Coaching for high performance is about helping people reach their full potential. This means working with people to improve their overall performance at work and achieve their goals and aspirations.

Coaching is incredibly important and involves working with people at every layer of the business in order to help reach their full potential. High performance coaching gives people the time to reflect and acknowledge their motivation and overcome the interference that may be holding them back. It is also invaluable for managers to evaluate an employee’s aspirations and ultimately improve productivity.

Coaching particularly helps and highlights the following;

• Navigating a career change. An example of a career change could be the transition from being a manager to being seen as a leader – someone who offers clear guidance, motivation and inspiration. Coaching can help assist people in reaching their aspirations

• Changes to performance or behaviour. Breaking bad habits and relearning skills is something coaching and mentoring can consistently monitor and improve

• High performance coaching can often help people recover from major business or personal setbacks such as work-life imbalances and stress

• Evidence shows that people who have clear plans and goals for the future are more likely to be successful long term, therefore creating these with guidance is a huge benefit.

Benefits are not only seen by the individual being coached but ultimately apply to the business. Improvement in an individual’s performance will only enhance productivity and by highlighting personal learning and development, this will increase an individual’s awareness. Coaching also gives a person time to reflect and discuss their aspirations allowing for solutions to be identified regarding specific work-related issues.

The GROW model.

GROW, an acronym for Goals, Reality, Options and Will which highlights the four key steps of this model used often for coaching. By applying these four stages, this model is able to raise an individual’s awareness and understanding of the following;

• Individual aspirations
• Current situation
• The possibilities and resources available to them
• The goals they want to achieve.

By setting achievable goals, that are both challenging and measurable, this model aims to instil confidence, leading to increased self-motivation and assurance, creating personal satisfaction.

Build rapport.

Rapport is a definite requirement in the coaching relationship. The more rapport the better. Without this, it can end up being a very flat meeting with no genuine intent or purpose. The more time spent developing a coaching relationship, the more honest the speaker will be, leading to a more natural conversation like session.

Exercise active listening.

Give the speaker your attention and acknowledge what they are saying. This can be done simply by maintaining eye contact and not getting distracted. Ensure you also use positive body language and gestures such as nodding, smiling and note your posture, ensuring that this is always open and inviting.

Understand and clarify.

Reflect on what has been said. It’s sometimes easy for our assumptions and judgments to come into play, however steer clear as your role in this instance is to ultimately understand what is being said. Ask questions to clarify certain points and summarise what has been said in order to gain a clearer understanding. This will also allow the speaker to reiterate their point.

Remember not to interrupt when the speaker is speaking. Before asking questions, allow the speaker to finish each point before asking the next question. By interrupting, you may risk missing important information or the speaker may feel rushed or uncomfortable and you may also limit your full understanding.

Manage your response.

Your response ultimately determines how the speaker feels within the coaching relationship. Active listening is very much required to gain respect and a full understanding on the perspective being given. Be open and honest in your response and give your opinions respectfully. Remember to treat the speaker in a way that you would want to be treated. It often takes a lot for a person to open up so ensure you treat a coaching session with respect.

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When we think of New Year, often one word springs to mind... resolutions. Whether you’re a fan or not, New Year is a great time to reflect on your personal goals and achievements and plan your success for the future.

Self-improvement or at least the desire to, is something we often experience as we approach New Year. However, for all the good intentions we have, only a tiny proportion of people achieve their New Year’s resolution.

Goal setting is incredibly important, however we usually aren’t good at this, especially around New Year. Some people are often overwhelmed with the thought of making New Year’s resolutions as the goals set aren’t achievable.

5 goals.

It’s incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed so if you don’t know where to start, it may be worth asking yourself a question, ‘What do I want to achieve in these next 12 months?’ Have a go at writing 5 goals, however big or small that you want to achieve and then prioritise them.

Short and simple.

We’re all guilty of making extreme New Year’s resolutions that often are knowingly impossible to achieve, therefore keeping your resolutions short and simple is easier and more manageable. They become attainable and you don’t end up failing at the first hurdle.

Manageable missions.

