Problem behavior can be described as any behavior that gets in the way of achieving predetermined team and/or organizational goals. The problem behavior might cause the person to be less productive than he or she could be and needs to be. The problem behavior might be counter-productive to other team members as well, e.g. disruptive in meetings, consistently late or absent, sloppy work, unsafe practices, etc.

In short, a problem is the difference between a goal and a result; behavior is an observable action. When there is a difference between the expected behavior and the actual behavior, you have problem behavior. The difference could be missed expectations, failed promises, or both.

Many people think confrontation is negative. If someone’s behavior is inappropriate, you do the person a disservice by not bringing it to his or her attention. Most, if not all, people want to know if their behavior is counter-productive for achieving the desired results; they want to contribute to the team’s success. Often, managers confuse confrontation (positive) with criticism (negative).

Read More

“Every Day, in Every Way, I’m Getting Better and Better”

The above quote, and the title of this Coaching Tip, is attributed to Emile Coué a French psychotherapist (1857 – 1926). Mr. Coué developed a method of autosuggestion which relied on the principle that any idea exclusively occupying the mind turns into reality, although only to the extent that the idea is within the realm of possibility.

W. Clement Stone (1902 – 2002) used the Coué methodology to build a very successful company. Mr. Stone was founder of the Combined Insurance Company, was one of the great philanthropists of the 20th century, and co-author of “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude” and “The Success System That Never Fails.” He started the Combined Insurance Company with $100 borrowed from his grandmother and turned it into a billion dollar enterprise by 1979. It is reported that he had his sales force recite aloud the following affirmations, among others, at the beginning of each day:

“I feel happy; I feel healthy; I feel terrific!”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

Since the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between fact and fantasy and since our thoughts determine our actions, is it any wonder that his sales force was successful in building a huge business? Is it any wonder that Mr. Stone lived to be 100 after reciting the above statements thousands of times in his life?

Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, would tell people, “You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.”

Both of these successful entrepreneurs knew that continuous improvement was the key to personal and business success. There is no improvement without change. For performance and results to improve, people have to improve. It is common for people to want results to improve without having to change or improve themselves. Doing the same things and expecting different results is futile.

In 1972 I heard Charlie “Tremendous” Jones say, “We will be no better five years from now than we are today except for the books we read, the positive messages we listen to, and the people we associate with. What books are you reading; what personal or professional development messages are you listening to; what seminars or workshops are you attending; in what ways are you getting better every day?

If you were to get .003 better every day, you wouldn’t notice, nor would anyone who knows you. And, if you did that every day, at the end of the year you would be twice as good as you are now – with compounding, almost three times better. You, and everyone else, will notice.

  1. Look at all the things you do on a regular basis and pick one you’d like to improve.
  2. Determine an action you can take to improve it and take that action.
  3. Repeat this process every day with the same area as long as needed to make it a habit;  then pick a new area to work on.
  4. Say, “Thank you” when people start noticing your improvement (be patient).

By devoting 10 minutes every day to continuous improvement, you will enjoy over 60 hours of improvement in a year. If you choose to only improve on week days, you will still enjoy over 40 hours of personal improvement. I’m confident you won’t miss what you displace in those minutes.

Download PDF Here

Read More


Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach, emphasized to his players, “You’ve got to get it in your head before you can get it in your feet.” The same is true in business and inter-personal relationships. When you get it in your head – clearly, specifically, and succinctly, positive actions will follow.

Results come from actions and actions are determined by thoughts. When your thoughts are clear, you have a higher likelihood of getting the results you desire. At best, fuzzy thoughts produce fuzzy results. Usually fuzzy thoughts produce NO or POOR results. The clearer your goals, objectives, and expectations, the better your performance and results will be. The same is true for those you lead.

Clarity is important in one-on-one conversations, group presentations, training, writing goals, giving instructions, emails and reports, public relations, sales, customer service and most aspects of business and personal relationships.

