November 17, 2019

6 Truths About Leading People

People At WorkAs a leader, you have probably read countless books and articles about how to lead people.  Some of the information you have read in the past is great…some needs to be thrown in the trash.

One of the big problems I have with much of the information out there in books and journals about leadership is that these books focus on the leader…not on the followers.  My belief is and always has been is this:  As a leader, if you know some general truths about people, about what motivates them and what drives them away, you will be a much better leader.  So, today, I want to share with you six truths about leading people.  While these do not apply to every single person out there, these are so common that I feel I need to write about them today.

1.  The majority of people you are leading are doing their best…even if you think they are not.  As a leader, you may have some preconceived ideas and expectations about what your followers should or should not be doing.  The question I have is this “Have you spoken to them about those expectations?”  If not, then this is not their fault…it is yours.  As a leader in today’s world, you have to be willing to place a top focus on the training and development of the people in your company and then be willing to bring in coaching to encourage people and to hold them accountable to their own greatness.  If you are walking around silently complaining about what someone should be doing, there is a good chance your employees don’t know this, and it is up to you to assign someone in your company the job of implementing a world class development program.

2.  People are inspired by public recognition and will do more for you when they get it.  As someone who works with leaders and teams every day, I have heard so many people speak about the lack of public recognition for a job well done.  From my perspective, people are craving recognition, and they are just not getting it, and they are craving recognition for not only big accomplishments but the small things that make the biggest difference in your company.  Why are we doing this to our employees?  My hunch is the old excuse of “We just forgot…or we just did not have time.”  Hmmm…I say it’s time to “make time” for public recognition every day.  The public recognition does not need to be in front of hundreds of people…it could be in front of just one other person, and the employee needs to hear something like this:  “Thank you so much for handling the incoming calls yesterday for 30 minutes.  I cannot tell you how much time this freed up for the whole team to finish the project we were working on.”  So, you name the good deed while explaining how it had an impact on the team and/or your company.

3.  Every person in your company has a different level of readiness for change.  Generally speaking, most people don’t like change, because change challenges us all to go into unknown territory.  Having said that, some people will adapt to change quickly while other people will change gradually over time while others will never buy into the change you are trying to implement.  To expect everyone to jump on board with your change initiative or new idea is almost impossible.  A tool like the DiSC assessment can help you understand a bit about how people view risk and change so that you aren’t blindsided when some people don’t automatically jump on board.   For those people who do not easily buy into change, give them an end date for getting on board. For those people who don’t get on board with your new initiatives, it will be time for a tough conversation.

4.  People are watching you to see if your actions match your words.  Because of the lack of integrity in some of our leaders, our world now looks at leaders through scrutinizing eyes.   They may hear your lips flapping, but they don’t see your actions lining up with the words you speak.  The first rule of integrity is probably “Tell the truth and live the truth, even when no one is looking”.  Right up there with this rule is “If you say you are going to do something or you want your team to act a certain way, you better do it”.  If you don’t, your credibility will instantly become tarnished, and people will lose trust in you and the words you speak.

5.  Not everyone in your company wants to be an “A player” on your team.  Somewhere along the way, company leaders have grabbed onto the idea that every single person in their company wants to “play to their full potential” and “rise to the top”.  This is just not the case.  There are many people in companies who love playing a support role.  They are your “B players”, and they are perfectly content playing that role.  As a leader, if you are going for only “A players” or people who want to get there, I recommend you read the book Topgrading by Brad Smart and then only hire people who have the qualities of the “A players” of the world.  Having said this, I just don’t know how well a company would operate with all “A players”.  I feel that we need people in support roles who don’t want to rise to the top of the company, but that is just my opinion.  The truth is to know that even though you may want everyone succeeding beyond their wildest dreams, there are people who just don’t want that for their lives, and as a leader, you have a decision to make:  You either have a mix of “A and B Players”, or you only hire “A players” who are going to rise to the top of your company.  It’s all up to you.

6.  There is a 99.9% chance that the people in your company are gossiping about you and others.  Let’s face it: People talk about other people in your company.   Of course, they love to spread around the bad stuff, but as a leader, you must be willing to know that there is a grapevine in your company, and it is important to know what is being heard through the grapevine.   I don’t want to suggest that you dwell on this topic, but it is important that you put your ear to the ground enough to know what is being said at the water fountain, over lunch and during breaks about you, your team or your company.  It could be very valuable information that can lead you to making a decision that could turn your company around.

