Coaching

From Click to Stick

IMG_0818Delivered From Click to Stick to our Northern California, National Speakers Association this month.  Was a great experience to help attendees get their ROI from attending a valuable session. From Click to Stick

“I thought it one of the best meetings we’ve attended; some great, practical take-aways, as well as some short, different, useful presentations.”  P. Kingsman

 

Transition Coaching

Are you in transition?  Listen to my interview, by Bert Martinez, on Money for Lunch on Transitions.

 

 

“We do not like Touchy Feely stuff”.

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I was recently honored to be the speaker/facilitator for a team building holiday celebration of a respectable high tech company in Silicon Valley. The HR contact advised me that this group did not like touchy feely stuff.

Although I understood her intuitively, I wanted to ensure my facilitation reflected her concerns.

What is “touchy feely?” We hear this term often mentioned in a negative or pejorative way. Business people typically don’t like it and, sadly, HR work is often referred to as touchy feely work.  Touchy feely is attributed to a group exercise, activity or workshop where people share their feelings and innermost thoughts that make them vulnerable.  The formal definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary says: “touchy feely is characterized by interpersonal touching especially in the free expression of emotions; openly or excessively emotional or personal.”

Understandably, nobody wants to feel vulnerable in the workplace. No one wants to lose control, lose face in front of his or her co-workers or be uncontrollably emotional. I’ve had a successful career in HR, both in a corporate setting and as a consultant, and I have never wanted to engage in these kinds of touchy feely activities.

I covered this concern early-on with the group. I said I was cautioned not to make this session touchy feely. “Let me assure you”, I told them, “that I don’t like to be touched and I don’t like to be felt”.  I got laughter from that comment.

Seriously, while achieving results is very important, there is a personal/human side of business when we work with people, and whether we like it or not, we need to develop effective interpersonal and communication skills to develop teamwork, but it does not need to be touchy feely at all.

When we work virtually or in person, we need to use positive behaviors that bring out synergy in our teams.  Synergy, as defined by Human Synergistics, “occurs when the interactive efforts of two or more people produce or fully utilize their resources.  Synergy within groups improves the efficiency and effectiveness of individual and group decision making”.

Synergy happens when people collaboratively work on the best possible approach and solution to work problems without voting on or imposing one person’s point of view.  Even if there is disagreement, each member of the team can voice their thoughts, will feel heard and can stand behind and align with the team’s solutions.  Synergy is hard to achieve, not all teams reach synergy.

Most leaders I know wake up in the morning with the best intentions. As they go through their day, things happen that causes their behavior  to unknowingly turn negative. Sometimes our intent does not automatically create our desired impact.  It is important to remember that we have a choice in our behavior; we can use appropriate behaviors to create a work environment that is positive and supportive, and brings out the best in others.

Breaking down the necessary elements of effective team building, and achieving synergy in a fun interesting activity using language that the team can relate to, will ensure that the team building activity is not touchy feely.

Liza Sichon of Executivehrcoach.com is a Coach, Speaker and Consultant who helps clients transform their culture and build a positive workplace.  She can be reached at liza@executivehrcoach.com

 

 

Achieving Perfection

Perfectionism gone too far

team conflictAnn, a former client, called me for urgent coaching. She was in tears, angry and hurt, recently written up by her boss for creating a tense atmosphere at work. She was asked to change her behaviors and she didn’t know what to do.

Ann took over a branch office in disarray over six months ago when her predecessor walked out. The results were poor, metrics were down, customer satisfaction is low and the staff did their own thing, they were not working as a team.

Being a results-oriented high achiever, with high standards and passion for what she does, she urgently and dedicatedly worked to get the office and the people back in shape. She was not aware of her perfection tendencies.  She worked long hours training her staff on the proper procedures, pushed hard to move their numbers back up and created new policies to meet compliance requirements. In her effort to urgently meet their productivity numbers, she pointed out things throughout the day that could be done better, highlighted time wasters, all in her desire to be efficient. She told the staff that they are there to do a their job and need to get the work done.  She wanted the day to be perfect and her customers satisfied.

After a couple of months, tension started to build up in the office.  The staff resisted her training and resented her corrections.  Eventually, HR was called to intervene. The staff complained that they lost the confidence to do their jobs; they were making mistakes and couldn’t possibly live up to her expectations. They said that the office atmosphere became tense when she was in the office.  They said her tone was condescending.

