Posts Tagged ‘smart goals’

SAGE Coaching Model: Doing More with Less – Part II

Posted in Blog on May 8th, 2017 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

Check out my Audio Interview on the topic of “Doing More with Less” – Part II

 

SAGE Coaching Model: Doing More with LessSituation Analysis

The first step is Situation Analysis, and that really is the focus on what the current situation is, to clarify what’s going on and identify what the challenges are, where is the individual struggling. This may differ from what current leaders do. Leaders are really good problem solvers, and so we want to solve a problem. So instead of asking all the great questions and trying to uncover what’s going on, we’re already on solution mode. “Oh, I hear what you’re saying. Well, I’ve had that same problem or here’s what you should do.”

What we’re really trying to do here, is to take a step away and not solve the problem, but really understand, not only what’s going on but why it’s going on. As an example, let’s say an individual isn’t delegating, but do we know why they’re not delegating? Is it because they’re fearful to lose control? Or they don’t trust their employees, or maybe they need more training. What we want to do in situation analysis, is uncover not only what’s going on, but why is it going on. Why is this individual struggling or even coming to you in the first place?

Alternatives and Options

The next step is the A, which is Alternatives and Options, and this is quite simply exploring different options. There’s typically not one single right answer that will solve one problem. There’s different answers, and different approaches. What we want to do is explore what those options are and get those on the table.

You may be thinking, “So things like that would be really time-consuming. I mean, once you find the answer, wouldn’t you just stop the brainstorming and get started?” Remember, we’re not trying to solve the problem. And I know that sounds counter-intuitive because why else are we having this discussion, but what we’re really trying to do is empower our employees. We’re trying to train them and get them feeling more comfortable taking risks, making decisions on their own.

We’re brainstorming and we’re coming up with different options and then we’re weighing the pros and cons. And if we were just stop when we had the right answer, then we may never get to, “well, why won’t we do this?” It gives leaders the ability to help train their people and I will tell you that as a leader, if you continue doing this, my clients tell me this all the time, their employees come in into their office and they’ll say, I know what you’re going to ask me. You’re going to ask me what options have I thought of and what are the pros and cons. You’re really training them to think ahead like that.

Goal Setting

Step number three is goal settings. We all know it’s important to have goals. Right? We have goals everyday of our lives. “I want to lose five pounds, or I want to get promoted”, or whatever it is. But we don’t always tie it to the action at hand, and so it’s really important because we’ve explored options to be real clear. What are we trying to achieve here? Let’s just use delegation as an example. If the goal is to delegate more, what is the goal? I mean, what is truly the goal? If we say, “I want to delegate more”, how do we know when we’re successful? The goal needs to be something a bit more specific. I mentioned this in our first, part one, but the goals need to be SMART.

They need to be specific, and measurable, and attainable, time-bound so we need to make sure that we’ve identified all of these things. The other thing that I find is sometimes there may be a short-term and a long-term goal. So a short-term might be, “I’ve got a project, how am I going to delegate for this particular project?” Now long-term, “I need to improve on my delegating because that’s something that’s going to make me a better leader.” So what do I want to do longer-term? Sometimes we may have more than one goal. The other thing to keep in mind is that it needs to be really specific and actionable. Again, let’s get back to SMART, “I want to do more but what specifically do I want to do?” How will we measure it, how will we know when I’ve achieved it and then what’s the time frame? And that’s SMART!

Again, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Execution and Accountability

I know that this step probably doesn’t need a lot of explaining, but what are the measurements, what’s our timing, how are we going to take action, what does the plan look like and how are we going to remain on course and accountable?

If you’re wondering what some of the common mistakes people would make in this step, I would say the biggest mistake is that accountability isn’t real clear. So, maybe we’ve had a discussion, and there’s something that someone else needs to do, or you as the leader needs to do – so accountability isn’t real clear. This goes back to “ownership”. And that’s why the coaching model stage is so important, because it puts ownership back on to the employee. When you have the discussion, and you ask certain questions, like “How likely are you to achieve this? How do you want to be held accountable? How will we measure success?”

All of these questions are going to ensure that the individual stays on track. And I am a big believer that if the individual isn’t committed to doing this, then it’s probably not going to get done. Even though they may know that they need to delegate in our example, they may not be committed to make the change, and this is where you can identify that. And then you set milestones.

Our favorite coaching question is: “What will you do? When will you do it and How will I know?” So, what are you going to do? I’m going to delegate five times. When will you do it? I’m going to start tomorrow with Sarah. And how will I know? I would like to circle back with you and meet regularly so that we could talk about every Friday at 2:00.

I hope learning and implementing the four steps of the Sage Coaching Model will help empower your employees, and make you a more effective leader.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

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SAGE Coaching Model: Doing More with Less

Posted in Blog on April 8th, 2017 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

Check out my Audio Interview on the topic of “Doing More with Less

 

As a business leader, where do you feel you struggle the most? It may be hard to boil down into just a few words, but I’ve found leaders are looking for ways to do more with less. They’ve got greater responsibilities, tight deadlines, budgets that are not as large as they’d like and they’re looking for ways to delegate, empower their team, encourage employees to take initiative and take risks and make tough calls – and all the while, taking ownership and remaining accountable while doing this.

Doing More with LessI developed a model called SAGE, (from my company Sage Alliance), and here’s the acronym: S is Situation Analysis, A is Alternative & Options, G is Goal Setting, and E is Execution & Accountability. The model is very easy to use and the leaders I have trained and coached on this model have told me how easy it is because it follows a very easy format.

