I deeply value coaching, both in my personal life as well as in business life.
Any time you can get someone to look at you from an outside perspective and help you improve, it's a good thing. Something many people don't consider is the value of coaching yourself. After all, a big part of coaching is “empowering an individual to make their own decisions that will lead them to improvement.”
For years, I've done a number of things in my business that help me to self-check, self-regulate, adjust, modify or drastically change things that need changing.
There are five areas that I personally focus on when it comes to self-coaching.
Think about it. You have the ability…the power, to empower yourself to create many of the changes you are looking for in your life. Why not harness that power…and focus it? If it's possible for YOU to do it, why not do it?
I'm not at all suggesting that you don't hire a coach, or that you only coach yourself and toss the idea of having an “outside, objective” person work with you. In fact…the opposite. Hire a coach. Hire the best coach you can.
Five Ways to Coach Yourself for Better Productivity
#1: Record Yourself. One of the easiest ways to find out how on or off track you are, especially in your engagement with other individuals is by recording your presentations. Record your calls, your meetings, your stage time and your conference calls. Any time you are presenting, showing, or engaging another person or group of individuals and you have a chance to record it, do it. You don't have to record every single call you make, but certainly record a cross-section of them. How do you really know how you sound when you're busy talking? It is very difficult to analyze what's happening while it's happening. But…you can certainly record it, listen to it or watch it, and very easily be able to make adjustments on future calls or meetings as a result of what you discover. The question I hear ALL the time is, “Todd…what's the best way for me to record my calls?”
There's lots of choices when it comes to recording calls. I'll let you make your own decision on what works best for you with your budget and where you make most of your calls.
Apps for Mobile Devices
If you are using an iPhone or other Smart Phone, and you make most of your calls on a mobile phone, you may want to grab an App. There are many. Do a search for “Call Recording App”. These files are typically saved as an .mp3 file and can easily be emailed to whatever outside coach you may be working with who can review your interactions and presentations with people.
Old School and Easy
This is simple. Any Radio Shack can get you dialed in with this kind of set up. It simply involves a digital recording device and Phone Recorder. If you're on a search for these two devices, my suggestion is you conduct a search for “digital recording device” and “wireless phone recording controller.” There are a few brands out there and pretty easy to find. Below you're going to see a few photos. Here's what the set up might look like:
That should make it a little easier for you when you actually “see” the set up. This kind of recording set up only works with either a regular land-line telephone or cordless phone, not with a mobile.
The High-End Way
For those of you who have needs that are more than just recording your calls for self-coaching, you may want to consider something a little more robust. I have this set up in my office. It involves having a Telephone Audio Interface attached to my phone and into my computer where I record onto audio recording software. For my PC I use Adobe Audition and for my Mac I use Google Audacity (Free) or Garage Band. The cool thing about this set up is that I can record a call digitally, edit it if I want, and then be able to play it down the phone line. I've done live calls in the past that aren't actually live…but you'd never know it.
The device I use is made by JK Audio. It is called the Inline Audio Patch. You can find it here: Inline Patch
It sells for about $270. So…this isn't the cheapest way to do things. Combine that with Adobe Audition and you are around $500 or $600 for everything.
Start recording your calls. Give yourself a chance to see and hear what you actually sound like. Improve upon it. Listen and learn. Successful people aren't lazy. They look for things to help them improve anywhere they can.
#2: Track your Numbers. I say this all the time. Track your numbers. Draw a box. Write in the number of new people you talk to each day about your business. It gives you INSTANT feedback. It's like checking in with your kids spouse at the end of the day, “Baby…how was your day today?” This is YOU asking YOU how your day was.
Wanna get more detailed? Then…track the following:
# of dials
# of messages left
# of live calls
# of actual presentations
# of 3-way calls
# of decisions collected
# of new reps or customers
I have ALL of my A-Team members track in every one of these categories. This is a very powerful way of helping you to become not only more accountable for your actions, but begin to see how the ratios work out for you. For example, if you make 50 calls for every one sign up, then you know on average how many calls it takes you to bring on a new rep in your company. What if you could adjust it so that you sponsor someone for every 20 calls you made? You begin to see how important it is to track your overall numbers and adjust things where necessary.
#3. Be Inquisitive. People who have a strong desire to get better typically ask lots of questions. If you want to know more about something, then ask. But…that's the thing. You have to ask. Answers don't always just pop right out at you. You have to look for them. Ask more questions and you'll get the answers you are looking for…and likely, you will ultimately become more productive because you asked.
#4. Journal. It's always good to have two books, one that you can read…and one that you can write in. Journaling allows you to get your thoughts and feelings on paper. Your ideas are no longer forgotten. Your progress is now noted. Take the time to do this and you'll find yourself making more meaningful progress and have the records to show it. I don't think that you can effectively reflect without one. Get one. Today.
#5. Ask yourself Coaching Questions.
Here are a series of questions that are designed to identify specifically where you are and why, help you with clarity of outcome and identify what it takes to get there.
- What do I want? What is it that I want to do with this situation?
- What am I willing to give, contribute, invest, or give up to the process of getting myself to (my desired destination)?
- Where am I right now? What actions have I taken to get me here?
- What will I do differently to get a different and clearly more desirable result?
- What specifically am I going to do about it? When?
Record yourself, track your numbers, ask others questions, put it on paper…and ask yourself, “What am I going to do here?” Then…do something about it.
If you're looking for a coach, I'd consider coaching you personally. My coaching schedule is limited to only 10 clients per month and I am very picky who I choose coach personally. For more details, visit: Coaching with Todd