September 18, 2012

CoachStation Blog

CoachStation: Trust, Leadership and Influence

Trust: The Cornerstone of Relationships and Leadership

Steve Riddle   
Aug 14
Trust is the key to meaningful leadership, relationships and influence. Most of us know this, but how do we develop trust in the workplace and at home? It is fascinating to see people grow and develop. Like many in my industry, I do what I do because of a deep need to contribute and make a difference when coaching and mentoring. This continues to hold me in good stead as a coach, mentor and consultant. However, developing trusted relationships was also a core belief when I was leading people directly. Now, my goal is to help others learn why and how to apply these skills and attributes to influence and lead their team members. One of my favourite and most
CoachStation: Focus On the Inputs

To Succeed, Focus on Inputs Not Results

Steve Riddle   
Jun 26
The ability and desire to focus on those areas of our lives that provide the greatest return can often be confusing. Change and growth comes first through understanding and acknowledgement. When there is understanding, there is the potential for action. Without understanding and action, it is too easy to continue to do what you have always done. That may of course be justified in your mind, but it rarely leads to progression, growth and development. In almost every coaching and mentoring engagement I have taken on in recent years, my clients have struggled to understand the difference between inputs and outputs. In nearly every case, managers and leaders focus on the output, result or outcome and ignore the inputs. So, here’s the
CoachStation: Personal Brand and Leadership

Brand and Perception: Leadership Essentials

Steve Riddle   
May 12
The leader and employee in today’s environment must possess a credible and trusted brand, much like a company does. This is sometimes also referred to as a personal and/or professional reputation. Either way, people see you a certain way based on your behaviours, words and actions. Being aware of this helps you to take control of your brand. Like culture, it exists whether we influence it or not. Why then, wouldn’t you want to take control of this as much as possible? The benefits of modern technology and Social Media make this easier than in the past. It also provides potential pitfalls and risk. However, your personal brand and the perception you create is more than your Social Media profiles and
CoachStation: Integrity and Leadership

Integrity: A Leadership Negotiable or Must Have?

Steve Riddle   
Mar 29
Is integrity a negotiable trait, or is it one of the cornerstones of good leadership? I recently met with a client who I have known for some time in a different capacity. He is starting up his own business and it is a very exciting time for him. During our discussion, he made a point to me, that although is not new, in that moment meant so much to me. It felt good to be reminded about what credibility and success, as I measure it, is based on. His statement was that: Without your integrity, you have nothing! He is right. I take the view that how we get there is more important than the end result. By this I mean that
CoachStation: Employee Engagement Surveys - Fact or Fiction?

Employee Engagement Survey Results: Fact or Fiction?

Steve Riddle   
Feb 17
Employee Engagement surveys are barely worth the time and effort taken to produce them. They certainly have questionable content and value for those organisations who rely on survey results for a genuine view of how employees feel. Big statements, perhaps! But only if you have not taken the time to meaningfully investigate the reasons why employees might feel the need to provide over-inflated scoring that does not reflect reality. Engagement continues to be a major factor in business success and focus for management. We know this topic is big. Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends research (shows) 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement urgent or important. HR leaders talk consistently about retention issues…and businesses all over the world are trying
CoachStation: Customer Service

Customer Service Is Not Rocket Science

Steve Riddle   
Feb 02
At the risk of over simplifying a very complex topic, the customer service experience we deliver is often only the service we expect ourselves. But, when providing a service in the moment it is easy to forget our own expectations. I have recently had several discussions with friends and family regarding the service experiences received from various companies. Unfortunately, the service is often not what has been promised or committed to. Why is it that providing a standard basic experience seems to be a difficult thing to provide? According to a report created by the Genesys group titled the Cost of Poor Customer Service, 73% of consumers end a relationship due to poor service. Having worked across many industries and companies
CoachStation: Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership Support

The Importance of Leadership Support in Coaching

Steve Riddle   
Dec 16
Personal and professional development is critical to the ongoing success and growth for any leader. There are many aspects that will make this development even more effective and sustainable, particularly when participating in coaching. High on this list of attributes is the support the person being coached receives from their immediate leader. Support of people as they participate in development programs really does matter. I recently met with a very senior leader in an organisation – let’s call him Jack. Our discussion covered many areas of relevance, including the fact that I had been coaching various members of Jack’s team for different periods over the last 2 years. During the conversation we were reviewing the traits, potential and attitudes of several
CoachStation: Generational Change and Leadership

