The Advantage of Humble Godly Leadership

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Employee mindsets have shifted from previous generations, according to current data. They want much more than a paycheck, seeking interpersonal connections with their leaders. They desire purpose, significance and the fulfillment associated with making a difference in the workplace. Employees want to contribute value and enjoy meaningful work. They need assurances that they’ll be given the opportunity to succeed at the tasks they’re assigned. They want to be valued, supported and encouraged. They’re looking for leaders who will connect with them and meet these needs.

When employees’ needs go unmet, the organization also suffers. Morale and attitudes steeply decline, and engagement and work ethic follow suit. Productivity and effectiveness drop, and overall business performance significantly deteriorates.

The call is for relationships.

A culture of humility starts with the leader. The normalizing of work difficulties and the expectation of navigating to a successful end sets the organizational tone. That happens most effectively in relationship.

Can you lean into your own difficulties with those you lead?

Can you recall a similar time when you felt vulnerable or embarrassed by a mistake and use that as a bridge, a bridge of humbleness.

Humility leans into the discomfort.

Humble leaders  are more adept at meeting people’s needs because they connect with them at the most basic human level, explain organizational leadership consultants Merwyn A. Hayes and Michael D. Comer in Start with Humility: Lessons from America’s Quiet CEOs on How to Build Trust and Inspire Followers (CreateSpace, 2010). Employees sense sincerity, care and openness in a humble leader. They see someone who puts a higher priority on people’s needs than his or her own. They value a leader who will help them succeed and develop into a better worker, which promotes purpose and self-esteem. Employees become inspired and respond with respect and trust.

Don’t you love it when secular advise looks like godly wisdom. God’s Word and presence is the foundation for humility. We stand humbled at the feet of Jesus in stillness and wonder knowing more stillness, more wonder and more humility are really good for our souls.

Are you finding “still time” with God? Are you comfortable with the call to humility?

I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

The Humility/Power Challenge for Godly Leaders

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For generations, workplace humility was seen as a detriment, not an advantage. For the greater part of the 20th century, leaders believed organizations were best run with power, intimidation, authority and ego. Employees were told what to do and were shown the door when they failed to comply. Decisiveness, toughness and assertiveness were deemed leadership strengths. Facts and figures ruled the day, and leaders seldom prioritized employee needs.

This is a classic space where work and faith were compartmentalized. The idea of humble, servant leadership was taught but not often caught by workplace leaders.

I find in coaching this tension is alive and well and difficult. This is a place that God invites leaders to grow closer to the Creator.

“Lord, how can I lead humbly and boldly?”

“Father God, how do I humble myself and lead my organization well?”

I challenge you to find a quiet place. Ask the Lord the questions and then spend 5 minutes listening!

God gave you leadership qualities and encourages you to live into your vision with your God given creativity while developing humble leadership. It in not an either or, it is an AND!

And He wants to show you the way. He wants to be WITH you. Will you invite God into your leadership journey?

The leadership growth journey is for the brave. The growth of your humility lies with you and God and you and people. Who speaks into your life the truth regarding your leadership? Have you tried a 360 to see how those closest to you experience you? 360s are a great tool for the courageous leader.

What has been your experience with the tension of leadership and power?

I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

 

Humility, Leadership and God

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Today’s leaders face innumerable challenges that previous generations never confronted such as:

·       employee disengagement,

·       cloud-based speed of commerce,

·       political correctness,

·       cultural diversity,

·       social sensitivities and a

·       hyper-focus on efficiency,

·       and much more

Pressure to succeed now is higher than ever and we expect to succeed fast, super fast!

Leaders know they must have an A-game, and they continually encounter methods that experts claim will improve proficiencies.

Humility, however, is an often-overlooked character trait that flies in the face of culturally accepted leadership norms. It may, in fact, be the most powerful attribute a leader can have to engage and inspire people. Leaders dream of motivated teams, yet many try to develop them in all the wrong ways. We have all communicated poorly and been frustrated in our leadership roles. Often the leadership default is intimidation. Have you ever said, “Just do it because I said so?” Sounds like some of the worst parenting moments.

Humility is a best way to connect with people and to create the pathway for effective communication. It is certainly how we start in our communication with God which is fairly easy, since God is God and I am not. However, God warns us in James 4 that we are to be humble in all areas of life not just the vertical relationship for “God opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble.” In Ephesians 4:2 we are encouraged to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” That “one another” part is important and certainly includes the workplace.

When you think about humility and leadership how does it work out in your leadership?

I see it often humility as a challenge in the process of employee development. I also see humility as a hurdle in the interactions of leadership teams.

There are many specific ways to build your humility muscle. Did you know you have a humility muscle? Try making a declaration to those closest, start conversations with a humble statement of identification in an employee conversation and the most importantly make humility a specific part of your prayers.

How would you ask the Lord to grow humility in you?

Our relationship with God is the most important leadership resource at our disposal and yet most rarely connect intentionally with God to help them grow their character. God wants you to be your best version of yourself!

How do you become the best version of you? Connect who you are, what you do with God and THREE!

Who are your THREE?

Most of my thinking today is around “Don’t go alone!” I am helping leaders find mentors. I am challenging leaders to connect deeply with peers. I encourage leaders to connect their leadership to their relationship to Jesus. I get to see the impact of light on an idea through coaching and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s connect and learn from each other. Let’s shine a little light on your life. Humility could be a good conversation starter.

I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

4 Powerful Steps - Listening

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"Power listening—the art of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity—is the key to building a knowledge base that generates fresh insights," ~ Bernard T. Ferrari, author of Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012).

It's not easy learning to be a better listener. We think faster than we can hear. While we're waiting for someone to finish their sentence, we've already figured out what they're going to say.

So in the meantime, most of us are thinking about other things, like what we're going to say next. But then we miss opportunities to challenge assumptions. And we lose focus.

