Posts Tagged ‘executive coaching’

Need More Time? Find More with Flow – DiSC Showcases, Time-Sensitive Offers

February 21, 2011

People-Whispering Tip:

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go on a Caribbean cruise with Hay House where I participated in a “Writer’s Workshop.”  My wonderful first coach, Cheryl Richardson, was one of the presenters and it was great to see and learn from her again.  I have posted our photo on my Facebook page.  Check out Cheryl’s work at www.cherylrichardson.com.

As I reentered my “normal” life at home, I began reflecting on the nature of time and how it can be hard to get back into the swing of things upon returning from a vacation.

In my work as an executive coach, I see that many people walk through their days unaware and out of touch with their emotional lives in the workplace as well as at home.  This inattention can cause people to flip back and forth into two extremes:  during much of the day, people live their lives filled with the anxiety and the pressures of work and “making a living” kinds of obligations, while during their leisure time, they tend to live in a state akin to passive boredom “vegging” out in front of the TV or internet.

The real key to getting things done with a high degree of satisfaction and even joy is challenging ourselves with tasks that actually require a high degree of skill and commitment.  Psychologist and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “chick-SENT-me-high”) wrote the best-selling book “Flow” on this topic and offered compelling research to show that we actually desire the joy of complete engagement and don’t want to just “do nothing.” 

Instead, we want to do what we do with a transformational approach.  It is not so much what we do as how we approach what we do.

Sure, it is easy to say that being on a cruise in the Caribbean is more fun than compiling your information for your taxes or paying your bills both of which I had to complete upon returning home.  That said, I bet you know people who can’t seem to relax even while on vacation such that they must always be doing something or checking their Blackberry or iPhone.

I must admit it took me a few days to drop some of my worldly concerns and projects enough to let the rhythm of the sea enfold me.  And I had to chuckle at the sign in the photo below in Half Moon Cay whose caption reads “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever.”  This is my writing friend Lucy and me on our last day with the ship in the background.  I suspect the “here” in this message refers not just to this beautiful island in the Bahamas, but to the state of mind we all long to live in daily.

I Wish I Could Stay Here

The good news is, this state of mind can be taught and self-taught and I have included some of my tips in the “Transformational Coaching Tip” section below so be sure to scroll down! 

Over the years, I have learned to train myself and my clients to be more consistently in the flow.  Living in the flow means living fully in the present.  It means not hanging out in the past rehashing old issues or previous conversations.  It also means not hanging out in the future trying to second-guess how things will turn out. 

Instead, it means focusing all of our attention on each interaction, whether it is washing a dish, attending a meeting, doing your laundry, or listening to a loved one or colleague.  Whenever we are fully engaged in whatever we are doing, time seems resonant and full.  Many call this practice mindfulness and there are great books out there about it.

It also means knowing yourself well so that you can be aware of where you are now and where you want to go.  Even more fundamental than that, you must also know who you are and how you help or hinder yourself. 

As a coach, I loved the movie “The King’s Speech” as it exemplifies the ways and whys we struggle when we could be in the ease and joy of flow.  Aside from superb acting, it is an uplifting triumph of awareness.  The main character becomes more aware of the beliefs about himself that drive his behavior and learned some tools and techniques to deal with his stuttering.  But it wasn’t until he reframed his identity and completed a successful public address, that he knew he could stop being derailed by powerful emotions and unknown drives.

Once you become aware of how you think, act, and feel and understand what you believe at work and at home; you can begin to accept where you are now with all of your strengths and limitations and become a leader in your own life.  Then you can begin to consciously mold your own destiny and express yourself with authenticity and real power. 

I wish you success on your journey!  I coach leaders to become more self-aware and emotionally intelligent so that their success is inspired with ease and flow.  This can be done one-on-one and with teams and groups in training sessions or keynote speeches.

