Archive for Coaching
My wife and I were recently in England at the time the Paralympics were being held. The athletes were people with obvious physical impairments, but who chose to exercise other gifts they had been given, and achieve world recognition. It was really inspiring to see a girl with no arms win the 100 metre backstroke in world record time; or a girl suffering from a form of dwarfism win two gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal. These people all had decided to focus on the gifts they had been given – rather than succumb to their obvious handicaps.
There are other examples of leadership in action from the non-athletic field. Dr. Stephen Hawking is probably one of the best known examples.He is a man who cannot speak except with the aid of a mechanical device, can’t get out of his wheel chair, except with the aid of a helper, yet is one of the most respected scientists of our time. Against incredible odds this man is fulfilling his destiny, and is just one example of many who are proving that the power is within you, when you choose to exercise the gifts that have been given to you.One of his many quotes is, “I notice that even people who claim that everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
HBR Blog Network: Ten Reasons People Resist Change
Leadership is about change, but what is a leader to do when faced with ubiquitous resistance? Resistance to change manifests itself in many ways, from foot-dragging and inertia to petty sabotage to outright rebellions. The best tool for leaders of change is to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance in each situation and then strategize around them.
Fast Company: How To Ask–And Listen–Like You Mean It
Leaders who are helping others to grow and innovate are always trying to craft the best questions to make a difference. Here’s how to ask the questions that will propel your team and your organization forward.
Inc.com: Best Way to Make Employees Better at Their Jobs
Scott Moorehead, CEO of The Cellular Connection, which has over 800 stores and is the largest Verizon premium wireless retailer in the U.S., shares how he thinks leaders should act. He promoted the idea of actively seeking feedback from employees, using their ideas about the company to make it better. His own story of how he grew as a leader is particularly compelling.
There are so many terrific articles and posts about leadership and talent management each week. Here are five of our favorties:
Leadership Freak: Tackling Armchair Quarterbacks
We absolutely loved this sarcastic and wise article on armchair quarterbacks. As usual, Dan Rockwell was amusingly accurate about what they actually bring to the table and has some excellent advice on what true leaders do to avoid putting themselves in a position to receive Monday morning advice.
Forbes: The 11 Leadership Secrets You Never Heard About
A well-written piece by August Turak, about his personal experience growing as a leader, and what he learned from great bosses on his way up the corporate ladder. This is truly an exceptional article.
Talk about feedback in any athletic environment and you will get almost unanimous support for feedback as a necessary ingredient for improved performance. Talk about 360 Feedback in a business environment and you will get a surprizing number of negative voices. There seems to be chasm between those who support the tool, and those who despise it.
Some of the common criticisms include:
- It focuses on the negative rather than the positive
- Allows persons to take “cheap shots” with anonymity
- Raters are not qualified to judge performance
- Managers can use it for evaluative purposes, while disguising it as “feedback”
- Little or no support for implementation of results
- Overly focussed on rating rather than development
But let’s for a moment, focus on the tool, rather than on the errors in its use. First of all it is a feedback tool – not an evaluative tool. It is designed to provide feedback for improved performance, not for evaluation of performance and/or salary determination. That is why it is called “360 Feedback”. Its purpose is to provide information for enhanced performance and improved effectiveness for the individual. It may be axiomatic, but if other people are not prepared to help us in our search for growth areas, then there will be no opportunity to grow.
None of us are perfect! But most of us want to strive for perfection. Feedback can help in this process by identifying opportunities for improvement. That is its purpose!
There have been many terrific articles and posts about leadership this past week. Here are some of our favorites:
Forbes.com: Agility: The Ingredient That Will Define Next Generation Leadership
Next generation leaders must be focused, fast and flexible as they face a market rife with accelerating rates of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. This article explores not only what it means to be ‘agile’, but how to determine potential leaders who might have some of these traits.
HBR Blog: How to Give Every Employee Customized Leadership Advice
A very interesting article about how Hilton has developed its leadership program, by reviewing what type of person they are, what advice works best, and aligning them with both leaders and advice that best motivates them.
“It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover
ability in others is the true test” Lou Holtz
On-the-job training is now such a common way of training workers that the practice may seem straightforward and almost simple. But doing it effectively requires more thought and preparation than simply having someone follow an experienced worker around and watch what they are doing. Coaching to develop job skills involves observing. analyzing, demonstrating, and giving feedback. It is a process of developing relationships with other members of their work team – relationships that will build the trust and respect that is the foundation of successful organizations.
On the job coaching has many benefits to both the workers and the organization. Two of the most important are:
- It will enable your team leaders and managers to direct their workers toward a shared goal that will help to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives.
- It will raise individual levels of performance, helping good workers become outstanding.
One of the crucial strategies involved in effective talent management is to define competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes). The organization also needs to coach individuals toward that end. In other words, organizations need to define the skills needed by their people, and then provide them with the proper training so that they are performing their jobs effectively, and with a high level of competency.