Want to Become Authentic? It Starts with Self-Awareness

“It takes courage to become who you authentically are and have others listen.” Jeannette Seibly

Being a chameleon or politically correct has its benefits. But so does being authentic and self-expressed. Both can bolster career and promotion aspirations. Both can also limit achieving these very same goals!

“… authenticity means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise.” (MindTools.com)

Self-awareness is when you’re being honest with yourself and others. Most importantly, you take responsibility for what you say and do, and the impact that it has on others.

7 Reasons You May Struggle with Authenticity:

You…

  1. Need to be part of the team
  2. Fear judgment or ridicule
  3. Suppress insights and ideas, even when they are correct
  4. Are unwilling to admit a blunder or mistake
  5. Dismiss emotional feelings with rational excuses
  6. Seek others’ approval as more important than your own values
  7. Fall victim to socially approved qualities that are not your own (e.g., extrovert v introvert; agreeable v being self-focused, etc.) (ScientificAmerican.com)

As a leader, right now your team (and your career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference.

10 Tips to Develop Authenticity and Self-Awareness

1. Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Thinks. (Yes, it’s easier said than done.) Worrying is an excuse for you to hide out and justify why you’re not sharing your ideas and experiences. When you recognize this, stop. Ask yourself, “What is my true commitment to this project and team?’ Now act authentically.

Richard worried about rocking the boat with a new idea since he was new on the team. So, he stayed silent. After the team failed to deliver the results to the customer, Richard shared his idea with his boss. His boss coached him to practice sharing his ideas in the mirror … this would help him set aside his fears and feel comfortable speaking up at team meetings.

2. Set Aside Your Ego. Dial-up your humbleness and dial down the ego when authentically sharing ideas and insights. It makes it easier for others to hear you.

3. Learn the Basics…It’s Time Well-Spent. When you learn the basics in your job, you will build inner confidence and self-expression that helps you create bold win-win-win outcomes.

4. Listen and Learn to Expand Your Beliefs. Confident people are open to listening to others’ ideas and opinions. It’s a great opportunity to stretch limitations without sacrificing your personal and professional values…or authenticity.

5. Take Responsibility for Mistakes by Apologizing. Say, “My apologies.” OR “I’m sorry.” These simple phrases when said authentically help build positive relationships.

6. Forgive and Love Yourself. When you’ve made an error in judgment, a mistake, or a blunder, it’s important to forgive yourself. The key is, what are you doing to “own it” and “make it right?”

7. Listen to Your Feelings. This is a slippery slope. Feelings and logic are both important when making decisions, but are not the same as intuition or gut reactions. Learn the difference. If it doesn’t “feel” right, keep looking for the “why.” It helps you reduce your biases and expand your beliefs.

Joan wanted to build a strong relationship with a new group of businesswomen. While she was self-expressed, her judgmental feelings about members got in the way of developing alliances. She relied on her feelings, calling them ‘intuition.’ These feelings stopped her from being part of the group.

8. Brag or Self-Promotion. Standing up and speaking up is important. But do so in a respectful manner. Also, share your own achievements in a way that guides others to pursue their dreams. Pretending you’re not proud of your achievements is being inauthentic.

9. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others, completing tasks, and engaging in other activities. This simple, but rarely used, practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful … others will feel and see the difference too!

10. Develop the Self-Respect and Courage to Do the Right Things the Right Way. Ask for help and accept it. Be a parrot and repeat yourself when people don’t understand the issue after you have reviewed your concerns with your coach.

Jon was concerned about Tom’s decision and shared this with him. But Tom dismissed the concerns as being important. So, Jon spoke with his coach to develop a better way of sharing the impact of Tom’s decision before talking with him again. Tom listened and replied, “I appreciate you speaking up. It takes courage and a positive belief in yourself.” 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your authenticity and being self-aware.  Being authentic starts with self-awareness of what you say and do and its impact on others! As a leader, right now your team (and career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference for yourself and others. Need help to discover your authenticity? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Leadership Success Relies on Facilitating with Ease

“Excellent facilitation skills are often overlooked as essential for great leadership.” Jeannette Seibly

I have coached leaders on conflict resolution, meeting strategies, and project management skills. But the most important skill is facilitating teams. These skills are not hard to use and not hard to learn. Using them will achieve dynamic results every time.

