CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 13 April 2002

Brought to you by the Brefi Group: "Developing your business through strategy, facilitation and executive coaching – internationally."

Web site: http://www.brefigroup.co.uk
Editor: Richard Winfield, rwinfield@brefigroup.co.uk
Subscribers: 2036 copies, worldwide

Welcome to this issue of CorporateCoach – a free newsletter for senior executives and teams in organisations interested in using coaching to improve corporate performance. Please share it with colleagues and contacts who will benefit from reading it.

NB. You are very welcome to copy these articles to your web site or newsgroup as long as you credit us and include our contact URL: www.brefigroup.co.uk

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HOT NEWS: We are delighted to have passed the 2000 subscribers threshold this month. Best wishes to all our readers.

We are also delighted to welcome Colin Eveleigh as an associate, based in Hampshire. He joins Carol Newland and Tim Paget in our South of England team. They are focusing on Southampton and the Solent. So, if you live or work in this area, you know that you have an excellent team nearby.

Colin is a chartered organisational psychologist, with an MSc in Organisational Psychology and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has broad experience in finance, engineering, retail, manufacturing, service, consultancy and public sector organisations, and has conducted assignments in Europe, the US and the Far East.

Colin works primarily as a leadership coach with senior executives, managing directors and CEOs. [More]


CONTENTS

  1. Editorial: Our attitudes affect our staff development
  2. Coaching notes: Preventing your employees from failing (2)
  3. Book review: NLP at Work
  4. Tools notes: The logical levels in coaching


WORKSHOPS 1: We are celebrating the opening of the IoD hub in Birmingham with a series of workshops.

The essence of Corporate Coaching
Wednesday 29 May, 5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday 18 June, 2.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Tuesday 18 June, 5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday 16 July, 2.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Tuesday 16 July, 5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.

These regular workshops will introduce the key techniques used in Brefi Group Corporate Coaching.

Corporate coaching is executive coaching undertaken within the context of an organisation's vision, mission, values – and strategy. By working within an organisation as well as with individuals, corporate coaching extracts the synergy that is greater than the sum of the parts.

This interactive workshop is designed to enable directors, senior executives, HR professionals and other influencers to test for themselves the powerful tools of coaching that they can use in their work or private life.

It will explain how coaching:

  • Addresses real situations
  • Takes little time
  • Produces immediate results

Coaching involves:

  • Visualising a future
  • Identifying needs
  • Setting goals
  • Confronting obstacles

Coaching:

  • Keeps ownership with the client
  • Draws on existing resources
  • Spreads benefits through the organisation

Spaces are limited. To find out more or to book contact us now.


1.     Editorial: Our attitudes affect our staff development

I have been reading Brian Keenan's account of his time as a hostage in Beirut and his relationship with his kidnappers. One of them wanted Brian to give him English lessons. A passage he found in a textbook was based on the well-worn cliche that 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter'. Keenan says that his student's reading was good but he was convinced that the reader had little knowledge of the meaning, and so tried to explain what it was about.

"I quickly became aware of something that I was to become convinced of during my time with these men – that their capacity for conceptual thoughts was severely underdeveloped. To try to teach any language, which is overwhelmingly about meaning, to someone who does not have any kind of analytical capacity is extremely wearying."

I read recently in the press that in the UK a large percentage of children starting school in inner city areas are underdeveloped in their learning and social skills. They have not had the conversation and interaction, they have not been read to and challenged, have not had creative play opportunities that are expected in a healthy upbringing. As a result they are set some 18 months behind the norm for their age.

As managers we can influence stretch our staff by the stimulation we give to them at work and our attitude to their abilities. As Sue Knight says in the second edition of NLP at Work, "We influence others by the beliefs we hold in them, irrespective of the facts or the circumstances. "If I can see the confident part in you, my interactions with you invite that part of you to emerge.""


WORKSHOPS 2: POWERHiring™ for managers and recruiters
Wednesday 29 May, 1.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.

Also at the IoD hub, this highly dynamic workshop run by our associate Whitewater is an introduction to the unique POWERHiring™ approach to recruitment which dramatically increases hiring accuracy by focusing on candidates ability to do the job rather than their ability to get the job. POWERHiring™ attracts stronger professional candidates, reduces staff turnover and builds stronger teams and leaders.

This interactive workshop is geared for both managers and recruiters. It covers performance profiling, objective evaluation, wide-ranging sourcing and recruiting, emotional control, and recruiting right.

Participants will learn the most important interview question of all time and just how much their biases and emotions can contribute to poor recruitment decisions.

Spaces are limited. Fee 35 per head includes all workshop materials.

