Brian: All right, welcome back. Today's topic is about how you can grow your business through a coaching relationship. So let, let's, let's take a pivot here and we kind of talked a little bit about, you know, what someone's going to be thinking before they enter a relationship with maybe a potential, you know, leadership coach, business coach and the, some of the things that they're struggling with. But let's kind of dive into the practical kind of side of this. Um, you know, um, is this something that happens like overnight so I can just pay you some money. I could pay a leadership coach some money and you can stop some fingers and like Poof, everything solved.
Eric: I wish it was that easy. Um, it's, it's much like baking a cake, right? You know, you throw all the ingredients together and you put them in, you know, this thing and then you put it in the oven and then you have to apply heat to it and it has to stay in there a certain amount of time. And, and that's a lot like our growth journey. It takes time to grow and it takes time to become that leader. So practically speaking, my relationship with a leader, generally it looks like a six month relationship or we're together a couple times a month where their goals are really formed the agenda of our meeting. Um, but you know, I've got some tools that I enjoy using, that help. I think a leader get perspective of themselves and that their team has of them. And it's called a 360 assessment that I use with leaders. It helps them really see how their team perceives them. And also I use an assessment called RightPath that helps them discover their strengths, their struggles, you know, important relationship keys and how they like to be related to, um, they discover how quickly they can deal with change and how they deal with conflict. And all those type of self-awareness tools, I think help a leader grow in emotional intelligence as they're working with their team. And so they learn how to really use what I call strengths based leadership in their organization because they really discover, you know, all about themselves and how they're wired. So, um, there's some different tools that I love to use that I think are, are extremely helpful. That again, give a leader that edge that we're talking about going back in the beginning of the coaching analogy of the competition is there, I think these are tools and this relationship helps them get that edge.
Brian: Wow, that's, that's pretty insightful. And you know, if you've been listening to our podcast, we actually had RightPath on, you know, a couple weeks ago. Um, and you know, we were talking about the challenges of hiring and, you know, um, being able to do some interview, behavioral interview questioning and, uh, you know, they, they talk about how the assessment can be used not only in the hiring process, but what you're talking about is, um, is helping you grow, right? Because we all have strengths and we all have struggles, and it's very important to identify those. And for those that may be new to emotional intelligence, unpack that.
Eric: Yeah. So to me, I think emotional intelligence means, uh, leaders learn how to manage their own emotions and the emotions of others and how they lead, right? And so it takes skill, it takes practice, it takes understanding our own emotions and what triggers us as leaders and learning how to work through that and navigate that. And I think leadership coaches are able to help leaders identify those triggers that they feel get them like off course, or maybe get them confused in a meeting and get them sidetracked and things like that. So I, so I think, um, being, um, working on emotional intelligence through some of those tools, like RightPath and the 360 are helpful.
Brian: Yeah. And sometimes, you know, as you said, it's important to have your emotions in check, but I think it's also what RightPath has taught us and helped us understand not only through the assessment that you gave me, and the 360 that we went through that, the way we way we are responding, the way that we are wired, like it's, it can be a strength and you know, so I may have a very high verbal score, so I love to talk. But then, you know, I may have a coworker that has a very, is on the quiet side. And so, um, those two things are not right and wrong. It depends on how you use those. Um, it depends on how, you know, the Talker, the talkative person learns how to quiet themselves and listen. But then also, you know, for the quiet person, they've got to learn how to be assertive at times and speak up and use some skills that RightPath uses, it's learned behavior. They've got to learn certain behaviors to be able to accomplish your job. Um, but if you're not aware of those strengths and struggles, and if you're not aware of, um, the strengths and struggles of your team, uh, you're not going to be able to lead them. You know, one of the things right path encouraged us to do was to create a handbook of everyone's right path, like, and knowing everyone's strengths and struggles. So before you even go into a meeting, you're able to remind yourself, okay, this person responds this way. Um, so
Eric: Brian would have learned about leaders is that, um, unfortunately, leaders don't entertain the option or the thought of having a leadership coach until they're in pain. Pain is the greatest motivator for change. And unfortunately, leaders don't, you know, you choose to get a coach involved in their life to just help them become better. And what I see a lot of times it's the pain brings the reason for the leadership coach in their life. And uh, so you know, we don't grow by accident, we grow on purpose and uh, so I think that's part of the joy of what I get to do.
Brian: Well good. We're going to take a quick break and when we come back, we're going to dive into some tangible ways a leadership coach can really help grow your business because that's what our podcast is all about.