Bernard T. Ferrari suggests four steps that form a good listening foundation:

1.      Show respect

2.      Keep quiet

3.      Challenge assumptions

4.      Maintain focus

In my previous post 4 Steps to Better Listening,  I mentioned that the ability to really listen is the most overlooked and undervalued skill. We rarely practice doing it better. Here's more about the last two steps, #3: Challenging assumptions and #4: Maintaining focus, both essential to building power listening skills.

3.      Challenge assumptions. Too many high-caliber professionals inadvertently act like know-it-alls, remaining closed to anything that undermines their beliefs. Good listeners seek to understand—and challenge—the assumptions that lie below the surface of every conversation. Holding onto these assumptions is the biggest roadblock to power listening.

It’s admittedly hard to scrutinize preconceived notions and shake up our thinking. We must be willing to reevaluate what we know and welcome what we don’t (or can’t) know. Shift your mind-set to embrace ambiguity and uncover what each conversation partner needs from the interaction.

It’s admittedly hard to scrutinize preconceived notions and shake up our thinking. We must be willing to reevaluate what we know and welcome what we don’t (or can’t) know. Shift your mind-set to embrace ambiguity and uncover what each conversation partner needs from the interaction.

4.  Maintain focus. Power listening requires you to help your conversation partner isolate the problem, issue or decision at hand. Discard extraneous details or emotions that interfere with homing in on what truly matters.

Create a focused, productive conversation by reducing external and internal background noise. Ask questions that highlight key issues and minimize the urge to stray from them.

Recognize that all conversations have intellectual and emotional components. It’s important to “decouple” the two, according to Ferrari, as several emotions are guaranteed to hinder communication:

1.      Impatience

2.      Resentment and envy

3.      Fear and feeling threatened

4.      Fatigue and frustration

5.      Positive emotions and over excitement

As with anger and fear, excitement can also distract you from asking the right questions and challenging underlying assumptions.

“The most exciting part is that, once you get good at listening, you will be able to do it easily, almost effortlessly, without even thinking about it,” Ferrari writes.

Practice his four power-listening steps to become the kind of listener others seek as a conversation partner. You’ll build valuable relationships, become more informed, make better decisions and come up with new innovative ideas.

Another resource that increases your listening skill set is The Good Listener by James Sullivan. Sullivan grounds the skill and the why on the foundation of God and our responsibility to one another to listen as a reflection of worth and dignity bestowed upon every person as God’s creation.

Take a couple minutes each day to stop and reflect on your listening. Listening is a skill set that can change your trajectory. Develop your favorite questions that work for you in different situation like work, home of with friends. Taking regular pause inside and ask yourself if you are really listening. As a coach (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I work in this area regularly and find leaders make great progress quickly when they decide to work on the skill of listening.

What are you doing to pay attention to this key skill of listening?

I’d love to hear from you I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

 3.      Challenge assumptions. Too many high-caliber professionals inadvertently act like know-it-alls, remaining closed to anything that undermines their beliefs. Good listeners seek to understand—and challenge—the assumptions that lie below the surface of every conversation. Holding onto these assumptions is the biggest roadblock to power listening.

It’s admittedly hard to scrutinize preconceived notions and shake up our thinking. We must be willing to reevaluate what we know and welcome what we don’t (or can’t) know. Shift your mind-set to embrace ambiguity and uncover what each conversation partner needs from the interaction.

 

4 Steps to Better Listening

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In my previous post, I mentioned that the ability to really listen is the most overlooked and undervalued skill in both business and personal life. We rarely take time to practice doing it better.

In Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012), Bernard T. Ferrari suggests four steps that form a good listening foundation:

1.      Show respect

2.      Keep quiet

3.      Challenge assumptions

4.      Maintain focus

This sounds simple and straight forward, for sure. But most of us fail to complete all four steps adequately to achieve "power listening." I see this in the work I do at www.moleadershipcoaching.com with some pretty smart professionals.

Many people show respect, but have a hard time keeping quiet. Yet keeping quiet is key to respecting what a person is saying. While some of my clients are pretty good at challenging assumptions, they also tend to redirect the conversation to their own ideas and point of view, failing to maintain the focus. If we truly want to "hear" what our conversation partners are saying, we'll need to do better.

Here are Ferrari's ideas for the first two steps, and I'll write my next post on the last two steps.

1.      Show respect. Our conversation partners often have the know-how to develop effective solutions. Part of being a good listener is helping them pinpoint critical information and see it in a new light. To harness the power of these ideas, you must fight the urge to “help” by providing immediate solutions. Learn to respect your partner’s ability to identify them.

Being respectful doesn’t mean avoiding tough questions. Good listeners routinely ask key questions to uncover the information needed to make better decisions. The goal of power listening is to ensure the free and open flow of information and ideas.

2.      Keep quiet. Get out of the way of your conversations so you can hear what’s important. Don’t hog the spotlight, try to prove your own smarts or emphasize how much you care. Speak only to underscore your conversation partner’s points. Your partner should speak 80 percent of the time, with you filling the remaining 20 percent. Make your speaking time count by spending most of it asking questions, rather than having your say.

This may be easier said than done, as most of us are naturally inclined to speak our minds. Still, you can’t really listen if you’re too busy talking. We’ve all spent time with lousy listeners who treat conversations as opportunities to broadcast their status or ideas. They spend more time formulating their next response than listening to the conversation. There is no doubt God invites us into stillness in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” This is a powerful invitation for our relationship with God and others. If we listen to others and ask God to guide our listening He will change what you hear.

What's been your experience as a conversation partner? I'd love to hear about the times when you felt you were really being listened to… as well as your experiences when you felt not heard. As a listener, see what you can do this week in your conversations to extend your "keeping quiet" times.

What are you doing to pay attention show respect and to engage in quietness?

If you have a desire to be heard, ask. Ask a friend to just listen. Hire a coach to listen. Work on being a better listener. We need both. We need to be heard and we need to listen.

I’d love to hear from you I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

If you would like to be heard I would be honored, here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Power Listening to God and Others

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Power Listening: The Secret to Successful Conversations

I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions. ~ Lee Iacocca

Listening may be the most important, yet least developed, skill for personal and professional success, especially in today’s fast-paced business climate.