Leadership Success Relies on Facilitating with Ease

Most leaders have many meetings to attend and projects to manage. Your success as a leader is demonstrated by your ability to facilitate these and achieve on-time and within budget results, while having team members feel valued. Developing these skills increases your effectiveness and productivity while saving time!

How to Facilitate for Dynamic Results

  • Hear from Everyone. Yes! I know that can be a scary thought. You may fear it’s too time-consuming to have everyone share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. But consider…it’s pay now or pay later. The reality is, if you don’t give everyone a chance to voice their ideas and concerns, they will express themselves outside the meeting. This will cause disruptions with other teams and/or customers and cost you time, money, and good working relationships.
  • Manage the Outspoken Know-It-Alls. Some team members will share their ideas and concerns with little or no encouragement. But good facilitators encourage everyone to express themselves, while managing the know-it-alls who will talk over everyone and dismiss other’s ideas. Doing this shows you value and respect all ideas.
  • Develop Their Critical Thinking Skills. It’s important when team members hit a wall (and they will) that they gain the confidence to discover the answers. Good facilitators ask questions. Share stories. And, encourage team members to deep-dive below the media headlines for the correct answers. Use feedback (positive and negative) and coaching to encourage them to do the work.
  • Encourage Team Building and Inclusion. Cliques can be the downfall of any project or team effort. When these occur, pair-up one of the clique members with the person they disagree with. Assign the pair an issue or task to complete together. Remember, don’t encourage lone rangers to resolve team challenges on their own.
  • Guide Others to Resolve Conflict. The #1 reason teams fail is by ignoring or mismanaging conflict. Step up and facilitate win-win-win solutions. Remember, team conflict can open up new insights previously overlooked when facilitated effectively.
  • Be the Coach that Encourages Others. As the coach, your job is to guide team members to learn and develop their technical and people skills. A great way to help individual team members build confidence is to share with the person 1 or 2 good things s/he does. For example, “I find you have great listening skills and I appreciate you ensuring everyone has a chance to share. Thank you.”

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your facilitation skills. All good leaders have learned the value of and developed excellent facilitation skills. These skills save time, value others, and ensure the achievement of intended results. If you are stuck and don’t know how to use facilitation skills to work with and through others, contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Turn Negative Feedback into a Positive Learning Experience

“Successful leaders listen to negative feedback and turn it into a learning opportunity. When they don’t, they lose the respect of and the ability to lead their teams.” Jeannette Seibly

No one likes to hear negative feedback about themselves. It feels demotivating. But negative feedback can turn into a positive experience when you listen to learn and improve your productivity.

When you welcome all types of feedback, you will get promoted faster, make more money, and be on the fast track for new opportunities. It also builds stronger relationships with team members, management, and customers.

9 Tips to Turn ALL Feedback into Success

1. Listen with Intention. If you listen with the intention of learning, you will keep your mind open to hearing what is said. The key is to avoid debating who’s right and who’s wrong; instead, ask clarifying questions.

2. Let Go of the Past! When you hang on to negative feedback, you will get stuck. Immediately after receiving negative feedback, talk with your executive coach and/or mentor to turn negative feedback into a positive learning experience. Then, create a plan of action and take the first step within 24 hours.

A VP told a young manager that “…he was stupid for making such a suggestion…that he didn’t know what he was talking about.” When a director overheard the conversation, he coached the young manager on how to learn from the negative feedback. The young manager took the coaching and got into action. He was able to turn the relationship with the VP into a positive one and was promoted six months later.

3. Remember, It’s Not Personal. This can be hard to believe when you receive negative feedback. If you’ve lost out on an opportunity or promotion, schedule a 1:1 meeting. Ask, “What is the most important thing I can learn from not getting this job (or promotion)?” Remember, you may have the skills and experience, but the opportunity didn’t work out for you at this time. Learn from it and be ready for the next opportunity.

4. Release Emotional Attachments. Like many people, you love doing things your own way. You rely on your own ideas and sometimes fail to welcome or take into consideration your team’s opinions. When you blow off negative feedback and fail to learn from it, your team and results will suffer. Eventually, your career will be sidelined.

5. Stay Away from Always and Never Statements. When receiving (or giving) negative feedback, do not use these triggering words! “I’m always on time.” “I would never say that!”

