What you like **

Standard

Please share in a comment what is POSITIVE In this pictureIMG_3840

Advertisements

What you Don’t like

Standard

Please share in a comment what is NEGATIVE / BAD in this pictureIMG_3839

COMMUNICATE WITH RESPECT

Standard

The most important skill for any leader to have is the ability to communicate effectively. image1-4.jpegThis means clearly articulating a vision, connecting with people in a way that promotes understanding and listening to really hear what people have to say. Six obstacles limit effective communication:Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.35.33 pm

  1. Moving too fast, which can happen due to overreliance on email and texting.
  2. Listening too little.
  3. Failing to show respect for others.
  4. Making assumptions about what others know or understand.
  5. Ignoring the importance of nonverbal communication.
  6. Not checking for understanding.

A key aspect of effective communications is asking the right questions at the right time. There are two kinds of questions:

  1. Closed questions: Questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”These questions convey minimal information.
  2. Open questions: Questions that begin with journalists’ words: who, what, when, where, and why. Open questions produce more information and can be followed by phrases such as “tell me more,” to solicit more information.

The Johari Window, a communications model developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, stresses the two-way nature of communication. Exposure, on the vertical axis of the window, is the measure of how well communicators let others know what is going on in their minds. Feedback, on the horizontal axis, measures how well communicators are receiving and understanding what is going on in the other party’s head.

There are 10 approaches that can help leaders increase the amount and effectiveness of their exposure. Leaders must:

  1. Be sure their specific concerns are clear by describing specific situations and how they reacted.
  2. Never assume they know what others are thinking or feeling.
  3. Be careful not to convey a judgment — positive or negative — of other people’s characters.
  4. Give concrete examples of what they mean.
  5. Give information rather than advice.
  6. Tailor their conversations to the receivers’ needs.
  7. Check for understanding.
  8. Avoid overloading receivers with information beyond what they can handle and use.
  9. Be level with receivers without “leveling” them.
  10. Maintain their sense of humor and be willing to laugh at themselves.

Listening is a very important part of effective communication. People engage in four types of listening:

  1. Physical listening: The listener is bodily present, but not really paying much attention to what is going on.
  2. Tape listening: The listener is not really interested in what the other person is saying, but is just attentive enough to be able to repeat back word for word what has been said if asked.
  3. Judgmental listening: The listener is developing a rebuttal rather than seeking to understand what the other person is saying.
  4. Active listening: The listener is 100 percent present, with a goal of understanding and not necessarily agreeing.

Active listening is the preferred listening style. One tool to help achieve this is paraphrasing, or repeating what the other party has said in an accurate and neutral summary. The second is reflection, or acknowledging the feelings or emotions the other party has conveyed. In both paraphrasing and reflection, it is important for people not to sound condescending or to give the impression that a technique is being employed.

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Standard

Of all the attributes leaders need, trustworthiness may be the most important. Followers will not commit to leaders they cannot trust. In a work situation, if there is no trust, the boss is just a boss, not a leader. When people do not trust their bosses they often find other jobs, and those who stay often do so grudgingly.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.34.53 pmLeaders demonstrate their trustworthiness through five kinds of behaviors:

  1. They tell the truth as they understand it–they do not simply agree with two people with conflicting opinions just to keep the peace. Most lies eventually come to the surface, so trustworthy leaders stick to the truth and do not shade the facts to make themselves look better or to avoid difficult situations.
  2. They do what they promise. If a situation arises where leaders cannot follow through with their promises, they need to explain to their team members what has happened and what they plan to do about it. They must think carefully about how failing to keep a promise will affect certain people.
  3. They keep confidences to themselves. Trustworthy leaders know sharing confidential information is hurtful and unprofessional.
  4. They speak and act for the greater good. Sometimes this requires leaders to be tough to bring about changes they believe will benefit their organizations in the long run. In such cases, trustworthy leaders explain what they are doing and why.
  5. They are capable and get results. While the other four behaviors reflect aspects of leaders’ characters, the fifth reflects their competence to do their jobs. Leaders who are lacking in the skills and capabilities required for their jobs should put effort into building their capabilities through training or coaching. When it comes to results, leaders should be careful never to promise more than they are certain they can deliver.

