Carl's Coaching Tips

Let's Make a Deal

Posted on February 1, 2017
Let's Make a Deal

In an organization, an important deal is struck between the employer and the employee: the employer seeks to accomplish its goals and objectives by assigning job functions to an employee, and the employee is compensated financially to perform these functions.

That’s the deal.

Unfortunately, this deal isn’t always the best for producing the desired results.  Too often this process simply produces “clock punchers,” employees who provide just enough effort to avoid getting fired.    

Employers, then, are in need of people who give their discretionary effort and contribute to achieving the mission and goals of the organization.  Simply put, they must find ways to create more productive work environments.  They must find ways to incentivize above and beyond the financial.

The Win-Win:

One of the most basic needs of an employee is the need for appreciation.  While employers must be able to scale their incentive programs and address the needs of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of employees, a “one size fits all” approach to incentives rarely works.  However, a focus on creating a level of “mass customization” as part of the incentives process can have an enormous impact on productivity.

When employees are treated as unique individuals with their hopes, dreams, strengths, and aspirations acknowledged, and their need for appreciation met, they will be more engaged and productive.  And productive people produce profits! 

© 2017 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

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.

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