What are the factors you need to consider when preparing for running a coaching session or series of coaching sessions with a direct report? Unless it’s a coaching on demand session, coaching doesn’t just happen. This means there is preparation for both of you to do ahead of the coaching session. This article covers the preparation you can ask your Coachee to do. An earlier article – ‘Preparing & Planning for Coaching’ from May – covered your preparation as the Coach.
Executive Presence is about conveying a leadership image that commands respect and attention from others. Leaders who display this know how to react when confronted with challenging situations. They are calm and measured. Passionate yet deliberate. Engaging and focussed. They inspire their peers and subordinates. They are in control of themselves and assert their intentions. How does a leader achieve this presence or gravitas?
Whether it has been in big or small situations, I believe everyone throughout life has witnessed situations where the word ‘impossible’ has related to a specific action or idea but sooner or later it has been proved wrong.
In the history, there are evidences that impossible is more an opinion than a fact and for the sake of this article, there are two great examples related to transport which are simply undebatable.
The airplane. A number of scientists and engineers confidently stated that heavier-than-air flight was impossible – the most famous statement came in 1895 from Lord Kelvin, the Irish mathematician, “heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible”, only to be proved definitively wrong just eight years later. This one doesn’t need to elaborate further.
The Panama Canal. In 1534, Charles V, the Holy Roman emperor, ordered a survey to determine if the two oceans, Atlantic and Pacific, could be connected and a canal built for ships to cross. The surveyors eventually decided that construction of a ship canal was impossible. A theory that was also disproved. In January 7, 1914 the ship Alexandre La Valley completed it’s maiden voyage going through Panama Canal. Today 13,000-14,000 vessels pass through the Panama Canal each year, at a rate of about 35-40 per day and ships up to 1,050 ft (320.04 m) in length, 110 ft (33.53 m) in width can cross. It is an engineering masterpiece.
How many times have you experienced situations where your projects or ideas have been judged as “impossible to be accomplished”? How often have you witnessed circumstances originally seen as impossible but soon later a solution to surmount every single obstacle has been found.
As the team leader you are always looking for and leveraging opportunities to motivate, celebrate and reward successful team performance. But your team is made up of individuals. This means you need to spend time understanding the makeup and motivation of the team members. It’s not just the skills, experience and knowledge that each team member provides; but how that person makes a productive contribution within the team, and interacts with other members in a positive way that will ensure the team is effective. When you understand and observe this you will have something to celebrate. But what are you looking for? How can you test this? What are the coaching questions you can ask?
How would you describe what a leader does to get things done through others? Is it assertiveness or influencing? A friend of mine asked for some coaching resource material on ‘assertiveness’ and this got me thinking.
I have known John for over 30 years. We are fellow consultants, although we have never done any work together. We work in different areas and in different industries. What we do however is regularly exchange ideas and share resource material with each other. Continue reading “The Influencing Leader”