Where Are Your Best Conversations?

ConversationsYou’ve likely heard the real estate advice that the three most important factors in deciding which home to buy are location, location, and location. In Bob Goff’s book Everybody Always he discusses the impact that location can have on the quality of our conversations with people. He asserts that “location drives content, [and] if you have the right conversation at the right place, you just had the right conversation” (Goff, 2018, p. 182).

Reflecting on this concept, perhaps I should emphasize more the location where I coach, do ministry, and have work-related conversations. Perhaps I should be as choosy in where I have a conversation as I am on what we plan to discuss. Location can calm or excite, stimulate creativity, or increase nervousness. Next time you plan a meeting or conversation, select a location that supports what you want to achieve. If you’re limited on venues, how else could you change the environment to make it more conducive to the conversation?

I know a salesman who loves to bring a variety of ice creams to his customer meetings held in formal conference rooms when he wants to break the ice and have fun. He stores a freezer bag in his trunk and stops at the local grocery store to pick up Nutty Buddies, Klondike bars, and Good Humor variety packs. He delights when his customers struggle on what colorful ice cream goodie they want and reminisce about the last time they had a Strawberry Shortcake on a stick as they lick their ice cream. You get the picture. He has everyone sharing stories and smiling—creating connection in the room—countering the formalness of the location.

Bob Goff has a lot of creative conversations, so where do you think he holds office hours? Read the book and find out.

Reference

Goff, B. (2018). Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, premarital/marriage, and financial coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com.

What First-time Managers Should Know About Leading People

Coaching ConstructionAmerican business primarily rewards younger top individual performers by promoting them into supervisory positions, because it’s the only mechanism available for substantial pay increases. The transition from independent contributor to first-time supervisor requires a substantially different set of skills to flourish. Many managers, who don’t know differently, focus on directing their teams as opposed to coaching the best from them. The best managers are coaches, who demonstrate more of and more frequently the following actions:

  1. Providing structure with appropriate boundaries
  2. Drawing attention to individual strengths
  3. Assisting with goal setting and holding the team accountable
  4. Encouraging a solution-based work approach
  5. Listening
  6. Asking questions
  7. Providing feedback
  8. Letting the team arrive and own their own solution
  9. Not avoiding difficult conversations

Although these behaviors seem simple enough, they can be difficult to put into practice on a consistent basis. I encourage companies to offer individual coaching for first time managers. It’s worth the investment to the bottom line in terms of increased productivity and reduce employee turnover.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Lead With Your DISC Personality

DISC 4

TAKE A DISC PROFILE ASSESSMENT TO GAIN GREATER INSIGHTS IN HOW TO LEAD YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAMS

If you’re interested in exploring your strengths and how you can use them to influence and lead others better, check out this short video on the power of understanding your DISC personality. You can then click on [Visit Our Store] to choose a DISC Personality Profile that meets your needs.

Although the reports are designed for the reader to easily understand his or her results, apply personality strengths, and mitigate blind spots when leading others, I encourage you to schedule a single coaching session to unpack the content. Together, we can then develop a specific plan on how you can grow your leadership at work, within your home, and in your community.

Personal Benefits of DISC Profiles

  • Learn how you come across to others
  • Improve relationships through understanding
  • Quickly identify personality traits in others
  • Achieve success with relationships
  • Develop amazing people skills
  • Obtain strategies on minimizing conflict
  • Identify positive traits of ANY person
  • Reduce the time required to get to know any person
  • Learn how to encourage and connect with others

Professional Benefits of DISC Profiles

  • Boost team performance
  • Unlock your leadership potential
  • Improve team building
  • Improve communication
  • Be more productive
  • Become a better manager through understanding
  • Learn to “read people” better

If you’re unsure which DISC format is best for you, reach out for a conversation. We can discuss what you want to achieve and which report best meets your criteria.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Let Me Help You Have More Success