To be honest, most of us take listening for granted. In fact, our brains love to try to multi-task: we assume we know what the person's going to say, so we let our minds wander, at the same time filtering it for similar experiences we've had, all the while formulating a response.

The problem is that while we are doing all that, we're not listening well, and we often risk subtle clues to important issues. This tendency to multi-task is almost universal. I see it with many of the clients I work with www.moleadershipcoaching.com

Good listening skills can help you:

·       Facilitate the right alliances

·       Foster sales and team alignment

·       Create healthy personal relationships

·       Find out what you don’t know

·       Make the right decisions

·       Develop innovative ideas

So many people I know, instead of actively listening, focus instead on how they are going to articulate their own views most effectively. This approach is misguided.

"Power listening—the art of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity—is the key to building a knowledge base that generates fresh insights," according to author Bernard T. Ferrari in his book, Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012).

Unfortunately, business schools fail to teach power listening. Of the nearly 300 communications courses the American Management Association offers, only two deal directly with listening skills. Professionals must nonetheless write and speak more persuasively, so it’s essential to improve one’s listening capabilities.

Listening to someone is a direct way to show you care and value that person. You are giving your time, your attention, your self. This is HUGE and the person talking knows when they are truly listened to well.

As you expand your capacity to listen well, you will find that the same skill can be applied when you listen to God. You learn to quiet your thinking. You seek to hear everything. You learn to hear the voice of the God who made you.

One of the more effective ways to improve your listening skills is to work one-on-one with an executive coach or a spiritual director.  As you can imagine, learning about it in a book won't give you the real-world practice you'll need to develop your power listening skills.

Suggested possible image, from Wikipedia page on Active Listening:

Listening - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening

Take a couple minutes each day to stop and listen to God. Try to be intentional about listening with other. Taking regular pause inside and ask yourself if you are really listening. As a coach (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I work in this area regularly and find leaders make great progress quickly when they decide to work on the skill of listening.

What are you doing to pay attention to this key skill of listening?

I’d love to hear from you I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

 

How to Grow Gratitude for Jesus

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I’ve been exploring the importance of feeling and expressing more gratefulness in our lives (Gratitude Post). Scientists are discovering how an attitude of gratitude is essential for health, relationships, as well as spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. I love it when science starts figuring out what God has proclaimed. There are 35 verses in the Bible encouraging a heart of gratitude.

But how can we grow more gratitude? Dr. Alison Chen, a naturopathic doctor, writes in a recent Huffington Post article that creating a nightly gratitude ritual is a powerful strategy. She suggests taking a few minutes at the end of each day to stop and reflect, as a great way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life.

Chen’s other suggestions include:

•        Write thank-you notes: Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank-you letters can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside. The most powerful letter to write is to God, expressing your gratitude helps you draw closer. This process helps us to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and place ourselves properly.

•        Nonverbal actions: This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support. We do these nonverbal actions with those we can touch. Nonverbal actions with Our Lord are primarily prayer and communion. This is a discipline that impacts us greatly. Taking the time to sit in silence before the Lord in a posture of gratitude aligns us for the day and season of our life.

Expressing thanks during moments of reflection is another way to cultivate gratitude. While prayer often starts our day, reflection often is a part of the day or a way we may bring our day to a close. I often think of this as praying without ceasing. Practicing "mindfulness" means that you're actively paying attention to the moment you're in right now. You can sit quietly and focus on something that you're grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a memory. Mindfulness of people and God creates awareness and heightens the beauty we are in. It is the concept of being present!

Perhaps the most powerful way to move into a mindfulness of gratitude is to make a declaration. Tell 3 people that you are working on developing an attitude of gratitude. Ask if you can share your journey and if they would help you. Do the same with Jesus! Share with the Lord that you want to grow your gratitude. This is a space that I am certain you will receive. The Lord says “seek” and you will find. He promises to give us the desires of our heart.

Is your heart’s desire to be more grateful?

If you want to see the touch of God spend 30 days seeking gratefulness and I guarantee you God will show up!

Take a couple minutes each day to stop and reflect. Taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life. Apparently, it doesn’t matter if we do this through silent meditation, or in conversation with others. I believe both is best. Make it a part of your desired growth. As a coach (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I work in this area regularly.  

What are you doing to pay attention to this key emotion and to cultivate an attitude of gratitude? I’d love to hear from you I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Developing Gratitude with the ACTS Habit

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In my previous post (Attitude of Gratitude) I described the various benefits that cultivating an attitude of gratitude brings to our lives. But let’s explore this further. What actually is gratitude?

Robert Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and expert on gratitude, says that gratitude has two key components:

1.      An affirmation of goodness: When you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world. God is good!

2.      A recognition that the source of this goodness comes from outside of yourself: You acknowledge that other people and specifically Jesus provide you with "gifts" that improve your life in some way.

According to Emmons, gratitude is "a relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we've been supported and affirmed by other people." That emotion is LOVE.

Gratitude and Health

One area of life that is easy to take for granted or forget to be grateful for is health – sometimes until it's too late.

We tend to take our health for granted until we're suddenly in the throes of pain or a debilitating illness... If you have good health and all your mental faculties intact, you also have the prerequisite basics for doing something about the less satisfactory situations in your life. ~ Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician and wellness expert.

Often health is a bridge back to the foundation for all thankfulness, God. It is in the losses of life that we recognize the greatest gift and the amazing gift Giver.

How to Cultivate Gratitude

First, start by cultivating gratitude for the little things, which will foster a more deep-seated sense of happiness. Like a muscle, your sense of gratitude can be strengthened with practice, each time you express it.

There is no better way to build your gratitude muscle than to start your day than with connecting with God from a position of gratitude. Using the model of ACTS is simple and powerful.

A – Adoration – Lord you are the almighty and I adore you. How many ways can you adore the Lord?

