Showing posts with label Business and Life Management Coaching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business and Life Management Coaching. Show all posts

How To Improve Productivity


Do you often feel an enormous amount of pressure to produce more? No matter how efficient you are now, it’s important to always look for ways to increase both the quality and quantity of positive results.

There are significant factors that hold us back from getting positive results, but there are ways to improve on these factors, to unlock your potential and become an unstoppable force in whatever you’re trying to achieve.

What influences productivity?

There are factors that contribute to a loss or gain of productivity:

  • Criticism: Both positive and negative feedback have been shown to increase productivity. Conversely, nonconstructive, negative feedback damages work output and quality.
  • Stress: Less stressed People produce more (and higher quality) work than their stressed-out counterparts.
  • Energy: Not surprisingly, having lots of energy results in higher production.
  • Technology: With the right tools and business processes, you can transform a good team into an unstoppable one.
  • Purpose: With measurable goals and an understanding why you do something, you’ll work more consistently and at a higher standard.
  • Attitude: Happy people work more and produce better results.
  • Personal Bias: Different people work better under different conditions.
  • Distractions: Obviously.

Here are some techniques to help you increase your output while maintaining a high standard:

1. Criticism

Criticism is an essential aspect of increasing your productivity. A great rule to follow is: “For every mean thing you say, say 10 nice things.”

Oddly enough, this holds true when motivating your team. When you structure criticism, lead with several things you feel they’re doing well, and then tell them one or two things you feel they can improve upon.

Present the feedback in a constructive way. For example, you could say, “I feel that this could be improved” or “I think you may find it more effective to do it like this. What are your thoughts?” Notice the emphasis on “I”—don’t accuse your team of doing things that aren’t to your standard. Similarly, by asking them how they’d improve it, you create a dialogue to ensure they don’t feel like they’re being scolded.

Regularly ask your team what they feel you do well and what you can improve upon. Being a leader doesn’t mean you’re perfect; it just means you make the decisions.

2. Stress

Stress is brutal on people’s psyche. Interestingly enough, our brains have yet to evolve to realize that coming face to face with a saber-toothed tiger is not the same as completing a piece of work on time. But the brain treats both situations as the same.

This means that a stressed individual’s brain reverts back to its primitive functions of survival and short-term gains. He or she will, therefore, make less future-orientated decisions and be unable to access higher brain functions, such as creativity, innovation and advanced language.

What this leads to is a lack of effective communication and an inability to critically analyze their own work. A good example of this is working overtime to complete a project without being able to take a break and relax. When you are able to look at your work again on a new day with a fresh mind you might see it from an entirely new perspective. Once stress levels decrease your able to produce better work.

The key thing to realize about stress is that it’s triggered when people feel a lack of control. To mitigate this in others and yourself, frequently show your team their impact on the company and place an emphasis on creating a solid work-life balance. For example, create a “no emails after 6 p.m.” rule, plan monthly work happy hours or organize frequent out-of-work activities.

3. Energy

Energy plays a huge role in productivity. You needn’t be as radical as enforcing a company-wide nap time. A better idea is to ensure you and your team has access to healthy snacks.

By “healthy” snacks, we’re talking about food that that hasn’t been overly processed. Fruit and whole grains are fantastic because they take longer for the body to break down, providing a consistent energy release.

Exercise also has been shown to increase both concentration and energy levels. It’s unlikely your team would abuse a “go for a 30-minute stroll if you feel sleepy” policy, as it’s a perk few businesses offer.

Energy levels will ebb and flow as the day goes on (lunchtime graveyard anyone?). Use this to your advantage by getting your team to do tasks that require a lot of mental energy in the morning. Then as 1 p.m. hits, ask them to do less demanding, more enjoyable tasks.

4. Technology

Having a slow computer kills productivity in ways that a lot of people don’t even realize. Obviously there’s the cost of being unable to work while programs open, internet pages load and data transfers.

