September 5, 2013 / Coaching Skills

Learn the Skills of “Assess” for Effective Leadership Team Development

Developing your leadership team is best done through effective and frequent coaching. We recently shared two ways rapport benefits leadership team development through coaching.  And establishing rapport is the critical first step in our In-The-Moment Coaching model.   So what happens next?

Understand the problem that needs solving.  This occurs in the “Assess” step in our In-The-Moment (ITM) Coaching model.  Here are three reasons leaders who learn the skills of Assess are highly effective at leadership team development through ITM Coaching.

  • They understand they aren’t on point to solve the problem.  Assess is exploring another person’s perspective on a situation in order to understand the current frame and uncovering the most important problem that needs solving right now.  Once it’s uncovered, the leader’s job is to help him/her arrive at a solution to address it.  This is “teaching others to fish,” which boosts the level of motivation, accountability, and engagement in taking action.
  • They open up thinking with strategic questions.  The key to successfully assess is through the use of open-ended questions.  Leaders who allow open-ended questions to emerge from a place of curiosity rather than a defined set of questions receive more information that helps them set the problem.
  • They pick up on nuances by staying present.  In Assess, the leader’s job is not only to ask questions and listen, but to notice how the situation is being described, the other person’s reaction to it and motivations.   Specifically, they are listening for specific word usage that implies constraints on thinking and views on others.  By staying present in the conversation, leaders are able to pick up on these cues, ask the right questions and quickly set the most important problem that needs solving.

Successful leadership team development through ITM Coaching relies on learning how to stay in Assess versus solving others’ problems for them. For more tips to help you do this and other how-to’s on ITM Coaching, download the free Executive Guide to In-The-Moment Coaching.

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August 30, 2013 / Coaching Skills

Two Ways Rapport Benefits Leadership Team Development

Want to get more from your leadership team? Then coaching effectively and often, especially with our In-The-Moment Coaching model, is an indispensable skill for you. Establishing rapport is a critical component to building relationships with others and it is a prerequisite for a successful coaching conversation.

Here are two ways rapport benefits coaching and thus leadership team development:

  • It creates trust and safetyRapport connects through “sameness” in language, tone and behavior, thus calming the mind.  Match your body language, voice quality, words and sense of urgency with that of another to establish this “sameness.” Strong differences in behaviors and speech can elicit a fight, flight or freeze response – not what you are looking for.  Instead, matching cultivates trust and safety so the mind is primed to explore ideas and solutions.
  • It requires your presence.  You have no shortage of distractions:  text messages, emails, people queuing up at your desk.  To further cultivate trust and safety, you must clear those distractions – such as silencing/closing your device or moving to a non-distracting locationin order to be fully present in the conversation.  Once established, maintain rapport in coaching (or any) conversations to maintain trust and safety, allowing the mind of your team member to open up to new possibilities.

Rapport is the critical first step you must master in a leadership team development skill like coaching.  For further tips on establishing rapport and other how-to’s on In-The-Moment Coaching, download the free Executive Guide to In-The-Moment Coaching

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May 21, 2013 / Ask Mariposa

Ask Mariposa: How to Coach Someone Who Doesn’t Want to be Coached

Saul asks: How do you coach an employee that doesn’t want to be coached, but is part of his PDP obligation to be coached for 4 months?  What power suggestions or questions would you use in this situation to motivate behavior or start thinking about the pressure to change?

Tawny Lees, COO of Mariposa responds:

Hi Saul,

Tough situation! As a coach, you know that openness to the coaching process is a pre-requisite to it being effective. So hopefully you can enroll this employee before committing to the engagement!

I suggest you start with open questions and deep listening to truly understand the resistance. “Tell me about you…tell me about what’s going around here…tell me about this PDP plan…”

Often the resistance is fear of the unknown, and an assumption that the coach is working for “others” who have an agenda. Establish rapport and explain the coaching process/relationship (including confidentiality) using positive language like “you and I would focus on what’s most important and helpful for you” or “clients use me as an objective sounding board as they work on their goals and tackle tough problems.” Address any specific objections, questions or worries. Your objective would be to help the employee see that you are there to help him/her be successful. Period.

If/when you see an opening, you could try specific questions about goals and begin motivating. Here are some ideas:

  • “What are your toughest challenges right now?” “What would it be like if you were able to handle those with more ease?”
  • “I find most people like to continually grow and stretch themselves. Tell me about anything at which you are currently trying to get better?” “What benefits would come from getting better at ____ ?”
  • “What could we work on that would have a big impact on your career/work life?”

