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MYERS INSPIRES

Could you be less than a millimeter move away from achieving your goals?

April 3rd, 2017

 

Take a moment right now and think about something that you really want to achieve and have yet to accomplish. What are the roadblocks that are in the way?

Are those roadblocks really immovable or is your mindset getting in the way? We often feel overwhelmed because we are focused on the size of the roadblock. Because we see the roadblock as something huge, we feel that a huge change is the only way to move forward.

The result is that we never move closer to achieving our goal because the change we perceive is required feels insurmountable.

What if a less than a millimeter move could change everything?

I spent many years working in the four-color, catalog printing industry. This printing process is inherently flawed and has many challenges.

Paper goes through the press at 1,000 feet per minute through an incredibly complicated machine that is putting ink on the paper. The images on the paper are made up of color dots that are too small to see without a magnifying glass. Success is largely based on the ability to hold a tolerance that requires all dots to align within one half of a dot, which is 0.04 millimeters! The difference of 0.04 millimeters results in the images being either in or out of focus and determines the client satisfaction.

The other nuance that affects the level of success is that there is a constant tendency for the dots to move out of tolerance and it requires constant monitoring. When the dots are out of tolerance, the solution is to make an extremely small change. A huge change is just too much for the equipment to handle without creating more problems and moving the dots even further out of tolerance.

Achieving success in printing is based on keeping the images in focus by making small moves!

This idea of making small changes to succeed is often what I call a “fundamental truth” in most aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on small moves, we often focus on huge moves or take an “all or nothing” approach.

Just like the printing process, resisting making too big of a move may actually help you stay focused and succeed.

Now lets revisit what you thought about a moment ago that you want to accomplish.

Instead of focusing on the roadblocks, it is time to identify the small moves you can make to achieve the next level of success!

Success could be a small, 0.04 millimeter change away!

Need help with this process? For a complimentary phone call to hear how I can help, contact me at eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600. You can also visit my website at www.myersbds.com.

I have directed many individuals towards success through my coaching process by helping them identify the small moves they can make that result in huge changes.

Feel free to comment below and share with colleagues!

Megaphones Do Not Sell, Curiosity Sells!

March 13th, 2017

Sitting with this prospective customer is embarrassing. They must be wondering what in the world I am doing just awkwardly sitting here silent wile my boss does all the talking. Why does my boss do this to me? I have so much to say and I need to tell the customer why they should buy from us. Right?

I spent countless hours gathering printing samples to show our quality work, practicing my sales pitch and I can out-talk any customer or prospect with my golden tongue! And yet, here I sit, not allowed to dazzle the prospect with my presentation!

As for him, he never shows a sample, doesn’t even have a briefcase and he just sits there asking questions. He doesn’t ask for the sale and ends the visit with a promise to return with ideas. Absurd!

This is a true experience that I had years ago as a young salesperson. If I talked too much during a sales call or customer visit, which was often, my boss and mentor would not allow me to speak during the next visit. Among the many things I have to thank my mentor for is that he forced me to be quiet, listen and actually hear the customer! When I finally understood the value of this approach I realized why he was so successful. He would tell me to “put down my megaphone.”

He actually heard the customer’s needs and provided a customized solution. Over 25 years later, this somehow sounds cliché and not like a new idea anymore. While many people today talk about listening and providing customized solutions, the practice of actually doing it on a consistent basis still eludes many sales professionals.

For those of you who would like to adopt or improve your solutions-based approach, I can provide some tips for you to consider:

  • PUT DOWN THE MEGAPHONE AND LISTEN!
  • Practice the art of listening and actually hearing in all aspects of your life so it becomes a habit.
  • Live your life with curiosity! If you are truly curious, you will want to hear what other people have to say.
  • Develop a system that prompts you to think about listening before an important meeting.
  • Create reminders for yourself to practice daily, even in less important situations.
  • Sell solutions, not products or services.
  • Solutions-based selling requires patience for the sale – it is worth it!
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously when trying something new, it may feel awkward at first.

For many sale professionals this is a major change to your approach and requires work well beyond what I cover in this post. Find a mentor, hire a coach, read obsessively, take a class….find what works for you and then practice, practice, practice!