To learn more about the people in your company and what they want from you as a leader, contact me today for a complimentary coaching session.  I am happy to see how I can help you.

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Integrity DOES Count! Why Greg Smith is Leaving Goldman Sachs

Integrity Does MatterThousands of companies around the world just love hanging the word “integrity” on the walls of their hallowed hallways.  You know…it looks good.

But in the past few years, we have seen some of most well respected companies do everything they can to grab onto the almighty dollar…anything…even if it means ripping off a client.

Today, 12-year top tier employee, Greg Smith, resigned from Goldman Sachs.  You can read his full blog post on the New York Times Opinion Page:  Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs.  Smith is not a newbie.  He has been with the company for 12 years and has been one of their most supportive raving fan employees.  Yet today, he has had enough.  To sum it up, here is a bit of what he mentions in his post:

“It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.”

So many people believe today that you can plop the word “integrity” on a piece of paper or on a wall in your company’s building and not live it…no one will ever know if you are not walking your talk, following through on your promises and looking out for the best interest of your clients and employees.  But, the world has changed.  We now have the 24/7 news cycle, forums and bloggers.  And, people are just sick and tired of the greed and corruption we are seeing right and left.  Here I am…a leadership coach, and I don’t know Greg Smith, yet I have heard a few things along the way the past two years about Goldman Sachs.  While I would want to hear the other side of the story (there are always two sides to everything), Smith’s story lines up with what I have heard from some well respected national leaders.

In the United States, we wonder why we are in trouble.  The blog post Smith wrote today answers that question in spades.  Companies now think they can be greedy, rip people off, steal ideas from other companies and go after more and more money and just forget about their solid reputation.  I wonder what the men and women who founded Goldman Sachs would think if they knew what was going on.  The company was founded in 1869 on principles mentioned by Smith: teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients.  Apparently, GS has fallen off the tracks according to Smith.

This should be a wake up call to every organization out there.  Not only will clients not want to do business with you when you are out of integrity, but your top talent will jump ship when they have had enough.

Just as a reminder:  If your company is “living in integrity”, you should be able to:

  • Be widely trusted by your clients and employees
  • Present the unvarnished truth on each and every decision you make
  • Walk your talk, even when no one is looking
  • Take tough stands when you notice employees doing things you know will hurt your company
  • Not misrepresent yourself for your own personal gain
  • Keep confidences
  • Under-promise and over-deliver
  • Drop your own personal agenda to take care of your clients, employees and company
  • Set personal friendships aside when making a decision (if you are making a decision that is out of integrity to protect or help a friend, you are out of integrity)
  • Admit and own your mistakes publicly
  • Address conflict in a direct manner and settle it in an equitable fashion
  • Openly share information that other people need

Today, I encourage everyone reading this post to perform an integrity check by asking yourself this question:

Am I walking my talk, or are my words just empty words that look good on paper?

Thank you to Jeannette Paladino of Write, Speak, Sell for sending me this post.  She is a long-time New York City gal (and amazing blogger), and she always is on the lookout for me.  Thanks Jeannette for sending this along!

 

 

 

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Leadership Coaching for Abrasive Leaders: The Boss Whispering Institute

I posted a recent post by the name of Leadership Coaching is Not for Everyone.  I had a lot of responses to this post, and I wanted to make you all aware of The Boss Whispering Institute, brought to my attention by Laura Crawshaw, Ph.D., BCC, Founder of The Boss Whispering Institute, dedicated to research & training in the field of coaching abrasive leaders

The Boss Whispering Institute is the world’s first organization dedicated to research and training in the field of coaching abrasive leaders, including medical, legal, and academic professionals, and Laura mentioned on LinkedIn that she is happy to share the methods with everyone.  You can access it by going to their website www.bosswhispering.com, going to the Research & Publications page, scrolling down to Coaching-Related Publications, and clicking on “Coaching Abrasive Leaders: Using Action Research to Reduce Suffering and Increase Productivity in Organizations”, Crawshaw, L., International Journal of Coaching in Organizations, Autumn, 2010. This will allow you to download the PDF of the article.

I just want to remind everyone to re-read the article I posted.  I do want to emphasize that I said this:

Now then, I want to shift just a minute to the clients who are more than likely not going to respond well to coachingThis is not always the case, but I have seen these five scenarios dozens of times, and I have actually ended contracts with people who have exhibited these behaviors, because I can tell that the situation is just not getting better.

