What You Should Know About Executive Coaching

Therapy takes you from where you are now and helps you go back and figure out how you got there. With executive coaching, it’s really about where you are right now and where you ultimately want to be. It’s about taking you from the place where you find yourself, help you to articulate and get clear about where you want to go, and then give you the tools to get there.

Executive Coaching

1.  Executive Coaching Does NOT Fix Broken Executives:  While some executives need extra work to improve their performance, a lot of executives are growing in their leadership capabilities with the help of a coach.  Why is it so effective?  Christine Turner’s research in the Ivey Business Journal indicates that executives improve through guided and focused one on one attention with a coach.  Turner says:

The executives said the most significant benefit was the individualized attention they received from their coaches. Add to this the fact that executive coaching takes place over an extended period of time and it becomes a great way to acquire and ingrain new skills.

2.  Executive Coaching is NOT Therapy:  The thought of lying on a couch and talking to someone who is not looking at us and answering questions like, “And how does that make you feel?” is terrifying to most executives.  Coaching is not about dealing with issues in a person’s past necessarily.  Coaches are focused on present performance and getting the most out of a leader.  Executive coaching may feel a bit like therapy when their coach exposes blind spots in leadership areas.   The pain is momentary because it serves as a learning experience.  The executive is coached to develop new skills to handle specific performance issues.  Sometimes, everyone but the executive can see what is happening to the morale of a team (or whatever issue is looming to hold back progress) — it takes “outside eyes” to help the executive adjust and begin to increase effectiveness again.  More than anything, executive coaching is an opportunity to learn.  Thomas J. Ucko describes the process:

Executive coaching is a structured process that starts with feedback about the executive’s leadership behaviors, and involves the executive in determining goals for more useful behaviors and in designing a plan for achieving these goals

3.  Coaching Gets Results:  Although Executive coaching is not a magic bullet, nor a quick fix, many executives are experiencing the positive results of it.  The Sherpacoaching 2014 report claims:

Coaches in the business for 2 years or less report results as 51% good, 49% excellent. Veteran coaches, those in business 15 years or more, see 23% of coaching as producing good results, and 76% of coaching arriving at excellent outcomes.

Executive Coaching is growing in popularity because it is helping executives increase their effectiveness as leaders.  Not only are the executives benefiting, but so are their companies and direct reports.  It makes sense to invest in Executive Coaching to multiple the effectiveness of an organization.

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6 Tips for Being an Effective Facilitator

Being a leader is not just about making good decisions behind closed doors. It means understanding and listening to the perspectives of coworkers and stakeholders. A well facilitated discussion ensures everyone’s voices are heard, builds connections among group members, and generates excitement for the topic being discussed. Here are a few tips to take the challenge out of effective facilitating as you hone your own leadership style.

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Be clear about the goal of the session. If it’s a brainstorm session and people expect consensus, they will be dissatisfied. If the goal is consensus, and people continue to present new ideas, they too will be frustrated. Explicitly sharing the goal helps keep the conversation moving in the right direction.

Use people’s names. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember. Especially in groups where not everyone knows each other, consciously using people’s names when you ask them to speak builds a sense of openness and trust in the group.

Restate and connect ideas. This shows that you listen to and value everyone’s input. Restating allows for more people to hear and understand the original thought. Connecting ideas builds a conversation rather than a lecture.

Don’t be afraid of silence. Those who need a little more time to process a question will appreciate it. Everyone will see and understand that their participation is valued and needed. Restate or ask another question after a while, but give people enough time to respond thoughtfully.

Allow for conflicting opinions; don’t take sides. It’s okay that not everyone agrees. As a facilitator, help the participants understand the nature of their conflict. Dig a little deeper to find out why they feel the way they do.

Show your enthusiasm and excitement. When a group member asks a good question or makes a good point, don’t be afraid to show you think so. If you are excited about a topic, others will be, too.

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4 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

A recent blog post from the Harvard Business Review questioned whether people can really improve their Emotional Intelligence. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic wrote our emotional intelligence is relatively stable, but not rigid. He notes change requires “a great deal of dedication and patience.”

What are we talking about here? Emotional intelligence describes a person’s ability to understand her own emotions and the emotions of others. Insights from emotional IQ are useful for improving all professional and personal relationships. Quite simply, you make better decisions when regularly considering this information.

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Here are four tips to help you improve your emotional intelligence with the recognition that change takes time:

1. Become a better listener. A big mistake people often make in the business world is thinking about what they want to say next instead of listening to other participants in a conversation. If you tune in to others, you will catch important clues about their emotions and choose more appropriate responses.

2. Acknowledge your weaknesses. According to the Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence (Mayer and Salovey, 1997), emotional intelligence involves the abilities to accurately perceive your emotions and those of others, use emotions to guide thinking, understand emotional meanings, and manage your own emotions. You may be weaker in one or more of these four areas.

3. Set a goal. You are going to increase your emotional intelligence by setting a personal goal and taking incremental steps to reaching it. If you know you need to focus on understanding emotional meanings, you can work with a professional to recognize the signs people give you. Stopping to think about emotional meanings can help you avoid many difficult situations.

4. Improve by up to 25% by following a well-designed coaching program. Chamorro-Premuzic noted working with an executive and business coach can help you make improvements in your emotional intelligence. Ensure you are working with a coach who is giving you the right feedback.

Bridge the gap between intention and action. Get on the path to interacting more effectively with everyone you meet. Please contact us for personalized assistance today!

Four Ways to Increase Your Productivity

Increase your productivity at the office with these easy tips for getting things done at work.

The Labor Department announced that U.S.productivity fell 1.7 percent for the first quarter of 2014,  making it a current hot topic in business. While company-wide productivity takes time to see results, here are few things that you can start doing today to improve your own:


Make Lists

Too many ideas and and tasks that need to be completed consumes your thoughts and therefore reduces productivity. Keeping a tool close at hand to write down ideas or to-do list items helps your brain associate that the item has been acknowledged and provides focus. Mobile note-taking or list apps, Google reminders, a personal notebook or even a tried and true paper To-Do list will suffice. Find the method that works for you and watch as your productivity increases.


Prioritize  First-Things-First-Quadrant-Steven-Covey-Time-Management

When confronted with a long to-do list or tackling a project, prioritize the tasks by putting them in order of importance. Remember the old saying that things that are urgent are not always important. Productivity is not just about getting lots of things done quickly. The tasks that are completed need to be important enough to move the task, project, or company ahead on a regular basis.

Delegate 

Identify employees’ strengths and use those to your advantage. Assign tasks that others can accomplish more efficiently, as well as tasks that prevent you from focusing on more important things at hand. Delegating ensures that projects are being worked on and moved ahead on schedule, and allows employees to feel a sense of ownership over the success of the company.

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Resist the urge to multi-task. Set a timer for a certain amount of time to work before checking email or making a phone call. These potential time suckers will steal your attention and reduce productivity while working. Hop off the hamster wheel and laser in on the task at hand.

 

What’s YOUR go to method for tackling the to-do list? Please share in the comments!

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