July 18, 2019

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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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!

 

Why Do Executives Fail? Find Out In The New Edition of The Next Level by Scott Eblin

"Scott Eblins Book The Next Level"

Want to know why most executives fail in about 18 months and what to do about it? If so, just click on this image and pick up 3 copies today!

Scott Eblin is probably one of my favorite executive coaches.  He’s smart, savvy,  talks straight…is no nonsense, successful and he really knows his stuff.  He has been extremely helpful to me AND to many coaches and executives around the world.

So, it gives me great pleasure to tell you today about Scott’s 2nd edition of his groundbreaking book:

The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.  Scott’s first edition of The Next Level was a smashing hit, and after looking at a few points in the new book, I cannot wait to dive in and read every page.

In the book, Eblin lays out in spades that the skills and strengths that send careers up the corporate ladder aren’t the same ones that a rising executive will need to survive. Eblin’s research reveals that 40 percent of new leaders don’t last more than 18 months.  So, if you want to know how to beat the odds or help your executive clients beat those awful odds, pick, up a copy of the book so that you can learn the habits and beliefs executives must let go of in order to really make it.

Just a few points the book includes (this does not begin to cover it!):

  • Fresh insights from global executives on what it takes to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
  • Nineteen Coachable Moment sidebars that provide proven context specific coaching tips for improving leadership effectiveness.
  • Data Points that spotlight the vital leadership behaviors that research shows rising leaders and executives must master.
  • An expansion of the popular Situation Solutions Guide appendix to provide tips on how to deal with more of the predictable situations that executives will face in their careers.

So, pick up 3 copies today...one for yourself, one for an executive in your life and one for anyone working with an executive.  We can ALL learn from Scott’s wisdom.

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The Executive Coaching Process: What Does It Involve?

"Picture of a leader being coached"

Executive Coaching is a Process of Assessment, Goal Setting, Implementation and Accountability

Many people contact me daily to inquire about executive coaching, and the first question they ask is “How does this work”? This post will help to answer that pressing question:

Phase 1: Assessment

During the initial phase of executive coaching, I will be gathering extensive data on your portfolio of skills and strengths while gaining insight into your history to thoroughly assess your current situation. During this time, I will be performing a 360 Degree Feedback Review to determine what leadership competency your colleagues, followers, team and family members would most like to see you improve or enhance so that you are as effective as possible as a leader.

Phase 2: Establishing a Plan of Action

The second phase of our Executive Leaders Coaching Program will focus on setting specific goals and designing an action plan to support you in meeting your personal and professional objectives.

Phase 3: Implementation

During the third phase, I will be using a variety of coaching tools and resources with you so that your action plan is implemented and goals are achieved. During the implementation phase, as your coach, I will be looking for blind spots, derailment factors, breakdown in communication, and multiple aspects of leadership development which can expedite or impede your progress. We will be focusing on the intangible assets of leadership, knowledge, talent, process, organization, decision making, execution, integrity and culture, which are vital skills for leaders to hone in this new millennium.

Phase 4: Evaluation

During phase four, together we will be assessing your progress and formulating a system for evaluating what is working/what is not so that your success is constant.

Coaching Sessions

Leadership coaching is offered by telephone for national and international clients and face to face for clients in the Moore County, North Carolina region. Coaching calls are typically held two or four times per month, usually over a period of 6-12 months and is combined with customized training to meet the needs of both leaders and teams. Customer service is important to me, and I am easily accessible by phone and e-mail between sessions for my clients. All coaching conversations are kept strictly confidential, I consider my clients my partners, and my sole interest is your success.

If the Bea Fields Companies Inc. Coaching Program sounds like it would be a good fit for you or your organization, please contact me today at (910) 692-6118 for a 30-minute complimentary consultation.

Coaching Employees: 5 Coaching Power Words

Want to learn more about what coaching really is and 5 powerful words to get employees to grow and develop?  Watch this quick video from the Center for Management and Organizational Effectiveness.

Video Rating: 4 / 5

A is for Accountability

Tardiness. Bickering. Indecisiveness. Blaming. Irresponsibility.

Does this sound familiar? If so, your team (or family) may be suffering from a clear lack of accountability.  While I realize the “A” word is used and overused, I am going to continue talking about it, because I believe a clear accountability process is critical for companies, both large and small, to be able to thrive in the future.

