The Chronic Interrupter and Over-talker

These folks talk incessantly, often off topic. They see that you want to make a comment or ask a question and talk over you about something else interesting to them. Some people get so deeply into their monologues that you, as the listener, may feel invisible.

Interestingly, this anxious behavior mounts in the presence of authority figures (parents, bosses, etc.) who are typically judgmental or punitive. These over-talkers are avoiding the topics that may elicit shame or blame. Conversely, when they are surrounded by their peers in more accepting situations, this behavior is reduced. As a founder or manager, there are ways to help the over-talker be less anxious and fearful.

  1. To help them get comfortable with you, have more frequent conversations on lighter topics that do not arouse this fear response. Let them know the lighter topics to be discussed in advance of the conversation, if possible. Reinforce any positive restraint to over talk.
  2. For heavier discussions, get responses to these concerns writing.
  3. When an exchange must occur in person and the over-talking persists, mention your frustration – you may need to talk over them until they stop talking! Tell him or her that because you want to help these conversations be more productive you will signal (raising an index finger or standing up) your desire to speak.
  4. If they ignore the cues and appear totally helpless in curbing this behavior, the most helpful thing you can do is suggest they seek professional help.

Social anxiety is a common communication problem. It can be highly dysfunctional and prevent a person from contributing to the team in a positive way. Look into CoreCoaching. Contact me at [email protected]  

5 Tips to Avoid Side Hustle Hassles

If you’re dedicated and willing to make the sacrifices needed to turn your side hustle into a full time business, keep these COREageous tips in mind:

1. Is your side hustle something the market needs and wants? Or are you hoping to create a market for your product or service? Do your market research.

2. A 2019 Hiscox Side Hustle to Small Business survey (hiscox.com/sidehustle) showed that it takes 19 months of operation before you consider quitting your day job; 26 months before you could hire an employee; and 3 years before you can expect to earn an income similar to your day job.

3. Get some money management help to budget your expenses. The survey said to secure 6-12 months or more of living expenses in savings.

4. The survey recommends that you look into small business insurance to cover any liabilities you could incur in the process.

5. Are your executive functioning skills and routines solid enough to lop on a side hustle? That is your ability to get things done, done well and on time with as little stress as possible. You’ve got to be organized and disciplined to make the best use of the 20 hours or more a week you’ll need for a side hustle. If not, consider CoreCoaching to help you be the CEO of you!  Contact me at [email protected]

Founders: Hire Right

Most entrepreneurs lack training in hiring employees. Hiring the wrong employees can be a major stressor and a liability to a founder with limited resources and strict deadlines for getting their startup up and running. Here is a primer for hiring right:

1) It is important to hire for skill, but remember that trustworthiness and loyalty to the organization is equally important. Evidence of trust includes visible loyalty, honest collaboration with all members of the team, transparent communication, respectful conflict and staff retention.

2) Don’t suffer a poor fit. As a favor to you, your team and the employee in question, if he or she is not a good cultural fit and continues to buck the system despite reasonable efforts to help them fit in, let them go. Do a post mortem and learn from that failed hiring experience.

3) The company handbook is not enough of a guide for an employee’s success. In a face-to-face conversation clearly define your vision of success to new hires. Point out the company’s core values and your expectations of the role to potential candidates.

Trust is the basis of successful teamwork. Let me give your team the tools for building trust. Contact me at [email protected]

A Startling Statistic for Startups

A survey of 7,000 U.S. workers across 19 industries conducted by the nonprofit group Mental Health America and the Faas Foundation found that 71% of workers are looking to change employers. Darren Hardy, author and executive coach, claims that 1 out of 7 employees are on the hunt for new work. Losing even one employee can be most devastating to a startup.

The main reason: Employees leave bosses, not companies. Here are two powerful, simple, affordable and frequently overlooked ways to retain valuable employees:

#1  There is much to be gained from regular one-on-one, face-to-face, distraction free, check in conversations with your employees. People are drawn to bosses who mindfully listen and show appreciation for their talents. Taking 10-15 minutes to check in with your staff on a personal and professional level every couple weeks helps build trust and rapport ( staying power).

