Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Is Coaching?

How would I know if I could benefit from coaching?

What makes coaching so special?

Coaching is a relationship that helps the client focus on the best within them. Coaches ask specific questions that help the client understand themselves and find the answers they know the client already holds. Coaching will guide you to reach the goals you have set for yourself.

Coaching is not therapy or advice. Coaching is not about the past. 
Coaching is about moving forward to becoming the best you can be in all aspects of your life. Coaches help you set goals that will make you work towards the vision you have of your life, your business and even your health and wellness.

Coaching can be done in various formats – one-on-one, groups, or even, on-line!
  • One-on-one coaching sessions usually take place by phone for 45-60 minutes, once per week with a personal and specific agenda providing accountability to action plans set at each session.
  • Group coaching sessions usually take place in person for 45 -60 minutes, 3 or 4 times per month with a common agenda including accountability for action plans set during the sessions.
  • On-line coaching caters to the individual who is looking for less feedback in place for challenges and the accountability lies strictly with you to complete your tasks.
• Links you to solutions
• Helps you to create your personal vision
• Safe, objective, non-judgmental
• Unbiased, confidential support
• Helps you to reach your goals

Coaching is about moving forward, evolving and enhancing the life you have. Let’s face it – we are who we are. Why shouldn’t we be the best we can be, working with what we have? We will never be someone else – we should use our gifts and talents to be our best everyday – set goals, make plans to transform and change. Coaching supports this by being results oriented and focusing on actions to be your best.

The cost of coaching varies depending on the type of coaching you are receiving. One-on-One coaching could cost range from $200/hr to as much as $3500/hr for executive coaching according to the Harvard Business Review Coaching Survey from January 2009. Taking place 4 times per month (or whatever you choose with the coach), with an average duration of 7-12 month. Group coaching also varies in pricing – anywhere from $30 - $300 per person per hour. On-line coaching can start at $19.95/month with variable commitments. Your best on-line bet is to find a program that suits your needs and provides you with the ability to seek feedback from the coaches that operate the site.

Coaching is the most challenging way to reach your goals. It is an evolved way of looking at your future, taking control of it and being accountable to yourself to meet your goals. Go for it! Find a coaching program today!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Integrity in Leadership 1

Is Leadership essentially trust is action? Is integrity ‘doing the right thing even when no one else is looking’? Absolutely!

Ask yourself two questions: Am I a trustworthy leader? How do I show this to my team/company/community?

Trust is shown to leaders by the actions, and sustained motivation that the team has in place. People earn trust, it is not simply imparted because of a title or position. Always make sure actions match your words – do as I say…and as I do!

Mark Twain said "Always do right. This will surprise some people and astonish the rest."

Is this your leadership in action?

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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Drama Queen (or King) at Work

Everyone knows who this is. This is the…

‘Why does the boss pick on me?’, ‘why am I always first?’, ‘why did he/she say that to me?’, ‘why was I centered out?’, ‘blah, blah, blah why me?’, ‘blah, blah, blah poor me’, ‘I’m better than everyone else, so why me?’ crier of the team.

Nothing is ever this person’s fault. Everyone should do everything their way. They speak without thinking and expect to be known as the guru of whatever subject is at hand. They wonder why they get ‘called out’ when they speak without filtering what they are saying. They interrupt, are abrupt, don’t know when to stop asking questions and provide commentary on every single point of a presentation, especially if they do not appreciate the presenter. They call their peers to re-hash every meeting, focused on any comments made by ‘the boss’…because those comments were all directed at the Drama Queen (or King), of course!

So what do you do about this person? How do you handle them? Does ignoring them really work, or does it leave you ready to vent to your peers?! What are they thinking? Can you get inside their mind and understand why all the drama is required? Is this co-worker a narcissistic histrionic – everything is always about them to the maximum degree? Is there hope for an histrionic?

Perhaps. Let’s start slowly. It does not serve anyone well to get upset, irritated or yell at the Drama Queen (or King). You would only be enabling the ‘Drama-Queen (or King)-ness’. You would need to start by trying to understand. Perhaps, and most likely, this individual is insecure, has low self-esteem and needs constant validation. The Drama Queen (or King) is really looking for you to make them –and keep them- the center of attention. They are looking for you to validate their view of the negativity so they can continue to be in the drama.