But there’s also the hidden mental cost of getting distracted by things while you wait for something to open, load or transfer. What do you do when you’re waiting? Scroll mindlessly through your phone. Your brain is no longer on task and must constantly be reminded what to do.

Build an upgrade schedule and include it in your budget. If you predict that you’ll need a new laptop in three years, set aside money each month now so it won’t be a surprise expense down the road.

Also make sure your “business technology” is up to date. Consider things such as marketing avenues, trends the industry is facing and how your competitors are operating. Regularly evaluate and update your business processes.

But don’t update them too much because this can destroy your business’s cohesion—annually is fine. This is far easier to implement with a small business because everyone can have a say in what they think works and what doesn’t. However, remember that your role is to make the decisions, so listen to your team but don’t let them determine how your business is run.

5. Purpose

Feeling like your actions have no impact can completely sap motivation and productivity. You need to ensure every member of your team knows why they do what they do and have metrics to measure themselves against.

This also relates back to the criticism section; in a small business, take time every week to tell each team member one good thing they did for the business. This will reinforce their sense of purpose because they can see the tangible benefits of the 40 hours they’ve given to you that week.

Encourage everyone to set their own goals with a number and a time limit. Tweak their goals if you feel they aren’t reaching their full potential. Goal setting gives them a target to aim for and will keep them committed to doing that amount of work in the allotted time frame.

At a more personal level, think about what you’re trying to do with your life. Spend some time reflecting on what you want and how you’re going to get it. Constantly remind yourself by writing your major goals on pieces of paper and post them in places you will see all the time.

6. Attitude

Attitude is one of the things you can’t directly change about someone—and there are constructive attitudes (good) and destructive attitudes (bad).

Realistically, the only thing you can do with people who have a destructive attitude is get rid of them. Consistently talking about why they can’t do something or why the business can’t do something is like a productivity-sapping virus that quickly spreads.

When someone says something that appears destructive, question them about it. If they can back up their statement with solid reasons, listen to them, thank them, and ask what they’d do instead.

One of the ways you can influence attitude is to lead by example; treat people the way you want them to treat you. Try to do things with your team in a non-work setting; get to know them and allow them to get to know you. You’re a team after all; act like it.

The best way to create a healthy attitude in yourself is to continually learn new things. When you’re learning new things regularly, you realize how little you know. This keeps you humble and open to new ideas and suggestions.

7. Personal Bias

There is a huge variance when it comes to things such as:

  • Attention span
  • What stirs emotion inside us
  • Things we care about
  • Energy cycle
  • Personality

Some people work better at night and some work better in the mornings. Some of us can concentrate for a long time and others can’t. You’re only question should be “Are they performing their role well?”

If you want to get your team to be the most productive, let them decide how they work. Use their goals as a metric. If they fail to reach their goal, step in and advise them on how to improve.

Get to know people. What makes them tick? Offering a financial bonus to one team member might make them work harder, but fall flat on another. That other team member might value a paid vacation more.

Again, it’s important to figure this stuff out about yourself, too. Once you know what incentives you prefer, when your energy ebbs and how long you can concentrate for, you can start mitigating any deficits in yourself and working to your strengths.

8. Distractions

The bane of any productive person is being interrupted when they are in the middle of doing something. A phone call, a conversation, an email marked “urgent.” But the nature of running a business means you can’t stop any of this from happening.

With that said, don’t pressure your team to respond to things immediately. If you need something that minute, you should’ve asked for it yesterday. Similarly, if you really, really need it, go and talk to them about it in person.

Try giving your team “quiet time” for an hour where they aren’t obligated to answer the phone or talk to anyone. Rotate the privilege around your team.

Have everyone spend 10 minutes making a to-do list for the day. This helps prevent the mind burps that happen when a task is finished and the brain instinctively types “Facebook” into the address bar. Instead you can reference your list and stay on track.

Environment is vitally important to maintain focus, and by proxy, productivity.

