CoachStation: Leadership, People & Business Development

Management: Communication and Accountability In One-On-Ones

Few managers and leaders are conducting useful one-on-ones and when they do, often miss the mark in making them effective and productive. There is value in learning how to facilitate a one-on-one that provides value for all involved. Two of the most important, yet under-rated skills for managers and leaders are listening and questioning. To be present and focused and know what key question to ask at the right time add value to any relationship and discussion. They are particularly important during one-on-ones with your employees and offer a couple of great examples of development opportunities. Yet, there are many more growth areas that can be learned and practiced as a leader through focused, individual time spent with each team member. One-on-ones are a tool and a process. When conducted well they are an incredibly useful and effective part of leadership and developing effective relationships. The opposite is just as true. When avoided, gaps and misunderstandings often exist as a direct result. Your willingness to learn how to conduct one-on-ones effectively will have a direct impact on your team and Read more about Management: Communication and Accountability In One-On-Ones[…]

CoachStation: Leadership and Management Coaching

Coaching Leaders: Learning To Lead

Organisations regularly fail to set their leaders up for success. When it comes to development, up and coming managers and leaders themselves are just as responsible and culpable. Coaching provides the opportunity and impetus for growth and change. The statements above may seem confronting, yet the evidence continues to present itself in organisations throughout the world. Few people I know personally and professionally feel that they are supported and developed consistently well by their leaders. Those who do should feel very lucky. Leaders who have sought development and coaching are significantly more likely to engage their team members. Coaching leaders are also more likely to develop and maintain solid relationships and connections with those they work with. This is important as employee engagement rates continue to fall or at best, remain stagnant. According to the recent Gallup State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Eighteen percent (of employees globally) are actively disengaged in their work and workplace, while 67% are “not Read more about Coaching Leaders: Learning To Lead[…]

CoachStation & Relationships: Leadership & Business Concerns 2018

Relationships: Understand Your Team to Lead Effectively

There is little doubt that being a leader offers many challenges and rewards. Being close to those you lead via proximity and emotionally provides the opportunity to meet the challenges and feel the benefits and rewards.  Leaders who are present and accessible concentrate on more than simply having an ‘open-door policy’. They build relationships and understand their employees as individual people.   As we begin another year, I have found myself reflecting on the past 12 months. There are often trends and themes that emerge when thinking about my clients and the coaching environments I have been exposed to over this period. One of the over-arching themes for last year was the challenge between available time (perception and reality…but that is a different topic for another time) and the willingness/ability to develop effective relationships in the workplace. Initially, too many of my clients view the connections between themselves and their team members as negotiable or secondary to their ‘real work’. Relationships and connecting with your employees is a cornerstone of leadership. They are actually non-negotiable if you truly want to lead.   Being Read more about Relationships: Understand Your Team to Lead Effectively[…]

CoachStation: Steve Riddle, Leadership and Coaching

Avoid a Common Leadership Mistake: Empower Your Team

Effective leaders make shared goals clear. They also clarify the role we each play in achieving them. Leaders empower their team members and hold them accountable for delivering agreed results. However, to inspire and empower you must have a connection with your team members…a relationship. The words and concept in the heading above could not be clearer. The message and need to establish accountability cannot be understated. Making this real in practice is the challenge. How many of us truly provide the context and create the environment where trust and accountability are encouraged? Do you empower or dis-empower? A few weeks ago I facilitated a ‘Lunch and Learn’ session with one of my clients. The session formed part of a week-long focus on leadership. Other speakers included representatives from Blanchard International and BTS Australasia. I was provided with guidance on the session topic, which had to relate to coaching and leadership. We were fortunate to have Max from Sketchvideos recording the key points from each session, as highlighted in the image above. Many of us have the opportunity to influence, lead and manage Read more about Avoid a Common Leadership Mistake: Empower Your Team[…]

CoachStation: Trust, Leadership and Influence

Trust: The Cornerstone of Relationships and Leadership

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 effective tools relates to helping my clients understand their personal values. The process of prioritising an extensive set of value statements and words down to 20 primary and ultimately, 7 core values is always interesting. A continuing trend is that trust forms a part of the vast majority of people’s primary values. Based on many other personal and professional conversations, I Read more about Trust: The Cornerstone of Relationships and Leadership[…]

CoachStation: Integrity and Leadership

Integrity: A Leadership Negotiable or Must Have?

