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team development

5 Reasons to Consider Executive Coaching

The business landscape of today has seen a significant shift in focus towards company values and workplace culture. In order to be seen as an employer of choice for current and potential employees, leaders must take up the challenge to create such environments. High potential talent are striving to build their careers with organisations and leaders who center people development in their business growth. Senior leadership training can play an integral role in developing the traits that skilled employees are looking for.

 

Improve Interpersonal Relationships

Workplace culture is defined by the people within them. The culture is only as strong or impactful as the personal connections between individuals. It is particularly affected by the relationship between leaders and their direct reports. Leaders who engage in executive leadership coaching often discover that their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and emotional literacy improve alongside the tactical skills they set out to achieve. These ‘soft-skills’ are some of the most important for building strong interpersonal relationships. 

 

Leading Change

These connections become increasingly important during times of change or transition. The benefits of executive coaching allow leaders to develop more effective change-management capabilities. When faced with uncertainty, employees require support, communication, and consistency. Meeting those needs through implementing coaching skills has many trickle-down benefits as executives, leadership teams, and their direct reports build stronger roadmaps through change that not only preserve, but enhance performance.

 

Gain a Competitive Advantage

Establishing a coaching culture within your organisation creates space for growth and innovation that attracts clients and employees alike. Supported development of high potential employees is desirable for individuals building their careers, while reducing turnover and retaining top talent. 

 

Improve Goal Orientation

Individuals often seek an executive coaching program to help them better define and achieve their career goals. The coach’s role is to assist the individual in identifying what is preventing them from reaching those goals. Strategies are then created to work towards overcoming obstacles and filling any skills gaps that may be contributing to their stagnation. In building these skills, participants can considerably reduce the time taken to achieve success.

 

Become a more Effective Leader

Effective leadership is the result of strong working relationships and the ability to inspire and influence behaviour. Developing leadership excellence helps leaders to connect teams to their vision, that then translates into successful action and performance. For this to occur, long-term goals must be clearly defined and regularly communicated. Consistent focus on the larger objectives mitigates delineation, allowing for continual progress to be made.

 

The most successful organisations utilise coaching for leadership excellence to motivate high performance at every level. Personal connections, as well as a connectedness to business strategy, creates an environment that allows innovation and people to flourish. Top performers are retained who will go on to lead future high potential talent, and propel the business forward.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

5 Reasons to Consider Executive Coaching

Leadership Excellence

The Importance of Leadership Excellence for Performance

The consistently changing market, customer, and technology landscapes of today’s business environment has demonstrated a shift away from traditional hierarchical leadership structures. Emerging organisations have a different business paradigm, meaning that to remain competitive, existing organisations can no longer rely on the leadership of an individual or small executive team to meet the challenge. The talents, skills, energy, and ideas of the entire organisation must be harnessed to see continued success. 

Why you need leadership excellence

Effective leadership is integral to any successful organisation. Leading high performance teams requires the skillful application of influence and inspiration of others to transform potential into reality. In developing leadership excellence leaders understand how to wield their influence in order to inspire enthusiasm and passion for projects that lead to more engaged and productive teams. When organisations have effective leadership practices in place, an organisational culture develops that is open in its communication. Everyone understands the vision and objectives of the business, and has the opportunity to share ideas on how they can be achieved or improved. People feel a part of the conversation and that they are an important part of building the success of the organisation.

When these conversations are constructive, they have a valuable and positive impact. Effective leaders are able to bring out the best in their teams by encouraging personal investment. Offering high performance training to individuals at every level of the organisation not only demonstrates your investment in their development, it invites them to do the same. As individuals enhance their own capabilities, tailored development programs can ensure that you instill in them a clarity around the values and vision needed to achieve organisational goals. 

 

Using leadership excellence to drive performance

High performance team leaders understand the importance of providing space for teams to reach their full potential. Individuals who have held decision making positions within high performance teams will be better equipped to take on greater responsibility as the needs of the organisation evolve. Training and experience in high pressure environments ensures that future leaders have the skills needed to keep up with the rapidly changing business landscape. 

Developing emerging leaders through high performance training not only increases the longevity of your organisation’s leadership, it also improves individual’s performance in their current positions. The best high performing teams are frequently shown to have had resources invested in their development. The return organisations receive on this investment occurs repeatedly as individuals progress in their careers and development. 

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

The Importance of Leadership Excellence for Performance

High Performance

3 Steps to Building High Performance

A strong relationship between leaders and their team can make a significant impact on productivity and performance. There can be little doubt that great leaders produce better business outcomes. When it comes to leading high performance teams, actively seeking opportunities for improvement is what ensures and maintains their success. 

 

Understand your Leadership Style

Effective leadership stems from a great self-awareness that means leaders are able to continuously improve business relationships and push for exceptional results. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have preferences in the ways in which we lead others. Becoming cognisant of what our preferences are, and how this forms our personal leadership style, allows us to implement business strategies that are more effective. When we know ourselves better, we are able to leverage leadership excellence to drive performance.

 

 Advocate for Innovation

Developing high performance in teams can be as simple as challenging them to think more innovatively. The success of many high performance teams is often due to their ability to come up with new ideas and creatively solve problems. Leaders of such teams are willing to experiment and take risks in order to reach higher levels of achievement.  Building effective teams along with real leadership is one of the most important drivers of organisational success. A strong capability to innovate in service of their goals enables teams to outperform expectations by delivering exceptional results.

 

Engage Learning with Experience

Performance training programs are continually proven to be more effective when the lessons are then applied on the job. Too often, we will engage in shorter workshops or seminars but fail to incorporate the lessons in practice. Effective leaders develop their leadership in action; discovering strategies that drive performance, and learning from mistakes. In order to inspire lasting changes in the performance of others, leaders need to make a deliberate effort to display changes in their own behaviour.

 

The success and growth of any business is largely dependent on the implementation of strategy by leaders and the performance of their teams. Great executive leaders understand the necessity of leadership development training for building high performance at all levels of their organisation. Developing our leadership style and implementing our learning to push for innovation leads to stronger, more outstanding performance. 

 

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

3 Steps to Building High Performance

lifestyle inventory assessment

Getting the Most from Leadership Assessments

Before embarking on a leadership development journey, you need to understand what the changes you want to make are and why it is important to make them. We can not get to ‘point B’ if we do not know where we are at ‘point A.’ Completing a leadership assessment survey provides us with clarity about our current capabilities. We can identify areas for improvement and create a pathway to help us achieve our goals. Reviewing our competencies will allow us to track our progress in real time and make ongoing, valuable change that make us better leaders.

 

As an Individual

A leadership assessment can reveal insightful nuances about an individual person’s behaviour and way of thinking. When developing leadership excellence it can be helpful to understand these nuances so that training programs can be tailored to suit the individual’s thinking preferences and so, be more effective. Leadership assessment tools like the HBDI® and Everything DiSC® look at leadership through a personality based lens. The decisions we make are intrinsically biased by the ways in which we prefer to operate. Knowing what our unconscious biases are allows us to mitigate their impact, or leverage them at times they can be most effective. Knowing which traits we avoid is also useful in providing us with a place to start our learning. Effective training programs will be able to frame these limitations in ways within the scope of the individual’s preferred leadership and learning style. This makes the skills they are still developing more accessible when approached from a place of familiarity.

 

As a Team

The importance of leadership assessment at an individual level should extend to benefit the teams being led. There is a great value in assessing the leadership capabilities of an entire team. It is of course important that the members of a team get along and work well together. But there is also a risk that a lack of diverse perspectives will lead to stagnating performance. The benefits of leadership assessment for teams is that it discloses areas where there are gaps in skills and ways of thinking. Understanding each other’s thinking preferences makes us better communicators and effective problem solvers.  Building balanced, well-rounded teams provides more opportunities for collective growth.

 

Showing Up

It is not enough to simply fill out a survey about your skills and be done with it. You have either chosen, or have been asked, to complete a leadership assessment because you want to know yourself better. This includes accepting the areas in which you lack strength, and being willing to put in the effort to improve those skills. The best leadership assessment tools can, and should, surprise you in some way. Recalling why it is important for you to undertake this assessment holds you more accountable to yourself, your team, and helps you ‘show up’ in your leadership as someone open to opportunities for growth.

 

Assessing leadership excellence creates a space for individuals and teams to deepen their understanding of themselves and how they show up to face challenges. It allows us to form stronger relationships and improve performance through harnessing the differences in where our strengths lay.

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

Getting the Most from Leadership Assessments

individual values assessment

5 Benefits of Leadership Self-Assessment

Conducting a leadership assessment can give you an objective idea of your capabilities and talents as a business leader. Having a strong understanding of your competencies allows you to capitalise on your strengths and mitigate the impact of potential skills gaps. The benefits of leadership self-assessments reach far beyond the individual to improve interpersonal relationships and organisational performance. 

 

Increase Self-Awareness

Learning more about yourself and the way you lead has a direct impact on your leadership effectiveness. An honest assessment of your leadership capabilities will reveal ways you can build upon your strengths and help you to confront weaknesses. This is not only key for your personal development, it will also increase your team’s trust in you and boost your credibility. It can be difficult for direct reports to offer candid feedback to leaders, so increasing your own self-awareness will have a greater impact on developing and sustaining leadership excellence. 

 

Create Goals

No matter what stage of your career you are in, a leadership self-assessment can provide insight into your abilities as a leader. There are a variety of tools that will help you to understand your strengths and performance in different areas. In developing this understanding, you will also discover the areas in which you need to focus future learning to be able to take on new challenges. For those with aspirations of becoming senior leaders, this can provide clarity and specificity on the experience and leadership training required to reach their career goals.

 

Progress Tracking

A lifetime career in leadership means that you should regularly be reassessing your own leadership skills. As the business landscape changes, so too should our approach to leadership. It is beneficial to both you and your teams that you stay ahead of current strategies and teachings. Undertaking leadership assessments at different stages throughout your career ensures your development remains aligned with your goals, and may even open up new opportunities that weren’t previously possible.