Lee Iacocca, former Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get those ideas across, they don’t do anybody any good.” To get your ideas across, carefully choose your words, phrasing, tone and inflection. How a word or phrase is spoken can dramatically impact your message and affect the thinking (clear or fuzzy) of your audience.

Just as weeds choke out a garden and don’t allow the plants to grow, your team members won’t grow and productivity and effectiveness will be diminished by “mental clutter” or fuzzy thinking. You can stamp out “mental clutter” by:

  1. Capturing your thoughts in writing;
  2. Having a written goals program with action steps;
  3. Distributing written expectations; and
  4. Clarifying priorities for yourself and those you lead.

Fuzzy thoughts and “mental clutter” are conditions that will drain your energy and contribute to worry, indecision, and procrastination. Clear thoughts will generate energy, stimulate action, and produce results. Clear thoughts will also enhance communication, increase motivation, and reduce mistakes and frustration.

Clear Thoughts Produce Clear Results    

Download PDF Here

Read More


Have you noticed that most people think they are better communicators than they really are? As a result, deadlines are missed, productivity suffers, mistakes are made, feelings get hurt, tempers flare, customers leave, and profits sag.

With more messages than ever before flying at us from all directions, even being a good communicator isn’t good enough these days. The gap between being a good communicator and being a great communicator can be huge. How would your business and life be better if you and everyone you interacted with improved their communication from good to great?

Effective communication is more than keeping people informed; it requires that people respond to your ideas, direction, and leadership. People respond to us by how we look (our demeanor and expression more than our physical appearance), how we act, what we say, and how we say it. The good news is we have total control over how we look, how we act, what we say, and how we say it. That means we have total control over our side of any communication. Since people respond to these four factors, and we have total control over them, the better we communicate the better chance we have of getting people to respond to our ideas, direction, and leadership. Listed below are seven ways you can improve your communication ability:

  1. Choose your words and phrasing carefully (what you say). Words are powerful. They can build up or tear down; encourage or discourage; clarify or confuse; motivate or de-motivate. Choose simple, easy to understand words that clarify, build up, encourage and motivate. Instead of “should have” (judgmental), say “next time;” instead of “have to” (parental) say, “get to” or “it’s important…;” instead of “always” or “never” use specific occurrences. Phrases such as “I believe in you,” “I appreciate you,” “tell me about it,” and “thank you” are powerful and get people to respond to you in a positive manner.
  2. Choose tone and inflection carefully (how you say it). “WHAT…. WERE… YOU… THINKING!?” will illicit a different response than “What happened?” or “Tell me about it.” Tone and inflection can help you emphasize key points. Improper use can also trigger negative emotions. People will remember how you made them feel (positive or negative) long after they forget the words you used.
  3. Choose facial expressions and body language that are congruent with your message (how you look and how you act). People will put credence in what they see over what they hear. Make eye contact. Stay in the moment (avoid looking at your watch, checking your pda, or otherwise disrespecting the other person). Avoid posture or gestures that might indicate you’d rather be somewhere else.
  4. Choose to listen purposely and actively with your eyes as well as your ears. Eliminate or reduce distractions, take notes, ask questions, paraphrase for understanding, and do anything else to insure you fully understand what the other person is saying, needs, and means. Listen to word choice, phrasing, and what the person is not saying as well as what he or she is saying. Your eyes can help by reading facial expressions and body language. My granddaughter (who is three) can read facial expressions and body language – and she’s never attended a body language course. If she can do it, you can too.
  5. Choose to communicate with integrity. I believe the truth will find you out and if you haven’t been truthful your credibility will be damaged. Besides, it is easier to tell the truth because you don’t have to remember what you said. When you communicate with integrity, you will feel better about yourself and be more effective in every area of your business and life.
  6. Choose to be a positive, enthusiastic communicator. Positive, enthusiastic people attract people and negative, dull people have a tendency to repel people. Choose to be the former.
  7. Choose to ask better questions to get better answers. When you are clear on your goal for a given communication, situation, or person, you will have a tendency to ask better questions and get better answers. Plan your questions in advance and/or have an arsenal of questions that you’ve found to be effective in given situations.