For those of you that this is not new, I hope this a good reminder so you stay focused on listening!

For those of you who do not have the title of “sales”, this can still apply to any successful meeting, conversation or negotiation.

Remember, megaphones do no not sell, curiosity sells!

For more details about my sales solutions training, coaching or strategy, please visit http://www.myersbds.com/sales-solutions/ or contact me at eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Accepts Feedback Best of All?

September 21st, 2016

 

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It feels great when we are all dressed up for a special occasion or important meeting and look in the mirror and say “wow I look good!”

What about when you look in the mirror first thing in the morning after a sleepless night? Not so easy to take right? Feedback is the same way for many of us. It’s easy to take positive feedback and feedback we perceive as negative can be difficult.

Why is accepting feedback so difficult? It is difficult because it often makes us afraid. We fear that we may be perceived as not meeting expectations and worry that this could lead to losing status, raises, promotions and other opportunities.

Our topic for today is the importance of improving your ability to receive constructive feedback in a positive way. Take a pause right now and think about how good you are at turning the mirror on yourself and honestly analyzing the feedback you receive.

What is your initial reaction to this question?

Do we have some work to do?

Everyone can improve their ability receive feedback in a more positive way.

As a coach, I am in the feedback business. I have shared very positive and incredibly tough feedback with many coaching participants. The ability for them to receive feedback is spread over a wide spectrum. This impacts how quickly growth can be accomplished.

On one hand, there have been coaching participants I have worked with that have been incredibly open and welcoming to all feedback. They accepted the information professionally and asked for help if they needed to make changes. We could then immediately devote our time to putting meaning to the feedback, creating goals and working on their professional development.

The other extreme has been coaching participants who were incredibly defensive and closed off to any and all feedback. We then spent our time breaking down these barriers and helping them accept feedback before we could even begin to help them focus on change. Breaking down these barriers is a crucial part of my coaching process and I welcome the challenge to help! It is very fulfilling when a journey begins with a closed-off participant and ends with meaningful change!

Most coaching participants fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

So how do we improve our ability to accept feedback?

Have a mindset that you WANT feedback so you can improve! Just as you look in the mirror to find out if your hair or clothes are out of place, you must also be willing to look in the mirror and find areas to improve.

Instead of fearing feedback, realize that feedback is often the road to actually achieving more! Embrace feedback as the creator of opportunity! If you never receive feedback about behavior or work outcomes you need to adjust, then you will not work toward improvement and this will likely result in you achieving less.

This is a small adjustment for some of you and a total reversal of mindset to others.

OLD MINDSET

Fear feedback because it means losing something.

NEW MINDSET

Seek and welcome feedback as an opportunity to improve and excel!

I challenge you to create a goal for yourself right now to work on your mindset!

STEP ONE

Open your calendar immediately and put a follow-up in your calendar to re-read this blog post in 30, 90 and 180 days.

 

STEP TWO

Ask the question:

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Do I Accept Feedback Best of All?

 

STEP THREE

Regardless of how well you like what you see in the mirror, continually set new goals to seek and accept feedback as an opportunity to grow!

Next time you are offered feedback, remember to embrace feedback as information to help you succeed!

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Please feel free to share this with colleagues.

For more details about effective feedback techniques or other topics please contact me eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

The Deep Dive!

August 3rd, 2016

As many of you read in my recent press release, my company has become a licensed Private Investigative Agency and I am a licensed Private Investigator. This announcement prompted many questions so I decided in this post to explain how being licensed will benefit my clients.

There will be no change to the many training, coaching, consulting and sales strategy services I have been providing for 15 years! This new capability is merely an enhancement of the services I currently provide.

So why the PI license?

One colleague suspected it was so I can buy a red Ferrari and move to Hawaii! Another suggested I want to sit in a tree for hours with a camera and catch someone committing a crime! Neither of these is the reason; although Hawaii in January does have great appeal so I need to work on this.

There are certain corporate situations that require an expert in putting meaning to human behavior. I am highly experienced and trained in this area and have helped many clients understand and address human behavior in a variety of circumstances.

