How Are You Running Your Conversations?

How Are You Running Your Conversations?

Stop to think about how much of your work would ever be accomplished without communication or conversations. The answer is quite obvious: very little! With so much of our work depending on our conversations, a valuable question to ask is: How am I running my conversations? If you were to look back on a given workday or work week, and recall all the conversations you had initiated or been a part of, might it feel and sound like you have been running a “talking triathlon” that was exhausting for you and your team. If you’re like most leaders there is likely room to improve and to run your conversations more efficiently, more effectively and with more focus. A positive, effective, and impactful manager considers themselves (or at least desires to be) a coach to their team – someone who runs conversations that instill confidence, increase engagement, and motivate those they work with. The research is compelling: running higher-quality coaching conversations is one of the most impactful activities a manager can engage in to improve the performance and success of their team. Whether you consider yourself a coach or not, here are just a few things you can do to immediately run your many conversations as more effective coaching conversations which, you will discover, opens up communication and allows strong, healthy, and trusting relationships to flourish. 1. Run conversations on purpose with a purpose. Begin with the end in mind and have a clear goal. 2. Run your conversations with open ended questions that allow and encourage the other person to explore their personal knowledge base and experience and generate...
6 Traits of Coachable People and How to Spot Them

6 Traits of Coachable People and How to Spot Them

Call it “teachable fit.” Call it “emotional intelligence.” Call it “soft skills,” but don’t call it optional. These monikers all fit under the broader umbrella of coachability, the most sought-after skill in business today, from the front desk to the warehouse to the board room. Coachability builds business, creates leaders, and drives decisions that lead to the actions that deliver your competitive advantage. According to the Harvard Business Review, “[new] grads arrive in workplaces with current technical knowledge they are eager to apply, but have a lot to learn about other aspects of succeeding in their new organizations…To ‘future proof’ your business, you need to fill and maintain a pipeline of people steadily gaining experience and advancing toward leadership roles.” The key to doing that lies in hiring coachable people. Don’t confuse a friendly people-person with someone who is coachable — most applicants warm in an interview. Instead, look for these traits to better predict coachability in your candidate. 1. Humility. Does the candidate ask for help? Involve others? Share recognition and own their shortcomings? 2. Commitment. Do they have a strong sense of perseverance and grit? Are they willing to get out of their comfort zone if it serves the team? 3. Self-awareness. Can they assess how their actions impact others? Do they accept feedback even if it isn’t positive? 4. Willingness to Learn. Are they inquisitive and curious? Do they ask questions? Are they open to trying new things? This demonstrates the flexibility and resilience needed for cochability. 5. Faith. Do they demonstrate trust in others and a willingness to be vulnerable? Only through willingness to be...
The Best Ever Solution for Managing Remotely

The Best Ever Solution for Managing Remotely

If you have a job in 2017 (and if you’re reading this, that’s a safe bet), you know work has undergone what I call an “extreme makeover: corporate edition” in the last 10-15 years. Gone are the days of coming into an office and working 9 to 5. Now we work whenever and from wherever. In fact, according to Forbes, in a mere three years the mobile workforce is projected to comprise roughly three-quarters of U.S. employees. There are definitely perks that accompany this dramatic shift. On the plus side, businesses save big on office space and other overheard costs. It’s also a good deal for remote employees: they avoid a stressful commute and can create a schedule that matches their needs. It’s a win/win. But, hold up. While the benefits of a mobile workforce are many, there is one significant drawback—communication. Only 7% of human communication is found in content. The rest is conveyed through body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, things that get lost in email and text. So, get a video conferencing platform and you’re golden, right? Being able to see the smiling faces of your team is a great first step, but it doesn’t go far enough. The way we hold conversations also has to change if we want to keep remote workers connected and engaged. The next time you talk to your team, whether it’s over phone or video, consider including this one practice: Ask open-ended questions! Can you spot the difference in these two questions? Is the project going well? What are your next steps with the project? You got it....
Are You a Controlling or Coaching Leader?

Are You a Controlling or Coaching Leader?

There is no ONE right way to lead; effective leaders often ‘flex’ their style to suit varying circumstances. However, one conundrum most leaders find themselves in is whether they should be more of a “controlling leader” or a “coaching leader.” When working for operational efficiency in a well-defined environment, a “controlling leader” approach can work. But as things speed up and become more complex, it’s imperative that leaders balance this more traditional approach with greater coaching skills. It’s not that being “controlling” is bad and “coaching” is good. It is much more complex than that. Both have their place and are needed. Being conscious and more intentional in the choices we make regarding our leadership approach is the first step to applying our intended approach more often. To increase your awareness and assist you in identifying whether and when you are controlling vs. coaching, here are few questions you might ask yourself: 1. Would my associates describe me as a directive or inspiring? 2. Would my people say I think and often Do know best or that I facilitate and encourage their expertise? 3. Do my people hear me as giving directions and orders or do they hear me asking questions and soliciting suggestions? 4. Would people describe me as having a strong sense of purpose and direction or having a clear vision and communicating it? 5. Do I check up and monitor or do I trust and delegate? 6. Would my people call me instructive or empowering? 7. Do I encourage, promote, and reward activity, action, and work OR ideas, innovation, and fun? 8. Am I building a...
Why Do You Need Coaching, Let The Expert Explain!

Why Do You Need Coaching, Let The Expert Explain!

Jeff Giesea, a Stanford Graduate is currently one of the most sought after executive coaches around the globe. At Stanford, Giesea edited the Stanford Review, After graduating in 1997, Giesea went to work for Thiel Capital Management. In a self-authored article originally published on LinkedIn, he mentions 12 reasons why people need coaching and it helps them get better at achieving the desired results. And after going through those, you would definitely consider choosing coaching for your career: Hard results – greater productivity, faster promotions, bigger profits Deeper learnings – about yourself, how you’re perceived, where you can improve Faster action – advancing things faster and with greater precision Space to hear your own voice – to talk something through and gain perspective Awareness of perspectives, beliefs, and attitudes that may be holding you back Support and confidence to “lean in” and make bold moves Clarity on your values and what you stand for, which leads to greater conviction Ideas for ways to improve that you may not see – awareness of blind spots Emotional support, empathy, and encouragement – feels less lonely The cold truth others won’t tell you Third-party moderation for 360-reviews, strategic planning, and conflict resolution Support for improving specific skills – communication, delegation, conflict management, team building, persuasion, etc. He also adds: “In my eyes, these are incredible leverage points for growth. But don’t get me wrong, coaching isn’t a panacea. It won’t work for someone who doesn’t have a desire to learn and grow. In some situations, consulting or therapy may be more appropriate (see chart below). And let’s face it: not all coaches will...