A free, searchable archive of Executive Coaching Tips to help you be perceived in the workplace the way you want to be perceived.
“I never remember people’s names!” I’ve heard this lament from six different people in the last month alone. If this is a struggle of yours, here are five actions that will put you on a path to success.
First, adopt the belief Dale Carnegie wrote about in the granddaddy of all self-help books, How To Win Friends and Influence People. Everyone in the world, he said, has one word that is most special to them: their name. More
Rich, the CFO of his division, is a caring, empathic guy who excels in many ways. In the final minutes of a coaching session he happened to mention he was about to give some tough feedback to one of his direct reports. I asked if I could help. He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, it’s a LONG story.”
The only part of his story that was really long was how long he had been putting off delivering any feedback to this woman. Four people had already left her department because of her but he was only now taking action! He was embarrassed to have let the situation get so out of control. When I asked what had stopped him from intervening sooner, he said, “She’s going to go nuclear when she hears this.” More
I remember when I first saw John without his beard and mustache. I’d known him for seven or eight years and he’d always had facial hair. Then, suddenly, one day he didn’t. It was disorienting and I told him so. “Well, at least you noticed,” he said. “Most people have no idea what’s changed. They keep asking if I’ve lost weight!”
For months after, I was aware of making a mental adjustment each time I saw him. “Oh, right!” I’d remind myself. “He shaved.” It was a long time before the new, clean-shaven John was imprinted in my head. More
Of fifteen division presidents at a worldwide entertainment conglomerate, Marla is one of only two females. She’s always been a nervous speaker but presenting at her first president’s meeting took her to new heights (or depths!) of nervousness.
Everyone swiveled towards her as she stood at the end of the long, polished conference table and began to speak. Twenty minutes or so later she finished. Gathering her papers she saw a note in her assistant’s handwriting. She was certain it hadn’t been there when she started and she wondered where it had come from. More
Bruce, the local head of IT for a worldwide organization, was giving me feedback about two managers he wanted to groom for promotion. Here’s what he said about the first manager.
“She’s great with her group. And she’s a creative thinker. But when she reports to me she goes on forever and piles on all this irrelevant information. Sometimes I get really impatient listening to her.” More
At 31, with her MBA under her belt, Patricia was doing well. In the male-dominated world of warehouse management, she was a team leader doing systems installations.
She also had some challenges. She was barely 5’4″ and looked like a high school cheerleader. “People always call me ‘perky’ and I hate it,” she said. “That’s why I went from Patty to Patricia but I still get treated like a little girl.” More
William is President of International Finance for a worldwide financial organization. He was proud to tell me he’d been invited by his alma mater to give the keynote address at a prestigious Alumni Career Forum.
While brainstorming ideas for the speech, William said he’d like to talk about a professor who’d had a profound impact on him. As he told me about this influential man, William choked up with emotion. Being highly analytical and used to having control over his emotions, this surprised and unsettled him; he quickly changed the subject. Later in the session he mentioned this professor again, and again his throat constricted and his voice quavered. He clamped down and said, “Well, I guess I won’t be talking about that!” When I asked why not, he said, “Well, I certainly don’t want to get choked up in front of a thousand alumni.” More
Richard had been CFO at a defense contracting company for four years when I met him. He was technically gifted, maintained strong relationships and was fairly expressive and intuitive. This guy was clearly succeeding. He wanted to work with me because he felt he wasn’t a very strong presenter.
When I asked him to tell me about presenters he liked, he easily thought of three. When I asked him to identify specific behaviors that made those presenters powerful, he was amazingly articulate about what each one did to be effective. More
I was invited to wait for the CFO in her office. The goal of my coaching, according to the newly installed CEO, was to “warm her up.”
Just standing in her office, having not met her yet, I understood why she needed warming up. There wasn’t one personal item in the entire office. Not a picture that wasn’t from the corporate art bin, not a diploma, not even a book that wasn’t a work binder. The room was telling me that the person who worked here was well defended and unavailable. More
Michael is an industry leader. He has owned his own companies and been a Chief Officer twice. He’s now a division president at what he says is the best company he’s ever worked for. And his CEO just gave him a piece of feedback which shook him deeply.
“I’ve been leading companies for over fifteen years,” he said looking out his window. “Where has this feedback been? Has everyone known it and never told me?”
“Most likely,” I said quietly. More