Having an objective third party in many situations results in finding out information that often cannot be gained with internal resources. There are times that this is very successful at the level of a coach or consultant and there are some circumstances that can be enhanced by additional training and credentials such as being a Private Investigator.

Let’s take a look at a few areas of focus for my work and explain how my current approach may be enhanced by the private investigator credential and education.

WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS

Uncovering information in an informal way about workplace behavior has always been a part of my approach. Whether I am wearing my coach or consultant hat, I have had great success getting people to share positive and troubling information about themselves and their co-workers. This is often part of the development process and I create specific actions to address any needed areas of improvement.

There are situations that fall outside of coaching or consulting because of the nature of the behavior. This often results in the internal human resources department, leaders or even outside counsel to prefer to have a licensed investigator perform interviews and gather information.

As a licensed Private Investigator I can provide this valuable “deep dive” and gather this information.

BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING AND BACKGROUND CHECKS

I have been assisting clients by training them to utilize behavioral interviewing techniques for many years. There have also been many times that I participated in the interviews. This allowed the employer to focus on many of the questions about credentials, job skills and other items specific to the role. My participation was largely focused on body language, facial expressions and other behavior. My role was to watch for any positive or negative impressions that can be uncovered through careful observation because of my training in human behavior. Continuing my education in this area can be enhanced by much of the training I can participate in as a Private Investigator.

In addition to enhancing the interviewing with my current process, there can be a key hire that is so important that the traditional background checks do not provide enough information.

As a licensed Private Investigator I can now do the “deep dive” background check and provide crucial information related to important hiring decisions.

NAVIGATING SENSITIVE SITUATIONS

My first experience hiring a Private Investigator was a sensitive corporate situation where we needed to know if the employee’s suspected activities were actually occurring before ever speaking with them. This helped me avoid making an unfounded accusation and protected us in many ways by having a third party handle the situation.

I already help individuals and organizations with highly sensitive situations and have a track record of resolving them with discretion. In situations where clients already work with me and we have established trust, they will no longer need to involve another party if a Private Investigator is needed.

As a licensed Private Investigator I can now do the “deep dive” fact-gathering and other activities to help resolve the sensitive situation.

So instead of driving a Ferrari or sitting in a tree looking for crimes, I am looking forward to helping current and future clients with their corporate investigation needs.

I am definitely open to other opportunities that require a licensed Private Investigator and look forward to where this new credential will lead me!

Please feel free to share this blog with colleagues.

For more details about this post or how I can help your team, please contact me at eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

Eric Myers

Coaching Choices Overload Part Two!

July 6th, 2016

In my last post we talked about the many choices of coaching approaches, areas of expertise, personality and coaching style. It is now time to analyze a potential coach from the perspective of how their areas of expertise align with your needs and your “gut feeling” of their overall fit for your coaching journey. The same analysis applies if you are choosing a coach for yourself or for someone else.

You may remember in my last post that I provided some examples of different types of coaches:

  • Leadership
  • Business
  • Fitness
  • Life
  • Marriage
  • Financial
  • Career
  • Parenting

It may appear easy to look at this list and determine if the coaches you are considering fit into the area of expertise that is most beneficial to your coaching journey. I challenge you to look deeper into the background of each coach and verify that it aligns with your needs. Coaching is an expanding industry and you want to ensure that the coach you choose has a solid background in the area that aligns with your coaching needs. For example, I specialize in leadership, performance improvement and overall business coaching primarily within organizations. My website, background and resume reflect experience that aligns within these areas of expertise. This helps the coaching participant and myself make a determination about whether their coaching goals are aligned with my areas of expertise. If someone asks for coaching in an area that is not my focus I have a responsibility as a coach to let them know they should research other coaches. Be cautious about a coach who accepts coaching engagements outside of their area of expertise unless there is a very good explanation for why they feel they can help you. A successful, credible coach will readily refer you elsewhere if they are not a fit for your needs. If you feel the coach is interviewing you as much as you are them, that can be a hint that you have a coach that understands that your needs must align with their coaching approach.

