31May/17

Change Facilitation

Building Professional and Personal Trust

 

Trust is essential if you are to have a productive relationship with someone. Trust is one of those black and white issues – you either trust someone – or you don’t. You don’t trust people ‘a bit’. If you’re working in a team or as someone’s boss or subordinate, trust is really important for getting results without having to invest a huge amount of additional time in second-guessing everything they do.

Think of someone you have a relationship with - a business partner, colleague, employer, a client or someone in your personal life. Focus on that relationship. For each statement below score your relationship from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

1) I am a trusting person

2) I trust myself to get the job done if that's what I've promised to do

3) I feel my trust level right now with [name of person] is very strong

4) I’m less concerned about past dealings with [name], than about what we will do from now

5) I feel confident demanding accountability from [name of person]

After you've responded add up your ratings. This number will be in the range 5-25.

Interpretation: Each statement addresses a different aspect of trust or partnering.

1) I am a trusting person is about general trust and how you approach the world, new people/situations/opportunities.

2) I trust myself to get the job done if that's what I've promised to do is about self-confidence.

Do you trust yourself to follow through/keep your word? (Also determines your trustworthiness in other people's eyes)

3) I feel that my trust level right now with [name] is very strong is about trusting another. If your trust level is low, discuss your concerns with him or her. Does your lack of trust involve something he or she did/did not do? Focus on specific behaviour, not what motivated the behaviour. Avoid judgments about honesty, integrity, or ethics.

4) I’m less concerned about my past dealings with [name] than about what we will do from now is about your past/future orientation. Relying on past history for decision-making removes the possibility for change and destroys trust. When we rely on mutual vision and strategic planning for decision-making, trust increases.

5) I feel confident demanding accountability from [name] is about your willingness to confront the person. Can you be open, honest and direct with him or her? The more straightforward you are, the more trust you will build.

Ask yourself:

black What am I currently doing to build or destroy trust in my relationship with [name]?

black What did [name] do recently to build or destroy trust between us?

black Did I have to hide something from [name] today?

black Did I communicate trust to [name]?

black Prepare what you would like [name] to do?” (Be as behaviourally specific as possible)

Next Steps: Communication is the key. “Seek first to understand” (Covey 1989)

black Consider how they feel – where they are at/coming from

black Ask “What can I do, specifically, to increase the level of trust in our relationship?

black Ask “What can you, [name] do to specifically, to increase the level of trust in our relationship?”

black How you are both going to take stock? Agree how you will both give behavioural feedback

Action Plan: Once you have talked this through agree to try out some new behaviours…

blackConsider the specific situation, such as historic baggage; current pressures; the environment; or timing issues

black Be realistic about the about of change that is possible. and be supportive…behavioural change can be tough!

Create a three-point action plan listing what each of you will do to improve your trust relationship and commit to following through. Don’t forget to book a time, date and place to discuss how things are going and give and get sensitive feedback.

Relationships will get stronger when you actively build trust.

References adapted from :

Dent SM. (2004) Partnering Intelligence: Creating Value for Your Business by Building Strong Alliances Nicholas Brealey. Boston MA USA 7
Stephen Covey (1995) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. Free Press, New York NY USA.

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If you are interested in expanding you, your team and your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067. Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation and Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

 
26Apr/17

Executive Coaching

From FUD to ASC - How does Executive Coaching support organisational effectiveness ?

 

 

In your experience, what are the three most common conditions which erode your effectiveness?

As Executive Coaches, the most erosive conditions we encounter usually fall into three categories: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

black When you communicate with the people you lead, how often do you communicate what you don’t want? (Fear?)

blackWhere does this leave them? (Uncertainty?)

blackHow motivated are staff to deliver quality outcomes? (Doubt?)

How can you improve your approach? Now you’ve thought about this do you notice any difference in your attitude?

It’s noticeable when coaches focus on what they don’t want. They say things like:

“At this rate, we’re never going to make our numbers”
“They aren’t taking the initiative; they’re waiting to be told what to do”
“I’m spending way too much time chasing people to deliver. It’s exhausting! I’m not sure how we can deliver quality to our clients like this.”

Executive Coaches look for underlying drivers for what is being said. We look beyond what is perceived by the five sense.  For people to get results, we look for people’s strengths, values, beliefs and assumptions.

So, ‘what is ASC?’ I hear you ask. (Yeah, terrible pun!) Achievement, Sustainability and Courage.

What happens to you, as a leader, when you come from the FUD mindset? Typically, what our clients tell us is around work being a grind and they feel frustrated and exhausted. They’re also usually very clear that when they come from the ASC mindset, work not only becomes more enjoyable, it also is energising and far more satisfying.

