Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CAN LEADERS BE HUMAN?

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This is my first post in several months. I have been preparing to retire from the Navy at the end of this month. I very much appreciated all of the emails and messages asking when I was going to post again. I am hoping to gradually get my posting schedule back to a daily status. I hope you enjoy my blog and will continue to support it. Thanks!


The media has been full of incidents where leaders have made poor decisions. The disturbing thing to me is that these so called, leaders, have acted like they cannot accept responsibility for their actions. They instead try to re-direct their actions, blame others, or act as if they have no knowledge of the events. I've spoken several times on this blog about social media and the dangers of using it improperly. Whether it be sending inappropriate pictures via twitter, or posting pictures of your spring break party on Facebook. You have to understand that you are under a microscope as a leader. Especially if you are an elected official.

What do you do if you discover that you've made a mistake or shown bad judgement?


  1. Accountability: You must hold yourself accountable, just as you would one of your employees. If you cannot, then don't expect your employees to respect or work for you.
  2. Responsibility: Acknowledge your mistake. Do not try and hide it or blame it on someone or something else. It shows much more character when you acknowledge your mistakes, then it does to lie about or try and cover them up. It also shows your employees that it's OK to make a mistake. 
  3. Learn from it: To me this is one of the greatest tools that a mistake or bad judgement can give you. Learn from it, understand why you made the decision you did. Understand how you could have made a better decision. 
  4. Take action: Once you have learned from your poor decision making, take the appropriate steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Whether it is not hitting the, "Send" button or defending your incorrect understanding of American history. 
I understand that it's easy to look in on someone else and say, "Just take responsibility for your actions" I have made my share of mistakes as a leader, and on a personal level. I have always made a point to take responsibility for my actions, hold my self accountable and to try and learn from it. It's not fun, it's embarrassing and can cause pain to others. In the long run though, it causes growth and stronger relationships. More importantly, it creates better, human, leaders. 

Why is it important to have accountability as a Leader? Does it show strength or weakness? Why or why not?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

THIEVES, LIARS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

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I came across this quote:


leaders who do not hold their people accountable to a set standard are, in effect, thieves and liars. Thieves because they are stealing from the stockholder who pays them to hold people accountable, and liars because they pretend that everything is OK with their people when in fact everything is not OK.— James C. Hunter, The Servant Quote source


The quote speaks to accountability, What is accountability?, Why is it important?, and how do you hold yourself and others accountable? These are the questions I would like to try and answer.


What is accountability? Merriam-Webster defines Accountability as:  the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions (Emphasis mine). I would totally agree with this definition of Accountability. I believe that accountability is accepting responsibility and being accountable for one's actions/duties.


Why is it important? If you ever want to grow your people and their skill sets then you have to hold  them accountable to a standard. If you don't, they will go the path of least resistance. As I mentioned in my article, Expectations: If you Raise it, they will meet it. You can't set or raise expectations for your people and then not hold them accountable to it. As the quote above mentions, you are lying to yourself, your bosses and your people. If you don't acknowledge and do something about people not meeting the standard or expectations that are set.


When you set new expectations, be ready for some push back from some or all of your people. People are creatures of habit, most people don't like to change their routines or work habits. Some are even comfortable with doing the bare minimum that they need to do to get paid. These are the people that will be the real challenge in getting them to reach higher. That's why it's imperative to follow the next steps.


How do you hold your people accountable? 

  • Walk the talk: If you've set higher expectations or standards for your people, you have to be first willing to show by example how the new expectation or standards are to be met. You can't tell them to reach higher and then sit back and keep doing the minimum as the leader.
  • Communicate: In very simple terms, outline what your expectations are for each of your people. Explain to them why the higher expectations are being set and the fact that your doing it due to the fact that you believe in their abilities to meet them.
  • Training: If your new expectations or standards require it, train your people in the area's or skill sets that will enable them to meet the new expectations or standards. 
  • Evaluate and Mentor: Watch and see how your people are doing, talk with them throughout the process, find out what new challenges or obstacles they are facing. Help them by either removing the obstacles or by helping them work through the challenges. Once you've evaluated and mentored them, hold them to the standard. The mentor part will be extremely helpful in helping them come to grips with the higher expectations. If you stay connected and communicate with your people, they will get to where they need to be.
I can't stress enough the need to continuously communicate and mentor your people when setting new standards. It will help tremendously in holding them accountable. When you hold people accountable, it shows them that you care about them and want to help them be better.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

GLORY HOUND

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Photoexpress

Glory Hound:A person seeking accolades at the expense of everyone else, particularly peers~ Urban Dictionary
Ray is such a glory hound. He did nothing on that project, but he presented it to management as if he had done all the work.

