What is Your Business Why?

One of the most difficult concepts to understand when you are at work is: it is not about you. Whether you work for someone else or you own your own business, the quicker you take your ego off the playing field, the sooner you will meet Success.

Ego tells you that you know best. Ego also whispers to you that you are right. Or, that your products and services are the best that are available.

One way to shut the door on Ego is to always turn questions like, “What do you have to offer?” away from I and back onto the other person. Instead of answering, “I can do this…” or “We are experts at…” Answer the question with another question that focuses back on the customer. For example, “What are you looking for today?” or “What is it you need?”

As you read this article and are checking in on your why, first ask yourself where you find your inspiration and motivation. Is it internal or external? When you begin to notice your motivation waning, there are two very important questions to ask yourself to find renewed energy. They are:

1. Why are you in your current line of work?

2. Why do you believe in your business?

Give yourself time and space to linger over these questions, and see what answers bubble to the surface.

Are the answers I statements? Or do the answers explain what gives you purpose in life? Chances are if your answers involve your ego, rather than how you are helping customers or clients find what they need, then this is why it feels like your motivation has dried up.

If you want to make the switch from self-centered living, to one where you are more connected and in-sync with others, then you can change by asking yourself, “Why are you in ____ business?” When you truly believe that your services and products increases other people’s quality of life, then your consumers will notice this change.

When your products and services are making life easier for your buyers, then there is an inexhaustible amount of energy. Why is there no end to the energy? It’s because your value and belief system are tied into something greater than yourself. When you are excited about what there is to offer to others, the emphasis is placed on customer satisfaction not you.

And, the easiest way to re-center is to remind yourself when doing business that it’s not about you. It’s always about the other person. If you can enhance the customer’s experience, answer their needs, and make them feel satisfaction then Success will find you, and perhaps repeat customers as well.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

How to Manage a Micromanager

Deborah L. Jacobs, Forbes Staff 5/07/2012

If you’ve ever worked with a micromanager, you know how unproductive and demoralizing it can be. This control freak is reluctant to delegate, may second-guess everything you do, and can shake your confidence in your own abilities. Simple tasks that you could accomplish quickly if left to your own devices take twice as long. Your efforts may be reduced to dust as the micromanager completely re-does your work.
Sure, you may be tempted to bolt, but at a time of high unemployment, you might not have that option. So better to master the art of managing the micromanager.
Start by understanding what causes someone to act this way. Often it’s a need for control that stems from insecurity: lack of confidence, workplace instability and pressure to produce–both individually and as a team. Deep-seated psychological issues and problems at home can also influence the way people behave at work. Many of us have the propensity to be a micromanger, but some of us rein it in better than others.
With this in mind, here are eight practical steps you can take.

1. Look for patterns.

As annoying as micromanagers are, they’re incredibly predictable. Watch for behavior swings. There will be certain situations, times of the day or week, when they get especially agitated. Knowing their pressure points can help you ease them.

2. Anticipate needs.

Once you know what triggers them, you can stay ahead of those stressors and ease the tensions early on. Flag potential problems before they escalate and offer solutions. Always have a stockpile ready of new initiatives and demonstrate that you are proactive. This helps them curb their responses to the pressure points without slipping into micromanagement mode.

3. Show empathy.

Remember, the micromanager is under pressure to produce. Show that you understand his or her plight and are willing to share the load. This could be as simple as offering to help. Tomorrow might be the day when this colleague has to take a child to school but also has an early meeting. So today ask what you can do to make life easier tomorrow.

4. Be super reliable.

It’s much easier to manage an office where everyone turns up on time and meets work deadlines. This goes back to the fact that a micromanager hates feeling out of control. If some members of the team don’t deliver, the micromanager gets aggravated and makes unfair demands on everyone else. Discuss as a team what you can do to coordinate things in such a way that there’s no need for the micromanager to fret about how everything is running.

5. Be a role model.

Treat the micromanager the way you would like to be treated. Give the micromanager space. Don’t smother or micromanage back. In working with other people, show how your management style is different –and gets equally good results.

