Carl's Coaching Tips

The Big Mistake

Posted on December 30, 2016
The Big Mistake

Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom.”


As a sales manager, Paul liked to hold weekly accountability meetings with each of his six team members.  The idea was to help provide training and guidance to each as they grew in their careers, while also keeping them focused on their sales goals.  Five of the six seemed to thrive under this style of leadership.  One did not.

Earl was a great salesperson.  He enjoyed his job, found the work challenging yet rewarding and got along very well with his co-workers. All, of course, except for Paul, his manager.  He found Paul’s accountability meetings intrusive and unnecessary.  He believed his work spoke for itself; he didn't need the constant oversight.  

A noticeable rift began to form between Paul and Earl.  Paul became defensive, rationalizing that if five of the six he worked with were doing well with his accountability approach, then surely the problem was not with him.  Earl grew resentful, considering Paul’s methods a form of harassment. 

Their relationship ended badly.  Earl resigned from the organization, and Paul felt a vague sense of failure over the conflict. 

Like Paul and Earl, we each have our own set of needs and expectations in how we want to treat and be treated by others. When others don’t know our needs and expectations, however, it’s easy to feel insulted and mistreated.

The big mistake made in any relationship, whether personal or professional, is the unwillingness to learn, understand, and appreciate another’s needs and expectations.

There are three key elements to avoiding this big mistake:

1.     Self-awareness.  Evaluate your words and actions in order to minimize possible stress in others.

2.     Flexibility.  Be willing to adjust your usual behavior to fit the situation.

3.     Share.  Don't be afraid to communicate your needs with others. 

Not all conflict can be avoided.  But if you're willing to take the time and make the effort to meet the needs of others-and share your own in the process-the big communication mistakes become much harder to make. 

© 2016 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

Strategic Initiative: First Quarter 2017

Posted on November 30, 2016
Strategic Initiative: First Quarter 2017

Are you on track for sustained, profitable growth in 2017?  Try this exercise:


List up to three initiatives linked to the 2017 goals that you would like to focus on in the first quarter of 2017.  Under each initiative, list five reasons why each is important to you and your success.


Suggestion:  Several times each day review your initiatives and your reasons they are important to you.  These are your “intentions.”  Your “attention” is in your daily schedule!  



© 2016 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

How To Talk To Me

Posted on November 1, 2016
How To Talk To Me



I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but what you heard is not what I meant.”



Eric was perplexed.  He thought he’d considered every suggestion Janet had made with regard to the Arnold project. Yet, in the project review meeting with her one morning, she seemed irritated.  She insisted that he wasn’t being cooperative, wasn’t paying attention to her recommendations, and was causing the project to fall behind schedule.  When Eric tried to explain the decisions he’d made and the actions he’d taken, Janet folded her arms, glared, and informed him that she’d already told him exactly what to do for the project and as far as she was concerned, Eric had ignored all of her instructions.

It was growing increasingly apparent that their work was suffering because of the differences in communication styles. What Eric perceived as mere suggestions, Janet considered non-negotiable directives. Without a clear understanding of these differences, their working relationship-along with their work-would continue to suffer.

Whether personally or professionally, discovering and understanding the best way to meet the communication needs of others is critical for effective interactions. Breakdowns occur when communication styles clash and needs go unmet.

Understanding your own communication style and needs is often the first step in bridging the communication gap with others. 

Take a moment to consider the following:


  1. How do you prefer to be talked to?


  1. What style of communication from others makes you uncomfortable?


  1. What style of communication from others brings out the best in you?

After sharing your responses, don’t be afraid to ask others for their responses to these three questions. After all, effective communication begins with understanding.





© 2016 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

How To Work With Me

Posted on September 30, 2016
How To Work With Me

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

-Henry Ford


On John's very first day on the job at a large organization, he found several files waiting for him on his desk, no explanation, no instructions.  He sat for hours going through them trying to figure out what he was supposed to do.  The very brief visit by his new boss later that day was no help at all.

“Take care of the projects outlined in the files,” his new employer said, then added casually, “And I need them completed by the end of the week.”

John spent days working on the files, desperately trying to make sense of them.  He tried approaching his manager many times for answers but was repeatedly waved away and told to “figure it out.” Being a diligent worker, and used to performing well and producing great results, John couldn’t help but be discouraged by the situation.  In fact, after only a few weeks, John decided to quit his job.

His manager was shocked.  The man disliked structure of any kind and thrived on deadlines.  He couldn’t relate to John’s need for context and organization. The two parted ways, both realizing too late that their working relationship had been a bad fit from the start.     

When there is a failure to learn how to work with one another, problems inevitably arise.  Sometimes issues take a while to surface; sometimes the impact is immediate.  Either way, the result is not only wasted time and energy, but frustration. 

The ability to work effectively with others is critical to the success of any organization.  It’s also extremely important to an individual’s success.

Are you performing at your best?  Are you able to perform at your best?

Consider the following:

1.     What is your communication style?

2.     What incentivizes you?  What motivates you?

3.     What are the biggest mistakes others can make with you?


Nothing will have a more significant impact on your ability to do well in the workplace than a greater understanding of your own needs and the needs of others.




© 2016 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

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