I want to emphasize that I did not say that leaders with certain behaviors could not be coached.  In my experience, people who get about six to eight weeks down the road in a coaching engagement and who are not shifting (in my experiences) will tell me upon questioning that “the company wanted this…not me”.  And, as we all know, a person has to want to change to truly change on the inside.

I applaud Laura and the Boss Whispering Institute for their work with being able to turn around the more challenging leader.  So, you can check out their work, or you can refer a more difficult client their way if you feel you cannot coach a leader who is just not shifting.

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Leadership Coaching Strategies to Stop Top Talent From Quitting

The Revolving Door of Top TalentDo you ever feel like your hiring process is just like a revolving door?  Top talent in…top talent out!

If so, you are not alone!

During the past ten years of offering leadership coaching and executive coaching services to companies, one of the biggest complaints I hear is about the revolving door of the hiring process.  One of two things usually come up in leadership conversations:

  1. Top talent comes, they stay for about six to nine months and then they leave
  2. The company “settles” for bodies rather than digging to find the top talent they need, so the department or project team now has some drag on their team

What I have found is this:  If employees feel disconnected from their work, bored or if the work is elementary and mind-numbing, employees will leave, regardless of the many tricks you try to lure them into staying.  So, here are a few suggestions to help you with this challenge:

  1.  Match the job to the employees talent and level of capability.  Humans actually want to be challenged.  They want to be stretched.  So, if the job is not challenging or could be done by someone with half of their experience, they may be going through the motions, but their heart and soul are not in the work.  Having said this, if the job is too hard, an employee can get very frustrated and just give up.  Striking the right balance is critical.
  2. Offer leadership coaching.  With leadership coaching, you can help your employees strike that “right” balance between being totally bored and disconnected and being way in over their heads.  By offering weekly leadership coaching to your employees, you can discuss what’s working and what is not, how to challenge them more and when and how to maybe back down just a bit.  This is also a great time to provide training to your employees if they feel they are in over their heads.  They may just need some additional training or a tiny question answered to get back moving again in the right direction
  3. Work on building trust.  It is not uncommon for people to simply not trust a boss, a co-worker or the company.  As a leader, one of your biggest jobs to do every day is to build those strong bonds of trust that employees need to feel safe and secure in the jobs they have been empowered to do.
  4. Talk with your employees about what inspires them and what outcomes they most value.  You may think that money inspires your employees, but in my experiences as a leadership coach, I have found that what matters more than money are the following:

The opportunity to be challenged, succeed and then be recognized for that success

The reward of extra free time to spend with friends and family

The feeling of doing a great, great job and bring proud of a finished product

So, if you are having a tough time keeping employees, start looking at both your hiring process and take the time to sit down (without judgment) and ask your employees why they are leaving.  Ask them what you could have offered that would have made them want to stay, and ask them if they felt the work they were doing was truly meaningful.  You may be surprised at the answers as they come forward.

If you are having any challenges with either hiring or keeping top talent, contact me today so that we can talk a bit about how to turn your specific situation around.

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PODCAST: How to Deal With Difficult People During the Innovation Process

During the innovation process, you will more than likely bump into a few “stoppers” and “nay-sayers”.  During this podcast, Bea Fields will discuss how to handle difficult people who are on your innovation team.

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PODCAST: How to Deal With Creative People During the Innovation Process

The creative thinkers on your team will be critical to the innovation process.  During thie presentation, Bea Fields will discuss how to deal with creative people on your innovation team.

 

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5 Warning Signs that Your Arrogance is Tearing Your Team Apart

ArroganceArrogance is something that we often discuss in the world of leadership.  A little bit of arrogance can go a long way in the direction of success, but when overused, arrogance can tear your team apart.  The main reason?  As a leader, if arrogance is your leadership skill of choice, your team is more than likely feeling devalued, rejected and angry.  When I speak in private to team members about their arrogant leaders, they usually shrug and say “It is a waste of my oxygen to mention anything or bring new ideas to the table.  He always thinks he has the right and only answer”.

If you are an arrogant leader, these behaviors will be seen by others:

1. You think you have the only answer.

2. You always think you are right and that the rest of the world is wrong. And, your team hears this constantly.

3. You dismiss the ideas of others on your team.

4. You appear aloof and that you don’t really like other people.

5. You pull rank constantly and try to overpower other people.

6. You rarely share credit with others.

7. You don’t take feedback from others as an opportunity to learn or grow.  You think you are already masterful at everything.

Here are the signs that your arrogance is tearing your team apart:

1.  Team members don’t speak up during meetings or one on one discussions.  Why should they?  You know it all!

2.  Team members work in a robotic fashion.  They would never want to come up with an innovative idea, because you will more than likely squash any new ideas.