 

Clarify Development Plans

Leadership assessment tools play a critical role in the progression of organisational success when utilised as part of a leadership development plan. Assessing leadership excellence across all levels of the organisation helps executives to identify gaps within the talent pool, as well as those with the potential for senior leadership development. Opportunities for development can be prioritised to have the greatest chance of success. Leadership assessment allows individuals to gain a better sense of the part they play in the success of the organisation, and how they might expand their scope in the future.

 

Improve Working Relationships

Gaining clarity on your own styles of leadership and performance makes it easier to recognise in others. You can meet them where they are to develop personal connections and trust. More effectively influence their behaviours by adapting your approach. Understanding your own ‘life story’ and how to use it as a touchstone for leadership allows you to form meaningful relationships with your team and improve overall performance.

 

While it is important for current and aspiring leaders to gain insights into their leadership capabilities to excel in their career, they should also be aware of their impact on team performance as well. The best tools for assessing leadership excellence will have benefits that stretch beyond the individual. Role-modelling a desire to improve both personally and professionally, leads to increased levels of trust and productivity throughout organisations.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

 

5 Benefits of Leadership Self-Assessment

Authority and Leadership

The Difference Between Authority and Leadership

The ability to successfully influence the behaviour of others is entirely dependent on the source. Influence via authority may at first appear to be an obvious example, the influence it yields may not have the desired outcome. Conversely, influence affected by inspirational and self-modeled leadership is far more likely to result in the desired action being taken. While there can be overlap of these two concepts, it is important to remember that they are not mutually inclusive. Confusing one for the other may have damaging effects on team performance.

 

Authority

In many workplaces, a person’s authority often stems from the title or position they hold within either their team or the organisation. This is often the case when there is a clear distinction between the person ‘in charge’ and the rest of the group. Managers and executives may use the power their title gives them to make and enforce decisions. While necessity sometimes calls for this, a manager who makes uncompromising demands of their team regularly may also find that performance diminishes or that there is high employee turnover.

 

Having authority over another group of people does not grant you dedication or respect from them on the basis of your title alone. Authority is merely the right to use the power your position allows you. It  can be a necessary tool in leadership and developing high performance. However, a reliance on authority over more influential leadership skills, will only alienate your team from their goals. Training for leadership excellence shows us how to overcome the mindset that authority is equal to leadership. 

 

Leadership

Where authority is bestowed upon a person in a certain position of a hierarchy, leadership is a characteristic that can be found in people regardless of their position. Those with strong leadership qualities are often able to motivate and inspire others simply by setting the example for them to follow. When this kind of person also happens to be a manager, the result is often high performance teams. A manager or executive who asks for the support of their subordinates to implement decisions will have a greater chance of meeting collective goals than those who order tasks to be completed.

Leading high performance teams requires some relinquishing of authority to ensure that achievements are reached through a collaborative process. Building and sustaining leadership excellence means that leaders understand how to have a more impactful influence on team behaviours because they take the care to engage on a more personal level. Important challenges are solved with peer consultation and individuals are empowered to put strategies into action. 

 

Finding a Balance

People often confuse the terms authority and leadership because we have historically considered authority as a defining trait of leadership. However, attempting to influence behaviour through authority alone can be met with resistance and changes take longer to accept. 

Gaining the respect and trust of colleagues is understood by great leaders to be a privilege. By forming a personal relationship with their teams, leaders earn the authority their position provides. High performance training programs aim to develop trusting relationships within teams that lead to increased productivity. Leaders who use their positional power to support, coach, and further develop their teams will gain followers who chose to be led. While it is true that authority is a necessary aspect of managing a team or running an organisation, it is not always the most important.

 

As a leader, how do you overcome the limitations of authority?

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

The Difference Between Authority and Leadership

barrett values centre personal values assessment

The Barrett Model™ Explained

The Barrett Model™ assessment aims to provide an understanding of authentic motivations for our actions. Our values, conscious or unconscious, motivate each action and decision we make. Inspired by Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the Barrett Model™ identifies the seven most important areas of human motivation. The model ranges from basic survival to a greater, societal contribution. Looking at it through the lenses of Personal Consciousness and Leadership, we begin to see how we can use this model to become better individuals, and better leaders.

 

The Personal Consciousness Model

At its core, the Personal Consciousness Model tells us that we must first focus on meeting our personal needs for survival and relationships in order to establish our strongest sense of self. Before we can begin to work towards being of service to others, we should ensure that we have the capacity, ability, and resources to do so. The central, transformation stage in this model is important because it is the autonomy, freedom, and responsibility we establish for ourselves here that pushes us past satisfying only the needs that serve us. The top of the Personal Consciousness Model is where we begin to identify our externally motivated values and strive to achieve more for the sake of others.

 

The Leadership Model

Transposing these ideas onto the Leadership Model can see how they connect to their application at the team level. The survival and relationship needs of leadership require that the health and safety of teams are taken care of, and that there is a mutual connection and support to excelling in productivity. Innovation and risk-taking are key to evolving leadership capabilities beyond a results orientation. Authenticity, mentorship, and vision are demonstrated by leaders who leverage their success to bring further opportunities to their teams and greater community. They value creativity and collaboration to achieve long-term goals in service of their purpose. 

 

The Barrett Model™ is used to identify the values of individuals and groups through conducting a series of assessments. In doing so, you gain a precise picture of your organisation’s current and future dynamics. Understanding your values can provide an indication of potential issues or conflict within your organisation. By clarifying those values, you are able to address problems before they can be expressed. Action plans are then based on accurate insights that coincide with the particular circumstances and needs that are unique to you. A targeted and measurable strategy is created that leads to the development of a prospering workplace culture and high performing teams.

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

The Barrett Model™ Explained

leadership circle assessment

The Leadership Circle® Tools Explained

There is no substitute for effective leadership. If we want to develop more effective leaders, and to do that more rapidly and sustainably, we need a more comprehensive approach. The Leadership Circle has taken the best of what has been learned over the last half century and woven it into the first Unified Theory of Leadership Development to arise in the field. Based on this unique framework, we offer a complete and integrated System of Leadership Development. The combination is unparalleled. We support leadership transformation – change that evolves authentically from the inside out. We offer tools, methodology, and support for deepening the conversation with leaders so that change can occur on a deep, significant, life-altering level.

 

*The Leadership Circle Profile™ (LCP)

The Leadership Circle Profile is a true breakthrough among 360 degree assessments. It is designed to accelerate leadership effectiveness beyond traditional competency-based approaches. The first to connect a well-researched batter of competencies with the underlying motivations and habits of thought, it reveals the relationship between patterns of action and the internal assumptions that drive behaviour. The Leadership Circle Profile provides insights into actionable strategies to lift your leadership to a higher level.

 

leadership development Bob Complying graph

*The Collective Leadership Assessment™ (CLA)

The Collective Leadership Assessment™ delivers a powerful “litmus” test of your collective leadership effectiveness. It reveals valuable data that tells you how your people view their current leadership culture and compares the reality to the optimal culture they desire. Analysing this “gap” allows the CLA to identify key opportunities for leadership development. In comparing your collective leadership effectiveness with that of other organisations, the CLA offers businesses an active competitive edge. 

 

 

 

The ResultsEngine® Follow-Through Tool

Creating successful and effective leaders requires support and an active follow-up process. This web-based ResultsEngine works with the Leadership Circle Profile and the Leadership Circle workshops to ensure that managers and leaders take the necessary steps to achieve their goals. The fastest and most effective way to improve outcomes from development planning initiatives is to actively support and manage the follow-through process. In doing so, you create ongoing and lasting change.

 

The Leadership Circle tools affect change by identifying the competencies and motivations that drive behaviour. By revealing the gap between the current and desired effectiveness of leadership,  you are able to engage in strategies to develop specific areas of growth. Most importantly, the Leadership Circle tools offer ongoing support and feedback to ensure the changes made help leaders reach their long-term goals.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

 

*The Leadership Circle Profile™ and the Collective Leadership Assessment™ are created and owned by The Leadership Circle®. Certified by The Leadership Circle®.

 

The Leadership Circle® Tools Explained

human synergistics

The Tools of Human Synergistics

Increasingly, the idea of the workplace ‘culture’ has become an important part of what makes an organisation attractive to both employees and customers. At its core, the workplace culture is the shared behavioural norms and expectations that influence the way individuals approach their work and how they interact with one another. Many organisations will espouse some philosophy of what their ideal culture looks like. The way their people act however, may not fall in line with those ideas. This is the difference between the ideal and the lived, or current cultures. Determining your organisation’s ratio can help you to identify key areas to improve overall performance at the individual, group, and organisational level.

 

Individuals

Effective individuals are aware of how their own thinking influences their outlook, their response to others, and the impact of their behaviour on those around them. The Life Styles Inventory™ enables individuals to discover new ways of thinking and behaving to improve their interpersonal relationships. By identifying how their actions are supporting or detracting from being able to provide quality performance, participants learn to better cope with stress and change. 

 

Leaders can take this even further as they shape the culture by role modelling behaviours that influence the ways that others operate in their work and interactions. The Leadership/Impact® and Management/Impact™ surveys measure leadership effectiveness and can help to identify the relationship between how you lead and the impact it has on the behaviours and performance of others. By assessing a leader’s actual impact, specific leadership strategies can be devised to meet that of their desired impact. 

 

Groups and Teams

Through highlighting factors that both help and hinder performances teams are empowered to change the way they operate and behave. The Group Styles Inventory™ provides a valid and reliable measure of how people in groups interact and work together to solve problems. Participants are given a safe opportunity to talk about their behaviour and have in depth conversations to identify their impact on group performance. Engaging in conversations that matter, teams are able to improve individual ability to work collaboratively. 

