Coaching

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?

 

As an HR Leader, do you have emotional intelligence?

How emotionally intelligent is the job candidate? You have to find out before you hire this person.

How emotionally intelligent is the job candidate? You have to find out before you hire this person.

Do you hire for emotional intelligence?

Most HR professionals and recruiters traditionally hire for cognitive intelligence, relevant experience and education.  One aspect overlooked especially in hiring for leadership and managerial positions is to hire for emotionally intelligent leaders who can empower and motivate their teams to reach their highest potential.  Emotional intelligent managers can enable their teams to overcome barriers.  An emotionally intelligent HR leader is aware of the impact of hiring managers who are strong intellectually and emotionally.

 

Leaders are not always aware of their impact on others or if they are remotely aware, they usually underestimate how powerful their impact truly is.  Knowledge of Emotional Intelligence can help you find candidates who can rise to the top of their game, manage complex, difficult and unpredictable situations, and encourage their peers and co-workers to do their best.

 

If you are responsible for hiring, what questions could you ask to determine someone’s emotional intelligence?  In a workshop I co-facilitated with Dr. Relly Nadler for HR Professionals in San Francisco, we identified some questions that could help you determine a candidate’s emotional intelligence.   Dr. Relly Nadler in his book, Leading with Emotional Intelligence recommends behavioral dimensions correlated with the 20 emotional intelligence competencies or EQ.  Here are some of the competencies and examples of questions that you could ask job candidates:

 

Interview questions

  1. Initiative – Give me an example of when you had to go the extra mile for your customer. What did you do and what was the result?
  2. Self Control – When was the last time you were frustrated with your co-worker or customer?  What did you do and say?
  3. Empathy – How do you demonstrate that you are open to ideas and solutions other than you own?
  4. Building Bonds – Tell me an example of an opportunity you developed and successfully received from networking.
  5. Self Confidence – How do you get ready for a big presentation or meeting?
  6. Adaptability – Give me an example when you had to work with a difficult co-worker?

Depending on the role or position that you are hiring, you can evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of themselves, also known as self-awareness, their own self-management, understanding others and managing others – the four main components of emotional intelligence.

 

Emotional Intelligence is contagious.  I once had a boss who loved people.  The entire building literally brightens up when he walks into the office.  He  not only knows people by their first name, he knows their children’s names and even their dog’s names. People would do anything for him, the discretionary effort of his team was beyond limits.  He is so loved and remembered fondly, that is because he truly and sincerely cared for others. Working with him was one of the most enjoyable times in my career.

 

Ever wondered what impact you have on others?  It is not too late to develop your emotional intelligence.  Emotionally Intelligent people get hired, promoted and have a sustaining presence.  The good news is EQ can be learned, developed and improved with the help of a trusted coach.  What does it take to be an emotionally intelligent HR leader?  As HR professionals, we set the tone for an emotionally intelligent culture.  Are you aware of the impact your presence has on others?

 

Liza Sichon is the founder of Executive HR Coach. She coaches executives and their teams on how they can meet their financial goals, advance their careers and live fulfilling lives.  For more information, visit her website http://executivehrcoach.com/emotional-intelligence-need/ and http://www.linkedin.com/in/lizasichon/.

How Emotionally Intelligent are you?

women smilingI had lunch with my assistant before I left my corporate world.  She is fabulous and the best I ever had, I love her.  She smilingly asked me if I remember what I said to her when she told me a couple of months ago that she needed surgery.  I honestly did not remember what I said to her.  She helped me recall that the first thing I said was to request for the calendar.  We looked at how many days she was going to take off, when that would be and how the work can be handled while she was gone.  That was my first impulse, first thing I said!.  Of course, I cared about her, but I was more focused on the task.  To this day, I am so embarrassed about my behavior, I commit to be more sensitive to others in my relationships, but that time, I did not know how.  In hindsight, I knew that at that moment, I lacked empathy and was totally unaware.

Dr. Relly Nadler and I had a wonderful time facilitating our workshop: Leading with Emotional Intelligence for the HR Professional at the San Francisco office of SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management).   As a recovered task focused, hard charging HR refugee, I had fun teaching the concepts of Emotional Intelligence with our participants.  Here are some take-aways from the workshop:

1. One aspect of Emotional Intelligence is about being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment.  When you are in the midst of a debate or argument, or under a tight deadline, what do you do?  You may opt to continue to work just to get the task done.  The emotionally intelligent person will know when to take a high quality break.  Yes, the quality of the break matters. How can you best relieve your body and mind of stress that could drop your decision-making ability and IQ points?  Take a brief walk around the block, journal your thoughts and feelings or talk to a trusted friend for at least 20 minutes, then go back to the task at hand.  Sitting in the couch watching TV or reaching for that candy bar will not improve your EQ and will make you sluggish when you get back to work, dropping IQ points.