We've all seen the individual who was and is responsible for every great thing or work that has happened in his work center or department. He just happens to always drop a few of his minor "successes" at meetings or in front of the boss. They love to talk about themselves and what great things they've done. Despite their team, they single handily made it happen. Really? 


If your a Glory hound, get over yourself and let some of that praise go to the people who are busting their butts getting the real work done. The people who are missing out on their kids play or ball game. The people who are working on weekends to make the deadline.


Self promotion as a leader at the expense of others is hypocrisy at best, narcissistic at worst. Stop believing your own hype and look at what your doing to your "Followers", you know, the people you are leading.

  • Destroy their will: Yes, you are destroying their will to work and sacrifice for you. They stand by and watch as you snatch the golden ring from their hand each time you take credit for their hard work.
  • Destroy their self-worth: You let them feel as if their work is not as valuable as your next promotion. You overshadow everything they do, by waiting for the completed task to be mentioned and then taking credit for the final product.
  • Allow them all the negative praise: Yep, that project was a flop, you have no problem letting that one slide down the line. 
  • Destroy their loyalty: Not only do you lose their loyalty, but the company loses their loyalty as well. Additionally, they certainly will not be recommending or actively recruiting anyone to come work for you.
  • Create a "Stab you in the back" culture: When a glory hound is present, everyone else starts to look out for number one, make sure you get in your good word before they do. Everyone is worried about getting theirs, so no one wins
  • Destroy Unity/Team: There is no team, or team effort: You are the sole cause of success. Without you, the whole department or work center would have failed miserably. 
  • Destroy motivation and effort: No one who works for you is motivated to do anymore then what is required of them. No one wants to go the extra mile or make the extra effort to meet the deadline. Due to the fact that they know you'll just swoop in to get the credit. 
All of this sounds harsh, it is. A self-serving leader is the worst kind of leader. They use their people up like a natural resource to get their next promotion. No one enjoys working for this person, everyone is just hoping that you fall flat on your face at some point, or that upper management will finally catch on to your behavior and escort you to the door. 

My advice, if you want to be noticed. Lead your team and celebrate their successes. Believe me, your boss will notice that your team or project is successful and will be two and two together. You don't have to sacrifice your people, or their hard work, to get promoted. 

Any thoughts or comments? Please share, it is appreciated. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

EXPECTATIONS: IF YOU RAISE IT, THEY WILL MEET IT

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Barbu Cristian
Are you challenging your people? Do you not only set the example of how to work, but are you setting expectations at a level that makes them truly excel?

"High expectations are the key to everything"~ Sam Walton


Many times we underestimate the abilities of our people. We allow them to put forth minimal effort and allow them to think that is the standard. What would happen if you raised the bar? What if you made them truly work to meet the expectations in your office, workplace or company?

I've personally had the bar raised on me several different times in my career. Each time I thought it was because my leader didn't like me or was trying to get me to quit. I didn't realize in the moment that they were truly trying to make me better and to realize my own potential. While the bar was being raised, I have to admit that at times I was miserable. I felt like nothing I did was good enough or would make them happy with the effort I put forth.

      

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”~Charles F. Kettering


Each time though, I learned more about myself and discovered untapped capabilities resting just below the surface. It made me better, it challenged me and made me not settle for average. I spoke of one such leader that I had, Jim Anderson, in my post, the Ripple effect. Master Chief Anderson saw something in me and made a point of raising expectations for me. I didn't like it at first, but over time and long after, I realized what a great thing he had done for me.

There is not a, "One bar fits all" approach here. You have to evaluate each of your people and set individual bars. Not everyone will meet your expectations, you have to be able to determine if it's a lack of want to, or the ability to do so. If it's a situation where you missed on their ability, reset the bar. If it's a, lack of wanting to meet your expectations, then you have to find the proper motivation to get them to reach higher.