3.  When speaking with team members, they stumble through their words, get flushed and anxious, and they will always back down from their opinion.

4.  Team members quit, because they are living in fear.  They are afraid they will say the wrong thing, and you would rather be right than keep your top talent in place.

5.  Team members are talking about you behind your back.  You may not know it, but trust me…they are talking about you behind your back.  When a team is not aligned with their leader, and the team is talking about you behind your back, get ready for your productivity, teamwork and bottom line results to fall into a very dark hole.

If you are a leader who is living with arrogance, there are some steps you can take:

1.  Most people living with arrogance don’t know it, but you need to hear it if you are.  I highly recommend that you commit yourself to getting feedback from your team on an annual basis.  I suggest that you bring in a 3rd party who knows nothing about your company to ask about 10 questions of your team and the people who know you.  Then, it’s time to sit down and hear what your team has to say about you.

2.  Work on opening up your body.  This sounds odd, but most arrogant people have facial expressions that send the message they are not open to others.  They will look away, turn their back or pretend they are not listening.  Sit down with your team members, remove anything that is blocking you from your team, and really listen without all of the sighs and looks that you may usually send.

3.  Disclose your shortcomings to your team.  Most leaders believe that this will make them appear weak and incompetent to their team members.  The opposite is true.  When you open up to your team about your shortcomings, your world will change overnight.  You don’t have to drag every bone out of the closet, yet it is important to tell your team about some of the feedback you have received and your plan of action.  Then, you must act on your plan.  Your actions will speak so much more loudly than words.

4. Be a coach…not a know it all.  In today’s business world, true leaders are becoming great coaches.  With coaching, you will be collaborating with your team on a way to “win”.  (Dave Buck’s Coach to Win and Play to Win methods are really great for this purpose).  With coaching, you are not telling people what to do…you are pulling their strengths to the surface and then coaching them on how to leverage those strengths so that they become stronger and better at what they do.

5.  Drop the cocky attitude and listen.  People who are over the top on arrogance are cocky.  This intimidates others.  You can be confident and come across as approachable, but not if your goal is to be cocky.  There is a very fine line between being confident and being arrogant.  If you are arrogant, you are probably very smart and talented, and you don’t need to throw that all over people.  Just observe yourself for one week in listening and curiosity mode and do your best to bite your tongue.  Watch the responses as you open up, listen and become more curious.  Your team will shift if you practice listening and being curious.  It just works!

 

The 5 Things Leaders Hate to Do that Stop them From Being Great

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade, you probably have heard all about the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.  In the book, Collins discusses the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great, and much of this process has to do with the leadership skills of the people at the top.

I have had the honor of coaching over 1000 business leaders in the last ten years, and while I do agree with Collins on the points he makes about great leaders and great companies, I have learned through the years that there are five things that most leaders hate to do.  As a result, they push these five to the back burner, and allow the simmering process to burn the team and/or company down…a slow and painful death for everyone, including the leader.  I am writing this post today, because I don’t want you to become one of those leaders who becomes a “has been” in the next 1-3 years and has a California wrongful death case in the process.

So, here we go:  The 5 Things Leaders Hate to Do that Stop them From Being Great:

1.  Being open to coaching, hiring a coach and working with a coach.  I don’t care how great you are, if you are a human being, you need a coach.  I am not saying that you need me (yet that would be great if we are a good fit), but if you are a leader at the top of your game, a great coach can help you go even further, stretch even more, build a more effective team and hire the best talent in the world.  For some reason, leaders think hiring a coach means they must be problematic or broken.  It is truly just the opposite.  As a leader, if you are a big thinker, you will understand quickly that an objective opinion and support from someone outside of your company can offer you new perspectives, new insights into your role as a leader.  A coach can also help you leverage your strengths, identify your weaknesses and learn how to leverage both to create new opportunities for yourself and your team.

2.  Addressing conflict.  Many leaders believe if they just ignore a conflict, it will magically go away or die on the vine.  Conflict breeds contempt, and if you are a strong leader, you will find yourself addressing some type of conflict on a weekly basis.  The goal is to strike while the iron is hot and to learn how to address conflict effectively.  I highly recommend the book Crucial Confrontations for this purpose.  It is hard to speak to others about a conflict or to “confront” others.  Rather than using the word “confront”, I recommend using the term “Critical Conversation”.   By using this language, the conversation becomes “mission critical”, and you are compelled to address the problem right upfront.