For the appropriate balance of challenge and support in becoming a better leader of your life and the lives of your direct reports and colleagues and associates, feel free to call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

 DiSC® Assessment Application (s):

1) The Time Mastery Profile and Facilitator Kit

Sometimes it is important to get tactical about managing our time and yet effective time management still begins with self-awareness.  The Time Mastery Profile and Facilitation Kit is a unique tool that provides you and your staff with a complete understanding of where they are now and where they need to take action to improve their time-management effectiveness.

Setting priorities and managing time are vital to enhancing individual and organizational performance.  If you could reduce your staff’s wasted time by just 5 minutes every hour; productivity would jump 8.3%!

This profile helps people explore time-related behavior in 12 categories:  Attitudes, Goals, Priorities, Analyzing, Planning, Scheduling, Interruptions, Meetings, Written Communications, Delegation, Procrastination, and Team Time.

The 32 page EPIC Time Mastery Profile is more robust and includes the Skills Gap Analysis.  This feature shows how respondents rate their skill in each category as well as its importance to their jobs.  This data helps a “leader as coach” to determine where to assist someone in focusing their time-management efforts for greater personal and professional success. 

There is also a Facilitator Kit with fully scripted training and coaching exercises for use with both the paper and online Time Mastery Profile.  The online assessment is only 10 EPIC credits or $32.00.

For more information on how these training and coaching tools can support your business, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

2) Virtual Educational Webinars – Limited, Time-Sensitive Seating Available

Enhance your internal management, sales, and employee training programs with The Everything DiSC Application Library product line

One of the biggest benefits of having your team take any of these profiles is the ability to run Comparison Reports on any two individuals for free.  This is excellent information for coaching for performance or for conflict resolution, etc.

If you or your internal training staff are interested in learning more, join me for the upcoming webinars led by the experts at Inscape Publishing.

 You will experience the profile of your choice (Everything DiSC Sales, Everything DiSC Management, or Everything DiSC Workplace) as pre-work, and then participate in an interactive, 90-minute webinar from the comfort of your office.  

SPACE IS VERY LIMITED SO CALL OR EMAIL ME ASAP IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING ANY OF THESE EVENTS!

February 22, 2011:  Everything DiSC Application Library from 11 AM to 12:30 PM Eastern.

This webinar provides you with an overview of all of the assessments and training programs in the suite including Management, Sales, and 363 for Leaders.

March 2, 2011:  Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders from 12:30 PM to 2 PM Eastern  

363 for Leaders is meant for anyone who wants to use 360 degree feedback for leadership development; whether they are an emerging high-potential leader or an experienced executive.  In addition to the free profile with a retail value of a very cost-effectively priced $155, you can purchase an invaluable Coaching Supplement Report to create an action plan for development.

March 14, 2011:  Everything DiSC Application Library from 4:30 PM to 6 PM Eastern

This webinar provides you with an overview of all of the assessments and training programs in the suite including Management, Sales, and 363 for Leaders.

TO REQUEST A SAMPLE REPORT AND/OR PARTICIPATE IN THIS FREE OFFER, send your name, company name, approximate number of supervisors/managers, your title, phone number, city/state to Laura@lauraadavis.com.  The relevant information will be sent to you electronically.

INTERESTED IN A TEST RUN CONVERSATION WITH ME PERSONALLY?

Schedule a DiSC Strategy Session with me.  During this 45 minute complimentary discussion, we’ll discuss your business objectives and challenges, talk about your organization’s leadership capabilities, and see what assessment and coaching/training tools would best benefit you and your team/organization’s needs.  You are under no obligation to make a purchase and there is no pressure, just a process of education about your options.

Call us at 404-327-6330 and/or email me to have a conversation about how these tools can help your organization start on the path towards more effective talent development today!                                                                    
 
Transformational Coaching Tip:

“We are shaped and guided by what we love.”  Goethe

Coaches and leaders who are coaches have learned to ask themselves and others questions that create value and new ways of thinking and being. These questions can help to guide us in discovering what we love. Here are a few for you on your journey into flow:

1. What is your natural pattern for getting things done? If you are not a morning person, don’t fight it. Schedule your important activities and meetings for the time you are naturally in “the zone.” I resist any “one size fits all” advice as it just doesn’t work that way in my experience.