6. Stop Making It Mean Too Much! When receiving negative feedback about a goal, work effort, or interaction, don’t hear it as criticism. (Yes, it can be difficult to do.) Instead, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Remember, negative feedback is about a specific issue, not about you as a whole person!

7. Use a Job Fit Assessment to Clarify “Why.” When someone says you are not a good fit for a job, use a job-fit assessment and work with an executive coach to find out why. You may find that financial planning, sales, and/or customer service jobs do not fit your strengths! It’ll be the best money you ever spent and can save you countless disappointments in the future!

8. Get Your Brag On! When you learn how to brag or promote yourself, it is a huge confidence booster. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing the negative feedback with everyone that’ll listen! Instead, share your “brags” to showcase your coachability to take feedback and use it.

9. Develop Mindful Resilience. Don’t allow negative feedback to sabotage your self-care. Take positive actions for your professional development by turning your internal monologues into dialogues with your coach and/or mentor.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about turning negative feedback into positive learning experiences. Paying attention and listening to ALL feedback is critical for professional growth. If you only listen to the positive, you’ll lose the opportunity to learn the truth! If you hate receiving any type of feedback, it’s time to get over it before you are bypassed for a promotion or pay increase! Contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to “Coach Your Boss” (and Keep Your Job)

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

When your boss gets stuck and could use your insights and coaching, it may be time to coach your boss.

“First off you may not want to use the term coaching. Consider it an open and honest conversation with your boss that focuses on feedback. Framing it this way opens the door for more honest dialogue.” (Forbes)

But beware! If it’s not done diplomatically, you could find yourself sidelined in your job.

A director hated his boss, a VP. When the executive coach asked the director to have an honest conversation with the VP, he resisted. He used the excuse “Everyone else hates the VP since he is difficult to work with.” Under the guidance of his coach, the director had an honest conversation to clear the air with the VP. Afterward, he started treating his boss with more respect and appreciating his boss’s insights when stuck in projects. Soon thereafter, the director became viewed as one of the very few people who could work well with this VP. If the director hadn’t been open to the coaching he received, he could have been sidelined in his job instead of being promoted.

Many team members today have insights, concerns, or problems with their bosses. The challenge is learning how to have an honest conversation to create a positive outcome.

Note for bosses and leaders: Encourage your team members and co-workers to give you honest feedback. It’s the only way you learn and grow, and catch those blind spots before they get in your way.

6 Tips to Coach or Have an Honest Conversation with Higher-Ups

  1. Be Diplomatic. Egos get in the way. So, it’s important to be diplomatic and set aside your own ego. Remember, there are always at least two sides to any issue. Be open to hearing what your boss has to say before offering your insights.
  2. Be Clear About the Issue. Take time to write down the specifics about “why” this conversation is important. Rehearse in front of the mirror until the person looking back at you feels comfortable and confident. Otherwise, your boss will dismiss what you have to say.
  3. Visualize the Conversation. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through the entire conversation. If you hit a snag, rewind, and replay in a positive manner.
  4. Breathe to Calm Your Nerves and Anxiety. Breathe to calm down the urge to go in too strong. Remember, being assertive is important; but, being aggressive will only limit your future job opportunities. Breathe in for a count of 10, pause, then, exhale for a count of 10. Do this at least 3 times before your conversation. This simple exercise will reduce stress and positively impact your results.
  5. Work Through Your Anger or Righteousness First. It’s natural for you to feel that your boss won’t understand or get what you have to say. But if you go into the meeting assuming your boss won’t understand and feel angry or righteous, your boss will only defend his/her actions. Work with your own executive coach first and role-play the conversation. Write out an agenda outlining facts and key points. Stay on-point during the conversation.
  6. Ask Permission. Start with a soft approach to get your boss’s attention. “I have something I need to talk about with you. And, I’m nervous about doing this. I fear you’ll hear it the wrong way.” Do this in a respectful manner. The boss is more likely to hear what you have to say.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Right Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about coaching your boss (and keeping your job): Everyone can benefit from feedback. This includes your boss! Your challenge is the boss may not appreciate how you “coach” them. Instead, take the time to prepare for an honest conversation. If you know you need to have a difficult conversation with your boss but don’t know how contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Be an Effective Coach

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

Many believe being coached is no big deal when they are the coach. Coaches love giving advice and it provides an ego boost. The challenge is, many have learned from a traditional approach of, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Or, they lack the confidence and insight required to be an effective coach.