Whitewater is an executive search firm with roots deep in management development, consultancy and corporate coaching. The application of POWERHiring™ and performance profiles to this experience amplifies the success of pure search and selection techniques.


2.     Coaching notes: Preventing your employees from failing (2)

Are You Strong Enough To Face Facts: Poor Employee Performance Could Be Your Fault

In the March issue, we reviewed a case study regarding one client of mine whose company was facing some monumental obstacles in the area of employee performance. In this conclusion, I?ll offer solutions to some of those challenges and provide steps to overcome and move forward.

When stepping up to the challenge of low employee performance, a plan is most definitely a necessity. In order to create an action plan, you must first answer some tough questions.

You need to find out precisely what you are dissatisfied with. Is your business as successful as you think it is? Compare your business with the competition. How much business did you gain in the last year? What are you doing to keep your customers coming back?

Next, ask yourself, "What kind of manager am I"?

In order to develop motivated employees, you first need to create a successful organisation and become an empowered and progressive leader. This means continually questioning your own actions and behaviour. This is what places us in a better position to understand the way we perform, work and live.

A great starting point is to ask yourself a few more questions. What are you really trying to achieve a year from today? What are the company objectives three years from today? Simply stated, where do you see the company going within a year? Can you picture this as a journey? When will you arrive at your goal? Do you have a map at your disposal?

This end destination is also your beginning point. With your new vision in mind you begin working backwards and communicating the end results you?ll work toward to your employees.

Your dissatisfaction about the gap between your people?s performance and potential may arise from the fact that you are not creating an environment conducive to that behaviour. Your control of owning each problem and love for your work may not help you to think strategically about how to provide them with the resources to be better employees. Your people need to know how to build and implement systems that will facilitate the process and how to draw and execute a realistic organisational structure.

The only place they have to look toward is you – their manager. If they get no direction, no communication, no feedback ... then they naturally become dissatisfied, lazy and uninterested.

Below are the solutions to some challenges that can help you progress in creating an environment that will assist in your own growth, and that of your employees.

Communicate Your Vision: This is one of the most challenging tasks for a leader. Too often leaders have visions and they know where they are headed but they believe their people can read their minds. I challenge you to reflect for a moment on how often you communicate explicitly to your staff. When was the last time you spoke to them about your passions? Have you ever mentioned a reason or explanation for your actions?

Focus On Employee Behaviour, Too: Employees get easily caught in the manus that the company is not nurturing them and that there is no camaraderie amongst the departments. Despite the politics that are prevalent in corporate America most of the problems arise because people are not or will not break out of their comfort zone. In order to change your world, you have to be willing to change. How can you help them see this without causing a defensive reaction? By patiently coaching them to change their mindset and behavior. Once you learn to become the coach, you can help your employees realise that they are the only ones responsible for their actions and choices.

Encourage Owning Your Own Problems: When your people come to you with questions and problems, what do you think they really want? Solutions? Yes, but more than that. The truth is that they want you to take ownership of their problem. They want you either to fix it or have someone else do the work that they found cumbersome or challenging. However, when employees aren?t required to own their own problems, they become overly dependent on you and other team members. This leads to an expectation that all problems and challenges will be "fixed" by someone else. Rather than solving the problem for them, help them see the alternatives for solving the problem themselves. You can do this by asking great questions that will empower them to find the resources and processes that will get them where they want to go.

People in general want to be great at their work. If they are not it is usually because either their managers or the company does not allow them to shine. Remember Buckingham?s word from his famous bestseller First Break All the Rules. Buckingham stated, "Employees leave not companies but leave their managers".

If you want to improve your employees? performance you need to realise that their actions are directly related to how you behave. You have a great opportunity to shape the way they perform by influencing their expectations. You can influence what people expect and you can influence how people perform. If you want to change the results your employees are bringing you, you will have to change yourself first. Focus on your goals, expectations, contexts and your actions and let your people grow and be the best that they can be!

Carole Nicolaides

Carole is President and Executive Coach of Progressive Leadership Inc who thrives on helping individuals and organizations discover and leverage their unique strengths. She also offers training and consulting in Knowledge Management and Leadership Development. Visit www.progressiveleadership.com for more info & subscribe to her FREE Ezine.


HOT TIP: The Brefi Group web site is packed with information – over 350 pages including 80 pages of downloadable forms and learning resources. Remember to use the site search facility. You may be surprised just how much you will find about what you are looking for.


3.     Book review: NLP at Work – second edition

I have long claimed that NLP at Work was the best NLP book published in Britain.

