So what if my wife (aka VP Content, Handel Group) rolled her eyes when she heard Quora invited me to host a live coaching session?
Now, now. It wasn’t that she thought I shouldn’t be asked (or even shouldn’t answer)—she thought that the Quora readers might not necessarily find my creative take on the English language as charming as she. Well, nothing I enjoy more (no doubt, a slight exaggeration) than proving a fellow human inaccurate.
(What? I’m Israeli. It’s in my emotional DNA.)
In fact, not only was she wrong, she was very wrong! (Ha). I had a blast answering the questions, impacted many, and invented, as far as I know (!), very few new words.
By the way, Quora is a knowledge sharing, question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to answers that have been submitted by other users.
Curious as to what people wanted to know? Here are a few of the questions I was asked and answered that garnered over 20k views:
Q: What are some tips for young people who want to grow into leadership?
A: The 3 most important things one can do, in my opinion, are:
- Work on yourself and and your own personal evolution. You can do it with a coach or a mentor. I used to train for Ironman with a guy that worked at the Palm Beach school system. I used to train with him for hours and ended up coaching him on our long runs. That year, he was promoted twice.
- Provide more than expected and leave things better than the way you found them. People will pay attention when you do that and they will want you to teach and lead others.
- Cause a result that is not going to happen without you taking it on, and do it with other people whom you can empower to take accountability for some of the work. I once coached a VP in a large tech firm and had him take on a project to develop a new product that was not a priority, but had a potentially good ROI. We created a team of volunteers who wanted to participate and he led the team. Within 3 months, he sold two of the products and made the company $65K. The investment was $0 because they all gave their free time to do this. He was promoted immediately.
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Q: What habits can people pick up today that will help them in their everyday lives?
A: I believe that the following habits could help people in every aspect of their lives:
- Always know what your intention is in everything that you do and every conversation that you have. Being aware of your intention has you more effective and accountable for producing the results you want. I ask myself the following question: By the end of this i.e. meeting, session, conversation, or workshop, etc., what results have I accomplished and what does that look like? I find getting clear about my intention enables me to be more connected, focused, and impactful.
- Tell the/your truth even (and especially) when it’s hard. If it is the/your truth you better deal with it and the only way to do so is to admit it. If you hide it, it will still have power over you. In order to not hurt others, find a way to say what is true for you with the right about of grace and wisdom.
- Always assume that “maybe it’s you” who is the problem (and yes, the solution). Know that whatever is not working in your life, you are accountable for and whatever is working in your life you are also accountable for. This is a good way to live your life.
- Lead with your heart and care. That does not mean that you are weak or does not require that you violate your integrity. Leading with your heart and keeping your integrity will always lead you to better results.
- On occasion ask people around you: “What sucks about me?” You will be surprised what this simple question enables.
Q: What are some things that managers can do to help a struggling or underperforming employee?
A. Here’s how, I believe, managers can help a struggling employee:
- Have a straight conversation and tell them the truth regarding their performance
- Find out what their dreams and ambitions are and help them connect powerfully to these dreams and ambitions
- Find out what gets in their way – both what is missing and what is in the way
- Help develop a plan and a structure to overcome these barriers
- Have them make promises and consequences for actions consistent with the plan
- Hold them accountable and support them in the implementation
- Meet with them regularly to coach and support them
Q: How can people who are already high achievers in life, like executives, benefit from coaching?
A: In my experience, I have learned that we all have areas in our lives that we are less successful at. I have worked with executives who have experienced high degrees of success in their professional lives, but have also had disasters in other parts of their lives due to neglect of those areas and thinking that those areas are not as important. One of my clients, who was a multi-millionaire, had a toxic relationship with his wife and disregarded his own health. When I had him deal with those areas where he was tolerating not being happy or healthy, his business became more successful and doubled in 6 months. When he stopped working on these areas of his life (when I stopped working with him), the business shrunk and eventually he had to close his company. There is always something you are not paying attention to or avoiding, consciously or unconsciously. A coach can point these areas out to, stop you from compartmentalizing them, and help you step up and deal with them.
Q: Should everyone have a life coach?
A: If you want to evolve and grow, my answer (no surprise here) is YES. Our life coaches challenge your beliefs and theories and the way you think about everything. They don’t buy your BS. Instead, they get you to be accountable for your life and the results you have. You should definitely try one!
So you see. I’ve never been one to mince words. Okay, fine. My wife would beg to differ.
Do you have a question about leadership? Want to find out more about coaching? Find me on LinkedIn or send an email to Beth Weissenberger, President of our HG Corporate Division (firstname.lastname@example.org), to get your questions answered.