Generational Change and Leadership

Steve Riddle   
Nov 21
Generations of employees and leaders have been exposed to varying cultures, leadership styles and business practices. Understanding how generational change impacts leadership and organisational learning has become an interest of mine. As is the transition of students from university into the workforce. Is generational change impacting the need for different types of leadership? I am very lucky to be working as a coach and mentor with some great companies and leaders. For a few years I have been consulting and coaching within an architectural company in Brisbane. Two of the more impressive leaders employed there are Luke Madden and Kevin Gerrard. Importantly, we have developed a great deal of trust and strong relationships. From my perspective, it has been genuinely interesting
CoachStation: Influence Story of My Life

Influence and Trust: A Teenagers Perspective

Steve Riddle   
Sep 27
Influence matters! I used to believe friends were more important than family. Recent events have shifted my thinking. The statement above is how our 14-year old daughter, Maddy, has started to understand the importance of influence and relationships. This year has been a big year for her. In response to this learning, a little while back Maddy wrote down her thoughts and perspective. This week Maddy shared these thoughts with me. I asked if it would be possible to publish her writing as the core elements are just as relevant for adults as they are for other 14 year olds and teens. Maddy was keen to share her ideas and hoped that other people and possibly, teenagers sharing similar experiences, may take something away from
CoachStation: Employees, Strengths, Diversity and Relationships

Your Employees, Leadership, Strengths and Diversity

Steve Riddle   
Sep 15
Understanding what your employees want, who they are and what they are naturally good at provides a solid platform for success: personally, professionally and organisationally. Helping your employees by taking the time to find out these things is good leadership.   A gap exists between what employees want and what leaders deliver. So, what is this difference, between what has proven to work, what should leaders be doing and what actually happens in most organisations? Well, there are books and books covering this topic, but my experiences highlight two points: The need for focus on strengths Diversity and differences that naturally exist between people. Most staff want to have an inclusive culture in the workplace where differences are valued and people
CoachStation: Leadership, Pupose, Values and Your Why

Understanding Your Why, Purpose and Values

Steve Riddle   
Aug 04
  Know your ‘why’. Values and gaining an understanding of your key drivers and motivations matter. I know this because people keep telling me.  Maybe not in specific values-related language, but certainly when they describe how they feel and what is happening at that time. Knowing your core purpose, why we make certain decisions and the influence of values impacts lives. They affect how we feel about our job, relationships and life in general. What is satisfying at work? What is frustrating? How relationships are going? The joys of a new friendship…or an old. Your ‘why’ influences all of these questions. It is when values align and we develop understanding of self and our motivations that genuine satisfaction and comfort is
CoachStation: Leader Journey and Development

The Leader Journey is Long and Worthwhile

Steve Riddle   
Jul 07
What makes one leader more effective and capable than another? The behaviours, traits and skills required of a leader are many. Organisations must focus on developing leaders early and maintain the effort once in the role. Individual leaders must also embrace the challenge to grow and provide more to their team members and employer. To understand what makes a great leader great, requires reading to understand theory and practice to make development real. Knowledge, however, is only the first step. Knowing is one thing, application and ‘doing’ is something more substantial again. You don’t need to seek perfection, just improvement. This initial step to increase understanding is accessible, possibly more so than ever. We are genuinely fortunate to have access to so much literature available
CoachStation: Purpose, Personal Values and Leadership Development

What Are Personal Values and Do They Matter?

Steve Riddle   
Jun 17
Values continue to be an important part of our lives. But do you know what your core personal values are and understand how they impact you and those closest to you? Personal values continue to be important for many reasons, both at work and at home. It is more relevant than ever to continue to elaborate on this core aspect of your motivations, decision-making process and behaviours. I have written about values before. Understanding your own set of personal values can be a powerful tool. Increased self-awareness and knowledge of what is most important to you can help to identify how you act. They also help you to discover what motivations drive you and why you react to particular events or situations
CoachStation Possibilities & Actions Model

Leadership: Assessing Possibilities / Taking Action

Steve Riddle   
Jun 03
  Are you someone who is described as action-oriented? Do you assess the many possible alternatives and options before ultimately taking action?  I consider that one of the most beneficial aspects of good leadership is the ability (and willingness!) to assess options quickly and efficiently and guide your team through to completion. Knowing what the most appropriate and beneficial action is can be difficult, however this model may help. Passively waiting for others to make necessary decisions and take steps to meet a need, adds little value to your organisation and others perception of yourself. Action matters in business! Consciously considering the alternatives and understanding the organisational culture, potential barriers and existing situations provides the most likely scenario for success. Additionally, the stages or
Coaching & Mentoring