Good luck! Let us know if we can help further. More on rapport and assessment questions can be found in our ITM coaching model.

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May 10, 2013 / Blog / Coaching Skills / Influencing Skills

The Power of Matching

200021828-001In his book To Sell Is Human, Dan Pink writes about the importance of attunement as part of selling, whether the selling is formal (actual sales) or less formal (influence and persuasion). One approach to attunement is matching. By subtly matching body language, tone of voice and choice of words, you can create greater attunement and more trust with people you talk to. Dan points out—and there is research behind this—that people’s mannerisms automatically attune when they feel connected to each other.

If you watch friends talking over coffee, you’ll see similar movements happening at the same time. Similarly, studies have shown that if one person at a table reaches for a glass of water, it’s more likely that someone else will also reach for a glass of water—if not at the same moment, then soon after. We match each other because we are social animals, and it’s one of the ways that we stay in sync, that we feel safe and connected.

I often talk to clients about matching to build trust and communicate more effectively with diverse stakeholders. You can match in three main ways:

1.  Body language.

2.  Vocal inflection.

3.  Word choice.

Read More on Eric’s Blog

Matching is also a powerful part of Mariposa’s In-The-Moment Coaching model. For more on this model, visit our ITM Workshop and read our article on ITM Coaching in Action.

About the author:

Eric Nitzberg, is the Principal of Sierra Leadership and an Executive Leadership Coach for Mariposa Leadership, Inc.

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April 29, 2013 / Blog / HR / Talent Management

Five Lessons from a CEO on HR

hr-jigsawIn a unique turn of roles Les Hayman “retired” from a long tenure as a CEO to leading Global HR for SAP. In a recent guest blog post, Les summarizes five key lessons that he dubbed: “What I Wish I Knew as a CEO That I Learned Later in HR.”  The five lessons were:

1. Spend more time on making recruitment a core competency in the entire organization. I especially agree with his point that hiring for attitude is more important than hiring mainly for skills. The costs of weak hiring practices are enormous, and while HR should lead the way – it is every leader’s responsibility to be good at recruiting.

2. A large number of people who move into management are not comfortable when they get there and should be given the opportunity to move back out without being penalized, or better still, can stay in a professional role rather than being pushed into management. Les was surprised at the number of reluctant managers he came across, and advocates for valid vocational career paths for professionals. I agree with him wholeheartedly, AND I believe that sometimes these reluctant managers can become highly passionate and effective managers given the right coaching.

3. There are no such things as HR problems, only business problems that HR needs to help resolve. Couldn’t agree with this one more – HR leaders need to see themselves as business leaders before others will.

4. Spend more time on underperformers. While I agree with this, I also believe the right recruitment has to be in place first. And that the “move them up or move them out” approach does not have to be a lengthy, painful process.

5. Put less value on formal performance reviews and more on managing behavior as a moment by moment way of business life. Hallelujah on this one, and the ITM Coaching approach is a great skill for leaders to enable this moment-by-moment way of business life!

 

To check out the full article: http://seapointcenter.com/what-i-wish-i-knew-as-a-ceo-that-i-learned-later-in-hr/

To check out other writings by Les Hayman: http://leshayman.wordpress.com/

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October 27, 2011 / Coaching Skills / HR / Talent Management / Mariposa Articles

ITM Coaching in Action: What, When, and How to Coach in Interrupt-Driven Organizations

How can you coach others in interrupt-driven environments? The ITM Coaching™ model is available to support learning and change. In this article, by Mariposa Leadership, Inc. CEO Susan Bethanis and COO Tawny Lees, the model is broken down into a simple three-step framework with numerous examples to illustrate the concepts in practice.

To download the full article, click here.

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March 15, 1999 / HR / Talent Management / Mariposa Articles

Creating a Culture People Want to Work in: How to Recruit and Retain Top Talent

You regularly spend time on how best to market your products and services to customers and internal clients.  Likewise, you probably spend time on customizing your products and services to best meet your customers’ needs. What about your organization’s culture? How do you differentiate your culture in order to recruit the top talent that makes up your most important resource – your people? No matter what type of organization you are in, putting time into recruiting and developing top talent must be a strong leadership message from managers and executives. Find out why people join organizations and effective ways to develop your employees, including ITM Coaching™.

To download full article, click here.

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