6. Speak up—gently.

Often micromanagers are oblivious to the effect they are having on other people. They actually think all their micromanaging is producing a better work product. Show encouragement and support for the micromanager’s strengths. Then, without being confrontational, find a way to let this person know how micromanagement affects you. A little levity could diffuse the tension. Or you might just ask how he or she thinks it feels to be second-guessed and mistrusted all the time.

7. Enlighten others.

It’s not just you who should be shouldering the responsibility of neutralizing someone’s instinct to micromanage. And chances are you’re not the only one suffering either. Explain to others on your team what you’re doing to ease the micro-manager’s anxiety and encourage them to do the same.

8. Run interference.

If a micromanager reports to you and has a detrimental effect on other team members, be a sounding board. Often the micromanager has a skill or quality that’s important to the organization. But it’s up to this manager’s boss to play a leading role in preventing other team members from getting squelched.

Why Cooperation and Collaboration is Essential in Today’s Workforce

There are many career fields now where men and women are integrated together. And, when you stop to think about it—even if there’s a career field where it’s predominantly one gender or the other, there is gender overlap either when buying products or services from vendors or serving customers. The way to reduce gender conflict is by focusing on strengths. By intentionally becoming aware of how to use both masculine and feminine communication skills you can give not only yourself, but your company as well, the advantage over your competition when it comes to productivity and creativity. Rapport building is a great way to foster cooperation and collaboration within your company and to obtain repeat customers.
As an individual reading this article you are becoming more cognizant of how masculine and feminine communication skills can be used interchangeably, by both sexes, for greater cooperation and collaboration. Becoming aware of the social skills involved, and then mindfully choosing to use both styles of communication will help you be a better communicator at work (and at home!).
Today we’re focusing on how to build rapport, a skill set women often acquire more naturally due to social conditioning and because they tend to communicate, commiserate, show compassion, and connect with others when under duress based on their physiology. In fact, physiologically, women produce their stress-reducing hormone, oxytocin, when they do just that—connect and nurture relationships with others.
When both men and women focus on beefing up their rapport with others, then the entire group (both employees and customers) benefit. Value is placed on what often makes or breaks a company—turning a product or service into profit. This is because the focus is on people enjoying the experience of working to sell or buy the product or service.
Building rapport is a skill that both men and women can benefit from in the workplace. By taking a moment every day to check-in with one another the workplace climate can change from friction and one-upmanship to one that’s more team oriented. This is critical in a workforce that employs both men and women. Put it into context with a young child picking up a toy strewn room. If you’ve picked a room up with a child, you know it is more about picking the toys up together, rather than putting the toys away that makes them feel accepted and like they did something well. When anyone feels like they matter, then typically their performance increases because peer pressure revolves around connection and positive reinforcement.
Women tend to ask others for their input when making decisions, because to them it is important to hear and value what other’s think and feel about the situation. Even in a quick-paced working environment where seconds count, eye contact, nods of the head, can mean the difference between if someone has your back, and if everyone’s on the same page or not.
You build rapport by actively listening to others. Be genuinely interested in someone—whether it’s how potty training is going with their daughter, how they’re coping with a sick parent, or how the work deadline caused them to miss their anniversary—listen with interest. This does not mean a fifteen minute or even a five minute chat every day—it’s a quick check-in as easy as asking, “hey, how is your day?” Stop. Listen to the answer. Respond by rephrasing or repeating back what they said and using empathy. Then, get down to business.
You can also build rapport by observing and responding to nonverbal body cues. Quick check-ins with my Marines as a Marine Corps Officer was invaluable when time was critical. I knew my Marines body language, their moods, and how to motivate each one as individuals. Instead of forcing my will or decisions, I relied on my strength of listening with my ears and reading emotional moods to make decisions that were good not just for the end result, but the people involved as well.
As my yoga teacher challenges us each week with mindfulness homework, let me do the same with you. Your homework is a two-fold challenge. In the next week notice how building rapport benefits the quality of your productivity and creativity. Then challenge your company to do the same. Hire a Mars Venus Coach to go over gender strengths and do DISC profiling with your company for your professional development training, or if there isn’t a Mars Venus Coach in your local area have employees take the online eWorkshop: Mars and Venus in the Workplace. It’s not enough just to read about gender intelligence, you have to put the knowledge into actions by interacting in better ways with others.
Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

5 Most Common Ways People Ruin Their Work Careers

How to prevent failure at work.