Here is what I experience with many leaders I coach.  One of the first questions I ask is this “Tell me about your accountability and decision making process.  How does it work?”  Approximately 93% of the time, the response is “Uhm, well…er…we don’t really have one.”  As I begin to talk more with the leader about how an accountability process might work and how it can…

1) Save time

2) Stop team conflict

3) Improve decision making

4) Make more money

5) Reduce a stalemate

and so forth, their eyes light up.  They get so excited.  I then say “So…tell me about how you feel about being the role model for an accountability process by giving your team permission to start calling you on your stuff?”  Guess what happens?  About 93% of the time, the leader decides against implementing an accountability system or process, because at the end of the day, they say they just don’t know that they can go through this.  They really aren’t ready to hear feedback from their team members and feel as if this approach would weaken her authority and diminish her credibility.

The opposite is actually true.  When a leader steps up and says “I am going to start being more efficient, more punctual, more open to your suggestions and am going to start being a better listener, and I need you to call me on the carpet when I’m out of line”, your team will be shocked, amazed and your credibility as a leader will dramatically increase.    Once the leader sets the stage for being held accountable, your team will “get it”, and then you and your team can sit down and hammer out a true accountability system which meets the needs of your company.  At the end of the day, with a solid accountability process…one that works…your team will feel much more secure about their role on the team and about you as a leader.

One idea on the topic of accountability is to start by identifying one tiny problem that keeps popping up on your team.  This could be tardiness to staff meetings, lack of follow through, not returning phone calls, clutter, dropping the ball, finger pointing or any type of team breakdown that gets in the way of your efficiency.  Start with one problem, and look at all of the reasons (at the root) which are contributing to the problem.  Acknowledge that the problem exists, discuss it with your team and then design an accountability system for that one problem, and give your team 3 months to get it worked out.  As much as I would love to give you a true formula for this (example…a 3 strike rule…3 strikes and you are out), I cannot…your team has to be the group to sit down and come up with a creative way to get people to correct a deficiency or problem, because trust me…one system does not fit all.  There are multiple approaches which include both consequences for falling short and rewards for success.  Sit down and come up with as many solutions as possible and then write out what your process will be and then follow it to the nth degree.

If you start today by addressing the accountability challenges in your company, your team will stand a much better chance of success in the future…trust me…I’ve worked with teams on this issue multiple times, and accountability processes do work, but only if you are willing to be the first to take the hit..

Audio Interview: Leadership Branding for 2010 and Beyond: The 5 Critical Leadership Skills to Drive Performance and Deliver Ongoing Value for Your Customers

I had the pleasure of being a guest on William Arruda’s Personal Branding Interview series yesterday.

I want to thank Tara Kachaturoff for recommending that I speak to this group and to Susan Guarneri for organizing my presentation to the group.

The topic:  Leadership Branding for 2010 and Beyond: The 5 Critical Leadership Skills to Drive Performance and Deliver Ongoing Value for Your Customers

The audio is below.  The topic of the interview ties back into the book EDGE! A Leadership Story, which I had the honor of co-authoring with Corey Blake and Eva Silva Travers of Writers of the Round Table Inc.

I encourage everyone to check out the Personal Branding Interview Series AND the site.  Really great information and guests coming soon!.

Cochise Climbing Camp Coming in October

There is an  incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the endeavor of climbing, challenge and inspire yourself, and take your professional development to the next level with Matt Walker and Inner Passage. It is the Cochise Climbing Camp, and it is being offered in both October and March.   Great for both leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone who is interested in gaining some great insight into life and leadership from the great outdoors.

Here is the PDF download of the details. (And I have been told the food, accomodations, etc are to die for!).

Leadership Lessons Learned From President Obama’s Actions on the Skip Gates Incident

I know everyone is commenting on this story, so I of course have to throw my two cents in…from the perspective of leadership.

There are a few things I think we can all learn from President Obama’s words and actions.  Watch the video first, and then read my thoughts below:

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1) “Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here.”

CON: When a friend is involved in something of this nature, it is critical for a leader to be extra cautious before making a statement or decision.  When friends and family are involved, a leader’s perspective can get a bit fuzzy.

PRO: I appreciate that the President said “I may be a little biased here”…if you have a bias, it’s better to state that than to just breeze over the bias.

2) “I don’t know all the facts.”

CON: It is best to not make a statement until you have all the facts…period.  This one can hang you as a leader.

PRO: Again…at least the President admitted that he did not have all the facts.