2. Honestly think about your relationship with your boss.  A Hay study found out that 50% of life satisfaction comes from your relationship with your boss and 75% of employees say that dealing with their boss is the most stressful part of their day.  If you do not have a good relationship  with your boss or if you are in denial about how bad your relationship is with your boss, you may be losing IQ and EQ points that affect your work or may be getting sick without you knowing it.  Find out what you can do to improve this relationship, if all else fails, find another job.

3. The good news about Emotional Intelligence is that it can be learned and improved, unlike IQ which is set.  It is never too late to improve your relationships at work and at home.  The first place to start is not to focus on other people’s short comings, but with yourself. Participants in the workshop took the Nadler EI self assessment and were paired with peer coaches to focus on at least two strengths to leverage and potential derailers.  The participants created an action plan to develop their EQ.

Emotions are like the flu, they are contagious.  Just watch your boss’ emotions and it travels like wildfire.  Leaders underestimate the impact they have on people. It is not just their decision-making and analytical ability that impacts the team, it is also their emotions. As a leader, how much emotional self-control, self-awareness and relationship investment capital do you have with your co-workers and team members?    How do you increase this to be at the top of your game?

Liza Sichon is an Executive Coach, Speaker and HR Consultant located in Silicon Valley.  Visit her website at http://executivehrcoach.com

 

 

 

 

 

Low Stress High Paying Jobs

lostresshipay Need a change in career?  Can’t decide how to make a living while doing what you love? Is your career giving you stress?   Are you thinking about a career shift?  How would you like to have a career that pays well and gives you the balance that you want?

Here are some things to think about.

Read this article by Terri Williams published at Yahoo.  http://education.yahoo.net/articles/low_stress_high_pay_jobs.htm

     

Three Valuable Lessons I Learned in my Global Assignment

woman globeIt has been several years since our expat assignment in Belgium but the experience remains fresh in my mind. The two years we spent in Belgium strengthened not only my career and understanding of global business but also my family’s bond.  The experience enriched our lives. Being an Asian American female executive in Europe sent by an American company holding the top job was not common those days.  I was not the typical expat, therefore I was not stereotyped and eventually, I think my uniqueness worked to my advantage.

 

  1. I learned what it takes to work closely and intensely with people from different countries. I learned to accept and appreciate differences including my own uniqueness. I learned that No did not necessarily mean No and Yes did not mean Yes.  I learned to probe further to understand others. I learned to flex my style to be effective.
  2. Since time was limited and we knew this experience would not last, we made instant friends.  We valued our new friends and chose which ones were going to remain our friends even when we moved back home.
  3. I learned a lot about myself. My executive coach was invaluable to me.  At our very first meeting he said since I am Filipino American, I am viewed as an Asian in Europe even if I came from the US.   They expected me to demonstrate typical Asian norms, because this what they know.  I realized how much I’ve forgotten or abandoned being Asian having lived in the US for most of my career years. I took a journey back to who I really am. It was quite an experience to have the freedom to be me again and get in touch with my “Filipina-ness”.

I will never forget my coach, Robert Brown, who helped me navigate through several difficult situations. He became an ally to me, a trusted advisor, mentor and friend.  He introduced me to a new business network who helped me understand local business better. He genuinely cared for my success and became a close family friend.  Sadly, Robert passed away a few years ago.  His influence on my life, career and our family was invaluable and we are forever grateful.

If you are in an expat assignment today or working outside your home country, you may be experiencing a range of emotions – from excitement to frustration.  From loneliness – missing your friends and family , to enjoying meeting new people and discovering new sights and experiences.  How are you viewed by your local colleagues?  What impact does your presence have on them?  How can you make the most of your expat assignment?

 

Join us at The Conference Board, Global HR Academy on June 9-12 and learn more about what it takes to be successful in a global role.  To read more about the Academy, click here http://www.conference-board.org/globalhrleadersacademy/.

 

To apply and receive special pricing, contact Fana Tekle at fana.tekle@conferenceboard.org or call her at 212-339-0210.

 

Job Search Tips for Graduates

graduatesWith graduation coming up, it’s that time of the year when I receive requests from moms to coach their graduates with their job search. Some basic questions like in what city do you want to work or what industry do you want to work in are not as firm in the new graduates minds as their parents would like it to be.  Therefore discussions on what to do after college becomes a frustrating conversation between parents and their kids who are really confused after spending four years or so in an expensive college.