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 when we focus on internal, innate and substantial inputs, we have control on the outcomes and results. Integrity is an input and an output. All of our behaviours, values, beliefs and other attributes contribute to the choices we make and demonstrate. These are the inputs. They must be consistent with what we say is important. People will follow what you do Read more about Integrity: A Leadership Negotiable or Must Have?[…]

CoachStation: Employees, Strengths, Diversity and Relationships

Your Employees, Leadership, Strengths and Diversity

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 can share their opinions. Hay’s Staff Engagement: Ideas for Action report finds 93% pf workers want to be a part of a workplace in which there is diversity in thought. Employers agree, with 87% saying it is important to them to ensure staff feel like they have a voice and can share their opinions at work, although 43% of them Read more about Your Employees, Leadership, Strengths and Diversity[…]

CoachStation Possibilities & Actions Model

Leadership: Assessing Possibilities / Taking Action

  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 steps that I consider to be the difference between successful decision-making and leadership effectiveness compared to less successful processes are: Understanding the issue to be solved Considering the options Assessing possible outcomes Narrowing the options to the clear few that add greatest benefit Identifying a single response and doing something with it. After recently being asked by one of my clients what the Read more about Leadership: Assessing Possibilities / Taking Action[…]

Leadership: Setting Standards and Expectations

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 work with others. Through practice and application it has become an unconscious process focused on ensuring people are clear on what is required; measurement against those objectives; and discussions as to why they are important. Throughout this time and as my exposure and experience increased, I recognised that there were a couple of elements missing in the model that when Read more about Leadership: Setting Standards and Expectations[…]

Gabrielle Dolan - Leadership

The Complexity of Business Communication

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 to how your teams perform. One of the ways we can step into real leadership is to move away from corporate jargon and be prepared to share personal stories. Every time we use corporate jargon we disconnect and isolate people as opposed to personal stories that connect and engage people. (1) Many of us are guilty of over-using words, especially in Read more about The Complexity of Business Communication[…]

13 Challenges to the Current State of Leadership

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, no matter who I speak to either on a personal level or within my professional contacts, there is great frustration and disappointment with the current provision of leadership in business. In fact, there is considerable angst about leadership being portrayed in most areas including government at all levels. Statements and feelings referring to disengagement; indifference; self-interest; ego; fear; incompetence; and Read more about 13 Challenges to the Current State of Leadership[…]

CoachStation: Leadership In 2014

Leadership This Year…and Next

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 as a leader are performing against current benchmarks and needs, not those rooted in the past.  What has altered in leadership for 2014? The point that culture and society is evolving means that we as leaders need to keep abreast of cultural, societal, organisational behaviour and workplace adjustments. We are judged on many things including our ability to relate to Read more about Leadership This Year…and Next[…]

CoachStation: Leadership & Managing Redundancies

Leadership and Managing Redundancies

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 involved can be minimised. Unfortunately, the worst thing to happen to these organisations isn’t the fact that these redundancies take place, it’s the poor leadership which follows the redundancies. Consequences such as reduced productivity and engagement can linger for many months, or even years, especially when the process has not been handled gracefully. (1) I have personally been involved in Read more about Leadership and Managing Redundancies[…]

Leadership and Relationships – It’s the Little Things

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 of working with another leader, Luke, who I was able to help support, influence and develop, as he did me. We spoke about many things and subjects during this time including the importance of connecting with others. We regularly reminded each other of the content of previous conversations and the phrases used, providing opportunity to delve deeper and reflect upon Read more about Leadership and Relationships – It’s the Little Things[…]

Leadership Greatest Hits: 2012 CoachStation Highlights

Like many of you, I have spent some time over the past weeks reflecting on 2012 and planning for next year. As cliche’d as it may be, the years do seem to be passing more and more quickly, although I feel this is a reflection of our lifestyles and a symptom of the modern world. It has been a year of significant change for me, as I took the step to leave full-time employment and work full time in and on my consulting and leadership development businesses, CoachStation and Telework Management. Pleasingly, I have never been so comfortable and content with my current and future work situation. Beyond my family, one of my great joys is writing and I have taken much pleasure from the blogs constructed in 2012. It dawned on me today that if our favourite music artists can take their best songs and make a compilation then there is nothing stopping me from doing the same…any excuse will do! This blog highlights some of the best ‘bits’ as highlighted by my readers and my personal favourite statements Read more about Leadership Greatest Hits: 2012 CoachStation Highlights[…]

