vPsychology for Business


We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees

Volume 4, Number 17                                                             August 22, 2003


Psychology for Business is an e-mail newsletter written by  Dr. John Weaver, Dr. Lynda Dahlke, and Dr. Paul Glass, business psychologists and independent consultants, provided to you at no charge. It is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website, http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/. If you wish to cancel your subscription, please see the end of this e-mail for easy instructions

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Coaching for Performance Series:

By Dr. John Weaver, Business Psychologist and Executive Coach

Three frogs were sitting on lily pads. One frog decided to jump in the pond. How many frogs were sitting on lily pads?


The frog only had an idea. He did not act on it.

Great ideas are not enough.

Someone once estimated that human beings have sixteen billion thoughts a day. Within that plethora of thought are some ideas that would truly make a difference for you or for your organizations. They arise during stimulating conversations, during strategic planning sessions, or even when you awake from a sound sleep at 3 AM. Ideas are prolific.

How often do you get a brilliant idea that would truly make your business improve or take you to the next level in your career, only to let the opportunity pass because you are too busy or unfocused to take the necessary action?

“That was a great networking meeting. I should follow up with all of the people I met and see if they can help me generate more prospects for my business.”

“We could develop a training program based on our experiences, one that will really increase the success of my sales representatives.”

“This would be a way to provide a totally new service for our customers that would dramatically increase the quality of our work for them.”

Business writer and consultant Steven Covey terms these types of projects “important but not urgent.” The human tendency, however, is to give priority to the urgent. We tend to do that even when it is not important. For example, we might answer a ringing phone only to find out that the person on the other end of the line wants to discuss a detail that is trivial to the success of the organization. When our day is filled with these disruptions, it is difficult to turn our ideas into action.

In addition, it is often difficult to know where to start with a new idea. The day-to-day work is clearly specified and it is easy to know what to do. It is also demanding of your attention. A new idea will take time away from the daily grind. It will probably need to be developed outside the “normal work day.” The time and energy spent on every day responsibilities leave little to spare for extra projects.

Moving from idea to action is one of the most difficult steps toward success. 

It is the ability to put these ideas into action that separate the elite from the average.  In order to succeed in today’s business climate, it is necessary to take the extra steps that elevate you above the crowd. Although you know this, it is difficult to follow through on good intentions.

One major impetus for hiring a business coach is to bridge the gap between ideas and actions. A coach with training and expertise in psychology can help with this effort.

Psychologist James Prochaska has identified the steps that we go through as we attempt to put our ideas into practice.

Before it is time for action, there is a period of time when ideas are contemplated. During this time, you weigh the benefits and consider the risks for embarking on a new strategy. If you attempt to skip this stage of contemplation, you will often make decisions that are ineffective or even wrong. A good idea may fail because you did not spend enough time clarifying it for yourself. Many good ideas are never developed and are lost as a result. This is the best time to employ the services of a coach.

A great coach understands the need to carefully examine a new idea before pushing for action. The opportunity to discuss these ideas, in confidence, with someone who is committed to our success will clarify and often improve on the basic ideas. As you work with the coach, he or she will help you to keep focused on the critical questions that need thought prior to moving into action. If you get stuck in thinking, your coach can challenge you to take the necessary steps to get unstuck. The willingness to translate the idea into action will arrive sooner and the follow through will be more complete if the contemplation stage is honored.

As the idea is made clear, it is time to prepare for action. This stage, which can last from a few weeks to a few months before implementation, is a time to raise the level of commitment to action. It is a time for beginning to carve out opportunities to work on implementation. It is a time to identify obstacles and begin the process of overcoming them. It is a time to commit to bring the idea to action. This is the most common time to hire a coach.

This is a time when the coaching process also changes. Some people will start the process of preparation but find they need more thought before they are ready to proceed. Others will be tempted to use contemplation as an excuse for action because the new idea is anxiety provoking. Anxiety is highest at this stage. What if the idea won’t work? What if it is a great idea but you don’t have the skill to implement it? How will you develop the other skills that are necessary to sell the idea to the company or to the public? It takes a skilled coach to recognize the needs of each individual and help him or her to stay on track during this phase.