C – Confession – Lord – I present to you these areas of my life that are off course. Be specific! Recognizing that your confession connect you with the Almighty leads to…..

T – Thankfulness – Lord I am grateful for Your Forgiveness, life, relationships, nature, Your Word – add more – Write down what you are thankful for!

S – Supplication – Now is your time to ask for what you need. Lord, here is what is on my heart and where I need Your Presence.

Try the ACTS prayer discipline for ONE WEEK and see how your attitude changes and how much lighter your life becomes.

Consider creating a personal journal to share thoughts and insights with yourself, all the while helping you move through problems and come to solutions. There are now a number of digital apps that allow you to journal from anywhere at any time.

In his Beginner’s Guide to Digital Journaling, Bakari Chavanu lists his four favorite apps, including Penzu, which allows you to express your most private thoughts by providing password protection (for both your journal and individual entries).

What are you doing to pay attention to this important idea of the power of an attitude of gratitude?

I’d love to hear from you I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Do you have an attitude of Gratitude

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Do you regularly express gratitude? It turns out that an "attitude of gratitude" is not only wise for building positive relationships, but good for your health.

"If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world's best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system," Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, expert in brain and mind health.

There are more reasons than you think for expressing gratitude. Beside the positive effects on health, gratitude brings about an increased ability to cope with stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.

Studies have shown that gratitude can produce measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including:

·       Mood neurotransmitters

·       Reproductive hormones

·       Blood sugar

·       Blood pressure and cardiac rhythms

·       Stress hormones

·       Inflammatory and immune systems

·       Cognitive neurotransmitters

If you take your well-being seriously, you may want to increase the frequency at which you feel and express gratitude.

The Study of Gratitude

Traditionally, psychologists have focused on understanding distress rather than positive emotions. However, with the current focus on Positive Psychology, scientists are now looking at gratitude to understand the experience of the emotion, individual differences in frequency, and the relationship between these two aspects.

Some studies have looked at the connection between spirituality and gratitude. There is a link between those who regularly attend religious services and people who experience a greater sense of gratitude in all areas of life.

So much of the Bible points readers towards gratitude in verses like:

2 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Imagine that the will of God for all of us is to give thanks, be grateful. God’s will is for our best and our best rises when we are grounded in an attitude of gratitude.

Psalm 136:1  “This is the day the Lord has made; let’s rejoice and be glad in it!”

Researchers have also looked at the obstacles to gratitude and found self-absorption and entitlement as impediments. 

When you are preoccupied with yourself, it is easy to forget your benefits and benefactors.

With an attitude of “I deserve this,” or “you owe me,” or “life owes me,” grievances will always outnumber blessings.

According to Mark T. Mitchell, professor of political science at Patrick Henry College in Virginia:

Gratitude is born of humility, for it acknowledges the giftedness of the creation and the benevolence of a Creator. This recognition gives birth to acts marked by attention and responsibility. Ingratitude, on the other hand, is marked by hubris, which denies the gift, and this always leads to inattention, irresponsibility, and abuse.

The power of gratitude is accessible to all. Given the important link to health and wellbeing, it makes sense to increase our experience of feeling grateful.

What are you doing to pay attention to this key emotion and to cultivate an attitude of gratitude? I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn

or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Write - then RIGHT your BELIEFS

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I’ve been writing about self-awareness, inner monologue (Reality IS Your Friend) and how we can improve our connections to others through better self-knowledge.

This next exercise builds on the previous exercise where you simply write down your inner monologue. It is a little harder because it requires you to pay attention to your beliefs and write them down. During a week or more, write down about a dozen beliefs or interpretations gathered from your self-talk.

We generally don’t notice how our minds work with beliefs. For one thing, they are embedded, we take them for granted, and we assume they are universal truths. But beliefs are a way the mind filters out information. So as not to be overwhelmed with incoming perceptions, the mind forms a mental model or a representation of reality for a purpose.

Most people confuse their perception of the environment with the actual environment, concluding they can’t change things because that’s the way things are. If we remember that our perceptions are the map and not the territory, then we realize we can be flexible in changing our beliefs and considering alternatives.

As a believer in God’s Word it is amazing how often we act in a manner that does not match what we say we believe! A classic thought that is common for many is that our work doesn’t matter to God. Often the actions of leaders in the workplace are disconnected to Jesus. Those actions overtly display character traits that are not aligned with the Christian faith. The most common are pride, greed and anger. The beliefs that may be central to this kind of thinking and acting could be WIN or INFLUENCE. Could such beliefs be more foundational for you than the beliefs of SERVANTHOOD or SACRAFICE which Jesus declares? Scary!

Unfortunately, most of us pride ourselves on quick thinking and the ability to size up people and situations, and thus we forget that our interpretation of reality is not reality.

What to Do

1.      Carry a notebook, smart phone, tablet, or recording device.

2.      When you notice a belief or interpretation of reality, write it down as best you can, a few lines at a time.

Some beliefs that you notice will annoy you and others you will defend vigorously. The idea is to raise your awareness levels, not to make judgments. Try connecting your actions to your faith. Is there alignment?

This exercise led me to explore my beliefs around independence and dependence. I had to replace my striving for independence with striving for dependence on Jesus and those around me. My actions were centered in seeking independence. I believed I could only trust myself, depend on myself. So, my actions supported those beliefs. However, God calls me into a dependent relationship with Him and others.

What are your actions and the beliefs behind them?

Reflection and Learning

Next, reflect on your beliefs.

·       What did you notice most?

·       Did you notice any trends?

·       How hard was it to be non-judgmental?

·       Can you identify the link from your actions to your beliefs? Ask a friend or work with a coach!

Our actions all stem from a core set of beliefs. Take the challenge to look at your actions and identify what beliefs they are attached to.

