The Power of the Hour


For the last several weeks, I have been consulting with two brothers who are partners in a technology company.  They had grown concerned about the level at which their company was operating and determined a need for “Business Coaching” in an effort to achieve maximum growth and a greater level of success.  

Initially, when coaching, though business owners believe they may know everything there is to know about their business and one another, I find it useful (and it’s enlightening for the owners) to help owners discover that there are many things they truly do not know about their business.  Hence, this was our beginning point.

There are a multitude of applicable techniques in “Business and Success Coaching”.  One of my favorite techniques to use, particularly in a partnership like this, is to separate the owners physically during a coaching session, thereby disallowing any form of communication between them.  This is precisely what I did.   At this point, I asked a series of questions, directed at each brother.  In an effort to determine their performance under pressure,  there was a time constraint enforced.  

 The questions were as follows:

What is working well in your business?  10 minutes to complete

What is not working well in your business?  10 minutes to complete

What are your brother’s strengths?  10 minutes to complete

What are your brother’s weaknesses?  10 minutes to complete.

 The “Infamous” Big White Board:

During this next exercise, the brothers stood side by side and wrote down each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  It was easy to observe that the level of stress had increased dramatically for each of them during this discovery technique.  During the next hour, as our discovery phase continued, the brothers learned a great deal about one another that they admitted to not knowing.  As the brothers engaged in discussion of strengths and weaknesses, there was one item, in particular, that they each noted as a significant weakness in the other….the frequency with which each engaged in argumentative behavior.

 As we delved into this one aspect, they agreed that cumulative, at least  one hour per day was spent engaged in argument (productive or non-productive).  In an effort to help them realize the magnitude of the time spent arguing, I offered them totals…that one hour per day translates into 5 hours per week, which then adds up to 20 hours per month and finally, in total – 240 hours per year of valuable company time may be spent engaged in disagreement.  Needless to say, they were shocked as they never considered the bigger picture in regard to the amount of time they had been spending entangled in disputes related to business.

Interestingly, the brothers explained that their average customer’s worth was valued at approximately a $10,000 profit.  In addition, they agreed that the average number of hours spent on “closing” a customer was nearly 20 hours.  As they considered this facet of their business and then re-examined the number of hours they attributed to argument, they were able to clearly see that the time spent engaged in argument directly impacted on time that could be devoted to potential sales…perhaps nearly 12 new business deals earning the company approximately $120,000.00 in income.         

At this point, the brothers agreed that, while they continue to develop strategies to maximize growth of their company, if they could simply reduce the time engaged in dispute by half, it could possibly render $60,000.00 directly to their bottom line.

Not bad for a two hour session!!  I felt my fee was well earned and they agreed. J

To learn more about your business – things that you may never have known, give me a shout at .  There might just be a buried treasure that you haven’t yet uncovered!!!

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