Archives For listening

We hear so much about coaching these days. Leaders need to coach more. Employees need more coaching. High performers need coaching. Low performers need coaching. As leaders, how can we know we’ve done enough? And what does a quality coaching conversation actually look like in action?

Over the years, I’ve adopted a simple definition of coaching: “To coach is to develop another person by listening and asking questions to clarify ideas and commit to action.”

If you look closely, you’ll notice five key characteristics. I’ve listed each of them out below:

Business Conversation

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When you’re new to the workforce, enjoying leadership success can be a far off goal. The main focus is finding the right role and doing quality work. I know that was the case for me. But with time and experience (and a lot of hard work) come new opportunities to lead at higher levels. You go from joining a team to leading a team to eventually leading a department or major organizational function. Each time the strategy shifts.

A couple years ago I was privileged to have Mark Miller guest post on my site about surviving success. We all need a game plan to kick off a new opportunity. But our behavior needs an adjustment as well.

In his bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shares twenty habits that can be largely overlooked at lower organizational levels, but have the potential to absolutely derail a senior leader who doesn’t change course. There isn’t room to share them all in this post, but I’d like to highlight five extra critical ones. Fail to implement them, and your best people may go looking for a new leader.

Man Stuck on Ladder

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The term “coaching” has been trending as a corporate buzzword for some time now. We’re all familiar with athletics coaches. But when someone advises us to find a coach to learn a new skill or solve problem, it’s usually in a professional context. What does it actually mean to coach someone?

The interesting thing about coaching is how dynamic of a leadership role it is. Supervisors can coach. Mentors can coach. Peers can coach. Executive coaches can coach (obviously). Just about anyone can coach at one time or another.

Whether you have the opportunity to be coached or to be a coach, let’s take a look at six things coaching leaders do that set them apart.

Business People Talking

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What if I told you you don’t need to have a great solution for every single problem that comes your way in order to be a competent and mature leader? Well that’s exactly what I’m about to propose. Hopefully it’s as refreshing to you as it is to me. And the best part about it is that it can dramatically improve your leadership influence as well.

Question Marks

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For the third year in a row I had the pleasure of attending the Leadercast leadership seminar at a local simulcast location. This year I attended in Daytona Beach, FL with about 80 other local leaders. The event was fantastic, as usual.

I don’t get to attend as many leadership events as I’d like to, but I always take something away from the ones I do. This year’s Leadercast was no exception. These were the highlights for me.

Leadercast 2014 Banner

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Today’s post was written by a former colleague of mine, Jess Titchener – an     adrenalin-driven management consultant living, working and serving in London.   You can follow Jess on Twitter as well as on her new faith-based blog at        thistrainisboundforglory.com. To be featured on this site, click here.

As I reflect on the three years that I have worked in corporate sales and negotiations in the communications and media industry, I have been thinking about what we can all apply from some fundamental “sales” principles into our daily working routines – whatever area we may work in.

Business People WalkingI think my lessons can be distilled into these three priorities.

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In recent years, we’ve seen a new emphasis on the art of listening. It can’t be because listening is all of a sudden more important than it ever was before. Maybe the nature of work in the information age means the the cost of misunderstanding is higher. Or maybe our experts and trainers have been burned by poor listening and decided to produce more thought leadership on the topic.

At any rate, many studies demonstrate the importance of listening. We are apparently able to listen about 3 times faster than we can speak, but we also forget most of what we’ve heard. Listening been identified as one of the top qualities employers seek. And the ability to listen well has been tied to the ability to lead.

Listening Kid

Everyone wants to be hired, to lead well, and to experience true understanding in the communication they engage in. So how can we learn to listen more effectively? There are many solutions for growth, but one of the first may be to understand the various levels of listening that exist. Here are five of the most common ones:

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In my last post, I gave several reasons why you don’t have to wait until later to be a leadership expert. You can begin to be one right here, right now, no matter who you are. If you’ve bought that idea, then let me share several practical ways you use your leadership expertise to benefit others.

Expert3

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QuestionsHow do you talk with other people about leadership? Unless I’m already a trusted leadership advisor, most people don’t just come up and ask me to help them evaluate their personal and organizational leadership effectiveness. (And when they do, it’s a little more organic than that!)  It’s true the more responsibilities people acquire, the more complicated their leadership situation gets. If they become an executive, they usually have large budgets to invest in consultants or solutions to address the leadership challenges they experience. But everyday leaders often have to figure things out on their own. You may be able to help, but how do you get the conversation started?

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