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In the topic 'Coaching & Developing'


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Assess Your Effectiveness at Getting and Giving Feedback

Albert Einstein’s oft quoted definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting what we’ve been getting. To move our leadership effectiveness to a new level, we need to blaze new paths. Feedback is critical to increased […]

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Bringing Science to the Art of Coaching

I just went to Amazon and searched for coaching books. I was presented with 29,935 books to peruse. I typed “coaching programs” into Google and got 687,000 hits. Coaching is so popular because — done effectively — it can turbocharge personal, team, and organization performance. But there’s a mind-numbing array of frameworks, processes, experts, methods, […]

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Letting Go of Our Weaknesses is Really Hard

Two readers recently posted comments voicing the common struggles many people have in letting go of weaknesses when developing leadership effectiveness. One reader responded to Zenger Folkman’s Harvard Business Review blog Three Myths About Your Strengths by naming a fourth myth as focusing on your strengths means you can ignore your weaknesses. He went on […]

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Monkey Management: Creating Empowerment and Growth

My last blog (“How Many Monkeys Are on Your Back ?“) outlined the all-too-common problems that come from the vicious Manager-Employee Dependence Spin Cycle. In their excellent book, The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow, Jack Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett outline this virtuous Empowerment and Growth Cycle: This cycle reverses the downward […]

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How Many Monkeys Are On Your Back?

My last blog (Breaking the Manager-Employee Dependence Spin Cycle) discussed how Dave, a recent participant in The Extraordinary Coach workshop, realized he’d locked himself into an ever increasing cycle of taking on more and more of his employees problems. He was getting busier and busier while his employees were getting ever more frustrated waiting for […]

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Breaking the Manager-Employee Dependence Spin Cycle

During last week’s first public workshop (these sessions are usually run in-house) of The Extraordinary Coach in Calgary, the lights came on for a manager from a technology company.  Like many managers — and especially those in very technical organizations — Dave viewed coaching as directing, advising, and training his direct reports. Since he was […]

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How Constructive is Your Criticism?

“Constructive criticism” becomes destructive criticism when it’s poorly delivered by a leader with a very low negativity/positivity ratio. My March blog on The Best Positivity/Negativity Ratio for Peak Performance discussed research on balancing positive to negative statements for optimum personal, team, and organization performance. CNN recently featured an article on how leaders can most effectively […]

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5 Steps for Managers to Maximize a Direct Reports’ Development

Far too many organizations squander training dollars by “sheep dipping” supervisors, managers, or executives through development workshops and hoping something will stick. Decades of studies show time and again leadership behavior change rarely lasts in a “once and done” approach. One study by a large international learning and development firm found that the optimum ratio […]

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Are You Stimulating or Stunting Growth?

Are your houseplants stunted? Are you limiting their growth by keeping them in a small pot? BBC Nature reports a fascinating story entitled, “‘Stunted’ Pot Plants Cannot Reach Their Full Potential” from the Society for Experimental Biology’s annual meeting in Salzburg, Austria. Researcher Hendrik Poorter with the Julich Research Centre in Germany found that houseplants […]

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Untangling the Training, Mentoring, Coaching Confusion

Like “vision,” “service,” or “leadership,” coaching has become a word that means different things to different people. Many people think of the typical sports coach who’s a veteran of the game (often a retired player). Sports coaches typically develop skills, guide improvements with feedback, and actively direct game plans. Other people talk about coaching and […]

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The Coach-Coachee Relationship and the Impact of Executive Coaching

A number of participants in our February 12 Building Extraordinary Coaching Skills webcast provided comments and raised interesting questions about this vital leadership skill. One question was whether there’s a marked difference in coaching those in volunteer roles versus people in paid positions. In the webcast I outlined our definition of coaching as “interactions that […]

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Bringing Science to the Art of Coaching

Tomorrow’s publication of The Leader Letter pulls all the January blogs together in one place. Most of these were focused on coaching as we completed our certification for Zenger Folkman’s very powerful and unique Extraordinary Coach development process. I’ll be bringing key lessons learned from ZF’s years of implementing this approach in next week’s complimentary […]

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Six Steps to a Coaching Culture with Exceptional Leaders

In our Extraordinary Coach development system we define coaching as interactions that help the individual being coached to expand awareness, discover superior solutions, and make and implement better decisions. This is a broad leadership skill set that is most often used in career and performance coaching. Extraordinary coaches can exist in an ordinary or even […]

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What’s Really Creating the Coaching Skills Gap

When asked why they aren’t providing more coaching, managers will typically say: I am overwhelmed and don’t have enough time; my boss doesn’t coach me; or, my employees don’t need coaching. Our research shows these are excuses coming from low performing leaders without coaching mindsets on wobbly foundations of weak coaching skills. Within the very […]

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The Enormous Coaching Skills Gap

A study on the need for improved coaching skills development conducted by the consulting firm, CO2 Partners, found that only 11% of employees listed their supervisors when asked “whom do you turn to for advice on problems at work?” Organizational surveys show that most managers believe they are providing coaching to employees and score themselves […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Becoming an Extraordinary Coach

We’re back from an invigorating week at Zenger Folkman’s international partner conference in the mountains of Utah. A highlight of the week was our certification to deliver ZF’s unique and powerful skill development system The Extraordinary Coach. Here are a few gems from The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow. “A leader […]

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Make This the Year of Boosting Coaching Skills

There’s been a big surge in coaching over the past decade. Part of this is driven by the pressing need for increasing bench strength and succession planning. It’s also very clear that leaders with strong coaching skills have dramatically higher levels of employee engagement, productivity, safety, and customer service. Scott Schweyer, Ed Haltrecht, and I are delighted to […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Making Strengths Productive (Peter Drucker)

One of the first management books I read when I became a supervisor at Culligan Water in the mid-seventies was Peter Drucker’s slim and wisdom packed book, The Effective Executive. Chapter 4; “Making Strengths Productive,” was especially helpful. In subsequent management roles I found myself recalling or referring back to his practical and powerful perspectives […]

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The Enduring Impact of Focusing on Strengths

Years ago a 7th grade teacher gave her class an up close and personal exercise in finding and building on strengths. She began by circulating sheets of paper that had only the name of each student at the top of each blank page. Students were asked to identify what they felt was the greatest strength […]

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360 Feedback Tools Can Help or Hurt Leadership Development

360 multi-rater feedback assessments are now used by more than 85% of Fortune 500 companies. They’ve become a foundation of leadership development efforts because they’re like a GPS unit showing leaders their current leadership effectiveness (“you are here”) and mapping a route to increased effectiveness. 360 feedback tools derive their name from getting feedback in […]

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