E-Coaching: A Powerful Coaching Option

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Technology now allows us to write and send messages more efficiently and at our own comfortable pace. Gone are the days of conversation delays via trans-Atlantic letters and the Pony Express (a.k.a. snail mail). Because we can communicate in writing over the internet/SMS, e-coaching (e-mail/electronic coaching) was born and continues to grow in popularity.

E vs. Face-to-face Coaching

Coaching is a powerful process that can be delivered in many ways: face-to-face, video, telephone call, and through e-mail. Coaching has evolved with technology, and this has been to the benefit of the client. Some people like e-coaching more than face-to-face.

My clients enjoy e-coaching, because it allows them to deal with bite-size issues that fit with their personal situations better than the longer face-to-face sessions. They may be actively working toward their goals and only need to connect with a coach to bounce off an idea, brainstorm, or get a different perspective.

E-coaching can be just as effective, if not more than face-to-face coaching, because it allows clients the time and space to reflect, think, and consider their response. For people who have a preference toward introversion and a need for more self-reflection and introspection, e-coaching can feel more powerful, giving them a greater sense of control during the coaching process. If you’d like to learn more about your personal preferences toward intro- versus extroversion, read more about the Myers-Briggs.

Future of E-Coaching

E-coaching will continue to evolve with companies eager to apply its concepts on multiple fronts. Woosh5 incorporates e-coaching as an option to its resilience survey and platform of exercises. Shine Crossings offers a monthly subscription service that combines e-mail/small-call coaching on any topic a client needs help. Although face-to-face may continue to be the mainstream mode of coaching, e-coaching has a growing role in the coaching industry and may be the main catalyst for its growth.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Healthy Marriages Make for Good Business

annie-spratt-wgivdx9dBdQ-unsplashThere’s an old saying: if momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy. If you applied this concept in the workplace, you might say if a spouse isn’t happy, their boss and colleagues may not be happy. Would you agree? If you’re married or ever been in a serious relationship, think about how productive you were the day after a fight or disagreement? Have you ever suffered from chronic marriage fatigue and realized how it sapped your energy at work? Now think about the times when your marriage or relationships were on cloud nine. I bet you did some of your best work: fast, efficient, and high quality. You probably even got more praise and positive feedback from your boss and colleagues.

Productivity Stats

Marital and relationship problems divide employees’ attention, because it’s hard to focus on work when your marriage isn’t well (Patrick, 2019). Bowcott (2015) found that 9% of employees left their job because of a divorce or separation, and 15% of survey respondents said separation and divorce negatively impacted productivity. On the other hand, studies show that increased happiness on the job translates into upwards of 20% higher productivity (Addady, 2015), and strong marriages do just that—contribute to employees’ happiness.

The Missing Piece: Social Wellness Program

Employers commonly provide for their employees’ well-being by offering them health insurance, so they can get the treatment they need and get back to work quickly. Companies also encourage employees to take advantage of preventative health initiatives, and some even offer free or discounted gym memberships as part of promoting wellness. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are more common for those employees who need support for a personal crisis. Why do companies offer these services? Because it makes good business sense. Get employees the help they need, so they can be more productive.

Perhaps it’s been you or someone you know who’s been physically present in the office but mentally checked out or at best distracted. What’s got the employee mentally consumed? Troubles with a partner relationship? If companies are financially motivated to help employees be more productive, what’s missing from the equation? I propose a social wellness program (SWP). Companies could improve their bottom line by offering their employees coaching services to strengthen specific areas of life. A SWP could act like an EAP plan, where employees get a maximum number of coaching sessions per year.

“It’s just good business for a company to offer marriage or relationship coaching for its employees.” — Sandra Dillon

The Case for Coaching

Happier marriages mean more productive employees. How do I support this claim? By the research and my own client stories. As a business coach, I’ve worked with a number of clients on work-related performance goals, which later led into marriage coaching with the coachee and his or her spouse. Having coached these couples on marriage visioning, missioning, personality and gender preferences, financial stewardship, love/respect, communication, and conflict resolution, I’ve seen firsthand how a stronger and happier marriage has translated into higher job performance and career development.

Let’s be clear—coaching isn’t counseling. Counseling is covered by your health insurance or EAP. Coaching on the other hand allows people to help themselves and their marriages.

Next Steps

If you have the responsibility and accountability to help your employees, will you offer marriage coaching to your team? If you’re a small business owner, will you pay for a few marriage coaching sessions, so your employees can be more productive? It’s just makes good business sense!

If you’re an individual who doesn’t have employee access to coaching, will you find a coach who can help you strengthen your marriage? Ultimately, we are all 100% responsible for 50% of any relationship, and the responsibility to do better resides within each one of us.


