Learn about a new way to be a on-the-job coach to enhance productivity, satisfaction, and growth.
This summer I participated in a webinar through the Conscious Elders Network. Through this experience, I met Nancy Coiro and learned she is a Dream Coach. My eyes went wide open! A few years ago, I read the book The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly and was mesmerized by the simple story. But I was never quite sure if “Dream Managers” really existed.
The premise of the book is that leaders should be learning about employees’ dreams so they can help them accomplish their dreams while doing their jobs at the organization. Instead of just focusing on organizational goals, when people can also work toward reaching their dreams, they are more motivated and engaged in what they are doing.
So I arranged a call with Nancy to learn more to see if we were talking about the same concept and I discovered we were. Nancy is an executive at Goodwill Industries in Michigan, Michigan. Goodwill leadership read The Dream Manager on a national level and then introduced it on national level and left it up to each individual Goodwill to pursue.
Nancy participated in training in Chicago with Floyd Consulting and Matthew Kelly. Goodwill was motivated by this book to increase their retention and recruitment of employees. They wanted to change their culture and improve morale. The outcome is to have an assigned person on-site for employees to talk with about their dreams and issues—an employee advocate.
Nancy said they have been satisfied with the results, but they need to train more dream coaches. She uses ZOOM technology to communicate with employees in other regions. When I asked her to describe a dream session, she said: People volunteer to be in the program at least 6 months. They explain why did they are interested, their dreams, and their perceptions as to the barriers to their dreams. Meetings are on company time.
The various categories for dreams include: Adventure, travel, health, spirituality, financial, relationships, legacy. Participants list their dreams under the categories. They brainstorming and interact by sharing lists. Then they select one thing they want to work on and they indicate how much help they want from the coach. They contact the coach weekly on progress being made. Later, they announce successes in front of the whole group at all employee meetings.
Nancy said it is amazing to see how other people being successful motivates others. She has seen positive productivity, retention, and recruitment results as an outcome from employees accomplishing their dreams.
I asked Nancy to describe their typical employee profile, this was her response:
English is often not the first language. A high percentage of them only have a high school education or lower. They are working manual labor jobs which are not often inspiring. Many of them have faced other obstacles in their lives so dreams give them something to look forward to and the anticipation is motivating.
Being a Dream Coach is only part of her job as she spends about 15 hours per week on these activities and it is part of her job description. But the concept carries over in other parts of her job as she helps people get job successes at work too.
Nancy has found the role as a Dream Coach rewarding because she gets to see people progress. It is fascinating to learn about people and what is important to them. For example, one 62 year old woman wanted to ride a Harley Davidson because she fell off of one as a teenager and had not been on one since. So Nancy and the company made it happen! Networking and connections made it happen. When people start reaching their dreams, it is time to revise their lists. They ask the question: Was this your dream or someone else’s dream for you? It is good to ask that question and maybe take it off the list.
Goals can weight us down, but dreams can lift us up!
What are your dreams?
How would you feel if you could reach your dreams?
Do you know the dreams of your employees?
If you did, how could you help them accomplish their goals?