Archives For coaching

do your leaders need coaching?

Great article from Inc.com – 3 Timeless Traits Leaders Must Have“. One of those is Coaching Skills. The author, Marcel Schwantes, states:

You want your organization to become high-performing? I have the answer. An overlooked piece of the puzzle is coaching. The bad news, according to one study, is that less than half of organizations surveyed had implemented coaching as a part of their performance management process. For the few that did, you guessed it–high-performing organizations.

A good article from Marcel Schwantes and worth your time to read.

Coaching is so critical in all aspects of our lives – personal and professional. As Coachwell, Inc. states on their website:

Your life is important—every part of it. When you’re doing well, every part of your life goes well, and when you’re not doing well, everything suffers. Coachwell equips you to excel by paying attention to what matters most—your character, your health, your goals, your priorities and the team you’re building around you.

We all need the help and support of others.

BG

Does that sound a bit odd saying to not be nice? Actually, I am not sure yet if it is the best word yet for what I am trying to communicate.

In the nonprofit world especially, but often in business settings, I have found that people avoid saying what others need to hear or that we avoid dealing with difficult subjects as we don’t want to cause waves or disrupt the harmony (supposedly) of the team. What it actually means is that we try to avoid things that are emotionally uncomfortable for us. Get that last point – “for us”? Being nice, usually means not placing ourselves in a place of emotional discomfort – it’s all about us – not the other person.

Being kind on the other hand, is about doing what is best for the other person, even if it is emotionally uncomfortable, because you place their well-being above your own emotional comfort. Sometimes being kind doesn’t feel kind, especially when you are challenging a friend or co-worker to a higher standard that you know they could and should meet. It’s about challenging a family member to a higher standard. It’s about confronting someone you care about who has habits/behaviors that are detrimental to their well-being.

So, stop being nice (concerned about your own emotional comfort) and start being kind (being concerned for the well-being of others). Do what is right today.

BG

Making good decisions is a critical skill for people everyone and especially leaders. Yet, we often have not been trained how to make decisions and we also fail to train other in how to make decisions.

There are many tools out there for you to learn from as well as to train your team. One good resource is the Decision Making Techniques section of MindTools.com.

Also, Kouzes and Posner, in their book  A Coach’s Guide To Developing Exemplary Leaders, recommend asking these questions of your team when you are helping them make decisions:

  • How do you see . . . ?
  • What if we . . .?
  • What do you think about . . .?
  • How do you believe we could . . .?
  • Have you ever . . .?

These questions are good starters for conversations about how people make choices about their work.

The key thing to remember is that there is a science to making decisions. It is a skill to be learned and to be taught. It doesn’t just happen. So become a skilled craftsman and an accomplished teacher in the science (and art) of decision-making.

Blessings on you day!
BG

Things Leaders Do

February 28, 2012

Good morning!

According to James Kouzes and Barry Posner, there are five things that leaders do:

They Model the Way – they become exemplars of the behavior they expect of others.

They Inspire a Shared Vision – they envision the preferred future, creating an ideal image of the organization or project.

They Challenge the Process – they look for ways to improve processes and encourage the strength of the team to do it.

They Enable Others to Act – they foster collaboration through the use of excellent interpersonal skills.

They Encourage the Heart – they bring hope, encouragement, support, praise and appreciation.  Leaders are Dealers in Hope!

If you have time, pick up their book The Leadership Challenge or the workbook A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders.

Now – take a few minutes and ask yourself – how am I doing in each of those five areas?  Be honest with your self and then take definitive steps to begin growing where you need to grow!

Blessings on your day,
BG

Make a Difference This Week

November 29, 2011

Good morning – it is a cold wet morning here in southwest Michigan.

Last night, I had a great experience. We had something that needed to be fixed at our house that was beyond my very limited handyman capabilities, so we asked a young man to come over and fix the problem.  It was a great time of talking with this young man as I fetched things or held things for him as he made the repair. When he was finished, I asked him about paying him and he said he wanted to trade out his work.  What he wanted in exchange was some of my time once a month to be able to ask me questions and to just talk.  I was humbled and then felt very old!

I was also impressed by this young man’s wisdom.  He realized that he could not walk through this life on his own and was seeking several men to input into his life. For years, I have done the same and have recommended the same to others.

The question I have for you, is WHO are YOU investing into right now?  What young man or woman are you influencing?  Are you seeking and building relationships with younger people to help build this next generation of leaders?

While we continually need people investing into our lives, we also need to be very intentional about investing into others as well.

Be intentional this week and make a difference in a young person’s life.

BG

The Way of the Shepherd is an excellent little book on leadership that has profoundly impacted many people including me.  I often use it as a supplemental text in the management and leadership courses I teach and it is often the most impactful part of the course.  Many businesses and schools are now using it as a leadership approach now as a result of those classes.

The first of the seven principles of The Way of the Shepherd is “Know the Condition of Your Flock”. In other words – get to know your people and what is going on in their lives. As I have taught that, I often assumed that people would simply go and get to know their people.  What I have found is that people need “handles” – how do they go about getting to know your people?  Well, here are a few suggestions:

First – if you do assessments of your people, go get copies of their assessments and study them.  Find out their personality types and what that means.  Find out their history in your organization.  Study your people.

Secondly, after you have studied them on paper, set up a time to meet with them.  For this type meeting, if you can, meet somewhere offsite.  Maybe even over a meal.  But make it a neutral site as people seem to be freer in their conversations vs. being in a “work” setting.

Thirdly, just ask a few simple questions.  Following are some simple questions that are very illuminating about people and are more powerful than they first appear:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • Tell me about your family – how many siblings did you have?
  • What was your biggest challenge as a child?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Right now in your life – what causes you the most frustration?
  • Right now – what makes you smile?

Simple questions, but it is amazing the conversations that they generate and how much you learn about your team.

Hope you have a great weekend!
BG