Sandra Dillon Business Card

You wonder how coaching might help you achieve greater influence or impact in your work or career. You ask yourself if you’re a candidate for coaching. Yes, my clients are like you. They work in all industries, hold a variety of jobs, and are employed for a few months to several decades. Although the list is long, below is a small sample of what my clients seek my help for, because they want to be more successful in:

  1. Moving from sales into sales management or from one type of job to another
  2. Changing careers after decades of working in the same line of work to become more fulfilled
  3. Strengthening team skills after spending a significant amount of time as an individual contributor
  4. Inspiring and getting the most from their teams or staff, especially when the teams are cross-generational
  5. Developing and leading powerful meetings
  6. Creating a meaningful resume and LinkedIn profile

Some clients mistakenly believe coaching has to be done in-person, but I coach clients around the world with the use of Skype and Web Ex. With video technology, face-to-face coaching is just a click away.

I would welcome the opportunity to hear what you want to achieve, explain the coaching process, and answer any of your questions. For those connections who will be attending the annual American Society for Industrial Security conference in Las Vegas, we can have a conversation beforehand and schedule a first session during ASIS. Further coaching engagements can be done through video conferencing.

I am booking appointments for sessions between September 24 – 26, 2018. Reach out to me at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or 281.793.3741 and experience the power of coaching in your work life. Coaching is confidential and the benefits are priceless.

 

Consistent Success: Are You Doing This One Thing?

success

After studying the attitudes and behaviors of successful people, Gschwandtner (2018) proposes there are 5 key attributes common among successful people in any profession. Consistently successful people do the following:

  1. Understand and operate with strong core values
  2. Focus intently on a life goal or mission
  3. Build and architect their lives
  4. Manage their career decisions wisely
  5. Practice persistence and consistency

As a Leadership and Life Coach, I work with individuals to help them increase performance in one or more of these areas. Driving on one attribute, let alone all five, can be daunting depending upon where one stands on the continuum.

For people who want to make changes that deliver consistent success, I suggest starting with a Core Values Evaluation to understand the top values that drive who they are. They are the foundation upon which everything else is built. If one doesn’t design a life upon his or her core values, the structure will be shaky, and in many cases, may crumble under its emptiness.

Coaching can help drive improvement in each of these behaviors shared among successful people. Ask me how I can help you become more successful in the ways you define life success.

Reference

Gschwandtner, G. (2018), Five Tips to Achieve Consistent Success, Selling Power, July 2018.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

What I’ve Learned from Coaching

Sandra Dillon: May 27, 2018


humanity.jpgPeople sometimes ask me what I’ve learned from my coaching practice. Although the list is long, what has most surprised me most through my professional journey is how each of my clients has drawn me closer in seeing the spirit of humanity—the fullness of what it means to be human.

I was called into this profession after decades of achieving my own personal success in Corporate America, and now I’ve entered an era where I’m purposeful helping others be successful in their relationships, work, and purpose. I’ve had the thrill of directly impacting the bottom line and now have the opportunity to affect not only my client’s lives but those of their colleagues, families, and generations to come.

Coaching helps me suspend judgment, see different worldviews, and understand the breadth of human struggles. Coaching helps me see the full definition of what it means to be human. I’m honored to see the struggle, not the facade the client may present to the world.

My clients help each other without ever having met. I sit in the middle of humanity and see lives unfold, strategies implemented, and the feedback from the world build my own database. Without revealing names or circumstances, I have perspectives that challenge faulty thinking and can share successful client strategies that may help the next client.

People tell me my coaching has been a priceless gift. They’ve been able to be authentic, known, encouraged, challenged, inspired, and see their lives change for the better. What my clients may not realize is that I too have received a priceless gift in return. My clients learn from me, and I also learn from them.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, business, and life coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

How Can Coaching Help You?