Engaging a coach for yourself or someone else has a subjective element to it and you should trust your “gut feeling” when you decide who to work with as a coach. Until the coaching actually begins you simply will not know how well your needs are aligned with their approach and background. It can take some time to identify whether the partnership is going to help you achieve your goals. Make sure that you understand the parameters of your coaching agreement or contract. This is another area that you should understand thoroughly and also provides insight into the coach’s philosophy. My focus after 15 years of coaching is to ensure that my collaboration with the coaching participant will help them achieve their goals. On the very rare occasion I have felt their needs do not align with my area of expertise, I have recommended that we look at other coaches. Be careful of coaches who are not willing to recognize the “fit” or lack thereof and simply want the work.

Good luck in choosing your coach!

Please feel free to share this blog with colleagues.

For more details about this post or how I can help your team, please contact me at eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

Coaching Choices Overload!

June 16th, 2016

What is a coach? How do I find a coach? What kind of coach do I need? These are questions I am getting asked with increased frequency and I believe it is due to the large influx of people offering services under the umbrella of coaching. This is confusing for most people who are searching for a coach and it is making it difficult to find the right resource.

My coaching and training business is celebrating our 15th year in the industry in 2016! When I started offering coaching there was a much smaller number of coaches and much less variety. Today there are countless types of coaches that have a myriad of approaches and purposes. While there are too many to name them all, here are some examples:

  • Leadership
  • Business
  • Fitness
  • Life
  • Marriage
  • Financial
  • Career
  • Parenting

The list could go on forever. While these sound fairly specific, they are actually pretty broad until you ensure one aligns with your needs.

My recommendation is that you spend time thinking about the true purpose of the coaching before speaking to a coach. This can help identify who you would initially contact to have an initial dialogue. Be open about the purpose you believe is the reason you are seeking a coach and most experienced coaches will be able to recognize whether they are a fit pretty quickly. Be cautious of a coach who appears to not be a fit and tries to convince you they are the right coach for you. For example, my coaching focus is on helping employees, managers and leaders that want to improve their effectiveness in the workplace. While this sounds pretty broad, it is my role to help decide if the situation is within my area of expertise. When I receive an inquiry for an area outside of my area of expertise I am candid with them and suggest they find a different resource.

When you do contact a coach, the initial conversation should provide you some insight into whether they are a potential coach for you. I suggest speaking with a few different coaches that you feel may be a fit and then see how you feel after the initial conversation. The dialogue should include areas of expertise and overall connection you feel when you speak with them. Every coach has a unique style and it is important to choose one with a personality and style that fits your personality.

You should approach choosing a coach as a process that includes areas of expertise, personality and style, qualifications and gut feel. Be bold, be inquisitive, ask questions and dig, dig dig until your decision is clear!

It is very important to remember that these recommendations are based on the perspective that you are screening coaches for yourself. If you are looking for a coach for another individual it is critical that you evaluate the coach based on their needs and style. Evaluating a coach based on your needs and preferences instead of the coaching participant could result in choosing the wrong coach. Involve the coaching participant as much as possible in the decision.

Today we talked about area of expertise along with personality and style. I will talk about analyzing qualifications and gut feel in my next post! I look forward to posting more frequently!

Please feel free to share this blog with colleagues.

For more details about this post or how I can help your team, please contact me at eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

“Walk The Walk” In 2015

November 23rd, 2014

What were they thinking?! How often have you asked this question about someone on your team? You are not alone.

Some years ago I was working with the owner of a manufacturing business on a variety of opportunities for improvement within his leadership team and overall organization. While we made great progress, there were some areas where we just could not seem to make the desired improvements as quickly as others.

A few examples included:

•Safety rules were not being followed.

•Leadership not holding their teams accountable based on outlined expectations.

•Conflict was allowed to continue without a purposeful plan for resolution.

One of my tasks was to find the root cause of these types of issues so we could make the desired progress. Here are a few examples of my findings:

SAFETY
This manufacturing facility had a very strict safety program that should have resulted in a great accident-free record. Instead, there were injuries occurring that were directly related to not following safety protocol. This was of particular concern and I made this a top priority.

