“Kaizen” is a Japanese term that means “continuous improvement.” At Better Your Best Coaching we believe that continuous learning is one of life’s greatest opportunities. This improvement must be integral for all leaders to drive business and to develop a team. There are many ways to do this, such as coaching, mentorship, forum groups and networking groups. Each of these allow a person to expand and develop professionally but the question is which way is best for you? Personally, I recommend trying everything available to you at least twice to determine if it is a fit. However, here is a quick overview to get you started in your professional development decision making.
Coaching, provided by a certified coach who is recognised by the International Coaching Federation, is typically an action oriented process. A certified coach will help you maintain focus on what is most important to you in all, or a select few, areas of your life; career, health, business, finance etc.
Coaches are also there to help you recognise some of the patterns of behaviour that sabotage your ability to succeed in the way you desire.
When selecting a coach ensure that they are:
- certified by an accredited ICF program
- ask for a complimentary sample coaching session
- be sure to ask to speak to some of their previous clients.
- be sure to speak to a few different coaches before you make your final selection.
I believe that working with a coach pretty much triples your return on investment. Your dreams and ambitions are quickly accelerated with complete focus and accountability.
Mentorship is typically provided by someone who is a generation older than you. Mentors provide support and direction by sharing of their journey in life or business. They can offer advice around many topics by retelling their unique experiences.
When seeking out a mentor try to find someone who has followed a similar path and shares your core values. They do not have to be from the exact same industry, but perhaps their roles are similar. If you are feeling stuck on where to find a mentor, make a list of 3-5 friends/colleagues that inspire you. Then ask them if they could make a recommendation. Meet with a few people to see who you connect with best before you make your final decision.
Forums are groups of people from non-competing industries that come together to share their business experience, their challenges and successes and to learn from each other. Many successful CEOs and entrepreneurs have gained from their participation in forums like Entrepreneurs Organization and Young Presidents Organization.
The prerequisites for gaining access to these exclusive groups are quite strict and are usually determined by overall fiscal sales and employees. However, the benefit is the expansive network of like-minded international leaders to whom you gain exposure.
Forum groups are similar to mentors in that the progression and learning is found in the sharing of stories of challenges, opportunities and successes. These forum groups can be a powerful way to drive your business by being surrounded by like minded people. The forum can act as your own personal advisory board. The limiting factor of participating in a forum is that you might have to wait a few months before you can share your challenge with your group. You might find you simply don’t get the timely attention your business needs.
Networking groups are a great way to allow you to stay current on what is happening in your industry or drive your business by bringing it continued exposure. As an entrepreneur is allows you to expand your network and get you talking about your business. There are many different types of networking groups from industry specific to gender specific to role specific.
The Networking in Vancouver website is a fantastic tool to help you get started at identifying a group that you connect with the best. Keith Ferazzi points out some very obvious networking suggestions in his book “Never Eat Alone.”
However, the most important thing to remember is that “real networking is about finding ways to make other people more successful…it is about working hard to give more than you get.” How can you help others to succeed?
One of the Better Your Best core business beliefs is that the degree to which you are successful is the degree to which you invest, quite simply, what you put in is what you get out. The question is how are you going to invest in yourself or in your business in order to achieve “kaizen” and your defined success?
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