What actually is Winning Habits and why this name?

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Aristotle, circa 350 BCE

I embarked on training as a coach / consultant in 2011-12 and one day I was in the shower and I thought ‘I don’t really want to market myself as a ‘business coach’, with total respect to those who call themselves that. Also, pivotally in my mind I thought ‘you cant coach a business, it is all about people!‘ That said, it I very important to determine if the prospect seeks business coaching or personal coaching. These are different. Sometimes the prospect presents seeking business coaching yet the real challenge lies in personal development, leadership or managing relationships.

I have always been curious re human psychology and behaviors from reading Freud and Jung in my teens and in truth looking back I should have studied psychology not chemical engineering. Anyhow, that’s history. So I conceived to frame a business around habits as I believe routine and discipline are keys to success.

This was the embryonic thinking behind Winning Habits.

Coaching and training, its all the same isn’t it

No, very different in fact. With training you are pitching yourself as a subject matter expert or at very least an authority in the topic area. This legitimises you being in the room, as the authority figure. You are paid to deliver content in a style that facilitates learning. As a trainer you would need to be in the room to gain a handle on my style however in general I am a facilitative trainer. As a coach who trains I can be challenging of the team at times in order to confront thinking to make better decisions.

I have been in the room with some expert trainers in recent years which has provided learning inspiration and first class role models. I believe in modelling and this has been a key focus of my training and coaching. Behaviour change and upskilling can be complex and the trainers challenge is to achieve this and pass the baton on and to the organization to fully capitalise on training. Unfortunately very often there is ill discipline and a lack of accountability here which can limit results from training. With ACE Teams part of our approach is to offer back end coaching for just these reasons.

With coaching you are qualified to be a subject matter idiot. Not an idiot in the fool sense of course, just that you do not need to be a technical expert in the nature of the Client business. For example, in car mechanics, baking or making widgets. This expertise should be owned by the people in the organisation however this is not always the case. Coaching is all about shifting thinking and behaviours through asking great questions of the coachee, then committing them to focussed action. Then, repetition and yes, habits.

The balance for an organisations need for training and / or coaching is weighed up during discussions around challenges, outcomes and goals. It can be one or both.

Are you going to ‘tell me what to do’ during coaching?

No. With the coaches hat on you must decide what to do, always. The coach brings in focus and clarity of specific action pathways by asking questions. With coaching generally people know what to do but they are not doing it. That is the coaching challenge!

Rarely, someone may say I want / need you to tell me what to do. Then the cloth is cut accordingly.

What do you like doing most of all?

Working with teams, listening to them and unearthing the pathway for them to get to the next level. This includes, potentially, questioning everything on the table. This sometimes can be confrontational no doubt and can only be undertaken when a trust is secured. More than anything I like team energy, it suits my internal antennae wiring and emotional bias. I am best value in a team space.

How much do you charge?

That depends on many things, but primarily for coaching what is the heart of the value proposition – how much do you value this problem being solved and / or your behaviour or leadership becoming more inspired?

Other factors; is it an individual or a team, what is the scale of the organisation etc. The best coaches get results. So, how much do you value that? If someone asks this question very early on – how much do your charge? – sometimes I put this down to natural curiosity, on other occasions it tells me this is where their focus is and this can undermine the relationship.

Training is based on rates from one hour to full days.

How long does coaching last?

Again, that depends. As long as value is being added and there is advancement and growth in the coachee, value is perpetuated. Frequency of sessions, actions and growth is crucial. When accountability is lost the relationship is over.

Most coaching fails due to coachee (the person being coached) inaction, in my experience. This can be because their goals slips from their belief system or other factors have become wedged between coach and coachee, business partner for example. The relationship is intensely personal and no one other than the coachee and compute and calibrate the growth.

The average duration in my experience is around 9 months, but it can be years or much shorter than that.

How are you qualified to be a coach?

There is no Chartered Institute of Business Coaches! Most are trained, through various means. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is a lay body which qualifies coaches in sense of coaching principles. This is a solid baseline. There are dozens of coaching models out there.

More than anything coaching is experiential. We are all learning all the time, yes, even coaches! Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins, among others, say never stop learning. Imagine a coach who thinks he or she is the panacea or has arrived? That can be a slippery slope.

Is there an agreement or contract for coaching?

Yes. All very standard, setting out rights and responsibilities and the framing of the relationship. I do not always use the agreement as with come clients there is innate trust and understanding. I take a balanced view.

Where do we do coaching?

This can be my office, Client office or in outdoors. I frequently walk and talk coach today.

Training is typically at Client office or hotel for example depending on size of the team.

Who and what are your target market?

Businesses with the following attributes:

  • 30 FTE or greater employee workforce
  • Minimum two year operating trading history
  • Annual turnover $1.5M+
  • Locally owned and operated (i.e. no overseas stakeholder)
  • Excludes franchises

The following levels for individuals qualify:

  • CEO / Managing Director
  • General Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Middle Manager

Employees may be considered however are subject to particular qualification.

More importantly that these categories are businesses and individuals who have:

  • An Open / growth mindset i.e. to new learnings and ways of thinking
  • An investing in personal development culture

Do you have any preferred industry sectors?

No, however I worked for 20 years in engineering and construction. In view of this experience I have a feel for ‘both sides of the fence’ to offer value from operations, leadership and culture of such organizations to what coaching / training methods are suited to leverage performance.