Brian: All right, welcome back. Today's topic is about how you can grow your business through a coaching relationship. And we talked about the value that coach can bring and what exactly is leadership coaching prior to the break. And so we have Mr. Dr. Eric, uh, earlier in the podcast he said, I don't think anyone's ever called me Dr. Eric before. Uh, so I'm going to call you, talk to Eric the entire podcast.
Eric: I appreciate that.
Brian: No problem. So we've talked about what someone's going to be thinking before they walk into a relationship. And you talked about how the pain is, what Pete possibly call this, the thought of having a coaching relationship. So practically how can the leadership coach help our listeners grow their business?
Eric: Well, I like to look at it, um, in terms of, you know, like if you were driving in a car and you, many of us have a GPS system on our phone, right? So we can just kind of type it in and it helps us see where to go. I kind of look at it the same way, except I added another 's' to it. I call it GPSS and um, I know it's a little corny. My wife gives me a hard time for all my corny jokes. So Brian, I feel like the first area that a leadership coach can help a leader is really identify their specific goal of what they want to accomplish. And I think that's where the rubber meets the road in the relationship where a lot of leaders know they need to be doing something, they want to grow their business, they, they want to grow their leadership capacity and competency. But I think the coach can come alongside the leader and say, all right, all that's nice and good, but what is it specifically that you really want to do? What is that specific goal? And put that on the wall or put that on a piece of paper because many leaders don't know. They've got a lot of stuff. It's like going to the grocery store when your wife or your husband tells you, hey, grab these five things and you've got them floating around in your head and you know, you gotta and then but, but you don't write them down. You get to the story ends up, you and I both know you don't buy it all because you forget one or two. And leading is a lot like that. And in terms of sometimes we never just stop and write down what is it we really want to accomplish? What's our goal really? So I think a coach really can come alongside and help a leader do that and get clarity. Number two, I think the 'p' stands for people and anytime people are involved, you and I both know leadership gets a really complex, right?
Brian: Just a little, yeah.
Eric: Yeah. Just a little. And so it takes people to accomplish a vision. It takes people to accomplish anything of significance. And what I hear from leaders is the number one struggle across the board that leaders have is their staff and their people that they're dealing with. Number one. Number one struggle. So, um, I, I think a coach can come alongside a leader and help them figure out how to select and recruit, hire the right kinds of people. And as Jim Collins says, you know, getting the right people on the bus and then getting them in the right seat. So a coach can be a good sounding board to the leader for listening and hearing who they have on their team, their skill sets. Are they in the right place? And again, going back to, I think what you said earlier, it's having that trusted person that they can talk openly with it cause this is a confidential relationship, but if they have a coach where they can talk about their, their people issues with, this can avoid a lot of friction, which is another, the purpose of this podcast is if, you know, the less people problems that we have, the less friction we have.
Brian: Definitely. I mean, uh, people I've been, I've been in multiple businesses, you know, all the way back to high school when I was in Chik fil A. And I mean, uh, people make the world go around, you know, I think money does too, but, um, you know, um, drama free is very, very helpful, but that doesn't necessarily mean that, you know, we're not diving in and talking about the hard stuff. Right. Um, but being able to really process, um, with someone else about, because I think a lot of times we think that everyone thinks the way we do. You know, we have this lens that we're looking through and we, you know, I, I think you think the way I do, you know, but obviously since you like Clemson, you don't think the way I do. And so just the fact that we have some differences and we like different things should be a clue to us as leaders that our people, our team is not going to process. And when we realize that the differences is actually a beautiful thing for our business because they're going to potentially see things that you can't, we can be more successful.
Eric: And where this shows, its, uh, itself, most Brian, where I see is in change management. So when leaders are trying to drive change in their organization, um, there's people involved with that and people with feelings and people with ideas and people with opinions on what that change should be and how it should be done. And so it's sticky and it's messy. And so a coach can come alongside that leader and go, okay, let's talk about your team. Let's talk about your staff. Where are they in all of this and where do they need to be? So that's that whole people side I think is critical. The, the third area that I feel like a coach could help a leader is, is identifying, does the leader have the right systems in place to be consistent? You know, what are those tools and systems that the leaders using? And are they up to speed? Are they up to date? Do they meet the demands and the strategy and the vision of the company. And so we talk through the various systems that leaders are using. And I would say, um, that fourth thing is the strategy. Do I know how I want to run my business? And that's a whole separate conversation. So those strategic conversations I think are a lot of fun because they really dive into how the leader wants to go about running their business. And is that, is that supportive of the vision and the mission of the company?