Setting your resolutions is all well and good but it’s what happens next that counts. For example, if your resolution is to develop your leadership and management skills, how are you going to get to this point? You need a short plan to outline how you are going to achieve your ambitions. Rather than being vague, make sure you are specific as this will motivate you further.

Take your time.

Often the confines of a nine hour working day, paired with commitments outside of work can often result in us having too much to do and too little time. To tackle this, take 15 minutes of each day to plan. The simplest way to do this would be to write a list. Managing your time effectively plays a key role in the working environment. With important tasks, it’s vital to steer away from distractions, therefore close all irrelevant browser windows, put your phone away and find a quiet, comfortable place to work.

Start as you mean to go on.

Once you have completed a task, remember to tick this off your list. Getting into the routine of achieving everyday will develop a great sense of accomplishment and positivity. Remember, recognising that your time is extremely important increases your personal productivity to achieve a greater work-life balance. Applying this can eliminate time being wasted and improve your overall performance in and out of work.

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Social media users have increased by 176 million in the last year. That means if you get your campaigns right, you could potentially reach a total of 2.078 billion active users.

Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic through social media sites. In this instance, marketing efforts translate into creating content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share this across their social networks. Word of mouth marketing is very profitable as it spreads from user to user and because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, it inevitably looks credible.

It is essential to know how to correctly engage with your audience so that you are able to maximize your online presence. Without any previous experience, this could be challenging, although not impossible. The following tips discuss ways to use social media effectively in order to deliver relevant and useful knowledge which will get people sharing, liking or retweeting your content to gain maximum coverage.

Do your research. Look at successful competitors and take note of the content that they are sharing and research relevant statistics. It’s also a good idea to sign up to Google Alerts, specific to your industry, as this will notify you of any news or information that you may want to share or that could be of interest to your audience.

Remember to engage with your audience. Social media isn't just a running commentary of your content, you also need to use it to engage with your following. Joining in with discussions, sharing, liking content and getting involved with hashtag hours will inevitably increase your profile coverage. Remember it’s better to add value rather than clutter your audiences’ lives as this will often result in an unfollow.

Two or three.
Instead of signing up to all available social media platforms, focus on two or three. It’s better to have quality content and a good following on two platforms, than have several platforms, no followers and little content. Remember, there will be platforms specific to your organisation so think carefully about your audience. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that serves all platforms.

Quality not quantity.
It’s more profitable to have 500 online connections who read, share and talk about your content, rather than 5,000 irrelevant connections. Often businesses may be tempted to purchase followers for a small price as it may appear more credible if they have a larger following, however social media marketing takes time. Also, remember to keep a balance between the people you are following and your followers.

Patience please.
You have to be patient with your following. You may feel your following isn't growing at the rate you want it to but it does take time. Although tempting, try not to result in purchasing followers. You will find they are often irrelevant or redundant accounts and they will start to slowly disappear.

Invest in quality content.
Invest time in researching, creating and publishing amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience. Your audience will share this with their own audience and therefore you will increase your exposure. Twitter also gives you the option to analyse your Tweet activity which is also very handy!

Remember, the sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find you in keyword searches. Those key entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.

Spend the time to find the online influencers in your market and connect with the businesses that you have worked with previously or the ones you would like to. Those who are likely to be interested in your products, services and businesses may share your content if it is authoritative and interesting - it could potentially put you and your business in front of a new audience.

Less of the sales talk.
It’s tempting to shout about what products and services your business can offer and how great they are but don’t do this a lot on social media. For example, on Twitter, 1 in 7 of your Tweets should be a sales tweet. Focus less on sales talk and more on creating quality content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful tool for word of mouth marketing.

Don’t ignore!
You wouldn't ignore someone who speaks to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Ensure that you acknowledge every person who messages or comments. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of your social media marketing success. If you aren't using certain accounts then think about deleting them or pin a post to the top of the feed to redirect traffic to the account you want users to visit.

Don't just disappear. 
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. Large businesses deliver excellent customer service throughout the day via their social media accounts and it allows them to stand out from the rest. If your account appears redundant or you haven’t updated the content in a while, followers won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for months or even weeks.

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