Do you experience (check all that apply):

  • Giving advice that doesn’t reflect the person’s struggles?
  • Coming across as critical about how it should be done?
  • A lack of insight into what the true issue is?
  • Not having credibility in the listener’s eyes?
  • People ignoring your coaching and doing it their way?

If you answered “yes” to more than one question, it’s important to keep reading!

Today, it’s critical that leaders and managers effectively coach team members for success. The quality of the coaching provided impacts business growth, team member retention, and customer satisfaction.

Remember, if you lack the skills to effectively coach others, it can tarnish your working relationships for a very long time.

Nine Essential Coaching Skills to Improve Your Effectiveness

1. Set a Positive Example. Leaders, bosses, and managers are not perfect. But ethical issues, being late for meetings, or multitasking during conversations (to name a few) hurts your credibility as a coach. Improve your effectiveness by working with your executive coach to address these issues and blind spots.

2. Visualize a Positive Outcome. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through what you want to say. If you hit a snag during this visualization process, rewind and restart to ensure a positive outcome. Read Dr. Lynn Hellerstein’s newest book: Expand Your Vision: How to Gain Clarity, Courage, and Confidence for more information.

3. Be Specific. Write down the specific issues to organize your thoughts about why you need to coach a team member. Saying you found problems with the sales report or you don’t like a graphic is of no value. Instead, be specific about where the report is inaccurate or why the graphic doesn’t have visual appeal. Remember to manage the task, not a person’s personality.

4. Use a Job Fit Tool for Clarity. These tools often include “coaching” reports guiding the leader to be on-target when providing feedback.

One company president uses the coaching information when talking with his direct reports. When there is a problem, he scans the report for insights and adjusts his coaching style. By doing this, the other person feels valued and becomes coachable.

5. Talk Straight and Stay On-Point. Talking in generalities or going off on tangents leaves the team member or co-worker confused and frustrated.

A human resources director (HRD) counseled a financial director (FD) to stop the negative gossip about a vice president (VP). A week later, the FD continued to make negative comments about the VP. FD’s coach said, “I thought HRD had counselled you to stop making negative comments about the VP.” FD’s reply, “No… he stated we need to operate as a team. I was unclear what his point was since I am a team player.”  

This level of confusion is what happens when you speak in generalities.

6. Keep It Confidential and Private. Criticizing a team member in public has repercussions, even when the person says, “No problem. I don’t care if anyone else hears this.” If the person has a public negative reaction, it will often reflect negatively on you. Instead, set up a 1:1 private and confidential meeting immediately after an issue or problem has occurred. Don’t share publicly. During the 1:1, remember to share facts, not opinions. Otherwise, what you say will not be heard as objective feedback.

7. Choose the Appropriate Coaching Approach.

a. When to Use the Direct Approach. Be clear and concise with those that can handle or want that style of feedback. Keep in mind this approach will always depend on the situation (e.g., illness, passing away of a family member, etc.).

“Good report. But when including numbers in a report, you need to include a graph and bullet point the numbers. Any questions? How soon can you get this report updated and back to me?”

b. When to Use the Sandwich Approach. Talk straight and be specific. Use this approach when the situation may cause an emotional reaction, or the person is easily triggered. Share 2 positive actions the person has taken, 2 specific areas for improvement, and close with 2 positive actions the person has taken.

“Your proposal was good. The numbers supported the importance of this project. But when providing this type of information, it’s important to include a graph so the reader can visually see the value. And, bullet point the numbers to make them easier to read and understand. Again, good proposal and I appreciate you getting this done so fast. Any questions? How soon can you get this report updated and back to me?”

8. Have Compassion. Everyone has challenges, especially during this ongoing pandemic. Be empathetic, while sticking to the point.

“It’s hard when a family member has COVID. My heart goes out to those struggling during this pandemic. But when providing written reports, the information and spelling need to be proofread before submitting. Let me know what you need and how I can help.”

