Most individuals, who seek coaching for themselves, are going through (or about to embark on) a transition in his or her life:

  1. Taking on a new role or responsibility, or starting in a new industry where you have little experience, but need to gain the skills and experience quickly when you are expected to hit the ground running.
  2. When needing a personal assessment to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and consider what you should be doing in order to maximise your potential.
  3. When striving for promotion or a new position.
  4. When needing to talk through your thought processes, strategies, and plans in order to move forward.
  5. When struggling with certain skills and performance areas, and you wish to improve.
  6. When feeling you have reached a plateau in your career and wanted to explore options.

Organisations sponsored coaching tend to use external coaches for their more senior leaders and internal coaches for more junior staff. Fortunately, many organisations realise the benefits of coaching to strengthen and enhance good performance; a few still think of coaching as the last resort to “fix issues.”

Few things gain the appreciation of a top leader more quickly than an employee with a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude

  • Take the tough jobs.
    • The ability to accomplish difficult tasks earns others’ respect quickly.
  • Succeed with difficult people.
  • Put themselves on the line
  • Do more than expected
    • Typically, expectations are high at the top, low at the bottom and mixed in the middle.

Question: How do you maintain your “whatever it takes” attitude? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

One of the ways we teach leadership is through the game of golf. One of the reasons we use golf is because in the game of golf, it’s you and physics. Anything another player does has no impact on your game. It’s delightful, because, for many who join our golf advantage workshops, this is the first time that they will perform in front of everyone and be completely unable to blame anyone else.

  • One of the games we play is called red ball. At the beginning of the challenge, my golf pro’s give a red golf ball to a player in a foursome group, the person with the least golf experience. They don’t know why. But on the very last hole of the challenge, they learn that whatever everyone else has done during the round, now it’s only their score that counts.
  • Their group could have a brilliant scratch player or even three of them. But now the outcome for the team comes down to the person with the least experience.
  • Some red ball players relish the idea. Others just want to run away. This is truly about this idea.
  • The job is tough – there’s a lot of pressure and for this inexperienced player, it is tough period.
  • Their group mates might be helpful or difficult. Some might encourage and coach, others get exasperated and even angry when this inexperienced player fluffs a shot.
  • The red ball player is truly on the line. No-one can help now.
  • Those that relish it and have learned how to manage their mindset during the workshop… they do much more than even they expect.
  • Those that just want to run away… well this is their true character. They will never make good 360 leaders because they give in too easily.
 

The ONLY way to influence those above you is by connecting with them. Relationship skills define 360 leaders and separate them from other leaders. Remember, people won’t go along with you if they can’t get along with you.

Listen to your leader’s heartbeat.

  • Passion
  • Repetition
  • Mission
  • Request

Support your leader’s vision.

  • Promote your leaders dream and your leader will promote you.
  • Every time another person in the organization embraces the vision and passes it own, it’s like giving the vision “fresh legs”.

Question: How do you support your leader’s vision when you don’t agree with it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Earn your leader’s trust.

  • Trust is the foundation for every relationship
  • Remove trust for the relationship and that relationship is in trouble.

Question: How do you earn the trust of others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Learn to work with your leader’s weaknesses.

  • You cannot make someone feel important if you secretly feel he’s a nobody.
  • Whatever you believe and perceive about a person will be communicated.
  • In the same way, you cannot build a positive relationship with your boss if you disrespect them because of their weaknesses. Everyone has weak areas or blind spots, why not learn how to work with them?

I was running a mentoring workshop recently for a Singaporean organization with their senior leadership team. And I asked the Chief Executive if he would demonstrate with me at the front of the room and allow me to mentor him, in the workshop about his weaknesses.
He was a little shocked and confided that he couldn’t reveal his weaknesses to his team, as then they would know his weaknesses.
And I replied. “No, you’ve got it wrong, this isn’t a REVELATION moment. It’s a RELIEF moment. Your team isn’t going to saying ‘well I never knew that, who would have realized’, no they’ll be relieved. “Thank God, he knows. Nobody has to tell him.”