 

Organisations

Organisational performance is directly impacted by the organisational culture. As with leadership, the impact of organisational culture is a dual measurement of the Organisational Culture Inventory and the Organisational Effectiveness Inventory. Both of these instruments work together to provide a complete picture of the behaviours and factors that drive the culture. They monitor and manage culture over time and continually identify targets for change to enhance strategy implementation. This is important because of the ways culture influences how the business strategy is executed and how effectively it adapts to operational changes.

 

Managing a high performance culture is one of the most important tasks of any senior executive, regardless of the size of the organisation or industry you are in. A partnership with The Leadership Sphere enables you to develop leadership capability in a way that creates value through leadership effectiveness. We can help individuals, groups, and organisations to understand the value of constructive thinking and behaviour to make them more effective.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

The Tools of Human Synergistics

everything disc

The DiSC Profiles

The Everything DiSC® profile personality assessment provides insights and strategies for improving working relationships, resulting in a collaborative workforce with an elevated organisational culture. Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness. These are the four personality profiles of the Everything DiSC personality testing suite. Each distinctive profile is designed to help participants better understand themselves and others.

 

(D) ominance

People who fall into the Dominance personality profile tend to be confident and outspoken. They place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom line results and ‘seeing the big picture.’ Though people in this quadrant can be viewed as demanding or assertive, they will often be willing to face challenges and take action. Being competitive in nature, they are able to leverage their creative thinking to overcome opposition. As leaders, they are pioneering, resolute, and focused on achieving results. 

 

(i) nfluence

Influential personality types are able to shape their environment and persuade others though their enthusiasm, optimism, and trusting natures. They prioritise relationships and collaboration as motivators to reach team goals. i style leaders engage their teams by generating excitement and enthusiasm for projects. They will often take on the role of coach or counsellor due to this ability. The perception that they are charming and supportive people aids their proficiency in influencing others in their leadership.

 

(S) teadiness

The person who falls within the Steadiness quadrant may have difficulty in adapting to sudden changes, though they value collaboration and consensus driven problem solving. They aim to cultivate harmony and stability while striving for team accomplishments. Leaders with the Steadiness personality profile do not seek recognition for personal achievements. Instead, their humility drives them to favour cooperation. They will be supportive of others and use their influence to help them reach their fullest potential. 

 

(C) onscientiousness

Conscientious leaders largely value quality, expertise, and competency in themselves and their teams. They can be extremely detail-oriented and may find it difficult to delegate tasks. Despite this, they are disciplined in providing high-quality results through careful analysis and planning. Their conscientiousness drives a curiosity to attain new skills and knowledge. Critical thinking plays a significant role in their ability to provide objective feedback and in challenging the status quo to achieve better results.

 


Each
Everything DiSC profile is designed to help participants better understand themselves and others. Gain insights on why we behave and perform the way we do, that is based on over 40 years of research. Leverage these insights to improve communication and organisational skills in all areas of the business. From engaging each individual to building more effective relationships, teaching managers successful leadership skills to tackling workplace conflict, there is an Everything DiSC profile to deliver strategies and insights.

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

The DiSC Profiles

actionable conversations

Actionable Conversations™ Explained

Actionable Conversations™ are an innovative training platform that connects individuals to organisational objectives and enhances team culture. Engaging in meaningful conversations establishes better relationships and leads to lasting, measurable change. This is achieved through the powerful combination of authentic conversation, technology, and insight-driven data. It is a three stage process that happens on the job, around the real issues your people are currently working through. Investing just one hour a month develops: stronger leaders, individual skills, and enhances team culture.

 

Three Levels of Actionable Conversations™

SUSTAIN

Sustained, social learning helps to reinforce key principles in ways that contextualise them within the bounds of day-to-day responsibilities. It is supportive of real-world application that takes learning out of the ‘classroom.’ This enables participants to understand the practical effectiveness of what they are learning and how it applies to what they do. By putting lessons into immediate practice, their retention for the material is heightened and becomes ingrained in an ongoing routine.

 

SCALE

You are able to cascade key concepts by leveraging live sessions and engaging in better conversations that improve your relationship with your teams. It reinforces learning through teaching. Were it possible for every individual employee to attend development training, many of us would surely jump at the opportunity. However, this is not practical in today’s fast-paced working environment. To truly make changes sustainable throughout an organisation, it is up to those who do attend to pass on the knowledge to the entire team. Not only does this reinforce the learning for themselves, but they are able to build it into the culture and onboarding programs so that current and future employees also experience the benefits.

 

SYSTEM-WIDE

It is a cost effective way to get all stakeholders across key information while quickly and easily translating organisational objectives into relevant actions at an individual level. As we’ve already discussed, lasting change only occurs when each individual is engaged and committed to putting those changes into action. Success in this is determined by each person’s willingness to engage in discussions that lead to meaningful problem solving. These conversations must seek to provide tangible and actionable steps that can be followed, measured, and reviewed when necessary.

 

Actionable Conversations™ are a way for teams to connect with each other to address concerns and concepts that help them to engage in meaningful problem solving and create lasting change. It is a platform that improves workplace effectiveness by building better relationships and measurable behaviour change.

 

 

 

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

Actionable Conversations™ Explained

management coaching program

5 Steps to Improving Performance Management

The prime objective of performance management is to work towards the improvement of performance at the overall organisational level. To achieve this, efforts must be made to develop the skills of all employees.  Without support and regular communication with leaders, you can not hope to see improvements in effective performance management. Small changes can have a significant impact on both performance and productivity.

 

Frequent Feedback

Performance management differs from performance reviews that are usually only an annual reflection of past behaviours. In comparison, performance management involves providing regular feedback that allows for improvements to be made when they will have the most benefit. It is better to take preventative measures to identify potential skills gaps and correct them immediately, rather than address them after the fact. By engaging in frequent feedback conversations, you increase employee engagement and productivity in high performance teams. 

 

Establish Expectations

One of the most successful ways to ensure high performance is to have a clearly defined set of expectations for your team to adhere to. Engaging in a high performance training program and useful in establishing roles and goals beyond the job description alone while providing participants with the skills to achieve them. Getting clear on expectations reduces confusion on the part of both employees and leaders that would otherwise lead to miscommunication and potential errors. 

 

Provide Support

To achieve successful performance management, your teams must have the support of executive level leaders. Not only through verbal communication, but in their actions and the culture of the organisation. Developing leadership excellence should be a priority of executives who wish to cultivate a culture of high performance. When leaders participate in the same performance management processes as their direct reports, they project the importance of developing skills in order to reach new levels of success. 

 

Adaptive Goals

One hindrance to achieving high performance is in setting non-negotiable goals. Specificity and deadlines are necessary for goal completion, but failing to account for changes in market conditions or other circumstances beyond a person’s control will only have a negative impact on performance. Making goals that are adaptable reduces pressure felt to deliver results when conditions may prevent it. Regularly reviewing goals ensures that both leaders and employees feel there is a balanced workload and identifies opportunities to set stretch goals.

 

Leader Coaching

There is a direct relationship between effective coaching and managing high performance teams. Leaders who invest the time to coach and develop their employees are more likely to see an increase in performance. Building leadership excellence allows leaders to become coaches capable of positively influencing the progress of others. Ongoing development conversations between leaders and their direct reports support better outcomes and have a positive impact on individual performance.

 

Leadership development training for both leaders and employees makes it possible to build effective performance management processes across the entire organisation. Engaging in conversations that address the goals and expectations of an individual’s role help to foster a workplace culture that values development and filling skills gaps. Providing role clarity, opportunities for growth, and regular feedback are simple ways to improve performance management that can make a significant impact on your business.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

5 Steps to Improving Performance Management

leading excellence

Striving for Excellence

Organisations who achieve regular success have leaders who understand the importance of constant growth. They know that to reach their goals, they must rely on their direct reports to bring their purpose and vision into fruition. To do this, they establish strong personal relationships with their team and support them in their development. 

 

Purpose Clarity

Great leaders know that success begins with defining the purpose of the work you do. Understanding why it matters, and more specifically, why it matters to you. Leadership development programs help participants to understand themselves better both personally and professionally. Through the use of leadership assessment tools, their sense of purpose can make itself known. To achieve leadership excellence, you must be passionate about your purpose and able to communicate it with your team in ways that will inspire others in working towards the same purpose. 

 

Embrace Vulnerability

The scope of what leadership looks like has had a significant shift from being purely authoritative to now requiring the development of personal relationships. The research of Brenè Brown places vulnerability at the centre of daring leadership. The Dare to Lead™ Program, based on her work, encourages participants to embrace vulnerability in order to form stronger personal connections with others. When we lead with authenticity, we foster a culture of trust that results in better communication, collaboration, and success.

 

Empowering Leadership

Training for leadership excellence teaches participants to lead others through empowering them to reach higher levels of performance. Empowered employees have greater autonomy in their day-to-day tasks and have more creative problem-solving skills. In organisations where empowerment is common, company loyalty is also higher. This creates a sense of community where individuals are more willing to volunteer for additional assignments and assist one another. Both of which contribute greatly to improving overall performance. 

 

Ongoing Improvement 

Even the highest performing teams and organisations understand the benefits of reviewing their best results. Developing leadership excellence is an ongoing endeavour. There is value in revisiting past success in order to determine what worked well and how it might further be improved in the future. Providing access to leadership training programs ensures that you and your team are knowledgeable of the most recent trends in your field. This gives you a competitive edge and allows you to remain at the forefront of your industry. 

 

In the pursuit of leadership excellence it is important to first define your purpose and share your passion with your team. A leader’s success is often measured by the performance of their team, so empowering them to perform at their best will have significant benefits for you both. Leadership excellence is a continually moving target that requires you to have an invested interest in your own development and the growth of your team’s capabilities. 

In what ways to strive for excellence in your leadership?