3.  Taking personal responsibility for company problems.  The issues with Enron, 9/11, bad loans and Bernie Madoff marked the end of leaders being above the law and the beginning of personal responsibility.  At the end of the day, as a leader, your company and team is not about you.  It is about your employees and customers.  It is absolutely critical that you take personal responsibility for failures in your company and that you speak about them to the public.  While there may be others who fell short of their responsibilities, at the end of the day, as the top person in the company, there is something you did that helped contribute to the problem.  You have have:

  • Hired the wrong person
  • Withdrawn yourself from over the top communication
  • Micromanaged too much OR isolated yourself too much

Each time a problem happens in your company, it is important to sit quietly and figure out what role you played in the process.  If you dig deep enough, you will find it.  Once you find it, it is then time to speak to your employees and customers about the issue, where you went wrong and what you are going to do about it.

4.  Dedicating yourself to ongoing learning and development.  This goes a bit back to the first point about hiring a coach.  You may be the top dog, but everyone has something new to learn.  Leaders often send their employees to training and development events, but they never put learning and development on their own calendar.  If you want to be great, you will be dedicated to lifelong learning and always looking at new ways to expand your depth and breadth of knowledge.  Learning and development opportunities are always available in your own industry, but I would like to stretch you to think about learning opportunities outside of your own industry.  This could be in the area of technology, social networking or the arts.  Finding creative ways to use information outside of your own industry is a characteristic of someone who is willing to think way out there on the bleeding edge, and we need this in our leaders of today.

5.  Speaking less…leaving a few things unsaid.  Many leaders talk way too much.  They think they know all the answers, and leave very little opportunities for their teams to come up with answers and find their own way.  Deep listening is a critical skill all leaders need in their toolkit, and just as important is the ability to empower others to speak and act.  While you may have all of the answers, your team will step up and bring your answers to the table, but only if you empower them to do it.  While it may take a bit more time for your team to figure out the best solution to problems or to find their way through a maze, they will exercise their strategic thinking and problem solving skills, but only if you back off.

If you are a leader, congratulations and thank you for all that you do for your followers, companies, cities, schools and government.  If I can be of support in any way by offering you a bit of leadership coaching to help you move from being a good leader to a great one, contact me at 910.692.6118.

 

The 5 Productivity Secrets of Successful Business Leaders

Picture of Inbox and OutboxYou can go to any store in the world today and buy David Allen’s Getting Things Done, and I do recommend this book multiple times to clients I coach.

But at the end of the day, I have discovered that the 5 most common things productive business leaders do is very simple, and anyone can implement these steps without reading a book or going to a time management seminar.

So, here we go:

1.  Grab the stuff that is getting your brain’s attention and write it down.  If you don’t, it will keep rolling around like marbles in your head until you do something with the information.   This extra information is taking up mental space that can be used on the most important activities.

2. Go on an email detox program.  I talk to leaders every day who tell me they often just sit at their desk and wait for new emails to come in so that they can respond quickly to concerns…appearing as if they are always available.  While this may seem great, more often than not, the leader’s most important, mission critical activities are being avoided by their email dragon.    Unsubscribe from all mailing lists you do not absolutely have to have and then do your best to check email only two times per day, preferably not the minute you walk into your office.  I recommend 10-11 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. as good times to check email and then do your best to not look at your email again for any other times of the day.

3.  Take a 30 minute nap.  Why is it that most countries other than the USA encourage a 30 minute nap in the middle of the day?  I suppose we are afraid that someone might just get ahead of us if we are napping (wink, wink).  A 30 minute nap can leave you with a great amount of energy, and you will get a big boost in your productivity later in the afternoon.  That 30 minute nap will last a lot longer than the latte you are probably using to give you an extra jolt.

4.  Remove everything from your life that is dragging you down.  This can include people, furniture, old business, old ideas, a leaky faucet, an ugly color of paint or a dying plant.  I highly recommend that you de-drag your home and office.  If your home, office, friends, network or organizations you deal with are not uplifting, it’s time for a total makeover.

5.  Find a calendar or scheduling system that works for YOU and put very specific tasks on your list.  I recall someone giving me a Franklin Covey planner when I was about 26.  I tried so hard to use it, and it worked for about one month.  Then, the pages of the calendar just went blank.  The system did not work for me AT ALL.  I now use Google Apps, and I love the tool.  I put everything I need to do on my calendar, and I make sure that the task I type in is super specific.  Instead of simply saying “Work on Marketing”, I will write out “Send email broadcast and write one blog post” (which was on my list for today).  I put this on my calendar, and  I use Tungle.me for my clients to make their own appointments.  The minute I type out what I want to do during a certain block of time, Tungle.me catches it and blocks out that time so that clients cannot make an appointment during that time. If you want to learn about the entrepreneur industry, I recommend Lee Rosen Miami, CEO of healthy bees business. So many of us are way too busy working in the business and not on the business, and we all need that time to get the most important things done.