Even the most successful executives and leaders can suddenly “go off the track” and ruin their careers. Research on executive derailment has clearly identified the factors that cause previously successful executives and professionals to fail. Watch out for these in your own work career.

1. Poor Interpersonal Style. Although technical competence and successes may initially pay off, as one moves up in an organization or profession, interpersonal skills become more important. In our study of firefighters, technical competence was the key to getting promoted to captain, but lack of social skills prevented captains from going higher in the chain of command.

Having an abrasive or arrogant style, being insensitive to those around you, or coming off cold and aloof can lead to derailment of managers and supervisors.

2. Over-Controlling and Inability to Delegate. In today’s team-centered work world, it is critical to be able to work successfully with others to get the job done. Managers who try to do it all themselves, who micromanage, or who are unable to build a team, are likely doomed to failure.

3. Inability to Adapt. Change is the only constant in organizations. Workers who fail to adapt will become obsolete and fail. In one engineering department, the manager was unable to master, or even understand, the new design technology. Due to his own insecurity, he refused to let the new technology be used in his department. The result: they fell further and further behind on projects and produced inferior results.

4. Lack of Transparency. Dealing openly and honestly with those you work with is the key to success. Even if you are justified and fair in the decisions that you make, you need to let people know why and how important decisions (such as promotions) are made.

It goes without saying that unethical behavior is a key derailer for anyone’s work career, so the best way to avoid temptation is to be transparent in the decisions you make and strive to be virtuous in your behavior.

5. Inability to Think Strategically. All too often, we get bogged down in the day-to-day work that is in front of us, and focus too much on short-term goals. However, career success requires constantly looking at the big picture, and thinking strategically about where we are headed. Strategic thinking helps us anticipate problems, recognize new opportunities, and build a track record of accomplishments.

__________________________________________________________________

by Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D. in Cutting-Edge Leadership

From Tunnel Vision To Your Ultimate Vision [BLOG]

stress-tunnel-vision

 

 “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”
—Anaïs Nin

I’m a huge advocate for living a life beyond your wildest dreams, but I also know there are some potential pitfalls on the journey.

Having a vision is a powerful tool. It means that you are honoring your goals, aspiring toward them, and taking risks to expand your horizons. Sometimes our visions for ourselves subtly turn into tunnel vision. We can’t see anything that contradicts our intentions and desires. We get selective perception, which limits our ability to remain open and to see things clearly. Instead of being present to our reality while we pursue our heart’s desire, we put the blinders on and barrel ahead toward our hopes and dreams.

There is a shadow side to almost every positive thing we can do for ourselves, including having a vision. It’s important to be aware of this distinction. All spiritual and psychological tools can be used in a “willful” way. For example, sometimes self-care is actually about taking care of ourselves: unplugging from too much work and plugging into more balance and harmony. But sometimes, under the guise of self-care, we are really just checking out: denying what’s happening and how scary it feels to show up for it. So, how do we know the difference? How do we know when we are pursuing our vision in a manner that is actually in alignment with our intentions?

Tension in the Tunnel

Tension usually crops up when we are stuck in the tunnel—it takes a lot of effort to keep the blinders on. For me, the tension often shows up in the form of a headache. For others, there might be similar physical cues, such as stomach- or back-aches, getting sick, or feeling lethargic. Some people find themselves to be more irritable or short-tempered. When we aren’t looking at the big picture of our reality, our emotional bandwidth tends to shrink. This happens because everything becomes limited in the tunnel—not just our vision. I don’t know about you, but when I’m stuck in a tunnel, I can get a little cranky. What are your personal cues that suggest you might be denying aspects of your own reality?

