Leadership Effectiveness

5 Interview Questions for Global Assignments

jon interview1How do you select the right leaders for global roles?  Local success does not necessarily guarantee global success. What are the red flags that could potentially lead to a global misfit?  Selecting talent who will eventually succeed in global roles is a major responsibility and can be daunting for the inexperienced global talent manager.

Here are 5 sample interview questions that could give you a broad and deep perspective of your global candidate, regardless of host country.

1. What was your most difficult or complicated problem or situation that you have handled? How did you handle it and what was the result?  This question can reveal insights to a person’s ability to handle ambiguity, complexity, surprises and differences. Effective leaders are not threatened or paralyzed by new or complex situations.  In fact, they are energized and challenged when the unexpected occurs.


2. How do you select members of your team? What do you look for and how what do you avoid?  This question leads to the leader’s ability to promote the success of their team, both with each other and with their local and cross cultural team members. Look for exceptional listening skills and openness to ideas other than their own.


3. Tell me about an incident where you had to adjust a global policy to an organizational procedure that was in conflict with local practices.   How did you handle it?  This refers to a leader’s ability to understand perspectives other than one’s own or integrate multiple viewpoints to creatively arrive at a win win solution.


4. How do you reward the members of your team?   Probe for customization vs one size fits all rewards and recognition.  A successful global leader seeks multiple points of views, anticipates differences and act in consideration to others needs.


5. How have you prepared your successor?  Successful global leaders are personally engaged in developing their people through multiple approaches.


Interested in learning more about how to successfully select, plan for and develop global talent?  Join us at the 20th Annual Leadership Development Conference of the Conference Board on June 3-5 in San Diego, CA.  For the Agenda, see Global Leaders . To register, visit the sign up page.

Assessing, Developing and Retaining Effective Global Leaders presentation to The Conference Board

May 30, 2014 San Diego, California. Executive HR Coach, LLC, is pleased to announce Managing Director, Liza Sichon will be presenting Assessing, Developing and Retaining Effective Global Leaders at the Conference Board’s Leadership Development Conference in San Diego on June 3, 2014. The presentation will benefit those who need to develop succession plans at their corporations. After attending Liza Sichon’s presentation, attendees will know:

  • How to identify, assess and develop your talent pipeline.
  • How to implement a succession plan that aligns with your organization’s growth strategy.
  • How other companies have wrestled with and implemented succession plans.

The Conference Board works within and across three main subject areas – Corporate Leadership; Economy & Business Environment; and Human Capital – to create a unique, enterprise-wide perspective that helps business leaders respond today, anticipate tomorrow, and make the right strategic decisions every day.

The Conference Board provides:

  • Objective, world-renowned economic data and analyses that help business and policy leaders make sense of their operating environments.
  • In-depth research and best practices concerning management, leadership, and corporate citizenship.
  • Public and private forums in which executives learn with and from their peers.
Liza Sichon to speak on developing effective global leaders

Liza Sichon to speak on assessing, developing and retaining effective global leaders June 3

The Conference Board’s Leadership Development Conference is occurring June 3-5, 2014 at the Coronado Island Marriott, San Diego. Interested parties can call (212) 339-0345 or visit Conference Board.

Liza Sichon is the Managing Director of Executive HR Coach, LLC, a Silicon-valley based human resource and career consultancy will speak on retaining effective global leaders. Liza is an experienced executive coach, notable speaker, and global HR consultant with over twenty years of corporate experience working for large, multi-national firms. Originally from the Philippines, and now based in Silicon Valley, California, Liza held global HR positions across the Americas, EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Most recently, Liza served as the Vice President HR Transformation, Communications and Operations for Hewlett Packard’s global HR function, serving 2,400 HR professionals. Prior to this, Liza worked for Avaya as the Vice President HR International & Mergers and Acquisitions for various profit centers in Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In this role, she was responsible for HR strategy and global operations for over 30 countries outside the US. Liza also held HR leadership roles at Corning Life Sciences in New Jersey, Citibank in New York, and Anscor Corporation in the Philippines.

Liza is known for her broad business orientation and deep working knowledge of global leadership. She has extensive coaching experience and is an expert on talent management and career navigation. Additionally, her career included extensive speaking engagements to diverse global audiences as well as notable universities such as the Harvard MBA Women’s Conference. She is a sought after motivational speaker sharing her insights in the areas of career success for women, the benefits of executive coaching, HR transformation, and developing global talent. Executive HR Coach can be reached at (408) 217-9074 and http://executivehrcoach.com.