3)  “Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home”

CON: While I realize our law enforcement professionals have some flaws and many have been accused of racial profiling, I simply don’t feel that it is appropriate to even suggest that any police officer or department acts “stupidly”.  Choose your words carefully (hastily may have been a better choice here.)

PRO: The President did not “couch” his words.  Being direct can work, but you do have to be very careful who you are speaking to and the words you use.  Many people are now saying that Obama called the Cambridge police officer,  Sgt. James Crowley,  stupid…that is not what he said.  He said the Cambridge Police acted stupidly (that is a behavior…and I don’t believe Obama was calling Crowley stupid.)

4) “As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in this society. That doesn’t lessen the incredible progress that has been made. I am standing here as testimony to the progress that’s been made. And yet, the fact of the matter is that, you know, this still haunts us.”

CON: A sensitive button got pushed, and an assumption was drawn that this incident was related to racial profiling.   That is a very slippery slope, and if the President had done his homework on Crowley, he would have known that he has a record of speaking out against racial profiling and educating others on how to stop it.  As a leader, before you discuss sensitive subjects (race, religion), it is best to make sure that you are not speaking from the place of a “hot button”.

PRO: The President took a stand, and we need someone who is willing to take a stand right now and speak from a place of passion.

In closing, I admire President Obama for going back and calling both Crowley and Gates to the White House for a beer.  I have seen a lot of mending happen over a few drinks..

The 7 Warning Signs You Are Dealing With a Destructive Confidant

Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland.

I am sure by now that you all see the repeating patterns in the lives of these men and women.  Each died as a result of prescription drug use, and this all leads to the ever pressing question of “Who was enabling the behavior to an extreme so great that the end result was death?”

I want to say first that the responsibility does rest with Jackson, Ledger, Smith, Monroe and Garland.  If you are unwilling to do the work to stop an addiction, then of course, you are ultimately responsible.

But, as we all know, when an addiction is present, there are also enablers.  In the case of these celebrities, there were multiple doctors involved, and in the case of Jackson, it seems to me that a doctor (or doctors) were not only enabling but were actually living in the home with him.  I am sitting here today scratching my head thinking “If AEG reported that Jackson was in such great health, why in the world did he need a live in doctor?…AND…why did it take 3 days for the authorities to find Dr.Murray?”

Police and federal agents Wednesday raided  offices of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray, in a search for medical records they believed would constitute evidence of manslaughter, so now the case is going to break wide open, and my hunch is that since Ledger and Smith died so recently, there will be a full out investigation of these celebrity doctors who are peddling prescription drugs. While detoxification from Percocet is rarely life-threatening, it is difficult to go through alone, read about percocet withdrawals here. Failure rates grow higher and higher if addicts don’t access help through medications and counseling. While addicts and their families may know they need help for addiction, they may be at a loss to determine where they should access help. A family physician’s office may be a good place to start. If the addict obtained Percocet through the doctor’s office, the doctor will know why the drug was prescribed and how often the prescription was refilled.

This whole situation has just brought to my mind that this situation happens everywhere…not necessarily with prescription drugs but through what I call “destructive confidants”…people who exhibit behaviors which protect, shield and “enable” leaders and can cause destruction not only to the leader but the family and the companies they serve.

Today, I want to leave you with 7 warning signs that the leader in your company or small business may be taking advice from a destructive confidant:

1) The leader is becoming more and more isolated, spending the bulk of his time with the confidant.

2) The leader no longer takes advice from people who have their head on straight.  They are only taking advice from the confidant.

3) The leader is totally unaware of decisions being made around him.  The confidant is shielding her from bad news…only good news is allowed.

4) The leader begins to bring in “yes men and women”…people who only say “yes” to the leader at each and every turn.

5) You have a feeling the confidant is in the relationship only to gain more power for himself (if you notice a confidant gaining power and then moving on to the next “powerful relationship”, this is a red flag indeed.)

6) The leader seems to become more and more reliant on the confidant.  She cannot seem to make a decision without clearing it first with the confidant, is calling the confidant in the middle of the night and always seems to have the confidant around.

7) You get the sense that the confidant is lying to others and cheating to “beat the system” and to gain more power.

If you are someone in an organization, and you notice any of the above signs, it’s time to take action.  If you have a Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Board needs to be alerted (if he/she does not already know it,) and swift action needs to take place to address the situation.   If you believe that there is a psychological situation at hand, contact your Human Resources adviser or director in confidence to discuss the proper steps to take to address the issue.  While this is a challenging situation, it is certainly one that someone needs to address sooner rather than later.
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