Posts Taged creativity

Weekend Love, October Three

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

Have you ever thought about the upside of pressure?  Douglas Conant makes a good case when he write about 3 Important Reasons Why Pressure Is a Privilege.

As a coach, I sometimes find new leaders have a hard time with this concept: Before you can Lead Others, you need to Manage Yourself. I’m happy to see Dan McCarthy agrees.

If you’ve recently been promoted or are working on one, this article from Katy Tynan is for you: Do You Have a Manager’s Mindset?

Dan Rockwell always says a lot with a few words.  His article on How to Hold People Accountable without using Authority is no exception.

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before in a Saturday post, but this one from Jon Acuff makes sense to me.  Watch the video and read The candle, the drug dealer & the last video I’ll ask you to watch in 2015.

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Weekend Love, September Nineteenth

iStock_000057846572Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

I love the paradoxes we sometimes find ourselves in.  Tim Brownson explores one when he writes If You Want to Be Creative, Stop Trying to Be Creative.

If you want to cross the goal line, you need to set a goal.  Dan Rockwell fills in more details when he writes about 4 Secrets to Winning.

Coaches have a lot (I mean A LOT) of good communication skills at their disposal.  Micheline Germanos provides an insightful case study into applied coaching skills when she writes about The Coaching Case: A Matter of Trust.

From the archives:  You know it’s not as simple as Michael Hyatt writes, but it just might be.  Check out his article on How to Develop the One Trait Essential for Success.

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Weekend Love, February Fourteenth

Link loveHere are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently.  Most will be a handful of links to tools or great content.  Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file that hits my mood.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Nothing says “Be My Valentine” like cooking for someone.  Here are some awesome recipes from How Sweet It Is.  I recommend the Chocolate Strawberry Crisp.

The FiveThirtyEight blog does an amazing job of humanizing data on everything from sports to illegal immigrants.  Read on to discover what it really means to say 38 Percent Of Women Earn More Than Their Husbands.  It’s a short article with a six-minute audio.

Jeff Goins, who authors one of the top blogs for writers, released a free eBook this week.  The book is an anthology with top thought leaders ranging from Seth Godin to Michael Hyatt.  I encourage you to download your copy of The Surprises of Success: 15 Tips on Living the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of.

If you don’t have a morning routine, Mark Sisson makes a great case for Why You Should Have A Morning Routine.  If you prefer to listen rather than read, scroll to the end for the audio link.

I love listening to well delivered stories.  I don’t think I’m alone.  Here is a playlist of nine Ted Talks called Spoken-word Fireworks.

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Breaking the Coaching Mold

Have you ever coached a client who just couldn’t seem to move forward?  And she was stuck for week after week after week? I was recently working with a UCU student coach on one of her clients.  I have permission to share the following.

The UCU student coach wanted to spend her session talking about her client.  Her client was saying all of the right things and appeared to be doing all that she committed to do, but there was no progress.  Sales, recruiting, and promoting were all stagnated.  Coaching calls also seemed to have stagnated. Neither coach nor client could figure out a way forward.

As we talked our way into the scenario, the student coach had an amazing AHA moment. For a client to do something differently, she has to think differently.  The same is true for a coach.  You have to coach differently in order for your client to respond differently.  The rest of our call was taken up with possible alternatives to the “business as usual” coaching model. The student coach was going to ask the client to “experiment” with some different coaching techniques.  (Let me stress that without client permission, none of these would occur). Here are some of the alternatives that might be used:

  • The coach may ask the client to allow interruptions.
  • The coach may ask the client to describe her week like a movie script or fairy tale.
  • The coach was only going to ask “what” questions.
  • The coach would speed coach as if the session was only half as long.

Get the picture?  The student coach is committed to coaching differently to see what different results she may get.

At the end of her experimental coaching session, the student coach will ask her client for feedback and thank her for experimenting.

How could you experiment with a client?

 

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Being the Change Agent for Coaching

Like it or not, you are the one who will be changing the culture in your business.  What you want done differently is not going to happen without your attention. The more you act, the more you will encounter resistance.

We have to get product our the door; let’s worry about this later.

It’s not working fast enough.

It’s interfering with other processes.

Did you really want no one to notice that you are changing their world?  Did you think they were going to like everything?  And deep, deep, down: would you prefer to be ignored? 

Free Prize InsideThe painful part is there is no straight path to success.  The simple news, however, is that the more you do, the more success you will have.  Good ideas always win.  Seth Godin is a prolific and insightful writer.  Here are a couple of his earlier ideas on how to be an innovator.  This is your opportunity to find some motivation and tactics to keep you moving forward.