HR and her boss wrote her up.  They said she needed to change her approach.

Ann is in a dilemma, she knows that the results of her branch are poor, she has high standards but is puzzled on why her staff is resisting her training?  She is hurt, angry and extremely frustrated about the situation.  She is also fearful of the consequences if things do not change.  Her intention did not have her desired impact.

– See more at: http://executivehrcoach.com/perfection/#sthash.YxmojYXc.dpuf

Use Power of Intention to Grow Your Career

family airplane

Liza Sichon explains how the Power of Intention helped grow her career. Liza reports:

One evening, I was pondering my next career move and thought it would be cool to take the kids on a trip to Europe the next year.  The idea grew on me and before I knew it, I entertained a string of “What If” possibilities for my career and my family.

What if?

What if we actually move to Europe for a couple of years? What if I take an international assignment in Europe?  Wouldn’t that be really nice?  The more I thought about it, the more attractive the idea became. I started thinking of what is possible: new experiences , new learning, meet new people and all the tangible and intangible benefits that my family and career could have.

That night, I did not sleep at all. I planned, strategized and got really excited about the possibilities.  This desire and intention continued to grow day by day, a seed was planted and it started to grow.  I shared the idea with my husband – he thought I was crazy.  I shared it with my trusted colleagues and a few months later, I was offered the job to lead human resources International – responsible for the regions outside the United States.

I cannot forget my boss’ words to me – you can live anywhere, as long as it is outside New Jersey (our headquarters). I narrowed our choices to London, Singapore and Brussels and eventually chose Brussels.  It is where our company’s European headquarters was located, a central location between Asia and the US and a more convenient time zone to connect globally.

My husband saw the possibilities and with his support, we were on a plane to Belgium a few months later.

The entire preparation and move was of course, complex and difficult, and we focused to get it done. I do not know if it was desire, focus, intention, God’s will, family support or a combination of all that made it happen.  The intent was strong enough to handle any hurdle or obstacle that came our way. If you find yourself wanting something more from your career, here are a few things to think about:

  • Think and Dream It – What is it that you really want?.  Visualize it and see the picture in your mind.  Stay with the dream.  If it is strong and coming from your heart, continue to think about what is possible.  Eventually your heart and mind will align and focus on the dream.
  • Speak It – Share it with your loved ones, your supportive colleagues, your mentors.  Speak your career aspirations to others, no matter how outrageous it may sound.  Ask for advice and listen.  Filter your listening to what is possible.
  • Work It – Take the first step to get closer to the goal. Ask around, pursue some leads. Take some phone calls.  Work on the details.  Work hard at it and do not give up.

Moving our family to Europe and back was not easy.  It was exhausting, the experience tested our resilience while we attended to the many details of the move, selling our home, moving our stuff to storage, giving away some items, settling down and going though the repatriation process after two years.  It was well worth it. It was one of the most enriching experiences for our family and my career on all fronts.

If you have the desire for a career shift, listen to that inner voice and work with a coach to make your career goals happen.

 

Should I bring in an executive coach? Where’s the ROI in that?

Can an Executive Coach help me increase revenue?

Can Executive Coaching help me increase revenue?

Can an Executive Coach help me increase revenue?

Yes. Liza Sichon explains…I was asked to coach a general manager of a growing business. He needed to increase his revenue by 400% in the next three years. In order to achieve this, he chose four critical objectives to work on: develop his team, hire additional staff, establish processes and identify tools to sustain his new business.  He also wanted to develop his own personal leadership style.

 

He also needed to prioritize these objectives.  My client realized that he allowed several distractions to get in his way. The corporate politics, changing agenda and his team’s own inability to handle conflict were some of the items in the way. My client also identified what was in his own way – his limiting beliefs and lack of confidence. He needed to build stronger alliances with his peers instead of unconsciously alienating them. None of these would have been brought to the surface without the assessment and coaching conversations.

 

In order to calculate the qualitative value of executive coaching engagement, we identified a few key behavioral changes, as measured by a pre and post interview or survey instrument along with a few key quantifiable measurements selected at the beginning of the coaching relationship.

