I’m delighted to share Part 2 of coaching expert Dr. Relly Nadler’s articles on coaching for high performance with you today. Article appears in Psychology Today, January 2020 and is shared with permission.
In today’s world of increased performance demands, most leaders are underperforming.
One reason is that the leader is focused on the tasks and results, where the people they lead are looking for connection, contribution, and recognition for good work. This is a big disconnect, where the manager’s default is to find fault. They overlook the successes, as those are expected, and don’t take enough time to develop the next-level leaders.
Executive Coaching affords a “forced focus” on development topics, skill-building, and empowerment to help get results. When the leader takes a coaching approach versus a directing style with their direct reports, there tends to be more engagement and better performance. High-engagement companies are more profitable because of increased productivity, lower turnover, and lower healthcare costs. (Zak, 2017)
BlessingWhite (2016), in “The Coaching Conundrum,” states that the top coaching behaviors wanted by direct reports include: 1) Communicating clearly and candidly; 2) Establishing clear performance objectives and milestones; 3) Delivering on promises made; 4) Respecting their ability to make decisions; and 5) Being an advocate for their development and career growth.
A leader receiving coaching can quickly learn these skills and behaviors to better coach their direct reports. Once they experience this, it is easier to use this approach with their team members.
In a previous post, we went through six reasons why leaders need coaching. Here are six more.
1. We don’t think deep or long.
Reflection is becoming a lost art. Leaders are good at fast thinking, but they all need to get better at slow thinking when there is not an emergency. Slow thinking (of the sort described in psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow) is defined as the deliberate type of thinking involved in focus, consideration, reasoning, or analysis.
A coach can help you think deeper and longer to help you improve your decision-making by challenging your thinking and mindset. Can you focus on a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset? What would be a proactive response versus a reactive response?
A coach adds clarity to your input about yourself and others and thus enhances your output on your decisions, communications, solutions, and results.
Coaching is a slow thinking process unless there is an emergency. There is always time to check in with your intentions, values, and strengths, and ask yourself and others powerful questions.
Our formula for top performance that we share with leaders is:
Empathy x Insight x Clarity = Top 10% Performance
Empathy is about others, insight is about yourself, and clarity is knowing how best to use this information for good.
2. You need to increase your self-awareness and self-management skills for better performance.
Awareness and self-management are two sides of the coin. How can you manage what you don’t see? Coaching helps raise self-awareness and contributes to your self-management and performance toolbox.
Korn/Ferry searched a total of 6,977 self-assessments from professionals at 486 publicly traded companies to identify the “blind spots” in individuals’ leadership characteristics. They found poor-performing companies’ employees were 79 percent more likely to have lower overall self-awareness than those at firms with robust ROR.
A coach helps you master the moment by putting a spotlight on your inputs about yourself and others, so your outputs, which are your decisions, communication, strategies, and results, are the best they can.
Often a coaching focus is on accepting yourself more in a friendly and kind way rather than a harsh or critical way.
3. You need to build and broaden your strengths and identify derailers.
Whether it is in training or coaching as a leader your first focus is to gain more clarity into your strengths, which is not natural to do on your own. We all have a negativity bias, so when we are on autopilot we go to “what is wrong or could be wrong” as a protective mechanism.
Your coach helps identify your strengths, increase them, use them more, and broaden them to weakness areas. This is often done by holding the strength focus longer when a magnetic pull from the client brings them to focus on their weaknesses. This is another example of “forced focus,” where the coach compels the leader to stay with a strength or what is working.
A variety of assessments and coaching tools help this process of building on your strengths, competencies, and skills.
If a person has some derailers also called “fatal flaws” those must be addressed first and the coach can help to build awareness and management of them. This may involve bringing covert strengths to the derailers that were probably invisible to the client.
4. You are the emotional thermostat, enhance your influence.
Most leaders I have worked have underestimated their influence. This is because they are focused on their tasks and results, while their direct reports are focused more on their contribution and recognition. This is a major disconnect between leaders and followers in their needs and wants from their conversations.
The leader is the emotional thermostat for the team. Their mood is the most contagious. If they are irritated, stressed, and short, other people catch it. If they are optimistic, encouraging, and empathic, so are their team.