Download PDF Here

Read More


Our greatest power, according to author J. Martin Kohe in his book Your Greatest Power, is the power to choose. This book was written in 1953 and, in my opinion, is one of the all time personal development classics. Your Greatest Power sold 250,000 copies and Mr. Kohe conducted hundreds of seminars on the powers of choice during the 1950’s. I believe his ideas are even more valuable today than they were in the fifties.
In this first decade of the 21st century, we face hundreds, nay thousands, more choices than previous generations did. Nevertheless, most of the main choices – the choices that determine our success – are the same. For example, we can choose to:

  1. Be positive or negative;
  2. Be happy or sad;
  3. Be caring or mean;
  4. Be enthusiastic or dull;
  5. Be ambitious or lazy;
  6. Be goal-directed or adrift;
  7. Be green and growing or ripe and rotting;
  8. Focus on what we can do or what we can’t do;
  9. Help or hurt;
  10. Build up or tear down;
  11. Keep the main thing the main thing or do the wrong things;
  12. Act our way to a new set of feelings or be frozen with procrastination or fear;
  13. Take responsibility for our actions or make excuses;
  14. Look for ways to learn and improve or be satisfied with the status quo;
  15. Have fun or be glum;
  16. Unleash someone’s potential or squash it;
  17. Do our best or settle for good enough;
  18. Encourage or discourage;
  19. Help people be right or point out how and why they are wrong;
  20. Expect, encourage & embrace change or resist change.

J. Martin Kohe quotes:
“The greatest power a person possesses is the power to choose.”
“Let us choose to believe something good can happen.”
“You possess a potent force that you either use, or misuse, hundreds of times every day.”
“Yes, we are all different: different customs, different foods, different mannerisms, different languages, but not so different that we cannot get along with one another; if we disagree without being disagreeable.”

Download PDF Here

Read More

Travel the Seven C’s to Improved Results

It’s been said that success is a journey, not a destination. Improving the 7 C’s listed below will help you on your journey to personal and business success.

  1. Communication. Our ability to communicate can make or break relationships and our relationships can make or break our performance and results. Relationships are built on trust and trust is developed over time.
    Whenever two or more people make contact, communication occurs. It can occur in person, by phone, email, voice mail, video conference, at meetings or conferences, or at speeches or workshops. Communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages, feelings, goals, or information. The key word is exchange. Unless an exchange takes place, communication hasn’t occurred. The corollary to ”If the learner didn’t learn, the teacher didn’t teach” is “If the receiver didn’t fully receive, the sender didn’t send effectively.” Whether you are the sender or receiver in a communication, being an intentional communicator will pay big dividends.
  2. Clarity. Performance is determined by behavior and behavior is determined by thoughts. The clearer the thoughts the higher the likelihood of better performance and results. Fuzzy thoughts produce fuzzy results, at best. Usually fuzzy thoughts produce NO or POOR results. The clearer we are with our goals, objectives, and expectations, the better the performance and results.
  3. Continuous Improvement. There will be no improvement without change. For performance and results to improve, people have to improve, i.e. change. It is common for people to want results to improve without having to change. Doing the same things and expecting different results has been described as the definition of insanity.
  4. Commitment. Without commitment there is hesitancy, procrastination, inaction, and low or no results. With commitment goals can be achieved and expectations met.
  5. Cooperation. Very few goals can be accomplished without cooperation or teamwork. Getting people to cooperate and work as a team is critical to achievement and success.
  6. Consistency. Successful, productive people form the habit of being consistent on the basics, i.e. those activities and behaviors that produce the desired results. Set up systems and scorecards to reinforce and enable consistent performance.
  7. Coaching. Most people cannot improve significantly without the help of a coach who gives encouragement, feedback, training, and support. Be that kind of coach, be clear with your goals and expectations, encourage continuous improvement, get commitments and manage to them, create an environment where cooperation is the norm, be consistent in all you do, and you will enjoy outstanding performance and results.