Increasing your and your team’s productivity is all about figuring out how people work. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to becoming more productive. Seek to understand your own processes and document how you went about it. Share that discovery process with your team and encourage them to go through the same process.

Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What is the best way someone can tell you to do something better?
  • What are your three favorite ways of relaxing?
  • Which non-work activities perk you up and help you feel awake?
  • What is the single biggest technological time suck?
  • Other than financial gain, why do you do what you do?
  • How can you improve the lives of the people around you?
  • What factors help you work best?

If you would like to improve your business or personal productivity, book a Complimentary Coaching Session to discuss your objectives today. Define Your Vision/Set Challenging Goals/Create A Plan Of Action/Achieve Results.

The Importance of Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

As a Business and Life Management Coach for over two decades, my national coaching practice specializes in the development of human potential and personal effectiveness for professionals and individuals. More now than ever, organizations are focusing on their future leaders Emotional Intelligence abilities. Executives, business owners and entrepreneurs all need to develop their EQ beyond their IQ in order to be successful, increase productivity and/or gain promotion within their chosen fields. 

Emotional intelligence (EQ), as it is known today, came into the spotlight when Daniel Goleman published his book “Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” in 1995; however, the study of different forms of intelligence began long before that book, with some research papers dating back to the early 1900's. Since that time, many researchers, training and development professionals use tools to implement EQ concepts and to build individual EQ.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity.

Intrapersonal Skills refer to the ability to understand oneself, form an accurate concept of the self and apply that concept to operate more effectively. There are three pillars that make up the intrapersonal side of EQ:
  • Self-Awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your own moods, emotions and drives as well as their effects on others.
  • Self-Regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. This includes the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting.
  • Motivation is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status and to pursue your goals with energy and persistence.

Interpersonal Skills refer to the ability to identify and understand how to effectively relate to, work with and motivate others. There are two pillars that make up the interpersonal side of EQ:
  • Empathy is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and the skill to treat people according to their emotional reactions.
  • Social Skills is the proficiency in managing relationships, building networks and the ability to find common ground to build rapport.

Emotions are carried down an organization’s hierarchy, basically affecting everyone. If you want to positively affect or even change an organization’s culture, it’s vital to start developing the EQ of its leaders. Enable them to be more self-aware and empower them to manage the emotions of others.

Working with individuals that are primarily business-focused, I offer coaching and consulting designed for leaders, managers and executives striving for promotion. Mentoring is geared towards people who set the tone for interpersonal interaction within the organization or within a team. Training develops communication effectiveness, conflict resolution, sales effectiveness and relationships to name a few topics. It is often paired with Behavioral Modification techniques that add the behavioral component to emotional intelligence development.

To learn more about how you can improve your professional career and skills through developing your EQ, book a complimentary session at

Why is Self-Awareness So Important?

Self-Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.

We might quickly assume that we are self-aware, but it is helpful to have a relative scale for awareness. If you have ever been in an auto accident you may have experienced everything happening in slow motion and noticed details of your thought process and the event. This is a state of heightened awareness. With practice we can learn to engage these types of heightened states and see new opportunities for interpretations in our thoughts, emotions, and conversations. Having awareness creates the opportunity to make changes in behavior and beliefs.

Why Develop Self Awareness?

As you develop self-awareness you are able to make changes in the thoughts and interpretations you make in your mind. Changing the interpretations in your mind allows you to change your emotions. Self-awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success.

Self-awareness is the first step in creating what you want and mastering your life. Where you focus your attention, your emotions, reactions, personality and behavior determine where you go in life. Having self-awareness allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. It also allows you to take control of your emotions, behavior, and personality so you can make changes you want. Until you are aware in the moment of your thoughts, emotions, words, and behavior, you will have difficulty making changes in the direction of your life.

Self-Awareness in Relationships

Relationships are easy until there is emotional turmoil. This is the same whether you are at work or in your personal life. When you can change the interpretation in your mind of what you think you can change your emotions and shift the emotional quality of your relationships. When you can change the emotions in your relationships you open up entirely new possibilities in your life.