DIRECTIONAL LEADERSHIP

Standard

Leaders should not think they are the only ones worthy of creating and knowing corporate visions. All employees need to know their companies’ visions and how their work contributes to them. When visions are established, leaders need to build consensus. The aim must be for employees to come to work to pursue visions, not just to perform the functions of their jobs. The four challenges applying to Directional Leadership and action items related to the four challenges include:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.28.41 pmChallenge One: Recruit support from the top 29 percent.

*Identify the top 29 percent.

*Bring the top 29 percent together as a group.

*Solicit input from the top 29 percent into the vision.

*Ask the top 29 percent to recruit the other 54 percent.

Challenge Two: Prepare the organization for change.

*Agree on unity within the leadership team. For success, all members of the team must be on the same page.

*Give the reason for the change.

*Tell employees how the change will affect them.

*Use data to tell the story — numbers and facts can be very powerful.

*Introduce the change as an improvement.

*Celebrate the past and the future.

Challenge Three: Let them know how they contribute.

*Assess how well expectations have been communicated.

*Let employees create the expectations through goal setting.

*Assess how well consequences have been communicated.

*Determine positive consequences that would drive behavior.

*Ensure the consequences motivate the behavior.

Challenge Four: Constantly communicate progress.

*Create a method to share information regularly.

*Let employees know where they stand.

*Host a quarterly vision review meeting.

10 common Email mistakes

Standard

Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Tone

img_6954.jpgI was reading mind-tool article and thought to share with my readers.You might be tempted to send emails quickly when you’re in a rush, without thinking carefully about your audience, what you’re saying, or how your message might come across. So, it’s important to consider who you’re “talking” to and what action you want them to take, before you start writing.

For example, an email to a senior manager should be more formal than a quick update to a team member, and a message to a customer will likely be more enthusiastic and polite than an exchange with a close colleague.

Although your email’s subject matter may be clear to you, its recipient might not share your knowledge or understanding. So, avoid using abbreviations, jargon or “text speak,” and consider whether your message is appropriate before you hit the send button. Will your reader understand what you’re saying? And is your information clearly structured and presented?

A good rule to follow is to address people in an email as you would in person. For example, making a quick request or providing instructions without a “hello” or “thank you” will likely come across as rude, regardless of how busy you are. So, make sure that all of your emails are courteous and respectful, and avoid typing in capitals, which implies anger or aggression.

Mistake 2: Hitting “Reply All”

How often have you been copied into an email exchange that’s not relevant to you, and doesn’t require you to take any action? Chances are, it happens regularly, and you know how frustrating it can be.

“Reply all” is a useful tool for keeping multiple team members in the loop, or for documenting group decisions, but many people use it without considering who should actually receive their email.

Receiving numerous irrelevant emails throughout the day can be distracting and time consuming; and becoming known as the person who always hits “reply all” can potentially damage your reputation , as it can appear thoughtless, rushed and unprofessional. It might also suggest that you’re not confident making decisions without input from senior managers.

So, consider whether you should “reply all” or respond only to the email’s sender. And, think about whether using “cc” (carbon copy) or “bcc” (blind carbon copy) to include selected team members is more appropriate.

Mistake 3: Writing Too Much

Brief and succinct emails that contain only the important details are much more effective than long or wordy ones.

If you’re struggling to keep your message short, consider whether the subject matter is too complex. Would another way of communicating it be more effective? Would a face-to-face meeting or telephone call make it clearer? Should you put your information in a procedure document instead?

Mistake 4: Forgetting Something?

How many times have you sent an email without attaching the relevant document? Perhaps you included a link that didn’t work? Or even attached the wrong file?

These mistakes can often be fixed quickly with a follow-up email, but this adds to the large volume of messages that people receive, and it can appear unprofessional or forgetful. Consider attaching files as soon as your start drafting your message, and always check all of your links carefully.

Attaching the wrong document can be much more serious, particularly if it’s sensitive or restricted. Read our article on confidentiality in the workplace to identify what information is confidential in your organization, and to think about how to protect your data.