Fear in the Tunnel

There are reasons that we aren’t looking at the big picture, many of which boil down to fear. “What if I leave this relationship and I’m alone forever?” “What if I open this piece of mail and find out that I owe more money than I have in the bank?” “What if I take this day-job and I never get the job of my dreams?” Our response to these fears can be “No thanks, I’ll stay here in the tunnel, where it feels safe.” The blinders go up and we clamp down, even harder.

Denial is not a Tunnel in Egypt

The problem is that denial may feel safe, but it’s an illusion. Whether or not you open that mail or take that job, you still have bills to pay—and we have to take responsibility for ourselves in the present, even as we are building the life we ultimately envision.

The Light at the End of Tunnel

If you are still with me on this tunnel metaphor, here is where it gets good. I grew up in Colorado where there are some amazing tunnels going straight through the mountains. Perhaps you have driven through one yourself, or you can imagine it right now. As you are driving, you move into a cold and dark, fear-filled tin can. The echo is staggering and yet everything seems so quiet. You can’t see two feet in front of yourself without your headlights. Then, suddenly, you find yourself entering into a picture postcard. The sunlight pierces through the windshield and warms your heart as you are greeted with breathtaking, majestic vistas. Let that experience be your teacher and your inspiration. When we move through small, contained ideas of what we think we want—what we think will make us happy and safe—we are brought to extraordinary and expansive beauty. Removing the blinders is like seeing in color for the first time. Tunnel vision is rigid and constraining, while remaining open is fluid and liberating.

Ultimately, moving out of the tunnel is about finding clarity, even if it feels terrifying—at least it is true. And reality begets more reality, and the opportunity to make it the best reality you can. I’ll never tell you to give up on the dream. I believe there is a reason that you have the dream to begin with. I will tell you that the best way to get there is to start from where you are, from the fullness of your situation. To look around and truly see, feel, and experience what is happening in your life. Accept your current circumstances and then take mindful action. If we are in the middle of the tunnel, we don’t get to the beauty on the other side by wishful thinking or burying our head in the sand—we get there by taking one deliberate step at a time.

I’d love to hear how have you have moved through your own tunnels. How did you get stuck, and what enabled you to move through? What did you discover when you surrendered your limited vision? I know that oftentimes people find a “picture postcard” that they never would have if they had held on to that tin can they used to believe was the shiniest and most precious thing they ever could have wished for.


   Ingrid Mathieu, Ph.D.

Ingrid Mathieu, PhD is a psychotherapist and author of Recovering Spirituality. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Effective Planning Is About What to Leave Out

posted by: John Jantsch

Today my staff and I are taking the entire day to create a strategic plan for the coming year. The process, and its ongoing nature, is something I call Commitment Planning. This is a practice that I highly recommend, but perhaps not for the reason you may assume.

But first, the rules

  • No one has a specific role today
  • Let brainstorming be brainstorming – possibilities and ideas
  • Be present
  • Be judgmental tomorrow
  • Remember, you are planning for the entire year

And, then my requirements

  • Food and drink should be awesome
  • Leave lots of time and space for physical movement
  • Make it easy to capture everything

Lots of companies completely neglect the need for planning and some that do it consistently view it as a way to determine new things they want to address in the year ahead.

To me, the greatest benefit of any planning session is to decide what not to do.

There’s always more to do than you can possibly get done and what happens all too often is that we give a little attention to a lot of things and effectively water down what should be our priorities.

When we plan the right way, we look long and hard at what makes us money and (hopefully) find ways to focus on doing more of that better, rather than thinking up more of something to divert our attention.

I recently hired my own business coach and one of the first things we’re focused on is getting me to stop doing things that don’t make sense and start spending more concentrated time on my highest payoff activities.

This idea holds true for entire organizations as well and one of the best ways to get to the heart of what’s holding you back is planning.

The first planning principle you must embrace however, is that the goal of the process is to help you limit what you are going to do and do well. Instead of creating a laundry list of wants and dreams, your charge in the planning process is to create a very small list of objectives and goals grounded in the overriding purpose of the business. Everyone in the organization then must commit to this list. From your small list you can carve out a requisite number of strategies and tactics that support these business objectives.

