Turnaround Coaching – What A Professional Coach Should (and Shouldn’t) Do

It’s true. In some organizations, people are not given clear direction. They don’t know what a good job looks like. They don’t receive specific praise when they do well or concrete redirection when they run off course. They don’t know whether or not they have succeeded in attaining a goal because the goal was never…

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Leadership Training—Calculating ROI and Measuring Effectiveness

People in HR and L&D departments sometimes hear stories about how when someone presents a training budget proposal to the finance department and senior leaders, the executives will sit with their arms crossed and a skeptical look on their faces that makes it clear they believe there’s no way training is going to add value…

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Sleepworking? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I have been managing a team in the insurance industry for the last fifteen years.There has been a lot of change-mostly reductions in staff size and increases in work load-but basically it is pretty much the same stuff, just a different day, and has been for a long time. My last kid will…

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Becoming a Coach: The Making of a Yoda

When I started coaching in organizations 25 years ago, coaching was mostly for people who were causing problems and needed to be fixed, so to speak. In some places, coaching is still perceived as remedial help but I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that no organization is investing in that anymore. Coaching…

The Leader as Coach: 3 Times When Coaching Is Not the Answer

In a couple of my recent posts, I’ve talked about managers using coach-like skills in their conversations with direct reports. Doing this often makes conversations more impactful and effective. But there are times when using a coaching style is not appropriate when, in fact, it can be counterproductive and cause the other person to become…

Getting Buy-in for Leadership Development Training

One of the biggest challenges leadership, learning, and talent development professionals face when they propose a new initiative is convincing their CEO of the financial impact of the proposed initiative. Without a clear sense of the positive financial impact, it’s easy for a leader to dismiss a new proposal as being too disruptive, too expensive,…

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Coaching to Support Learning

Think about the last time you attended a training session. If you are like me, you got excited about the content, fired up about changing things back at work based on what you learned, and ready to be a different and better leader. Then reality hits. Hundreds of emails, 22 meetings, and 17 “I just…

4 Practices That Will Make You a More Powerful & Trusted Leader

Power. The word itself evokes a reaction. What thoughts or feelings do you have when you think of power? Perhaps you picture an organizational chart where the boxes at the top are imbued with more power than those below. Maybe you imagine an iron fist, representative of a person who rules over others with absolute authority.…

Set the Coaching Up Right: 3 Keys to a Successful Development Plan

Measuring the impact of coaching is harder than one might think. That’s why it’s essential that any person being coached has a robust development plan that identifies a positive set of outcomes and steps along the way. Here is what we’ve learned after coaching executives for more than 16 years. Be specific—specificity is KEY. In…

Turn the Organizational Pyramid Upside Down?

“Too many leaders have been conditioned to think of leadership only in terms of power and control,” says best-selling business author Ken Blanchard in the July/August issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine. “But there is a better way to lead—one that combines equal parts serving and leading. This kind of leadership requires a special kind of leader—a servant…

The Power of Clear Expectations — Identifying What and Who

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Each of these one-word questions can push organizational leaders and their team members toward the clarity they need to achieve success. In this post, I’d like to focus on who and what. When leaders set clear expectations, outcomes are much more likely to hit the mark. And it’s just…

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Boss Acting Weird? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a fairly new marketing manager for a large consumer goods firm. I have three great people who work for me-I inherited them, so I lucked out. We function like a well-oiled machine. The problem is my boss. She was promoted about two years ago and now oversees several managers of different…

The Leader as Coach – 4 Ways to Develop a Coaching Mindset

Learning new skills can be awkward and uncomfortable. Think back to the first time you interviewed for a job or spoke in front of a group. It’s possible you made some mistakes, but in the long run you grew and developed. And if you were lucky enough to have someone supporting and partnering with you—someone…