Mistake 5: Emailing the Wrong Person

Today, email providers increasingly use “auto-fill,” predictive text and “threads” (or “conversation view”), which can all increase the risk of you sending your message to the wrong person.

This can be embarrassing, but it also means that your email might not reach its intended recipient unless someone flags up your mistake. More seriously, you risk distributing sensitive information to the wrong people, and damaging your organization’s reputation. So, always pause to review your email before you send it.

When you reply to or forward an email within a thread, make sure that all the messages contained within it are appropriate for the recipient. Is there any sensitive information? Are there any personal comments or remarks?

Mistake 6: Being Too Emotional

One of the main benefits of email is that you don’t need to respond immediately. It’s particularly important to delay your response when you’re stressed, angry or upset – if you send a message in the heat of the moment, you can’t get it back (although some email clients do have a limited “undo” or “retrieve” option). These emails could damage your working relationships, or even be used as evidence against you.

So, avoid sending any messages when you feel this way. Wait until you’ve calmed down and can think clearly and rationally.

Mistake 7: Not Using “Delay Send”

It can be satisfying to send an email as soon as you finish writing it, so that it’s “off your desk.” However, many email clients now provide a “delay” or “scheduled send” function, which can be particularly useful.

Mistake 8: Using Vague Subject Lines

As we’ve said, email is most effective when your message is concise and to the point (but not abrupt). So, it’s important to start with a clear subject line, so that people know what to expect when they open it.

What is your email about? Is there an important deadline date? Do you want people to take action before a certain time? Is it urgent or non-urgent? Tailor your subject line accordingly, so your recipient can give the email the right level of priority and attention.

Mistake 9: Not Reviewing

Proofing your emails is one of the most important things you can do. It only takes a few minutes, and it helps you to pick up poor grammar, spelling mistakes and punctuation errors, which look unprofessional andsloppy . Our article on Writing Skills has more on how to check your work for mistakes.

It’s also important to ensure that you properly read and understand emails that are sent to you, including all messages in threads or conversations. Here, someone may have already dealt with your question or concern, and raising it again will likely result in duplication, frustration and confusion.

Finally, don’t add the recipient to your email until the last moment. This ensures that you can’t accidentally send your message before you’ve finished writing it, have added your attachment, checked the email, and spotted any errors.

Mistake 10: Sending Unnecessary Emails

Because email is so quick and convenient, it can easily become your default communication method with your team. However, it’s important to remember that email is also impersonal, and you risk losing touch with people if you rely on it too much. It’s certainly not a substitute for face-to-face or even phone communication.

Feedback

Standard

Feedback is likely the most powerful tool leaders have for achieving engagement and performance improvement. Feedback can be defined as having an open and honest two-way conversation about performance that focuses on specifics and clearly defines desired future behaviors.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.44.10 pmThe most critical element of the feedback process is the opening feedback statement — the first one or two sentences spoken by the person giving the feedback. These sentences set the tone of the conversation and influence the emotional and behavioral responses of the recipient. They should be descriptive and not judgmental. They should comment on behavior, not personality; be specific, rather than general; and avoid all-or-nothing words, such as “always” and “never.”They should focus on the effect of the behavior rather than the behavior or trait that may have caused it. They should be timely, and they should be upbeat in emphasizing that change is possible.

There are two general types of feedback:

  1. Reinforcing feedback provides recognition for positive patterns of behavior regularly demonstrated by the employee. It also seeks to encourage new positive behaviors that are not typical of the employee.
  2. Redirecting feedback seeks to change or redirect an undesired behavior the employee has shown.

For reinforcing feedback, leaders should open with a clear descriptive feedback statement that lets the employee know exactly what behavior is being valued. They should be sure to state the positive effect the behavior has, or will have, on the organization and should not assume the employee already knows this. Providing reinforcing feedback requires leaders to be confident enough in themselves that they can openly praise others.

Redirecting feedback can be more difficult to give. It can be challenging, for example, to keep the employee from deflecting the feedback, blaming others, or justifying the behavior. To make redirecting feedback more effective, leaders must:

* Open with a clear descriptive feedback statement.

* Ask why the person acted in the way he or she did rather than assuming why.