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

Striving for Excellence

what is excellence in leadership

The Positive Impacts of Leadership Excellence

There are many benefits to developing leadership excellence for both individuals and teams. In building a deeper understanding of your personal leadership values, you establish stronger relationships with your team. The importance of these relationships is fundamental to creating meaningful change across all levels of your organisation. 

Coach, Grow, Develop Others

The benefits of leadership excellence extend far beyond only those in executive or management positions. Great leaders know that success comes from the combined efforts of everyone in the team. It is therefore the responsibility of leaders to facilitate the growth and development of others. In training for leadership excellence, leaders learn to take on the role of coach. As a coach, you provide support to those on their own development journey by helping them to implement their learning into their day-to-day responsibilities. By serving your team’s development, you also ensure your collective success.

 

Values Driven Leadership

There is no singular practice of leadership that applies to all situations. We often need to adapt our behaviour as the situation calls. What is important to remember when faced with a difficult decision to make, is to act in accordance with your values. Executive leadership development  helps participants to explore their values and narrow down those they feel are most important to practice in their role as a leader. Exhibiting behaviour that aligns with your identified values shows your team that you are dedicated to your commitments. You position yourself as trustworthy while establishing a culture of collaboration.

 

Create Meaningful Change

Leadership excellence is needed for creating meaningful change within your team and organisation. Through the development of leadership skills at the individual, team, and organisational level, executives can ensure their vision for success is a foundational component of daily practices. Interpersonal leadership skills are necessary for creating change. Leadership training programs teach us to communicate with clarity to inspire passion for the work. Those you share your vision with will become responsible for implementing it under your guidance. 

 

The positive impacts of training for leadership excellence flow from the individual level to ensure the growth of the team and organisation as a whole. Leadership development training provides a platform through which individuals and teams gain a greater understanding of their personal values. This contributes to the formation of deeper relationships and establishes a mutual trust. Trust is needed when creating change and coaching others. 

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

 

The Positive Impacts of Leadership Excellence

leadership learning goals

The Importance of Role and Goal Alignment

Executives understand the impact of goal setting for achieving high performance. For those aiming to grow their business, it is imperative that the goals of the organisation are aligned with team and individual roles. In cases where a lack of alignment exists, there is often an increase in workplace stress and illness. This misalignment is a result of individual’s being unclear of what their responsibilities are in relation to overarching goals. The most successful organisations ensure that every individual has a clear understanding of how their work contributes to that success.

 

Alignment at all Levels

Having both long and short term goals helps individuals see how their efforts specifically contribute to organisational goals. It is critical that leaders contextualise the daily tasks of individuals within the larger picture of what the team, and organisation, are trying to achieve. Leadership development programs offer participants the opportunity to establish goals that relate directly to their roles. Clarifying the role and responsibilities of each contributor enhances collaboration while also establishing trust between leaders and their direct reports. 

 

Connecting to Your Goals

When goals are aligned across an organisation, it fosters an environment in which individuals will unite around a common task or idea. The sense of sharing a connection with others has been shown to lead to higher levels of motivation and performance. Training for leadership excellence  shows leaders how to implement methods of engaging teams and individuals with their vision. This provides people with the sense that their work has purpose and a meaningful impact within the organisation as a whole. 

 

Links Strategy and Performance

In developing leadership excellence, leaders should be aware of the importance of aligning strategy and performance. Setting clear goals that support corporate strategy allows executives, team leaders, and direct reports to easily assess how their performance is contributing to achieving goals and adjust tasks if necessary. Aligning goals throughout the organisation creates a shared accountability between individuals at every level. 

 

Measure Progress by Goal Setting

By setting goals that align with an individual’s role, they are given a metric by which their performance can be measured. Executive leadership training helps participants to formulate goals for themselves that they are encouraged to track their progress in. Goal setting instills a focus on reaching smaller milestones rather than creating a far off objective that might be achieved ‘someday’. Having specific targets allows you to see how far you have come and motivates you to continue working towards success.

 

Improves Quality of Feedback

By measuring progress against specific goals, you are able to relate the feedback you give to those goals. A person’s performance may be deviating from those goals. They would benefit from feedback that aims to refocus their attention on the ways in which their role contributes to achieving them. Senior leadership training coaches participants in providing feedback effectively by creating clarity for all employees. 

 

The importance of role and goal alignment should not be overlooked by leaders looking to develop high performing teams within their organisation. Engaging in a leadership excellence program assists participants in aligning goals within the context of their role. This reduces the likelihood of workplace stress caused by a lack of clarity and direction. 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

The Importance of Role and Goal Alignment

leadership excellence meaning

Measuring Leadership Excellence

Understanding leadership excellence is important for leaders at every stage of their development journey. It establishes a clear measurement of where they have started, how far they have come, and where they still hope to go. Such measurements can be calculated through the implementation of leadership assessment and development tools. Receiving these assessments regularly are a valuable part of any leadership development journey.

 

When assessing leadership excellence, the two facets most often associated with strong leaders are their character and influence. In particular, it is how a person’s character contributes to their influence that indicates their level of leadership excellence. 

 

Character

A person’s character is the driving factor behind their ability to influence and lead their team or organisation. Those with a strong character tend to be viewed by others as being trustworthy, responsible, and fair in their decision making. It is these skills that make them appealing and incite positive responses from other people.

 

It can be difficult to assess for a quantifiable measurement of these aspects of character, but it is possible to gauge these characteristics by interpreting how a person’s peers and employees perceive them. The 360º Feedback Report is designed around this model of assessment. Both the individual and a select group of those they work with are asked to complete a survey that, when compared, provides a complete picture of the leader’s character. 

 

Influence

Influence is one of the biggest measurements of leadership excellence. Being able to inspire and motivate others into reaching their fullest potential is a critical aspect of your role as a leader. By making use of leadership tools for individuals as well as groups, you begin to form a clearer impression of the impact that the individual’s leadership skills have on the performance of their team.

 

An individual’s ability to influence the behaviours of those around them stems from their existing interpersonal relationships. Having good character and establishing trust between yourself and others, allows you to build effective interpersonal relationships. The benefits of leadership assessment tools like the Trust Inside Assessments include in-depth measurements of a person’s ability to build trust at both the individual and team level. 

 

Character and influence are two of the defining aspects of leadership excellence. The higher a person’s character is perceived to be, the greater the amount of influence they are able to impart onto others. To gain a full understanding of an individual’s measurement of leadership excellence, the best leadership assessment tools should be administered at both the individual and group level. 

 

What characteristics are most important for you as a leader?

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

Measuring Leadership Excellence

leadership coaching programs

How Executive Coaching Builds Leadership Excellence

Executive coaching can teach us ways to approach our daily life with balance and mindfulness. Developing leadership excellence provides the opportunity for leaders to build a high-level capacity for visionary thinking in addition to improving the practical skills needed for driving performance within their organisation. Receiving support in their development journey, creates a leadership team that values continual education and improvement to remain competitive. 

 

Skills Assessment

All leadership coaching must begin with an assessment of current strengths and developmental needs. To get a complete picture of what this looks like, participants will find great benefit in completing both introspective reflection as well as gaining insight from a 360º Feedback Report. Engaging with both styles of skills assessment significantly reduces biases – especially when conducted anonymously – while also demonstrating how your self-perception aligns with that of those around you.

 

Know the Leadership Skills Most Often Needed

Discovering your areas of improvement will be most effective if you are aware of the core skills leaders most often need. The best executive coaches will be knowledgeable of what these are and how you might work towards building them for yourself. Though it is important that you conduct your own research into these as well. Leadership has been studied for decades and the definition of leadership excellence has altered over time. There are some competencies that have remained consistent. To be an effective leader you need emotional intelligence, expertise, influence, and the right character. Each can be developed, but all will take dedication and hard work to grow into leadership excellence.

 

Develop Personal Understanding

One of the primary goals of an executive coaching program is to establish a strong understanding of yourself and your personal leadership style. There can be as many ways to lead successfully as there are leaders. Finding what works for you and your team is more important than fitting yourself into a preconceived model of what leadership ‘should’ look like. Coaching for leadership excellence aims to provide participants with a deeper understanding of themselves and how they may use their ‘life-story’ as a touchstone for leadership. It is how your developed personal capabilities fill gaps that make for effective leadership.

 

Unlock Leadership Potential

The phrase ‘executive coaching’ is not an indication of the seniority of its participants, rather it refers to the high level of leadership skills you are able to develop through engaging with the program. Providing senior leadership training to individuals looking to expand their capabilities unlocks previously untapped potential and creates cohesive leadership throughout your organisation. Leaders who feel more supported will have an increased engagement and overall performance within your organisation. 

 

The development of leadership skills through executive coaching programs helps to create meaningful, sustainable change at the individual and organisational level. Coaches guide participants to realising the full scope of their abilities through regular one-on-one sessions. Current and aspiring leaders benefit greatly from learning how to incorporate their own experiences into establishing a leadership style that engages and inspires those around them to reach their highest potential.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

How Executive Coaching Builds Leadership Excellence

what is leadership excellence

The Advantages of Leadership Excellence

In developing leadership excellence we cultivate a workplace environment that encourages constant growth and improvement. Through leadership excellence programs, participants gain the confidence and capability to lead teams effectively. They are role models of behaviours that become standard practice and inspire others to perform beyond expectations. 

 

Leaves Room for Improvement

Often when we talk about leadership development, people confuse excellence with perfection. It is impossible to achieve perfection, attempting to do so limits creativity and results in more failures due to added pressure. Striving to achieve leadership excellence, allows space for mistakes to be made and performance to be improved with each iteration. Executive leadership training emphasises the importance of reducing workplace stress that frequently accompanies organisation with a totalitarian approach to achieving goals.

For teams to become consistently high performing, it is necessary to both develop and sustain leadership excellence. Sustainability means that there is always the goal of producing the best quality product or service, while also striving to be better in the future. Processes, technologies, and industries progress all the time. Believing that your organisation already has the ‘perfect’ version does not leave room for innovation or improvement. Ignoring the value of creativity will leave you stagnant and struggling to catch up to more open-minded companies. 