What does raising the bar do for your people?:

  • It destroys the status quo: When you let people see that their "Normal" work performance will not suffice, it will reset the norm in your office. 
  • It unleashes your workers potential: There are those that work for you that do not truly know their potential, mainly because no one has ever raised the expectations for their work performance. You will be amazed at the transformation that will take place with your people when they understand and take to heart their own potential.
  • A culture of excellence will become the standard: Over time, a culture of excellence will start to develop and build in your office or on your team. It will cause buy in, loyalty and better attitudes toward challenges as well. Members will hold each other accountable to this new standard as well. 
“Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.”~Ralph Marston

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's day and Washington's farewell address

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S. 623, A bill to make the 22nd day of February,
 George Washington's Birthday,
RG 46, Records of the United States Senate.
I came across this interesting fact about President's day or Washington's birthday, however you like to think of today. Tomorrow, the Senate will read Washington's farewell address, which was written by George Washington in 1796, and first appeared in the Philadelphia  Daily American Advertiser and then in papers around the country.

The Senate tradition began on February 22, 1862, as a morale-boosting gesture during the darkest days of the Civil War.  Citizens of Philadelphia had petitioned Congress to commemorate the forthcoming 130th anniversary of Washington's birth by reading the Address at a joint meeting of both houses.  
Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson introduced the petition in the Senate.  "In view of the perilous condition of the country," he said, "I think the time has arrived when we should recur back to the days, the times, and the doings of Washington and the patriots of the Revolution, who founded the government under which we live."
The practice of reading the Farewell Address did not immediately become a tradition. The address was first read in regular legislative sessions of the Senate in 1888 and the House in 1899. (The House continued the practice until 1984.) Since 1893 the Senate has observed Washington’s birthday by selecting one of its members to read the Farewell Address. The assignment alternates between members of each political party. At the conclusion of each reading, the appointed senator inscribes his or her name and brief remarks in a black, leatherbound book maintained by the secretary of the Senate.
In 1956, Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey wrote that every American should study this memorable message. “It gives one a renewed sense of pride in our republic,” he wrote. “It arouses the wholesome and creative emotions of patriotism and love of country.”
  • Extolls the benefits of the federal government. "The unity of government...is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence...of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize."
  • Warns against the party system. "It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration....agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one....against another....it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption...thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."
  • Stresses the importance of religion and morality. "Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?"
  • On stable public credit. "...cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible...avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt....it is essential that you...bear in mind, that towards the payments of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not...inconvenient and unpleasant..."
  • Warns against permanent foreign alliances. "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world..."
  • On an over-powerful military establishment. "...avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty."
"the name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism..."~ George Washington


Sunday, February 20, 2011

LIVING A LIFE THAT IMPACTS OTHERS

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This part two in my series on the Top10 leadership principles of Jesus from the, "The Maxwell leadership bible". You can find number 1 and 2 here if you didn't get the chance to read it. 


Number's 3 and 4 are: Live the life before you lead others and Impact comes from relationships, not positions.


#3: Live the life before you lead others (Luke 7:22, 23; John 14:11)


So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a]are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)


Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me. Luke 7:23 (NIV)


Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. John 14:11 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)


John the Baptist had sent messengers to inquire of Jesus if he was indeed the messiah or if he should be expecting another. Jesus reply in Luke 7:22 was one of, "Look at how I live and what I do" He was answering the messengers by letting them see that he was living his life as the example of how we should live. The great part about Jesus was that he didn't say one thing and then do another. He literally practiced what he preached, no pun intended. He didn't live his life and minister to those that others felt he should be ministering to. He went to the heart of the problem and dealt with people where they where. He didn't say, "Get your life right and then come to me" He did what any good leader does and that is go to the people where they are and lead them to a better way. 


Sitting in your office and waiting for your people to come to you, is not the way to lead. You have to leave your comfort zone and go out into the places where your people work and are in their comfort zones. Most people are very tense and nervous when they have to come to your office and talk to you. If you go to them, they will be more comfortable and will not feel intimidated. Plus, you coming to them shows them you care enough to come to where they are. 


This is something we, as leaders, need to take to heart. We can't tell people, we have to show people. We can't wait for people to get to where we think they need to be before we start leading them. We have to go where they are in their experience and work and lead them from there to a better way. We must first show by example, we must practice what we preach, walk the talk, etc...


#4: Impact comes from relationships, not positions. (Luke 9:6; John 4:5-30).