Leadership Training of Middle Managers

Do we forget how important leadership is in business?     Over the weekend I read an article in our local paper titled, Investing in the Forgotten Heroes, by Carla Jenkin. The premise for the article is the importance of the role of ‘middle-managers’ and the level of support and training they receive. Carla wrote: Middle managers are the ones that keep the cogs turning and ensure the job gets done, not the chief executive. They are often not getting the support or training required so that they can maximise operations, as more senior managers tend to get the company-sponsored education opportunities…more businesses need to look at how their middle managers can be supported if they are to effectively lead people and manage the success of operations. U.S. research reveals that only 15 percent of an organisation’s performance is because of the influence of its chief executive. Middle managers often feel the squeeze to lead and support their employees while implementing and overseeing directives from those above them in the hierarchy. They are less likely to be given training unless Read more about Leadership Training of Middle Managers[…]

CoachStation: Employees, Strengths, Diversity and Relationships

Self-Awareness, Mindfulness and Decision-Making

Ask yourself: “am I particularly efficient…or am I effective in what I do and the decisions that I make?” Self-reflection, taking into account many factors is important to continue to produce improvement and awareness about what is going well and what you would like to change about who you are and what you do. In my most recent role as a national leader within a global organisation I had many responsibilities and tasks assigned to my role. I was also in the fortunate position to have a degree of flexibility and freedom in my direction and subsequently, that of my team. Last year there was a leadership change within my team, which had its pros and cons. However, I did find that I had less opportunity to genuinely contribute my ideas and felt significantly less valued and comfortable in my role as a result. My point is not to judge the leadership decisions, more of how this made me react internally and the choices I made during this period. I found great value in self-reflection (in some cases my unconscious Read more about Self-Awareness, Mindfulness and Decision-Making[…]

Leading Customer Experience Management

Providing a level of customer experience that ensures your customers ‘feel’ the difference between your business and competitors is crucial to success. A key element to be able to make this a reality rather than a pipe-dream is how many of your employees and particularly leaders ‘live the reality’. Discussing customer experience (CE) as a core part of business culture genuinely reinforces the messages – but not if this is felt by a few, not the many. Effective business leaders should always know that they are building a culture and understanding with all employees that the customer matters. This cannot be achieved through empty words, sound bites or a shallow attempt at driving a customer-centric organisation. CE can be incredibly complex and very simple at the same time. I wonder whether the proliferation of data and new technology is being used to best advantage. Whether we accept the implications of technology and the modern version of customer experience goes a long way to building a customer-centric culture. Taking meaningful steps based on a company-wide strategy that is reinforced through leadership, Read more about Leading Customer Experience Management[…]

CoachStation: Leadership

Roles, Structure and Instinct…Be Like a Bee

In my front garden is a small bush. As we enter the early stages of Spring, it has come into full bloom. The plant is covered in bunches of small, white, delicate flowers. I can see the bush from my office and often enjoy the view of our garden. Under my office window is a bench seat that I made last year using the original wood from a patio that we pulled down in our backyard. It is one of my favourite places to sit. One beautiful Spring day last week I was sitting on the bench watching the bees, literally hundreds of them, flitting from flower to flower. I watched them for 20 minutes or so working very studiously collecting nectar and doing what bees do….and it got me thinking. How different are our businesses and organisations, the expectations of tasks and designated roles to that required of bees? I imagine if I followed the bees back to their hives and was able to peer into the inner workings that I would not see: Ineffective meetings being held with Read more about Roles, Structure and Instinct…Be Like a Bee[…]

Leadership, Employee Engagement and Customer Service

I attended last years IQPC Customer Experience Management Conference in Sydney and thoroughly enjoyed the content. I learned a lot. There were many great speakers. Many of them focused on the what – meaning that I learned about tools, measurements, successes through data collection and customer platforms, amongst other aspects. I was invited to this year’s conference, including the opportunity to be a guest speaker during the opening day. I wanted to set a challenge to myself and the attendees with a pitch more aligned to the ‘how’: • How do we achieve improved customer service results? • How do we establish the right culture to balance employee, customer and business needs? • How do we use the extensive quantities of data available to real advantage? • How do we create employee engagement, empowerment and buy-in that means our customers feel the benefit? ============ My presentation was titled ‘Customer Experience Management from the Inside-Out‘ The core theme implies that if we want to genuinely positively impact customer experience and service standards, we must build a culture and understanding that the customer Read more about Leadership, Employee Engagement and Customer Service[…]

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