2.   What are your natural talents and defining strengths? Skills are things that you can do while talents reveal how often and how well you do it.  Talents are instinctive, naturally recurring patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that can be enhanced by new knowledge, skills, and experience. Identify yours and leverage them!

3. What are the activities and tasks that I can get so absorbed in that I lose track of time? There are clues in your life that can help you determine your career path and perfect creative self-expression.  For example, I love to speak, coach, write, and help people with personal and professional growth.  It took me awhile to realize I could make a living at it.  Make sure your career is aligned with your passions and you can’t help but succeed.

 4.   How can I keep developing hidden talents into new strengths?  Commit to a life of continuous learning and growth.  That’s where the fun is!

 5.   How did I take on new challenges this week or how did I face old challenges in new ways?  Exercise your reframing muscle and remember the power of a positive attitude in getting things done under even the most challenging of circumstances.

As stated earlier, the best of life comes from a willingness to stretch byond your current capabilities amd explore, test, and reflect on expanding in new and exciting ways.  Enjoy the process and find the flow without effort!

Of course, it is easier to stay focused in an empowering direction with the assistance of a trained coach.  For assistance in operationalizing any of these best practices into your workplace for more powerful, effective results, feel free to call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at

Laura@lauraadavis.com 

To your inspired success!

Lessons in Leadership and Tender Power: What Can Leaders (YOU) Learn from Princess Diana’s Legacy?

July 7, 2010
People-Whispering Tip:One doesn’t need to look too far for examples of companies that are failing because they have clung to outdated mindsets based upon hierarchy, autocracy, paternalism, and bureaucracy.  These modes of “command and control” style management are thankfully nearing their completion in the world of business today.  Global markets and technologies which democratize access to information are just a few of the trends supporting this shift.  The shift is not happening without resistance however.

Many of today’s “senior management” are products of decades of business management programming with deeply-rooted hierarchy and control issues. Many of the leaders I have worked with would rather see themselves as generals leading an army, instead of the coach-facilitator leader they know might be more effective.  Many senior leaders fear the prospect of giving up control because they fear negative results.  Sadly, many business schools still give students primarily a technical education and a sense of self-importance, but neglect to emphasize the essential understanding of what makes people tick or the importance of ethical values and social responsibility while still making a profit. 

Recent events in the Gulf are a glaring example of poor leadership in my humble opinion.  It is time to rethink what authentic power really is.  It seems as if many in the traditional business world fall into the trap of being overly impressed with the intellect and credentialing and overwhelmed by emotions at work.  This I have never understood as it seems to be obvious that we bring our whole selves to work.  If I have to leave my passion, energy, talents and commitment at the door to get through my workday, imagine the loss of potential to the company as well as to the individual.

This challenge has been around for some time in that employers are always interested in ways to boost productivity, commitment, and job satisfaction for obvious self-serving reasons.  I was delighted to see that this summer’s HBR’s OnPoint magazine (selected articles from Harvard Business Review) highlights articles on “Reawakening Your Passion for Work” and “The Human Moment at Work” among others.  Even if you are not a “senior leader” in your workplace or organization, you can benefit from understanding how to shift from a “command and control” mindset to a more facilitative coaching leadership style.  I like to think of it as tender power which is an end result of effective people-whispering.

And people-whispering comes down to some conscious communication and action guidelines. One of the first keys to doing this effectively is to act from the healthiest part of your personality that you have access to in the moment.  This requires self-awareness which is the first step to emotional intelligence.  When I interpret the DiSC® Personal Profile and other self-assessment and awareness tools for people, I am careful to point out that all styles have natural strengths and fears which can result in blind spots without awareness and intention.  The more you explore your intentions, the more behavioral options you will create.  Yet regardless of your behavior, people can always read whether you are coming from love or fear.  Loving intentions create real, tender power.  