Sandra Dillon: May 25, 2018


GreatnessFrequently I’m asked what I coach on. The simple answer is quite a lot, although that’s probably not a useful answer. Most coaches focus on a niche market and clientele, and as a former business executive, who specialized in business development, marketing, and sales, I fully agree with this strategy. However, I’ve taken the road less traveled by offering a diverse range of coaching services based on my unique skill set and passion to see people grow across all dimensions of their lives. I’ve coached people in:

  1. Leadership
    • Improve ability to influence colleagues’ performance at all levels and across generational cohorts
    • Develop managerial coaching skills for coaching direct reports and teams
    • Identify and overcome personal barriers to performance
    • Cultivate stronger relationships
    • Improve communication and conflict resolution skills
    • Manage through a crisis
    • Build teams with the right skills sets and behaviors to succeed
  2. Career/Job
    • Select a job or profession aligned with preferences and strengths
    • Create a powerful resume and LinkedIn profile
    • Prepare for a job interview
    • Lead effective meetings and projects that delivers results
  3. Life
    • Create a personal, value-driven vision and mission
    • Identify core values and strengths and use for purpose and success
    • Establish and drive on meaningful goals
    • Balance work and family
    • Handle difficult situations
    • Navigate through different seasons of life (young adulthood, empty-nester)
  4. Business
    • Create a compelling vision and mission
    • Develop strategy and winning execution plans
    • Build and lead teams that deliver results
    • Identify and expand brand awareness
    • Prioritize and manage time to focus on the right things
    • Enhance productivity with limited resources
    • Develop sales and negotiation skills
  5. Financial
    • Create short-, mid-, and long-term financial goals
    • Learn budgeting and financial skills
    • Understand money mindset and how it influences decisions
    • Build a personal budget, develop execution strategies, and be accountable
    • Plan for retirement
  6. Marriage/Premarital
    • Learn effective tools to communicate and solve conflicts
    • Understand how different spousal personalities mesh and work together
    • Define and meet marriage needs
    • Blend families successfully

When clients engage me as a coach, they learn and practice new skills, competencies, and behaviors that translate into other life areas as well. Many of my clients see a holistic life improvement, even though they may have initially focused their efforts in one specific area. For example, relationship strategies in how to lead people at work are transferable to family life.

My clients have said I’ve changed their life for the better. What can I help you with? I welcome a conversation, so you can share an area you want to change. We can talk about an approach and how to get from here to there. Although I live in Houston, my clients live across the country. Skype is a wonderful tool for coaching. Don’t let distance between us stop you from getting the coaching you want.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com or engage her as your coach by reaching out for a conversation at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com

How Can Coaching Help Your Small Business?

Sandra Dillon: May 18, 2018


At times people reference business and executive coaching interchangeably without realizing they are quite different. Each contributes its own value, and when pursued together, these two types of coaching can accelerate performance. Sometimes small business owners have difficulty understanding how their leadership styles and certain competencies limit their business’s success, because they are too involved in the daily operations of the company. For this reason, executive coaching for the leader and business coaching for the team can be a powerful investment.

What is Business Coaching?

A business coach works with the leadership and their teams to define vision, mission, and/or goals that the company wants to achieve—more commonly thought of as the coaching objectives. Business coaching is typically lead by coach who has a firm understanding of the various moving parts of business (i.e. finance, operations, marketing, customer service, and sales) and how they come together to deliver a product or service that attracts target customers. A business coach doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in the industry but should have a working knowledge of how successful businesses operate.

The coach works with the team to gather data and help evaluate the company’s operations, systems, people structures, and communications, looking for obstacles to remove, more effective methods to deploy, and resources required to improve the organization’s effectiveness.  The coach may help the team:

  • paint an accurate picture of the internal and competitive landscapes
  • help leadership perform a gap analysis from where the company stands to where it wants to go
  • develop or modify processes and systems that enhance the business operations
  • brainstorm and select a strategy
  • create a plan with a schedule of critical milestones
  • provide facilitation and accountability

Leadership decides what they do, how fast, and how involved they want the coach during the different phases of execution.

In many cases, hiring a coach to help identify the root causes of underperformance is worth the cost. You’ve likely heard the expression that sometimes it’s lonely at the top. As leaders rise in the ranks, they typically don’t receive all or accurate information of what needs to be addressed within their company. A business coach can help uncover the facts, so a company has a firm understanding with what they are dealing.

