Barbara Kay Coaching

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Coach or Lead: YES!

Recently, I was privileged to work with a national team on leadership and coaching. Coincidentally, I received a sample assessment that’s supposed to measure a Leader’s ability as a Coach. I took it.  Guess what?

If you’re a good Leader, likely you’ll get a poor score. The sloppy psychometric design rewards coaching and punishes leading.  Unfortunately, this further muddies already murky waters.  Leading and coaching are two distinct roles and both are important. 

A critical part of working with this leadership team was differentiating coaching from other roles.  In fact, the team had an “Ah-Ha” moment as they realized a past consultant had not clarified this distinction.  They lost time and effort being confused in their work together.

Learn how coaching and leading are different but powerful forces together:  Lead or Coach YES!

Quick Tool:  Leadership Self Assessment

Trusted Assessments:  Sample Assessment Reports

PS.  I don’t profit from assessments.  There are 1,000′s of assessments many poorly designed. I’m happy to review any tests clients use, work with their providers or help get new tools.  The goal is to serve the best interests of the individuals, teams and leaders.




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3 Teams Poisons & 3 Cures (Part 2)

Teams are built by the 3 Pillars of Team Success (Part 1).  They’re also destroyed by 3 deadly poisons.  These can surface at anytime in the life of a team.  Great teams inoculate with the cures before they’re infected and maintain a discipline of prevention.

Beware 3 Deadly Team Poisons:

Conflicting Interests   Partners who fundamentally disagree on what they want for the team and from the team.  Unless partners agree, it’s painful journey filled with disappointment and resentment.

The Cure   The courage to be clear about what you really want and what you’re really willing to give.

Inflated Value   It’s easy for us to see our value.  The value of others is less clear.  Psychology calls this Attribution Bias.  Bottom line, We truly think we’re better than we are AND that others are worse than they actually are.  This multiplies the error.  We raise our self up AND lower everyone else. Given this psychological reality, it’s easy to have an overinflated sense of our worth on a team.  

The Cure   Consistent generosity toward others and humility for yourself.

Inflated Rights   Members of close knit teams can expect a lot of support but with a cost, service to the team.  Members of loose teams have more freedom to serve themselves, but shouldn’t expect much support. Unfortunately, our natural desire is to serve ourselves and take team support.  This urge to “have our cake and eat it too” combined with Attribution Bias creates an inflated sense of personal rights.  Too easily, we feel entitled to take from team and serve ourselves, while expecting teammates to deny themselves and serve the team.

The Cure  Being highly self-accountable and highly gracious to others

Resources:  Contact me for a complimentary team evaluation tool

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3 Pillars of Team Success (Part 1)

People frequently ask me to share the secrets to great teaming.  They want the perfect formula.  I want to deliver and here’s the secret.  Successful teams can be very different, but the good ones have mastered three keys to success.

Successful teams can be tight knit; everything is joined like a close family.  Other good teams are loose; independent partners who merely share some resources.  There’s not one perfect structure, but there are 3 foundational pillars that are critically important to all teams:

3 Pillars of Team Success

Agreement on Fundamentals including: Purpose (why we are a team and what we want from team) Authority (who makes what decisions) Responsibilities (who is doing what) Expectations (how we treat each other)  Accountability (how we correct each other) Rewards (who gets paid for what)

Disciplined Communication  This is one of the biggest challenges for many teams. Consistent communication both tactical and strategic takes time and commitment.  If your team is finding it difficult, you are not alone, keep at it!

Proactive Succession  Individual and team transitions are filled with mixed emotions.  It takes a lot of courage and grace to move-on, give-up, let-go or give-over.  Thoughtfully planning and executing transitions before there’s a crisis is a hallmark of an outstanding team.

Next:  3 Poisons that Kill Team & 3 Cures

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Is Your LinkedIn BAD PR?

LinkedIn is the place to find professionals and it’s got huge internet power.  In fact, your LinkedIn profile may pop-up before your primary website and create the all important first impression.

Unfortunately, many advisors are not aware of default settings that are too important to ignore.  The defaults buried in your profile pump out BAD PR unless you adjust them ASAP!

I created an EASY guide to fix the 5 biggest blunders, with screenshots and step-by-step instructions.  You can view, save or print the PDF presentation at the link below:5 Biggest Blunders on LinkedIn & Easy Fixes Help Friends & Share 

Contact me for more

Advisors say: “Barbara, This is excellent! So well documented with screen shots that even I could follow your tips easily”






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Winning Sales Personality Revealed

Many believe that sales success depends on being (or becoming) an Extrovert.  This belief is so widespread, it’s become an assumption.  New research reveals the best sales personality and it may surprise you!

Adam Grant, professor at The Wharton School, conducted a study on which personalities  were actually the most successful at sales.  Here’s the bottom line:  High extroverts, those who are great talkers and highly persuasive, were the not the most successful sellers. 

In fact, the study found high extroverts persuade too much.  They don’t listen or focus enough on understanding and connecting.  This was true for awesome extroverts too.  Even the most likable extroverts did not win.

This is great news for those who are not natural extroverts.  I talk with lots of people who believe they should be more extroverted and persuasive to sell well.  So, they keep attempting a sales style that’s unnatural and uncomfortable.   No big surprise, it rarely works and it feels bad too!  Ultimately, various failed efforts reinforce their belief that only extroverts are good at sales.

Now we know, that’s just not true.  In fact, even the best talkers and persuaders did not win.  A balanced approach of talking well and lots of quiet listening delivered the best results.

As a professional in clinical psychology and coaching, I know that careful listening is equally (if not more important) than persuasive talking.  This study proves it.

Below are coaching tips on developing a strong successful and natural sales style.

Top Tips for Sales Success

Be Yourself:  Being a phony is not only exhausting, it’s a waste of effort.  There is no single personality type that guarantees sales success.  The study showed a classic bell curve.  People on both sides of the extroversion and introversion scale were successful.

Sell with your Strengths:  There are just as many client personalities as there are sales personalities.  People are drawn to different types. Identify your natural strengths and maximize those to reach people with a natural affinity to your gifts.

Build Specific Skills:  You don’t need to become someone else, but you can become a more skilled version of yourself.  Identify which listening or talking skills would strengthen your style, work on them.  It will build confidence, success and still feel natural.

Use Resources:  Few of us can build skills without resources.  Quality assessments, coaching and mentoring are all good paths to greater success.

Resource of the Day

Wiley provides great practical assessments to develop your strengths.  Click the link below to see a sample personal sales style assessment. Sales DiSC style

The DiSC is completed online in 15 minutes with your personal report delivered via email.  Reach out if you’re interested in learning more. (I don’t profit from offering assessments, it’s a service to help clients get quality tools)

Click the link below to learn more about Adam Grant’s research at the Wharton School:  research & articles


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