Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Observation is Key to Coaching Excellence

Coaching is a goal-oriented process that is designed to help an individual accomplish more in a shorter period of time, raise the bar even higher than the client believes is possible, and more. Coaching is also used to help the client become more action and results-oriented. When performance is an issue, the coaching objective usually focuses on developing the appropriate behaviors and actions that lead to higher achievement. Coaching in the workplace is usually measured by behavioral change and improvement in the key competencies and skill sets that result in higher achievement or improved productivity.

As a coaching client, how can you expect to improve your goals and to see those type of results if I never leave my desk or put down the telephone? I have been a certified Business Coach working with executives, managers, and employees in regard to performance and productivity for over ten years. It is impossible for me to measure results without viewing my client in the very environment that he or she is performing in. Observation is one of the most important ingredients in a successful coaching engagement, yet it is also one of the most difficult tasks.

Observation is most difficult because it is done through the coach’s eyes and my views on perceived right and wrong behavior. Sometimes coaches tend not to reinforce positive behavior to the individual and/or the team. We certainly do not emphasize an incident or behavioral display as an opportunity for growth. Most coaching engagements need the client to demonstrate a change in behavior, an action, or the enhancement of a skill set.

I find that observation can provide a candidate with the visual input that they tend not see themselves; their body language, use of the King’s English, tone, emphasis on words or terms, etc. Feedback on these behaviors can produce a positive performance and increase a person or team’s productivity. I like to observe these behaviors like my client speaking to individuals, groups and shareholders as well as in a meeting situation and more to give them input on behaviors that could mean success or failure.

Coaching at a higher level should help the client with their growth and development that will ultimately result in high achievement within the organization. I define perception as the view others have of me through their eyes and reality is view I get through the feedback from coach or manager. As a coach, I tell my clients not to hesitate to invite myself their work environment for observation and debriefing. Also, I make it clear that my client can request my attendance at any work event that might offer them an opportunity for some positive feedback from me, their coach. I encourage observation and use it as a coaching technique with all of my clients.

By: Richard Hohmann
Certified Business Coach
Vice President of Innovative Leadership of the Delaware Valley, LLC
Phone: 609.390.2830

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Five Steps to Success

People dream about it, aspire to it, work for it, envy it, sacrifice for it, exemplify it, achieve it and even lost it. One thing is for sure – everyone wants it.

Why aren’t more people successful? Why is success elusive for so many? The primary obstacle is how people view success. Unfortunately, most people see success as a matter of chance or a mere consequence of luck. This is evidenced by the popularity of such practices as psychics, horoscopes, fortune tellers, lotteries, gambling, etc.

Success is actually completely logical and predictable. This is because success is natural result of certain actions. Success is like gravity. If you hold up a rock and let go, it will drop. Likewise, if you do certain things, you will succeed. We have identified five steps to success. If you will follow these steps faithfully, you will succeed. In this month’s column, I will outline the first step to success. I will then lay out the other four steps over the next four columns.

Know Your Goals
The first key to success is to know what you want. If there’s one thing that stops people from being more successful, it’s lack of defined goals. When you have clear goals, you’re constantly thinking about what you want. You then begin to generate creative ideas on how you can attain your goals. This leads to goal awareness. Goal awareness allows you to see every opportunity to move closer to your goal. We all have countless opportunities right next to us. What seems like luck or chance to most people is simply the ability to recognize and act upon opportunities as they become available.

“Success is actually completely logical and predictable. This is because success is a natural result of certain actions.”

How do you define your goals? It’s actually a fairly simple process.

First, write down everything you’ve ever wanted. List everything. Include things you want to have, places you want to go, activities you want to do, qualities you want to possess, etc. The important thing is to write down everything. Don’t decide or judge if you’re worthy or capable of achieving your desires – just list them.

Second, Pick at least three but no more than 10 of the dreams you want to work on now.

Third, write each dream as a S.M.A.R.T. goal. SMART is an acronym for an effective goal. This means your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible.

• Specific means you know exactly what you want. Do you want a new car? What kind? A Ford? A Toyota? A BMW? What make? What color? What accessories? The more specific you can be the better.

• Measurable means you always know exactly where you stand in relation to your goal. Do you want to lose weight? How much? By when?

• Attainable means it’s possible. Setting a goal to be 10 feet tall is probably not an attainable goal.

• Realistic means it’s possible for you. In other words, you need to set goals based on where you are now. If you’ve never played golf, it’s probably unrealistic to set a goal to win the Masters.

• To make your goal tangible, you must make it vivid. Know what it smells like, tastes like, sounds like, feels like, looks like and feels like emotionally.

Fourth, say your goals out loud at least twice a day, every day. The more you focus and internalize your goals, the more goal awareness you develop.

Fifth, physically write out your goals every day. The act of writing puts action into your goals. Once your goals are put into action, they develop their own momentum. The hardest part of achieving your goals is just getting started.

For the next 30 days, practice these principles every day. You will be amazed at the progress you make on your goals. Remember, success is certain.

By Randy Slechta, President of Leadership Management International, Inc. a global leadership and organizational development company

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is the engine in your company?

By Richard Hohmann, VP, Innovative Leadership

How empowered is the "middle of your company?" Many companies have been focused on leveraging their top talent, investing in high-potentials and preparing people for the C-suite. Some are doing a better job than others but the real key is that in the midst of all this segmentation, have you thought about the "engine" of your workforce -- your middle management and consistent performers?

These are the people, over the last several years, which we have asked to do "more with less," increase innovation, collaborate and work globally. However, many have failed to give the middle of the organization the support it needs to succeed in today's modern work environment. With the right support, middle managers empower your front-line employees to grow and learn on the job.

Ann Burack-Weiss and Barbara Silverstone article Success of Middle Management Depends on Upper Management states; "The empowerment of middle management is an ongoing process. It consists of a blended approach in which outside resources such as online or in-person courses and readings on leadership and supervision are mixed with upper management modeling the very strategies they wish to instill. This includes the provision of regular feedback to the middle manager."

Our "Making of an Effective Manager Course", Voted the #1 Management Development Program by Entrepreneur Magazine, is just such a vehicle. (See Below for More Details) Your middle management delivers your desired outcome by implementing the business strategy and engaging the workforce by demonstrating their value to the designed outcome. Our Course provides a better understanding of the problem with the methods for providing solutions, and the need for demonstrating the appropriate behaviors to elevate the productivity and performance of your people and company

Enroll you middle management team now and see the difference.