When Coaching Give Client Time To Reflect : As Published in THE HINDU : 15 /3 /08…

National
When coaching give client time to reflect
D.Murali

Chennai: Empathic listening makes coaching effective, writes Elisabet Engellau in one of the essays included in ‘Coach and Couch’ (www.landmarkonthenet.com).

“Some people have a natural inclination for empathic listening. They allow the other person their full attention and create a constructive, positive atmosphere for further understanding by both parties,” she explains.

“To be able to tell your story to a sympathetic ear has a therapeutic effect, and at the same time gives the person presenting the narrative the opportunity to re-create his or her own reality, reflected in the choices made in structuring the story.”

What separates the professional coach from a friend or just another sympathetic human being is the skill of listening with the third ear, says Engellau. For, there is more than what meets the eye!

To get this skill, however, the coach has to work constantly on self-awareness, advises the author. “If coaches are not aware of their underlying baggage, it may be unpacked and transferred to the client.”

Another key insight in the essay is that effective coaching involves giving the client time to reflect.

“Life-changing experiences can happen in a single coaching session. An individual who is given the opportunity and has the courage to tell his or her story, with all its intricacies, can benefit from insights that can lead to important changes in the person’s professional or personal life.”

Change takes time, reminds Engellau. “Considering the cost of professional coaching services, it is highly unfortunate that too many organisations refrain from giving adequate resources to this process, and as a result waste both money and time on what in the end turns out to be a superficial and aborted process of change,” she rues.

Valuable lessons that Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Konstantin Korotov, and Elizabeth Florent-Treacy have put together in this new book from INSEAD.

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The Secret

My Coach , Mentor and Guide , Bjorn Martinoff , presented me with the movie`THE SECRET`yesterday.

AWESTRUCK!

Yes that`s what I was on watching this movie.It set me thinking…….Had heard of the Law Of Attraction so many many times…….read so much about it,used it personally and have educated people on it too.

But why is this secret to success still a secret for so many of us?

The problem is that most of us don’t really know about the law of attraction and how it works and so we are not consciously using it. The unconscious mind does use it and if we aren’t controlling it then most likely it is being used for the negative. This is the message that ‘The Secret’ is putting across. That we have this gift but we just don’t know how to use it. Once you have the knowledge of this gift then you can choose how you will use it.

I recommend everyone who has yet not laid hands on the DVD of The Secret to go ahead and watch it …..maybe two times over ! That`s what I did.

Executive coaching part of changing nature of workplace : Telegraph – Journal Published 1/3/08

Executive coaching part of changing nature of workplace

Training: Top-down management style don’t give employees support they need, says firm’s president

Telegraph-Journal
Published Saturday March 1st, 2008
Appeared on page E1
Building a culture of coaching can help employees and managers become more fulfilled and productive, says executive coach David Veale.

Coaching, he says, is part of the changing nature of the workplace.

“People have different expectations of their work environment now,” says Veale, president of Saint John-based Vision Coaching Inc. “They’re looking for creativity, they’re looking to be challenged, they’re looking for life balance, as well, and a coach takes a holistic approach to that.”

Veale says many executives and employees are discovering that old-fashioned, top-down management techniques don’t give them the support that a coaching relationship can provide.

The key to coaching is helping people develop their own solutions to the problems they are facing, says Veale.

“You’re using a process of inquiring, questions to bring the answers out in people,” he says. “What you’re trying to do is create new ways of thinking.”

Once clients have discovered new ways to tackle their problems, the coaching relationship shifts from inquiring about solutions to figuring out how clients can implement their ideas, says Veale.

“You are supporting them by saying ‘okay, what exactly are you going to do, how is going to happen, when are you going to do it, what are the barriers?'” says Veale. “You’re helping people walk through the challenges that occur in their careers and may kind of stunt their growth.”

Veale says there a difference between coaching and consulting.

He points to the example of some of his clients who are lawyers.

“I’m not a lawyer ,so I can’t give them any advice, what do I know about law?”

“But I can ask them questions. I can put them into a process where they start thinking differently about their firm.”

Veale says it’s easy to spot a culture of coaching in a company.

“You walk in and there is a positive energy. People feel very supported. You feel that people are looking out for you. It’s a safe place to express how you are feeling,” he says.

“You are encouraged and challenged in ways that you wouldn’t have felt at other places. In other words, there’s this idea that you are unleashed, that you’re not micromanaged.”

Veale says it takes leadership to build a strong coaching culture in a firm.

“It takes a pretty comprehensive approach. Ideally it starts with really strong leadership and people that are willing to flatten the hierarchy,” he says.