Expectations, Accountability and Leadership

Steve Riddle   
May 26
As a leader, you are required to clearly set expectations and standards for your team and each individual employee. We continue to see that this is an area within organisations that is not as effectively applied as it should be. In our short video you will learn why setting expectations is more important than ever to ensure that your team members are not only aware of but understand what is required and expected of them in their role. We have observed some organisations and leaders who hold their employees to account unfairly, sometimes for things that have not been established clearly or understood in the first place. It is never too late to review where this aspect of leadership sits with

Leadership: Setting Standards and Expectations

Steve Riddle   
Apr 14
One of the biggest challenges for managers who are learning to lead is developing the ability to set expectations and standards and then hold people accountable to these expectations. Understanding the benefits and why to apply a model such as the one highlighted in this blog is relatively simple, however application, consistency and follow-through can be a challenge for many. Many years ago I was introduced to a model titled SOI assisting to set expectations and assess performance. The model title is an acronym which stands for Standards – Observations – Impact and has been a simple, yet vital tool in my development and that of others in my coaching and leadership development roles. The SOI model has become inherently part of how I think and
CoachStation: Reflection on Purpose

Know Your History, Purpose and Direction

Steve Riddle   
Mar 07
Why do you do what you do? Understanding your purpose, what motivates you and most importantly using this knowledge to advantage is key to your success, both professionally and personally.   My eldest daughter, Maddy, is currently in year 9. One of her elective subjects this year is Business and as part of the curriculum Maddy was asked to interview a business owner to better understand why, how and what was required to set up the business. I am proud that she chose our business for many reasons. Firstly, it is an opportunity for Maddy to fully understand what I do and why I do it. This is important for any parent and child but possibly even more so as
CoachStation: Leadership Development, Coaching, Consulting and Mentoring

The Leader / Employee Divide: Who’s Managing Who?

Steve Riddle   
Feb 08
One of the biggest challenges for any manager or leader is the relationship they have with their team members. We often read about the need for leaders to be open, self-aware, honest and possess similar traits. But what about the employee? What is their responsibility? Managing people and teams is challenging, there is no doubt. Understanding why people do what they do and behave in certain ways can reduce the challenge and assist in managing situations as they arise. The responsibility to influence outputs amongst different roles may vary, however the level of responsibility and commitment required from a manager or employee remains the same. It is the context of the role and associated tasks that differ, not the degree of ownership that is
CoachStation Blog: Leadership, Coaching, Mentoring & Consulting

Leadership Reflection – What I Learned This Year

Steve Riddle   
Dec 18
Many of us are reflectors. We take time to think about what is happening in our worlds and understand that self-awareness and development matter. Reflection: to think through the implications of action, or non-action; what went well; and the things we might have changed or may alter in the future provides opportunity for growth and change. Developing as a person and leader requires this type of reflection and consideration. Taking the time to reflect is an important step in development. If we continue to ‘just do’ and get caught up in the routines and day-to-day details it is easy for time to pass us by and miss the chance for growth. Making the time to reflect matters! During the coaching relationships developed
CoachStation: Coaching and Mentoring Pathway

Coaching and Mentoring – The Need For Accountability

Steve Riddle   
Oct 24
To genuinely succeed in business, leaders must know their role, continuously develop their skills and be constantly supported to achieve the best they can as a leader and employee. Finding your own development pathway takes ownership, effort and clarity. However, it is not something you need to do on your own. Whether it is developing yourself or your team, coaching and mentoring can be a powerful tool to enable change and growth, both personally and professionally. When it comes to leadership development, however, one of the keys to success is to start developing deliberately and early. It is problematic to concern yourself with focusing on developing leadership skills after they are needed. Setting up leaders to thrive through a development program both
Gabrielle Dolan - Leadership

The Complexity of Business Communication

Steve Riddle   
Sep 17
We may well be over-complicating the language of leadership and business. Poor communication leads to confusion, mixed-messages and a lack of buy-in from our employees. After attending the Future of Leadership – Workplace Culture conference in Brisbane last week I have been reflecting on the content from some of the speakers. Gabrielle Dolan, in particular, caught my imagination. Not only because she is a very compelling and funny speaker but also because her key points seem so intuitively right. Reduce complex language and jargon. Communicate messages that people understand – tailor to you audience. Be comfortable and confident in your own style. Use stories to embed the key messages. They are all very useful tips that can make a sustained difference
CoachStation: Setting Leaders Up For Success

Are We Setting Our Leaders Up For Success?