Between the stimulus and response, or stated more concretely, between the time some event or person triggers you and you are tempted to lash out, manipulate, caretake, fix, teach, judge, blame, gossip, etc., you have a choice.  That choice is to act from a loving part of your personality or to react from fear or an unhealed place within yourself.

The best way to become conscious of which part of yourself you are coming from is to choose your intention before you speak or act.  Doing this allows you to choose the consequences that your words or actions will create in those around you.  And remember, being a true leader regardless of position or title is about creating a positive healthy environment around you like a petri dish where a healthy culture can grow. 

If you are not sure of your intentions, you might ask yourself “what is my motivation?” before speaking or acting.  You can go within and consult your intuition or inner voice and be clear that you are coming from inspiration and shared responsibility, power-with versus power-over.  The DiSC® Personal Profile can give you insight into your fears and strengths as well as how you might behave under pressure or judge others.  This awareness is not to chastise you or make you feel badly about yourself.  Instead, self-knowledge about our potential shadow side gives us power when we shine a light on it. From this awareness, we can make thoughtful, heartfelt, intuitive solutions for the highest good of all concerned.  

This is the mindset and heartset of the 21st century leader.  For more on this topic, I encourage you to read my award-winning article, “Leading with Love.”  I will also be starting a blog on this topic soon in addition to the People-Whispering blog. Stay tuned and for practical tools and application on how to apply this to your business, feel free to call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

 

 

DiSC® Assessment Application:Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the exhibition, “Diana:  A Celebration” which was the award-winning exhibition paying tribute to the life and work of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.   It was a moving and inspiring showcase of her life and work and brought back memories of what was occurring in my life during major events in her very public and short one.

Whatever may or may not have been true of Diana, Princess of Wales, she had an indisputable ability to connect with all kind of people to uplift and inspire them.  Known for her charity work, she was called “the Peoples’ Princess” and often took on unpopular, unfashionable causes including AIDS, leprosy, and landmines among others.  She seemed to listen with empathy to others who weren’t often heard.  How well do you listen to others?If we relate this to the DiSC® Personal Profile, the Personal Listening Profile, and other self-assessment tools, we can see how she used her intuitive knowledge of how to connect to others to make a positive impact. 

Diana had a knack for “people-whispering” in that she knew how to get people talking, adapt to their style in order to cross the bridge into their world, and partner together with them going forward.  I was struck by her compassionate leadership.  Let us all be reminded of the incredible positive impact tender power can have in whatever context you find yourself a leader in business, in the non-profit world, in your family, in your community.

 

 

Transformational Coaching Tip:I mentioned the HBR OnPoint Summer 2010 issue earlier and found it so rich I had to come back to one of the articles entitled “Retention Through Redemption.”  The article shares the story of demoralized employees (sailors) cheering as their departing CEO leaves the company (the ship). 

This is exactly what happened when the USS Benfold’s unhappy crew bid their captain farewell in 1997.  Today, the vessel is the pride of the Pacific fleet such that sailors from other ships are clamoring to join its crew.The new captain of the ship attributes his success to breaking bad habits and jettisoning old attitudes starting with his own.Here are the key lessons learned which fit nicely into our theme of tender power this month.

  1. Reject the “Command and Control” style – in today’s technology-driven, complex organizations, no single person can manage all the information and make all the split-second decisions required.  Effective leaders provide a compelling vision and clear values – and guide (not dictate) their people to success.
  2. And Learn How to Listen – treat every encounter with every person as the most important thing in the world at that moment.
  3. Differentiate Freedom From Lack of Discipline – set limits and define unbreakable, ethical and safety rules.
  4. And Then Hand Out Trust and Responsibility – if you’ve led well, delegate.
  5. Redeem Employees During Their Toughest Times – when people are at their worst, you can only redeem them by taking some scary chances.

