Latest "Coaching" Posts
A colleague’s daughter contacted me recently after being passed over twice for a choice promotion. She told me she really wanted to advance in the company, but didn’t seem to have what they were looking for.
“I’m responsible, easy to work with, and really good at my job,” she said to me.
“So what do you think is missing?” I asked … already knowing what she’d say.
She confirmed my suspicions: “I’m just not being perceived as a leader or someone who can effectively manage projects and teams.”
I believe that leadership presence is a combination of character traits and skills that can be learned. People must first identify — and embrace — their areas of strengths and opportunities for growth before embarking on a quest for leadership recognition.
Yet another story that proves the importance of visual signals and polishing your package…
While the story below happened a while ago, it’s one that still resonates — and is relevant — to this day.
The managing director of a large financial services firm approached me after a presentation that I delivered to his group, and asked if he could speak privately.
He told me about an employee at his firm with brilliant ideas and an incredible track record — someone who had all the attributes to be promoted to partner. But, she wasn’t.
When I asked him what the problem was, he actually hemmed and hawed but eventually told me her professional image (or lack thereof) was holding her back. He asked if I would meet with her to discuss possible executive coaching.
I’m always fascinated by things that people don’t realize about themselves, things that might be significantly impacting their careers in a less-than-positive way. These bad mannerisms, wardrobe “malfunctions,” etc., all seem so obvious to us, don’t they? Yet often people have no clue.
Case in point: I recently offered some impromptu coaching for a woman – a Millennial – after one of my presentation skills programs that was one of many sessions at a conference. She was looking to enhance her leadership and presentation skills. “Tell me about your hair,” I said, referring to the gorgeous mane that hung down past her posterior.
“It’s just me,” she said, looking a bit confused.
“Yes, and it’s beautiful,” I said, “but what do you do with it when you speak?”
Her confusion deepened.
Virtual Presentation Skills:
Connect With Your Next Remote Audience
Did you know that to be successful, virtual presentations require different tactics than in-person meetings do? That’s because it’s much harder to tell whether or not your audience is truly engaged when you can’t see them.
Let me share a cautionary tale. An insurance exec I know – Pete — was quite confident in his webinar delivery skills – even to the point of arrogance. He often bragged about his virtual facilitation skills to colleagues and supervisors alike. “Webinars? Piece of cake. Everyone loves my webinars.”
I was observing Pete facilitating one of his regular weekly WebEx team meeting when we heard a beep-boop-beep on the line: the sound of a phone being dialed. When he asked who was making that sound, he was met with silence.
I am a firm proponent of the merits of ongoing business coaching for your staff.
Why coaching, you ask? Shouldn’t you just be able to hire a team of superstars, highly qualified and motivated staff who will accomplish your goals? After all, isn’t that what you are paying them for?
Well, perhaps in an ideal world that would be true. Here in the real world, we all have our strengths and weaknesses — in the office and life — and none of us are perfect, nor will we ever be.
Putting together a team that meets management’s objectives or your sales goals will frequently require not just some coaching, but ongoing coaching.
If you tend to shy away from coaching your staff, offering all kinds of excuses as to why it shouldn’t be necessary, maybe you’re simply lacking the skills needed to be a great coach.