Leaders, often have to face disappointing moments – many of these are due to mistakes made by others. A humble leader forgives quickly – remembering the times when he/she was forgiven – and moves on.
Conferred with the “Most Talented Coaching Leaders in India” during the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of “Times Ascent – World Coaching Congress” at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai on 16th Feb.2017
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the learned and distinguished jury who found me worthy of this award. I am honored and humbled to be in the same league as the luminaries who have been bestowed with this award in the past. It gives me immense pleasure to share this honor with all the leaders in different organisations with whom I have had the privilege to work with as their Executive Coach. I am here today because of them.
What are the ingredients that go into making “Mental Strength”?
How do you tap into this strength, especially when you are in a challenging situation and the odds that you are surrounded by, seem absurdly insurmountable?
What is that magic ingredient that defines a Champion?
In light of Roger Federer’s “Epic” win at The Wimbeldon 2016, I was asked these questions at an interview conducted by First post, Network 18. My views as a Life Coach, from a vantage point of observation, where I have had the privilege to see many leaders unleash their greatness, for over a decade now, are summed up here.
A token of humble thanks to Ms. Sulekha Nair, Features Editor at First Post who has summed up our discussion so beautifully.
The Sky Scrapers Academy proudly announces our next batch of Group Mentor Coaching.
Who Is Mentor Coaching for?
This group is for you if you are:
- Renewing your ACC, and need the required 10 hours of mentoring
- Preparing to apply to the ICF for your ACC or PCC credential
How does it work?
7 hours of group work: four 90-minute calls via bridgeline plus one 1-hour call
3 hours of one-on-one coaching as we listen together to your recorded sessions plus mentoring
We offer you the opportunity to avail the richness and benefits of learning in a group setting under highly experienced Master Coaches.
These are virtual calls, so you can join us from any part of the world, in the convenience of your home.
This program fully satisfies the requirements of Mentor Coaching prescribed by ICF.
New Batch starts June 7, 2016. Hurry!!
Please write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is conference call time for a multinational headquartered in Paris. Professionals in three time zones get ready with their details and plug themselves in the conference. The first greeting starts with a small tease with the professionals in three time zones expressing three salutations – A good morning, another one good afternoon and the third one expressing a good evening. They break the ice with another banter stating how the time zones have been made irrelevant by technology. They then get into their engagements, discussing serious issues pertaining to the clients. This is no exception, but a rule in a globally connected ecosystem.
Virtual teams are the new realities of the business world. With physical geographies having been obsolete in terms of businesses being done, to succeed it is but important for every professional to understand the nuances of managing virtual teams across the globe.
Given below are some techniques to manage virtual team meetings effectively –
- Motivate people to engage in relaxed conversations
Being in different time zones and from seemingly different cultures, it is but important to break the ice before hitting the point. Motivate your team from across the world to engage in relaxed pleasantries if they are meeting for the first time so that the team is relaxed to share ideas and opinions with each other.
2. Encourage cultural sensitivity
As your teams move into virtual conversations across several locations, it is pertinent that each one of them attending the meet is sensitized to the cultures of the others who are participating in the discussion. Because it is virtual, it becomes more imperative than face to face meetings as to be sensitive to the diversity that each of the member brings to the table.
3. Describe work process
Each individual has his/her unique way of looking at tasks. In a virtual team, where time is a huge factor, it is important that you upfront describe the discussions and deliberations so that each one of the member is in the same page. Setting standardization in the deliberations will save a lot of time, which otherwise would be difficult.
4. Have clear and detailed deliverables
It saves a lot of energy and effort from either sides when you have an absolute clear and detailed deliverables to be discussed and concluded at the end of the meeting. Everyone, irrespective of the geographies loves to be a part of a professional culture which is focused and has a clear agenda to discuss and deliver.
5. Be meticulous in your approach
Remember that the most important aspect of a virtual team is how you effectively communicate with each other. Hence, it is important that you become a great team player across the board. Make sure you listen intently and ask questions rather than forcing your opinions on others. Also, it would be great if you could call people by their names and get everyone to contribute their ideas to the discussion. Speak slow and use short sentences so that everyone understands clearly what you are saying. State what seems obvious to you because if you assume that people across geographies understand a few things without saying, you would end up in a position to call for the next meeting…albeit the same agenda!
Have you ever wondered how some people control the “environment” when they step in, make others sit a little upright when they start speaking and inspire their audience to make that commitment in dotted lines by the time they complete the last sentence of their line of thinking. Have you come across someone inspiringly influential and their board room gravitas motivates everyone who breathes the air that s/he breathes.
Simply put, their “leadership presence” is what makes them positively significant and awe inspiring. A combination of style and substance is what defines leadership presence. A heady mix of positive attitude, communication skills and requisite multi disciplinary skills combined with the special ability to take everyone along the journey of progress is what determines leadership presence.
So what are the attributes that constitutes leadership presence? There are several factors which determine the aspect of leadership presence. Given below are the five vital attributes which could contribute towards you refining your leadership presence better.