If those kinds of conversations feel awkward, prepare a couple open-ended questions that get a conversation moving, like How is the job going? If I could make it more pleasant, more efficient or help you do your job better, what would it take? Let them talk. Take notes. You may not be able to fulfill every wish, but at least you give them the opportunity to express them. Then, follow up with their suggestions within a week to 10 days. This further demonstrates a sincere appreciation and respect for their input. You can ask these same kinds of questions in a group setting, but you’ll learn more in the one-on-one meetings.

#2  Reinforce the obvious and not-so-obvious accomplishments. Celebrate the sales, the negotiated contracts and technical breakthroughs, of course. But don’t forget the little things that make the business better. The not-so-obvious, but noteworthy acts to mention include stepping up to cover for a colleague, meeting a difficult customer’s demand, picking up lunch, etc. Actions like these allowed for productivity where there might have been none. No positive, helpful act that serves the business well should be overlooked.

Oftentimes, it is a founder’s modest and meaningful acts of connection that keep a team intact.

If your staff retention rates run low, look to creating better connections. I can help. Contact me at [email protected]

A Tight Ship

A Tight Ship (definition): A well-managed and disciplined organization. This expression, dating from the second half of the twentieth century, alludes to a vessel whose ropes are taut and seams well caulked, indicating that it is well managed.

The SIX FUNCTIONS OF TEAMWORK embody the notion of A TIGHT SHIP: (Five of these functions are found in Patrick Lencioni’s book called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – a must read for entrepreneurs)

First, a small business can be highly functional, valuable and competitive if every crew member continually works to strengthen their core. This means all worries and personal problems must be left at shore. A competent crew member is physically and emotionally ready for the journey — well-rested, nourished, energized, focused, ready to step up and able to manage the stressors along the way. A strong core within each crew member fosters a “tight ship” mentality. The other five functions of a team provide for smooth sailing.

All hands on board trust one another and depend on each other for the success of the journey. Without trust the mission will be stalled by shaky stops and starts, disloyalties, lost time, mutinies and burnout that impede progress towards the goal of the expedition. The Captains (the executive team), with their over-arching duties and responsibilities, must be a cohesive unit and ONE with the journey. They trust their Chief Mates (managers) and crew to secure and steady the ship in the following ways:

Healthy conflict is welcomed as one shipmate may notice a problem or disagree with a directive. Crew members are encouraged to speak up for the sake and safety of the mission. It’s up to the Chief Mates and the Captains to listen to these concerns and coach up a crew member to avoid escalation of the conflict. The Chief Mates need to have the authority to recommend that a crew member gets sent back to shore if the conflict is unresolved.

The crew is committed and dedicated to staying afloat and making the trip successful. Friendships are important, but keeping the ship stable and moving towards its target is the crew’s priority. To be anything less could jeopardize the mission. However, crew members who share this priority can be a very powerful asset when extra effort, sacrifice and going above and beyond the call of duty is required. Friends who support each other for the success of the mission make friendships stronger.

Each shipmate, for the journey to endure and be successful, must be accountable for their actions. This includes following the chain of command, meeting or exceeding expected job performance, conserving resources by carefully watching costs, managing distractions and eliminating sources of strife like skipping on their shift or skimping on their duties.

Tight ship teamwork depends on the managers’ ability to optimize results and secure a competitive edge. A tight ship is strong, agile and reliable, able to take on new missions or to rapidly change course as needed in today’s business world. New trends and policies may require a shift in direction to avoid stormy seas or to weather the competition. It is the responsibility of the Captains to remain focused and vigilant in their roles, and rest assured knowing that the Chief Mates will keep the ship tight.

Does your small business run like a tight ship? If not, I can help. Contact me at [email protected]

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