Executive coaching programs provide leaders with a means of developing innovative thinking that opens the doors for input from a diverse range of sources. Coaching for leadership excellence requires an established, trusting relationship between coach and client. The right coach will be able to challenge you to expand your capabilities and become more receptive to new ideas. 

 

Become a Role Model of Leadership Excellence

Leadership excellence programs aim to teach participants ways to coach, grow and develop the people they work with. The most effective way leaders can do this is to set the example of influence they are hoping to impart. It is the actions we perform that others will watch and critique. Your team will notice if you are not living your values. If you are expecting excellence, you must also become excellent. 

It is much easier to influence the behaviour of others and unlock their potential by being the model that you wish to see. Senior leadership training doesn’t only benefit participants, but everyone they work with from then on. What is learnt in such programs impacts the way you lead and develop others. Being the standard and role model of excellence, you not only realise your own potential but the potential of those around you as well. 

Learning how to harness and model leadership excellence can have a number of advantages on individuals at every level of the organisation. While it is important that our leaders provide a clear example of behaviours to be followed, they should also set the expectation that perfection is not the ultimate goal. Leaders who engage in executive coaching programs to develop their ability to influence their teams, will see an increase in overall performance throughout their organisation.

 

How do you demonstrate excellence in your workplace?

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

The Advantages of Leadership Excellence

leadership learning objectives

How Leadership Excellence Benefits Others

In developing leadership excellence we cultivate a workplace environment that encourages constant growth and improvement. Through leadership excellence programs, participants gain the confidence and capability to lead teams effectively. They are role models of behaviours that become standard practice and inspire others to perform beyond expectations. 

 

Leaves Room for Improvement

Often when we talk about leadership development, people confuse excellence with perfection. It is impossible to achieve perfection, attempting to do so limits creativity and results in more failures due to added pressure. Striving to achieve leadership excellence, allows space for mistakes to be made and performance to be improved with each iteration. Executive leadership training emphasises the importance of reducing workplace stress that frequently accompanies organisation with a totalitarian approach to achieving goals.

 

For teams to become consistently high performing, it is necessary to both develop and sustain leadership excellence. Sustainability means that there is always the goal of producing the best quality product or service, while also striving to be better in the future. Processes, technologies, and industries progress all the time. Believing that your organisation already has the ‘perfect’ version does not leave room for innovation or improvement. Ignoring the value of creativity will leave you stagnant and struggling to catch up to more open-minded companies. 

 

Executive coaching programs provide leaders with a means of developing innovative thinking that opens the doors for input from a diverse range of sources. Coaching for leadership excellence requires an established, trusting relationship between coach and client. The right coach will be able to challenge you to expand your capabilities and become more receptive to new ideas. 

 

Become a Role Model of Leadership Excellence

Leadership excellence programs aim to teach participants ways to coach, grow and develop the people they work with. The most effective way leaders can do this is to set the example of influence they are hoping to impart. It is the actions we perform that others will watch and critique. Your team will notice if you are not living your values. If you are expecting excellence, you must also become excellent. 

 

 

It is much easier to influence the behaviour of others and unlock their potential by being the model that you wish to see. Senior leadership training doesn’t only benefit participants, but everyone they work with from then on. What is learnt in such programs impacts the way you lead and develop others. Being the standard and role model of excellence, you not only realise your own potential but the potential of those around you as well. 

 

Learning how to harness and model leadership excellence can have a number of advantages on individuals at every level of the organisation. While it is important that our leaders provide a clear example of behaviours to be followed, they should also set the expectation that perfection is not the ultimate goal. Leaders who engage in executive coaching programs to develop their ability to influence their teams, will see an increase in overall performance throughout their organisation.

 

How do you demonstrate excellence in your workplace?

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

How Leadership Excellence Benefits Others

leadership skills inventory

6 Skills Needed for Leadership Excellence

Leadership excellence is not always a measure of how successfully a manager’s directions have been followed. True leadership excellence is much more the result of their ability to inspire their teams to achieve the extraordinary. They must be effective communicators, decision makers, visionaries, students, and coaches. Undertaking senior leadership training programs can help leaders become more effective and successful.

 

Integrity

Maintaining a consistency in your beliefs and values affords you the ability to lead with integrity. Operating with a guiding set of principles will make it easier not to compromise those values when faced with challenges. To lead with integrity we must first develop an understanding of what our personal values are. A personal values assessment will help to determine how the qualities you value in leadership align with your perception of the current and desired culture of your organisation. Hold yourself accountable, and others will do the same.

 

Recognition

Everyone likes hearing that their efforts are appreciated. Great leaders know this and express their gratitude freely, no matter how small the contribution. This is not to say that they are over praising individuals when they are meeting expectations. Rather they display genuine appreciation for necessary but often overlooked efforts made that have a significant or positive impact on the project. Acknowledging your team’s ongoing hard work and celebrating their accomplishments, reinforces a strong work ethic and fosters a positive team environment. 

 

Honesty

The key component of genuine praise and criticism is that it is provided honestly. Compliments mean more to us if the person giving them, truly means what they are saying. Similarly, we are less likely to take personal offence to criticism if we can recognise the truth of it ourselves. An often cited example of this idea comes from Brene Brown. In her book Dare to Lead™, she states that “Clear is Kind, Unclear is Unkind.” This is a significant focus of the Dare to Lead™ leadership development program. It is better to be honest in your critiques to allow for  development, than it is to be vague in an attempt not to hurt someone’s feelings.

 

Delegation

If you have ever found that your team’s progress on a project has stalled because they are waiting for your approval, you may consider removing yourself from the process if possible. By delegating entire processes to your team and entrusting them with more responsibility, you empower them to make better decisions and become high performers. Engaging them in leadership training programs, and even coaching them yourself, promotes autonomy and accelerated performance amongst your team. Delegation does not mean that your role as leader transfers from you to someone else. In developing leadership excellence, you understand that mistakes will occur. You should still be following up on delegated tasks and providing support when necessary.

 

Vision

Having a clear vision or direction for your organisation is an integral trait of leadership excellence. Defining this vision and communicating it effectively with your team ensures that each individual understands the goal you are aiming to achieve. Communicating vision and inspiring others to act on it is a trait that is not always considered particularly skilful. This could not be further from the truth. Developing insightful foresight takes just as much practice and experience as any other leadership skill. Doing so can be the difference between a successful execution or an unsuccessful one. 

 

Learning

Great leaders constantly seek to improve upon their existing skills to keep up and even get ahead of industry trends. Training for leadership excellence means identifying areas that can be improved and building upon already proven strengths. For some, this may require them to identify those areas with the help of a Hogan 360º Report or assessments from an executive training program. Industry standards and processes are always evolving and leaders must evolve their expertise along with it to continue to grow their success.

 

Building leadership excellence requires dedication to both yourself and your team. Senior leadership training can be an effective tool to help leaders understand their own values and how to become better communicators. Leadership development is an ongoing process that will only result in benefits for you, your team, and your organisation as a whole. 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

6 Skills Needed for Leadership Excellence

effective leadership outcomes

Building Effective Leaders

The process of  identifying those capable of taking on senior leadership positions is an ever evolving challenge for most organisations. Potential candidates whether they be internal or external, must be assessed on both their existing skills as leaders, and their ability to develop the necessary competencies for more senior roles in the future

One tactic for building effective leaders has been to engage prospective candidates in simulation-based learning. It allows individuals to develop the specific skills needed while giving them practical experience in applying them. From here, the challenge becomes how do we assess the outcomes of this learning? How does this feedback contribute to the creation of a focused, development plan?

 

Assessing Potential Leaders

When developing high potential leaders, simulation-based learning can be used by senior executives to get an idea of the candidate’s strengths and provide them with opportunities to improve. The feedback that candidates receive is integral to their development as future leaders. Leadership assessment tools such as the Hogan 360º Report help in building a leadership profile for candidates that outlines the competencies in which they are skilled as well as those that they are developing. Executives who hope to support the career goals of their employees can also use these assessments to build focused development plans for those individuals. This may include leadership training programs or providing them with an executive coach who will work closely with them to achieve their goals.

 

Developing Potential Leaders

Whether one, the other, or a combination of both, the candidate should also be accessing leadership assessment and development tools regularly in order to keep track of their progress and success. By building regular assessments into their development plan, potential leaders are able monitor their growth using measurable data. When the time comes that they are being considered for an elevated position within the company, executives can look at the various assessments that have been made through their development and determine whether they have achieved the necessary competencies for the role.

 

Assessment is a vital component of leadership development, though it is not one that many individuals regularly take advantage of. Building effective leaders can only begin once a profile of the competencies has been completed. Leadership assessment tools should be prioritised as a primary resource for executives and potential talent for ensuring that individuals are receiving the training that will have the greatest benefit for them and the organisation as a whole. Leaders who develop a tangible awareness of their abilities become more effective in leading their teams because they understand their limitations. This establishes a culture where the most important thing is not to have all the answers, but to collaborate in order to find the solution.

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

Building Effective Leaders

leadership assessment tools

7 Reasons to Consider a Leadership Assessment

Leadership strategies and methodologies  get much attention particularly during times of uncertainty and change. It can be difficult to determine where individual and organisational leadership capabilities rank amongst industry peers, or what is the best method to understand this. That is why a leadership assessment tool can be a useful way to evaluate your current performance and help understand what leadership development activities will be most suitable for your organisation. The benefits of using leadership assessment tools extend far beyond the individual level. The feedback you gain from such assessments can impact on the development of high performing teams and with the culture of your organisation.

 

Establish Leadership Profiles

One of the benefits of leadership profiling is that it allows you to form a complete picture of an individual’s capabilities as well as their potential for development. Effective leaders are aware of both their strengths and actively seek to improve in areas they may not be as successful. Establishing leadership profiles allows executives access to a resource that informs them about those high potential employees who are just beginning their development.

