All Posts in Category: Coaching


  1. Be generous with encouragement. Without encouragement, most people will only give you a minimum effort. Encouragement will cause people to give you an extra effort. All encouragement makes a difference.
  2. Give positive feedback regarding outstanding, improved, and consistent performance. Giving feedback on outstanding performance is usually easy because it is obvious. Giving feedback on improved performance is a little harder because you need to recognize that performance has improved. A good scorekeeping system will help you become aware of improvements. The hardest feedback to give is for consistent performance. People ask me why they should give feedback for people who are “just” doing their job. My response is, “because you want them to continue being consistent – doing their job.
  3. Help people set and achieve personal, business, and professional development goals. Personal goals provide motivation. Business goals are objectives to make the business better. Professional development goals will help the person be capable of accomplishing more and helping the business achieve its goals.
  4. Communicate your expectations clearly and in writing. The people on your team want to meet or exceed your expectations. If your expectations are unclear, non-existent, or constantly changing, team members will be uncertain and/or confused and will not give you their best effort.
  5. Help people clarify their thinking. It’s been said that the problem with people is they just don’t think. When you help people clarify their thinking by asking good questions and giving good direction, they will be more focused, motivated, and productive.
  6. Reinforce the behaviors you want repeated. Give feedback on what you want to happen, not on what you don’t want to happen.
  7. Focus on specific issues or behaviors the person can control. Results come from behaviors and behaviors are observable. When you focus on observable behaviors rather than intangibles you will have a greater chance of getting the outcomes you want.
  8. Avoid personal attacks, sarcasm, or innuendos. Personal attacks, criticism, sarcasm, and innuendos do not bring out the best in people. These types of interaction will cause resentment and people will get even by not performing up to their potential.
  9. Avoid inflammatory words such as “should have”, “ought to”, “have to”, “always”, and “never”. Using words and phrases like these usually causes resistance and defensiveness. People will feel like you are “wagging your finger” in their face. Parental words will many times bring out the “rebellious” child in even the most mature employee. Consider substituting “next time…” or some other positive, forward-thinking word or phrase.
  10. Believe in your people. People will live up or down to your belief in them. They can read your mind, and, that’s good because you can determine what’s in your mind for them to read – that you believe in them and expect them to perform at their best.
  11. Be a positive role model. Most people, if not all people, would rather see a “sermon” than hear one any day. Say what you will do and do what you say. Practice what you preach.
  12. Stay in the moment. Give the other person your complete time and attention. When you don’t stay in the moment, the other person will sense it and could feel devalued and/or 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.

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  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener; encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
  6. Make other people feel important – and do it sincerely.


  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it (you don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to).
  2. Begin in a friendly way.
  3. Get the other person saying “Yes” immediately.
  4. Find areas of mutual agreement.
  5. Let the other person do a majority of the talking.
  6. Let the other person feel the idea is theirs.
  7. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  8. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  9. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  10. Dramatize your ideas.
  11. Throw down a challenge.
  12. Show respect for others’ opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong!”
  13. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.


  1. Be generous with encouragement.
  2. Give positive feedback regarding outstanding, improved, and consistent performance.
  3. Help people set and achieve personal, business, and professional development goals.
  4. Communicate your expectations clearly (preferably in writing).
  5. Help people clarify their thinking.
  6. Reinforce the behaviors you want repeated.
  7. Focus on specific issues or behaviors the person can control.
  8. Avoid personal attacks, sarcasm, or innuendos.
  9. Avoid inflammatory words such as should have, ought to, have to, always, and never.
  10. Believe in your people.
  11. Be a positive role model.
  12. Stay in the moment. Give the other person your complete time and attention.

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“Encourage” Change

Have you ever done anything stupid, knew at the time that it was stupid, and did it
anyway? Have you ever done anything you knew was stupid, said you would never do it
again, and did it again? Most, if not all of us, would have to answer “yes” to each of these
questions. What does it prove? It proves we are human and we are creatures of habit.