Think about this:

What difference would make to your effectiveness (and that of your team and your organisation) if everyone came from ASC rather than FUD?

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If you are interested in how to go about leveraging your unique blend of values, skills and innate strengths to quickly turn FUD to ASC, we would be delighted to hear from you, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067

 
21Dec/16

Understanding Change - The Aversion To Loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“…’Cause people often talk about being scared of change,
But for me I'm more afraid of things staying the same,
'Cause the game is never won by standing in any one place for too long”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jesus of The Moon

Whether it is in business, clubs, sports, the arts or any walk of life, there is a constant need to pay attention to the thousands of changes that are happening around us at any one time – and then adapt.   It was Charles Darwin who said “In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

It is the professional sporting arena that the capacity to change and improvise is revealed for all to see. A top team aiming to replicate last year’s performance by following the same formula for success is bound to fail. The circumstances and parameters will have changed and the competition will already have observed what created success and already be building a bigger and better strategy.  In business the same rules apply, although actions may be less in the public eye, there is still an audience of focused onlookers accompanied by a live scoreboard.

The biggest challenge is to change our human inclination to protect the status quo, even if it doesn’t make much sense.  It is well researched that people are not so much resistant to change, but to the perceived loss from change.  Loss aversion, whether from status, power or privileges is a stronger human motivator than the opportunity to gain – even if the opportunities clearly outweigh the losses.  In other words people are motivated more strongly by ‘pain’ than ‘gain’.

With this in mind, leaders must not only identify the need for change and promote the benefits of change, but also invest considerable time developing strategies to engage people on the journey of change and address the human condition of loss aversion that will exist in their minds.  Awareness of this human condition will help the leader to succeed in making the essential changes that will move the organisation towards success.

More information and guidance can be found with Synergy Global to develop teams that are committed and creative.

If you are interested in expanding you, your team and your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067. Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation and Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

 

 
30Nov/16

All work and no play 

 

 

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Have you ever had that feeling of guilt because your four-day holiday could have been spent getting up to date on that paper your boss needs or leaving on time to meet an old friend who’s in town when you could have been finishing a project off?

Of course, work duties are important, but maybe your leisure time should get the same level of consideration. If you’re feeling tired, burned out and uninspired it’s time to chill out and re-energize. Pay attention to those feelings – it’s your body telling you it’s time to take a break.

Ask yourself:

What is going to help me achieve my goals?

What is going to help me stay motivated?

Am I functioning at my best – and, if not, why not?

The odds are that a holiday will ground you, fulfil you and give your brain a break allowing your natural creativity to recharge. You’ll come back to work with more pizazz than ever! Even that couple of hours catching up with a friend over a coffee or a nice glass of wine is a way of letting your ‘work brain’ get some rest. 

It may not be possible to take a holiday or convenient to go out and meet a friend, but you do need some strategies for allowing your brain to recharge.

black Take a short walk to stretch your legs in your lunch break, even if it’s just around the block

black Eat a strawberry or an apple and pause to enjoy the taste and texture

black Get up from your desk and catch up with a colleague or make a coffee.

black Even a little gentle filing can use a different part of your brain and you’ll find your creativity will suddenly spring back into action!

It’s all about taking a holistic approach to work. Work/life balance is important, but it’s hard to keep these two in balance if the culture of your workplace isn’t conducive to paying attention to each individual’s needs. It’s up to you to work out how to keep yourself operating at your best.

Attention to health and wellbeing is the best way to achieve business goals and high performance. Sometimes it’s important to change organisational culture for sustainable success.

If you are interested in expanding you, your team and your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067

Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation and Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

 


 
17Nov/16

'I don't have a task'

 

 

How High Performing Teams engender a sense of belonging by appropriate inclusion

Sometimes facilitators energise teams with fun ‘games’ – but those games always have a purpose. One of my favourites requires small teams of up to seven people to work together to share clues and then solve the puzzle based on those clues.

black Two of the 30 clues begin with the words ‘one of your team’s tasks is to …’

black A third clue states ‘your team has less than three tasks.’

black Participants in the exercise are told that they can share what is written on their clue sheets verbally as often as they wish – but they cannot show their sheets to anyone else.

This particular day, the exercise began with the usual stunned silence until someone said ‘I have a task. ’ More silence followed. A second person said ‘I have a task,’ (note the inexact manner in which these two people ‘translated’ and relayed the information on their sheets – subtly, team tasks became individual tasks). Despite this people started reading out their clues.