* State the effect the behavior has had on the organization and provide personal reactions to it.

* Collaboratively seek a solution, perhaps by asking how the situation might be rectified or done differently.

* Jointly develop an action plan for the solution.

* Agree on a follow-up procedure or meeting.

* Encourage the employee.

Consulting – How and Why

Standard

The Oracle Way to Consulting by Kim Miller provides insight into what makes Oracle’s consultants some of the most respected consultants in the industry. Professionalism, managing client behaviors, clear communication, and tackling unexpected challenges are all necessary to be a successful consultant. Miller focuses on how consultants can best plan for their own futures and be the architects of their career paths.photogrid_1488465092456.png

CONSULTING EXPLAINED

A consultant’s role is part teacher, part entertainer, part trusted colleague, and part personal assistant. Successful consultants wear many hats with ease, and have mastered a variety of skills. An effective consultant sets client expectations early and leads by example. Good consultants have mastered the skill of getting others to trust them quickly. To maintain trust, consultants should follow a responsible, ethical code of conduct. The best consultants are those that provide value-added services. These services allow clients to become more self-sufficient and ensure a long-term relationship between consultant and client.

While the soft skills of consulting can be taught, some people are naturally better suited to consulting than others. Without aptitude for the job, and a desire to perform at the highest level, even a competent person may fail in a consulting role. Not all consultants are created equal.

Consultants must understand how they fit into the overall hierarchy of their implementation teams. Consultants regularly interact with project managers, team leads, and subject-matter experts. They may also pull in other team members in clients’ organizations, or interact with other experts who are brought in to provide additional expertise.

A consultant should adhere to the following best practices:

*Always achieve an understanding of one’s role in the project prior to meeting the client.

*Defer to the project manager when appropriate.

*Know the key players and their roles.

*Aim to help the client take ownership of the project as his or her skills and understanding of the project increase.

THE ELEVATOR PITCH

An elevator pitch is a brief summary of personal experience. The perfect consultant elevator pitch should succinctly answer the question, “Tell me about [yourself/product/methodology/technology].” This pitch is brief and to the point. It can be used to generate word-of-mouth buzz or entice potential clients. A consultant should have several of these elevator pitches memorized, with each tailored to a specific query or situation. There are a few rules for crafting a winning pitch:

*Explain one’s position at the company.

*Explain the precise role one plays in that position.

*End the pitch with a question to encourage a dialogue with the listener.

In follow-up discussions, consultants should be prepared to explain what exactly their companies do. A consultant should also be able to clearly explain the benefits of his or her services. Consultants should be wary of over-selling or under-selling their abilities, as neither path ends up being productive in the long term.

GETTING AN ASSIGNMENT

Consultants should always be prepared for questions, especially during the interview and hiring process. The client will have many questions, and the consultant should come prepared with a copy of his or her résumé. Consultants should practice interviewing with peers or managers who are willing to critique their performances.

After a consultant is selected to go on an assignment, the consultant should put together a checklist to prepare for the tasks ahead. Research should be conducted independently and combined with information provided by the project manager. Consultants should make an effort to introduce themselves to their new teammates as soon as possible.

When a new assignment begins, the consultant should let the client’s team know what to expect and what the consultant will need from them. All eyes will be on the consultant, so he or she must lead by example.

CONSULTING AS A SECOND CAREER

Many professionals transition into consulting as a second career. Before making this change, potential consultants should consider their qualifications, both personally and professionally. Without the basic aptitude for the position, a person’s second career as a consultant will not last.

New consultants should be prepared to learn on the job and work their way up. Before making a career change, people should ask themselves the following questions:

*Have I ever successfully taught adults?

*Do I want to spend extended time away from home?

*Do I enjoy working long hours?

*Am I a team player?

*Can I balance a position that requires leadership, delegation, and the ability to follow at the same time?

*Am I able to apply knowledge to different types of situations?

*Am I able to keep calm under pressure?

Positive answers are a good indication that a person has the temperament to be a successful consultant.

BEING EFFECTIVE ON DAY 1 AND DAY 10,000

Those who feel qualified to become consultants should also make sure they are prepared to be effective from the start. Part of being effective is having the right mind-set. Oracle’s consultants are known to excel because they freely share information and work tirelessly toward the success of their clients, rather than having one eye on their own personal advancement.