The action phase is the most exciting. The idea has been well formulated and preparations have been made. When it is time to implement the ideas there is a surge of energy. But there is also the inevitable resistance from others in the organization. A coach may be introduced at this phase because the action has gone awry or there are conflicts with others in the organization that arise because of these new initiatives.

Coaching is focused on helping to minimize unnecessary conflicts and to help to truly resolve the conflicts that do arise during the implementation of new ideas. It is in the relationships with others in the organization that the work is truly accomplished. The “people-skills” necessary to bring an idea to successful action are an extremely important factor. A coach can give you the objective feedback that can make you more effective in these subtle interactions.

The process is not yet complete. The action must be consolidated into the everyday work of the organization to be fully effective. It must become the “way things are done” if it is truly to have an impact. Too often even great ideas become a temporary innovation that is lost in the ongoing competitive environment of business. New challenges arise and new initiatives are proposed. A great idea can get lost because the follow through was incomplete.

The expert coach guides you to help others understand and appreciate the idea at a deep level. You have been living with this idea for many months before it moved to action. It is easy to forget that it is still new for everyone else. If the actions are not consolidated, the commitment of the entire organization will be shallow and the impact of the idea will be greatly lessened.

While you attend to the details of bringing the idea to action, the coach pays attention to the process that keeps you moving effectively toward success.

If you find yourself frustrated with the difficult process of moving your ideas to action, the investment in a coach will be a cost-effective move for you and for your organization.

On Executive Coaching:  "Inside every successful business person is an even more ambitious one trying to get out. He or she just needs a little help." Someone To Watch Over You, 10/9/00, Australian Financial Review

Did you know that executive coaching is not geographically limited?  Coaching by telephone is effective.  It is also an efficient use of time and resources.  You never need to leave your office to travel, nor do you need to pay travel expenses for your coach. We offer coaching either onsite or by telephone. To find out if coaching is right for you, contact us to schedule a 1/2 hour consultation at no charge.  Or request a price sheet to determine the best value for your organization.  Call us at: (262) 789-2728 or email us at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.

Dr. John Weaver was recently sought for expert input on articles to be published for Inc. Magazine and for Women’s World Magazine.

About the Author

John Weaver, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist with 25 years’ professional experience working with organizations, groups, and individuals. He has experience leading groups and creating teamwork in organizations. His areas of expertise include executive coaching, conflict resolution, coaching teams and individuals to improve performance under stress, assessing employees and potential employees to ensure the right person for the right job, and training in stress management and "The Vitamin C’s for an Emotionally Healthy Workplace."  He is an experienced professional speaker and published author.

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. John Weaver is available for consultation or executive coaching by phone, e-mail or in person. He may be reached at (262) 789-2728 (office) or (414) 491-8719 (cell), by e-mail: mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com or: 

John Weaver, Psy.D. 
Psychology for Business
2717 North Grandview Boulevard, Suite 303
Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53188

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Coach is now available for download by visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/questions.htm.

Also receive your copy of 9 Ways to Motivate Your Workforce by visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/motivate.htm

If you are interested in having Dr. Weaver speak for your organization, contact him at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com?subject=SPEAK .

To order your copy of the book, MANAGING DIFFICULT PERSONALITIES IN THE WORKPLACE: A Manager’s Practical Guide, by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass, send your name, address, number of copies desired and a check made out to Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass for $12 per book (plus $2 shipping per book).  Or order 10 or more copies for $10 per book and $6.95 for shipping (up to 50 copies).  No fluff, this book gets right to the point. Send orders to:

Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188   

Email: mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com

To order the booklet: 41 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF YOUR WORKPLACE, by Dr. John Weaver send a check for $6 and a self-addressed, double stamped business size envelope to:

Dr. John Weaver
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188

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© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. John Weaver. Distribution rights: The above material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com to make arrangements.

Sharing this newsletter with colleagues and friends, under these conditions, is encouraged.

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Dr. John Weaver publishes another newsletter, co-authored by Darlene Weaver, THE CENTERED PENDULUMIt is our firm belief that lifelong patterns of “being” (personality, attitudes, emotions) and “doing” (lifestyle, adaptability, coping skills) interact with our genes and environment to create conditions of a healthy or a diseased brain.  If you would like to read previous issues of the Centered Pendulum newsletter or to subscribe, please visit the archives at http://www.centeredpendulum.org/newsletters.htm.