Are you prepared to lead HR globally?

Global2Join us for a three-day intensive and experiential leadership workshop sponsored by The Conference Board, the very first Global HR Leaders Academy.  Participate and collaborate with like-minded global HR practitioners and hear from a distinguished panel of seasoned global HR and business executives.


For HR to take a pivotal role in building a truly global organization, the discipline will require a senior team of professionals who can develop HR organizations that can manage effectively across national borders. Global HR leaders must navigate the cultural differences that affect organizational performance and managerial success, be able to successfully integrate new HR systems, create and implement strategic workforce plans that integrate with enterprise strategies, and retain, assess, and reward the global workforce necessary for the organization’s global success.
Using practitioner-identified competencies and the enterprise-wide insights of The Conference Board, new and established global HR leaders who participate will develop and refine their strategies with the help of their peers and seasoned global HR executives.
Benefits of attending:

  • Understand where your company is on the global organizational maturity curve
  • Identify tools and techniques to move HR up the maturity curve
  • Examine and compare various models for global HR delivery in successful companies
  • Recognize, assess, and select talent for global assignment
  • Analyze and refine your HR and development practices in light of global demands
  • Develop a network of senior HR professionals who are addressing similar challenges


Who should attend?
HR Leaders who are currently leading a major global or regional HR function (e.g. compensation, talent management, leadership development). Professionals designated to assume these roles may also apply.


Academy Cohort A, 2014
June 9–12, New York City
Academy Cohort B, 2014
November 12–14, New York City


To apply and avail of our inaugural discount for the June cohort, please visit www.conferenceboard.org/globalhrleadersacademy or call Fana Tekle at +1 212 339 0210 or fana.tekle@conferenceboard.org

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.


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®.



How to Identify, Coach and Develop a Transglobal Leader

EmpoweringTeams2013My workshop in Prague was about developing talent for effectiveness in multicultural settings.  As businesses evolve to be more virtually global, employees who are prepared and coached for global assignments have more confidence, respect and engagement with their multicultural colleagues.

Based on the research and published best-selling business book Winning with Transglobal Leadership of Sharkey, Cooke, Razi and Barge, a new model of leadership called the Transglobal Leader is emerging. This is the leader who successfully works across boundaries, cultures and countries embodying the five leadership behaviors of successful global leaders: Uncertainty Resilience, Team Connectivity, Pragmatic Flexibility, Perceptive Responsiveness and Talent Orientation.

At the workshop, participants assessed their own transglobal leadership skills, created an action plan and learned a coaching model to improve and develop their effectiveness in a multicultural setting.  Participants walked away with a framework for organizational effectiveness that they can adapt to their own organizations.

Building Your Global Team

qed header 2 I was delighted to speak about global leadership in Prague last November at the Empowering Teams 2013 Conference.  Here’s the abstract of my keynote.

Today’s working environment is more virtual and global than ever. Leaders who are not prepared to build and develop their teams and deal with multicultural challenges are likely to make costly mistakes for their company and negatively affect business success. Employees, board members, managers are increasingly multicultural, and so are your customers. Companies spend millions to send local talent internationally to develop local markets. Without training or coaching, you will not be equipped to build effective teams and handle the pressures and challenges of communicating with your international colleagues.

Liza Sichon will share the findings of the latest research on successful team leaders.  A new model of leadership for today’s complex multicultural environment is called the Transglobal Leader. Based on the research and book, Winning with Transglobal Leadership by Sharkey, Cooke, Razi and Barge, a transglobal leader works with ease across countries, across cultures, across boundaries.  Their focus is on building healthy and sustainable teams wherever they are with whoever is on their team.  A transglobal leader exhibits leadership behaviors that make them successful in a multicultural environment.

If you are leading a global team today or preparing for an international assignment, one of the questions that you need to ask yourself is do you currently think and behave like a transglobal team leader?  Are you developing your team members to succeed in our challenging global market? Do you know how to identify, assess and coach your team members in a multicultural setting?  Liza will provide practical examples of doing business in a multicultural setting based on her own experiences of over 25 years in a global environment.



