Showing posts from July, 2010

Questions for Coaching

Virginia-based HR Consultant Linda Ferguson asked this question recently on LinkedIn:

~ "What is your favorite coaching question?"

Now that's a good question, in my opinion. Already, a slew of interesting replies have come in, comprising a compendium of coaching questions. I hope Linda has the time to compile the best responses into a resource for the many coaches out there.

The reason I like Linda's question so much is that I believe that questions are among a coach's most valuable tools. Effective coaches ask questions that stimulate meaningful goals and unleash imaginative solutions.

Questions in a coaching relationship keep the focus on the client, and help a coach to avoid slipping into "tell mode" where a coach starts giving information, telling stories, and offering advice. As useful as those things (information, stories, and advice) can be at the right moment, they put the coach in the spotlight rather than the client.

So an effective coach is loaded…

What Counts the Most?

Someone tweeted the other day, “What counts the most is results.” That mantra is certainly true for Corporate America. And I preach it when I am wearing my Training Manager hat.

But lately, I am finding that there are people who are wondering if that’s all there is. Two groups in particular, Leaders and Job Hunters, are on my mind.

Let’s start with Leaders. Clearly, they are measured against delivering results. In my executive coaching work with leaders, I am hearing a yearning for something more. Recently, several highly successful business leaders told me how dissatisfied they have felt, for years, with their jobs. Yes, they have made good money. Yes, they have accomplished a lot. But they have felt a hole, something missing. Work for them has been a spiritually draining experience, leaving them starved rather than nourished.

And Job Hunters. If you are still adrift in this recession, looking for work, and pondering career direction, you may be wondering, “What else counts? And what c…

Employee Engagement Top Ten E-Book

The countdown is over!

The Employee Engagement Top 10 Free E-Book, orchestrated by David Zinger, is now available as a download from the Employee Engagement Network on ning.

I've got ten points in there, along with a host of other great engagement thinkers including:

Jennifer Schulte: Ways to boldly improve engagement

Steve Roesler: Ways to ask engaging questions to engage others

Tim Wright: Ways to create a culture to engage

Kelley Eskridge: How to change the way people work together

Wally Bock: Ways to be a more effective boss

Mario Gastaldi: How to have conversations that engage

And so much more, including tips from Susan Stamm, Wayne Turmel, Lisa Forsyth, Scott Span, Jean Douglas, Michael Lee Stallard, Raven Young, and David Zinger.

With over thirty of the brightest and most passionate thinkers in the field of employee engagement, each giving ten nuggets of wisdom and action for improving the culture of your organization, this e-book is a treasure trove! It will help you and others to…

Need a Coach? How about a Yogi?

Many people nowadays are hiring coaches to help them change and improve. It’s an age-old resource, probably dating back to the prehistoric sherpas that would guide the tribe over a treacherous mountain pass to a lush green valley beyond.

If you are in search of a coach, consider this alternate approach. Hire Yogi Berra.

Baseball great Lawrence “Yogi” Berra was not just a famous American baseball player. Because of his special way with the English language, he has become a legendary source of wisdom for life. Consider just three examples of classic Yogi Berra-isms, and how these one liners can stimulate the wisdom of your own “inner coach.”

~ “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” – Yogi knew that goals are important in life. Without goals, we are without direction. With goals, we are able to chart a course toward our desires.

~ “You can observe a lot by watching.” – Observing quietly, and listening attentively, are the most f…

Listening Leaders

American writer Ernest Hemingway once said: "I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."

If he's right, that most of us never listen, then that includes most leaders. And that's a scary thought.

Leaders are supposed to lead with our best interests in mind. But if they aren't listening to their people, then how do they know what we want and need?

Economist Bernard Baruch once said: "Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking."

If he's right, that listening and success are connected, then leaders should spend much more time listening than speaking.

It seems to me that leaders need a listening system. A simple yet reliable way to ensure that listening happens on a regular basis.

Here are four components I'd suggest for a listening system. What what you add?

Make listening a priority - Are you a good listener? Or do you take listening for granted? I…

How to Get and Keep Customers

Legendary Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt once said: “The purpose of every business is to create and keep a customer.”

How do you do that? How do you create and keep customers?

Let's take a page from soccer. Soccer, the most popular, most loved, game in the world (everywhere but the USA, that is), is currently in the midst of its World Cup games in South Africa. Have you watched any of it? The fans have been going gaga on a global scale!

In the stadium, the fans are blowing their vuvuzelas like maniacs. The sound is like a giant beehive. One woman reportedly blew out her throat (not life threatening, but painful nonetheless). This is fan-atacism like you can't believe!

Years ago, prolific management author Dr. Ken Blanchard, the co-developer of Situational Leadership and co-author of the One Minute Manager, co-wrote a book called Raving Fans. The question he addressed was, How do you turn your customers into raving fans? The simple yet powerful idea at the heart …