9. Share a Story. An effective way to coach others is by sharing a story about your own similar challenge and what you did to work through it. Then, offer one or two ideas for them to implement.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about how to be an effective coach: Successful people have coaches. When leaders and others talk with their coach regularly, their productivity, confidence, and results improve. The challenge is, many don’t believe they need a coach, and hear feedback as criticism. As an entrepreneurial leader, make a commitment to coach others for success by being an effective coach. Want to get started, but don’t know how? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Do You Want to Succeed and Make a Lot of Money? Then, Be Coachable!

“Do you want to excel professionally and financially? Being coachable is the #1 way to make it happen.” Jeannette Seibly

“The paradox is that the very things that hold us back are the reasons we need a coach in the first place.” Seth Godin

Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches! They have developed the skills to succeed by being coachable.

There are many things in business and in life that you don’t know that you don’t know. Being coachable uncovers the blind spots that get in your way of receiving promotions and special assignments. Making lots of money and achieving huge goals. And, being a leader others want to follow.

What Does Being Coachable Mean?

“Coachability is not a technical skill or an inherent ability. It is a mental attitude.” It reflects your ability to ask for feedback, listen, and make appropriate changes. It is also a reflection of your emotional ability or emotional intelligence (EQ) to learn from constructive criticism. (mvorganizing.org)

What Does Being Uncoachable Look Like?

When someone is uncoachable, they often will roll their eyes, take things personally, and have a myriad of excuses. They also misinterpret comments and resist taking the right action. It reflects their fears of having others think of them as “weak.” Or, their unwillingness to stretch their mindset outside their comfort zones.

One entrepreneur loved creating new products and was very talented. He dreamed of resigning from the day job he hated. The problem was, he didn’t want to focus on the business requirements to create a foundation for growth. As a result, he ignored the coach and did things his way. He’s still dreaming about one day being a successful business owner and giving up his hated day job.

Why Do Employers Fail to Offer Coaching?

Many companies agree coaching is a must. But they fail to work through the resistance teams and team members put up as barriers. Companies must then fire poor performers (90% of the time it’s due to poor interpersonal skills) because they are not coachable.

How Can You Improve Your Coachability?

  1. Seek Out Feedback. Ask team members, customers, and your boss for feedback. “What’s one thing that would help me improve …” (e.g., interactions with others, project results, ability to work well with others, etc.). Listen and be respectful, especially if the feedback isn’t what you want to hear. Don’t forget to say thank you!
  2. Be Open to Learning. You can learn something from anyone! While you may selectively seek out people more experienced than you, be open to hearing from co-workers and direct reports too. Their insights can be invaluable.
  3. Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone. We all love our comfort zones. But successful leaders and future leaders know they must move beyond these confining spaces! When you’ve already tried something that didn’t work or don’t feel comfortable with the recommendation, ask clarifying questions. “I tried this approach and it didn’t work for me. What do you believe is missing?” Listen and don’t debate. This helps you discover your blind spots and how to overcome them.
  4. Become Self-aware by Being Present. Self-awareness is critical to your success. It requires being present during ALL interactions. This means setting aside thoughts and distractions while listening and learning. During the process, you will discover insights between what you say you want and what you are doing.
  5. Make Positive Behavior and Attitude Changes. Talking the talk won’t make a difference. You must do the work! If you don’t know what to do, ask an experienced coach and use a qualified job fit assessment to guide you through the steps required. Then, immediately take the first step!
  6. Check Your Ego at the Door! Even if you believe your results are the best they can be, be willing to accept criticism, especially around tough issues. It’s a golden opportunity to learn from your successes and If you are unclear what the problem is, deep dive by asking clarifying questions. Be aware of your tone of voice and other non-verbal communication (e.g., rolling your eyes). Otherwise, you can shut down the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and have amazing breakthroughs.
  7. Hire the Right Coach. Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches. They seek out and find the coach that can guide them to achieve what they really really really Also, select a coach that has a coach too! (Yes, coaches need to be coachable too!)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about the lesson we all need to learn: “Many of us have the assumption that someday life will be easy. We will coast along effortlessly and will be successful. … But this assumption that it gets easier is not true. It is never true because you change, the organization changes and the business environment is constantly evolving. A successful life means constant change and continuous learning. So set a goal now to remain coachable throughout your career.” (Forbes)

Not sure where to begin, contact me for a confidential conversation.

Today’s Hiring Failures Are Due to Being Uncoachable!