 

Develop High Potential Employees

When we are looking to fill leadership positions internally, the most obvious choice may not be the right one. Using a data based approach, we are able to assess potential leaders in order to determine the best fit. Completing leadership assessment tools for individuals gives current leaders an unbiased look into the capabilities of high potential employees. Even those who may not be right for leadership roles just yet, may have development plans created in order to support their advancement and career goals.

 

Filling Skills Gaps

Before embarking on a development program, participants and executives should be aware of what gaps exist within their skillset or organisation. Leadership assessment tools provide insight into exactly this. An executive coaching survey will outline an individual’s particular strengths as well as areas for improvement. Completing a leadership assessment prior to any training programs allows both the individual and the organisation to reap the highest benefits.

 

Remain Competitive with Industry Standards

For those who have been in positions of executive leadership for several years, it can be easy to believe that you don’t need as much feedback as you did earlier in your career. This is simply not true in industries that are constantly innovating and expanding. The best leadership assessment tools will help you to understand how your skills match up against the current industry standards. You may be surprised to discover that there are some competencies you need to build upon so that you and your organisation can stay ahead of the competition. 

 

Track Development Progress

Many leadership assessment and development tools are used simply to track an individual’s development processes. The Hogan 360º Report can be re-done at regular intervals to get an external perspective. Actionable Habit Builder is a fantastic tool for self-reflective assessment of progress towards specific goals. No matter how it is done, individuals looking to develop their leadership skills should utilise assessment tools to track their progress in a tangible way. This demonstrates a commitment to the role and the organisation that executives will look at when considering prospective leaders.

 

Motivate Performance

Continually assessing a team or individual’s skills development allows them to not only track their progress, but the improvements in their overall performance as well. Being able to look back on past performance instils a sense of accomplishment that motivates further improvement. By assessing performance as goals are achieved, you can look for methods that worked well and identify ones that hindered success. In doing so, you have a ready made benchmark from which to set new goals and further optimise performance.

 

Improve Company Culture

Leaders who participate in assessments set an example of commitment to growth within an organisation. A willingness to have your own leadership assessed demonstrates what is expected and supported across all levels. It promotes a culture of growth, education, and development. Organisations with a culture that places value in these areas foster a positive workplace environment where morale and performance flourish. Leadership assessments encourage frequent communication that establishes deeper levels of trust between leaders and their teams. 

The development of those who participate in a leadership training program is predominantly determined by their own willingness to grow. Undertaking a leadership assessment prior to a training course helps to set the basis of their learning. The best tools for leadership development will reveal both the strengths and shortcomings of potential leaders, giving them a measurable starting point from which they can begin their leadership journey. Building an organisational culture of growth and development can have a significant and positive impact on performance both now and in the future.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

7 Reasons to Consider a Leadership Assessment

executive coaching services

5 Coaching Skills all Leaders Need

Many of the best leaders also act in the role of coach for their teams and company. It is a critical position that requires the implication of both assertive and passive management techniques. Leaders who have worked with executive coaches themselves, understand that individuals do not always need direct instruction in order to perform well. There are a number of coaching skills that leaders who wish to develop and inspire their teams in achieving their goals, may learn to include in their own management practices.

 

Offer Support

For leadership development programs to be successful, participants should be placed in an environment that provides support and encourages honesty and vulnerability. Being equally as vulnerable with participants, demonstrates a leader’s commitment to developing a coaching culture that reduces power imbalances which may make individuals hesitant to share their personal experiences. When adopting a coaching style of leadership, a mutual level of trust must be established to allow the person who is being coached to feel confident in making significant decisions.

 

Provide Guidance

The best leadership coaches understand that their primary role is to guide others through the decision making process without imposing their own agenda. Executive coaching programs are most effective when a collaborative relationship is established. The coached individual should be given the permission to dictate the focus of the coaching session. Let them decide which goals to work on and even methods for improving. Experienced coaches will of course be able to provide knowledgeable advice on a number of topics, but for the participant to get the most benefit, they must be afforded the opportunity to make the ultimate decision for themselves. 

 

Encourage Reflection

For most people, personal and professional growth occurs when they are able to reflect on their past experiences and are open to learning from them. By analysing what has worked well and what has not, leaders and potential leaders develop a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. Assessment tools like the Hogan 360º Report are often used prior to beginning executive coaching programs to provide a clear indication of which areas the participant most needs to improve. Regular reflection should be a component of the ongoing coaching sessions as a means of tracking the individual’s progress. Using tools like the Actionable Habit Builder provides further support to help the person who is being coached to reflect in their own time privately, and this tool also allows the coach to post comment, challenge and encourage along the way.

 

Growth Culture

In a culmination of the above three skills, establishing a culture of growth within your organisation can result in a more open and collaborative team. What we have so far discussed can be focused on singular instances where decisions need to be made or mistakes have occurred. By coaching the individual through a mistake rather than punishing them, you provide them with an opportunity for growth. When you conduct leadership coaching for cultural change, you create an environment that reduces fear of failure and encourages experiential learning. 

 

Adaptive Communication

One important and effective coaching strategy that leaders should engage with is that of adaptive communication. This means knowing when to be active or direct in your approach, and when to back off and let the coachee take the lead. Communication is the most versatile coaching and leadership skills at your disposal. Passive communication like listening and asking questions, help coaches to understand concerns and receive information. Active communication is used to move processes forward and to deliver feedback. 

 

Incorporating coaching skills into other leadership styles can have a greatly positive impact on individuals within a company. Using coaching skills to develop high performers and potential leaders creates a workplace culture that demonstrates a value in gaining experience as a means of education. The organisation becomes an environment where learning and development is built into day-to-day practices, and mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

5 Coaching Skills all Leaders Need

culture change benefits

5 Benefits of Driving Change

Change is an inevitable part of the modern business environment. Learning to cope with change and actively participate in driving change is crucial to successful change management. While change is often viewed as something to be wary of, developing a culture that embraces change can provide a multitude of benefits for individuals and organisations. 

 

Strategy Alignment

By having a clearly defined business strategy, leaders are able to align everyday organisational practices in service of achieving performance goals. Communicating this strategy with teams creates consistent practices at every level of the organisation. Driving change through high performance training establishes expectations for both leaders and teams from the outset. It ensures that, regardless of position within the company, all individuals are well informed of both what the strategy is and how to implement it successfully. 

 

High Performance Culture

In order to achieve successful strategic alignment there also needs to be a culture of high performance. When employees at all levels of the organisation are motivated to contribute towards company goals, a high performance culture naturally develops. Leaders who are committed to driving change should prioritise developing a high performance team to ensure there is cohesion in understanding and in practices. High performance is about challenging achievement, and over achievement of goals and continuing to learn from the challenges we face. It is also about not allowing poor performance or misconduct.

 

 

Minimises Potential Risks

Driving change management greatly minimises the potential risks when a new project is implemented. When change happens too suddenly or faces resistance, projects and processes can fail. The careful planning that occurs when leading through change management reduces the risks associated with change. By taking the time to carefully plan and strategise for upcoming change, teams are able to predict and account for possible hindrances. The best high performance teams will be able to prevent the risks most likely to derail success.

 

Shorter Transition Periods

In a fast paced business environment, implementing changes quickly and efficiently can have a significant impact on their success. Large changes cannot happen overnight, however having a detailed change management plan in place that marks smaller milestones will help your team to see what they have achieved. By developing a high performance culture that celebrates the progress being made, team motivation builds upon each success and individuals are continually inspired to reach new performance goals. Large scale changes seem less daunting, more manageable, and the time taken to fully integrate them is shortened.

 

Alleviate Stress

Resistance to change often stems from a fear that jobs will be lost or of being unable to keep up with new organisational developments. Leaders tasked with change management must understand how it affects motivation, performance, and loyalty. It is possible that top talent may want to leave the company during times of change or commit to seeing the challenges through. Teams who participate in a high performance training program learn strategies for working through periods of transition without losing momentum on established projects. This helps to alleviate the stress and anxiety of managing day-to-day operations whilst simultaneously adjusting to new processes. 

 

The advantages of a high performance training workshop to help teams cope with change instill in teams the skills needed to overcome the many challenges that change can bring. Such training programs allow organisations the opportunity to plan for upcoming changes and prepare individuals for smoother transitions. Every business will be affected by change. Communicating that change and training for high performance is integral to driving it to success.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

 

5 Benefits of Driving Change

culture change benefits

How Leaders Shape Culture

A company’s culture can be difficult to define as it is so intangible and immeasurable. In fact, some might say that culture is best explained by the feeling you get when you walk around the office, or worksite that best represents culture.  It is this feeling which represents the totality of values, assumptions, and accepted norms and that is what affects the behaviours of individuals. For such behaviours to become engrained throughout the organisation, executive leaders must be the primary examples and set the standard to which others can follow.

 

Defining Culture

Driving change leadership takes more than simply implementing new processes. Individuals must be inspired to change their mindsets, behaviours, and beliefs. Leaders must have within themselves a clear vision for what they want the culture of their company to look like and then ensure that they have the right team in place to actualise it.  Engaging in leadership training for culture change can make a great impact on integrating new or re-defined ideas from the outset. Onboarding and leadership development programs offer organisations the opportunity to instill the importance of their core values in their employees and to build a culture that reflects those beliefs. 

 

When shaping company culture it is important to develop a strong understanding of why you are doing so. Why is it important to the company? And why is it important to your employees? To do this, you may consider engaging in executive leadership training to develop a deeper understanding of your personal values in relation to what you hope to accomplish as a leader. The role of an executive coach is often one of support and discovery. By asking the right questions they are able to guide their client to reaching the answers for themselves. This can be an effective tool for leaders building towards a shift in culture.