Brian: So, uh, as as you started, um, going into this back half of the podcast, you talked about, that this being a GPS but with an extra 's'. So, the first one was goals. The second one is people, the third one is systems. Uh, but the fourth, uh, GPS is strategy. So those are four very simple, but when you unpack that, they're really not that simple, but four buckets per se that, you know, leadership, coach, business coach can help, um, walk alongside of someone and have some focusing of their conversations.
Eric: Yeah. Yeah. And I've found that really the secret sauce in their relationship is not that the leadership coach has all the answers because I don't have all the answers. Um, but I feel like, um, that the coach, if, if it's a good leadership coach, he or she will ask the right questions that will help the leader frame up the situation properly in their mind and get the right perspective. That another big struggle that I see leaders deal with is the fact that, um, they have the wrong perspective. Because if you think about it, the way we observe something determines the action we take and the results that we get. And if we're observing a situation the wrong way, we'll take the wrong action and get the wrong results. So again, I think the value is not just in a leadership coach giving answers. Well, sometimes that may be the case, but a lot of times it's helping the leader think differently about the situation.
Brian: And I would say that my time with you has been, I mean, just, I, I can't even put it to words in some ways, being able to unpack that. Um, you know, but you know, if I look back at what my time was with you and thinking about whether I was about to walk into maybe the, the pre-expectations of this, I honestly didn't really know what to expect. I have had friends as people and mentors. I've been in counseling, you know, through different seasons of my life for multiple months. And so I've, I've been in some consistent, you know, kind of conversations, but never had I been in a relationship that was someone that I didn't know going into the relationship and that I was spending some time with. And so, you know, I don't think I really knew, but walking into it, you know, I was open because, you know, the introduction to this conversation was a trusted friend, a trusted advisor, you know, gave this encouragement. And I think that that's something that we need to be thinking through as leaders is when people around you that, that you trust, give you advice, especially when you may be hearing it from multiple people, you need to pay attention to that.
Eric: So, so going back to when you and I started our relationship, right. What were your initial expectations and then now that we've been meeting now for them and, gosh, eight months or so. What's it felt like on the other side of that?
Brian: Yeah. You know, I was curious how it would go. I was curious. Um, excuse my French, but that was, I was worried I was going to become a like a bitch session, you know? Uh, and, and that's all, that's what it's going to be. And so I, I was, um, I was curious by that, but what I found was, um, yeah, there, there was times where there was definitely venting, but one of the gifts that you have in one of the gifts that I think that, you know, a coach should have is be able to redirect that conversation, those thoughts. I mean, you know, you need a, you need a place, sometimes to just vent, but we need to do something with that venting. And so, you know, what I found extremely helpful was your ability to listen to me talk for like 10 minutes and then somehow like summarize like everything I just said in like a quick, beautifully sentenced, I can't even say, it like a sentence. And, you know, so the value that I've found, um, was your ability to listen and digest when I'm saying and spit it back in a way that, um, or like, whoa, that really makes sense.
Eric: Can I respond to that? One of the things that I feel that people don't have in their life is generally that people, people just to listen to them. I feel like we show dignity to people when we listened to them. Um, not many people are standing in line to listen to us. They just aren't. And sometimes as a leadership coach, I'm a professional listener. And so much of it is just listening to the burden of the leader or the heart of the leader or the mind of the leader and just listening to what they're dealing with. And then as you said, go, okay, here's what I heard. Here's what I heard you say. Is that what's really going on? Or is there something else going on?
Brian: Yeah, and you know, what I also found was being able to not only listen to what I'm processing, but then turns it into tangible things that we can take away and actually begin to apply. Um, I think that it almost felt like the cliff notes. Like, you know, I just had lived, you know, I just read the book and by living it out, you know, in the business for the past season, whatever issue I'm dealing with, maybe for the past couple of days or maybe the past couple months I've actually lived it, I've read the book, but then in like an hour or two, you know, we've broken it down and then cliff notes version, which may be a very overwhelming situation, maybe even a very emotional, um, uh, situation, but it's something that I could feel like I could wrap my hands around, something that I felt like I could go take action on. Um, because entering into that conversation, you know, um, I probably wouldn't have had that conversation. If I felt like I had a grip on it.
Eric: And I'm glad you said that, Brian, because again, it isn't a counseling session, right? I mean, there are times where, I mean, we're human beings, right? So that, you know, our feelings are going to come out or you know, all of the things that we're thinking or in some of that, you know, it's all connected. But I'm glad you brought it back around to the fact that this relationship is about results. It's not just about having a conversation at a coffee shop here in town. It's about, okay, knowing what I know, learning what I've learned, and knowing myself, knowing my team, what does my team need from me? What are the steps I need to take as a result of our time together over this last hour? So I'm glad you brought that back around cause it is a results oriented and focused relationship.