“It starts with people being open to communicating in new ways where people are asking a lot of questions and you are really listening.”

Veale has been running Vision Coaching Inc. for close to three years and has turned to technology to help him expand his business and support his coaching clients.

Using software created by Saint John-based Evolving Solutions, a web-development and social-media company, Veale has a new tool for secure and private communication with his clients.

Called Coach Gateway, the site includes a private messaging system as well as document sharing and goal tracking.

“People can be inundated with information. What we’re doing is setting up a place that is password-protected that is just focused on your development as a leader,” he says.

The software, says Veale, supports his efforts in building coaching cultures in companies.

“It’s a place where you’re putting your goals and your actions up with timelines. So it’s this place where you can also look back after a number of months of being coached and can say ‘wow, look what happen, look what I’ve accomplished.'”

The website can also help Veale show companies the return on their coaching investment.

“It’s for the individual to see the success and it’s also a way for the individual to report back to the organization,” he says.

Chris Nadeau, president of Evolving Solutions, is also one of Veale’s clients.

Nadeau says Veale came to Evolving Solutions with his idea for the coaching site.

“It definitely helps,” says Nadeau of the software.

Before the software was developed, it was more difficult to co-ordinate client-coach information, he says.

“Everything seemed to be an e-mail here, a voice mail there, a document here,” he says. “There was no real consistent place to access the information. But this lets you do that now and it’s a great way to see how you’re making out with your coaching.”

One interesting aspect of the software is that Veale is now marketing the software to other coaches, says Nadeau.

“He’s taken it and turned it into a product that other coaches can “¦ make it their own and use it as their own coaching platform,” says Nadeau.

Veale says he’s excited about the future of Coach’s Gateway.

“This coaching movement is pretty big and it’s pretty early so there seems like there’s a nice opportunity to get a tool out to other coaches.”

Peter…..wish I had met you !

I never met Peter Drucker, never even heard him speak, but I’m truly going to miss him.  He made a big difference in my life, at least over the last few years.  In the March-April 1999 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Drucker published an article entitled “Managing Oneself” (reprinted in January 2005) that I’ve read at least once a year ever since.  
Here are the passages that have had the greatest impact on me:

On Excellence

One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.  It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.  And yet most people–especially most teachers and most organizations–concentrate on making incompetent performers into mediocre ones.  Energy, resources, and time should go instead into making a competent person into a star performer.

On Careers

Most people, especially highly gifted people, do not really know where they belong until they are well past their mid-twenties.  By that time, however, they should know the answers to the three questions: What are my strengths?  How do I perform?  and, What are my values?  And then they can and should decide where they belong.

Or rather, they should be able to decide where they do not belong…

Equally important, knowing the answers to these questions enables a person to say to an opportunity, an offer, or an assignment, “Yes, I will do that.  But this is the way I should be doing it.  This is the way it should be structured.  This is the way the relationships should be.  These are the kind of results you should expect from me, and in this time frame, because this is who I am.”

Successful careers are not planned.  They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values.

On Planning

A plan can usually cover no more than 18 months and still be reasonably clear and specific.  So the question in most cases should be, Where and how can I achieve results that will make a difference within the next year and a half?  The answer must balance several things.  First, the results should be hard to achieve–they should require “stretching,” to use the current buzzword.  But also, they should be within reach.  To aim at results that cannot be achieved–or that can be only under the most unlikely circumstances–is not being ambitious, it is being foolish.  Second, the results should be meaningful.  They should make a difference.  Finally, results should be visible and, if at all possible, measurable.  From this will come a course of action: what to do, where and how to start, and what goals and deadlines to set.

On Second Careers

We hear a great deal of talk about the midlife crisis of the executive.  It is mostly boredom.  At 45, most executives have reached the peak of their business careers, and they know it.  After 20 years of doing very much the same kind of work, they are very good at their jobs.  But they are not learning or contributing or deriving challenge and satisfaction from the job… That is why managing oneself increasingly leads one to begin a second career [typically by moving from one kind of organization to another; by developing a parellel career, often in a nonprofit; or by starting a new venture, again often a nonprofit]…

No one can expect to live very long without experiencing a serious setback in his or her life or work… At such times, a second major interest–not just a hobby–may make all the difference…

In a knowledge society…we expect everybody to be a success.  This is clearly an impossibility.  For a great many people, there is at best an absence of failure.  Wherever there is success, there has to be failure.  And then it is vitally important for the individual, and equally for the individual’s family, to have an area in which he or she can contribute, make a difference, and be somebody.  That means finding a second area–whether in a second career, a parallel career, or a social venture–that offers an opportunity for being a leader, for being respected, for being a success.