The hardest thing for busy managers and business owners to do, I've found, is to give themselves the permission to take breaks from their workplace. For many, the work required to prepare for going on leave and the work they face when they return, make them question why they take leave at all. Yet, there is ultimately a cost to not stopping. Perspectives get lost, energy diminishes and work outcomes suffer. We kid ourselves we are productive yet the reality may be very different.
» Read more about: Rest, recreation and reflection required, management coach believes »
One issue that greatly disturbs me is hearing new through to very experienced managers speak of 'inheriting' a range of issues when they took up their roles. The inheritances typically, are majors, not minors, like numbers of poor performing staff, seriously dysfunctional teams, chronic under funding or a near complete lack of operating policies or systems. Typically too, managers found the issues were never discussed at interview but were uncovered within a short time as they went about their role.
» Read more about: Inheritances not necessarily good, personal management trainer says »
In the last three weeks I've had yet more reminders that customer service is almost non-existent in New Zealand. I'm saying this in the context of large service organisations (not retail) and small service providers (private sector) who don't respond to telephone messages or email requests for information. And the most astonishing thing is that when, after five or six attempts at contacting the people concerned, their response to not returning telephone messages or emails,
» Read more about: Customer service almost non-existent, management trainer believes »
What should people look for in a coach? I'm often asked this and my short answer is "a lot". The only way to find out about a coach is to ask a number of questions. Here's my first 10 questions: (1) How long have you been coaching? (2) How many hours of coach-specific training have you had? (3) What coaching credentials have you got? (4) What's your membership status with the International Coach Federation?
» Read more about: 10 questions to ask a personal, executive, management or business coach »
I've learned a bit about 'tolerations' over the years and until yesterday, thought I had got them sorted. I had reduced my tolerance levels to irritants like dripping taps or an untidy office space, finding they were distracting and wearying and fixing the irritant the moment it first became obvious was the only way to go. Yet over the last three weeks I have tolerated extremely poor service from two service providers.
» Read more about: Tolerations costly, management trainer says »
I've done a lot of learning over the years, that has included formal tertiary studies as well as informal skills acquisitions. I've known for a while that there are always frustrations mixed with the joys of learning, but until relatively recently, I didn't realise there were a number of sequential stages to be gone through in the learning process. I've found too, that the stages can't be skipped, however much we'd like to do so.
» Read more about: Joys and tears in new learning, management trainer says »
An often-heard coaching myth is that face to face coaching is the only way to work with clients. I say no, that isn't so, as other forms of coaching – over the telephone, through emails – are equally effective and valuable. The principles of working with a client are the same no matter what format is used – setting the foundation through establishing a coaching agreement; co-creating the relationship, by establishing trust with the client and a coaching presence;
» Read more about: Management coaching myth no. 3 exposed by personal management trainer »
I pride myself on my time management skills yet every now and again I find I temporarily fall off the time management wagon. My downfall is post-it notes. I love them, so much so that when I'm working away and think of something I must do on something else, I write it on a post-it note and stick it on the front of my printer. It is a good system until I reach the point when I can't see the printer,
» Read more about: Post-it notes hazardous, management trainer says »
A common theme emerges when talking to managers working in high pressure, high profile sectors – their description of working in what feels like a relentless squeeze. A squeeze created by heavy workloads, constant pressure and sometimes just enough organisational resources to get the work done. Another common theme is that of great fatique, the inadequacy of annual leave to refresh or regenerate and their distress in realising that their heart may have gone out of their job, even though they like aspects of it.
» Read more about: Relentless pressure creates internal conflict, coach notes »
An amazing thing occurred this week throughout New Zealand and Australia. The annual coach week was held from 14 – 18 May 2007 to raise community and businesses' awareness of coaches and the coaching profession. A number of different events happened, ranging from complimentary one on one coaching sessions by coaches, held in city shopping malls, to key speakers touring around different cities, speaking at coaching events hosted by International Coach Federation (ICF) Chapters.
» Read more about: Australasian coach week a success »