Someone said ‘there are less than three tasks.’ This is a thirty minute exercise at most, but after 20 minutes I realised that this team was doomed to failure. Some facilitators jump in and help to get a team to a ‘nice’ outcome. I have always preferred to observe the phenomena at hand and see what happens in the debrief – the most essential part of these exercises. I knew failure was inevitable because after 20 minutes one member of the team had not spoken a word.

In his hand he held vital clues. In my thinking - worse than the fact that he had not spoken, was the fact that nobody had engaged with him for twenty minutes – nobody asked him what was on his sheet.

In the debrief he was asked why he didn’t speak. He replied (somewhat defensively): ‘because I didn’t have a task.’ As he came under attack from the team for his inability to understand the exercise I stepped in and asked the two people with the team task clues to read them slowly and clearly – ‘team‘s tasks’ being the operative words.

Defence now turned to attack and the hitherto silent team member likened this experience to his everyday reality – particularly his frustration at being overlooked when ad hoc meetings were called and he missed out on other communications. I moved to take his ‘grievances’ to an off-line chat and then a strange thing happened. His team leader gently interrupted me and asked him to continue.

She now facilitated a twenty minute team discussion of his situation in which it emerged (news to me, but they all knew) that since the recent restructure things had become even more difficult for him – he was located on a separate floor from the others! Meetings happened and decisions were made on a daily basis – some big some small – and, because he was on a different floor, he kept missing out. He’d just got angrier and grumpier at the feeling of exclusion - and who wants to invite a grumpy person to meetings?!

The exercise just showed him as his typical grumpy self – sullen, silent and not sharing his clues! Tea-break came as a welcome relief for the team. When they had all left the team leader apologised for overriding my facilitation (I told her that I was more than happy that she had). What she said next stays with me twenty years after this happened: ‘He is a real problem for me, but he just won’t open up when I try to support him. I’ve learned more about how he is feeling in the last twenty minutes than I have in the last year – thank-you so much.’ (True Story – Andrew Mountford)

People need to feel they belong. Appropriate inclusion develops a sense of belonging and ensures efficient and aligned action in teams. This is one of the key behaviours of the Fifth Force 4-D model. For more information about how Synergy has introduced 4-D into organisations to create measurable & sustainable improvement in leadership & team performance, please contact info@synergy-global.com

 

*Ref: Dr Pellerin, CJ, (2010) How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers & Project Teams, John Wiley & Sons, USA

 

 
01Nov/16

The 5 Best Ways to Guarantee High ROI on Executive Coaching

 

For long term sustainable results, our experience is that coaching services that are managed at an organisational level run comparatively smoothly with win-win outcomes.  This applies to the people being coached, their line managers, their teams, their peers, the organisation, their clients/customers and, most important of all, their work and personal communities.

The top 5 ways to guarantee ROI in Executive Coaching are:

Quality: Use Global Best Practice frameworks e.g. Coaching in Organisations (see Standards Australia publication). Anyone can call themselves a coach and while a few non-accredited coaches are good, using an accredited coach gives you the guarantee that the coach has a robust training and knowledge base. 

HR/PPC: Establish a centralised, organisation-wide approach to track the effectiveness of coaching services.  If you are comparing apples with potatoes it’s difficult to get a real idea of how effective coaching is.  An agreed system of measurement will provide a consistent picture of ‘how things are going’.

Goals: Agree coaching goals and metrics up front.  Each individual should know what will and will not be included in their coaching program.  They should also know what outcomes will be expected of them as a result of their coaching program.

Adapt: Ensure services are flexible enough to deliver outcomes to meet individual, team and organisational changing business needs.  Every organisation, department and person is different – and the coaching program needs to be able to agile enough to adapt to the demands of each of them.

Success: Measure and track goals and report on how coachees increase and sustain their effectiveness.  Starting with a clear vision of success and tracking the key milestones along the way will provide the means to reinforce ongoing progress. 

As with most interventions there is a multitude of variables present when engaging with anything to do with people. While there are no guarantees, working flexibly within a rigorous framework gives Executive Coaching Programs the best chance of success.

 
05Oct/16

Change Facilitation

Need Creativity? Don’t Fence Me In

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, Don't fence me in…”

We can all identify with Bing Crosby’s lament of feeling constrained by our busy lives. Sadly, this comes at the expense of one of our most valuable abilities as human beings and that is being creative.  

So how does one become more creative?

After acknowledging the value and need for new ideas to drive your career or business, one idea is to be 100% committed to the outcome you desire.