- Attain positivity: internally and externally
What inspires people to look up to you? What motivates them to listen to you intently and dedicatedly follow the guidelines set by you? What encourages them to step up their performance pedal and accelerate? There certainly is something about your positivity which inspires you to become better than what you are and also encourage others to look up to you. And that external countenance of positive excitement is a result of the internal happiness and positivity that you have. Be positive, internally. You will spread the positivity externally and with great élan.
- Be the world for the speaker: Listen attentively
Everyone likes to be listened to and be given complete concentration to what he/she says. It is but human to feel appreciated when someone listens to us with rapt attention and makes us feel that the world has stopped for the moment. Be that world for the speaker. Listen attentively, not only to the words spoken but also to the feelings outpoured. You will be a much sought after leader.
- Speak meaningfully and with clarity
There would be a need for you to contribute your thinking and put across opinions and suggestions to the individual or the group. During those times, ensure that you think out and weigh your ideas and suggestions before you speak out. Try to add meaning and value to the conversation through your words. Also, speak with clarity. This would help the other person douse his/her own doubts and fears.
- Watch your tone: They have the power to hurt and heal
When you speak, do take special care of your tone. As much as words have the power to make a difference, positive or otherwise, the way you say those words have greater power to hurt or heal. Watch your tone, especially when you have to pass across a negative message. Your leadership presence, in good times or otherwise will be watched and emulated to a large extent on how you communicate during the good times and the rough.
- Take care of your appearance
Clothes maketh a man goes the old adage. This could not be far from truth for individuals to showcase leadership presence, be it board meetings or business meetings or such formal occasions. It is advised that if you want to stand out impressively, one of the aspects that you need to take care is personal grooming. With an added combination of style and substance, your leadership quotient will propel to greater heights.
As an Executive Coach, I see a lot of leaders going through the stress of not being able to effectively manage their career and family. The work scenario today, is highly demanding and people are facing the problem of extended working hours. The concept of a 9 am – 5 pm job no longer exists. Added to this, our smart phones ensure, that we are glued to our offices, long after we have physically moved out of the building. In such a scenario, maintaining a healthy work life balance is almost a dream.
It becomes even more challenging in the case of women. Many highly educated and immensely talented women have kept their careers aside to devote time completely for their family. This situation leads to stress and health issues in most people.
Some reasons which trigger this imbalance are :
- High levels of competence prevailing in the society. Executives, in the urge to get high ranks in their careers, keep taking up more and more work.
- A Perfectionist Attitude – Very high benchmarks for self , situations and others
- Another major reason is our global economy and dealings with international businesses. Odd working hours, to match client timings makes it difficult to have proper work life balance.
- Long working hours and no limits on the office timings are a big cause for this imbalance.
Let’s talk Solutions:
During numerous coaching interventions, where work – life balance was a strongly aspired goal, my endeavour has been work on the participant’s limiting belief systems. At the crux of this guilt ridden, unfulfilling life, is usually a powerful belief system at play – The “Either – Or” Belief, which deters us from striking a healthy chord between work and personal commitments.
Let us try and give up this extremist view (Either-Or) and replace it with a new belief which is holistic and encompassing of both spheres.
“Work – Life Integration” is largely how a person prioritizes career and ambitions on one hand and personal life including social activities, health, family, leisure on the other.
This seemingly daunting task of maintaining a healthy work life balance, may not be so difficult, in reality. A few smart moves and disciplined use of simple techniques is all that may be needed to achieve your goal – Career AND Family.
Here are some solutions you can incorporate in your life to attain a healthy Work-Life Integration.
- Never Overbook yourself with work. Set limits to the work you are taking on and then respect these boundaries.
- Efficient planning helps you use your work days, weekends and holidays effectively. When my children get their annual schedule from school, the first thing I do is to synchronise all our calendars. This way we can leverage on the long weekends and vacations and use these as bonding time for the family. All reservations are made well in advance, and that saves us the trouble of last minute woes.
- A monthly, weekly and daily To-Do list is a good habit. Make sure you don’t run separate priority lists for work and home. Life has a tendency to throw up challenges but this practice will help you navigate through them with much more ease and finesse.
- Build up your “Not To Do List”. We often end up doing work, which may seem urgent but later regret because it was not in alignment with our goals (Not important) . Consider this list sacred, and do not give into any pressure which might push you into this slippery territory.
- One of the success mantras of a balanced life is to learn to say “No”. Know when to use this powerful word, and just go ahead, use it!
- Invest time in training your team at work and staff at home so that you can delegate some of your work load. Train your kids to take up their personal responsibilities.
- Take advantage of latest technologies to reduce your work-load, hours and stress. Women can especially make benefit of the latest technology and use techniques like live video streaming for looking after their kids when out for work.
- Keep in mind that things cannot be perfect, at all times.
- Offices and companies also need to understand this issue and take an initiative. They can conduct seminars and trainings on ways to achieve Work-Life Integration. Companies are offering options like half day work, work from home and prolonged maternity leaves for their women employees.
Many countries these days have limited their working hours to increase productivity and make people happier. Sweden, has recently moved to a six-hour work day. Such initiatives by the government are also much appreciated and longed in our country. In a developing country like ours which is flooded with overseas work, there is an urgent need to look into this matter by both individuals and corporates to have a healthier workforce and future.