 

My client was very good at setting stretch goals and realized through feedback, that his team wanted him to believe in them.  He appeared formal and no-nonsense to his team who needed to have a stronger relationship with him. My client struggled with the human elements of building trusting relationships.  Through our coaching and 360 assessments, he was able to increase his self-awareness of how he can come across as too focused on the task and seemingly not caring about the people.  He learned new ways to improve his behavior with this direct team.

 

As he became more comfortable in his own leadership role, he was able to stretch his own team leaders and raise his standards.  He transitioned from being a leader who told people what to do, to a leader who empowered his team.  His team responded to his new style, began to trust him more and went above and beyond to deliver results.

 

What do I get in return for executive coaching?

When will I see my ROI when hiring an HR coach?

When will I see my ROI when hiring an HR coach?

“Executive coaching engagements for senior executives run an average of 6-12 months at a minimum,” says Liza Sichon of Executive HR Coach. “To have a coaching engagement less than this, in my opinion, would not result in substantial benefit for the client and the company.”

 

To calculate the value and ROI (Return on Investment) of executive coaching, identify the quantifiable and qualifiable objectives of the coaching engagement and the cost of the coaching.

 

The quantitative ROI is calculated by dividing the benefit (return) of an investment by the cost of the investment, the result is expressed as a percentage or ratio.

 

ROI = (Gain of Investment – Cost of Investment)/Cost of Investment

Most coaching engagements and research claim to have at least a 500-700% ROI of executive coaching. (ICF article, AM Grant 2012)

Some of the additional metrics used to measure coaching success are:

  • Retention or planned attrition of key direct reports
  • Placement or promotion of client into key role
  • Leadership development, as measured by Cultural improvement measurements and 360 Leadership Impact surveys
  • Behavioral Improvement
  • Employee Engagement improvement
  • 360 Improvement results like Emotional Intelligence 360 surveys.
  • Client well-being, decreased stress, work life balance and/or  improved engagement.

 

Why do we need assessments in coaching?

Why do we need assessments in coaching?

Why do we need assessments in coaching?

Assessments reveal information that are either known or unknown to the client.  Some of the information we gather through assessments are the culture of the organization, leadership style, team dynamics, management strengths and areas of development, personal motivations and natural skills, to name a few.  Assessments reveal blind spots, hidden or underused talents, overused strengths and patterns.  Assessments give you a clear picture of what you are experiencing in an objective and quantifiable format. Taken over time, assessments will provide you with a picture of your progress.

 

There are many proven valid and reliable assessments in the market today, the choice of which assessment to use in a given situation is a competitive advantage of the executive coach.  There are executive coaches who are certified and promote only 1 or 2 proprietary assessments, there are also coaches who are certified in several assessments.  What is important is not the number of certifications that a coach has.  What is critical is to have a coach who can identify the true problem that you are trying to solve and provide the appropriate assessment to reveal a picture of your current situation, strengths and areas of improvement.

 

Assessments will also save  you precious time.  They provide you with information that would take months or even years to collect.  The ROI of leadership assessment tools are exponentially high.  In an investment in time of an hour or so, an on-line assessment can give you a wealth of information that you can use to improve your own leadership or company culture.  The use of assessments as the foundation of executive coaching, provides a high ROI in improved performance of the leader and his team.

 

What has been the most valuable assessment that you have taken?  Why is it valuable?

Why bother getting a career coach? I’m doing just fine, I think.

Why should you get a career coach in the first place?

Career Coach Liza Sichon

How can Liza Sichon help your career today?

As you progress in your career, you will need to plan and strategize how you can grow with someone you can trust. What are the key learning experiences that you need to have to realize your dream career? A trained career coach will help you grow your leadership and your career.