When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them:“Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. Luke 9:1-6 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)


The interesting thing about this is how Jesus delegates the work to the apostles. He first empowers them and gives them authority. He then gives them directions in how to carry out their work. He has already shown them how to work by them being there watching him. He showed them the impact on others by going to the people where they where. If you notice, Jesus tells them to rely on the relationships they make while they are out doing their work for food, shelter and clothing. He also doesn't tell them to use their positions as his disciples to do their work. He empowers them to do their own work, even though he is the source of their strength. 



So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
 17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
   Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
   21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him

The fact that Jesus went through Samaria to get to Galilee is quite significant for that time. Here's why, Jesus was a Jew and in Jewish culture the Samaritan's where seen as unclean, a mixed race, and didn't practice Judaism. Therefore, due to their hatred of the Samaritan's, Jews would travel out of their way to avoid going through Samaria. By going the direct route through Samaria, instead of the traditional route, Jesus once again shows us his desire to reach those that are labeled, "Undesirable" 


What can we learn about true leadership from this encounter?

  • Leaders initiate contact: Jesus spoke first to the Samaritan woman. She would have never spoken to him first, due to him being a male, stranger and a Jew.
  • Leaders establish common ground: Jesus established the common ground by asking for a drink of water, the woman was there to draw water from the well.
  • Leaders listen and allow others to speak: Jesus let her do most of the talking, leading the conversation, but not dominating it.
  • Leaders arouse interest: Jesus sparked her interest by speaking of, "Living water"
  • Leaders take others only as far as they are ready to go: Jesus didn't try and push the woman to accept what she couldn't. She was still focused on her own materialistic condition of having to work to get water.
  • Leaders accept others where they are: Jesus knew where this woman was in her life, even when she acknowledged her lifestyle, Jesus continued to minister to her. He didn't tell her to go and get her life straight and then come back.
  • Leaders stick with the key issues: Jesus kept the conversation leading her to the knowledge that she needed the salvation that Jesus offered.
  • Leaders communicate issues directly and simply: When she made mention of the messiah, Jesus acknowledged that he was the messiah.  
  • (These points taken from page 1308 of, "The maxwell leadership bible")
Next Sunday, #5: Leaders must replenish themselves (Mark 1:35-38; 6:31)
#6: Great Leaders call for great commitment (Matthew 10:17; Mark 8:34 - 38)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Learning Styles

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Last weeks post, "Stupid people" was a post written more out of frustration then anything. I received some great comments on it and I'm appreciative of them. I had this post in mind, as a follow up, when John left this great comment last week,


"I have also worked with stupid people, at least I thought I had. I learned early in my career that all those stupid people really aren't stupid; some are just different. I had one lad assigned to my platoon in the Army (many years ago now) that really just didn't get it. Fitz was always wrong. That is, wrong until the day I finally figured it out. Fitz wasn't wrong - he saw the world differently than the rest of us. I learned that when someone made what looked like a stupid mistake to stop a minute and ask myself: "How would Fitz have done this?" I learned to look at the world through other's eyes when the situation called for it - all became better after that"


John made a great point. Sometimes the way we are looking at things, doesn't mean that's the way they are. We all learn differently, we all respond to different stimuli, we all see things differently then others from time to time. Does this make us stupid? No, I don't think so. Can it be challenging, yes, indeed. How we handle each of our relationships is a true work of art. We can't package up a, "one size fits all" leadership or teaching approach. That's why there are thousands of different theories and books on how to lead and on how to teach others. 


To be good leaders, we have to understand how to adapt our style to that of how each of our people learn. I have found that most of the time, honey gets you more than vinegar, and that patience is the main ingredient required to teach others. 