Before their first day on the job, consultants should schedule meetings and orientations with their managers. New consultants should ask managers why they were hired, and then capitalize on that perceived value. If there are any other lingering questions, consultants should get them answered on the first day. Consultants may look foolish further down the line if they fail to ask the right questions early in the process.

On the second day, new consultants should determine how new hires are integrated into client projects. They should take the initiative to learn as much as they can about their first assignments, and get up to speed about the current implementation processes. They should then focus on building the skills that will make them valuable on their assignments.

BEWARE OF OR EMBRACE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS?

Some consultants find it difficult to work with independent consultants, as they are often more focused on billable hours than client outcomes. Independent consultants are often hired by clients because they are cheaper than hiring more staff. If a client brings on an independent consultant, it can also be a red flag, indicating that the other consultant is not adding enough value to justify his or her cost.

Consultants should maintain a courteous and professional demeanor when dealing with independent consultants. Consultants should touch base with their managers to best understand the role of the independent consultant in a particular implementation, and determine how much transparency is required when speaking with that person.

SEE THE WORLD

Consulting can be an exciting career for those who love to travel and meet new people, but the demands of consulting can also take a toll on families. As with any career, striking the correct work/life balance can be difficult. Travel is also not without its perils, so consultants who are not married or living with someone should make sure to have a friend or colleague who follow their movements. In the event of a problem, the consultant will have at least one person who knows where he or she is supposed to be. The rewards of travel can be both professional and personal, and many consultants will have opportunities to visit many different countries. When traveling, the consultant should take the time to learn the accepted business etiquette in different cultures.

PREDICT THE UNEXPECTED

The most important skill a consultant can master is the art of setting effective expectations. Consultants must develop and execute their plans, and then recap those plans for the benefit of clients and managers. The process for achieving positive results should always be the shortest path possible. A consultant’s word is his or her bond. Therefore, a consultant should say what he or she is going to do, do it, and then tell everyone what he or she did. If there is an unexpected change in scope, a change order should be generated.

AUTHORITY AND OFFICE POLITICS

Consultants should be knowledgeable about products, but they must also build other skills so that their services have added value. One major challenge that consultants must contend with is the fact that they have no authority over their clients. Therefore, consultants must tailor their approaches for each client team, and find a way to work effectively with each team. When issues arise, consultants should try to obtain definitions of the issues in a way that will not alienate clients. This will result in a solution that does not ruffle any feathers.

Leveraging one’s pseudo-authority is an important skill in any consultant’s toolbox. Building strong relationships with clients is an important step in the right direction. Consultants should establish their credibility early in the consulting process, and continually re-establish their expertise. Consultants should also leverage the expertise of those around them in the project ecosystem.

Consultants should stay above the fray when it comes to company politics. They should have respect for politics and find a niche within the political power structure where they can be the most effective. When discussing office politics with the client team, a consultant can be a sympathetic ear, but he or she must never offer any opinions about the issue at hand.

PROFESSIONALISM AND INTEGRITY

There is no substitute for professionalism — no other skill or attribute can put a client at ease as quickly. Professionalism should be a part of every consultant’s attire, speech, written communication, and actions. Professional behavior leaves a lasting impression with clients, which can lead to renewed contracts or referral business. Being professional also means being approachable. Clients may find it difficult to ask for help, so consultants should be humble and courteous. All work and spending should be carefully documented.

TIME MANAGEMENT AND MEETINGS

Consultants must plan every day. They must manage their own time, as well as the client team’s time. Consultants should also have alternative plans in place to handle any unforeseen complications. It is important that an alternative plan also be realistic, and based on the capabilities and skill level of the client team. Planning and time management should be documented in some way. Not only does this help consultants stay organized, but it provides the client team with a living document of the plan.

Consultants tend to spend a lot of time in meetings. The importance of a meeting is an indicator of how much prior preparation is required. Every meeting should have a clearly written agenda, which will help set expectations for all involved. The invitee list for each meeting should be tailored so that only stakeholders and decision makers are involved. Consultants should ensure that attendees stay on topic for the duration of the meeting.