Steve Riddle   
Aug 12
People get hired or promoted into leadership roles every day. Sadly, when they get the job they may get little or no training on how to lead a team. (1) The opportunity to develop our future leaders before placing them into leadership roles is an obvious one. Building employee skills, capability and awareness to be ready for leadership is ideal, yet is rarely applied well in practice. The first blog I wrote many years ago was titled, Falling Into Leadership. It highlighted the common practice of people being ‘thrust into’ leadership roles without development and support both prior to and during the opportunity. I have written about this topic again since as it is something that continues to challenge many organisations. In

13 Challenges to the Current State of Leadership

Steve Riddle   
Jun 28
It’s hard to identify why but there are currently major gaps in leadership, in Australia at least. Actually, it’s not that difficult to understand really. The things we want from work are not that different to what we are looking for from life in general. The difficulty is not in the knowing, it is in the application and doing. It seems that employees in the modern workplace are screaming for a certain style and capability of leadership, but current cultures are challenged in delivering it. The current state of leadership is not what is wanted nor required.   This is hard to write and I am sure is difficult to read for some. We wish it wasn’t the case however,
CoachStation: Leadership, People and Business Development

Does Leadership Intent Equal Business Success?

Steve Riddle   
May 04
 Not really! The consistently large gap between behaviours, intent, desired culture and reality remains an issue. I was flying home to Brisbane last week and had the opportunity to read the latest ‘Inside HR’ magazine from cover to cover. It is always an interesting read with much that grabs my attention. However on this occasion, by the time I was towards the end of the magazine a theme had started to form in my mind. There were various articles and highlights within the content that rang alarm bells for me. Or maybe it was more that the messages were articulating many of my own recent thoughts more clearly. Let me show you what I mean through various excerpts taken from
CoachStation: Self-awareness and Leadership Development

Leadership Benefits: Self-Awareness and ROI

Steve Riddle   
Feb 16
Does self-awareness and an understanding of leadership impact really matter to organisations? Nearly all managers and people in leadership roles believe they make a difference. In some cases, this is true. In reality however, the evidence continues to demonstrate that leaders overstate their value and influence. One of the core traits observed in the best leaders I have worked with is self-awareness. This is tightly linked to a willingness to be honest with themselves as well as others. There are also points such as decision making beliefs and biases that influence our position on many topics. Our actions are also reinforced by these biases. All the more reason to take a strong position that as a leader it is important

CoachStation: Contact Centre Case Study

Steve Riddle   
Nov 29
Steve Riddle was engaged in early 2013 to provide consulting, leadership and people development services and produce a report summarising the strengths and areas for improvement that existed at that time. The approach to undertake this review, prepare the report and provide recommendations was to engage stakeholders at all levels of the business including the contact centre, hardship, complaints teams and relevant people external to the centre. The original consultation period and subsequent review occurred between April and June 2013. A highly consultative and holistic approach was taken to review and examine various areas of the business, as highlighted in this document. Background The contact centre industry has been a key focus and part of business structure for many medium
CoachStation: Customer 360 Symposium

Customer 360 Symposium: Leadership and Your Customers

Steve Riddle   
May 19
Under the remit of my current contracted role as Head of Customer Service for Toyota Finance Australia, I recently attended an event in the Hunter Valley in Australia organised by Ashton Media titled Customer 360 Symposium. The opportunity to mingle and share ideas with like-minded professionals and customer focussed providers was genuinely excellent. There were many takeaways, some of which I felt it relevant to share via my blog as there are key points that relate to culture, leadership and creating an environment that encourages outstanding customer service. I will present much of this as a series of questions, in some cases adding my own thoughts and comments indented in blue font in reply, as applicable. A core benefit of
Personality and Character: CoachStation

Character and Personality Contribute to Leadership

Steve Riddle   
Mar 07
Is a strong personality an asset or a hindrance in leadership and how does it compare to character? As is the case when dealing with people, there is no clear-cut right or wrong ‘type’ of personality. The ability to flex styles and meet the needs of various situations is an asset however we all have ingrained preferences, beliefs, characteristics and personalities. A ‘strong’ personality in itself is also neither good nor bad. However when an individual possesses too dominant or overbearing a personality it can certainly challenge relationships in and out of the workplace. I like to think of personality and character as related, yet with significant differences. An online definition of personality references character as if they are the
CoachStation: Leadership In 2014