In fact, your aim is to create a total plan outline that fills no more than one sheet of paper. (No 6pt type allowed.)

Note also that we’re not spending the day to make a business plan or create a marketing plan – plans aren’t the secret, planning is. It’s the continuous process of planning, acting, measuring and planning that moves the organization in the direction of its goals.

Using and teaching a continuous planning process like this is one of the ways you empower your staff to know they are taking right action on the most important things at all times and knowing this brings a confidence that in itself is a commitment generator.

Commitment planning is a management style that frees your people to be creative instead of forcing them to be bound by a process only system driven activity.

Planning is not a one-day event or even year-end activity. Sure, there may be certain time bound planning periods that occur naturally, say at the end of a quarter, but the real way to keep commitment alive is to live it through a creative process that allows everyone to focus on the things that matter most.

Ben McConnell, coauthor of the Church of the Customer Blog and principal of management consulting firm Ant’s Eye View, has written about a planning process he calls OGST (Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Tactics.)

What I love about McConnell’s framework is that he uses each of these planning words in ways so simple as to actually create a useful set of definitions for these ridiculously misused terms.

Go get this visual representation of OGST and I think you’ll see what I mean.

As you can see, a planning process like this can help the kind of simple clarity that is so often missing in the “what should we do next” business management style. We borrow heavily from McConnell’s framework add some of our own magic to help put the focus on results and bust through constraints.

No matter what exact process you use for planning, with a one page plan full of your committed priorities in hand you can analyze any idea in about two seconds and determine if you should pursue it or dismiss it. Focusing on your strengths and finding ways to turn them into even greater assets is how individuals and organizations realize their potential.

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What if your business partner wants to break up?

By Jeff Haden

Setting up a business partnership is a little like starting a romantic relationship, although admittedly the benefits package and perks are a lot different.

In the beginning stages it’s easy to only focus on the positives, but a solid partnership agreement also takes into account a number of scenarios, especially the potential for negative outcomes. If the worst does happen, your partnership agreement should protect both you and your partner.

Make sure your partnership agreement covers what will happen if:

One of you wants out. Exit clauses are standard in partnership agreements. For example, if you want out, your partner may be obligated to purchase your ownership share.

That’s the easy part. The tricky part is determining the value of the business when that happens. Business valuation is part science, part art, and different approaches often result in very different results. Whether you agree to use liquidation value, book value, or the income, asset, or market approaches, stipulate in your partnership agreement how the business will be valued and whether a third party will conduct the valuation. Then the breakup will be a lot cleaner and less emotional.

One of you passes away. Say your partner dies. Typically his or her ownership stake passes to the spouse or children. You automatically get new partners — new partners you may not want. A buy-sell agreement can allow you to purchase your deceased partner’s share, but what if you don’t have the money or can’t get financing?

There’s an easy solution: Stipulate that each partner will carry life insurance sufficient to cover the purchase of the other partner’s share. Each partner designates the other partner as beneficiary. Then, if your partner passes away, you always have the funds to complete the buy-sell agreement. Just make sure you add additional coverage as the value of your business grows.

One of you wants to change the agreement. Paul Allen claimed Bill Gates asked him to change their ownership split of Microsoft several times. Perspectives change as a business evolves, and partnership agreements can be amended as often as you like — as long as all partners agree.

Sometimes one of you might not agree to proposed changes, so stipulate how fundamental disagreements will be resolved: Mediation, arbitration, triggering a buy-sell clause, etc. Knowing how a problem will eventually be resolved if you aren’t able to agree often makes it easier to work through differences.

You can no longer get along. No matter how well you work together now, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and changing priorities can damage the best relationships. When that happens, falling back on the terms of your partnership agreement can help both of you stay objective.

For example, your partnership agreement may stipulate you are responsible for 60% of the work since your partner provided a greater share of initial capital. If he feels you aren’t doing your share, the more clearly you defined what “the work” means in your agreement, the easier it is to determine whether you are in fact pulling your weight. Whenever possible, use hours, numbers, dollars — quantifiable measurements.

Your business is already established. If the agreement you have is insufficient — or if you don’t have a written agreement — it’s not too late.