CHILDREN MAKE THE BEST NEGOTIATORS

A child can be the best negotiator. A consultant should try to mimic a child’s innate ability to convince adults to do something, without the adults even realizing what is happening. Consultants should be able to warm clients up to an idea, but allow the client to take the final step. When a client thinks an idea was his or her own, he or she will be more likely to follow through on implementation.

MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS

Consultants need to help clients approach new situations and products in a way that counters clients’ assumptions and preconceptions. Novice consultants may struggle with some of their clients’ more challenging behaviors. Many people do not adapt well to changes in the workplace, so consultants must be understanding of clients’ fears. Not all challenging behaviors need to be addressed. If the behaviors do not impact the work, consultants can leave them be.

EFFECTIVE WRITING

Consultants must craft all written records and communications with great care. They should use legally defensible facts, and document all results or benefits to clients to add value. Consultants should solicit feedback on their documentation from their own companies and colleagues. Consultants should also be able to clearly state their experiences and expertise in their résumés.

Consultants create a lot of documentation, and it is important for that documentation to be factual and clear. Emotions should be left out entirely. All documentation should have a professional tone. All of the deliverables must be high quality and delivered on or before the deadline. Rookie consultants may underestimate the amount of time it takes to create high-quality documentation, so it is advisable to budget plenty of time for these types of tasks.

Some consultants read their work out loud, or have others read it, in order to ensure that the text is easy to comprehend. Words should be chosen carefully, especially when discussing a part of the implementation that may not be going well. A simple word like “bug” may send some clients into a panic. Words should be chosen in such a way that the reality of situations are made crystal clear, and solutions should be specifically laid out. Last but not least, a consultant should always use spell-check.

LISTEN AND ASK QUESTIONS

Much of the consultant’s job revolves around speaking, but listening is an equally important part of being an effective consultant. Good consultants listen fully before formulating responses. If a consultant does not know exactly how to respond to a query, he or she can start by summarizing the question that was asked. If the consultant does not know the answer to a question, he or she should admit it and immediately promise to find the answer.

Consultants need to ask good questions, and also know how to rephrase questions that are not getting robust answers. A high-quality question will be more likely to result in a high-value answer. Consultants should avoid rhetorical and trick questions, neither of which will advance the progress of the consultant-client relationship.

ACQUIRED COMPANIES: FROM COMPETITOR TO COLLABORATOR

If a company gets acquired after implementation has begun, this can change to flavor of the whole assignment. The consultant should speak with his or her project manager and get guidance on how to fold the new company into the project. The project plan will likely need to be updated in response to the change. Consultants should be empathetic to the stresses associated with this change, but they must remain focused on their tasks.

IMPLEMENTATION

Successful implementation requires the following steps:

*Getting a handoff from the sales team.

*Defining an implementation strategy.

*Gathering customer requirements.

*Translating those requirements into software functionality.

*Testing the solution.

*Training the end users.

*Transitioning to production.

*Going live.

*Transitioning the consulting team off the project.

The implementation team is likely to include a mix of several different teams. Some may be offshore team members, while others may be independent consultants or remote workers. The most important team must be the client team. Consultants should be cognizant of any time zone differences that may present a challenge and plan team activities accordingly. Consultants should foster teamwork among disparate groups.

BE PROACTIVE AND MANAGE YOUR MANAGER

Consultants who want to advance their careers need to make a name for themselves, which means taking initiative, making plans, and building relationships with managers. A consultant’s manager can be an advocate and a partner in advancing the consultant’s career. Consultants need to find out how their managers’ performance is measured and then help their managers meet those benchmarks. Consultants should adapt to their managers’ unique styles and quirks, and set aside time to make sure that their managers are thinking about how to advance the consultants’ careers.

How Coaching differs

Standard

Types of training session by ANUBHAThe difference between coaching and task status updates. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of one-on-one meetings between managers and employees is spent discussing project status updates, which leaves only ten to 15 percent for actual coaching. Discussing task updates does not grow the employee’s ability to improve their future performance, but coaching does. Many leaders also admit to having much more frequent performance review sessions than career development sessions, and while it is important for employees to receive feedback, it is just as important to develop their commitment to their job and decision-making abilities.