Three benefits you will realize from your career coach

  • A career coach can hold up the mirror and reflect back your problems, thoughts and ideas back to you. Your career coach will listen attentively and objectively. She will ask you deeper questions on matters involving your career that you haven’t considered. Sad but true, people need extra training on how to listen. Coaches have that training. Therapists have that training. Coworkers, spouses and friends…probably do not.
  • A career coach is a trusted confidant. You get a supportive and trusting professional relationship focused on your career goals. You share your concerns confidentially with your career coach. You work together and create a strong bond. You may explore different options and avenues that you didn’t know existed. A career coach will create a secrecy pact with you. Coaches are bound to keep your conversations confidential. You can be open and honest with your coach. Your thoughts and feelings will remain private. Can you say the same about secrets you tell your friends, neighbors and coworkers? Is your career advancement worth a conversation with a coach?
  • A career coach will challenge you to think outside your boundaries or free you of your limiting thoughts. The career coach may push you out of your comfort zone to explore areas where you haven’t ventured. You can expand your thinking about where you are taking your career. Friends, neighbors and coworkers will tell you, “You have a nice car, a nice house and nice clothes. You have made it.” A career coach will challenge you to evaluate your career and be clear on your long term vision. You will set higher expectations and enjoy the rewards.

The sky is the limit for Daphne

I have a new client, Daphne. She thought she would remain a middle manager forever. “That’s just how it is with women in the workplace,” she told me. “We have a glass ceiling. Career growth is not as promising as it is for men. Also, I am already 48. I cannot advance.” Her employer knew she had potential and brought in a career coach for her. I am helping her overcome those self-limiting beliefs.

In just a few months, she has reevaluated her career. She sees more senior level opportunities. She is asking what she needs to do before she can become a serious candidate for a VP role. She no longer thinks only men can advance. Daphne believes the sky is the limit.

For more, see http://executivehrcoach.com/career-coach-need-one/ and http://www.linkedin.com/in/lizasichon

What does success with an executive coach look like? Can one help me?

Are you working harder than ever but seeing your friends getting the good promotions? It may be time for an executive coach.

I spoke with Liza Sichon of http://Executivehrcoach.com about career stagnation. She feels an executive coach may help get you, and your career, back on track. Liza told me about a client, Daphne

How Liza helped Daphne, and can help you too.

Daphne thought she would remain a middle manager forever. “That’s just how it is with women in the workplace,” she told me. “We have a glass ceiling. Career growth is not as promising as it is for men. Also, I am already 48. I cannot advance.” Her employer knew she had potential and brought in an executive coach for her. I am helping her overcome those self-limiting beliefs.

In just a few months, she has reevaluated her career. She sees more senior level opportunities. She is asking what she needs to do before she can become a serious candidate for a VP role. She no longer thinks only men can advance. Daphne believes the sky is the limit.

An executive coach can help you in these ways:

  • An executive coach can hold up the mirror and reflect back your problems, thoughts and ideas back to you. Your coach will listen attentively and objectively. She will ask you deeper questions on matters involving your career that you haven’t considered. Sad but true, people need extra training on how to listen. Coaches have that training. Therapists have that training. Coworkers, spouses and friends…probably do not.
  • You get a supportive and trusting professional relationship focused on your career goals. You share your concerns confidentially with your executive coach. You work together and create a strong bond. You may explore different options and avenues that you didn’t know existed. A coach will create a secrecy pact with you. Coaches are bound to keep your conversations confidential. You can be open and honest with your coach. Your thoughts and feelings will remain private. Can you say the same about secrets you tell your friends, neighbors and coworkers? Is your career advancement worth a conversation with a coach?
  • it may be time for an executive coach

    If you’re not happy at work, it may be time for an executive coach

  • An executive coach will challenge you to think outside your boundaries or free you of your limiting thoughts. The coach may push you out of your comfort zone to explore areas where you haven’t ventured. You can expand your thinking about where you are taking your career. Friends, neighbors and coworkers will tell you, “You have a nice car, a nice house and nice clothes. You have made it.” An executive coach will challenge you to evaluate your career and be clear on your long term vision. You will set higher expectations and enjoy the rewards.

For more, see Linkedin.com and What would you say to your younger self?

Stuck at the same old job? Maybe an executive coach is the answer.

Are you working harder than ever but seeing your friends getting the good promotions? It may be time for an executive coach.

