A free, searchable archive of Executive Coaching Tips to help you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived.

The Honorable Executive

Three everyday practices to help you be honorable.

Serious consequences

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

Managing Performance: Up or Out

Poor performers need to be managed up or managed out.

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

Thinking Errors

Uncovering false thinking patterns

“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

Pursuing a Promotion

Get that promotion you've been chasing

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.

More

Managing Up

We all want bosses who are sensitive to our needs and flex their styles to suit our temperaments. But savvy players know that we need to manage our bosses at least as much as they manage us!

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

Personal Branding

We reinforce our personal brands consciously or unconsciously every day. These tools will help you craft your brand with intention.

Self-branding

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

Leading Through Delegation

Your ability to execute senior-level work correlates directly to your ability to delegate effectively. The better you are at delegation, the higher you can rise.

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

Achieving Authenticity

Leaders who are authentic display The Look & Sound of Leadership™. We follow them eagerly. But how to achieve authenticity? Here are five tools.

Feeling phony

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

Your Goodwill Bank Account

Certain people seem to have unlimited leeway when they make a mistake or miss a deadline while others seem to acquire black marks and penalties for the most minor infractions. This month’s Tip explains why.

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

Captivate Your Audience

If you don’t grab your audience at the start, it’s tough to win ‘em over later. The two behaviors described here will help you engage your listeners before you’ve said a word.

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

Creating Devoted Followers

We can all sense the subtle messages we send each other. When those messages have even a whiff of disapproval, your followers may begin to cool.

Frustrated mutterings

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

Perception Is Reality

Seeing yourself as others see you.

“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

What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

A wealth of knowledge. In preparation for a big promotion I started listening to various podcasts on leadership. This one stood out as the best. It gives clear, easy to understand advice with tools I could apply immediately! I love this podcast!

Cmvnau
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Fantastic For Any Leader. I have found these podcasts to be excellent! I have read MANY books on leadership and this is some good advice. I have found Tom’s perspective on leadership refreshing & challenging. Thanks SO much.

Mbreems
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Short, Simple and Powerful. Easily some of the best coaching available on the internet. I’ve seen a real improvement in my ability to lead and manage as a result of incorporating these tips into my regular communication.

_SWW_
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Immensely useful! Tom Henschel’s stories and advice helped me become a much better manager… I listen to each as it comes out and still go back to many of the earlier podcasts as well.

Cyralston
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

My favorite podcast ever! The Look & Sound of Leadership is amazing.

Studentandteacher
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Amazing podcast! Thank you Tom for providing such a WONDERFUL podcast. It is short, well communicated (of course!) and has helped me IMMENSELY in work and personal life.

Suijeneris
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Powerful Material in easy to digest segments. Best biz/leadership podcast on the net thus far.”

spaflip
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Keep Coming Back. I use these coaching tips for my sales and marketing team. I re-listen to these multiple times and still pick up new things the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time through. Very well done.”

ImESP
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What people say about Essential Communications Podcast/Tips:

Outstanding executive coaching … for FREE. I greatly appreciate his bottom line up front approach. Some competitors take 30 – 40 minutes to get to the point. Keep up the great work!

Major Jason
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