Coaching itself is defined as “interactions that help the individual being coached to expand awareness, discover superior solutions, and make and implement better decisions.” Through coaching, an employee will gain perspective on their situations and be able to come up with an effective solution. They will also develop a higher level of commitment to the solution and the outcome because it came from within themselves. As a coach, it is necessary to make sure that you have the correct mindset and skill set. The mindset is the manner with which the coach guides the conversation with the employee, and it precedes the skill set. A coach’s mindset should dictate that they can get more done by developing their employees and gaining their trust. A coach’s skill set involves actual steps the coach can take during the coaching session, such as listening to both what is said and what is not said, exploring the consequences of particular actions, inquiring about the employee’s desired future state, and holding the employee responsible for agreed-upon commitments.

Coaching is not mentoring, where a more senior individual is guiding the “mentee” through the organization and giving advice that may not be relevant within the next few years. On the contrary, coaching can occur between a manager, their employees, their boss, and between peers. Coaching is also not teaching, where a more senior individual purely conveys information that the student lacks. While coaching does contain elements of teaching, it is more than the straight passing of information. Coaching can also become confused with counseling, which helps people who are experiencing inner turmoil or dysfunctional behavior work out their issues and learn how to behave and act more effectively. Coaching is similar in that it is training people to act more effectively through finding solutions to their own problems, but the people who receive coaching are not always experiencing inner turmoil. Once leaders are aware of exactly what coaching is and coaching’s many benefits, they are ready to proceed to the next step, learning new and effective coaching strategies.

Listening : key for leader

Standard

The most important skill for any leader to have is the ability to Prism Full Form1communicate effectively. This means clearly articulating a vision, connecting with people in a way that promotes understanding, and listening to really hear what people have to say. Six obstacles limit effective communication:

  1. Moving too fast, which can happen due to overreliance on email and texting.
  2. Listening too little.
  3. Failing to show respect for others.
  4. Making assumptions about what others know or understand.
  5. Ignoring the importance of nonverbal communication.
  6. Not checking for understanding.

A key aspect of effective communications is asking the right questions at the right time. There are two kinds of questions:

  1. Closed questions: Questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”These questions convey minimal information.
  2. Open questions: Questions that begin with journalists’ words: who, what, when, where, and why. Open questions produce more information and can be followed by phrases such as “tell me more,” to solicit more information.

The Johari Window, a communications model developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, stresses the two-way nature of communication. Exposure, on the vertical axis of the window, is the measure of how well communicators let others know what is going on in their minds. Feedback, on the horizontal axis, measures how well communicators are receiving and understanding what is going on in the other party’s head.

There are 10 approaches that can help leaders increase the amount and effectiveness of their exposure. Leaders must:

  1. Be sure their specific concerns are clear by describing specific situations and how they reacted.
  2. Never assume they know what others are thinking or feeling.
  3. Be careful not to convey a judgment — positive or negative — of other people’s characters.
  4. Give concrete examples of what they mean.
  5. Give information rather than advice.
  6. Tailor their conversations to the receivers’ needs.
  7. Check for understanding.
  8. Avoid overloading receivers with information beyond what they can handle and use.
  9. Be level with receivers without “leveling” them.
  10. Maintain their sense of humor and be willing to laugh at themselves.

Listening is a very important part of effective communication. People engage in four types of listening:

  1. Physical listening: The listener is bodily present, but not really paying much attention to what is going on.
  2. Tape listening: The listener is not really interested in what the other person is saying, but is just attentive enough to be able to repeat back word for word what has been said if asked.
  3. Judgmental listening: The listener is developing a rebuttal rather than seeking to understand what the other person is saying.
  4. Active listening: The listener is 100 percent present, with a goal of understanding and not necessarily agreeing.

Active listening is the preferred listening style. One tool to help achieve this is paraphrasing, or repeating what the other party has said in an accurate and neutral summary. The second is reflection, or acknowledging the feelings or emotions the other party has conveyed. In both paraphrasing and reflection, it is important for people not to sound condescending or to give the impression that a technique is being employed.