Coaching is Blooming in Shanghai

Five years on and one of my Coaching Master Class participants is now running his own coaching programme for his managers.

I first visited Shanghai on business in 2009 and have returned a number of times since. I just love the bustle, the people, the parks and the gardens. The famous Yuyuan gardens pictured above is just one of many gorgeous places to experience. A promenade along the Bund on Sunday morning is another. But this is not a gardening website or a travelogue – it’s a Leadership Coaching Blog. So let’s get down to business shall we?

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Who is Really Listening?

If asking purposeful questions is the front end of coaching then active listening is the tail end where the real work gets done. But who is really listening?

A lot has been written about listening skills. I list some good further reading from eminent sources below. There is also ‘Levels of Listening’ in the Coaches Toolkit on this website. I recently decided to do my own research into the subject. OK, my research methods were a bit wonky and my sample sizes tiny …. however I thought I would share my findings and see what you think. Five things to avoid and five ideas to inspire.

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Are you (REALLY) listening to me?

How wiser can one become by talking. How about (really) listening and reflecting?

The other day I was reflecting and I think I became a better leader after becoming the head of family and father. There might obviously be many influencing factors like maturity, additional responsibility, and lifetime plans but, deliberating about key aspects, I realised that it has a lot to do with my ability to empathize and listen to them –  something I have developed.

Last summer I decided to do some activity with my younger son (Murilo) – who was 10year-old at that time. The plan I envisioned had twofold objectives. I wanted to do some sport and longed to spend valuable time with him, who is growing very fast. The agreed activity was running and I named us the “Silva-runners” to make fun of it. Continue reading “Are you (REALLY) listening to me?”

Leadership Interview: Caroline Wu ‘My Coaching Journey’

We follow the fortunes of a senior leader in China over a four year period as she learns and applies her coaching skills in three different and progressively more senior job roles and ends up Managing Director of a significant business unit with full P&L responsibility.

I first started working with the Top Team at Maersk Line East China Cluster (PRE) in Shanghai when I visited them in April 2011 to kick off the Coaching Master Class program. Caroline Wu was a member of the senior management team and starting out on her coaching journey.

I was very fortunate to be working with Caroline at that time. She translated my facilitator guide into Mandarin for the train-the-train roll out of the program. She also co-facilitated the program with me the following year for the North China Cluster (PRN) in Qingdao.

Here she reflects on that journey four years on. Caroline has been promoted twice in that period. I was lucky enough to capture her thoughts on her coaching journey at each stage. What has she learned along the way? What can we learn from her experiences?

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