WebThink SOFT INNOVATION.  Soft innovations are those clever, insightful, useful small ideas that just about anyone can think up.  Do enough of them and you and create a culture shift. A few years ago, Seth Godin wrote a book call, Free Prize Inside.  While it sounds like a new Cracker Jack slogan, it is much, much more.  If you want to offer a free prize to your customers, you have to get company support first.  And companies resist change.  So, become a soft innovator.  Buy the book and read “Section 2, Selling the Idea.”  These sixty pages will help you understand what is going on in the company and the role you can play.  Godin introduces a conceptual tool, The Fulcrum of Innovation, which is the same across almost all organizations and helps you create a strategy of soft innovation.  There are also 17 tactics to help you along the way. Seventeen is a lot of tactics.  This is your manual of success.

linchpinResists your Resistance.  When pushed, your tendency is to hide.  It’s okay.  We all do it.  There is a neurological reason for it happening.  Right on top of your spinal cord is your basil ganglia, most commonly known as your lizard brain. Scientists estimate that it takes .07 seconds for our lizard brain to react when threatened.  Unfortunately, the rest of our brain—the cognitive portion, takes longer to react. One of Seth Godin’s more recent books, Linchpin, looks at the lizard brain and how it controls our reactions.  You became a change agent for a reason.  Read the chapter in Linchpin about the resistance.  You will understand why you want to crumble in the face of resistance; how you can easily undermine yourself; and what you can do to hold off those fears long enough for your rational brain to take over.

No one said change was easy.  You are the champion for an idea that needs action.  You don’t need to be a lone voice in the wilderness. Use resources like these from Seth Godin to unlock the coach inside you.

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Break Your Fear

Wael GhonimI always admire the turn of a phrase that touches me so directly it can’t be ignored.  The words create an opportunity for me that wasn’t there before hearing them.  I heard one of those phrases last week.

About a year ago, Wael Ghonim was a Google employee in Egypt.  His role in utilizing social media as part of the Egyptian revolution played a key element in the uprising’s success.  He was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air about his memoir, Revolution 2.0, and the state of Egypt today.  As the interview started to draw to a close, he had this to say, “It can take years for the objectives of the revolution to happen…. Yet, I am very optimistic.  I look at what is happening in Egypt.  We are talking about a critical mass of Egyptians who have broke their fear.”

Admittedly, part of his choice of words is due to having learned English as a second language.  But there is so much more to his thought.

As a coach, I support my clients as they confront their fears in all of their manifestations.  And once the client crosses from fear to action, the situation becomes even more complex for them.  Go back and read Wael’s words and think about them as an individual talking about their future.

  • It can take years.
  • Look at what is happening.
  • I am very optimistic.
  • Reached a critical mass to break their fear.

broken fearsThink about your fears and insecurities.  See them as a jar holding your future.  And see yourself holding the hammer.  It can all happen once you break your fears.

What words will best support you as you break that jar?  What’s your critical mass?

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Coaching Your Team to Increase Buy-In

Coaching strong people on your team can become the key to getting their acceptance and support on your promotions, training programs, and developmental activities. Here are three core elements to illustrate how coaching can increase your teams’ buy-in.

Coaching slows down quick judgments. Let’s face it: some strong people will respond with a quick “no” rather than a slow “yes.” They have too much to do and too little time to do it. The result is a self- created tendency to say no to every activity that isn’t already in their agenda or something they didn’t create. While it’s easy to argue, coaching is a better means to let them think through things. Key questions might include:

  • How can you sell the benefits of this incentive to your team?
  • On balance, what do you see as the benefits and cost of supporting this?

Coaching encourages deeper evaluations. Part of any evaluation is the analysis of implementation. If we can see the “how” then the “what” usually doesn’t matter. Can you imagine the first conversations about “Let’s build the Golden Gate Bridge,” or “Build me three ships to sail west until I get to China.” Coaching lets those steps emerge. Key questions might include:

  • What’s the first thing you want to do?
  • What’s the most important thing that you think I need to do to get this off the ground?
  • What else do you have to do to guarantee this is a win?

Coaching sparks creativity. Have you ever heard the expression, “Quick and creative?” My guess is you haven’t until now. We talk about quick and dirty solutions. Creativity takes time. As the leader, this is your opportunity to ask questions that will spark creative solutions. You might ask:

  • What do you need to do to own this?
  • After we finish this program, what do you see happening on the other side?
  • What else do you want to do to make this work?

Coaching is probably not the only thing that has to happen. When confronted with changes, the first reaction of our amygdala is to scream to not do it. Coaching allows the rest of the bran to join the discussion.

What other questions have helped you work with your team?

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