What are some ways that we can help our people learn or get better at a procedure or task?
  • Communication: I've found times that when someone is not performing their job or task up to par it is usually due to the fact that the process wasn't properly communicated. Something got left out, or they where rushed through the process, etc..
  • Learning style: Talk with the person and find out what ways help them learn the easiest. Some people are more visual, or they learn easier by doing it themselves, or by watching someone else demonstrate the process. Whichever way works, doesn't matter, just as long as the end result is accomplished, and that is the person learns what they need to know to be proficient at their task.
  • step-by-step: Once the process or task has been properly communicated, I like to follow up by taking them through the process step-by-step, explaining the step and why it falls where it does. I also like to explain why the step impacts the rest of the process or which step has more effect on the rest.
  • Have the expert show them: Whoever on your team has mastered the process or task, have them go through it with the person that's having the trouble. This helps the "expert" learn how to teach and mentor, while it allows the person having the trouble see how you want it to be accomplished. 
  • Have someone with a different teaching style teach them: There have been times in my career when I've not been able to teach or communicate properly with someone when trying to help them learn or get better at a task. I've often went to one of my peers and asked them to try and help the person get better. Having a different person explain, show and teach can often times make a world of difference. 
  • Have them write up a Standard operating procedure (SOP): Another good way to help someone learn a process, is to have them write their own operating procedure for the task. It helps them slow down and really look at each step. Often times it causes them to concentrate on the associated documentation with a more, fine tooth comb, approach. It also let's you see what they know about what they are doing in each step or task. 
What are some of the ways that you have found that help other's learn a new task or process?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Successful Coaching (Guest Post by Kevin Eikenberry)

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Yesterday we had the honor of highlighting Guy Harris with a guest post. Today we are honored to highlight Kevin Eikenberry, the other half of the dynamic authors of , "From Bud to Boss." A leadership book that many are saying is going to be one of the top leadership books of 2011. It is being released today, with a lot of great incentives and gifts for purchasing it today. So, I highly encourage you to take advantage of the great offers that are available today for the book release. Go to http://launch.budtobosscommunity.com/ to buy your copy today. 

A little more about the author. Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group , a learning consulting company that has been helping organizations, teams, and individuals 
reach their potential since 1993. Emphasizing the power of learning, Kevin’s specialties include leadership, teams and teamwork, organizational culture,facilitating change, and more.

Kevin’s philosophy in business and in life is that every person and every organization 
has extraordinary potential. Investments of time, energy, focus, and money are 
required for that potential to be realized. He believes learning is an active, ongoing process, not a passive, onetime event

Successful Coaching by Kevin Eikenberry

Being an effective coach is a leadership skill – as you coach successfully you help create the future you are leading people towards. However, being an effective coach is more than leadership – it is an important life skill as well.
We all can be more effective at coaching in our communities, in our families, with our children and at work. Truly, when we coach effectively we can make a difference in the lives of other people and our communities as a whole.
There are many ways to become a more effective coach, plenty of skills, knowledge and techniques are available. You shouldn’t expect, nor could I deliver, the tools for your complete coaching success in this brief article. Rather, here are three key elements – principles if you will – that, when applied, will automatically make you a more effective coach.

Discovery
In a very real way coaching is about learning. The person being coached is learning what is working and should be continued, and what could be tweaked and improved. In this way, the best coaches are facilitators of learning. And, the best learning facilitators – and coaches – know that the most powerful learning comes from a place of discovery. When you discover something for yourself it is more real and powerful to you. More specifically, when you discover an idea for improvement – or come to that realization for yourself – you truly own the desire to improve. Plus, you’ll be a more determined and disciplined learner. As a coach you must help people discover the need for improvement and then collaboratively help them determine the solutions and next steps, rather than simply describing or defining them yourself.
The best coaches help people discover their needs and next steps.

Expectations
Coaches must help people have a clear and realistic picture of the needed or desired performance expectations. Without clear expectations, how can anyone know what their performance should look like? Often the biggest gap in performance or behavior is a gap in expectations. Additionally, it is important to clarify expectations during the actual coaching process itself; what can the person being coached expect from the coach and vice versa.
The best coaches recognize the importance, value and power of assuring mutually understood and agreed upon expectations.

F – Focus on Them
One of a coach’s most pervasive traps is believing your own press clippings. Perhaps you have had some success in the past with the ideas you are now coaching others on. Perhaps you truly are an expert in that subject matter. Perhaps people have come to you for your coaching help – either in the subject matter or because you are viewed in some other way as a good coach. The best coaches always remember that coaching isn’t about them; it is about the person they are coaching. If you want to be a more effective coach, focus more of your attention on the needs, mindset and current state of the person you are coaching. Listen more, and speak less. Ask more and advise less. Recognize that while you can inspire and inform, any new actions (and their results) belong to the other person.

The best coaches are other focused.

Coaching is a complex task. However, when you rely on, and remember, these core principles, we can transcend mere technique and become significantly more effective. 
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