Many people are resistant to changing life-long beliefs and yet often discover that their beliefs are not grounded. God offers to every person the grounding and the invitation to truth and from truth we can step into the foundation to become the leader we are called to be with our teams, our families and our selves. Leading yourself well will have a huge impact on those around you and bring you peace.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”   Matthew 7:24-27

The journey to becoming your best and maximizing your potential is for the courageous. Find a mentor. Meet regularly. Be open to share what you are thinking and you will find you make better decisions more quickly leading to growth and freedom. If you cannot find a mentor, hire a coach. I can coach you or help you find a coach.

I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn

or text me at 714-267-2818

I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Self Talk - The Journey to Your Best

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Self-Talk: What We Can Learn About Ourselves

It’s not always easy to uncover our blind spots and gain real self-awareness. One way is to write down your self-talk, recording the exact words you use. Do this several times over the course of a week, and you’ll uncover a lot about how you think and perceive your world.

The exercise is even more valuable when we learn from it. Reflect on your inner monologue.

·       What did you notice most?

·       Did you notice any trends?

·       How hard was it to be non-judgmental?

If you’re like most people, you might be surprised at the amount of negativity and critical content of your words. But here’s what’s important to know: you aren’t necessarily a negative or critical person. Everyone is negative and judgmental; that’s the way the human brain works.

God encourages us to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5

Knowing how your mind-chatter works enables you to influence it.  It explains much about how we perceive and react to the world. It also influences how others perceive and react to us. It is the pathway to change.

This self-awareness exercise helps us manage ourselves emotionally. It also enables us to manage others’ perceptions of us. Imagine how much easier it is to acknowledge how we can misperceive and misjudge situations when armed with enhanced self-awareness.

Don’t miss the link between what we think and how we feel. God gave us feelings as a doorway to Him and our soul. When you examine your thinking, what do you feel? Take that feeling to God and ask Him to reveal what He wants you to learn.

God wants you to be your best you possible. He will help you get there. Seek and you will find is a promise from God to all.

The more we understand our own minds, the more easily we can understand others’. This enables us to feel more empathy and compassion for others. It’s the reason why self-awareness is so valuable. We can’t connect with others well without self-knowledge and acceptance. Of course, when we connect to others and move towards acceptance, we come face to face with the need to grow our forgiveness muscle. Forgiving others and forgiving yourself is the most powerful force in the universe and creates the pathway for remarkable change and freedom!

Self-awareness – Self-knowledge – Forgiveness – Acceptance

Where are you on this journey? Are you ready for change? Change towards your best self?

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.

I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn

or text me at 714-267-2818

I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

 

Two Exercises to Build Self-Awareness

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Two Exercises to Build Self-Awareness

Our inner monologue runs nonstop, whether we pay attention to it or not. It is a valuable source of self-awareness and a key to knowing our blind spots. Some call it self-talk, mind chatter, or inner voice. It often tends to be negative and judgmental.

Even though our inner monologue filters, interprets, and gives meaning to our perceived experiences, we rarely acknowledge it―perhaps we don’t like to catch ourselves being critical.

Yet, becoming consciously aware of these inner thoughts liberates us from being controlled by them. It is a first step toward greater self-awareness because it enables us to use our thoughts and beliefs to improve our lives.

Since self-awareness is so important to becoming emotionally intelligent―as well as being a foundational asset for leadership―it is worth our time and energy to learn how to listen to our inner monologue.

An Easy Exercise

Here is an exercise anyone can try that will reveal what goes on in our minds. This is suggested by author Joshua Spodek in his book Leadership Step by Step: Becoming the Person Others Follow (Amazon Digital Services, 2017).

1.      Carry a notebook, smart phone, tablet, or recording device.

2.      A few times a day, write or record the words of your inner monologue as best you can, a few lines each time.

Each time you record a monologue will take about a minute. Do this exercise until you’ve got a few dozen passages. It’s important to do it for several days, under different situations. For example, write down some self-talk at work, at home, alone, with people, and when feeling different emotions.

Simply record your dialogue without making any judgments. Judgment clouds the ability to be observant. The goal is to raise awareness of the words we use. If you find yourself being critical of someone, write down the words, not how you feel about the words. Later on, in a follow-up exercise, we can examine meaning, beliefs, and what to do about them.

Remember, this isn’t as easy to do as one might think. We can’t write as fast as we think. The very act of writing changes what we say and feel because we can’t help but interpret at the same time. Persist and practice, focusing on getting the actual words we use in our self-talk onto the paper or screen, one line at a time.

A good reference for this exercise is Proverbs 20:5 “The purpose of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

And

1 Timothy 4:16  “Pay close attention to yourself (concentrate on your personal development) and to your teaching; persevere in these things …”

In my coaching practice (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I’ve seen a number of people experience “a-ha!” moments of self-discovery. They tell me it’s an eye-opening exercise. If you’ve haven’t tried it, go ahead. Let me know what you think. I can be reached here (marc@mocoach4ldrs.com) and on LinkedIn

I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Tips on How to Give Effective GODLY Feedback

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Tips on How to Give Effective GODLY Feedback

Constructive critiques focus on what people have done and can do, rather than targeting their character or personality. If people believe their failures result from personal, unchangeable deficits, they lose hope and stop trying. The very foundation of all relationship is that we are all created in God’s image. Can you see the people you are leading as God’s “BELOVED”?

Let them know that the setbacks and mistakes they have made are just that:

“setbacks and mistakes”                 

When you lead well, you will find that those you lead can change and with good feedback there will be less and mess setbacks and mistakes. Start the feedback loop early so the challenges are smaller and less rooted.

This is a common reason people contact me for coaching services (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) they need to develop feedback loop process for their leadership development and the development of their people.

Prior to coaching either feedback has been poorly delivered, or poorly received. Remember the tongue is a most powerful tool. The Bible says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Using a coach can help clear up limiting beliefs and assumptions so that feedback can be used effectively.

