You are not alone!

pg63_photo I was asked to share some experiences on coaching C-level (CXO) clients in the latest issue of ICN (Int’l Coaching News), what excercises or tools might work well when working with them.

Here’s what I put together on pg 63-64 but you can also read it here:

You are not alone!

This is a conclusion most of my C-level coachees come to after having taken part in a leadership coaching process. But why would they think they had been alone beforehand? The answer is easy: because it is always lonely in the top. Imagine climbing the highest mountains: there is just no room for more. The same with being on the top of a company – you have nobody to share your problems with, to complain about your bosses together or simply to go out for a lunch with. You just have to be the head of a big population with all its authority, respect, trust and sometimes fear. Becoming a leader takes a long way from being a manager. It is the coach who can accompany you in this process. Here are some tools – amongst many –  you can use efficiently.

To stop list

stoptáblaMost people think they need to learn new skills to grow into a new role. Sometimes, on the contrary, it is more important to get rid of certain behaviors. As Peter Drucker said, „Most leaders don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.” Following this logic, Marshall Goldsmith has listed 20 of such behaviors one would better stop to become a great leader:

Winning too much Adding too much value Passing judgment Making destructive comments Starting with „No,” „But,” or „However”
Telling the world how smart we are Speaking when angry Negativity, or „Let me explain why that won’t work” Withholding information Failing to give proper recognition
Claiming credit that we don’t deserve Making excuses Clinging to the past Playing favorites Refusing to express regret
Not listening Failing to express gratitude Punishing the messenger Passing the buck An excessive need to be „me”

Let your coachee pick just one per week and ask him/her to examine his/her everyday activity focusing on that single behavior. Once discovered, you can together determine a path to get rid of it.

Change in emotions

Thinking about options, we tend to limit ourselves to a logical world. This tool helps us to move out of it with questions such as:

  • What would be the most humorous solution?
  • What solution would astonish others?
  • What would you do if you had no emotions and did not have to be mindful of others?
  • What would you do if you had no fears?
  • What would you do if you were not angry?

Hence, an endless line of questions may be developed, with the coach’s creativity as the sole limit.

Johari Window

Johari_windowUframePublished by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955, this tool is intended for the assessment of positive attributes, to measure individual effectiveness. To understand the “self”, two dimensions are delineated – the behavioral features that are known to self and those concerning the person known to others. The areas vary in size in time. As life progresses and a person gains self-knowledge and the people around him/her become acquainted with him/her, the “Blind spot” area continuously shrinks and the size of the other three areas grows correspondingly.  An interactive version of the Johari Window is available on the Internet, consisting of a window containing 25 attribute types (extroverted, introverted, helpful, friendly, etc.). After being asked to select the five words that best describe the individual, you have to enter a unique ID and send it to five stakeholders of yours, asking them to provide their input about your personality traits. You will then receive a link that features your own personal Johari window, with the traits displayed including those known to you but not known to others and those that others think describe you the best but of which you are unaware. It can be a very valuable lesson.

To learn how your coaching competencies are seen by others, visit www.toofulcoach.com for a free Coaching Johari Window test!

 You better check understanding – case study via Laura Komócsin PCC

Many coaching clients look for support in growing from a manager role to true leader. We often share with them a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupery: ‘If you want to build a ship, you should not recruit people to saw the wood and assign them other tasks but you should tell them about the wonders of a sea cruise.’This story is about a CEO who was able to give very inspiring speeches about the wonders of a sea cruise, so her team was already building the ship. Still one day she called her coach to complain that one of her colleagues does not complete the tasks the way she would like.

  • Coach: Does he know what you expect from him?
  • Client: I’ve told him a hundred times how I would like this thing done.
  • Coach: But did he understand? Does he know what you expect from him?
  • Client: I just said, I’ve told him a hundred times.
  • Coach: I’ll ask you again because I didn’t get a clear answer: Does he know what you expect from him?
  • Client: Aha! Now I understand. It’s not enough that I tell him a hundred times, I should check if he really understood what I told him. Let’s stop this session right now, I’ll go back to the office and find out right away. Thank you and we’ll see each other in two weeks.

’The best leader can pick the right men to do what he wants and has enough self-restraint not to interfere with their work’. Theodore Roosevelt



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