I have trained in various NLP schools; what attracted me to Sue Knight was the easy way in which the teaching is integrated – not a lot of individual techniques, but one continuous learning experience. And NLP at Work is just like that – an easy read and a practical guide.

Since its publication in 1995 many other NLP books have been written by British practitioners, including others about business.

So, how has Sue improve improved the second edition?

Well, the differences first. It has grown from 230 pages to 374, and yet after seven years the price has increased by only 2.00. It is written in American English – a sign of the international appeal of this book (I have found it in bookshops in Kentucky and Johannesburg). She has added chapters on body language, metamessages, resolving conflict, high performance coaching, modelling and hypnotic language. There are many more little stories of people she has worked with. And, of course, it is "completely revised and updated".

I started by reading the wholly new chapters. so let me just quote some of the things I have highlighted:

  • "Legacy does not have to be only what you leave when you die; it is what you leave when you leave a meeting, leave a room, leave a company.
  • "To bring about change it is necessary to work at least one (logical) level above the one you want to influence.
  • "Those traits in others (good and bad) that affect us emotionally are those very traits in which we have an imbalance in some way.
  • "If I give you this feedback what will you do with it?"
  • "An agreed and meaningful set of values provides a code of practice for how to go about the business. Having this leads to a culture of autonomy and ownership.
  • "A metamessage is what is communicated but not said.
  • And ... "I have seen a new and different style of achievement develop in the last five years. This relies more and more on our ability to allow outcomes to unfold. We have to be able to walk forward with faith into a world that is chaotic and abstract and allow the opportunities to present themselves. What we do need to be able to do, however, is to be so aligned, so true to what we believe, that we are in a position to seize these opportunties when they occur."

Obviously, the new chapter on coaching is of particular interest, and I quote from it in this issue's Tools notes.

Coaching, says Sue, is not about facts, it is about processes and beliefs. We influence others by the beliefs we hold in them, irrespective of the facts or the circumstances. "If I can see the confident part in you, my interactions with you invite that part of you to emerge."

Coaching requires us to be prepared to give others the space to make their own mistakes and realise their own successes. They can only do this if we encourage them to do things their way and learn from doing so. It is an emotional process. When we coach others we need to be very clear about whose emotions we are dealing with.

For each of us our most influential state is congruence. Congruence is a state of total rapport with oneself when all aspects of who we are and what we are doing are in alignment.

As NLP coaches we believe that we have all the resources we ever need. The question is: "How do we find them?"

You could read this excellent book – or employ a coach.

Click here to buy NLP at Work. Or visit our books site for more ideas and recommendations.


HOT TIP 2: Our on-line management skills analysis at /feedback/introduction.do has attracted more than 1,600 users. If you haven't used it yet why not check it out now. You will find separate training needs analysis forms for Personal Effectiveness, Managing Communications, Managing People, Effective Directorship and Corporate Culture. Complete one and you will receive an instant analysis, together with a comparison with the results of others who have already used them.


4.     Tools notes: The logical levels in coaching

The logical levels are a valuable part of the Brefi Group toolkit. This month I am delighted to quote from the chapter on High Performance Coaching from NLP at Work.

"One of the simplest and yet sometimes most powerful ways of using the logical levels of change model is to coach using questions to chunk up and chunk down the levels to recognise in what ways you are (or are not) making a decision that is congruent. The questions with which to do this are shown in the following (table)."

 Logical level coaching questions
Purpose

What does this enable me to contribute to others?

What does that enable me to contribute to others?

Identity

How does this fit with who I am (becoming)?

How does that enhance my sense of who I am (becoming)?

Beliefs and values

How does this fit with what is important to me?

How does that reinforce what is important for me?

Capabilities

How does this draw on my capabilities?

What (further) capabilities can I strengthen/draw on/develop?

Behaviour

What do I want to do?

What specifically will I do now?

Environment

Does my environment fit?

How will that influence my environment/how can my environment support me?

You can download a diagram and table with other questions that we use around the logical levels from www.brefigroup.co.uk/resources/index.do.


We aim to make the Brefi Group web site family the premier UK developmental site for teams and individuals in organisations, so do please send us your suggestions and requests for further development. And let us know what you think of this newsletter, and comment on the content.

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If you enjoyed this newsletter, you might also enjoy Career Coach for those interested in using coaching to improve their career performance.


Brefi Group is a change management organisation that provides corporate coaching, consultancy, facilitation and training. We can also advise you an your Internet strategy and design web sites.

Be sure to visit the Brefi Group web site at www.brefigroup.co.uk

We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

Telephone: +44 (0) 7970 891 343
E-mail: rwinfield@brefigroup.co.uk