References

Addady, M. (2015). Study: Being happy at work really makes you more productive. Retrieved from https://fortune.com/2015/10/29/happy-productivity-work/

Bowcott, O. (2014). Relationship breakdowns have negative impact on business. productivity. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/26/relationship-breakdowns-business-productivity-employees-divorce-separation

Patrick, M. (2019). Top problems that affect employee productivity. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/top-problems-affect-employee-productivity-17947.html


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, business consulting, and marriage coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. 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 www.shinecrossings.com

 

Ask Your Coach: Right-Sized E-Coaching Services

Sandra The Peoples Coach Rev 2


Why do people and teams hire coaches? Because they want to get better and win!


Shine Crossings offers an “email” and “small call” service that gives you access to an experienced coach when you need it most. Perfect for when you want a different perspective, bounce ideas off a professional, brainstorm options, and come up with your next steps in conversation with a trusted partner.

Do you have an issue in one or more of these areas: (1) managing teams, direct reports, and your boss, (2) job and career, (3) leadership, (4) financial decisions, (5) sales, (6) relationships and marriage, and (7) business strategy. You can get these services by enrolling in the “Ask Your Coach” monthly subscription, which gives you up to 60 minutes of email and call time. Think 15 to 30-minute calls a few times a month.

The introductory price for this new service is $97/month. Have a coach at your fingertips. The outcome of one coaching conversation can influence the success of your next decision. If you’d like to learn more, check out the FAQs. If you’d like to subscribe, reach out to me at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or 281.793.3741.


Ask Your Coach FAQs

  1. How do your coaching services work?

With your paid monthly subscription, you get up to 60 minutes of call or email time per month to use in whatever way you need. Get perspective, ideas, and recommendations on topics covering leadership, team building, job, career, finances, relationships, parenting, and marriage. The only area that I don’t coach on is health, fitness, and wellness.

  1. How do I contact you to use the services?

You can either send me an email with your question or topic and let me know whether you want an email response or call.  You can also text me to set up a mutually agreed to time to talk. My time to provide feedback to your email question or with you on a call counts toward your coaching subscription time.

  1. Are our written and verbal conversations confidential?

Yes. If you want to subscribe, you will be emailed a simple contract that provides me with your contact information, addresses confidentiality between us, and outlines the fee structure. Once we both sign the contract, we can begin your coaching.

  1. How do I pay?

Two days before the start of your monthly subscription, you will receive a PayPal invoice to your email account. Simply pay the invoice by credit card and you’re set for the month. You will be put on an automatic monthly invoicing schedule with no credit card on file. When you no longer want the services, don’t pay the invoice.

  1. Is there a minimum monthly commitment?

No. It is a pay as you go plan, one month at a time.

  1. What happens if I decide I want more coaching services than 60 minutes per month?

We’ll have a conversation to determine your needs and adjust your plan. If the email/short call structure works for you, and you want access to more minutes, we’ll adjust the monthly subscription price. If you want to focus in depth on a specific issue, we can set up a face-to-face or video call to do a deep dive. Regular coaching services are billed at a minimum of 1 hour and prorated for additional minutes.

  1. How easy is it to get a hold of you when I need you for coaching?

For short calls, I try to schedule our call to take place within 48 hours of your contact. For emails, I usually respond in less than 48 hours. If I’m unavailable due to a vacation or business schedule, I notify subscriptions holders by email with blackout dates in advance.

  1. If I have further questions or want to enroll, what is my next step?

Send me an email at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or give me a call or text to 281.793.3741

Why Innovative Businesses Offer Coaching for All Professionals

Coaching Has Power

Competition drives businesses to innovative—but innovation isn’t just for the products and services they market. Innovation also includes how companies get the product to market. With “people operations” being a large cost to the bottom line, businesses are looking for ways to reduce pay or get more productivity from their employees. With change comes opportunities as well as challenges. With a changing mix of generational work preferences and soft skills, business leadership should be asking how the increase in remote working, competition for talent, and managerial coaching will affect their profitability in the future.

Remote Working

In more recent history, the open-floor plan with cubicles and few closed-door offices exploded throughout corporate America, touted by consultants as the next best thing to sliced bread as far as office design went. C-Suite took their bait on the selling points of innovation and productivity. How that concept passed any reasonableness test still baffles me today, but it’s easily explained as a cost reduction exercise in rent per employee under the disguise of collaboration. Open floors drove people to mediate their circumstances by either working from their home office or donning headphones to block noise and distracting hallway conversations. I would argue that employee collaboration took a step back, as technology allowed employees to work more remotely and independently.

