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: 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: Focus On the Inputs

To Succeed, Focus on Inputs Not Results

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 big tip: You cannot change, influence or develop through focusing on a result only – understand the inputs and things that influence the result! Don’t misunderstand my point. Results and outcomes matter enormously. Measuring our outputs and contributions is key to business. KPI’s, profits, budgets etc are critical to business…they just can’t be changed through themselves. Why? Well for three main reasons: Read more about To Succeed, Focus on Inputs Not Results[…]

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: 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: Influence Story of My Life

Influence and Trust: A Teenagers Perspective

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 her comments and writing. We are very proud of Maddy and hope that this blog has the influence on others that it has had on us.    I have always loved my family dearly and they are a very important part of my life. However, upon reflection I realised that I was prioritising my friends, wanting to spend more time and money Read more about Influence and Trust: A Teenagers Perspective[…]

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[…]

CoachStation: Purpose, Personal Values and Leadership Development

What Are Personal Values and Do They Matter?

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 more than others.   Situations, leaders and cultures sometimes challenge your values. Often in the workplace and in relationships we are asked to compromise on those things that matter most to us. Too much compromise however, can make you feel as though something fundamental is amiss. Your personal values are a central part of who you are – and who Read more about What Are Personal Values and Do They Matter?[…]

CoachStation Blog: Leadership, Coaching, Mentoring & Consulting

Leadership Reflection – What I Learned This Year

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 with many of my clients I have learned how important it is to allow people the time to think through the implications of our discussions; the challenges presented; and potential actions or solutions. Many people are unwilling or unable to commit to the initial thought and require time away from the moment to ponder the opportunities and options that exist. Working within your preferred Read more about Leadership Reflection – What I Learned This Year[…]

CoachStation: Coaching and Mentoring Pathway

Coaching and Mentoring – The Need For Accountability

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 prior to and during their tenure is key to the success of your leadership team and business. Training in itself is one source of development, however this learning must be supported and reinforced in practice based on individual situations, needs, understanding and capability. Ongoing support ‘makes the learning real’ within the work environment, reinforcing the content and context provided during Read more about Coaching and Mentoring – The Need For Accountability[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

CoachStation: Learn To Lead

Development and Training – Same, Same: Maybe Not?

Are learning, training and development the same thing? The short answer is no, however training is one avenue to learning and development. Why does defining the difference matter – aren’t I really just splitting hairs? Now, that is the interesting question!! Having worked with many varied people and business cultures and recognising the similarities and differences, it is clear to me that many managers think training and development are the same thing. I have seen examples where a manager has sent one of their team to training to ‘rectify’ a skill gap and behaviour. Attending the training did not make the difference expected by the manager, so he sent the employee back on the 2-day training course at the next available opportunity. Of course, there was no change as a result. When this manager attempted to send the same employee a third time, I felt it necessary to intervene and ask the pertinent questions to broaden the manager’s thinking and related actions. I have written about this before, however it continues to surprise me that people in leadership roles too Read more about Development and Training – Same, Same: Maybe Not?[…]

Personal Values – One View

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, what motivations drive you and better understand why you react to particular events or situations more than others. What are personal values? Wordnetweb defines values as beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something). Values exert major influence on the behavior of an individual and serve as broad guidelines in all situations (BusinessDictionary.com). Values can and do change over time depending on environment, parental influence, teachers/schooling, friendship groups, specific situations and many other contributing factors. Importantly, values can be shaped through both negative and positive experiences. An individual may hold a core value based on something that has happened in the past that they regret, have unhappy memories about or the same value can be important to an individual because of positive stimuli. An example I use regularly in training is the 9 year old boy (let’s call him Read more about Personal Values – One View[…]

Developing and Empowering Leaders – Richard Branson (Part 1)

Richard Branson recently stated that coaching senior managers can be difficult for various reasons, not the least of which is the difficulty in finding an uninterrupted period of time to conduct and review. Branson and his senior leaders spend time together each year at his home on Necker Island to discuss the opportunities and challenges the Virgin business group and leaders currently face. I am certain this is a great opportunity to solve the business issues, share and learn from each other, however equally sure this is only part of the development story for individuals and future of the Virgin group and other companies in general. Sharing and learning from others is one aspect of coaching and leadership development, however knowing something or having additional information about a situation or about oneself does not equate to a change in behaviour or enhanced skill in application. The purpose of this blog is to draw upon and respond to a set of guidelines Richard Branson highlighted in a recent article in the Business Review Weekly magazine titled, 7 Rules For Managers, focusing Read more about Developing and Empowering Leaders – Richard Branson (Part 1)[…]

Seeking Work-Life Balance: Myth Or Manageable

I was recently fortunate enough to be invited to participate on a panel in my workplace focusing on work-life balance – a phrase that is possibly overused and misunderstood and a term that I have read conflicting opinions on in recent months. The panel forum consisted of a number of employees in the audience and 4 panel member’s, including myself, who each pitched out their own thoughts on the topic and then received questions from the audience. It was a very interesting exercise as I found that each of our situations was quite different. Whereas we may have been in similar roles at work, our roles and focus at home was quite varied regarding how we manage our time and the choices we make. However, there were some consistent themes that carried over between speakers. My view is that work-life balance is an extremely important facet of my life. I have significant responsibility in my role – something I take quite seriously, particularly the support, satisfaction and growth of my team. However, nothing is more important to me than my Read more about Seeking Work-Life Balance: Myth Or Manageable[…]

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