Is Hard Work Enough?

You've met them - the colleagues and friends who are dedicated to their job. They spend 12 hours a day, nights and weekends meeting with customers, solving problems, researching alternatives, writing reports, making presentations, delivering results; yet others get the opportunities and promotions. They are as smart (or possibly smarter) than their bosses. They can see the problems and solutions. They know what should be done. And look at the work they continue to deliver. Maybe if they just work a bit harder? ...more

Why Do You Work?

Have you heard it said that you should discover your passion and do all you can to create a dream job around it? Others argue that it’s not a career, it’s all about the maximizing the money. Some people say that they work to live; others that work is a manifestation of their purpose in life. Have you ever thought consciously about why you work? ...more

What a thought provoking article - when i read the title, my first thought was 'because I have ...more

Listening for Feedback

Your performance review will often generate feedback. The problem is that it is natural to accept feedback that is consistent with your view of your performance and your self-image, and to reject feedback that is inconsistent. But if you don't know what you don't know and/or your perception of standards and requirements differ from your bosses, you may reject crucial information for your development and success. It is never easy to receive feedback, nor is it often easy for the person giving you the feedback. Here are some tips for taking advantage of this difficult process. ...more

Overestimating Your Capabilities?

David Dunning, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Cornell University explains in a Gallup Management Journal article that most people overestimate their capabilities. If you just had enough time, or started earlier enough, or had the right gear, you too much just play golf like Tiger or tennis like Vanessa or sing like those folks on American Idol; right? A Business Week survey supports Dunning's finding by noting that 90% of American middle managers believed themselves to be in the top 10% of performers. We overestimate our capabilities because: Normally people will claim credit for their success and blame other people or conditions for their failures. As a consequence, the overall sense is one of success. Feedback from others is often couched in softened terms, may be incomplete or less than honest, and may well not be understood or heard. Frequently people have no way to know how something could have been done differently or better; they are unconsciously incompetent. Confidence is energizing and can bring its own rewards. Identifying the blind spots and acting on them can be equally rewarding. Whether with your boss at annual performance appraisal time, with trusted peers, or with an external coach, asking for feedback remains a key step in identifying improvement areas that you just cannot see. Today's conventional wisdom suggests that you should build on your strengths. That's very true, but without awareness of our weaknesses and finding ways to mitigate them, you may be winning a battle and losing the war. Strong leadership requires that you set high expectations for yourself and others, and demonstrate the ability for continuous learning and growth. Executive coaching is a tool that supports the identification of blind spots and the development of successful behaviors and skills. To learn more about this investment in your career and the careers of your employees, contact me at . ...more

Communicating with Clarity and Confidence

What you say is only as important as what is heard and understood by the listener. Too often, our messages are obscured by the structure of the communication. Even worse is when we are unaware of the gap between what is intended and the message received. Communication and language are a function of the environment you are in – your organization’s culture. In order to deliver your intended message with clarity and confidence, the structure and word choice should be consistent with that organizational culture. This article provides some suggestions on building awareness of how word choice influences how the message is received. We will also look at how word choice influences perceptions, that is, whether the speaker is seen as credible and confident, or uncertain and evasive. By becoming aware of how language is used around you, you can begin to reduce the gap between your intent and the message received. Read the rest at Read Solutions Group Leadership Blog. ...more

Gut Decision or Rational Analysis

The debate rages over whether gut reaction or rational analysis is the key to effective decision-making. Over on BrainBased Business, Dr Ellen Weber highlights various recent discussions on Why Gut Reactions Work Without Rational Support, specifically citing the work of Dr. Gigerenzer, director of the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin. In discussing the support for his perspective, he notes the role of intuition, of hunches, in scientific research. On the flip side of the argument, we might want to give credence to the work of Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman, author of Judgment in Managerial Decision Making. Read the rest of the article at Leadership Blog - Read Solutions Group. ...more

Retaining Young Talent

If you have time, listen to an HBR interview of Chris Resto, co-author of the book, Recruit or Die: How Any Business Can Beat the Big Guys in the War for Young Talent. Whether managing young talent or considering how to retain in a challenging market like China, this book (and podcast) give some great recommendations. Do I feel motivated by my work? Am I supported by my manager and the senior leadership? Am I part of a team? Is my career being advanced? If the new talent in your organization can answer "yes" to all of these questions, you are well on your way to tackling the retention problems. Read more at Retain Young Talent at on creating Meaningful Work, Mentoring, Networking and Development as key tools in retaining talent in a challenging labor market. ...more

Forward-thinking Cultures

Mansour Javidan in his HBR article July-August 2007 Forward-Thinking Cultures recounts his research on cultural bias toward future orientation. Future orientation is "the extent to which a culture encourages and rewards such behavior as delaying gratification, planning and investing in the future. The research suggests that westerners, Taiwanese, and Singaporeans have more future-oriented than the Chinese. For organizations with a focus on long-term planning, Chinese employees can be left disillusioned by the process and disempowered by their ability to impact such long-term outcomes. As Javidan suggests, the key is to translate any longer range objectives into short-term goals. Equally important is to link rewards and career growth to these short-term goals. Continuously communicating the linkage between the short-term goals and longer range objectives, and gradually increasing time horizons will help your team feel as though they have can impact the organization's outcomes. What experiences do you have in cultural disconnects related to future orientation? ...more

Book Review: See Jane Lead

In a break from her earlier books, Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office and Nice Girls Don't Get Rich, Lois P. Frankel focuses her new book, See Jane Lead on strategies to take charge. Between the two earlier books, Dr. Frankel outlined 176 mistakes women make in pursuing their professional and financial goals. The coaching tips in both these books are quite informative, and no doubt that Dr. Frankel's clients have greatly benefited from her coaching and books. Yet a focus on mistakes is counter to the latest understanding of how change occurs. A focus on what is wrong tends to reinforce the wiring in our brain (the neural connections) that is established around that habitual behavior. The new book, See Jane Lead begins each section with a reinforcement ... Read more of the book review here. ...more

Leadership, Work and Life

For tips, thoughts and insights into handling the challenges of leadership, work and life, I hope you will visit my blog at Coach Blog - Read Solutions Group. I look forward to interacting with this vibrant group of women! ...more

I'm always happy to add another "life/work/relationship coach" blog to my feedreader.

Glad ...more