 

Reinforcing Culture

It is not enough for leaders to decide on a new approach and expect that their employees will immediately adapt to these changes. Communication and accountability are both paramount to the success of leading culture change. Information must be clearly and regularly communicated across all levels of the organisation, and leaders must be willing to be held accountable for following through themselves. Through leadership and management training courses, employees throughout the organization can be kept informed of new processes and given the means to further their knowledge to members of their team. 

 

A single leadership training course is not enough to shape an entire culture on its own. It must become a regular part of a company’s agenda in board meetings as well as in everyday conversations between team members. A culture can be built with relative ease, sustaining it, and making it second nature to individuals is a challenge within itself. By discussing change and why it is happening, creates a company-wide understanding of what is most important. What is taught in a leadership training program becomes contextualised in the realities of everyday practices. Different levels of leaders get different take always from leadership development programs, and like most professional development, as a minimum, it serves as a reminder of the things we should be doing, but have not set as a priority to do so. These little things all add up to make a big difference when it comes to driving a positive workplace culture and creating a high trust organisation.

 

Culture is often first shaped by leaders wishing to take their organisation in a new direction. However, it is most successful when those leaders are able to have a positive influence on their teams to inspire a shift in mindset that drives behaviour. In an era where diversity, inclusion and belonging are becoming even more important, good leadership and positive workplace cultures is becoming a differentiating factor for businesses of all sizes and industries.

 

What is most important for you, as a leader, to shaping culture?

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

How Leaders Shape Culture

learning outcomes for leadership development

5 Steps to Improving Leadership Development

Traditional executive leadership training has placed a large focus on the development of the practical skills needed to manage teams. Increasingly, leadership development is shifting from this model to one that establishes soft skills that are key to decision making and performance. As the global business community continue to focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging, these secondary or softer skills are becoming primary drivers of leadership development programs. For leaders to get the most out of their development, there are several options that organisations have to ensure they are providing programs that offer a diverse approach to learning.

 

Understanding Values

When embarking leadership training for culture change, it is important to have a clear understanding of the values you wish to  instill in your employees and greater organisation. Developing this understanding of personal values and how you can build them into your day-to-day practices can play a significant role in establishing and sustaining workplace culture in the long term. This is a particular focus of the Dare to Lead™ program. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their personal beliefs and inspect the ways in which they practice their values in how they conduct their work.

 

Evaluation

It can be useful to run an assessment of a team or individual’s strengths prior to their participation in a leadership training course. Knowing what they already do well and in which areas they could improve, help to establish what kind of program they would receive the most benefit from. The 360º Feedback Report provides insight into how leaders are perceived by their teams and exposes key areas of success and growth. This can be a valuable tool for re-assessment and tracking the progress being made.

 

Be Vulnerable

Open and honest communication is key to establishing the interpersonal relationships that help sustain a positive workplace culture. It relies on leaders allowing themselves to show vulnerability to their teams as well as a willingness to listen to their feedback and concerns. Leadership development programs that teach participants how to embrace vulnerability and establish a culture of trust throughout the organization leads to improved performance and success. Vulnerability is not a skill that you download in one go, it is rather complex, but at it’s core is honesty and transparency, however, there are always elements of what to disclose and not to disclose. Transparency without thinking through what you disclose as a leader can be dangerous, as can more traditional leadership styles of armouring up and showing no signs of vulnerability in the process. It is the balance of both extremes that creates leadership that enables a high trust organisation.

 

Be Challenged

A strong measure of effective leadership comes when leaders are faced with uncertainty and challenges that push them towards innovation and creative problem solving. Leadership training programs that focus on developing creative thinking as well as practical skills, result in leaders who are better equipped to overcome unexpected challenges. As we have seen during times of challenge such as the COVID-19 global pandemic, leaders are required to respond to challenges over a longer term period of uncertainty and that requires new strengths in resilience and support and is a big part of leadership development programs to help organisations maintain organisational health through difficult times.

 

Establish Development Culture

Many leaders who profess a desire to improve their personal and professional development often put off doing so until they ‘have the time,’ without realising that the time to start is always now and that “some time” far too often becomes “no time”. Prioritising performance over development is to disregard the opportunity to get the greatest benefit out of both outlets. When learning and development are integrated into everyday practices, we establish ways of becoming better leaders in ways that enable us to improve overall performance. The evolution of leadership within an organisation is very much about a consistent loop of evaluation followed by a continued challenge of development where you need it most, and those who do it best are now building leadership development and high performance team programs with values and vulnerability at the core.

 

The development of leadership skills and practices is an integral part of both personal and organisational growth. Where performance is concerned, so too should leadership training be. The success of any organisation depends upon those who put in the effort each and every day to ensure it. Companies must provide support and opportunities for leadership and management training if they want to see performance exceeding that of their competitors.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

5 Steps to Improving Leadership Development

team assessment tools

Leadership Assessment and Development Tools Explained

Senior leaders know that leadership capability and good leadership is not about inherent ability alone. They also recognise that the days of a senior title commanding respect have gone, and instead each leader at every level of an organisation is being assessed based on their ability to lead and how supportive they are of their teams and others across the business. But why do some leaders make it look so easy and others find it a constant struggle? One of the reasons for this is because the most effective and influential leaders understand the necessity of continually improving their own leadership skills. It isn’t just about inspiring teams, it’s about knowing yourself first. The best leadership assessment tools provide valuable insight into how leaders perform and, in some cases, why they favour particular behaviours. However, when you dip into assessing leadership and assessment profiling tools it can be quite confusing as to which one to use.

 

DiSC

The DiSC profile is designed to help participants build more effective relationships through engaging with a deeper understanding of themselves and others. It is a leadership assessment tool that offers insight into engaging individuals, tackling workplace conflict, and teaching leadership skills to managers. Your DiSC assessment will fall into one of four profile types that indicate whether a person is more task or people oriented. Some may criticise this as being a generalisation of personality type, or somewhat of a “labelling” exercise, but knowing your DiSC profile can be helpful in understanding how you approach certain challenges.

 

Hogan 360º Report

 

The 360º Degree Feedback tool is one of the top ways to profile leaders to help them understand their leadership style. It involves collecting feedback from colleagues and team members about the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. From this, they are able to gain insight into how they are perceived in terms of their attitude, behaviour, and performance. As this assessment can be answered anonymously, honest feedback is invited though there is a possibility of also receiving unconstructive comments due to personal bias. To get the most out of the Hogan 360º Report, it is best to get as many responses as possible to better identify any recurring trends. 

 

Human Synergistics

The Human Synersistics Circumplex measures constructive, passive, and aggressive behaviours. It is used in both the Life Styles Inventory and Group Styles Inventory assessments. The LSI is a leadership assessment tool for individuals that helps them clarify their personal understanding of their own behaviour and the thinking behind their actions. The GSI can be used for teams to assess behaviours during team decision-making processes. It provides insight into how the group functions as a whole, allowing them to clearly identify what helps or hinders their performance. Leadership assessment tools for teams serve as a means of demonstrating where improvements can be made in order to build successful high performing teams. 

 

Regularly reflecting on past behaviours and performance is key to strengthening weaknesses and improving existing strengths. There are numerous tools available that leaders and teams can participate in to identify their leadership style. We have spoken about a small number of them here, and to discuss them all could become overwhelming. Each person or organisation will have different reasons for choosing to use tools like these. Selecting the leadership assessment and development tool, or tools, that best suit your needs is vital to achieving your desired outcome goals.

 

How do you incorporate reflection and development in your leadership practices?

 

 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance, and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

 

Leadership Assessment and Development Tools Explained

leadership coaching

5 Steps for Effecting Coaching

Executive coaches can play a significant role in the ongoing development of teams and leaders. Through a series of coaching sessions in which the coach and client work closely to construct a strategy to reach specific goals and build new behaviours, the client is empowered to take control of their own learning. In making continual assessments and tracking their progress, it becomes possible to see the tangible development of skills that contribute to ongoing growth and success. The relationship is one of accountability, development and support, and provides a safe place for an individual to talk through what is working and what is not working with their day to day business activities.

 

Analysis

For executive coaching to provide the most beneficial results, the coach must first work with the team or individual to identify performance gaps and their cause. This is typically achieved through executive coaching programs that aim to address the specific goals and desires of the client, as well as any behaviours they may wish to improve. Those behaviours that will provide the highest opportunities for advancement should be prioritised. In some cases, the specific goals for the coaching program may be aligned to other development activities, or will be agreed between the individual who is being coached and other representatives from the business.

 

Preparation

Coaching for behavioural or cultural change takes a significant amount of time and effort to be done effectively, and therefore should not be a rushed process. It may take several coaching sessions for there to be a noticeable change. Set an intentional objective prior to each meeting that focuses on one or two specific behaviours. Doing so means that you can solidify progress in those areas without becoming overwhelmed by trying to do too much at once. The preparation stage should also involve anticipating obstacles and discussing strategies to overcome them. As you begin to introduce new objectives, you can see the progress that has already been made. In some cases, leadership assessments and profiling may be required for a more detailed assessment of the individual who is being coached, or in other cases the main areas for behaviour and cultural change may be identified through conversation and consultation with the individual and/or others within the business. The most important part of this step is that everyone involved agree on the area that requires change, and are committed to making the change, and recognise the benefits of working through that process!

 

Collaboration

Executive coaching is a collaborative process between the coach and the client. Collaboration suggests relationship and for that reason, trust is a big part of any coaching program. Each session should involve open dialogue and shared perspectives to determine the options of moving forwards. Both coach and client must be fully engaged and motivated to achieve the goals set out. The best executive coaches understand that much of their role is simply to ask the right questions that lead the client to reach the solution for themselves. Of course, their experience and expertise will offer guidance in this but really, a successful coach will act as more of a sounding board for ideas rather than provide direct answers. What remains in the vault, is a big part of collaboration, and is a critical part of how a coach builds trust and ensures a healthy coaching relationship.