Many new hires today are failing in their jobs. The #1 reason? They are not coachable!” Jeannette Seibly

Poor interpersonal skills are the reason why there are so many hiring failures today! The #1 issue? They are uncoachable!

Why is being coachable important? It reflects the ability to accept and put in place feedback from bosses, team members, customers, and others! (Leadership IQ) Being coachable is why leaders and teams succeed in business!

Here’s are shocking stats:

  • Almost half of new employees today will fail within 18 months of hire.
  • Almost 90% of the time it’s due to the new hires’ attitudes and poor interpersonal skills.
  • Only 11% of failures are due to technical skills. (Leadership IQ)

Many hiring managers admit overlooking or explaining away flaws they saw during interviews. But they were unsure what to do with these insights or biases because they failed to use real consistent data that job fit assessments offer. They hired the job candidates based on technical and other hard skills, but fired them due to poor interpersonal skills!

To improve your hiring and selection process, it starts during the interview by making this important time count!

7 Keys to Improve Your Hiring Success

1. Job Fit Is #1. According to a Harvard Business Review study, job fit is why people succeed! Use a qualified job fit assessment to ensure you’re seeing the whole person objectively. When using real and consistent data, you can delve deeper and learn more about the person before hiring them! This avoids surprises!

2. Determine Coachability by Asking These Two Interview Questions. A coachable person is looking to improve and is willing to ask for help to do so.

Ask: “When was the last time you made a mistake?” and “How did you handle it?”

Then, listen for:

  • “What did s/he learn?”
  • “Who did s/he talk with?”
  • “Why did the mistake happen?”
  • “What were the results?”

This is perhaps the most important revealing part of the interview.

3. Gain Insight During Reference Checks with Previous Co-Workers. Ask this question: “Would you work for this person? Why?” Listen. I’ve found this question to be a very good indicator of a person’s on-the-job interpersonal skills.

4. Talk Straight. Share with the job candidate about your company’s ongoing training and development programs. During each interview, emphasize your expectation that the person participates. If there is any pushback (e.g., “What if I already…?” “I already know that.”), you may need to reconsider hiring this candidate since you are looking for team players that are open to learning and expanding all their job skills.

5. Focus on Results Required for the Position. Put together a 180-Day Success Plan. Share it during each interview with the job candidate and listen. The person’s reactions may change over time, so it’s important to address any change. Remember, you are seeking team players with the attitude of, “I’m open to learning from my mistakes and contributing to the success of everyone.”

6. Provide a Coach and a Mentor. Provide teams and future leaders in your company with an internal company mentor and an external executive coach. One fast-growing company shared this expectation with job candidates. Those that didn’t believe they would need a coach were not considered further. Several years later, the coachable team members achieved executive and leadership levels in their careers. It was due to their focus on coaching, developing, and learning.

7. Be Coachable! Yes, many successful leaders have coaches. Be sure you have one and be sure you are learning how to be a good coach, while developing and learning along with the team. Believe it or not, it can be a lot of fun!

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.  

A note from Jeannette about how to hire coachable people. We’re in a talent tsunami, where 20% to 50% of employees are seeking new jobs. One of the top reasons is they are uncoachable in their current job and believe the grass will be greener in other companies. It’s up to you to use real and consistent data to make good hiring decisions and uncover a job candidate’s coachability before you hire them. This impacts your ability to attract and keep top talent and great customers, while improving your bottom line. Unsure of how to get started? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Do You Have Problems Working with Authority Figures?

“If you want to get ahead in your career, you must learn to listen to and work well with your boss.” Jeannette Seibly

Do you:

  • Ignore advice and only argue for your point-of-view?
  • Do it anyway when your boss or board says, “No?”
  • Have a team that bickers a lot?
  • Deny having authority issues and place blame for mistakes on your boss?
  • Look for approval from your boss and seldom get it?

Can you imagine NFL team players thumbing their nose at the coach when told to adopt a new game strategy? I cannot either.

Yet, many times, business leaders fail to work well with authority figures! They believe they know how things should work and fail to listen to sage advice. This mindset costs them valuable time, money, and energy that could have been better used for business growth.