Try this.

1. Ask the Drama Queen (or King) to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and ask them how they would handle the situation.

2. Ask the Drama Queen (or King) to consider the context of the comment that was directed at them. For example, if the topic is low sales and their region has the lowest sales, would the comments be valid.

3. Ask the Drama Queen (or King) to reverse positions with you and hear what is being said from your shoes.

4. Ask the Drama Queen (or King) about the obvious – for example, they are region 1 so they will always be first in the discussion of results. If you are brave, suggest that the Drama Queen (or King) as the meeting facilitator to start from a different direction.

5. Play back to the Drama Queen (or King) in exact words and tone what they have just said to you. Ask them to respond to this. It could be that they do not realize that they are always in Drama Queen (or King) –mode.

And last, but not least, humor may actually help diffuse some of the pent up emotion and quell some of the jitters, allowing the Drama Queen (or King) to see their own reflection in the mirror and correct their own behavior. Validating their Drama Queen (or King) behavior only enables them to continue. For the sake of, at the very least, the business, be honest with them and help them to resolve their issue.

Each Drama Queen (or King) is different, so handle with care. Don’t forget to look in the mirror for the latent Drama Queen (or King) within each of us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leaders Expect Better Results

Good leaders expect better results no matter who is on the team roster.

If you expect better, you get better!

Leaders use emotional intelligence in the business workplace to develop new ideas and reach better results.
Leaders work with managers to get the job done.
Leaders work with managers to help them develop leadership skills and take their place or other leadership roles in the organization.

Charles Darwin said “It’s not the biggest and the strongest but the most adaptable that survive.”

Think about your team. Is your team big and strong, or is it fit and adaptable, ready to find creative solutions to the next crisis that comes your way? Is your team prepared to survive? As a leader have you done everything you can to ensure survival? Do you expect Better every day?

By expecting better results, people will learn to adapt. When you lay out the challenges of business before your team, you may see some apprehension, some excitement, perhaps even some fear. What you do as a leader is most important at this time. If you don’t ask someone to run, they never will.

Look at your business results for the past year, have you expected better of your team? Asked them to reach a little higher, push a little harder? They did, didn’t they?! It’s in them. It’s in you. Better is in every one of us! A good manager, modeling a good leader, will find creative solutions to bring out the ‘better’ in all of us.

Here are a few things good leaders do to get better results:

• They teach working smart. Not being busy and working hard, but working smart – focusing on the right thing at the right time, not trying to do everything at once and this includes delegating the right projects to the right person.

• Leaders look to experts for advice and execution. Knowing they are not the expert in everything, leaders put the right people into the right role to get better results. Leaders are not afraid to look outside the team for expertise or to bounce ideas for feedback.

• Leaders listen and take action – immediately. Procrastination is the enemy. What waits until tomorrow usually ends up costing money and time.

• They find out the roadblocks (by asking questions and listening to the answers) and eliminate roadblocks with solid decisions that can help the team move ahead efficiently and effectively.

Leaders understand that good enough is not good enough! To be better means to expect more of the right things from your team. A good manager can get the team executing all the right things.  A good leader provides the vision of better and create an environment where better can take place every day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time is Ticking

Leadership is about time ....and making it work for you through your team.
Time is governed by the universe, the sun especially.

A solstice is the turning point, the time when the earth turns toward or away from the sun.  Solstice is a time of change, of moving in a new direction.  How is your Leadership Solstice?

Are you experiencing the longest days of leadership or the shortest days?  Handling issues,  putting out fires, wishing there was more time in the day or that the day would just end?

The Leadership Solstice is about creating a new vision for your leadership.  Whether at work, in your home or in your community, you leadership is under your control.  You get to decide if it will be the longest or shortest day of your week, year or life. 

The Leadership Solstice will provide articles, leadership support and references, tools to continue to move your leadership vision forward and make it become reality.

Please provide your insights and feedback.  If you find this is inspirational, useful or even entertaining please provide a donation to support the continued postings of the Leadership Solstice.