Blog

Strong weaknesses or weak strengths?

I read a report recently, and typically I can’t find it now, that looked at how much leadership coaching is focused on developing strengths versus addressing weaknesses. As I recall there were some regional differences (and some of that may have been cultural) but for the most part coaching – certainly at the executive level – is an exercise in developing strengths. There may be some obvious reasons for this. Coaches tend to be an optimistic bunch and may just be happier working in that context. External coaches are paid to get a result and that commercial reality may mean

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By all means ditch the Annual Appraisal, but please let’s not stop reviewing performance!

Lately I’ve seen a number of articles suggesting it’s time to abandon performance reviews, claiming they’re a tired relic of 20thcentury manual-work that has no relevance to today’s knowledge-work environments. There are certainly some obvious problems: how to ensure managers’ views of Excellent, Average,etc are the same; how to link the outcomes to pay without destroying motivation and how to stop staff and managers bending the system to suit themselves. (I worked with a company a couple of years back where someone told me that the staff pooled their Force Ranked bonuses and then redistributed them evenly amongst themselves!) It’s

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Can I have that disciplinary meeting now please?

A friend of mine is in sales. He sells high-end financial services products and is finding it hard going in the current market. The company’s main product has changed, making it much harder to sell and he has been given a new territory with very few of the affluent prospective clients he needs. Whilst he’s a very experienced seller with a terrific track-record, his results and declining and his bosses are getting uptight. Knowing I have coached around such issues previously he got in contact looking for help. I wanted to understand what would happen if things didn’t improve. My friend

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Getting ready for coaching

Over recent posts we’ve seen that in order to turn more potential into high performance we needed to minimise the sources of interference which work against that happening. But this presupposes that people come to us wanting to produce high performance, and this isn’t necessarily so. If you’ve been asked or employed to provide some one-to-one coaching to a member of the executive team you can probably assume that they will be motivated to undertake some coaching with you. It follows that they are likely to give honest answers to your questions, to listen to your ideas and suggestions and

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Coaching at work is performance focused but person centred

As we’ve seen our the last few posts, the fundamental role of the coach is to minimise interference so that more potential can be turned into performance. Even today work seems to be organised in such a way as to make it difficult for people to reach their potential, but there is increasing pressure to get the people side of business right. Already some big corporations are including reports on their ‘human capital’ in their annual report and accounts. It can surely not be long until shareholders begin to hold boards to account and demand proof that their Human Resource

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Limiting beliefs are based on evidence

Limiting beliefs are based on evidence

Jo and Sam both work on the Organisation Development (OD) section of a large local authority and their work involves submitting proposals for OD to projects to the Senior Management Team for approval. Jo believes that Senior Management do not support new ideas. She backs this up by explaining that her budget submission for this year was turned down flat and that this particularly upset her given that her previous year’s budget had been approved. She goes on to point out that in the last six months six out of ten project inception proposals had been declined. She feels that

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Limiting Beliefs

Coaching and Limiting Beliefs

There is much talk in self-help and business improvement literature about beliefs. There is also much talk about vision and values, culture and ethos and much blurring at the edges of them all. So, let me firstly be clear about what I mean when I talk about beliefs. It is those things you hold to be ‘true’. For example, ‘the purpose of business is to make money’. I attended a seminar recently and the first speaker clearly held this particular belief. At one point, he said that he defied anybody to claim that they were in business for any reason

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2017

Happy New Year!

Many of you will be reading this on your first day back at work after a break for Christmas and the New Year. It’s a time for New Year’s resolutions and other plans and I would like to suggest that you add “coaching people” to your list if it’s not already part and parcel of what you do. We can see coaching as a task or an event; something that needs to be planned and scheduled. There is nothing inherently wrong with this and much good coaching takes place in just this sort of context but to limit coaching to

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A very merry Christmas to you all

A very merry Christmas to you all!

To all our clients, friends and colleagues This year we have decided once again not to send out Christmas cards. We will donate what we would have spent to our chosen charity the Grace House Children’s Hospice appeal. I’ll take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support and interest and I hope that 2017 provides opportunities for us to work together and do good things. I wish you and your families all the very best for Christmas and the New Year. Matt

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Internal Interference – A cause of yet more problems

Internal Interference – A cause of yet more problems

A typical list of sources of internal interference would likely include the following: Previous negative experience Negative expectations Negative self-talk Fear of failure Previous negative experience My first assignment as an independent consultant was a disaster. I was asked to facilitate some sales training for a group of sales managers from a major airline. I misjudged the ability of the group and was ill-prepared to answer their questions. I got my timings all wrong and my sessions overran leaving my co-facilitator some serious remedial work to rescue the project. Some months later I found myself assigned to a similar project.

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External Interference and the problems it causes in coaching

External Interference and the problems it causes in coaching

In my last post I introduced Tim Gallwey’s simple equation for coaching for performance: POTENTIAL  = Potential – Interference Previous posts have dealt with definitions for potential and performance so let’s now turn our sights on interference. Let’s talk firstly about what I call external interference. By this I mean the things that go on around us at work which may make it difficult for us to work near to our potential. Once again we’ll refer firstly to a typical list of such things produced by the many people I have asked to consider them: Management Restrictive policies and procedures

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What does Coaching for Performance actually mean?

What does Coaching for Performance actually mean?

In my last few posts I’ve suggested our job as coaching managers is to convert as much potential as possible into performance, but of course performance means different things to different people. An actor will have a different view to an athlete and a team leader may have a different view to a team member when it comes to defining performance. Work based performance In the world of work it seems that performance usually amounts to being about one of five things: Increasing revenue – sales or other income streams Providing an excellent service Reducing cost Increasing or maintaining quality

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How about some instant coaching skills?

Part of Hodder Education’s Instant Manager series, my book on coaching was first published in 2012 and covers everything from coaching definitions to how to set up and run a coaching session.

For a limited time the publishers and I are making this digital version available FREE to my new and existing subscribers.