Dr. Anthony Grant of Australia and a coaching researcher has found his “clients’ experience that for every executive coached, hundreds of others are positively affected, including their manager, their peers, their direct reports, and those employees’ direct reports as well. This extends to hundreds of people, and even more if one counts customers.”
In Helping People Change, Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, and Ellen van Oosten state “…given the role of emotional contagion, being able to effectively manage the emotional tone of the coaching discussion also requires having an awareness of one’s own emotions and recognizing the impact that they can have on the person being coached.”
What are you sending out to your team that they are catching? Optimism or pessimism, challenge or threat, proactive or reactive, slow thinking or fast thinking? If you are calm, cool, and rational, they will be too.
5. Your sense of power leads to less empathy.
Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, speaks and writes about the power paradox: Once we have it, we lose the capacities we used to gain it.
Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Ontario, recently found a similar phenomenon. While Keltner studies behaviors, Obhi studies brains. In his experiments, he had people who were powerful and others not so powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine. He found that having power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy.
This may explain the neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.
Leaders with power end up thinking they know what is needed in almost every situation and don’t need to hear from others. They think they are the “smartest person in the room.” They value their ideas over all others. Keltner calls this an “empathy deficit.”
6. You are creating your leadership legacy.
A coach can help you with slow thinking by spending quality time having conversations about how you are developing each of your direct reports uniquely. This in turn prepares you for quality conversations and coaching with your people.
A leader’s focus is usually on getting results. Having a coach compels you in a “forced focus” to focus more on developing your team and emerging leaders.
This where the leader can have their greatest legacy. The best practices of their leadership can be passed down to their direct reports and their direct reports after they are long gone. Leaders impact all their people, their families, and can increase their life quality.
A 2013 study by Anthony Grant found that executives who received coaching experienced effects that transferred over into the executives’ family life, including heightened work-life balance and improved relationships with family members.
Your direct reports expectations of your coaching include:
1) Communicating clearly and candidly; 2) Establishing clear performance objectives and milestones; 3) Delivering on promises made; 4) Respecting their ability to make decisions; and 5) Being an advocate for their development and career growth. (BlessingWhite, 2016)
That means you can’t take short cuts to deliver on their hopes and expectancies. You need focused time to think deeply and slowly and that is best done with an experienced coach to act as a thinking partner with you and for you.
Today I am delighted to share Part 1 of an article written by renown coaching expert Dr. Nelly Radler and published in Psychology Today.
In today’s world of increased performance demands and extreme busyness, most leaders are underperforming.
Leading with Emotional Intelligence (EI) helps upgrade your performance by integrating self-skills and developing talent skills to be your best in the moment.
Research from Blessing White Consulting found that the top three leadership skills for the future were: 1) communication, 2) collaboration, and 3) coaching. These are all a part of the EI competency model.
They stated: “If communication skills are the foundation of a leader’s future home, collaboration and coaching create the ground floor. Without a strong foundation of trust and communication, leaders run the risk of directing or deciding instead of collaborating and coaching. Employees will be quick to see this, and despite leaders’ good intentions, fail to inspire and empower their teams to the performance they seek.”
Key Leadership Research
The manager has a key role in the organization. Gallup has found that managers have 70 percent influence over the climate of their team. Sixty percent of employees who left their job said the manager was the reason. Turnover has cost organizations $223 billion (Blessing White, 2018).
Good to great boost: By increasing the number of high-performing leaders, the organization gains great strength… it is tempting to fix low performing leaders, but the greatest gain appears to come by helping more leaders become truly great. Leaders in the top 5 percent had 76 percent of their employees highly committed, where leaders at the 90 percent had 54 percent of their employees highly committed. (Zenger and Folkman 2020)
So a leader considered in the top 5 percent versus the top 10 percent increases employee commitment by 22 percent. That is a huge difference when many can think that the top 10 percent is good enough.
Just like in professional sports, corporate leaders can get a boost and be even better with focused time devoted to their craft with executive coaching.
Coaching can be the quickest way for leaders and managers to manage complexity and improve their communication, collaboration, and coaching skills for the future.
What Is a Coach?
A coach is a thinking partner who works for you and with you to help you reach your best vision for yourself. These are the goals that you want for yourself and think about all the time. The boosting components a coach brings are: 1) A depth of thought to what you think is important; 2) the resources and tools to reach your goals; 3) the motivation and accountability for what you want to accomplish. Coaching encourages a “forced focus” on what is most important to you versus the constant distraction of the urgent.