Take a step back and create a comprehensive partnership agreement. If your partner hesitates, explain you aren’t trying to change your current working conditions. All you’re trying to do is eliminate as many ways you might disagree in the future as possible.

Fortunately, talking about potential negatives with a potential business partner is a lot easier than having a similar discussion with a romantic partner. Setting up a prenuptial agreement may not be the greatest way to start a relationship, but setting up a comprehensive written partnership agreement is the perfect way to start a business partnership.

 

Client Retention Through Presence

Retaining clients comes down to one thing and this is whether or not your business is capable of adapting to the changing needs of your client. Identify and use communication skills to bring value to your business relationship. You enhance your own self-awareness, AND you remove the blocks distancing you from hearing what a client is saying over the phone, the internet, or as they stand right in front of you. Being able to stay in the present moment and meet the desires of your client as their needs and preferences change is how you maintain clients.

The way you keep clients is by getting out of the way of yourself and any of your own listening or emotional blocks. The actual skill you hone is called active listening. And, with active listening, when a client speaks, you not only listen, but you also use reflective listening when you repeat or paraphrase back their need to them. Assuming that everyone else communicates, listens, or learns exactly like you is unrealistic. The way you win every time is by:

(1) Knowing what your own communication style, listening blocks, and learning styles are and,

(2) What the other communication styles, listening blocks, and learning styles are so that you can objectively identify whether or not the client has similar or dissimilar styles.

By identifying your client’s preferences, you can then adapt how you interact with them. You can enhance the quality of your business relationship by also using empathy to see from their point of view. With increased self-awareness, we interact more compassionately and empathetically with others. This releases both parties’ emotional blocks, attracting clients to stay with you, rather than to go their separate ways.

Read below how to identify your own communication style, listening blocks, and learning styles. We’ll also cover how to use these skills to your client’s advantage.

  1. 1.       Identify Communication Styles

Do you know your communication style? Click here to take the Communication Style Quiz. Are you passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive when you communicate? The good news is that everyone can become a more assertive communicator. Being able to articulate your thoughts and feelings ensures conflicts are kept to a minimum.

As you get to know your client better, you can often figure out what their communication style is by the way they interact and approach a sale or setback. You can further learn about gender differences in buying/selling to enhance your retention rates by taking the Gender IQ Quiz or the Gender Based Sales Training Program.

  1. 2.       Notice, then Eliminate Your Listening Blocks

There are about 12 listening blocks that everyone has when someone else is talking. Becoming aware of which listening blocks you use on a consistent basis will help you eliminate them, because you become more cognizant when they creep into a conversation.

The 12 listening blocks are:

a)      Comparing

b)      Mind reading

c)       Rehearsing

d)      Judging

e)      Dreaming

f)       Identifying

g)      Advising

h)      Sparring

i)        Being Right

j)        Derailing

k)      Placating

By identifying the listening blocks you use, you then consciously shift your attention back to your client (or anyone for that matter) before they even know you’ve drifted. This alleviates miscommunication, conflict, and stress. Why? You hear the person correctly the first time. Click here to find out if you are a good listener.

I often direct my client’s to the listening block article so they can figure out what types of listening blocks they use. This immediately adds value to what you’re offering if you’re selling services, because you are also teaching greater self-awareness. If you’re selling a product, you may not necessarily have your client identify their listening blocks. Your cognizance of these blocks enables you to pick up on when your client’s attention wanders so you can quickly re-focus them.

  1. 3.       Identify Learning Styles

There are 3 ways we learn information: audio, visual, and kinesthetic. Identify which is your primary and secondary learning style as well as your client. One easy way to do this is by noticing the type of language you and your client use while negotiating contracts.

  • Audio learners tend to resonate with: “I hear…,” “it sounds like…”
  • Visual learners tend to respond well to: “I see…” and “it looks like…”
  • Kinesthetic learners tend to say things like: “it makes sense to me,” “it feels good…”

Use all 3 ways until you figure out their preference. Or just ask outright what ways they prefer to learn information so that you can better explain your services and products to them.

