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Your Summer Assignment is Here!

As we move into August, many families are taking vacations before the start of school.  Summer time is usually a time for more fun and relaxation for both parents and kids out of school.

Some of the best family memories are made during the summer; going on vacation, seeing relatives, camping, or making projects.  Kids seem to sprout like weeds during the summer months as their daily activities change.  Most of us have family memories to look back on and remember as we become adults.  I can remember my Dad declaring one summer day, “We are going on a picnic today and EVERYONE is going to have FUN!” in his loud declarative voice.

What families do and the traditions they have reflect their values.  I did not realize until I was much older the values that I got from my family.  As I matured, I began to develop my own values and … many of them were my family’s values.  Work hard and make a contribution, be generous, continue to learn new things as you grow, be honest and always respect others.  These were not just things my parents told me I should do – they were the things that they did too.

We all have our favorite childhood memories to look back on and share with our children.

As parents, we might assume that our day-to-day lives and special memories convey our values clearly to our children.  But that isn’t always the case.  A colleague of mine has a great way of articulating this, “Children are great observers, but lousy interpreters.”

As a Certified Family Coach, I often hear from parents “Of course my children know our family values.”  Then, when give an assignment to ask their children what their family values are, they are surprised at the responses they get.  Most simply put, values are chosen guiding principles to be lived in every area of life.  Values show up at home, at work, at school, on the playground and when you are alone.

Here’s a great activity for your family before the school-year routines return. Reflect on the last 7 days and write down things that stand out regarding:

  • How you distributed your time over those 7 days?  Work, recreation, service and supporting others, learning something new, housework, sleeping, exercising, time for TV, etc.
  • How much time during the week did you spend in each area?
  • What were the things you wanted to do but did not take time to do?

As you identify where and how you spent your time, what values do you connect to those activities?

For example;  if I am spending time studying in pursuit of a college degree, I value education.  If I volunteer weekly at a homeless shelter or food bank, I might value service or compassion.  If I am regularly planning family activities or opportunities to get together with extended family, I might value family.

A fun family activity that you can do is plan a time as a family to talk about what you value most.  Have everyone in the family share.  Kids might say… fun or sports. Start with sharing what values are in your own words including what it looks like to live each value.  Make it a fun activity – take a 3×5 card for each value and place the word on one side and and describe how you live it on the other side.  Then decorate the cards.  You can put them in a box and pull one each week to focus on “living” and “seeing/experiencing” that value for the week.  Values are to be lived and experienced; the ultimate walking the talk!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, sharing family time together, making memories and living your values.

Our best to you,

Barbara and everyone at Source Point Training

 

Coaching Today’s Workforce – Part 5 – Catching the College Grads with Coaching

Welcome to the third segment in our 5-part series on coaching trends and how to create a coaching culture in your organization.  If you missed Parts 1, 2 or 3 – you can access them here:  Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

This series includes the philosophy and coaching experience of Barbara Fagan, President of Source Point Training, and a recent survey conducted by the International Coach Federation just released in October 2016.  We hope you enjoy these insights and applications on how you can include coaching as a way of contributing to people and teams within your organization.

 

CATCHING THE COLLEGE GRADS WITH COACHING!

What is the new generation of college graduates looking for when considering their first job out of college?  You might not have guessed it but mentoring, coaching and a plan for managing their careers rank in the top 5 areas of what today’s graduates look for.

May is typically graduation month for most colleges and this year more than ever there will be many new career opportunities for new grads in most fields from Engineering to technology to biochemical, just to name a few.  Many companies have already spent time at college campuses recruiting graduates for career opportunities.

According to a recent article published by Fortune magazine from authors Ed Frauenheim and Tabitha Russell, the companies that attract the most graduates also have the highest achievements in their field of business.  College students invest heavily in themselves and expect to have a return on that investment when they graduate.  Recruiting and retaining top talent and creating a powerful conversation about your company being a “great place to work” will yield rewards for many years into the future for both employees and employers.

Companies recognized as a great place to work enjoy a sense of team and community. Workers collaborate willingly and are not focused on politics, but more on being recognized for their contributions and guided by their mentors who take the time to give them real-time feedback.

This is why, for the last 7 years, Source Point Training has worked with organizations who are dedicated to providing coaching for their employees. Not the kind of coaching performance that in the past was seen as “fixing” a problem.  Today, progressive companies match a mentor who has coaching skills to new employees as part of their on-boarding process.  The mentor provides more self-direction in setting goals, knows how to give real-time feedback and encourages reaching out to colleagues for support.  These are what will attract the new generation of employees.