Download PDF Here

Read More


Focus and concentration are critical to success in most undertakings and it is especially critical in human relationships. When you “Multi-task,” i.e. thinking about something else, checking your email, reading a report, or doing anything else while you are conversing with someone in person or by phone is not focusing or concentrating. Two things can happen and neither is good: 1. The other person will sense it and could feel devalued and/or 2. You might miss something crucial to the relationship or issue being discussed.

Either of these outcomes can hamper productivity, lower the quality of work, and damage an important relationship. Listed below are 16 tips for staying in the moment. Pick one or more that might be an issue for you and make a concentrated effort to improve. Then, pick another and continue the process until you are a master at staying in the moment.

  1. Focus on what the other person is saying.
  2. Pay attention to tone, inflection, phrasing, speed, volume, etc.; try to match the other person without being obvious.
  3. Use the other person’s name; this can help you concentrate.
  4. Paraphrase (helps you concentrate & clarifies understanding).
  5. Make eye contact.
  6. Face the other person squarely; avoid turning your shoulders as if you’re trying to leave, looking at your watch, etc.
  7. Eliminate distractions.
  8. Ask questions; pause and let the other person answer.
  9. Talk less; don’t interrupt.
  10. Avoid being judgmental or thinking about what you’ll say next; if you pause after someone speaks or asks a question, it will appear that you are giving the person’s thought or question careful consideration and, at the same time, it will give you time to think of a response.
  11. Acknowledge key points with nods and/or phrases (“I see,” “I understand,” “Right,” “Makes sense,” etc.).
  12. Resist jumping to conclusions or pre-judging.
  13. Ask relevant, open-end questions, e.g. “What do you mean by that?” “When you say…” “Tell me more.” “Tell me about it.”
  14. Act like the other person is the most important person in the world; at this moment, he or she is.
  15. Set a goal to learn something from everyone you meet.
  16. Help people be right.
  17. Take notes; have a mindset that you will need to send the other person a recap of what he or she said even if you won’t.

Download PDF Here

Read More


  1. Decide what is really important to you, regardless of what others think, and focus all your energy on achieving it.
  2. Invest your time wisely. Give top priority to activities that you enjoy and that will help you achieve your goals.
  3. Identify your strengths, determine how they will help you be productive, and spend as much time in these areas as possible.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say no to requests which might distract you from what’s important to you.
  5. Keep track of how much time you spend on various activities. This will help you avoid time-wasters and focus on your goals.
  6. Practice “staying in the moment.” Concentrating on the person you are talking with and focusing on the task at hand will pay big dividends. Thinking about what you are going to do next while engaged with a person or task is a major deterrent to being productive.
  7. Don’t dwell on past failures or future problems. Take things one day at a time. Whenever possible, finish one task before beginning another.
  8. When you do fail, learn from the experience.
  9. Do it now. Procrastination can become a bad habit.
  10. At the end of each day, prepare a general schedule for the next day; approach each day in a relaxed way, letting things evolve naturally.
  11. Find your own solutions for handling stress.
  12. Learn something new each day; read, listen to a business CD, call your coach or mentor, ask a question, etc.
  13. Don’t worry about “having a relationship” with another person. Find a common goal or activity and your relationship will grow naturally.
  14. Ultimately, what you accomplish results from your willingness to be true to yourself. Stick to what you find most rewarding and your life will be more rewarding.