What is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching deals with the worldview, thoughts, and behaviors of a leader and how these impact his team and ultimately business performance. Executive coaching focuses on what the leader needs to acquire, shed, or change in order to achieve a personal goal, move the company in a specific direction, or prepare him for another role. Leaders will usually be coached in one or more of the following areas:

  • Identifying and developing personal strengths
  • Minimizing overuse of a strength where it may become detrimental
  • Understanding leadership style and enhancing leadership skills
  • Developing a professional presence
  • Improving collaboration and communication
  • Driving successful team behaviors

In many cases, success is proven by how people respond to the executive. Although executive coaching implies a high-ranking individual in a large organization, executive coaching is very appropriate for a small business owner. I prefer the label “professional” as opposed to “executive” coaching, because everyone can benefit from individual coaching.

What Impact Can Coaching Have?

Leaders influence work processes, cultures, and how employees feel about themselves, their work, and their employer. How employees feel is reflected in how they treat their colleagues, vendors, and customers as well as how they speak about their employer. Leaders who embrace the coaching process can realize higher self-fulfillment, see their business thrive, and have greater impact on their employees and community.

Coaching can help with:

  1. Focusing on structure/boundaries/performance issues to increase productivity while creating a positive working environment
  2. Reducing or creating processes that make doing business more efficient
  3. Empowering employees to deliver a more positive customer experience
  4. Changing leadership behaviors to reduce organizational anxiety and increase focus on what’s most important
  5. Increasing collaboration and communication to build alignment and drive faster execution
  6. Creating a more positive working culture that draws in talented employees, customers, and strategic partnerships

Executive coaching is for leaders who want to lead their businesses well. Sometimes the most effective approach is for small business owners to commit to an executive coach and then move into business coaching with their team.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in business and leadership. She coaches individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people and be the best versions of themselves and see businesses thrive. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Improve How You Communicate at Work

Sandra Dillon: May 13, 2018


CommunicationMen and women generally have different styles of communication, and when one appreciates and works with these language differentiators, they can help lead their teams to higher performance levels. Across all relationships, men tend to use their words to work through and solve problems; whereas, women are more likely than men to share their feelings to feel better about their problems and build connection. Women tend to talk out their process, while men think out their process before sharing with a group. Not surprisingly, studies show women use about 3 times more words than men do in a given day—20,000 versus 7,000. Statistics may highlight how differently men and women communicate, but they don’t capture how these differences can result in biased judgment. Sometimes judgment can lead to unintentional discrimination in the forms of exclusion from teams and projects as well as subjective performance evaluations based on behaviors that don’t resonate with the evaluator.

Hedging Language Undermines the Message

Did you know that women are interrupted 3 times more than men? Why is that? Ideally everyone should be respectful in allowing others to finish sharing their thoughts, but this isn’t always the case. I believe women tend to undermine their own success in the workplace, when they use hedging language—setups that do not offend or words that soften their position. People who use hedging language find themselves routinely starting their sentences with:

  • I think, but I’m not sure…
  • I hope you can see my point of….
  • I could be wrong, but…

Some men also use this type of language and suffer the same consequences. However, women tend use hedging language more, because they have been culturalized since childhood to be relationship builders. Another expression of the hedger is saying “I’m sorry” when “excuse me” is more appropriate for the situation. These “starters” and “phrases” don’t set people up for success in the work environment, because they discount the idea that follows.

Who Needs to Change?

Most people prefer that others communicate in the style they do; however, I propose that every employee has an obligation to communicate in a way that honors the company’s culture and colleagues without violating their own values. Employees should assess the work landscape and intentionally adjust their natural communication style to support the success of the company, business, or team. So how can men and women adjust to accommodate their differences?

I suggest that women minimize using those undermining prefaces, assert their ideas and opinions, and chose not to get offended. Men should share more about how they arrived at their ideas. They should also be more patient and not interrupt a woman until she has has completed her thoughts. Focus on generating white space—the pause between speakers. While women and men try to bridge their communication styles, both should suspend judgment in how the other communicates.

