Posts Tagged ‘Retention’

Is Focusing on Strengths Enough? Time-Sensitive Information – Act Now!

May 9, 2011
People-Whispering Tip:

Leadership is a popular and confusing topic for many probably because it can seem to be in short supply in many organizations.  If you go to any bookstore and search the titles of the business section, you will find numerous books about leadership and how to create results through people.  Is leadership really that complex that we need so many perspectives on the topic? 

Perhaps there is just so much misinformation about what constitutes good leadership, that all of these books serve to dispel some common misperceptions.  For example, there is a tendency to think that only those at the top of the hierarchy are leaders, but that simply isn’t true.  Leaders can be found at all levels of an organization and in all walks of life.  Some of the most powerful leaders don’t have the official title but are individuals who have made a tremendous positive impact through the power of their personal example and influence.

That said, horror stories of corporate greed and/or poor decision-making from just a few senior leaders can be enough to bring a whole company down along with a lot of good people in the process.  For example, the fall of Enron (and Arthur Anderson along with it) is not the result of the majority of people not doing their jobs well. 

I am not an expert on what happened, but I did watch the compelling 2005 documentary entitled “The Smartest Guys in the Room” which highlights the fact that having only intellectual prowess is not enough to be an effective, credible leader. 

Granted, the Enron debacle is an extreme example of corporate fraud and a lack of ethics.  Nevertheless, as Enron survived the dot.com bubble burst in 2000, it was named as the “most admired” corporation by Fortune magazine for the sixth year running. 

Clearly, Fortune magazine missed the Darwinian worldview of the Enron corporate culture which had a review committee which graded employees and annually fired the bottom 15 percent who were deemed unsuitable for the company’s objectives.  This created a highly competitive and brutal working environment where trust and teamwork, never mind ethical behavior, could not survive.

My purpose here is not to talk about Enron but to highlight the confusion around what real leadership is and how to cultivate it.  The challenges of the 21st century are requiring greater flexibility and adaptability than ever before.  Management guru Peter Drucker described these demands by saying, “Leaders require the capacity to analyze, to think, to weigh alternatives, and to harmonize dissent.  But they also require the capacity for quick and decisive action, for boldness, and for intuitive courage. They require being at home with abstract ideas, concepts, calculations, and figures.”  That sounds like the intellectual capabilities that were emphasized when I got my MBA.

But Drucker went on to add, “They also require perception of people, a human awareness, empathy, and all together a lively interest in people and respect for them.”  That sounds a lot like the emotional intelligence that Daniel Goleman and others have popularized in recent years understanding that leadership is ultimately about understanding people and how to work with and through others.  

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be interviewed on Atlanta Biz Radio recently on “Building Bridges with Emotional Intelligence and DiSC” which you can listen to here.  My interview starts at about 18 minutes in as there were multiple guests at the studio that morning.

In short, effective leadership is quite multidimensional requiring intelligence, emotional savvy, and flexibility to navigate beyond one’s comfort zones to become well-rounded and more fully expressed.  It requires the ability to respond to rapidly shifting circumstances which requires access to a full range of leadership behaviors most of us just haven’t practiced enough.

As a people-whispering leader, the first step is the first component of emotional intelligence which is self-awareness.  We need to be aware of our strengths and gifts yes, but it is not enough to focus on those alone as many popular management books would have us believe.  Since leadership requires such a broad range of competencies and behaviors, leaders must also understand their “blind spots” by understanding their psychological drivers, motivations, and default stettings or comfort zones.  Without a multidimensional model for leadership, the one-dimensional leader may lack the diverse skills needed to deal with complex challenges and would often choose the most comfortable and inadequate response.

The second step is to understand the strengths and “blind spots” of others or, in emotional intelligence speak, to have social awareness.  Third, stopping at awareness is not enough.  We must learn to adapt to speak to the other in their language and this requires us to broaden our repertoire of leadership skills and grow in new directions. 

For this we need a model of leadership that is multidimensional.  I am excited to announce the forthcoming book to be released by Inscape Publishing authors called The 8 Dimensions of Leadership based upon the DiSC model which does just that.  

The book provides a leadership framework for an individual leader to understand their primary leadership dimension and the psychological drivers, motivations, and “blind spots” typical of their behavioral style.  It also provides solid suggestions on what is most important to their leadership development depending upon the stage in one’s career a person is and the leadership lessons that will help them to get from where they are now to where they want to go.  These lessons relate to the other two components of emotional intelligence which are self-management and relationship management.

I will be offering keynotes and workshops about the book as soon as it is released so stay tuned.   It is exciting in that the model will expand your perspective about what effective leadership is and will help you to chart your own course towards becoming a better leader.  As you learn to stretch and grow, you can expect to become more comfortable in your own skin as a leader.  While your “default” style is valuable you can build upon it by understanding your strengths and your areas for growth.

For assistance on your journey, please feel free to contact me at (404) 327-6330 or via email at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

 

DiSC® Assessment Application:This virtual showcase gives you first-hand experience with the new Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders Profile.  From the comfort of your office, you can participate in a webinar featuring Inscape’s newest product, the Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders.  This isn’t just any 360.  It combines the best of 360’s with the simplicity and power of DiSC, plus 3 strategies for improving leadership effectiveness.Virtual Showcase:  Everything DiSC Application Library for Management, Sales, and Team Applications, June 1, 2011, 4 PM to 5:30 PM Eastern

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

From the comfort of your office, you will participate in a webinar featuring the entire family of Everything DiSC Application products.

One of the biggest benefits of having you and 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 Everything DiSC Workplace profile 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!

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:This month’s coaching tip is short and sweet.  It is simply, know what pushes your buttons and start to notice your patterns so you can be proactive about responding and not reacting to your triggers.We all have pet peeves about people or events that can irritate us until we just want to scream.  Perhaps you have a coworker who is overly dramatic and who has to communicate everything as if it were the first act of a dramatic play.  You, on the other hand, tend to be a more subtle and calm communicator such that their dramatic behavior really gets your goat.

Often our buttons are pushed by people displaying behavior that is the opposite of what we deem appropriate to the situation at hand based upon our style.

Knowing who and what pushes your buttons is essential to developing the ability to take control of those situations, maintain your poise, and calm yourself down.  Knowing why your buttons are pushed can open doors to managing your reactions to your triggers.

Jot down a list of your major triggers and see if you can detect any patterns.  In future issues, I will further develop the self and relationship management strategies that will allow you to successfully manage these situations with grace.

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 Laura@lauraadavis.com.  

To your inspired success!

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!