7 Tips to Improve Effective Working Relationships  

  1. Recognize You Have a Problem. “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” (Dr. Phil) When you cringe because someone sounds like your mom, dad, or teacher, you have a trigger. Heal the relationship with your parent(s) and you will go further faster as a leader.
  2. Positively Handle Feedback and Criticism. Many times, when you get triggered, it has nothing to do with the feedback. It’s an automatic reaction from your ego saying, “Don’t talk to me that way.” Breathe. Put your feelings into words. Learn to ask questions for clarification. If you truly listen, you will find your boss’s insights (or someone else’s) were “right on.”
  3. Encourage Brainstorming and Listening to New Ideas. When you or your team know-it-all and rely on past solutions, you will fail to get to the core issue. Be open to listening to others…it saves time and money while creating viable solutions.
  4. Resolve Conflict Before It Diminishes Your Results. Authority avoidance leaders create lots conflicts. They have poor communication styles and work ethics, making it difficult for team members to succeed. Remember, successful leaders have coaches to help them resolve conflicts before they are no longer manageable.
  5. Learn to Delegate. If you want to achieve true leadership, you must stop doing it yourself! To expand your business, sales results, and influence with your team, create a team that is resilient, reliable, and resourceful. That starts with your willingness to listen and work well with your boss, board, team, and customers.
  6. Get Over, “Do It My Way.” Life is not about doing everything “your way.” Yet, there are many stories on social media about DIYers. It takes maturity and experience to work well with your team, customers, business, and bottom line. You will make mistakes. But your ability to learn from those mistakes and seek counsel will improve your results.
  7. Take a Good Long Look in the Mirror. If you are a leader that acts as a lone ranger, be aware your team members will mimic you! While you may believe this is OK, at some point, it will create irrevocable issues at the wrong time! Learn to be coachable and understand there are other workable ways to get the best results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about being an authority avoidance leader. Everyone has a boss, board, team, and/or customers that provide feedback and criticism. Failure to listen and learn will sideline your career. Take the time to develop effective working relationships, be coachable, and take feedback, while learning from your mistakes. If this sounds too difficult, contact me for a confidential conversation.

It’s Q3! Are You On-Track to Achieve End-of-Year Results?

“If you want to improve your results, focus on real data and hire a coach to get you unstuck and keep you moving forward.” Jeannette Seibly

Many companies are looking at their current and projected sales numbers to determine if they are on track to achieve their 2021 results. Some will fiddle with the numbers and adjust their expectations so they don’t feel like failures. Others will give up. But the ones that will succeed are talking with their coach and making real adjustments now. Remember, it’s not business as usual.

7 Tips to Achieve Real Sales Results

  1. Hire the Right People. This #1 rule makes a big difference in your EOY sales results! Remember, not everyone can sell your products and services, no matter what they’ve sold in the past. There is an old saying, “Just because they can sell Honda’s in Boston, doesn’t mean they can sell Lincolns in Denver.” Get real about who you are hiring and their natural ability to prospect and close. Use a qualified sales assessment that provides you with real, consistent data. For example, hiring a person that is unwilling to work in a straight commission position will not work out well for anyone.
  2. Coach with Laser-Focused Accuracy. The right assessment tool also provides you laser-like coaching When you address the true issue with “why” a salesperson is struggling, it’s easier to improve their skills. For example, telling your sales rep to meet more people when they are already making a lot of contacts won’t make a difference. Instead, coach them on how to engage these contacts to determine buying interest.
  3. Stop Focusing on Technology to Fix Sales Performance. How many times have you told yourself that a new CRM will improve sales results? This is a big illusion…it’s a tool, not a result-producer. If you don’t have the right salespeople, technology will only make things worse. Your low producers will hide out behind learning the system. Your high performers will be annoyed at learning another new system.
  4. Engage Customers Every Quarter. Are you engaging your customers quarterly? If you are, they are less likely to stray! Also, when you are top of mind, your customers are more likely to refer you to others. When meeting with the customer, use a scorecard. This focuses them on the quality, service, and prices of your deliverables and how to help them in the future. Remember, training is crucial for these conversations to be effective!
  5. Conduct Sales Team Huddles Every Morning…These Are a Must. If you’re not already doing this…start now! Have a standup huddle each morning for all salespeople. Keep it short and on-point…10 to 20 minutes. Have everyone stand since it’s harder for lower-performing salespeople to hide out. Focus on progress and any changes required for better results. For example, allowing current economic situations to excuse poor sales results prevents your sales team from getting creative.
  6. Train for the Details! I remember years ago a sales expert told me a successful salesperson knows the details of their products and services. This wisdom made a positive difference for me when closing sales! Provide weekly training, updates, and stories to your salespeople. And, there is nothing wrong with repetition!
  7. Acknowledge Results…It Works Wonders. Acknowledge your team, individually and as a group. Share brags with each other. Have a dashboard showing daily results. This encourages team support when someone is stuck. And, encourages team members to do more of what is working.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019-2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about achieving sales goals for 2021. It’s Q3 and 2021 is halfway done! There are companies exceeding sales projections while others are struggling to keep their doors open. Before making any changes, focus on real data for real results. Winging it and hoping for a miracle won’t make a powerful difference on your bottom line. If you are uncertain about where to start, contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Improve Leadership Results Before You Need to Fire Them

