance is to be in alignment with what they want to achieve, and more importantly, why they want to achieve it. Most leaders make the mistake of making an employee’s goals about the needs of the business and don’t take in consideration the needs of the employee. All members of the team have dreams and goals, and they see their jobs as a tool to help achieve them They are not driven by helping the business owner get a bigger boat or by helping the manager get that next promotion. If you want to tap into an employee’s true internal motivation, you need to guide that person by using individual job performance as a tool to help achieve life objectives.
The next step in alignment is being clear on what your employees want in their lives. Who are the people that they want to become? What are the things that they want to do? What are the lives that they want to live? There are a variety of exercises that can be completed to help them discover that. The most common one that I use is a “bucket list” to help them identify the things they want to do and experience in their lives. If you do a Google Search for “525 Bucket List Ideas” you will find a tool that will help stimulate thinking instead of starting with a blank piece of paper.
After they are clear on their goals and dreams, the next step is to create a visual reminder that will provide them with source of focus and motivation on their long-term objectives. This is often referred to as a dream chart or vision board. My belief is that it is best to create two types of vision boards. The first is full of longer-term dreams and goals. Some common examples are: dream houses, travel destinations (Australia comes up a lot), private jets and providing for their families.
While long-term dreams are important, I have found that they can be perceived as so far away from where an individual is that they don’t provide enough internal motivation from day to day. This is where I find that a 12-month vision board can make a huge difference. Have your employees take some time to be clear on what they want to do, become and experience over the next 12 months. Ensure that they are visiting their vision boards regularly and have their own plans to check items off the list as the year progresses. I have found that having a short-term list of objectives that they are able to accomplish, as well as clarity of longer-term dreams that they are striving for, creates “the juice” that provides the internal drive that dramatically improves performance.
The last step in the alignment process is being clear on their whys. You can gain incredible leverage to help someone achieve his or her goals when you understand the why behind them. The way that I get clear on the why is to ask a simple question over and over again: Why? Why do you want to visit Australia? Why do you want to make $100,000? Why do you want a yellow helicopter? Why do you want to give to a non-profit?
As you dig deep and find out someone’s why, it will provide you with the emotional connection that you need to enroll and inspire the both of you to work together to achieve those goals.
As you have completed this process, you will have a valuable tool that provides the foundation for peak performance. It will provide a source of true internal motivation that comes from what an individual wants from his or her life. It will also help you bring to light the greatest consequence if that person gets off track.
One of the most powerful things that I have learned about helping others reach peak performance is that the greatest consequence that someone can experience is not getting what they want. Conversely, one of the great things that we can do to inspire top performance is to be a partner in using a job as a tool to help someone achieve his or her dreams and goals. This not only improves job and team performance but also makes a huge impact on turnover and your ability to recruit and attract other high performers. Now you are ready for the next step, creating an action plan.
Reggie Shropshire is a certified ActionCOACH Business Coach. He has practiced in the Wilmington community since 2005 and has taught hundreds of business owners how to achieve greater success in their business and personal lives through seminars, workshops and one on one coaching. For more information on Coach Reggie and ActionCOACH programs that can take you and your business to the next level visit www.actioncoach.com/reggieshropshire or reach directly at (910) 338-0194.
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