Having a clear understanding of your thought and, behavior patterns helps you understand other people. This ability to empathize facilitates better personal and professional relationships.

How to Develop Self Awareness

Self-awareness is developed through practices in focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behavior. It isn’t learned from reading a book. When you read a book you are focusing your attention on the conceptual ideas in the book. You can develop an intellectual understanding of the ideas of self-awareness from a book, but this is not the same. With your attention in a book you are practicing not paying attention to your own behavior, emotions and personality.

Think of learning to be mindful and self-aware as learning to dance. When learning to dance we have to pay attention to how and where our feet move, our hands and body motion, what our partner is doing, music, beat, floor space, and other dancers. Dancing isn’t learned from books and Self- Awareness isn’t either. A dancer needs awareness of their body movements. Self-awareness is what you develop when you pay attention to your expressions of thought, emotions, and behavior. In my years of study and working with clients I have discovered many useful techniques that accelerate this learning.

In the process of these sessions I am not telling anybody what to believe, how they should think, or what they should do. I am basically sharing with people exercises in raising their self-awareness. When you become more self-aware you instinctively begin to see aspects of your personality and behavior that you didn’t notice before.

If you have an emotional reaction of anger or frustration, you notice many of the thoughts and small triggers that build up towards those emotions. You also notice moments when you can change the interpretations in your mind, or not believe what you are thinking. In this heightened awareness you instinctively make better choices in your thought process long before an emotional reaction or destructive behavior.

Making changes in your behavior is much easier to do when you catch them early in the dynamic, before the momentum of thought and emotion has gathered steam. The changes in your mind and behavior become simple and easy steps when you develop self-awareness.

Expand your knowledge and enlighten your mind with tools to help you excel in your professional and personal life. Work with a Business and Life Management Coach to achieve your full potential. Book a Complimentary Coaching Session at

Successful Organizations and CEO's Explain The Value of Business Coaching!

Business Coaching Testimonials:

For years, CEOs of some of the most successful and largest companies have relied on executive coaches. Henry McKinnell, CEO of Pfizer, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, and David Pottruck, CEO of Charles Schwab & Co., are just a few who rely on a trusted adviser. ~ The Business Journal

Put simply, business coaching works. In fact, when asked for a conservative estimate of monetary payoff… managers described an average return of more than $100,000 or about six times what the coaching had cost their companies. ~ Fortune Magazine 

I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities. ~ Bob Nardelli, CEO of Home Depot

Coaching is having a dedicated mentor, it’s getting knowledgeable support and encouragement and a new way of looking at things when you need it. ~ Industry Week

The Manchester survey of 140 companies shows nine in 10 executives believe coaching to be worth their time and dollars. The average return was more than $5 for each $1 spent. ~ The Denver Post

I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable. ~ John Russell, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson Europe Ltd.

Executive coaches are not for the meek. They’re for people who value unambiguous feedback. All coaches have one thing in common, it’s that they are ruthlessly results-oriented. ~ Fast Company Magazine

Executives and HR managers know coaching is the most potent tool for inducing lasting personal change. ~ Ivy Business Journal 

Recent studies show business coaching and executive coaching to be the most effective means for achieving sustainable growth, change and development in the individual, group and organization.~ HR Monthly

A coach may be the guardian angel you need to rev up your career. ~ Money Magazine

Workers at all levels of the corporate ladder are enlisting coaches for guidance on how to improve their performance, boost their profits, and make better decisions about everything from personnel to strategy. ~ TIME Business News

Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them. Clients say coaching brings out their best by helping them focus, break down tasks and clarify their values. ~ Fortune Magazine 

Who exactly seeks out a coach? Winners who want even more out of life. ~ Chicago Tribune

Expand your knowledge and enlighten your mind with the tools you need to excel in your life! Work with a Business and Life Management Coach with over 20 years’ experience empowering people to attain self-defined success in their professional and personal lives. Book a free session at today.