After 25 years of executive coaching and integrating Emotional Intelligence strategies with top executives and emerging leaders, below are the main reasons why every leader could use coaching.
Why Hire a Coach:
1. Coaching works. You will be a better leader. Here is what we know from the research:
Ninety-eight percent of coaching clients said their coach “provided practical, realistic, and immediately usable input” and helped them “identify specific behaviors that would help me achieve my goals.” (Center for Creative Leadership study, 2016)
Strengths are maximized, and research has shown that 66 percent of those receiving effective coaching report a positive impact on their performance and job satisfaction. (BlessingWhite Consulting, 2015)
Nearly two‐thirds who received coaching said it had a significant impact on their performance and job satisfaction. (BlessingWhite Consulting, 2015)
88 percent of managers said coaching helps them achieve their goals. (BlessingWhite Consulting, 2015)
A 2013 study by Anthony Grant found that executives who received coaching experienced effects that transferred over into the executives’ family life, including heightened work-life balance and improved relationships with family members.
All signs indicate that executive coaching is a sound investment. Studies report an impressive ROI of 500-800 percent. A study conducted by MetrixGlobal LLC, for example, reported an ROI of 689 percent associated with executive coaching (and this finding accounted for the entire cost of coaching, including the opportunity costs associated with the time leaders spent not on the job in coaching sessions).
Citing similar results, the International Coach Federation (ICF) has presented a body of research demonstrating that coaching tends to generate an ROI of between $4 and $8 for every dollar invested. (Greiner, 2018)
2. You have blind spots. We all have them, but if you don’t know what they are, you will continue to undermine your success. Marshall Goldsmith is one of the top executive coaches with Fortune 100 executives. In his research with executives, he says 70 percent of people think they are in the top 10 percent. We all think we are better drivers, cooks, and leaders than we may really be. You don’t know what you don’t know. In some of the organizational literature, this is called “Unconscious Incompetence.”
Executive coaches use validated leadership assessments, 360-degree feedback, and interviews with stakeholders to bring to light others’ perceptions of you. The gap between your perceptions and others’ can establish your blindspots.
This gap can result in some of the hardest conversations for a coach and coachee. A leader says, “I think I have empathy, good problem-solving skills, and good interpersonal relations.” The coach has data on how other people see them and may say, “That is different than how your boss or direct reports see you, let’s look at their perception and talk about the gaps.”
I had a leader who was an ex-Navy Seal, who took a 360-degree assessment, and his self-report had him higher on every competency than did his team or manager. Ouch! That was a challenging conversation to hold the tension and come up with effective strategies that he could accept and focus on.
3. You get less feedback. The higher up you are in the organization, the less feedback you get. As leaders move up the corporate ladder, there is less feedback they get from others in the organization for many reasons. Their direct reports are afraid to give honest and direct feedback for fear of retribution and how that impacts their reviews.
The leader’s boss has high expectations, and it is common only to give feedback if there was a mistake or complaints.
So senior leaders don’t get the feedback they need to continually improve. A coach can not only give you feedback but also help integrate the feedback for specific actions.
4. Change is hard: People want to resist it. In every organization, a major challenge is change, whether it is changing a personal behavior or helping your team deal with constant change. Most leaders are inundated in change scenarios.
Getting people to accept change is a leadership challenge. Coaches can bring best practices on leading change, focusing on behavior change using neuroscience, the psychology of motivation, and performance research to the leader.
5. You are on autopilot and easily distracted. Most of us operate on autopilot much of the time. We take short cuts rather than thinking hard or long about things. Working on your leadership entails taking a hard look at your capabilities and getting off automatic to be more intentional, have a clear focus, and make great decisions.
Researchers tell us we operate out of our habits about 95 percent of the time. If you had the time, what would be your best focus? Coaching is a “forced focus” to stay with what’s important.
There are times I know leaders are not thinking or focusing much on their development or their direct reports unless they are in a coaching conversation. We know that we are interrupted almost every three minutes, and 44 percent of the time, we do it to ourselves. (Mark, 2006) Autopilot and the tyranny of the urgent rule the day and leaders’ focus.
Blessingwhite (2018) Tomorrow’s leaders today found the most valued leadership actions are: communicating effectively at all levels, coaching and developing the team, developing and executing the strategy, and building effective relationships with team members.