ACCOUNTABILITY
There was a lot of dialogue in management meetings about the need to increase accountability. What surfaced in my analysis was that the owner simply did not hold his leadership team accountable and this set the tone for the lack of accountability for the whole organization.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION
There was still unresolved conflict throughout the organization even though there was a very well thought-out conflict resolution process. This was directly affecting the performance of the company. The owner had a track record of not addressing the root cause of conflict and not resolving it in a positive way. This leadership behavior set the tone for the half-hearted execution of the conflict resolution process.

A conversation with a second-shift machine operator helped me decide where to focus my energy for finding the root cause of the issues we faced.   At the end of a discussion about safety he asked me a very interesting and powerful question. He looked at me and asked “doesn’t the owner know we are all watching him?” He went on to say that the owner did not wear appropriate safety glasses, disregarded many of the safety rules and they even noticed he never wore a seatbelt in his company car.  I wondered how many of the other issues were the result of the owner not aligning his leadership behavior with the values he wanted to see in his people and organization.

With this new clarity, I was able to research and prove that the owner’s behavior was the key driver to many areas where there was a disconnect between what the owner states as the values he wanted for the company and how he actually operated on a daily basis.

Many leaders do not realize that everyone is watching their behavior and that their actions impact the culture of the organization. It is important for leaders to align their own actions with the rules, mission and approach that they would like to see their teams demonstrate.

Every leader should put forth the effort to “walk the walk” that demonstrates values that they expect of their team. The idea that we can operate in one way and expect the team to act differently does not work. It is time to eliminate the idea of “do as I say, not as I do” from your thought process and change it to “Do as I say and do as I do.”

As we approach the end of 2014, my challenge for you is to create a specific action plan for 2015 that aligns your behavior with the qualities that you want to see in your team.

“Walk the Walk” in 2015 and have your formula for leading be “DO AS I SAY, AND DO AS I DO!”

Please feel free to share this blog with colleagues.

For more details about creating a leadership strategy that demonstrates the values you want to demonstrate to your team, please contact me eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

Creating a Successful Coaching Culture

September 18th, 2014

We had an awesome group of participants attend my “Creating a Coaching Culture” session at the Association of Talent Development session in Cedar Rapids on September 12th!

The focus of this workshop is on creating a culture that supports having internal coaches available to employees, managers and leaders.  Once the culture is in place, it will be important to have effective coaches that can help everyone achieve higher levels of performance. If you are interested in information about how my internal coaching certification program can provide training for your internal coaches please contact me at eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.

We began our session with a discussion of the need for internal coaches. While many organizations engage external coaches for on-going development, there are also many internal roles that require an ability to provide some level of coaching.  Successful internal coaching is an approach that usually requires some refinement to the culture of most organizations.  This discussion led to the importance of analyzing whether or not an organization has the internal resources to make this cultural shift or if they should have an outside coach help create and implement the strategy. There are advantages to both approaches and this decision should be made carefully.

We reviewed a condensed version of my all day training seminar that outlines the steps involved in creating a coaching culture with internal resources or external help. Here is a brief recap of the steps we discussed:

STEPS FOR CREATING A SUCCESSFUL COACHING CULTURE

  1. Create a coaching strategy. Developing a new aspect of your culture successfully is the result of a well thought-out strategy that demonstrates that a coaching culture is the right approach.
  2. Utilize inspirational leadership techniques. Motivating the organization to embrace the change is one of the change leader’s most important roles.
  3. Create a team. Consider carefully who has the social capital to execute the strategy.
  4. Get support. Each player on the team will have different needs and it is important to understand how to motivate them each in a unique way.
  5. Remove obstacles. Identify real and perceived constraints and eliminate them with a systematic approach.
  6. Keep the momentum going. There is no final step to making a culture refinement. It is an on-going process that requires determination.
  7. Consider organizational culture. Align the new culture perspective with the overall organizational culture.
  8. Analyze and revise. Your strategy is not a sacred writing that can never be changed. Be very willing to adjust over time.
  9. BE CREATIVE AND FUN! Serious results can usually be accomplished even more effectively with creativity and an enjoyable environment.

Remember that careful planning and patience is crucial to successfully launching a strategy to create a coaching culture!

For more details about creating a coaching culture, please contact me eric@myersbds.com or 563-340-7600.