When you have this, then it is time to do a reality check of where you are now and how you got there.

black Allow yourself to think big.

black Be aware of recycling thoughts or ideas - are these wasting energy and are uncreative?

This clears the way to refining your ideas and then developing a stepwise path to something truly creative.

Many of us put up barriers, thinking of obstacles that will stop us in our tracks.  We are in fact, creating our own fences – too little time, too many other things to do. Ask yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid of failure or pressed for time and then commit to the ideal outcome of your idea. You might be surprised by how uplifting this reality based optimism can be.

Although some of us are more innately geared to be creative – we all have some capacity to think of something brilliant so jump those fences, clear the decks and give yourself a chance to be creative.

More information and guidance can be found with Synergy Global to develop teams that are committed and creative.

If you are interested in expanding you, your team and your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067. Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation and Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

Reference:

  • Dr Pellerin, C (2009) How NASA Builds Teams, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New Jersey, USA
 
06Sep/16

Change Facilitation

3 Simple Ways to Make Your Employees Care About Your Business Success

 

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Sometimes a bonus just doesn’t cut it. How do you make your employees care about the success of your business?

Here are 3 ideas that will make significant positive changes to your business:

1)   Involve them in your Business Strategy:

Have a Team Development Day and sit down with your staff to collaborate on systematic Service/Process Improvement ideas. They are on the front-line and they have ideas. Create an environment that encourages them to collaborate on new strategic ideas. Promote diversity and honesty in their approach to ideas.

Each employee has their own set of unique skills, strengths and all it may take to tap into them is a supportive space where there are no silly questions or thoughts. This approach not only shows the value you place on your team but it also gives them ownership of the implementation when you are putting new structural changes in place.

2)   Take an interest in their Continuous Personal Development (CPD):

It’s not all about you. A happy worker has a healthy work/life balance and they have their own aspirations and vision of success. Help them to improve the skills they already have and nurture new ones so that they apply these to future roles and developments. If you show an interest in them, they will respect you, trust you and be actively interested in the company’s success

3)   Show them your Appreciation; a Holistic Approach:

It’s the small things that count. My current boss has the kettle boiled and cups laid out for our morning coffee ready for our arrival. It certainly motivates me to get there early and have a chat before we start work!

Ask how they are feeling each day. Again, my boss is a good example; she asks us for our motivation scores, between 1-10, two to three times a day, and we discuss our feelings and how motivation can be improved.

These strategies might be hard for a large organisation (and need education for all the managers to make them work), but it’s worth showing your appreciation for your staff on an individual level. Are they getting breaks? Are they stretching? Greet them in the mornings and ask how they are (it’s amazing how often this common courtesy doesn’t happen). You’ll have a greater rapport because of it.

If you are interested in expanding you, your team and your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067. Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation and Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

 

 
18Nov/15

Executive Coaching

What is Executive Coaching?

 

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We define Executive Coaching as: The provision of coaching services to a business leader, or a team of leaders, by a trained and professional coach with credentials. The services are designed to produce positive changes around improving skills, performance or work-related professional and personal development in a specified time frame. (Gray and Hewat 2009-16)

One of the key coaching questions we ask is: What positive changes can you identify – right now – that would increase both your effectiveness and that of your organisation?

As coaching emerges from an industry into a profession, more research is becoming available into its effectiveness. One indicator of the success of a service is whether organisations perceive there is enough value gained to continue using it.

Demand for Executive Coaching is being tracked by the annual Sherpa Coaching Research Survey. To create a snapshot of the coaching industry’s direction, Sherpa developed the Coaching Confidence Index (CCI). The index is calculated taking into account rates charged by executive coaches (now linked to inflation), the number of clients they serve, predictions about the demand for coaching and the amount of time executive coaches spend in marketing their service, among other factors. Between 2011 and 2015, the Coaching Confidence Index (CCI) has increased from 64 to 104.

From our point of view, the words only convey part of the reason why organisations purchase Executive Coaching Services. In Synergy-Global, everything we do is client-centric. It’s really brought to life when we hear feedback from our clients about what they get back from investing their time, energy and resources.

If you are interested in expanding you, your team and your organisation’s effectiveness, please contact us at info@synergy-global.com +61(0) 439-066-067

Synergy Global: Delivering Effectiveness Consulting, Change Facilitation and Executive Coaching services to the Private. Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors since 1996.

Reference:
Gray H-J &Hewat D. (CQIed 1996 - 2016) Synergy Global Effective Executive Coaching System™ Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Sherpa Coaching. (Jan 2015) 2015 Executive Coaching Research Survey Public Report. www.SherpaCoaching.com