Brian: And probably the third thing I would say was the time doing the 360 assessment. Um, you know, so for those that don't know what the 360 assessment is, in short, you're asking people around you, um, 360 degrees, you know, up, you know, upward, uh, aside and below you, um, to be able to provide feedback and, um, as a leader, as anyone really, I mean, to be able to willingly ask for feedback. Um, I mean, that's scary. It is. Uh, it takes a lot of courage. It does. Um, and so I remember, you know, uh, you know, Eric, you recommending this. And so, you know, I, I chose to, you know, do my entire team. Um, and then I chose to add some, you know, external, uh, friends, um, you know, advisors in my life to be able to do that. And the things that I got back from that, um, you know, were, were, was the value for me to be able to make immediate changes. It was, it was instrumental. Um, and you know, some of the things I knew some things, um, I knew and I didn't like, you know, um, some of the things I didn't know and so it was really interesting to be able to process that. But, you know, for me, I'm an action oriented person. I like change. And so if something's wrong, I want to fix it. And so, you know, for me, um, the 360 was an opportunity for me to be able to go right direct to the source and make an impact, um, about my team and the perception of what my leadership was.
Eric: And the beautiful part of that 360 is, you know, we cannot change our destination overnight, but we can change our direction. And by getting that feedback from our team, which can be a very scary thing to do. I've had a 360 done on me by my team that I lead, in my other job that I do. And it just takes a lot of courage in the openness and willingness to change and willingness to grow and put our ego aside and go, how can I get better as a leader? So yeah, and those, I think the three questions are just as simple as, hey, what does Brian do well? What does Brian need to change, and what advice would you give him? It's very simple and you'd be amazed at how much better we can get as leaders if we're willing to listen.
Brian: Well, today's conversation has been great. You know, so we began the conversation talking about everyone has had a coach sometime in their life, but most leaders probably haven't. Because you know, various reasons why they haven't thought about the value of a coach. Uh, so we talked about, um, maybe some of the, the, the things that people as leaders are thinking through and we talked about, um, three different, um, uh, feelings, you know, they feel unclear. They feel lonely, they feel uncertain. Uh, you know, because it's lonely at the top. And so we talked about, um, getting that clarity and being able to get clarity in something and be able to take action on something. And then we looked at, practically speaking, we talked about some of the tangible things, the assessments, the RightPath assessment, 360 assessment, um, and having a relationship for more than just one day. Because, I mean, unless you're Dr Phil, you're not someone that can like snap a finger and make everything right in a 30 minute TV show, uh, you know, so it takes some time. You know, you got to invest in yourself. Um, and then we ended our time by talking about the GPS is the goal is the people, the system and the strategy. Um, so this has been really great. I think that our, our listeners have been provided a lot of value and be able to maybe be curious about introducing a coach into, um, their, um, their world. Um, so for those that you know, are, are interested by this and would like to learn more about what you do, um, where should they go? How do they reach you?
Brian: Okay. Easy as that. Where are some other places that people could go to potentially find a leadership coach?
Eric: Yeah. So I would love to help people if they want to reach out to me, but, um, but if that's not the case, I would encourage them to go to, uh, the ICF, the International Coaching Federation website. I think it's icf.com. And, there's some great coaches there that, that they could research and get to know people, I think even an organization locally here in the Greensboro area, the Center for Creative Leadership. And, uh, they even have some leadership coaches over there. So they're all around. You just got to go dig in a little bit. And the other thing I would tell people is that not every coach is for every person, you know. Um, so if it doesn't work out the first time with someone, don't, you know, if you've been to a bad doctor, you didn't stop going to the doctor. You just found a new doctor. Right. Right. So, you know, find somebody that you feel like you've got good chemistry with the Mesh with. Well to understand you and your situation well in the, in the, you just have that, you know, for lack of a better word, chemistry with cause I think that's important.
Brian: Well, great. Well, um, Eric's been the joy, oh, I didn't say Dr Eric, my Ah, doctor, it's been a joy to be able to sit across from you and I, um, again, my wife, thanks you for, uh, for everything that you've done for me in my marriage, I'm not going home every night, uh, talking about work. So that's been very, very helpful.
Eric: So I do thank you for allowing me to speak into your company there. You're not the only one that I've coached within your company that I have had the privilege of getting to know, but thank you for being vulnerable and transparent and allowing me into your organization. This has been great.
Brian: Awesome. Well, until next time, remember, friction in your organization is going to slow your growth, but simplicity is going to help build that momentum.