I encourage you to read the article for more and to call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com for ways to operationalize these best practices into your workplace.

Are You Learning/Growing Enough for our Times? Take the Lifelong Learning and Collaborating Challenge!

December 8, 2009

People Whispering Tip :

I’ve had a lot of epiphanies lately so it was a bit of a challenge to choose among them for a topic for this month’s tip. Having too many simultaneous ideas and options is often one of my challenges in life. I like to create rather than follow through. I can follow up without too much difficulty, but there is an important distinction between following up and following through. Fortunately, I have people in my life who have taught me to do this more effectively and who are naturally good at follow through rather than creating such that we complement one another.

The importance of such distinctions struck me recently while having a coaching conversation with one of my clients who is experiencing a feeling of chronic impatience for not being where he wants to be in his career. At this point in time, he doesn’t really know where he wants to be which is even more unsettling. If he can sit with the ambiguity and allow a higher solution to emerge, then real progress will be achieved. That can be the challenge with attempting to truly collaborate as well. Sometimes you have to sit with the discomfort for real change to occur. Kudos to my client though for seeking out a sounding board, a source for resources, a person who will ask the questions and share the observations that no one else dares to offer for fear of reprisal, lack of skill, or even for lack of a vocabulary to put words to an intuitive knowing.

Ever notice how much easier it is to spot someone else’s issues and foibles than to identify your own? Maybe you are aware of yours, but are at a loss to know what to do to work with your strengths in a positive way while mitigating your weaknesses. The epiphany I want to write about has to do with this phenomenon. I want to offer a tip about the value of collaboration to solve this and other related challenges such that we learn faster and make the changes we need to make in a timely way. Radical and fast transformation is imperative in our current times.

As most people move through their lives, they develop habits and patterns of behavior that serve them well in a particular time period and/or environment. Yet many people fail to realize that they may need to change their minds continually about what they think is true or real both personally and professionally. It can feel threatening to expose yourself to new ways of thinking and being if you have not been doing so consistently throughout your life. If you do learn something new that challenges your current paradigm, it doesn’t make you a bad person or “wrong” for how you used to see things. Chances are you were doing the best you could with the awareness, energy, and information you had at the time. Parts of what you “knew” before are likely still correct within an expanded view. That said, I think it is a leader’s responsibility to keep learning and growing and exploring new territory whether the terrain be the business world, the world of health and medicine, technology, global politics, entertainment, whatever.

The ways to do this are endless today. Read books (yes, old-fashioned printed books) as well as learn from social and other forms of media. At the same time, know that everything you read must be considered from the point of view of the author or broadcaster or tweeter. Be discerning and look at the point of view from many perspectives. Travel internationally and meet people from different races, cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Exposure to diversity breeds an open and wise mind not just an intelligent one. I am continually astounded by the number of people who have blindly bought into the world view of their parents or the prevailing media world view without ever questioning the fact that new knowledge and experience may have been gained since they went to school or first started in their chosen field. Innovation never ceases and it’s a good thing. If it hadn’t, we might still be afraid to sail off the edge of the world of our flat earth.

At the same time, let’s be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Ancient cultures and traditional wisdom have much to teach us in all arenas especially if we integrate the old with the new and employ the right tool for the right job. We must also get to the root of the issue and deal with the cause rather than just dealing with the symptoms. This can be uncomfortable, but it is the only way positive, sustainable change can take place. It’s easier to take a pill and relieve the pain and do that if you must while also addressing the real cause.

What has this got to do with business and training and coaching you might ask? And how does it relate to the multiple epiphanies I mentioned earlier? It relates in the sense that interaction is not in and of itself collaboration. We can know about different perspectives without really learning anything. In my work, I am interested in more than just having meetings and creating initiatives to improve performance. I am interested in transformation and authentic leadership which can only come from being continually willing to allow your mind and heart to be open and stretched into new vistas. It’s humbling and scary and exciting all at the same time.