Due to the talent tsunami, experts warn 20-50 percent of employees are looking for new jobs or are planning to quit once the pandemic is behind us. To attract top talent, you must have leaders that are considered good leaders. Now is the time to make a positive difference.

A bad leader is someone who fails to work with and through others to keep customers happy and satisfied while building successful teams.

Examples:

When the oldest sibling was promoted to President of the family business, everyone expressed concern. She was insecure and relied only on her favorite people when making decisions. As a result, after losing several key customers, the family fired her.

In another company, a leader wasn’t a strong boss, but did make good decisions and cared about the customers. But a disgruntled employee scrutinized and gossiped about him to the point where he was considered a bad leader and felt forced to leave.

7 Signs of Poor Leadership

This list is endless…what are your key indicators of a bad leader?

  1. Loses focus on the goal by getting lost in the “weeds”
  2. Lacks empathy
  3. Stifles creativity and new ideas
  4. Is unable to motivate the team to achieve intended results
  5. Is indecisive
  6. Is unable to talk straight
  7. Plays favorites when assigning work

Too often, we wait until we’ve lost good customers or top talent before getting the leader the help and guidance needed for success.

7 Tips to Improve Leadership Results Now Before It’s Too Late

  1. Provide Executive Coaching. Many bad leaders are overwhelmed by the challenges they face. The right executive coach guides these leaders to improve communication, navigate politics, and manage sticky situations. Hire an executive coach from outside the company to ensure confidentiality. If the person isn’t coachable, it’s time to create an exit plan or job reassignment.
  2. Use qualified assessments. Use a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment and a job fit assessment. These provide objective insights and guidance based on consistent real data.
  3. Design a performance plan. It’s important to require bad leaders to participate in workshops. This helps them to acknowledge what they don’t know that they don’t know. Focus on one specific area at a time and team them with an internal company mentor (in addition to the outside executive coach). Courses must include addressing leadership blind spots (e.g., emotional intelligence, working with and through others, diversity, ethics, critical thinking, to name a few).
  4. Analyze the cost. Too often, we overlook bad leadership because we don’t see or understand the impact. When conducting a cost analysis, review turnover of top talent and customers, quality issues, and complaints. NOTE: If there are little or no problems, look deeper. The leader may be the scapegoat to distract from the real issue.
  5. Talk with disgruntled team members. Don’t be surprised if the bad leader’s problem is due to the inability to handle group think, cliques, and subjective expectations. Have the executive coach work with the team and the leader to get everyone on the same page. Remember, change is a process, not an event. And, no leader is perfect.
  6. Some bad leaders are good individual contributors as long as they don’t have people management responsibilities. Also, look for a special project or new opportunity that can use the leader’s good skills. NOTE: When making a transfer, the new position may have a new job title. But it’s best to avoid adjusting the paycheck or it could trigger a dissatisfied leader with an axe to grind.
  7. When All Else Fails Let the Bad Leader Go. Be sure you work with HR and/or an attorney to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. If you don’t, this can be very costly, especially if you’ve allowed it to go on for too long.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.  

A note from Jeannette about turning around bad leaders. Turning bad leaders around is one of my primary strengths. As an executive coach, I’ve worked with many poor leaders to transform them, or help them move on. When a bad leader needs help, the best solution is to do the right things now. If a team views their leader as needing help, don’t wait! Otherwise, s/he may need to leave the company! Remember, a bad leader cannot transform into a good one on his/her own! Contact me for a confidential conversation.