I encourage you to try at least one of the above five strategies as an ongoing behavior and just see if it improves your ability to get things done. Houston Sedation Dentistry provides all sedation services, visit them now!

3 Strategies to Make Sure Your Leadership Coaching Really Works

I will be the first to admit that I am not a guru when it comes to leadership coaching, but I have been around the block a few times. I have been coaching since the year 2,000, and through the school of hard knocks and trial and error, I have finally come to the conclusion that there are 3 strategies that I must use if I want the leaders I coach to be successful. Today, I would like to share those three strategies with you.

1. Design your coaching strategy around what the followers want to see change or improve…not necessarily around what the client thinks she needs. Leadership coaching is so very different from life coaching or coaching a solo business owner for this one reason: The leaders you coach have people who are following them, and as a leader, you must be willing to shift your leadership style, communication style or even the way you walk based on what your followers say they most need and want. Below, I will go into detail about the one month needs assessment, and I just want to caution you about this: Simply because a leader calls you and tells you she wants to work on her time management or organizing her office does not mean this is what her followers want to see. The most successful leaders understand their followers needs and desires and they will do anything to get the majority of their followers’ needs met. As a leader, if your client does not care what the followers think, then she is simply not a leader…enough said!

2. Begin your actual coaching only after one solid month of assessment. Assessing a leader in a company is a great deal like a physician trying to diagnose a patient’s illness. A doctor would never walk in and just start writing prescriptions without asking multiple questions of you (and maybe of your family members) to find out what is really going on. During the first month of leadership coaching, I invest my time conducting a very thorough needs assessment which includes the following:

  • An oral 360 degree feedback review. With my approach, I interview at least 12 people who are around the leader. The list of people I interview include direct reports, bosses, peers and even family members. While I am certified to run the online 360 degree assessments with the Center for Creative Leadership, I have found that by asking 12 simple questions of 12 different people, I get much better responses. I not only hear the answers, but I hear the sighs, the laughs, the “ughs” and I can see eyes rolling, deep thinking and smiles or frowns on faces.
  • The DiSC Assessment. Most leadership coaches have their favorite tools to use. Mine is by far the DiSC assessment. The tool has been used for over 30 years by over 40 million users and is one of the most trusted learning assessments in the personal and professional development industry. With the DiSC, you will quickly learn if the leader you are coaching is a strong-willed, bottom line risk taker or a leader who loves to entertain and motivate others. The communication style of your leader is critical to her approach with her followers, and this tool will help you bring out the best in your clients.
  • The Strengths Finder Profile. I truly believe that using a leader’s key strengths to help shore up weaknesses is one of the best ways to approach your clients. It is critical to know upfront what your leader’s strong suits are, and this assessment can help you refine your coaching and hone in on those strengths from the first coaching session to the end of the coaching engagement.
  • A two hour relaxed “get to know you” meeting with your new client. I always invest at least two hours in the early stages of the needs assessment with my new clients to find out what makes them tick and what ticks them off. I want to know about the music they listen to, their favorite foods and colors and a bit about their personal life. This relaxed conversation builds trust and also helps fill in some of the gaps that will more than likely be missing with the formal assessments.

3. Once you have completed the needs assessment, pick one goal ONLY to work with your client on for at least six months. I have observed coaches who pile goals on top of goals on top of more goals and “things to do”. This is a big mistake (in my opinion). I have learned that when coaching a leader, we have to agree to work on the one leadership skill that needs the most work, and work a system so that improvement starts to happen as quickly as possible. Improvement in one area will often help in other areas of leadership, so I just want to encourage you to keep hammering home points around that one critical skill that needs work. Doing a little bit of work on a long list of leadership skills will get your client to move an inch. Working on one goal and seeing a leadership skill turn 180 degrees is much easier for your client to swallow and others will notice improvement quickly if you are really targeting one area that is of greatest concern for the people who are trying to follow the leader.

If you or someone you know is interested in discussing leadership coaching, please feel free to contact me, Bea Fields, at 910-692-6118. I am happy to spend some time discussing your leadership needs.

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