Collaboration goes beyond interaction by asking that two or more people create something anew. It goes beyond conversation and sharing ideas although it must begin there. It may require a higher level of skill in terms of deep listening and conflict resolution. But most of all, it requires a willingness to learn and grow and to allow your mind to be changed enough that your wisdom can meld with someone else’s in a kind of alchemical leadership process. Are you up for the adventure?

DiSC Assessment Application:

An understanding of Everything DiSC Sales (see www.lauraadavis.com under Products and Assessments) has never been more important than it is today in our times of social media and information overload. Most people have been so overexposed to sales messages through electronic media that they have become allergic to selling. For instance, if I participate in one more webinar without content other than a thinly veiled sales pitch, I may scream. I take no issue with someone offering a product or service, just be clear about it while you also offer value-added information. In other words, if we really want to share products, services, and tools that we believe in, we will have to do so in the new “sharing” vs. “push” model.

This is where having an understanding of someone’s DiSC style can be invaluable. If I practice people-whispering and share my product or service’s benefits to you in your language and in a way you can hear it, I am supporting you in making an informed choice. I am serving you rather than selling to you. I have to have something to offer with substance, and the style in which I communicate it has got to be about serving you. Speaking someone else’s’ language engenders trust. If you leave out the manipulation and self-interest and show you genuinely care about me, it’s likely I will buy your story and your product.

As a gift to my clients as I begin my 15th year in business (yikes!), I am offering a complimentary 30 minute consultation to talk about how using DiSC with your sales teams might help you grow your revenues and improve your bottom line. Just call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com to schedule a time to chat.

Transformational Coaching Tip:

I always chuckle a bit when people complain to me about being at a stage in life where they have fallen into a rut. My life is ever new and “rutless” and could actually use a tad more structure and stability these days. So the challenge is always how to have enough of a routine while still keeping it fresh and new such that you are growing and changing and open to the possibilities without becoming overwhelmed and disorganized. Here are some tips to do just that:

1. See life (as well as collaboration!) as an adventure to be savored. Granted sometimes life is boring or painful but expecting the best does indeed attract the best to you even if you don’t see it at the time.

 2. Work on your confidence. Learn about self-talk and the power of affirmations. Remember the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could?” I used to love that story and its profound message. Take baby steps and manage the self-doubt and worry – lesser folks have done more with less.

 3. Let go of what others think. By this I mean be true to what brings you joy and honor what you are really passionate about. I don’t mean ignore what others think (remember to listen to challenge your point of view) but I do mean do what’s right for you. You don’t have to live in the suburbs and have 2.5 kids if you don’t want to but if you truly do, then go for it! Likewise, being different just to be different is a rebellious way to be just as tied to others’ opinions of you. Chart your own course with input from those you respect.

 4. Listen to your own inner guidance. Now I love my family dearly, but I must say this was not something that was encouraged or acknowledged as I grew up. That said, today there are so many powerful and wonderful tools and resources for developing your intuition. That doesn’t mean you should throw your critical thinking and analytical reasoning out the window either but be open to the miracles. I’ve had all kinds of multisensory experiences myself frequently enough to know they are real. I’ve also worked with high-level leaders who have confessed that their most brilliant moves were intuitively inspired. The scientific or mathematical analysis was then used to verify what they already knew in their hearts.

 5. Become a seeker or practical mystic. You can be practical and ambitious and have both feet firmly on the ground AND at the same time, explore the greater purpose and meaning of life. The financial crisis of the past 2 years has forced many people to reassess their values and priorities. Go one better and reexamine the nature of reality. Science is now revealing what spirit has known all along. Be a part of the grand and glorious ride.

 6. Keep reading this Ezine! Next month I will reveal 5 more ways to stay in touch with your aliveness and stay out of a rut.

HINT: Another key way is to appreciate everything in your life even if it isn’t exactly the way you want it yet (hint #2: that target keeps moving so enjoy the journey!)

With that, a very happy holidays to you and yours and thank you for being a part of my life! I appreciate you!