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: 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: Personal Brand and Leadership

Brand and Perception: Leadership Essentials

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 habits. Your ‘real life’ actions and behaviours shape the perception others have of you. After all, those closest to you are the people who you should be most interested in influencing. Rarely is the depth of relationships online as strong as in person. Sadly, the lines are becoming blurred for many people. It takes time and effort to develop your Read more about Brand and Perception: Leadership Essentials[…]

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: Employee Engagement Surveys - Fact or Fiction?

Employee Engagement Survey Results: Fact or Fiction?

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 to build an inclusive, passionate, multi-generational team. In fact…the issue of ‘engaging people well’ is becoming one of the biggest competitive differentiators in business. The change we need to make is to redefine engagement beyond an ‘annual HR measure’ to a continuous, holistic part of an entire business strategy. If your people love their work and the environment you have Read more about Employee Engagement Survey Results: Fact or Fiction?[…]

CoachStation: Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership Support

The Importance of Leadership Support in Coaching

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 of his leaders. At one stage he asked if I knew one of his leadership team in particular? The answer is yes…in fact, quite well, as I had just finished a coaching program of 8 months with him! I couldn’t help but be disappointed that this was not known to Jack. To be fair, a recent structural change meant that Read more about The Importance of Leadership Support in Coaching[…]

CoachStation: Management, Leadership Coaching and One-on-Ones

Generational Change and Leadership

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 being a part of their developmental path in recent years. Both Luke and Kevin are measured in their thinking and mature in reasoning. For these reasons and others, I appreciate their perspectives on many topics, including generational change and professional observations. Luke is a 26-year old recently registered architect with an immense opportunity for his future. Kevin is an experienced architect Read more about Generational Change and Leadership[…]

CoachStation: Leader Journey and Development

The Leader Journey is Long and Worthwhile

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 online that provides this opportunity. Your learning should have a purpose, however. Consider what it is that you want to influence? Is it that you feel you could be more strategic in your thinking? Improve your communication skills? Or, do you want to positively impact employee engagement levels? All of these and plenty more, are admirable goals to improve your Read more about The Leader Journey is Long and Worthwhile[…]

Coaching & Mentoring

Expectations, Accountability and Leadership

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 you and your team. Maybe it is time to revisit your team’s roles and make sure their is clarity, certainty and context…the risk is minor and the potential returns are significant. One of our recent blogs on this topic struck a nerve with many of my clients and readers and I felt it necessary to follow it up with additional content: Leadership: Read more about Expectations, Accountability and Leadership[…]

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[…]

CoachStation: Leadership Development, Coaching, Consulting and Mentoring

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

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 required. I remain certain that this is not how accountability and ownership is presented and reinforced in most organisations. I sometimes see employees manipulating, displaying passive-aggressive behaviours and generally playing games to get what they want or influence their peers. Passive-aggressive behaviour is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behaviour, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish Read more about The Leader / Employee Divide: Who’s Managing Who?[…]

CoachStation: Setting Leaders Up For Success

Are We Setting Our Leaders Up For Success?

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 fact, the low frequency of leadership support and meaningful development was a core reason why I created my business, CoachStation, in the first place. Too often I saw people being held accountable for our own failures to set them up for leadership success and support our team members to achieve. Based on recent coaching conversations and discussions with clients, it would appear little has Read more about Are We Setting Our Leaders Up For Success?[…]

CoachStation: Leadership, People and Business Development

Does Leadership Intent Equal Business Success?

 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 the magazine: Engaged employees are at least three and a half times more likely than disengaged employees to say their organisation is committed to bringing innovative products and services to the marketplace. Highly engaged employees are nearly six times more likely than disengaged employees to use challenging goals to improve performance, and more than seven times more likely to agree Read more about Does Leadership Intent Equal Business Success?[…]

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[…]

LinkedIn Leadership Poll Nov 2012 Results Screenshot

Leadership Traits, Skills and Attributes – Poll

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 use domains such as LinkedIn polls to vent and argue with each other about trivialities is disappointing and diminishes the process for others. I do not understand it, however recognise that some people really do miss the point when it comes to value-add and sharing. Thankfully they are in the minority. For the vast majority who voted and left comments, Read more about Leadership Traits, Skills and Attributes – Poll[…]

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[…]

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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