Situation Analysis

The first step is Situation Analysis, where you sit down with your employee and you clarify the situation. You are identifying, with the employee, what the challenges are, the obstacles and the specific things are that are standing in the way of them being successful. Here are some questions that can be asked…

• What’s the current situation or what’s your assessment on things?
• Where do you need help or what’s getting in the way of success?
• What obstacles are standing in your way?
• What have you already tried?
• What’s worked, what’s not worked?

The objective is to get a grasp of what’s going on, where the challenge is, what the obstacles are, and what’s stopping the employee from proceeding forward.

Alternatives & Options

Once you’ve gotten a good grasp of the situation, you really want to explore alternatives. Because in most cases there’s not just one specific answer that can work, but rather there could be multiple answers or solutions. It’s a question of getting all those options on the table, and then exploring what could work, and what won’t work.
You as the leader are the facilitator in getting those options on the table. Some questions you can ask are:

• What are some options?
• What else can you do?
• What are some ideas that can work?
• What could you do differently?
• Would you like to brainstorm some options?
• What have you already tried?

While brainstorming, I like to say, okay what’s another option and then what’s another? This helps to get them thinking. You also want to ask them what are the pros and cons of each option? There’s lots of options, and what we really want to do is weigh the pros and cons and understand which one has the least risk but is going to afford the greatest benefit.

Goal Setting

We’ve weighed pros and cons and now it is decision time. You may find there are actually two decisions, a short-term and a long-term decision. In this case, the longer-term goal is going to be something different, so here’s where we set these goals. You can ask; “short-term, what are you going to do?” Here’s an example of a response; “I’m going to delegate just a few projects now but long-term, I need to work on getting my people up to speed. I need to get them more training.” So you can see how you might be setting more than one goal, a short-term and a long-term goal, with your employee.

There’s usually an opportunity to tie this step to a larger goal. The larger goal in this example could be, if you want to take that next step in leadership, you are going to have to get more comfortable delegating. As coaches, we never want to lose sight of the individual’s larger goal. I know a lot of people are familiar with SMART goals but making them SMART, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound is most important. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to delegate more.” Some questions to make this SMART include:

• How are you going to do this (in this case delegate more)?
• When are you going to start?
• How will we measure it?
• What is the timing for getting started on this?

Execution & Accountability

I have observed so many people having great discussions with their employees, but they never bring it home. They don’t talk about the accountability and then they are surprised when the employee doesn’t follow through. The employee didn’t follow-up, in our example, with delegating and you as the leader are wondering why they didn’t go forward with this goal. This step is your ability to tie everything you discussed in a nice clean knot. Questions to ask include:

• When are you going to start this?
• When are you going to finish this?
• What support do you need from me as your leader?
• How will we measure success?

In our example, is delegating once enough? Does this constitute success or is it multiple times? How will we measure this? One of my favorite questions to ask is, “on a scale from 1-10, what’s the likelihood of you doing what you said you would do?” Using our example; “you agreed that you were going to delegate x number of projects to x number of people, what is the likelihood that you are going to do it?” And if you hear an 8 or a 9 or even a 10, that’s great. It sounds like they are committed and going to do what they said, but if you hear a 3, or a 4 or even a 5 this should give you pause. You can then ask; “what will it take to turn that 3 into a 7 or into an 8?” This is how you will find out where that employee is really struggling and why.

Don’t forget to make sure you know how you are going to communicate, with the individual, about their progress. Ask; “when will you and I get back together again?” And then – a little encouragement always helps here. “I know you can do this. This is something I believe you can master.”

In my next blog, SAGE Coaching Model: Nuances of Being a Great Coach, I will take a deeper dive into my coaching model!

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

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Take Action and Do It

Posted in Blog on May 29th, 2013 by Admin Jones – 3 Comments

Take Action and Do ItWhen we talk about taking action, I think about Nike’s slogan, “Just do it”. We spend far more time thinking about doing something than actually just doing it. In fact research shows when it comes to goals, it’s actually harder to get started than it is to finish. To help you get started, just like Nike’s slogan, I use a Take Action Motto. This motto will help you stay focused on taking action and remain accountable for what you commit to do, regardless of what gets in the way.

I will…
Describe what you will achieve. What will you do and when will you do it? Be specific and ensure its time-bound.

So that…
Describe the benefit(s) by accomplishing this goal; i.e. what will you gain by taking action. Describe why this goal is important and what the outcome will look like.

Measurements of my progress include…
Define the tangible factors or elements that will signify your success. To illustrate this, take a look at the Take Action Motto from one of my clients:

In the next month I will create my elevator speech.

So that people will know where I add value and will ask me to be the lead on more projects.

Measurements of my progress include I’m asked to lead 5 new projects over the next quarter.

Once you have your Take Action motto, I put this into a very simple format of Start, Stop and Continue doing. What will you Start doing that will increase your ability to achieve your goals. What will you Stop doing, things that can get in the way of being successful. And lastly, what will you Continue doing. Those things you are already doing that are effective and you want to keep doing them. Draw a simple grid to capture this information or use the chart below. You may have multiple items you want to take action on so use the Take Action Motto format to state your intentions in each of these areas.

start stop continue

And one last note on goals. Ensure they are SMART. Take a look at the goals you’ve identified and ensure they encompass all the elements of SMART from the table below!

SMART goals

In celebration of Nike, “Just do it!” Having a strong personal brand is so vital to your success. Now take control of and power up your brand and your career.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

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