Download PDF Here

Read More


Sometimes it can seem daunting to exchange one attitude or behavior for a better one. However, if you focus on what you can do one day at a time, after enough days the new attitude or behavior will be firmly entrenched. Here are 30 suggestions to get you started. Feel free to adopt any or all of these and some of your own:

  1. Encourage someone.
  2. Treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect.
  3. Complete an action step for one of your goals.
  4. Listen more than you talk.
  5. Ask better questions.
  6. Focus on your strengths.
  7. Look for the good in people.
  8. Help people be right.
  9. Keep people informed.
  10. Avoid email “gun battles.”
  11. Avoid getting angry.
  12. Help someone feel important or special.
  13. Send someone a hand-written note or letter.
  14. Read 10 pages of a personal improvement book.
  15. Spend quality time with a family member and/or colleague.
  16. Start a new project.
  17. Complete an unfinished project.
  18. Catch people doing things right (or almost right).
  19. Avoid using personal attacks, sarcasm, or innuendos when disciplining someone.
  20. Delegate something that the other person can do better, faster, at less cost, or to provide a training opportunity.
  21. Avoid interrupting people or finishing their sentences.
  22. Perform an act of kindness for a customer or colleague.
  23. Ask the magic question, “What do you think?”
  24. Try to learn something from everyone you meet.
  25. Learn something new about one of your team members.
  26. Make the magic statement, “Tell me about it” when someone is upset or is presenting a problem.
  27. Look at how things can be done instead of why they can’t be done.
  28. Not say anything about anyone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face.
  29. Show appreciation to someone.
  30. Communicate more than you think is necessary and, in most cases, it will probably be just right.

Download PDF Here

Read More


You can probably remember times when you were in a zone. You were operating at maximum effectiveness with a minimum amount of energy. You lost all track of time. You accomplished more than you ever dreamed possible. You were excited.

Simply put, you are in a zone when your abilities match your challenges. The bigger the challenges, the bigger your abilities need to be. Likewise, if you have tremendous ability, you need to get in situations where you have tremendous challenges and opportunities.
Here are some things you can do to get into your zone and stay there most of the time:
Have a written, and specific, goals program. Written goals are important because writing crystallizes thought and crystallized thought motivates action. Your goals program needs to include goals in every area of your life including career, family, financial, mental, physical, social, and spiritual. Having goals in every area of your life will give you balance and you’ll use more of your potential.

Develop and protect your attitude. It’s easy to get swept up into the environment and influence of negative people. To offset this tendency, you can listen to positive CDs, read positive books, and use visualization to push out the negative thoughts that creep into your conscious and subconscious mind.

Use leverage. You can gain leverage through the influence of other people. Tap into their influence, credibility, and knowledge to help you reach your goals. You can develop leverage by becoming an expert in your chosen field; be a specialist rather than a generalist. You can also use systems and scripts that allow you to replicate your best efforts with the least amount of energy.

Be persistent. Ninety per cent of all failure comes from quitting too soon. When you’re focused on a goal that’s important to you and you encounter obstacles, do whatever it takes to go over, under, around, or through the obstacles.

Embrace continuous improvement. One of my favorite examples of embracing continuous improvement involves the 10-year-old daughter of my long time tennis partner. She was playing first base on a girls’ softball team. In a game where her team was getting defeated soundly, she was called in to pitch even though it wasn’t normal in that league for 10- year-olds to pitch. The coach had used all of his 11 and 12-year-old pitchers to no avail.

After she took a few warm-up pitches, she faced her first batter. Her first three pitches were not even close to the strike zone. At that point, she walked off the mound and headed toward the dugout. My first reaction was that she was discouraged and wanted the coach to take her out. Instead, she stopped at the first base line and said to the coach in a loud voice, “What can I do to improve?” The coach gave her a few tips, she applied them, and her results improved dramatically.

When was the last time you asked yourself, “What can I do to improve?” When was the last time you asked your business coach or mentor, “What can I do to improve?”
When you have a written specific goals program, a positive mental attitude, leverage, and persistence, then take daily action on your goals and constantly look for ways to improve, you’ll be operating in your zone a high percentage of the time.

Download PDF Here

Read More