6. You tell rather than ask, as it is quicker and more efficient. In the desire for speed, efficiency, and alignment, leaders easily fall into telling their direct reports what to do versus asking or dialoguing with them.
This is the manager’s default. It is the path of least resistance and ensures more certainty for the leader. The unexpected results for the employees can be feeling undervalued, insulted, or put down for their ideas.
One of Gallup’s Q12 questions that lead to more engagement and high performing is answering, “My opinion seems to count.”
Ask and Drain Before You Tell and Fill
The direct report has a bucket full of ideas, and so do you as the leader. It is best to ask and drain their bucket of ideas first before you tell and fill from your bucket. Then individuals feel heard, and it gives you more time to think, and when you are ready, you can deliver a better solution.
Asking your direct reports their thoughts first:
Increases the quality of decisions
Gets more buy-in for the decisions
Empowers the employees
Trains them to really think
A coach can help you focus on strategies to ask the right questions and do it in a constructive way that empowers others.
If the three key leadership skills for the future are communication, collaboration, and coaching, an Executive Coach can help you get better at all of these skills quickly.
Relly Nadler Psy.D., M.C.C.
Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Miss Christie’s little black ears twitch at each note as morning birds serenade us. We start most mornings (God, weather, and coffee supply willing) in our treetop screened porch, nestled under blankets, Bible and journal nearby. Very soon, Miss Christie and I will begin our days from the pleasurable confines of Cosmo, my Class B RV.
The three of us are hitting the road on Memorial Day, heading to Oklahoma City, where we will reside in an RV lot for a ten-day horse show. The Amazing Miss Clara—my nine-year old quarter horse mare, Jess, our trainer and several other dear friends will meet us there. Anticipation has my arthritis flaring already and I am giddy as a schoolgirl in June.
Such light, such joy flows out from this house. It affects all who come here. Do not feel that you have to try and help them. Just love them, welcome them, shower little courtesies and love-signs on them, and they must be helped.
-God Calling, by A.J. Russell
“I can’t tell you what this means to me.” Misty eyed, my octogenarian-friend Pat pulled one hand from her walker and lifted it over me in a gesture of thanks. “The Lord wasn’t one bit surprised by this virus. Oh, no. He’s got plans for it. And us.”
“Well His plan for us today definitely involves pea soup, some chicken soup, and a bit of rosemary bread fresh out of the oven for you, my dear.” I hoped she saw me smile through my mask as I offered her my bag of homecooked goods as we stood in the vestibule of her quarantined senior center.
“No sir-ree, our God was not surprised by this business and He reigns over us, even now. And you have no idea what this means to me. And to Him.” As Pat started backing through the door, signifying the end to this week’s visit, I assured her there was more to come.
I love knowing I’m making someone’s day, and I also love to cook and experiment in the kitchen—so this is a win-win for me. The last thing I need to be surrounded by during a mandatory stay at home order—that has just been extended through May 26 in Wisconsin—is the result of my baking benders! Enter Catherine’s COVID Kitchen—problem solved.
Cooking meals for yourself and others is a great way to extend your heart and home right now. Preparing, serving, and delivering warm, tasty meals are a great way to share God’s love with others. I prepared my traditional Easter meal—slow roasted leg of lamb—even though it was “just” for my brother and me. The requisite lamb and lentil stew I threw together with the leftovers was delivered with little happy notes to the porches of friends and a few dear seniors from church who are living in quarantine. I wish I could have bottled up the warmth flowing from Pat’s eyes as I stood in her vestibule, gloved and masked, with an unexpected basket of love—taking the form of homemade soups, breads, and mini cakes.
Sometimes love doesn’t have to be complicated. Love can be the extra few minutes you offer a stranger at a chance encounter as they pour out their frustrations of living in a fallen world. Love can be the simple gift of a genuine smile shared with a hurting soul. Love can be a daily text check-in with those in your life who live alone. Love can be an online game of Words with Friends expanded to include someone you don’t know very well. Love can be sharing a book with someone, reading at the same pace, and chatting about it online. Love can be a walk in the sunshine at a distance of six feet from your neighbors and their children, listing the things you will do together once the ban of being closer together is lifted.