 

Documentation

To truly benefit from the positive effects of executive coaching, each session should take rigorous documentation of goals, the steps that need to be taken, and timing (if applicable) so that progress can be monitored. A useful tool for this process is the Actionable Habit Builder that allows the client to set, track, and reflect on their behaviour as they work towards their goals. The platform allows progress to be shared with the coach so that they are able to be kept up to date remotely. At the end of this program, the individual is asked to answer a series of reflection questions that allow them to delve deeply into self-analysis of their behaviour and emotions. The advantage of this is that it provides a measurement not only of what they did, but how they felt about it. By having a reference of what has been worked on and the levels of improvement, delivers the necessary feedback to keep everyone involved motivated to work through difficult situations and acts as a reminder to the value of the coaching relationship and progress that is being made.

 

Follow up

The best leadership coaching businesses do not succeed on the basis of a singular session. For there to be continual improvement there must also be continual assessment. The reaching of one goal usually leads to the forming of another. In this way we are always able to achieve growth in our business and leadership. A cycle of feedback is necessary for building upon previous success. The Hogan 360º Report feedback tool is excellent for creating this loop. At the end of each implementation, clients are again asked to provide feedback on the skills and behaviours that are either working or can still be improved. One of the advantages of leadership coaches is having someone who is willing to push you to succeed not just once, but time and time again. 

 

The top leadership coaches know that change takes time, skill, and dedication. Through executive coaching programs and behaviour development tools, clients are able build within themselves the skills they need to grow and reach new levels of success. How do we know if we are reaching our goals if we do not assess our progress? By working closely with the coach and regularly monitoring their progress, clients become more confident and begin to take ownership of their own development.

 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you in creating value through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

 

5 Steps for Effecting Coaching

leadership performance training

Why Focusing on Performance is Destructive

Questions Leaders Struggle With

Over the last several years, I have asked a series of questions of leaders: 

  • What is performance? 
  • What is organisational health? 
  • Where do you think most leaders and organisations focus – performance or health? 

Almost without exception, leaders can answer the first question about performance, but usually in very narrow terms. They might mention profit or products or services. The answers to question two – what is organisational health – varies widely. Generally, people respond with terms like ‘it’s about the culture’, or ‘it relates to how strong your leadership capability is’ while others take the term ‘health’ more literally and believe it’s about the wellbeing of their employees.

Performance and health circles and overlap

To answer the questions from an evidence-based approach, I draw on the work of Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger (Beyond Performance 2.0, 2019) who present some useful definitions and distinctions about the terms, not to mention a depth of research that holds up across industries and sectors.

Performance is what an enterprise does to deliver improved results for its stakeholders in financial and operational terms. It’s evaluated through measures such as net operating profit, and total returns to shareholders. 

Health is how effectively an organisation works together in pursuit of a common goal. It is evaluated in levels of accountability, motivation, innovation, coordination, external orientation, and so on. A more memorable way to think about health-related actions is that they are those that improve how an organisation internally aligns itself, executes with excellence, and renews itself to sustainably achieve performance aspirations in its ever-changing external environment.

Performance and health circles and overlap (including wording)

The Question that Bites

Once these definitions are more clearly understood, I then ask the third question, “Which one (performance or health) do organisations focus on?” The answer is obvious – performance. It is rare for someone to say that organisations have a bias towards organisational health. Organisations should focus on performance to get performance, right? Wrong.

The last follow-up question is “Which one out of performance and health should leaders focus on? Most answer ‘health’ – and then there is usually an awkward silence – as some in the room realise that they have spent a lifetime perpetuating the myth that to get performance you should focus on performance. This is a classic ‘knowing-do’ gap. We know what to do, but fail to take action.  

Knowledge gap and doing

The Magic of ‘And’

The actual answer is BOTH. In a world where ‘either-or’ thinking dominates, focusing predominantly on one or the other is going to be counter-productive. It’s what has been called the magic of the ‘and’. Leaders need to focus on performance AND health concurrently. 

The power of...

However, the view that to get performance we need to focus on performance prevails. Not only does it prevail, but for many leaders it dominates their approach. A case in point was a conversation I once had with a CFO of a large Australian company, who said, and I quote, “We can’t focus on fixing the culture yet because we have invested in a major technology platform that now needs to be implemented.” 

There are many flaws in this thinking. Firstly, you can roll out the gold standard in technology, but if people aren’t aligned behind the organisation’s vision and purpose, then you’re likely going to be flushing a sizeable portion of it down the toilet. I once mentioned that we still seem to tolerate a high failure rate in organisational change (i.e. the change initiative fails to deliver on its promise) to a group of senior bankers. The head of technology acknowledged that they had possibly wasted around $1billion in the last year because of poor implementation. When I queried what he meant by ‘poor implementation’, he replied, “we forgot about the people.” Related to this point, a high profile change initiative is the perfect time to start to shift to a more constructive culture in how it is rolled out. Leaders need to use the initiative as a vehicle to demonstrate the ‘new way’, or aspirational culture in everything they do. Again, it’s an ‘and’. 

Performance and Health Matter Equally

The central premise of our work (and supported by an avalanche of research) is that leaders should put equal emphasis on the health elements of making change happen as they do the performance elements. 

As Keller and Schaninger point out, “Workplaces that are characterized by any or all of competing agendas and conflict (no alignment on direction), politics and bureaucracy (low quality of execution), and where work is “just a job” (low sense of renewal), aren’t just unhealthy for sustainably delivering bottom-line results—they are unhealthy for the human soul.”

Leadership must be the bridge between performance and health.

Performance and health circles and overlap - leadership is the bridge

Organisations that are healthy, however, are places people actually want to be, creating the environment and conditions for people to do – and be – their best. They mobilise and align around important organisational challenges and goals, they create a sense of belonging by fostering high-performance teams, and they foster creativity and innovation through a sense of psychological safety, encouraging ‘smart failures’ and promoting a sense of renewal. 

The Leadership Challenge

In the fast-paced, always-on, rapidly changing world we live in, the need for action and results is a powerful and seductive force. But if leaders focus on this to the exclusion of – or even to a greater extent than – developing organisational health, then it will ultimately come back to harm them and their organisation or team. There are numerous examples where a focus on performance alone has hurt the bottom (and top) line. Think about the leaders you have worked with where they have focused on performance to the exclusion of health. What were the results? In the short-term, probably pretty good. But anything beyond that there was a likely dip in performance and in fact a complete undermining of it. There may have also been substantial damage to the culture, its people, and the goodwill and trust required to run an enterprise.

The leadership challenge is to develop more sophisticated lenses to be able to see – really see – organisations as both systems and as a personal construct. Changing mindsets and behaviours are critical, but if you don’t understand the formal and informal structures and relationships that play out in the organisation, including the way that people take up their roles, then you will be doomed to achieving average results at best. And ‘average’ results in a world where change leadership is generally done poorly, means below what organisations, their people, and those they serve deserve. 

 

 

 

Why Focusing on Performance is Destructive

TIME Magazine - Person of the Year

The “Silence Breakers”

The #MeToo Movement

Time magazine has named “The Silence Breakers,” representing people who came forward to report sexual misconduct, as its Person of the Year.

On Wednesday, the magazine named the #metoo movement — or the “Silence Breakers” as the “Person of the Year,” a nod to the millions of people who came forward with their stories of sexual harassment, assault and rape after big Hollywood players like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and dozens of other powerful men were accused of sexual misconduct.

“For giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable, The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year,” Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthan said in a statement.

Founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, appeared on the cover along with actresses Rose McGowan, Selma Blair and Ashley Judd, who broke the silence by coming forward with accusations against Harvey Weinstein. Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler was one of the women on the cover. She posted a powerful blog entry in February about harassment she faced during her time at the company.

Taylor Swift, who won $1 in a sexual harassment trial against a Denver DJ accused of groping her also appeared on the magazine’s cover.

Burke first used the phrase that would be come such a widely used hashtag in 2017 more than a decade ago while working with young survivors or harassment and assault. Actress Alyssa Milano was sent a screenshot of the phrase and chose to send it out on Twitter.

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” she wrote. She told Time she woke up to more than 30,000 uses of the hashtag and burst into tears.

The focus was not only on those in Hollywood or in TV journalism. A strawberry picker from California named Isabel Pascual was one of many to take to the streets of California to join stars and civilians alike in their march against the abusive behavior.

While many of the people featured in Time’s piece were women from all professions, actor Terry Crews was also included for speaking out against popular agent Adam Venit, who he accused of groping his genitals at a party and is now suing.

What does it all mean for leadership?

It should serve as a wake up call to leaders in all organisations – your central work is to create a culture of safety that enables speaking up so that we no longer have to rely on courage as the vehicle for transparency.

Unfortunately, there are too many examples and case studies to count involving bullying, poor behaviour and a tolerance for toxic cultures.

I have previously written about psychological safety on this blog.

In order to have the type of robust, honest conversations needed, you will need to work on creating high levels of psychological safety. Last November, Google published the five traits of its most successful teams – the first and most important was psychological safety, which has been described as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’  Psychological safety is a necessary pre-condition for conversations that happen early and often, no matter what the problem or opportunity.

How do we create psychological safety?

Here are five ways to foster an environment where people feel safe.

  1. Listen – listening is an underutilised skill! Listen your way to agreement.
  2. Balance advocacy and inquiry – ask at least as many questions (inquiry) as you do tell/express an opinion (advocate). Effective leaders know how to ask challenging open questions rather than just spew out never-ending opinion.
  3. Authority – use your authority carefully and dutifully. Authority should not be your default style and approach.
  4. Don’t judge – our brains are wired to judge our environment, including other people – it helps keep us safe. But it also creates conflict, fear, marginalisation and low trust.
  5. Work on yourself – continue to work on yourself, and in particular what triggers you to move in to fight, flight or freeze. Understand and work on the triggers so people feel they can talk with you in an honest way that won’t send you off.

See the original article here, with thanks from Time Magazine.

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The “Silence Breakers”