Leadership This Year…and Next

Steve Riddle   
Jan 06
This time of year is often associated with resolutions or the idea that changes to what has been the past are required. For me, the idea that a nominal date such as January 1st should be the trigger for self-review and improvement is somewhat skewed. The concept of self-awareness and subsequent desire to be as capable and self-aware as possible is an ongoing effort, or at least, it should be. When it comes to leadership, this ideal is as relevant as ever. As individuals and employees we should feel comfortable with this concept, although I recognise the reality is often somewhat different. Now is a good time to have a look at leadership in general and specifically review how you
CoachStation: Leadership & Managing Redundancies

Leadership and Managing Redundancies

Steve Riddle   
Sep 28
These are challenging times! It seems that, at least in Australia, we are yet to fully recover the confidence levels that existed before the financial crisis of a few years ago. This has led to less certainty in sentiment and in some cases, reductions in the workforce. Leadership is imperative at any time, however our recent global and local economic plight brings the importance of leading well to the fore even more starkly. This is no more apparent than when the unfortunate situation arises where members of your team have to be let go, not based on performance but from a financial situation for the company involved. Redundancies are rarely pleasant however, when managed well, the impact for all parties
CoachStation: Future Leaders

Leadership, Politics and Private Enterprise

Steve Riddle   
Jul 15
No matter your political predisposition, country of birth or current location, many of us have seen a dearth of good effective leaders in political circles.   It is not only in private enterprise that we have had the misfortune to see in recent years businesses ignore risk management, develop poor internal cultures and force us to question the value of salaries for some of the most prominent of CEO’s. Unfortunately this is apparent within politics also, particularly in Australia. This is not a blog about political allegiance but rather a side-note to the need for political parties and individual politicians to start to develop a leadership mindset that is consistent with expectations and capabilities of the best organisations. Consistent with
Motivation and Drive

Drive and Motivation: 360 View Leadership

Steve Riddle   
May 13
I recently viewed a clip that peaked my interest regarding what motivates us as individuals. On a side note, being quite visual I genuinely enjoy the RSA animate drawings aligned to the content and topic.The author and speaker, Dan Pink, discusses the science of predictability, human nature and motivation. People are not as predictable as is commonly thought. For those of us who have been in leadership roles, this probably resonates strongly, however I challenge each of us to understand how much we have influenced this through our inability or sometimes, unwillingness to truly understand what motivates our team members. Dan refers to two separate studies, one of which has a fascinating finding. It questions the premise that, if we
CoachStation: Questions and Leadership

Questions and Leadership – How They Influence Decisions and Actions

Steve Riddle   
Mar 28
  The ability to ask the right questions using an approach that is trusted and accepted is one of the great leadership skills. It can lead to greater clarity, direction, understanding and comfort. I was in a Skype meeting with a colleague of mine based in Ontario earlier in the week and we were discussing many things. One of the key themes that we deliberated over was the need to ask and answer ‘the right’ questions, that leads to a result that has clarity and can direct to effective and meaningful action. Let me delve a little further to explain what I mean. As a coach and consultant I am required to help change or improve something, either for an

Leadership and Relationships – It’s the Little Things

Steve Riddle   
Feb 02
In leadership and relationships, it is often the small gestures and words that make all the difference.     I have often been surprised at the number of times I have been reminded of my words and gestures from the past, how they have remained in people’s minds and in some cases had influence in their thinking and on their actions. To be honest, this has not always been in a positive sense, with mistakes and errors in judgment coming back to haunt me at various stages of my life as well. But this blog is more about the positive aspects of our words and gestures. In my last 6 years of full-time work for GE I had the pleasure
LinkedIn Leadership Poll Nov 2012 Results Screenshot

Leadership Traits, Skills and Attributes – Poll

Steve Riddle   
Jan 22
Late last year I ran a poll via LinkedIn asking the question: what is the most important leadership trait, skill or attribute that you would like to see developed and improved in 2013? I was very pleased with the number of responses, receiving 226 votes. What was most satisfying was the effort many people put into the supporting comments of which 49 added to their vote with their thoughts. There are many well-balanced, thoughtful and insightful people in my network and I thank you all for taking the time to add to the discussion. I will add that the 3 or 4 foolish people who took the time to repeatedly add very little constructive thought and feel the need to

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