Psychologist and corporate consultant Harry Levinson provides the following suggestions for delivering praise and criticism:

1.      Be specific. Focus on the actual behavior, using verbs instead of judgmental adjectives. Communicate clear facts that people can understand and act upon. Describe what people did and how they did it. If you wish to address a pattern or habit, pick one significant incident that illustrates the key problem. Describe what the person did poorly and how it can be changed. Ask the reflective question: “When have you experienced the same feedback or what memories come to mind that might show a pattern that can be improved upon?” Finding patterns is a huge opportunity for growth. Don’t beat around the bush or try to be evasive. The same rules apply to giving praise. Specificity is required for learning.

God’s wisdom is: “teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?” Proverbs 22:21

2.      Offer a solution. A critique should identify ways to fix a problem. Otherwise, it only serves to demoralize and demotivate. Try to open the door to unexplored possibilities and alternatives. Your suggestions can provide a broader perspective or context. Remember that awareness is the most important step towards a solution.

Biblical solutions always align with God’s guidance that we are to display love and humility.

3.      Be present and Listen Critiques and praise are most effective face-to-face and in private. Don’t try to ease your own discomfort by giving them from a distance or in writing. You need to be fully present and allow the recipient to respond and seek clarification.

Listening well may reveal facts unknown or challenges unseen. When you are “with” people, you honor and value them as human beings. This is the most important part of the process and can create the bridges towards change or a peaceful road out.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”   James 1:19 | NIV 

4.      Start positive and be sensitive: Remember to start with a positive. You can always find a positive. You are “for them”, you want their best. Be attuned to the impact of what you say and how you say it. Even when your intentions are positive, you don’t know how your message will be received. Your greatest empathy skills are required. Criticism can be destructive. Instead of opening a path for correction, you may unintentionally provoke a backlash of resentment. Criticism is best used as an opportunity to work together to solve a problem, but you need to make this clear. 

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  1Peter 3:8

What are your thoughts about how well you last gave feedback?

Was it delivered well, or poorly?

I'd love to hear your stories!

Aim for a “Coaching Culture” that build trust and seeks growth. Perhaps now is the time to receive coaching so you can be more effective in all your relationships.

Text me at 714-267-2818 or email me at marc@moleadershipcoaching.com

Here is my calendar to make connecting simple.          MARC’S CALENDAR

To learn more here in my website :
www.MOLeadershipcoaching.com  

Positive and Negative Feedback

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Positive vs. Negative Feedback

Feedback isn't necessarily evil. I've always thought there isn't enough positive feedback going around. We don't have to wait until there's something to shout about. We need to make more positive comments about the little things as well as the big.

Many managers are too willing to criticize, yet stingy with praise. A partnership’s or team’s emotional health depends on how well individuals can air their grievances. People are more receptive to negative feedback when they’re used to receiving plenty of positive comments.

Therapist John Gottman’s extensive research on successful marriages reveals there should be at least a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative comments. Similarly, organizational psychologists Marcial Losada and Barbara Fredrickson found that business teams function best with a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback.

What are your positive to negative ratios?

Across industries, most employees believe they don’t receive enough positive feedback. Problems are compounded when negative feedback is delayed — often because a manager is queasy about delivering it. Most problems start out small. When they’re allowed to fester, they escalate. By the time many managers decide to give feedback, there’s a backlog of frustration and anger that makes any conversation more difficult.

How often do you hold back out of fear to confront?

Do you believe that you would have better results if you stepped into the challenge earlier?

Early criticism allows people to correct problems, and it prevents a bad situation from boiling over. Managers should avoid giving feedback when they’re angry or inclined to be sarcastic, as the recipient will become defensive and resist change.

Can you control yourself to not engage when you are emotional?

Remember our encouragement from the Lord is: “In your anger do not sin!” Ephesians 4:26a

How to Receive Feedback

As a member of any group, team or partnership, you must learn to accept responsibility for your actions and accept that there’s always room for improvement. View constructive criticism as valuable information that helps you perform your job better — not as a personal attack. Feedback is beneficial because it facilitates teamwork and personal growth.

When you deliver feedback how good at you at remembering how you felt when receiving feedback?

Avoid the impulse toward defensiveness, which each of us innately has. Being defensive closes the door to receiving important information that can improve your work relationships and make your tasks easier. If you become upset, take a break; resume your meeting later.

Remember the ratio of positive to negative. Always start with a positive statement. State that you are “for” those you lead. State that you want their best and you are seeking a path towards your mutual success.

Remember the Lords example in Jeremiah “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Remember: Criticism is an opportunity to resolve a problem. It’s not meant to create an adversarial relationship.

Learning to be effective in delivering feedback is an essential leadership skill. What are your blind spots around how you deliver feedback? What impact would you have on your company and in your relationships if you made improvements in this area of communication.

If you are working on leadership skills, feedback is one of many. If you are ready to grow your leadership let’s connect. Here is my calendar: MARC’S SCHEDULE

Check out my website for great leadership content www.moleadershipcoaching.com

The Art of Feedback - Truth + Love = GRACE

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The Art of Giving Feedback – Truth + Love = GRACE

“Getting people to welcome feedback was the hardest thing I ever had to do as an educator.” ― Professor Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Everything is connected today. We need to collaborate with others to succeed in our relationships, life and work. For that, we need to develop the art of giving —and receiving —feedback and critiques.

In its original sense, feedback is the exchange of information about how one part of a system is working, with the understanding that it affects everyone else within the system. If any part veers off course, prompt remediation is critical.

Feedback is every organization’s lifeblood — the mechanism that lets people know whether they’re doing a good job or if their efforts need to be fine-tuned, upgraded or entirely redirected. In a marriage, feedback determines whether each partner can adapt to the needs of the individual, couple and family.

Most people, however, are uncomfortable when giving or receiving feedback. I hear this from many of my clients who come in for coaching (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) It’s one of the most important tasks to master, but we procrastinate and try to avoid it altogether.

Without feedback, people remain in the dark. They have no idea how they stand with the boss, their peers or their spouse regarding what’s expected of them. Problems invariably worsen over time, so we need to use feedback to find solutions that help us adapt and adjust.