How’s your home love life? This unpredicted time at home ringing round the world is the perfect opportunity to up our game in our hearts and homes. I like to think of my home as a place of love—as an extension of the love of the Father. I believe we all need a sense of home, of being grounded, of knowing that there is someone there preparing a place for us around their table. We can still embrace our concept of home, and of welcoming others into our home, during—and more importantly after—this challenging time of COVID.
To jumpstart your home love life, ask God to show you people in your life and on the edges of your life in need of a word or an expression of love today. You don’t have to cook and deliver meals—handwritten notes, daily phone calls, or texts also communicate value to others. Simply walking around your neighborhood if you are able to get out is a nice way to share a glimpse of life and life-to-come with those around you. A lot of people live most of their lives in fear—and that fear is on steroids right now. Remind them that perfect love casts out fear—simply by living your love out loud.
Looking for love in all the wrong places? I can help…put a little love in your life by entering the BookSweeps Romantic Suspense Sweepstakes for a chance to win books and more!
I’ve teamed up with 30+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Romantic Suspense novels to 2 lucky winners! Drum roll please…and the Grand Prize winner will receive a BRAND NEW eReader!
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And to celebrate a little romance with a little suspense, the Kindle version of Capsized by Death is offered at $2.99 today through Saturday, and Kindle versions of Anchored by Death and Shattered by Death are on sale for just 99 cents! Enter the BookSweeps Romantic Suspense Sweepstakes–featuring Capsized by Death–and put a little love in your life today!
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Good luck and enjoy the reads!
I realized recently that some of my favorite beings have names beginning with the letter C. I swear I didn’t plan this, and I think it could make for a great blog series, when I get around to it. Especially the travel piece. Maybe next year? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My own name, as you may have noticed, is Catherine. I don’t count myself as one of the Three C’s—but I suppose I could. Four C’s doesn’t sound as cool though.
My dog’s name is Christie—short for “Christie, The Christmas Pup.” (She comes with a story of her own.) Well into her eleventh year, we’ve been a tight team since she first crawled up my leg like a little kitten when she was a tiny six weeks old. She came into my life in the earliest moments of a long period of pain in my life and having her little heartbeat and loving personality was a blessing time without number.
My horse’s name is Clara—she came with this name. Meeting Clara truly was a love at first sight experience and we’re about to celebrate our third year of partnership bliss in January. If you’ve never been in love with a horse before, I highly recommend it. Horses invite you into a slower, surer world with gentle, knowing eyes and whisper soft muzzles. You can’t be in tune with your horse if you are divided in your mind, heart, or soul. They have this miraculous way of bringing balance and peace in the midst of a noisy, fractured world.
Last but not least, comes Cosmo. Cosmo may seem an unlikely addition to the Three C’s—but he provides a sense of safety with the promise of adventure without even breaking a sweat. He’s an easy to maneuver home on wheels making it easy for the aforementioned C’s and I to travel around the country seeking adventure, horse shows, conferences, and the occasional independent bookstore. Sure, he has a lot of parts, and he can be rather cranky and complicated (usually late at night during inclement weather.) Other than that, he’s the perfect gentleman.
As I contemplate the vast expanse of a brand-new year tucked inside a brand-new decade, I’m looking forward to whatever lies around that next bend in the road. The Three C’s and I hope to see you down the road in 2020. We’d love to hear about your travel and adventure plans for the new year—online or in person!
The newest Jo Oliver Thriller!
|Greetings Jo Oliver fans! |
I am thrilled to announce that Capsized by Death, book 4 of the Jo Oliver thriller series, is coming out in just a few weeks!
This latest edition pairs my favorite female police chief with my favorite island. Turns out there’s a lot that can go wrong in paradise—but nothing that a few good, armed and specially trained friends can’t handle.
Capsized by Death was a lot of fun to write and once again, the writing process took me completely by surprise as unexpected developments and new characters emerged. Many of you know that my first three novels were largely written during solo vacations on Maui, so it seemed fitting that at least one of Jo’s adventures would lead her to my favorite Hawaiian island.
I am inviting a small group of dedicated Jo Oliver fans to join me for a pre-release reading and reviewing event. Would you like to join our merry band of reviewers? Please reach out to me and I will send more information. Book reviews are our bread and butter as authors and my goal is to procure fifty reviews in the next fifty days.
Watch for sample chapters to be posted on my website in the next week or so.