The good news is that most habits are good because they save us time, energy, and
effort. Once we turn something into a habit, the habit takes over and allows us to perform it automatically. The bad news is that the biggest threat to habit change is the habit itself. The old habit fights for its life and makes it more difficult for the new habit to take over. That is a primary reason that most people resist change; the old way is comfortable and known and the new way is threatening and scary.

If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. If you
want outcomes to be better, you need to do something different — and that requires
change. Effective leaders and coaches must expect change, encourage change, and
embrace change. What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. To meet the
challenge of change, leaders must turn to their most important asset: people.

Leaders need to develop strategies for:

  1.  Enhancing communication. Growth is more likely to occur when clear
    communication is taking place on a regular basis.
  2.  Promoting continuous learning and development. When people learn to
    handle new responsibilities or develop new skills their self-confidence gets a boost
    and they will be capable of better performance and will accomplish more.
  3.  Improving leadership skills. Even people who do not perform a formal
    leadership role can improve their performance by developing leadership skills. It
    will also prepare them for future opportunities.

Meeting the challenge of change is easier when you use your most valuable tool:
encouragement. Everyone needs and responds to encouragement. Encouragement
brings out the best in people, helps people believe in themselves, and helps them
accomplish more. It is amazing what people can accomplish when they believe in
themselves and when the important people in their lives give them encouragement. The
effective use of encouragement will work wonders and the best part is that it doesn’t cost
anything other than a little time and effort.

Think about someone who encouraged you and influenced your leadership ability. How is your life better because of that person? Think about people you can encourage and
influence in a positive way. Then, systematically give them encouragement on a regular
basis. When you do this, you will be well on your way to meeting the challenge of change.

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Motivating People to Produce

Most people have an unlimited potential to produce great results in their chosen field. Their only limitations are usually ones they place on their own mind. People can change; they can be motivated to be more and do more. Unfortunately, most people will not change because we need, want, or even when we tell them to change. They will only change their behavior when they change their attitude. If you want to change what people are doing, you have to change what they are thinking. To change what they are thinking, you have to change what you are saying and, perhaps, how you are saying it.

Motivating people to produce must be affected through attitude change if it is to be permanent. The commonly used methods of fear and incentives have been proven to be temporary.

Fear is based on threat or punishment. Sooner or later, people become totally subjected to fear and won’t do anything without first being told. Or, they become immune to fear and only do enough to get by. Either way, people will not give you their best effort, use their full potential, or get the results you want when fear is predominant in the culture.

Incentives are external rewards. They are designed to “lure” people to do something that they should have done in the first place. Incentives can work up to a point, but they will not provide long-lasting motivation. You will find that you have to give more and more for less and less.

Basically, an attitude is the way people think about themselves and their circumstances. When, you, as a leader or coach, help people change the way they think, you help them change their attitude, which affects their behavior and influences their results. Here are some things you can do to motivate people to produce:

  1.  Help them crystallize their goals. When people have a clear picture of exactly what they want, they do not need to be forced or rewarded externally to accomplish the goal.
  2.  Focus on their strengths. People will grow quicker and accomplish more when they concentrate on their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses rather than being reminded of their weaknesses.
  3.  Use positive reinforcement. Point out people’s accomplishments and progress. Catch them doing things right. When you see it, say it. What gets noticed and reinforced gets repeated. Make sure you recognize what you want repeated, not what you don’t.
  4. Expect their best performance. People tend to live up or down to a leader’s expectations. Expect little and you will receive little. Expect great performance and results and you are more likely to get them.

When you help people develop the attitudes necessary for peak performance and success, they will develop the confidence to reach for higher and more meaningful goals and will be more valuable to you and your organization. They will discover solutions for themselves and not depend on outside circumstances. They will understand that in order to change their circumstances, they must first change themselves.

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