Posts tagged coaching
How to Coach Your Team to Success

One of the biggest challenges for leaders is to create and maintain the proper conditions for worker engagement and productivity. We know that if we are to maintain high levels of workplace output and morale we need to ensure that our employees feel valued and challenged. We also recognize that if we want to be able to respond to, if not stay in front of, marketplace change we need to develop workers who are comfortable thinking independently and contributing to the collective brain trust.

Too many leaders and managers, however, fail to achieve this because they do not understand how to motivate today’s workers or how to empower them to think and act independently and more positively.

In generations past people would be told what they needed to do from their earliest years. Parents would instruct children on how to behave at home and teachers would demand student compliance in school. Failure to obey would result in corporal punishment or other heavy handed responses. In the workplace, employees would be given orders and were required to dutifully implement them if they wanted to hold their positions for any meaningful duration.

But times have changed. As younger workers make their way into the workplace, they expect to play by a different set of rules. They want to be given the freedom to experiment, a voice with which to weigh in at staff meetings and the ability to pursue what they view as meaningful, engaging work. Anything less they view as limiting, which spells dissatisfaction and, for the most part, underperformance (if not outside job seeking).

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Coaching: The Key to Getting Unstuck

One of the local papers runs my coaching content weekly.

They use this caption for my "Coach's Corner" column.

I hadn't seen it before. And I love it.

Unlike other interventions, coaching is all about taking the ideas and magic already in a client's head and helping them unravel, organize and make sense of it, while setting aside the things that have been holding them back.

Standard client comments: "I know I need to ___ (take action) but can't because ___ (limiting belief.)"

Coaching empowers people to move forward and get things done.

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Tips to Help Your People Become More Independent

The transition from dependence to independence exists in many arenas, including the workplace. As leaders, we want to quickly help our newly employed or repositioned personnel move from needy and dependent, requiring lots of direction, to confident self-reliant, and thus capable for being delegated to.

Here are some steps that can help expedite the process of making your people more independent.

  1. Avoid micromanaging – It is very common for managers and supervisors to want to ensure that their newest additions feel properly supported. They also want to avoid early mess-ups. So, they micromanage and insist on being involved in every step. While this is understandable, it is also detrimental to the new person’s growth. Find ways to allow them the space to work without constant direction, so that they can spread their wings.

  2. Be willing to let them fail Jon Brodsky of Finder.com takes the approach of letting his newly-appointed managers fast and forward. This does not mean that they get tossed into the deep-water section with the hope they quickly figure out how to swim. Instead, the goal is to give them space and permission (if not encouragement) to fail in controlled, low-stakes ways. This will allow them to learn from the process and start self-correcting. In the long-term, this learning will be far more valuable and lasting.

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6 Tips on How to Get Unstuck

The challenge I want to talk about today is something called getting stuck.

Many of us feel it, in our personal lives, in our relationships and of course at work in business.

We think we're capable of doing more. We want to build our businesses, build our relationships, get so much more out of life.

But we just don't seem to know what to do. Many times, as a result, we do nothing.

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Walking the Tightrope of Life

Many of us struggle to achieve and maintain proper balance in our lives. We seek to succeed in the work arena while simultaneously being there for our families and loved ones. We have a strong sense of community and want to give back to those around us while also ensuring that we attend to our health-related, emotional, and spiritual needs on a regular basis.

Despite our best intentions,our many aims oftentimes come into direct conflict with one another. We simply cannot give as much time as we would like to each of these areas in a manner that is fully satisfying. How can we manage to strike the proper balance between these oft-competing realms in a manner that is both responsible and fulfilling?

For starters, it is important that we take the time to identify and prioritize our core values and aspirations. Often this is best achieved through the creation of a personal mission statement, which lays out what is most important and what we strive to achieve in each realm. A coach, guide or mentor can be helpful here in ask the hard questions that drill down on what is truly important. They can also offer a different perspective and value set to your own.

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A Shortcut to Experience

A story is told about a reporter who was interviewing a successful bank president. He wanted to know the secret of the man’s success. "Two words”, he was told, “right decisions.” “And how do you make right decisions?” asked the reporter. The reply: “One word: experience.” The reporter pressed on. “And how do you get experience?” he asked. To which the banker replied, “Two words: wrong decisions.”

We all recognize the importance of job and life experience, especially for leaders. Experience gives leaders context for important decisions that they must make and insight into how best to lead, motivate and respond to their people. Experienced leaders have been through the wringer before and can use their past learning and decisions to guide them moving forward.

Yet, for many new leaders, experience can be hard to come by. And in today’s fast-changing, competitive environment in which more and more young people are assuming leadership roles, it can be critical for them to find ways to gain experience quickly in order to ensure that they make as few “wrong decisions” as possible, for their own sake as well as for those that they lead.

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Life Lessons from the Pool

Today was a fun day. I set up our “new” pool (it was actually a replacement for a damaged one) and my kids, who had been pining for the pool since the last one collapsed, got back into the water again. They swam, splashed and genuinely enjoyed one another. It was a perfect activity for today’s sunny, hot afternoon.

While we definitely enjoyed the end result, there was much effort that went into the pool’s setup. For starters, I had set up the original pool on a slightly sloped area (no part of my back yard is perfectly flat). The water had previously caused the pool to sag to the downside and I wanted to prevent the same outcome this time. So I took my landscape rake and worked for some time to flatten out any bumps and reduce all elevations...

As I reflected on my morning of pool prepping, I thought of some lessons that have useful application to many areas in our lives. These include:

  1. Lay a solid foundation – All successful projects begin with a solid, smooth foundation. Whether it’s setting up a pool, launching a new product, or initiating organizational change, a strong foundation helps to ensure that the process will be met with success. When it comes to anything people related, the primary foundation of strong relationships is trust. In the case of a bringing a new product to market, seek to do the necessary research and testing to ensure that the launch will be a success.
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