A Mentor Can Help

I’m an advocate for mentoring and coaching because of the benefits I see mentorees and coachees achieve. Sometimes even the most experienced and successful people need a coach to help them see and navigate the blind spots they’ve developed over time. Understandably, many people are more comfortable seeking mentors of the same sex. If you have the opportunity to have two mentors, or a coach and mentor, I would encourage you to seek one of each gender. I believe there will be at least a few instances where you will get a different perspective that proves invaluable.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Increase Your ROI with These Trust Behaviors

Sandra Dillon: April 17, 2018


Trust 1


The Composition of Trust

Trust: Do You Have It and How to Build It described how our intimacy level is correlated to the amount of trust operating in our personal relationships. In his study of workplace relationships, Covey (2006) asserts that trust is built by employees operating with integrity and ability. Subsequently, a high level of workplace trust favorably impacts the bottom-line.

Trust is a function of character and competency working together. Have you worked with people with whom you could share your life stories, but who couldn’t get the job done right? What about those co-workers who always deliver a flawless product or proposal but trash-talk people behind their backs? How would you rate these colleagues on the continuum of trust? You may classify each as untrustworthy, but prefer to work with one over the other based on whether you place more value on character or competency.

The Impact of Trust

When you hire and cultivate people who embody both character and competency, you have a winning formula to beat the competition, because your organization has trust flowing through its culture. Covey (2006) proposes that when trust is high, speed is high, and cost is low, with mistrust doubling the cost of doing business.  The trust formula:

(Strategy x Execution) Trust = Results

Trust becomes the multiplier for strategy and execution and reflects what we see, speak, and behave in the workplace. Increasing profits to the bottom line doesn’t have to involve another product launch or acquisition. Just increasing trust delivers increased profits. When employees trust one another, they don’t have to recover from missed deliverables, double check work for mistakes, and waste time with cover-your-ass tactics.

The two questions every employee from the C-Suite to the factory floor should ask themselves if they want to increase trust are:

  • What level of trust am I operating at?
  • How can I push the trust multiplier higher?

How to Increase Trust

If you’re wondering how you can increase bottom line results, Covey (2006) recommends 13 key behaviors that can push your trust factor higher.

  • Talk straight: tell the truth, let people know where you stand, and don’t manipulate people or facts
  • Demonstrate respect: show genuine care for others, treat people and their roles with dignity, and show kindness
  • Create transparency: share information that people can verify, be open and authentic, and don’t have hidden agendas or hide information
  • Right wrongs: don’t cover things up, apologize quickly, make restitution when possible, and demonstrate humility
  • Show loyalty: acknowledge contributions of others, don’t bad-mouth others behind their back, and don’t disclose personal information
  • Deliver results: establish a track record of making things happen, get the right things done, be on time and within budget, and don’t over-promise and under-deliver
  • Get better: be a constant learner, develop feedback systems, and thank people for their feedback while acting on it
  • Confront Reality: take on issues head-on, address the tough stuff directly, lead out courageously in conversation, and don’t skirt real issues
  • Clarify expectations: disclose, discuss, validate, and renegotiate expectations if needed
  • Practice accountability: take responsibility for results, be clear on how you’ll communicate progress, and don’t blame others when things go wrong
  • Listen first: listen before speaking to understand, don’t presume you have all the answers, and listen with your ears, eyes, and heart to find out what is most important to the people you’re working with
  • Keep commitments: say and do what you commit to, make commitments carefully, and don’t break confidences
  • Extend trust: extend trust appropriately based on the situation, risk, and credibility of the people involve, extend trust abundantly to those who have earned it, and trust conditionally to those who are earning it

I suggest rating yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how well you demonstrate the 13 key behaviors of trust. For those 2-3 behaviors where you scored the lowest, identify some specific changes you can make that would drive that behavior higher on the trust scale.  Monitor your progress and see how your colleagues respond to you.

Reference

Covey, S. (2006). The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything. New York, NY: CoveyLink.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and premarital/marriage coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com