Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

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What is Your Listening Block?

baby not willing to listenMost of us can be found to be guilty of not listening fully when someone is speaking to us.

Sometimes this happens even more so with our loved ones. The thinking that “we know them so well that we know what they are going to say” can prevail.

So we let our minds wonder or do a whole bunch of other non-listening things that can be quite disrespectful of the other!

Listening blocks and de-railers also come into play at work and other relationships too as after our core traits and behaviours generalize across situations.

I once had a GM say about this about his boss, “ I just wish he would stop being so distracted and not pick up his phone each time there is a new message when I am having a conversation with him!”

To his credit, the CEO did take this feedback on board after realizing the full implications of his behavior.

Some common listening blocks and de-railers include: (more…)

Managing with Aloha – The Hawaiian Way

While in Hawaii, I had the great pleasure of coming across the work of Rosa Say, a workplace culture and leadership coach, author and speaker. Rosa brings a unique Hawaiian perspective to business and workplace focusing on core Hawaiian values which also have a universality and parallel with many indigenous cultures. Her beautiful and very practical book, “Managing with Aloha” brings these values to life and I feel privileged sharing this interview with Rosa,  with you.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself – your roots and cultural background?

I was born and raised in Hawaii, the oldest of 5 children: I was 5 years old when Hawaii became the 50th State of USA. Like many in the islands, I represent a melting pot of ancestry, and I’m Filipino, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese, yet I consider myself keiki o ka ‘aina (a child of the land) in my value system and prevailing habit, in that I’m completely a product of the islands’ sense of place. In our islands, the locals would call me Kama’aina; one who is native born and bred, but not of Hawaiian blood ancestry. “Of Hawaii” is who I am, in that it is all I know as a resident, other than a very short time when I lived in the Philippines as a teenager, but I’ve been fortunate to have traveled outside of the islands quite a bit – more than most residents do. Haven’t been to your islands yet though, and believe me, it’s near the top of my bucket list! (more…)

Leadership proactivity in building resilience

Resilience is our capacity to face and bounce back from the many challenges life confronts us in unpredictable ways.  And thankfully, there are a number of proven strategies that work in dealing with our stressful and challenging situations including: having a support network, being optimistic, having a perspective that recognizes that the stressor may not be permanent and pervasive, a reminder of other times that you have come out the other side, being present focused and attending to task at hand rather than worrying too much about the future. As I was writing this blog, a friend reminded me that  dining with friends, chocolate, retail therapy and getting her hair done was all she managed to do that lifted her spirit!

Another colleague, recently challenged with a health issue, successfully used the mantra, “all I have to get through is today” and “all I have is ‘the now’ to do what is needed.”  This helped him get through things in a much calmer and resourceful manner than being on the relentless rollercoaster of anxiety and panic feelings he was familiar with.

The point I want to make in this blog is that while there are positive steps we can take when confronted with challenging times, there is another thing we can also do.  Although all of the above strategies are effective because  we have no control over the unexpected, we can become a bit more proactive in identifying areas or thinking patterns which decrease our resilience.  

 Here are some questions for your exploration. We start off broadly then get more focused: (more…)

What is the one thing if you did would make a real difference to you?

In coaching, it becomes evident that often it is NOT that the talented executives do not have the answer but more – they are not practicing ‘IT’ – whatever this happens to be for them. This gap between knowing and not doing gets put down to a number of reasons – not having time, not making a serious commitment and or having a plan.

Our default patterns are not always the best ones.  According to Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach to over 150 CEOs and their teams and author of  32 books including the very readable and thought provoking  “Mojo “our default response in life is to experience inertia.   In other words, our most common everyday process – the thing we do more often than anything else  – is to continue to do what we’re already doing.”

 The longer these important things are put off and or avoided, the easier it becomes to stay in the groove of the known rather than step out in do what is required. And yet when we do take action the sense of progress, breakthrough and results feel totally pleasing!  These feelings are even more accentuated when these actions are in aligment with our bigger sense of  meaning and purpose.

So the question for you is, ” What is the one thing if you did would make a real difference to you?”

As managers and leaders, this is also a great question to ask your direct reports in your coaching session with them. The range of answers I have received to what can be a game changing question include: (more…)

The gift of reflection to be a better leader


Taking time to reflect helps give perspective and make greater sense of events and experiences.  The reflective process inquires, poses questions, gets insights, sees things anew and it builds.  It helps us get to know ourselves and others in a deeper way and is  a healthy and necessary activity for executives and non-executives alike.  As a business leader, if  you are too entrenched in the detail, it is likely that you are not making time for reflection and therefore missing out on the bigger picture of your business and life. (more…)

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