In the world of Christian faith feedback is God’s invitation to speaking the truth with love. This is grace. This is the greatest gift a leader can give those he/she leads. It is important to understand that both ingredients are necessary - truth with love for grace to unfold. Leaders who are direct with those they lead change lives for the better. For many leaders they fear truth. They falsely believe that all love and no truth will bring the desired result. The result is no grace. No growth.

In the marketplace the in-balance falls on the truth side of the equation.  We find a lack of or very little love. Often managers think love in the workplace is wrong. Managers hammer people with truth and once again there is no grace. There is no growth. In a study of 108 managers and white-collar workers, researchers found that most conflicts were caused by inept criticism (ahead of mistrust, personality struggles, and disputes over power and pay). After harsh criticism, people refuse to collaborate or cooperate, leading to stonewalling and disengagement.

If you unravel their histories, disengaged people usually don't start off that way. At the core of their problems you'll often find a hurtful encounter, usually delivered as inept feedback.

In the coming weeks I will look at positive and negative feedback and then review some tips on how to give feedback.

Before that I want to share with you Psalm 25: 1-12 as a feedback prayer. Take a look!

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord! Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right; and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose. (Psalm 25:1-12)

What do you think about this? I'd love to hear from you.

Renewing Yourself - Work vs Play

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Renewing Yourself: Work vs. Play

Too much fun at work: That is something I rarely hear these days in my work coaching (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) people.  Yet, I wonder if we don’t discount the value of enjoyment for high performance on the job. There is power in play, even for the most serious of careers.

Studies show that play has a survival advantage in the wild. When young animals engage in rough and tumble play-fighting, they are learning skills and social rules. Those that play the most, grow more neurons, and have more robust mental as well as physical stamina.

Humans also benefit from play during their entire life span, not just as children and adolescents. In older adults, those who engage in the most cognitive activity (doing puzzles, reading, engaging in mentally challenging work) have a 63 percent lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease than the general population.

Adults who continue to explore and learn throughout life are less prone to dementia and less likely to get heart disease. The people who stay sharp and interesting as they age are the ones who continue to play and work.

When we stop playing, we stop growing, and we begin dying.

According to Stuart Brown, MD, author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul (Penguin Books, 2009), the opposite of work is not play. Play and work are mutually supportive. Yet most of us have learned to be serious when it comes to our careers. We squelch our natural drive to have fun.

Play is not the enemy of work, in fact, neither can thrive without the other. We need the newness of play, the sense of flow, imagination, and energy of being in the moment.

Creative play mirrors one of the grandest descriptions of God: The Creator.

We also need the sense of purpose in work: the economic stability it provides, the sense of meaning and competence. The quality that work and play have in common is creativity. In both we are creating new relationships, skills, and making things happen. Play outside of work impacts your effectiveness in work.

Often an overwhelming sense of responsibility and competitiveness can bury our inherent need for variety and challenge. If we deny our need to play, we will eventually fall to stress and burn-out. Recognizing our biological need for play can transform work and life. This is often the doorway to life-balance that many of my clients are seeking.

If life-balance, play or creativity are things that puzzle you, let’s connect.

My work solves the puzzles of leadership and is designed exclusively for every individual.

Play helps us deal with difficulties, handle challenges, tolerate routines and emotions such as boredom or frustration. Play provides a sense of expansiveness, promotes mastery, and is vital to the creative process.

Text me at 714-267-2818 to connect or email at marc@mocoach4ldrs.com

Renewing Yourself with PLAY

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The Power of Play

What ever happened to unbridled joy in our daily lives? Remember the fun of play we experienced as children? Maybe we need to renew ourselves and start playing more.

Nearly everyone starts out in life playing quite naturally, having fun with whatever’s available. We make up rules, invent games with playmates, fantasize and imagine mysteries and treasures.

Something happens as we become working adults: we shift our priorities into organized, competitive goal-directed activities. If an activity doesn’t teach us a skill, make us money, or further our social relationships, we don’t want to waste time being nonproductive.

Sometimes the sheer demands of daily living and family responsibilities seem to rob us of the ability to play.

“I have found that remembering what play is all about and making it part of our daily lives are probably the most important factors in being a fulfilled human being. The ability to play is critical not only to being happy, but also to sustaining social relationships and being a creative, innovative person.” ~ Stuart Brown, MD, author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul, Penguin Books, 2009.

Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, presents his ideas on this TED TV video: Play is More than Fun. Sprinkled with anecdotes demonstrating the play habits of subjects from polar bears to corporate CEOs, Brown promotes play at every age.

Dr. Brown offers this definition:

Play is an absorbing, apparently purposeless activity that provides enjoyment and a suspension of self-consciousness and sense of time. It is also self-motivating and makes you want to do it again.

We underestimate the power of play. Imagine a world without play – not only an absence of games or sports, but an absence of movies, arts, music, jokes, and dramatic stories. No day-dreaming, no teasing, no flirting. Play is what lifts people out of the routine of the mundane, and offers a means to find joy in even the little things.

As we step into 2019 remember that play stimulates creativity. As we explored in the last series on coaching, when we create a safe environment creativity flourishes. So, make sure your play is safe and remember that sarcasm is not safe.

Play, fun or entertainment historically may have carried a religious bent to it of being sinful. I believe God loves for us to play. He enjoys us as Our Heavenly Father. The reality is that play, fun and entertainment are of themselves neither good nor bad. I would lean towards Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”. Is our play pleasing to God? If so then I say more play, more better generating more creativity and reducing anxiety.

In my work coaching people (moleadershipcoaching.com) we discuss the importance of enjoyment and play. No matter the seriousness of your work, you need to find ways of renewing yourself through the power of play.

Giving Back the Monkey

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People don’t need to be managed; they need to be unleashed. ~ Richard Florida, Professor of Urban Theory

In 1974, William Oncken wrote one of the two bestselling articles in Harvard Business Review: “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?” The piece compares an employee’s dilemma to a monkey. When the manager takes on the problem-solving job, he’s got the monkey.

The article focused on improving time management through better delegation (i.e., giving back the monkey). It didn’t, however, cover how to get people to come up with their own insights.