Below is an excerpt of my conversation with Alexi, a very proactive, smart and coachable college graduate job searcher.  If you are a recent college graduate and looking to get on the job search track, here are some thoughts to get you started:

1. What kind of job do you envision yourself doing in your 30s and in your 40s?.  If you don’t know, don’t worry.  If you do, good for you.  Research or work with a career coach or your guidance counselor to find out entry-level jobs in your field.
2. Have you taken a career assessment that gives you some general direction on how you may apply your natural skills and talents?  If not, I recommend the Ucipher graduate assessment.  It is an on-line tool that provides insight into your strengths and roles that match who you are.  It is also easy to interpret. You can  access the tool by clicking here – http://www.uciphergraduate.com/assessment.aspx
3. My friend, Dana Manciagli,  recently wrote a book – Cut the Crap and Get a Job.  You can look her up on Linked In and Facebook or buy the book at Amazon.  She has lots of tips for the job searcher.  Read the book and incorporate her advice that makes sense to you.
4. Are you open to relocation?  If so, start looking at jobs in your desired location.
5. Are you subscribed to job boards like Indeed or Monster?  Suggest you choose companies that you want to work on and research on the kinds of jobs that they have along your lines of interest.
6. Is your Linked In profile updated?  If not, create a professional one.  There are lots of jobs posted in Linked In.  Add your resume to your Linked In profile with a nice professional picture that shows your face.  Sign up for job leads in your areas of interest.  Start networking and connecting with friends, former teachers, neighbors, club members etc on Linked In.
Alexi wanted to know if he should remain anonymous in Linked In since he is job searching.  I disagreed.  Looking for an entry-level job after college and viewing career information is not something to hide or be ashamed of.
7. Set goals.  Decide how many applications you will send out or how many contacts you will reach out in a day and make this your priority above all else.
8. Lastly, know that finding a job is a full-time job.  Invest in it and treat it like a special project. Do not be discouraged by the rejections or lack of communication from companies.  Keep a positive attitude – you only need one great job offer, the more rejections, the closer you will be to your job.
But first, we need to figure out what kind of jobs you are interested in applying, then we can tailor your resume to the job and start applying.  It takes a couple of months to get into the swing of a job search.  The perfect job is just waiting for you out there.
Alexi is a terrific coachee.  He took  the assessment and  career advise and asked very good questions.  I have no doubt that he will be finding his perfect job in no time.

 

Intent vs Impact. 5 Ways to Match Your Intent with Your Desired Impact

Have you ever received feedback that meant something to you?  Feedback that was constructive? Feedback that has changed your approach and made you a better person?

Recently, we completed a leadership development workshop with a client and his direct reports.  We used a powerful 360 assessment tool called Leadership Impact.  Each participperformance reviewant received feedback on their leadership effectiveness with a set of recommended strategies that would make them better leaders. Some were quite surprised by the feedback, some were not.  All were very appreciative of the opportunity to pause and think about how they are viewed by their peers, their bosses and their direct reports.

In my experience, most leaders generally have good intentions.  They want to grow their business, develop their people, build a team and achieve higher margins.  How leaders behave, the actions they take, what they say or do makes a difference on the impact that they want to have. This impact may or may not reflect their positive intentions.

How can you ensure that your intention matches your impact?

1. Be very clear about your intent.  What is it exactly that you want to achieve?  Is it to motivate others to do better? Build stronger relationships? Defend your points?

2. How are you going to communicate your intent?  Are you going to send an email, pick up the phone or wait until you have a face to face meeting?  The more important the issue, the more real-time conversation you will want to have.

3. What message will match your intent?  If your intent is to motivate, you may want to use more encouraging language vs criticizing or nitpicking.  According to the research of Heaphy and Losada 2004, (The Role of Positivity & Connectivity in the Performance of Business Teams)  high performing teams provide positive feedback to each other in the ratio of 5.6 to 1 whereas low performing teams have an average of .36 to 1 with almost 3 negative comments to 1 positive comment with each other.

4. Deliver the message and ask for feedback.  Did your message reflect your intention?  In the example of motivating others, ask the recipient how your message was received.  Was it motivational or discouraging?  Ask how you could have better delivered your message.  Ask how the person felt after your conversation.

5. Practice.  Over time you will be more versed on how to match your intent and your impact.  Yes, there is a place for negative feedback, usually when one is in a downward spiral or about to hurt themselves.  Such conversations have an appropriate place and time.

