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Coaching as a Non Contact Sport

While we are all still sorting through the ups and downs of the economy, hearing that the recession is over, yet, the unemployment rate is higher, makes us all feel bi-polar. The question is who and what to believe.   So when you begin to feel both positive and doubtful at the same time, what do you do? I just hung up the phone, yes it is still so good to hear a real voice in a real conversation, and it was a new person who had been referred for our coaching services.   When I asked what was the push that sent him to the phone to call his reply was interesting. Here is what he said, “I have been hiding under my covers for the past three days and decided it was time to start facing what I was hiding from.”   By the time we finished the initial interview we were in agreement that he could benefit from weekly coaching sessions, at least until he could get out of bed in the morning and not rush to retreat and pull the covers high over his head.   Was he really hiding under the covers or was it just a metaphor? It doesn’t matter. What this man is really saying is that he is an avoider and would rather find a way to do anything but face the situation at hand.   Coaching will help him look at the reasons why he resists conflict and find the answers on how to change the avoider behavior pattern to its healthy opposite, the initiator.   Stay tuned to learn...

From Cheerleader to Coach

Workplace coaching is pretty common these days and is needed more than ever. When stress hits the hot button most of us have a hard time seeing through the color red that coats our perceptions.   Red is universally understood as a color for survival or to provoke. Red light when we are driving means stop. Red flag means danger. We “see red” when we are furious. Red cape in front of a bull gets him going. Gossip can be described as red hot.   When cheerleaders want the crowd at a game revved up they can wave red scarves and the stands get fired up, red hot, for the home team.   That’s the job of a cheerleader. Not so for the coach. That job requires a steady hand and skill to keep the players cool and clear headed; passionate yet purposeful.  It’s the same way at work as on the field.   Coaching in the work setting can save both time and money. When we are red hot under the collar and a coach can help us find the way out of the upset it can shorten the length of time to stay angry and also limit the depth of the dissention.   Every team I have worked with using the OUT technique through our PatternAware™ Coaching has learned to keep the color red out of the crucial conversations that inevitably have to take place for conflict resolution to occur.   We can all learn to coach each other for positive results to take place. The key factors of successful coaching using the OUT technique concerns the...

Leadership Lessons in 5 Minutes a Day: Or What is Really Possible

There are so many get rich, get smart, get published, get promoted, get successful, schemes out there. So many promises of what you can do in one minute, a day or a week end. I am finally coming out of the closet to say, rubbish to all the hype!   Have you ever noticed that we humans are complex, multi-layered beings? I  guess if we were like flat worms and just divided in half to procreate we could get rich, smart, published and successful in the blink of an eye.   However, unless you weren’t paying attention, it takes two of us to procreate (and maybe even a few good doctors in the mix). And without difficulties it is a nine month process to get ready to be born, and then maybe 28 years to become a bona fide adult. (The newest research in sociology says adolescence is now officially over when we hit the ripe young age of 28).   My major area of interest is leadership. I love to read about leaders, the successful, the skillful, the demons, and the scum. I always love to see how they came to be the kind of leader they have become and what can be learned from their lives.   Leadership is more than a skill. Sure, you can learn the words, practice the speech, and look at yourself in the mirror to foster charisma. And you can have your five minutes of glory like so many do.   Leadership is a perspective. It is an art that takes years to develop, to understand, to earn. Ideas build upon each...

Leadership Development and Ethical Capitalism

I’m on a roll with wanting to understand economics differently. I must admit, I gave up counting in third grade, never liked numbers, and preferred the messy world of emotions to the precision of math.   However, as I research the impact of money on our lives for my new e-book (soon to be ready “Ka-Ch’ing! How Family Patterns Play with Your Money Mind), I am becoming more and more fascinated with those who have new ideas about how to distribute and divide our global wealth.   I recently happened upon a Cambridge University economist (the U.K. is certainly in my consciousness these days) who has some exciting ideas about what we are doing and what to do about it. Her name is Noreena Hertz and she is a bright light in a complex and often unwieldy academic science.   It may be that her message, one that has been whispered about in organizations, rarely said loudly and boldly, is that markets need to serve the interests of people as much as they serve companies and shareholders. Check out her book “The Silent Takeover” (2001) about how unsustainable laissez-faire capitalism is and the idea that markets are stable.   As I keep a pulse on trends, one that is staying loud and strong, is about radical transparency. It may be because the internet tracks things in the blink of an eye, it may be that enough individuals in the younger generations are asking better questions, it may be that we know we can’t survive with underhanded deals and power struggles as a major form of business transaction.   Hertz...

Leadership Strategies and Economist Perspectives

Yesterday I wrote about a husband and wife who are economists stationed in Afghanistan. Somehow, that set up a stream of connections about the world structure from an economic perspective. The next night, still in London, there was a CNBC show called “House of Cards” about the failures of Wall Street and the mortgage mess. It grabbed my attention.   While riding the Tube, eating fish and chips, window shopping, meeting with clients, talking with friends, my mind had a strong background song repeating and repeating about power, evil and possibilities (or the lack of them!).     One thing that stands out like a broken record is an Alan Greenspan comment made on the CNBC special when he was interviewed about how the house of cards was built and how it tumbled down. He smiled a weary smile and then acknowledged that the essence of the situation was greed and that greed is something that has always been and always will. He indicated that what happened would have happened no matter what structures would have been put in place. He also felt this will happen again and again because people are just greedy. That’s it! Greed always has been and always will be.   I wonder if any of you reading this have a different point of view? Is greed the driving force of business? Is leadership development training about ethics and morals a waste of time? Is it best to protect ourselves, play it close to the chest, and only worry about ourselves and our families?  Is having a social conscience naïve and ultimately a way to head...