“Command and control” management practices were common back then. In a 1999 commentary about the article, leadership guru Steven R. Covey wrote:

“…much has changed since Oncken’s radical recommendation. Command and control as a management philosophy is all but dead, and ‘empowerment’ is the word of the day in most organizations trying to thrive in global, intensely competitive markets. But command and control stubbornly remains a common practice.”

Empowering subordinates is hard and complicated work. You have to be willing to give up control and let people work through their own thinking. Empowerment means you must develop people—a strategy whose success depends on dialogue and trust.

The Bible speaks of empowerment. I would point you towards 2 Peter 1:3-4 and Titus 2:12. God empowers us towards freedom and hope which is our call for those we lead. We are called to develop those we shepherd.

The best way to develop people is through coaching conversations (MOLeadershipcoaching.com) by letting people do their own thinking. This is also the best use of a leader's time and talents. A good leader acts as a guide rather than the all-knowing expert.

Here's what I've found to be true in the people I coach: People want to learn and want advice, but more than anything they want an opportunity to come up with their own ideas. A truly efficient manager helps her staff think things through so they gain insight and make wiser choices. Developing a coaching culture where people thrive in creating from ideas is a wonder to behold.

It all starts with the leader experiencing a safe place that slows down the fight or flight instincts and instead allows creativity to flow. Expand your thinking and the thinking of those you lead and you will gain time and your impact will increase.

Why do the most successful leaders and organizations have coaches? Because coaching works. The average ROI for coaching is 6:1. That is the average!  What would the ROI be for you? 10:1 or maybe 100:1. How much is a great idea worth?

Minimizing the risk and maximizing the opportunity is the reality offered for the courageous through coaching.

Let’s connect. Text me at 714-267-2818

http://www.healingplace.info/resources/virginia_satir/208.pdf

http://region10.acui.org/Region/10/conference/2011/presentations/Hall%27s%20Iceberg%20Model%20handout.pdf

 

Asking Permission to Coach

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An effective coaching conversation (MOCoach4ldrs.com)  requires an environment where people feel safe enough to explore their thoughts and reach new insights. In David Rock's book Quiet Leadership, the author suggests four elements should be in place:

1.      Permission: “Is this a good time to talk and explore your thinking?”

2.      Placement: “Let’s see if you can come up with some ideas in the next few minutes.”

3.      Questioning: “Is it OK if I ask you to share your thoughts with me?”

4.      Clarifying: “Tell me more about this. What do you mean?”

There’s almost nothing more personal than trying to change people’s thinking. Given that our perceptions become our reality, asking people to think differently means we’re invading personal territory. It’s therefore crucial to establish permission anytime you want to hold a coaching conversation.

As you approach the most personal questions, ask once again for permission. People can quickly become defensive and stop listening to you. Asking permission frequently helps people feel safe, acknowledged and respected. Here are some sample approaches:

1.      I get the sense you have more to say about this. Could I probe a little further?

2.      I’d like to have a more open conversation than we’ve had before. Would it be OK to ask you some more specific questions right now?

3.      Can we spend a few minutes brainstorming ideas around this?

4.      I’d like to understand more about your thinking. Would you be OK with talking more about this?

5.      I’d like to discuss some more personal matters. Would this be OK with you?

Ideas are like children; we love our own the most. ~ Chinese proverb

Advice is rarely helpful. People are far more likely to act on ideas they’ve come up with themselves.

Adult learning studies prove this is the way we acquire new habits. We find a connection for other people's ideas in our own mental maps and decide to act. It then becomes our own idea—our own decision. The retention statistics on self-discovery versus information delivered and retained are stunning. If you are tired of people asking for your help on the same problem type over and over again, try a coaching self-discovery process and that will cease. You will suddenly have more time. Are you interested in more time? My guess is yes.

Text and let me help you build a coaching culture to deliver more ROI and more time: 714-267-2818 or jump on my calendar and I will give you a call. CLICK HERE

 

Questions for a Coaching Conversation

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I've been writing about the need for leaders to improve performance by helping others, employees, investors, partners and all stake holders to think better and improve their abilities to problem solve. Until leaders learn to do this, they will continue to contribute to stakeholder disengagement.

Starting a coaching conversation is an ideal way to encourage self-directed learning. How do you initiate a coaching conversation?

Posing questions allows you to focus the mental processes of those you lead. Asking them to share their thoughts:

·       Helps them find connections in their minds

·       Makes them more self-aware

·       Encourages them to take greater responsibility for possibilities and solutions

As they process their thoughts, they’ll begin to search their mental maps for insights and potential solutions.

The following questions can facilitate a constructive coaching conversation:

·       How long have you been thinking about this?

·       How often do you think about it?

·       On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is this?

·       How clear are you about the issue?

·       How high a priority does this issue have?

·       How committed are you to resolving this?

·       Can you see any gaps in your thinking?

·       What impact is thinking about this issue having on you?

·       How do you react when you think of this?

·       How do you feel about the resources you’ve invested thus far?

·       Do you have a plan for shifting this issue?

·       How can you deepen your insight on this?

·       How clear are you on what to do next?

·       How can I best help you further?

You will notice that none of these questions focuses on the problem’s specific details. Notice how the questions avoid suggesting what someone should think or do. (We all need to work to do less “SHOULD OF-ING” The questions are designed to help people become aware of their own thinking.

At this point, your stakeholders will begin to contemplate key issues on a much deeper level, which allows them to see things more clearly. This often leads to new connections in their brains that create fresh insights.

We need to abandon our need to find behaviors to fix and problems to solve. Concentrate on identifying and growing people’s strengths and abilities to think things through deeply and you will grow those you work with and lead.

A great, simple and powerful read for those seeking to grow in their coaching ability and understanding is The Coaching Habit

There are many resources on coaching like books, blogs, webcasts and more. Let me know if I can assist by pointing you to resources that are best for you.

Just text my cell at 714-267-2818 or email me at marc@mocoach4ldrs.com