Source Point Training has over 30 years of professional coaching experience and today is working with companies who want to train managers to learn the skills of coaching and mentoring employees.  The feedback we receive consistently is that employees who receive coaching within their work environment – not just on issues at work but on how to manage time and priorities in their life more effectively:

  • achieve a higher sense of self-confidence
  • exhibit a willingness to take on new learning and reach new levels
  • become the most fulfilled employees and loyal advocates for their company as being one of the “best places to work”

As we wrap up the value of creating a coaching culture in organizations, we have shared that:

  • Today’s workforce wants their contribution to be seen and they want to be coached in areas where they can improve.
  • ICF surveys indicated that 82% of managers surveyed would like training on how to be effective coaches for their teams.
  • Performance coaching is now seen as an employee benefit for those who are seeking career advancement and the desire to increase their contribution.
  • Coaching is seen as one of the best ways to retain top talent, build loyalty and is an incentive for developing new capabilities.
  • Creating a trusting environment, where managers and colleagues conduct themselves ethically and actively listen to each other is valued more by most employees than the salary they are paid.
  • Potential employees can usually find comparable salaries but it is more difficult to find a corporate culture that fosters mentors and coaching people to achieve their career goals.
  • A coaching culture’s ROI is only as good as the competency of those using the coaching skills. Coaching employees effectively requires coach-specific skills and ongoing practice/usage of those skills.
  • According to the recent ICF/HCI survey Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders, “The training of managers/leaders using coaching skills is a very important part of building a coaching culture; 87% of respondents with strong coaching cultures report their current training has been instrumental in building a coaching culture.”
  • Organizations with a rich coaching culture report less employee turnover, increase in individuals achieving professional and personal  goals, changes in attitudes and behaviors leading to collaborative thinking and proactivity, reduction in expense – more efficient use of resources and time, increase in promotions and more leadership opportunities to expand business, and increase in market and customers.

If you want to change your corporate culture to include coaching, email Ginny Carter, Administrative Director, at [email protected].  We will discuss how you can provide your management team with the coaching core competencies recognized by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Association for Coaching (AC).

Our best to you,

Barbara and everyone at Source Point Training

 

 

Creating Meaningful Dialogue

Empowerment from Source Point Training | February 15, 2017

Rodney King, after the Los Angeles Riots in 1992 said, “Can’t we all get along”. Human beings are born to be connected; and yet we are living in a world today that seems to spend a good deal of time expressing all the ways that we are different in culture, age, life experiences and economic means.

The last decade in America has challenged us all to accept changes in ways that many had never expected.  With change comes resistance, always.  Change means that we must be willing to let go of the way that is, was or always has been.

My niece, who is a school principle, shared this video with me recently about a school in England that is teaching Oracy.  As I watched it, I thought how great it would be if all adults could take the time to go back and re-learn the art of meaningful dialogue.

How many times in the last year have you found yourself becoming frustrated or even fearful at what you hear people say around you?  Maybe at work you sense a lack of alignment or even competition in the way that people share their ideas.   How do you have meaningful dialogue with your co-workers?

In social situations with friends that you have known for years, do you find yourself checking out or even having judgments about what they are sharing? Sometimes, when we know people really well, we stop listening to them and assume we know what they think about things.  Or perhaps in the last year with the political climate you realized that you have very different beliefs about where we are headed as a country.  Maybe you find yourself becoming upset when you attempt to share your point of view and you’re interrupted by someone sharing their perspective.

As a group of people working together or those you socialize with, it is not uncommon to have this type of reaction to others.  This is why so many of us “protect” ourselves from other people’s judgments.  That’s why we play the game – “just go along” thinking it is easier to get along then rock the boat.

Organizations talk about collaboration and innovation to foster creativity but do most people really understand what is required to create the trust and willingness to share openly their ideas and opinions?

To have effective dialogue with others, we must first be willing to listen to understand.  Stephen Covey in his world-famous book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” identified Seek First to Understand as one of the 7 habits for people to be most effective.  But what does that require?  We must be willing to suspend our judgments and opinions about what others are saying.  We must be open to listen to understand another’s point of view.   This requires us to let go of our worldview, which includes beliefs, values and assumptions many times.

