I booked the day off to go to the CSTD trade show. CSTD - the Canadian Society for Training and Development. I figured that it was a great opportunity to
walk the floor, learn what was new and hot in the training industry, and make some valuable connections. I was hoping that I would learn some best
practices in the execution of trade show marketing in a field that is very closely tied to coaching. I thought that I might be able to explore the idea of
partnering with a training company so that Frame of Mind Coaching could provide the back-end coaching as an added value service to their training packages.
The conference was held in Toronto - no flights, no hotel rooms, and no days away from my family. Perfect. I decided to take Davida, our Director of
Communications, with me so that we could explore the booths together and spend some time talking about what we learned and sharing any new ideas that
Here's what we learned...
THE TRAINING INDUSTRY NEEDS SOME SERIOUS COACHING!
Here are some of the things we saw and experienced:
- A good percentage of booth personnel were behind their counters, sitting behind their booth displays, completely inaccessible and invisible from the
public. It looked as though they were literally hiding, hoping that no one would talk to them, waiting for the minutes to pass.
- Many of the people at their booths were on their computers or on their phones and did not even lift their heads when we walked by.
- The very few people who were standing at attention by their booths made virtually no effort to talk to us or woo us over when we walked by.
- Those that we approached spent the entire time telling us about what THEY do and showed absolutely no interest in us. Their ability to think beyond their
'box' was non-existent. They did not know how to ask questions and made no effort to understand why we were there, what we were interested in, or find out
if there was an opportunity that we may have presented for them.
- The friendliest person in the room was the guy from France who was at the back of the room serving food at the Sushi Bar counter. His name was Sebastian
and he came to Canada to learn how to speak English better and had not yet made a trip to Montreal. I told him where I was from, where I grew up, and how
many kids I had. He learned more about me in 3 minutes than any other person in the room.
It's not that I was shocked by all of this because I have seen this at trade shows over and over - but here is what troubles me: Why do leaders spend a ton
of money and effort to send their teams to trade shows and leave them completely ill-equipped to be there? Why do companies make substantial capital
investments in their strategies without setting up their people for success? They invest in the tangibles - the booth, the fliers, the displays, and the
technology - and leave the intangibles behind without really understanding that their competitive advantage comes 100% from the intangibles. I bet you that
if the leaders of those trade show teams spent only a small portion of their budget on coaching, their entire team would show up differently and perform
like stars. Coaching - not training. Why? Because it's not only about the skills they bring to the table, it's about how they show up and who they get to
be when the light shines on them.
Here are some things to consider when selecting the right coaching program for your team:
1) Does the coaching program focus on the unique mindset, experience, and personal goals of each participant or is it a generic program that provides a
one-size-fits-all approach? Coaching is particularly effective when the individual needs of each participant can be captured and
2) Given the premise that a person's thinking has a direct impact on their results, does the coaching focus on the inner thinking, beliefs, and behaviors
of the individual or does the coaching focus only on behaviors? It is important to understand the thinking and beliefs that fuel behavior
instead of focusing on shifting behavior alone. Behavior that shifts without a preliminary mindset shift is often not sustainable and usually comes at a
3) What process does the coach use to collect data, build a relationship, and help the individual to really become aware of their inner thoughts? Does the
coaching program you choose have a mechanism for the coach to be in frequent contact with the individual and collect relevant day-to-day data? This is
crucial for quick and effective progress.
I would love to share how Frame of Mind Coaching works - and show you how a coaching program could potentially revolutionize your results.
BTW - I used to be known as the Trade Show Queen - pounding the pavement from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., coming home with a fist-full of contracts that were sold
right on the trade show floor. I would love to share my strategy with you!
Have you ever hit your burnout point? This week, I hit mine.
Motivated by November's NANO WRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge, I committed myself to writing as much poetry as I possibly could in 30 days. I
started out inspired and determined to succeed. Each night, after work, I would sit at my computer and write, revise and edit until I
proudly printed off a finished poem. The process was exhilarating. But after two-and-a-half weeks I hit a road block. Out of nowhere, my motivation slipped
out from beneath me. Writing turned into a chore, and I was left glum and disappointed with myself. I felt drained and uninterested.
Perhaps you have experienced similar burnout symptoms when working towards your own goals. These feelings may have surfaced while working on a difficult
work project, while training for a race or while trying to lose weight.
When burnout hits, there is still hope. Here's how to move forward when you feel yourself slipping backwards:
Go Be A Couch Potato.
Make time to relax and rejuvenate. Read a book, take a walk, watch TV, workout, take a nap or hang out with a friend. Do anything that will get your mind
off your goal and give you some breathing room. Recharging your batteries can help you return to your goal refreshed.
Reassess Your Approach.
Are you squashing your motivation by overcommitting yourself to a goal? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Go back to your initial goal and
think about the image and vision that drove you to action in the first place. Decide how you can alleviate some of the stress you have placed on yourself,
so you can put the joy back into things.
Change It Up.
Mixing up your routine can help you regain interest in your goal. For example, if you're training for a marathon, try out a new running trail. Try running
at a different time of the day. Try running with a new friend. If you're writing a book, try working on a new chapter, or bouncing ideas off of someone
Rushing to achieve a goal can cause serious burnout. Figure out steps that are sustainable for you over the long run. Setting big goals is wonderful - just
be cognizant that the bigger the goal, the more steps may be needed to achieve it. Congratulate yourself on how far you have come. Mark the milestones you
have made in a journal. Think about how you can inch forward, accomplishing your goal little by little. Give yourself a realistic time limit.
Get Extra Sleep.
Get more sleep, and improve the quality of your sleep. When you are feeling drained, it is especially important for you to get some extra shut-eye. Go to
bed early. Get rid of distractions before bedtime. Take a nap during the day if you find it reenergizes you.
Don't Give Up.
If you are set on achieving a goal, don't let a little burnout stop you. Be patient with yourself and keep your eyes on the prize. You will soon regain
your enthusiasm and energy. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.