You see everyone has weak areas or blind spots. Showing your inner circle that you know and either you’re working on them or that you need help in these areas actually inspires people to follow you. When we look in the mirror it is always with rose tinted spectacles. We look for the good and if we don’t like what we see, we stop looking in the mirror. Other people though, they see us in all our non-reflected glory, warts and all. And for most people, we tend to focus on the negative. It’s easy to spot someone’s flaws.

Has anyone here had a leader who comes o them and asks: ”Please, tell me what you think my weaknesses are”. And you have a list ready to hand over. In fact, here’s a ream of them…

Understand that your leader has weaknesses. And remember that you have them also.

 

The Elevator Principle

  • Some people bring you up
  • Other people bring you down.

Everyone has someone in their lives who, when you see them, they just drain all your energy and enthusiasm for life. They are the energy VAMPIRES. The moment you spot them, you go ‘oh crikey, not them, what are they going to take this time?’ Duck or run, but if they spot you already…

How many of you have someone in your life that when you spot them you know they are just going to suck life right our of you?

How many of you are sat next to that person right now ?

If you are going to be a lead from the middle of the pack and influence people above you, you are going to have to be a load lifter.

How often you lift that load is going to determine the response form the leader above you

How to lift your leader’s load

  • Do your own job first.
    • I had a staff once who was really enthusiastic and always asking “How can I help you?” It was great at first and I thought how keen he was. Then later I realized that he wasn’t getting his own job done. So when he would come and ask me “How can I help you?” I responded, “You can help me by getting your own job done”. He didn’t really want to help me, he just wanted to be a pal, To be around me and learn. Well that’s great, but get your own job done first, OK?
  • When you find a problem, provide a solution.
    • Finding problems is not very impressive. It’s easy to find problems. Impress me, identify a problem and they have given some thought to it and propose a solution.
    • I had a boss in Saudi Arabia, another John, and his refrain to me as a young middle leader was “bring me solutions not problems”. And I learned to do just that. Whatever the problem I found, I would think of at least 3 solutions. And I went from suggesting the solutions to identifying which of the 3 was the best solution to saying here are some possible solutions, but this one is the best AND Can I do this? Now I was lifting the load.
  • Tell leaders what the need to hear, not what they want to hear.
    • This is not ‘venting’ what you want to say. Nor is it ‘kissing up’.
    • If you know something, it’s your duty to tell your leader.
    • It’s no use saying after the event. You know John I just knew that was the dumbest thing to do.
  • Stand up for your leader whenever you can.
    • Colin Powell – When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Once a decision has been made, the debate ends, loyalty now means executing the decision as if it were your own.
  • Ask your leader how you can lift their load.

 

 

In today’s world of 9-second attention spans, our introductions mean more-than-ever before. Sally Hogshead reveals the seven triggers of fascination and how to get others to fall in love with your ideas, instantly.

Stress and Anxiety hold us back from achieving all that we can – to win this war, we need to understand just what is happening inside our brains and then we can go beyond coping and choose to lead our lives towards good success.

your brain on stress and anxiety infographic

Stress and Anxiety in your – inforgraphic. Click to get the full image to download

Stress is the way our bodies and minds react to something which upsets our normal balance in life. Stress is how we feel and how our bodies react when we are fearful or anxious. Some level of stress has some upside to mind and body function to enable us to react in a positive way. Too much stress though, is both harmful to the body and our performance. How much is too much? Well, that depends… on you and how you respond.

It is essential to know how our brain responds to the stimuli which trigger an anxiety response so that you are equipped to deal appropriately with anxiety.

Let me highlight the key areas of your brain that are involved, and then I will explain what happens inside the brain.

The Thalamus is the central hub for sights and sounds. The thalamus breaks down incoming visual cues by size, shape and colour, and auditory cues by volume and dissonance, and then signals the cortex.

The cortex then gives raw sights and sounds meaning enabling you to be conscious of what you are seeing and hearing. And I’ll mention here that the prefrontal cortex is vital to turning off the anxiety response once the threat has passed.

The amygdala is the emotional core of the brain whose primary role is to trigger the fear response. Information passing through the amygdala is associated with an emotional significance.

The bed nucleus of the stria terminals is particularly interesting when we discuss anxiety. While the amygdala sets off an immediate burst of fear whilst the BNST perpetuates the fear response, causing longer term unease typical of anxiety.

The locus ceruleus receives signals from the amygdala and initiates the classic anxiety response: rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, sweating and pupil dilation.

The hippocampus is your memory centre storing raw information from the senses, along with emotional baggage attached to the data by the amygdala.

Now we know these key parts, what happens when we are anxious, stressed or fearful?

Anxiety, stress and, of course, fear are triggered primarily through your senses:

Sight and sound are first processed by the thalamus, filtering incoming cues and sent directly to the amygdala or the cortex.

Smells and touch go directly to the amygdala, bypassing the thalamus altogether. (This is why smells often evoke powerful memories or feelings).

Any cues from your incoming senses that are associated with a threat in the amygdala (real or not, current or not) are immediately processed to trigger the fear response. This is the expressway. It happens before you consciously feel the fear.

The hippothalmus and pituitary gland cause the adrenal glands to pump out high levels of the stress hormone coritsol. Too much short circuits the cells of the hippocampus making it difficult to organize the memory of a trauma or stressful experience. Memories lose context and become fragmented.

The body’s sympathetic nervous system shifts into overdrive causing the heart to beat faster, blood pressure to rise and the lungs hyperventilate. Perspiration increases and the skin’s nerve endings tingle, causing goosebumps.

Your senses become hyper-alert, freezing you momentarily as you drink in every detail. Adrenaline floods to the muscles preparing you to fight or run away.

The brain shifts focus away from digestion to focus on potential dangers. Sometimes causing evacuation of the digestive tract thorough urination, defecation or vomiting. Heck, if you are about to be eaten as someone else’s dinner why bother digesting your own?

Only after the fear response has been activated does the conscious mind kick in. Some sensory information, takes a more thoughtful route from the thalamus to the cortex. The cortex decides whether the sensory information warrants a fear response. If the fear is a genuine threat in space and time, the cortex signals the amygdala to continue being on alert.

Fear is a good, useful response essential to survival. However, anxiety is a fear of something that cannot be located in space and time.

Most often it is that indefinable something triggered initially by something real that you sense, that in itself is not threatening but it is associated with a fearful memory. And the bed nucleus of the stria terminals perpetuate the fear response. Anxiety is a real fear response for the individual feeling anxious. Anxiety can be debilitating for the sufferer.

Now that you know how anxiety happens in your brain, we can pay attention to how we can deliberately use our pre-frontal cortex to turn off an inappropriate anxiety response once a threat has passed.

Experience powerful results from a tool unlike any other.

Punctum uses colorful and stunning photos, life topics and powerful questions to create a playful atmosphere of learning and development.

The game plays on the relationship between photos, words and questions and how they relate to the players/team/clients regarding a specific personal or professional issue. Endless activities focus on creating a unique opportunity to pause for a moment, examine your perspective and explore new angles. In Punctum there are no winners or losers, no points and no competition.

With photo therapy principles guiding the selection of beautiful photos from amateur photographers around the world, each photo card is open to a world of interpretations. Spread them out face up/down or guide your client to select randomly. Watch as they interact and experience how these cards are a powerful reflective tool.

Music by the wonderful Tim McMorris

Photo cards, topics and concepts from Points of You – used with permission

You’ve heard that coaching and mentoring is THE one way you can enhance productivity, improve efficiencies and be a better leader. You may even have undertaken a training workshop to gain these skills but you haven’t used them much since.
The problem with most coaching and mentoring training is that there is the mistaken belief that you can learn these sufficiently well and use them in a 2 or 3 day workshop.

So let’s get this out of the way now:

There are no silver bullets. No quick and easy solutions. It will not happen overnight. It takes time to gain the skills, transform yourself and practice.

There is a programme that will enable and empower you though.

Find out about 90 Days to Coaching Success

Communicate with Impact

Ideas are the currency of the 21st century.

The ability to communicate your ideas persuasively is the single greatest skill you need to accomplish your dreams

Spreading your ideas in the 21st Century requires a 21st Century model of communication

Let me introduce you to HUG

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