A free, searchable archive of Executive Coaching Tips to help you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived.
Brad was in hot water. He just wasn’t sure how hot.
“Frank doesn’t forgive easily,” he said, referring to his boss, the division president. “And he’s really pissed at me. But I hope everyone appreciates the irony that he’s pissed because somebody talked behind his back. Man, he’s the king of trash talk!” More
Avoidance is not a strategy
Russell was a very, very nice guy. Everyone agreed about that. Of course, “very nice guy” was code for “conflict averse.”
Russell was a great mediator and facilitator, but he wasn’t always decisive, especially when it came to managing his people. More
“She should have known better…”
Jodi was a people-centered leader. Her values drove her decisions. Depending on the situation, her values might align with the consumer or the company, with the employee or the corporation. People didn’t view her as wishy-washy but rather as a weather vane that consistently pointed toward the right thing to do. More
Give yourself a promotion
Arturo had been passed over for promotion because, as his boss told me, “He doesn’t feel like a senior vice president yet.”
During our first few coaching sessions, I found myself agreeing: Arturo did not seem ready to be an SVP at his company. I felt pretty sure he’d win his promotion eventually; I just wasn’t sure how soon that would be.
The feedback I’d collected about him revealed that people liked him and saw him as one of the company’s highest performing vice presidents.
Who does it well?
Barbara’s coaching had barely begun when she was promoted to senior vice-president. Because she had worked in many divisions of her global packaged goods company, and had always been viewed as a high performer, her promotion had been only a matter of time.
The company’s goal for her coaching was for her to manage up more effectively—a skill that would serve her no matter what her position. When she and I discussed what she wanted out of the coaching, managing up was on her mind, too. More
Donna and I were old friends by now. Originally, I’d been her coach. Later, during her exhilarating rise through the company, she’d often engaged me as a thought partner. These days we tended to talk when planning an off-site for her group. But today, aside from catching up, she’d invited me to lunch specifically to think about one of her direct reports.
“I’m dying to get Jason promoted,” she told me. “But the other members of the senior team don’t see his value yet. I can only push so hard. So now I’m wondering what he can do to change their minds.” More
Good reasons for not delegating
Simon needed to delegate. His boss had made it one of his development goals. The feedback I’d gathered about him mentioned it repeatedly.
He didn’t resist the feedback. “I wish I could delegate,” he said wearily. “But I just can’t.”
“Because … ?” I prompted. More
Jessie’s boss wanted her to be more bold. Jessie wanted that, too.
During one of our first conversations, she said, “One thing I’ve been doing to become more bold is to speak up sooner. I see other people do it and I know it works. But when I try it, I get self-conscious and awkward, like I’m watching myself give a really bad performance. It feels completely inauthentic to me. I don’t think I can be bold if I’m feeling phony.”
That began a conversation that lasted several months about what it means to be authentic. More
A young exec in trouble
I hadn’t heard from Caroline since her coaching ended several years before. I had loved coaching Caroline. Her high self-esteem allowed her to examine her thoughts and behaviors without defensiveness. During the coaching, she’d accomplished significant growth and had been rewarded with a promotion.
Now she was calling about Avi, one of her direct reports.
“I know he’s not the easiest guy to be around, but I didn’t realize how bad things had gotten. Two of his peers are declining his meeting invitations. An enormous project is stalling because Avi is the leader and people are boycotting him.” More
Mastery on display
Years ago, I had the opportunity to train the high-profile keynote speakers at The Ken Blanchard Companies. Ken’s enduring brand grew out of his many best-selling management books, beginning back in 1982 with “Leadership and the One Minute Manager.”
A magically inspirational speaker himself, Ken hires only top-notch presenters to represent his company. All are stars in their own right.
Working with these pros was great fun. The day crackled with the energy that comes when experts have the luxury to focus on what they love. We talked at a pretty geeky level about subtleties like the length of a pause and head tilts. More
Claire sensed her team wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Individually they were strong—she only hired the highest of high performers—but somehow they weren’t pulling together the way she wanted them to.
With a small snort she said, “For as much as I’m paying them, you’d think they’d be able to do this team thing a little better!”
The feedback I gathered about her was middling. People weren’t inflamed and angry with her. But they weren’t ignited and inspired by her either. Like her team, the feedback was just okay, certainly not great. More
“I’m not impatient. I’m passionate!”
Andrew wanted to be a VP. During our first conversation, he told me he wanted to use the coaching to get his promotion. I said, great, I hoped we could make that happen!
I also told him what his boss, Lauren, had told me. “She’s concerned that you don’t see yourself the way others see you. Until that gap is closed, she says she can’t support your promotion.”
“Yeah,” he said, “she’s told me that. But I think she’s wrong.”
I smiled at the irony; his inability to see himself as others see him appeared to be showing itself already. More