Second, we must be willing to share our point of view even in the face of resistance. Be neutral, focus on finding ways to express what we believe in a way that others will be open to listen.  Look first at where we agree and connect and then bridge to another point of view we may have.  Know your “hot buttons.”  These are certain words or ideas that will trigger you into reaction.  We all have them.

Third, look for common ground where we have shared purpose and values.  Communicate clearly what you both agree on before discussing what you see differently or where you disagree.

Lastly, be respectful.  Our worldviews come from our past and how we were raised, our life’s experiences, core beliefs, values and circumstances.   We can’t change another person’s worldview just by giving them more information about what we think or the evidence we have. Worldviews are shaped over time.  Stephen Covey often spoke about shifting paradigms.  As our world changes and evolves over time, we can begin to see new possibilities if we respect different points of view and accept that our world is always changing.

Our best to you,

Barbara and everyone at Source Point Training

 

Is this All there Is?

jokerThe New Year is behind us and we are all looking at the long year ahead.  This is the time many people begin to look at their careers and work environments and ask themselves, “Is this all there is?”

I remember many years ago when I was still working in the corporate environment, saying to co-workers, “I can’t stomach another budget review, project plan and feasibility analysis.” It just seemed as though I was doing the same thing over and over again. Where once these were exciting opportunities to demonstrate my capabilities, they had become just plain tiresome.   Nothing much has changed since that time because all businesses require the same basic tools to exist and people to provide them.

According to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn Global Job Seeker Trends, people do not change jobs because of their bosses, lack of challenge, too much demand on them or even the pay.  Of 10,000 people surveyed on why they changed jobs, 45% indicated because they saw a lack of career opportunity.  I have coached many people through the years on how to make the most of their jobs and take responsibility for their career path.  Too often people expect their managers to guide them or let them know what is needed.  Many people wait for the right opportunity to shine.  However, if you ask most people who have become successful they will tell you it is because they took charge of their careers. They used every opportunity to look for and take on new challenges.  This does not always mean that you need to change jobs.

Here are some strategies that I have used in coaching when I have clients who find themselves stuck with a low libido when it comes to their careers:

  • First, remember that your job and career are only one part of your life. Look at all areas of your life to determine if this low level of energy and interest is in any other area of your life.  Perhaps you are facing the winter blues and nothing feels quite right.  If that is true, it is time to do an inventory of what brings you real meaning and a sense of purpose.  Are you a creative thinker and lacking opportunities to use that natural gift of yours?  Look around to see if there is a project waiting for you to take on at home or at work?  If it is at work, who can you enroll in some new thinking or ideas for change?  If at home, what would be your first step to get started?Bulb
  • Be willing to declare something new.  Iyanla Vanzant, a great writer, wrote the book In the Meantime in which she spoke of how people wait for the right time to take on their dreams and what they want.  There is no time like the present.  It has become even more relevant today with our rapidly changing times.  Look for opportunities at work to take on a new project. How do you find them?  Look for areas that others are complaining about but not taking action to change anything.  You can be the one to declare your intention to take it on.  Find something that needs changing that is really meaningful for you.  You must be truly interested in what you want to change or else it will become hard and eventually you will give up.  When you decide what you want to change and how that will make a difference, begin to enroll others in your ideas.  Each person in an organization can take the lead but it requires your commitment.  People who wait will not be seen as the people organizations want to move up their career ladder.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Share your intentions to advance your career with your managers.  Let them know you want to be challenged and to play your best game.  Identify areas you want to become more capable and let your manager know.  Ask for challenging assignments where you will need to stretch yourself and learn something new and be able to take more risks.  This will always benefit you as your career path develops.  Many mangers I have coached have shared that they wish their employees would ask them for more challenging assignments.  You must be willing to take the lead in your career.Smile
  • Get a coach.  Before changing careers one of the best investments you can make is to hire a coach.  Perhaps your organization has internal coaches available to assist you in your career development.  Almost 50% of organizations today have internal coaches or are planning to provide internal coaches for their employees.  A coach is a great resource to help you evaluate your strengths and what you really want to do to develop yourself and advance your career.  Source Point Training has been working with organizations over the last several years to provide coaching for employees within an organization who want to play a bigger game and contribute at higher levels but require coaching to develop their best strategy.

There are many opportunities for you to create exactly what you want in the year ahead.  The first step is to get off the bench and take the lead to determine what you want, where your greatest talents lie and enroll people to give you the opportunity to go for it and bring more excitement to what you do everyday.