It is not what you say, it is how you make them feel. 6 Tips for Impactful Feedback or Reviews.

performance reviewI’ve had the privilege of coaching several clients this week on their leadership 360s.  It is always a deeply fulfilling experience and I am honored to coach them on this sensitive, emotional yet extremely powerful leadership topic.

Recently I blogged about the distinction between intent and impact – http://executivehrcoach.com/2013/10/09/is-your-intent-delivering-the-right-impact/   This conversation becomes extremely important during the dreaded performance review or when you need to give feedback.

Performance reviews or periodic formal or informal feedback sessions are opportunities to recognize accomplishments and deepen relationships and trust that enhance performance. As an HR professional, we emphasize the importance of honest direct feedback, quantifiable results and smart goals.   The reality is our brains cannot remember all the data discussed during the review, so it is important that we are  clear on our message and the impact that we want it to have.

Throughout my experience working with people from all over the world, one thing remains true – regardless of culture, nationality or language,  after the conversation, people do not always remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.  Even as years go by, the feelings stay or sting, the negative feelings stay longer.  Here are some tips to have a positive impact during a feedback session or performance review:

1. Use more “I, We, Our” words than “You”.  This reduces defensiveness, judgement and opens up the listening.

2. Find several positive items to recognize and call attention to these.

3. No surprises.  If there are areas for improvement, make sure that they have been dealt with in the moment or close to the incident as possible.  Do not wait for the performance review to bring it up.

4. Be constructive in your comments.  Share your vision for the team and where you see your team member fit in.  Be future focused vs rehashing past mistakes.  Say – if this situation comes up again, this is how I’d like it handled.

5. Focus on the person, not the task.  A performance review is daunting, people already feel vulnerable, use this time to focus on the person – their motivations, aspirations, goals and what they need from you to succeed vs focusing on the task.

6. Lastly, be at ease.  If you are relaxed and comfortable, chances are they will be too and will be more receptive to your input.

Whether you are a thinker or a feeler, the tone and feeling that you convey sets the impact, way more than the content of your message.  While these may seem a no brainer and mere common sense, we are not always aware on how we are landing with others.  Our leadership effectiveness hinges on the impact that we make and not necessarily on our intent.

If you need a breakthrough in your leadership, send me a note or give me a call.  I’d be happy to discuss how executive coaching may help you develop.





Is Your Intent delivering the Right Impact?

CoachinglgHad a wonderful time co-facilitating a successful leadership impact session last week with a great team of senior leaders.  We focused on the impact of their leadership actions on others – boss, peers and direct reports.  Some were surprised by the impact that they made on others, some were not.

Our effectiveness hinges on our impact – how we are viewed by others, how our messages land, how others feel when they interact with us and not on our intent.  Our intentions are hidden from others and unless we manifest them accurately by word or actions, our impact may come across very differently from our intent.

Here are some examples that illustrate the difference between our intent and … our impact:

1. My intent is – I want to ensure that you have what you need, I will give you every detail and outline every step to do the job…  The impact is – Your team feels that you don’t trust their knowledge and  capabilities to do the job, they feel undervalued.

2. I want to ensure that the project is on track, therefore,  I will ask you for regular, daily updates…  Your people feel micro managed and not trusted.

3. I want to make sure that every detail is accurate…  You come across as a perfectionist and people feel they cannot possibly meet your standards.  It is frustrating to them.

4. I manage by exception, don’t hold back my words, am honest and speak my mind esp when things go wrong…  You hurt my feelings and overly criticizing my work.  I’ve lost confidence in my own capabilities, just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.  I feel disempowered.

5. I’ve communicated my vision, I don’t need to share this repeatedly…  Your people don’t know what you want and why you are asking them to do certain things, looks like a waste of time to them.

Get the picture?  Your intentions may be noble and pure, yet you are surprised that people are not being receptive to you. Maybe it is time to examine your intent and your impact. Are they aligned? Are your intentions conveyed in the right messages and behavior that leave a positive impact on others?

If you are wondering how you are landing on others or why your team is not performing, perhaps its time to hold up a mirror. Coaching can help you make a distinction between your intent and your impact.

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Top Reasons Coaches are Engaged:

(HBR Jan 2009)

    • Develop high potentials or facilitate transition: 48%
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