I spoke with Liza Sichon of http://Executivehrcoach.com about career stagnation. She feels an executive coach may help get you, and your career, back on track. Liza said an executive coach can help you in these ways:

  • An executive coach can hold up the mirror and reflect back your problems, thoughts and ideas back to you. Your coach will listen attentively and objectively. She will ask you deeper questions on matters involving your career that you haven’t considered. Sad but true, people need extra training on how to listen. Coaches have that training. Therapists have that training. Coworkers, spouses and friends…probably do not.
  • You get a supportive and trusting professional relationship focused on your career goals. You share your concerns confidentially with your executive coach. You work together and create a strong bond. You may explore different options and avenues that you didn’t know existed. A coach will create a secrecy pact with you. Coaches are bound to keep your conversations confidential. You can be open and honest with your coach. Your thoughts and feelings will remain private. Can you say the same about secrets you tell your friends, neighbors and coworkers? Is your career advancement worth a conversation with a coach?
  • it may be time for an executive coach

    If you’re not happy at work, it may be time for an executive coach

  • An executive coach will challenge you to think outside your boundaries or free you of your limiting thoughts. The coach may push you out of your comfort zone to explore areas where you haven’t ventured. You can expand your thinking about where you are taking your career. Friends, neighbors and coworkers will tell you, “You have a nice car, a nice house and nice clothes. You have made it.” An executive coach will challenge you to evaluate your career and be clear on your long term vision. You will set higher expectations and enjoy the rewards.

How Liza helped Daphne, and can help you too

Liza told me about her new client, Daphne. Daphne thought she would remain a middle manager forever. “That’s just how it is with women in the workplace,” she told me. “We have a glass ceiling. Career growth is not as promising as it is for men. Also, I am already 48. I cannot advance.” Her employer knew she had potential and brought in an executive coach for her. I am helping her overcome those self-limiting beliefs.

In just a few months, she has reevaluated her career. She sees more senior level opportunities. She is asking what she needs to do before she can become a serious candidate for a VP role. She no longer thinks only men can advance. Daphne believes the sky is the limit.

For more, see Linkedin.com and What would you say to your younger self?

 

My career is stagnant. How can an executive coach help me?

Are you frustrated at work? It may be time for an executive coach.

I spoke with Liza Sichon of http://Executivehrcoach.com about career stagnation. She feels an executive coach may help get you, and your career, back on track. Liza said an executive coach can help you in these three ways:

      • An executive coach can hold up the mirror and reflect back your problems, thoughts and ideas back to you. Your coach will listen attentively and objectively. She will ask you deeper questions on matters involving your career that you haven’t considered. Sad but true, people need extra training on how to listen. Coaches have that training. Therapists have that training. Coworkers, spouses and friends…probably do not.
      • You get a supportive and trusting professional relationship focused on your career goals. You share your concerns confidentially with your executive coach. You work together and create a strong bond. You may explore different options and avenues that you didn’t know existed. A coach will create a secrecy pact with you. Coaches are bound to keep your conversations confidential. You can be open and honest with your coach. Your thoughts and feelings will remain private. Can you say the same about secrets you tell your friends, neighbors and coworkers? Is your career advancement worth a conversation with a coach?
it may be time for an executive coach

If you’re not happy at work, it may be time for an executive coach

      • An executive coach will challenge you to think outside your boundaries or free you of your limiting thoughts. The coach may push you out of your comfort zone to explore areas where you haven’t ventured. You can expand your thinking about where you are taking your career. Friends, neighbors and coworkers will tell you, “You have a nice car, a nice house and nice clothes. You have made it.” An executive coach will challenge you to evaluate your career and be clear on your long term vision. You will set higher expectations and enjoy the rewards.

How Liza helped Daphne, and can help you too

Liza told me about her new client, Daphne. Daphne thought she would remain a middle manager forever. “That’s just how it is with women in the workplace,” she told me. “We have a glass ceiling. Career growth is not as promising as it is for men. Also, I am already 48. I cannot advance.” Her employer knew she had potential and brought in an executive coach for her. I am helping her overcome those self-limiting beliefs.

In just a few months, she has reevaluated her career. She sees more senior level opportunities. She is asking what she needs to do before she can become a serious candidate for a VP role. She no longer thinks only men can advance. Daphne believes the sky is the limit.

For more, see Linkedin.com and What would you say to your younger self?

 

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Why Hire a coach?

Top Reasons Coaches are Engaged:

(HBR Jan 2009)

    • Develop high potentials or facilitate transition: 48%
    • Act as a sounding board: 26%
    • Address derailing behavior: 12%