Some employees who enjoy the freedom of working from a home office express feel less connected from their co-workers. Without face-to-face engagement, relationship bonds can weaken, and in many cases, remote employees never forge a relationship with new employees. Remote staff have limited opportunities for casual conversations in the break room while grabbing a cup of coffee or in the conference room before a meeting. Connection is built in small interactions over time and keeps the team accountable to each other.

Generational Work Preferences

Technology has enabled people to isolate themselves while working remotely. Even when a boss requires an employee to work in a cubicle, email and SharePoint allow one to communicate without a verbal conversation. Need to learn something new? YouTube probably has an instructional video.

Effective communication requires one to use all parts: words, tone of voice, and body language. Did you know that words comprised only 7% of the message? How much is lost in translation when one primarily uses email and other forms of word-based technology to convey messages.

A teacher recently shared that with every incoming 4th grade class, the students resist more and more when asked to work in groups. They beg to do the assignment by themselves. What happened to the days when the teacher announced a group project, and the kids responded by raising their hands and pleading who they could work with. Are soft skills under attack and underdeveloped based on the technology advances?

Managerial Coaching

Technology has also shifted the responsibilities of supervisors by pushing more administrative duties onto their plates. Managers had to make room for these tasks, and in some cases, even added work assignments to the mix for the sake of increased productivity. What would you think was prioritized out of their day? If you answered, “time coaching their team and helping their direct reports be successful,” you’d be correct. Managers would like to spend 25% of their time coaching, yet many have no time left over other than to make sure the work gets done.

A Professional Coach Is One Solution

How will businesses respond to the changing work climate? They can certainly restructure work and put coaching at the forefront of a manager’s responsibilities. Given the prolonged impact of technology, some managers have never developed the skill of coaching or perhaps need a refresher. A professional coach can help a manager learn to be a better coach for his or her team.

A second option is to make business and leadership coaching available as an investment for all professional employees. In the past, coaching has been reserved for top executives, but the benefits of coaching can be leveraged at any level so long as someone wants to be coached. Many employees like the confidentiality afforded in a coaching relationship and feel less vulnerable asking for help from a coach as opposed to their direct manager.

Coaching Can Be Justified

Companies offer tuition reimbursement, training, and other educational options as a benefit to attract talent. Many also budget for personnel development. How much does your company spend per person on employee education and training? Coaching can be a value-add to this portfolio. Personalized coaching is a win-win and can be a company differentiator in attracting top talent, because it sends the message that we value you and want to invest in you if you are willing to invest in yourself.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. 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

 

 

Coaching: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

With the holidays around the corner, are you struggling with finding a meaningful gift for someone you care about? Are you a manager who is looking to reward someone on your team? Or perhaps, you want to invest in someone who has potential and needs a confidential partner to take their performance to the next level. These are all valuable reasons to consider giving a gift certificate for coaching.

Gift certificate VISTA frontWhereas other gifts get used up, worn out, broken, lost, or become unfashionable, a coaching gift certificate allows the recipient to explore and positively move forward in an area of life he or she wants to address with a trusted, knowledgeable partner. If work, relationships, or financial coaching is not of interest, certificates can be used for Resume Best Practices and Powerful LinkedIn Profiles sessions. Everyone who has taken one of these sessions has come away with useful information to create a powerful resume and LinkedIn profile.

I have a mission to make coaching affordable, so people can be the best version of themselves. Let’s have a conversation and get a gift certificate into the hands of someone you care about.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon, The People’s Coach, is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business. 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 by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com

Why You Should Hire a Coaching Facilitator

Team facilitatorCoaching facilitators earn their position on the team. If you don’t have a coaching facilitator, you could be throwing money away on wasted employee hours, missed opportunities, and drawn out decision-making. When you don’t have a coaching facilitator who can float among departments or project teams, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful resources that can extract and optimize the best from your teams. Coaching facilitators add value by:

  1. Ensuring teams have clear objectives and goals
  2. Aligning and maximizing use of team resources
  3. Achieving clarity on member roles and responsibilities
  4. Preparing team meeting agendas
  5. Keeping the team on point, on task, and on time
  6. Asking challenging questions of the team
  7. Guiding the team through brainstorming processes
  8. Building team consensus
  9. Capturing and documenting meeting summaries and deliverables
  10. Holding team members accountable for performance

Some people haven’t had the opportunity to work on well facilitated teams. When teams work with a coaching facilitator, they exponentially grow their impact and enjoy the process. Coaches are also able to train others in the organization with these key facilitator skills. Reach out to learn how a coach facilitator can help your team before better.


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

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

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. Values 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