Are you interested in learning about your impact on others?  Ever wondered why you are not achieving the results that you want or perhaps are unable to sustain high performance?  A trained peer coach or external executive coach can help interpret your assessment and help you change your leadership strategy to take your game to the next level.

 

Are your team members working effectively together?

team conflictEver wondered how your team is getting along?  Or perhaps you know where the pockets of conflict exist but are unsure how to resolve it?  Ever wondered if your team members are aware of the impact of their unresolved conflict?  Are they in denial about their conflict? Or perhaps it is you who is in denial?  You just don’t want to deal with it, it is draining and a waste of your time.  You know that each individual working their hardest is not going to enable you to achieve your goals.  You need to find a way for the team to work well together. Only as a team, can you achieve your results.

 

Sociomapping® is a way to safely bring up these issues within the team.  Through the expertise of a trained coach, you can build trust and begin to openly work towards resolving issues within your team.  Sociomap is a graphical representation, a picture, of how your team views their own effectiveness or lack of cooperation.  To track your improvement, you can take this picture every six to twelve months.  This tool is for leaders who value the importance of team members working cooperatively to achieve the team goals.  This is for leaders who believe in the synergistic value of teams and the importance of an open dialogue.

 

At the Empowering Teams Conference 2013 in Prague last November, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of this powerful tool that has helped hundreds of organizations and teams perform at their peak in the most high pressure conditions like space projects, in the army or in high growth tech companies.  To learn more about how you can take your team performance to the maximum level contact me at liza@executivehrcoach.com or learn more about Sociomapping® at www.sociomap.com

 

Why HR professionals think they do not need a coach

woman executiving talkingI had a conversation with an HR Executive recently about her business leader who needs an Executive Coach.  In the process of our conversation, she realized that she also wanted to have her own coach.  But she is hesitant to hire one.

Why is it that HR professionals quickly diagnose when a situation needs coaching but rarely do they raise their hands to ask for their own coach? Here are some reasons:

1. They may be embarrassed to admit that they cannot resolve their own leadership gaps?

2. They are used to solving other people’s problems, and are hesitant to face their own?

3. They do not think they deserve to have their own coach.  We are conditioned to being viewed as an expense.

4. They don’t want to call attention to themselves or be viewed as having a “problem”.  To the unenlightened, having a coach was traditionally  and incorrectly viewed as being a failure.

During the course of our conversation, I offered to coach her.  She was very thankful for the coaching conversation.  She is sharp, energetic and strategic but suffered from having everything in her head.  Talking through her options and choices empowered and refreshed her.  She became clearer on her course of action.

Working through issues with my coach have been some of the most powerful dialogues I’ve had in my career.  The answers have always been within me, I just needed a trusted advisor and partner to work through my options without judgement.

If you  need to work through certain choices, or are in the midst of transition or change, feel stuck or overwhelmed, work it through with a trained executive coach or email me at liza@executivehrcoach.com for a complimentary session.

I wish my team members got along better.

sociomap_samIf only my team members would talk to each other.  I don’t need to get involved in their own squabbles, they should just talk it out. I’ll just ignore it and hope that it will go away.

I have heard these statements from my clients.  They know that there is conflict within their team, they feel it, but they are reluctant to address it.  They are tired of playing referee or parent. They know that certain members of their teams do not work at maximum effectiveness. Individually, these team members are excellent contributors, they achieve results.  But ask them to work together and its a battlefield.

Usually the team leader ends up frustrated and drained when this situation happens. It is emotional and a waste of time. It doesn’t need to be.

Using Sociomapping® techniques, leaders can visualize the level of communication, decision-making, teaming, and cooperation within the teams. Through open and honest dialogue, with the help of a trained executive coach, sociomapping® provides a safe and non-threatening picture of the levels of collaboration with the team.

Sociomapping® has been around for over 20 years and most recently received the Innovation Award 2012 at the 24th IIAS International Conference for significant contribution to the field of sociodiagnostics.

Over the last 20 years Sociomapping® has been used in the research of communication of small groups operating in extreme situations like simulation of space flights or combat units. The process of group mapping has been also pioneered in Army units operating abroad in foreign missions. In 2008, Sociomapping® methods started to be used in commercial areas for mapping of management teams of multinational organizations.

Tired of working in a dysfunctional team? Are you ready to take your team performance to new heights, maximize the contribution of every team member and build synergies and positive collaboration among your team members?  Take your leadership and your career to the next level and build team effectiveness as a competitive advantage.  Contact me at liza@executivehrcoach.com or visit www.sociomap.com to learn more about the benefits of Sociomapping®.

 

 

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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%