Surpass Their Needs by Utilizing Feedback

If you meet their needs and exceed their expectations, then you will retain them as clients. As you meet and do business with them do check-ins often. Ask clients to rate how well you are doing, or how well they are satisfied with your service or product. When it comes time to renew a contract, you can refer back to these tests and measurements, as well as the different communication skills you’ve helped them enhance as value-added benefits for what it is you can do for them.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Creating a Character-Based Company the Mars Venus Way

We’re increasingly married to work. We spend most of our waking hours getting ready for work, going to work, working, driving home from work, doing ongoing professional development to get ahead at work, and unwinding from…work! The companies that incorporate core values into their business model are the places where people love going to work, and their customers love going to get a fix that they matter. Why? Companies that base their internal and external customer service on values, such as the ones Stephen Covey discusses in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, are successful. These companies are successful, because their services and products drive people together into a sense of connecting in a community of like-minded individuals.

So what are some of the core values that most people believe in?

  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Cooperation
  • Ethical
  • Teamwork
  • Trust
  • Quality
  • Dependability
  • Flexible
  • Adaptability
  • Growth
  • Reliability
  • Fairness
  • Proactive
  • Visionary
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation
  • Caring
  • Service
  • Members
  • Fun
  • Education
  • Legal
  • Partnerships
  • Democratic
  • Value
  • Competitive
  • Professionalism
  • Balance
  • Training
  • Relationships
  • Competency
  • Citizenship
  • Loyalty
  • Prudence
  • Stewardship
  • Strength
  • Confidentiality

The question you have to ask is how can my business meet their needs? What are we doing to meet ____ need? How do we convey these values to our internal and external customers? How do we create this climate? How do we market what we care about? How does the community we work in benefit? If you’re able to weave the values listed above into the fiber holding your business together, then you naturally become a business based on character.

One way that Mars Venus coaches help businesses incorporate these values is by asking the tough questions. They find where you are dissatisfied, and encourage you to find solutions and be proactive. Coaching is different than consulting because coaches help to motivate and provide accountability so businesses, and the individuals within them, reach their full potential.

Another way Mars Venus coaches help businesses to be a character-based company is by always paying attention to the glue which holds people together: communication. In order to have a healthy relationship that’s based on assertive communication, you must be a good listener, and able to see another person’s point of view without judging. They are personally trained by and use John Gray’s, PhD, material to help people have healthier relationships inside and out. Mars Venus coaches, whether they specialize in business, executive, or life areas, are trained to model and teach gender-based differences in the ways men and women:

  1. Use communication,
  2. React to and cope with stress,
  3. Buy products and services, and
  4. Sell products and services.

As I’ve stated in previous articles (Article #55:Innovation Drives Long-Term Success for Businesses), the success of a business also depends on its ability to adapt quickly to changing trends. So not only do businesses need to address how to make internal and external employees have a better quality of life, they also need to focus on innovation and creativity to stay competitive.

From reading the latest blogs on Forbes, bNET, and Financial Times the trend becomes apparent that the most fiscally successful businesses over time focus on character-based and values-based business models. In 2008, Bo Edvardsson and Bo Enquist published Values-based Service for Sustainable Business: Lessons from IKEA, which further details how important integrating core values are when creating a sustainable business. The best way to incorporate values-based services into your business is by having someone help you create measurable action plans (Mars Venus Coaching uses 90-Day Action Plans) and provide accountability to ensure you stay true to your core values when pursuing your vision in everyday activities.

Another way for businesses to increase quality of life for their internal employees is to partner with a life coach. Did you know Zappos.com does just this—they’ve hired a life coach as an employee! Who else has such great customer service, free shipping and returns, and often next day service?! While business and executive coaches can provide assistance with intra- and inter-personal relational dynamics—life coaches specialize in this component. It’s something to think about, right? It’s outside of the box right now in regards to how businesses do business. Just like gender intelligent buying/selling is innovative, so is hiring life coaches on staff. As an employee and a consumer, what do the trends say to you? As a forward-thinker, how would you then implement a solution like this for business sustainability?

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations