Are You Creating a Coaching Culture in Your Team or Organization?

pablo (18)“What’s really driving the boom in coaching is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to 180…as we go driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting motorcycles… the whole game changes and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not to fail.”—John Kotter, Harvard Business School

A recent study by the Conference Board revealed that top organizations are now exploring how to create coaching cultures. A survey by the International Coach Federation of over 500 of the largest companies in the United States found that companies with strong coaching cultures tended to have higher engagement and greater revenue growth in relation to industry peers. Such a culture does not diminish the need for performance and results but works on creating an environment where there is more dialogue and openness and encourages team members to explore new solutions to achieve greater results.

How would things be different if your team members worked on being open to one another and had strong connecting skills of listening and asking questions and establishing clear agreements? We all live in times of rapid change and uncertainty. We need to be resilient and innovative to stay in the game. Yet, people continue to be drained by the challenges of communicating with and inspiring their colleagues.

As an executive and team coach, I hear about the stress leaders experience when there is miscommunication, misalignment and mistrust. What’s required are open-minded conversations where people assume positive intent, seek understanding and can find common ground and shared purpose. Leaders and other professionals need the mindset and skills of coaches to create positive environments that enhance motivation and productivity.

I have supported cultural change in organizations for several decades. You need to equip team members with the mindset and skills to be effective. In addition, you need to address the systems and organizational norms to create an environment that fosters innovation. We have all experienced the difference in being in an environment that is open versus one that is closed. Working in a coaching, or what I call an open mindset culture, is the difference between feeling excited and supported for realizing results versus feeling constrained and drained.

People are quick to adapt an open mindset and coaching skills because they see their effectiveness and experience developing personally and professionally.

Feel free to contact to discuss further. www.Potentials.com

Find Your Oasis Amidst Disruption

We are in the midst of change in our country, world and in our lives. We have learned that change is a constant and we have successfully adapted to many changes with technology, political shifts, family changes and aging. Even so, change is not easy.

Changing is particularly hard when we feel uncertain and ungrounded. It is easy to imagine the worst and to feel afraid. A part of us wants to hold onto what we have and resists change. When we are stressed we experience contraction and we literally don’t have access to the part of our brain that experiences possibilities. Continue reading

Be Aware of Polarization

Different Points of View

No doubt about it. Many have been shocked by the election results.  While there was a call for change, many are uncertain about what will evolve.  Whether you are happy with the election choice or not, we know that disruption also breeds possibilities. When there is disruption—whether an acquisition, a change in the marketplace, a change in health or another challenge—there is an opening for doing things differently.  Amidst the fear and concern with change, people are more willing to take risks and do things differently, especially when they experience the disruption as real.  Strong leaders see the opening and make significant changes during difficult times. Continue reading

Check Your Blind Spot

I don’t know what I don’t know

The election has heightened our awareness that we are seeing the world differently. Many have expressed their shock at how they were blind sighted by the number of people with different views.

Just as we can’t see cars that are in our blind spot when driving, we always have a blind spot in our interactions with others.  We each have different life experiences that influence how we view the world and make interpretations. Continue reading

Disruption Breeds New Possibilities

Positive Change

No doubt about it. Many have been shocked by the election results.  While there was a call for change, many are uncertain about what will evolve.  Whether you are happy with the election choice or not, we know that disruption also breeds possibilities. When there is disruption—whether an acquisition, a change in the marketplace, a change in health or another challenge—there is an opening for doing things differently.  Amidst the fear and concern with change, people are more willing to take risks and do things differently, especially when they experience the disruption as real.  Strong leaders see the opening and make significant changes during difficult times. Continue reading

How Do You Respond to the Election?

OpennessThe presidential election has made us more aware than ever that we are seeing the world very differently than neighbors, family members and colleagues.  Many are reflecting on how to proceed next.  One option is to believe that people with opposing views “just don’t get it” or worse are not intelligent or capable.  We may go so far as to polarize the others and see them as less than human.  Name-calling and even violence may evolve. While having negative views of the other may be a natural first option, it has costs. Continue reading

Are Your Judgments Facts?

JudgementWhen you start a conversation with assumptions and judgments and act like they are facts, it causes defensiveness. If my family member had said, “You were rude and ruined my evening” without sharing his observable data first, I could have been defensive. I might have verbally attacked him for not being clear about his expectations or for his unjustified outburst.

In the workplace, if I observed that Marla, a staff member, did not volunteer to join a project committee, I might assume that she was not committed to the team. Marla might become defensive if I stated that. Then, she probably would be focused on protecting herself rather than being open to solving my concern and coming to an agreement. However, if I start the conversation in a non-judgmental tone by saying, “I notice that you did not volunteer to join the committee,” Marla might offer that she is working on some other aspects of the project or give other evidence of her commitment. Continue reading

Five Reasons to Identify Your Observations

observing[Excerpted from OASIS Conversations: Leading with an Open Mindset to Maximize Your Potential]

Observing is one of the key skills of being self-aware. Years ago, I was just like a “bobbing head.” In my focus on being efficient, I was moving so fast that I was not aware of my sensations. I quickly made and acted on my assumptions. Many of the executives and others I work with currently are experiencing life the same way.

By becoming aware of what you observe, you are more likely to remember that others notice different things and interpret situations differently. This is an important first step to communicating effectively with people who have different experiences than you do— which is everybody! I encourage you to notice and practice sharing your observations with your family members. I am forever amazed by how what appears obvious to me is not the same, for instance, as what my daughter is observing. Continue reading

What Is Respect?

What Is Respect?

[Excerpted from OASIS Conversations: Leading with an Open Mindset to Maximize Your Potential]

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield always complained, “I don’t get no respect.” We may laugh at this statement because we’d rather laugh than cry. We crave respect. However, the challenge is that we each have a different definition of respect.

For most Americans, respect is looking others in the eye when talking. Others, for example, some Asians and Africans, believe it is more respectful not to look elders or other highly respected people directly in the eyes. Some think it is respectful to use e-mail rather than call someone, so as not to disturb the person. Another feels disrespected when someone doesn’t call. We each tend to think that our idea of respect is the “right” way while another way is “wrong.”
Continue reading

Observation or Assumption?

OASIS ConversationsIn workshops, I ask participants to observe what I do for two minutes. Without further explanation, I walk out of the room, then back in. Then I look under participants’ workbooks, I look behind doors, I clap, and I put my hands on my hips. I take off my shoe and put it back on. I throw a ball up in the air and take the caps off two markers and smell them. Then I ask participants, “What did you observe?”

Participants say: “You were unorganized.” “You lost something.” “You were frustrated.” “You were nervous.” “You were confused,” or “You were rude.” Some say, “You didn’t know what you were doing.” “You were upset.” “Your behavior bothered me— it was irritating.” These kinds of statements come quickly from participants. When I keep asking, “What did you observe?” they continue to state a wide range of their assumptions based on my behavior. Finally, a participant will state, “You left the room.” Another might say, “You came in the back door,” or “You threw the ball in the air.” Continue reading