With warmest gratitude, Barbara and everyone at Source Point Training

 

THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL GROWTH ON INNOVATION

This week, Source Point Training launches Open Enrollment for the next Fundamentals and Mastery of Performance Coaching.  The increase in demand for coaching continues to grow.  More and more business leaders are realizing the impact coaching can have on their organizations and moving towards embracing a coaching culture as a way of being in business and serving their employees and their customers.

treehandsPart of this steadily increasing interest from within the business community is the realization, especially with the growing millennial population, that developing the “whole person” is what most positively opens the space for innovation and impact to  their bottom line.  For so long, businesses have been investing in “professional development” focused on specific “hard skills” training and traditional “management development”.  Today, progressive organizations see that it must be a combination of professional AND personal development.

Below are a few excerpts from a great article written by Geoffrey James, Contributing Editor for Inc.com, that highlights that innovation comes from personal growth of an organization’s employees and the 4 key ways an organization can nurture the personal growth of employees.  You can read the full article here:

1.    Create a community; not a machine.  I’ve sometimes heard leaders proudly describe their organization as “well-oiled machine.”  When leaders think of organizations as machines, they inevitably dehumanize employees either as cogs in that machine or “resources” that the machine must chew up and spit out in order to keep itself running. When leaders visualize an organization as a community of individuals it sets a completely different tone. It unleashes a flood of enthusiasm and energy. Employees feel free to grow into new roles in order to help the entire community to succeed.goofy

2.    Balance overtime with “undertime”.  Today’s pace of change is so rapidthat it sometimes feels like you’ve got to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place, let alone get ahead of everyone else. Because there’s never time to relax, you burn out before you get anywhere.  It’s true that you’ll sometimes need to work overtime to meet deadlines or ship dates. To give yourself (and everyone else) a chance to grow, you also need to work “undertime” which means, well, goofing off.

3.    Provide training on life skills.  Many leaders consider training to be an expense. What’s worse, such leaders think training should be limited to job skills.  In fact, a company’s ability to take full advantage of good times as well as cope with the bad times requires employees with strong life skills: overcoming fear, managing emotions, building empathy, better communication, etc.  While training on job skills is important, training life skills can create those breakthrough moments where people transcend their limitations and grow into the person they need to be to move to the next level.

4.    Commit to your own personal growth.  When your company grows, the leaders either grow or are left behind. Executives who fail to grow get stuck in one job.  Successful entrepreneurs and executives are lifelong learners. They devour new information, seek new perspectives, challenge themselves to become the best they can be. [Personal growth] comes from spending time and energy on yourself. It comes from developing the courage to let go of who you think you are and instead transform yourself into someone better.

Organizations that see the value in supporting both the personal and professional growth of their employees are the organizations who are actively:

– Contracting outside certified coaches
– Hiring Internal Coaches
– Bringing in a coach training curriculum to promote coaching as a new approach to old school management

If you are interested in becoming a certified coach with an ICF Approved organization or feel your organization would like to learn more about infusing a coaching culture as part of their Training & Development focus, give Ginny Carter, Administrative Director, a call to learn more, 800-217-5660.  Check Our Website for more information about Fundamentals and Mastery of Performance Coaching and our next  dates.

Warmest wishes, Barbara

 

Calling all Nerds! Yes, You!

Ever go to a meeting with a group of people you do not know and wanting to be your best self?  Of course; we always want to show our best side, but what happens when we feel insecure or not in control?  Perhaps we have been stressed with personal situations at home – things that we are working to cope with.  When this occurs, usually our Nerd will show up.

nerd300Who is your Nerd you might ask?  Well, it is the perfectly created behavior that lets the world know you are in control, confident and secure – while inside you feel just the opposite.  Think of it like your Super Hero Suit.  No one can “get” to you when you have it on and you have spent most of your life keeping your Nerd Suit in great shape.

The problem is that most of us don’t always know when we are wearing it.  It just magically come over us when we have these emotions of not feeling in control or liked.  When what we really want is approval and the feeling of confidence.  Others can see it very clearly – and many times people react negatively to us when we are being our most Nerdy self.

I remember when I first discovered this about myself many years ago. I was given some powerful feedback when I was really into my Nerdiness. Of course I resisted the feedback.  I wanted to explain why I was reacting the way that I was.  But when I really took the time to understand it – and not judge it – then I was able to accept that this way of behaving in challenging situations was really my way of protecting myself from not feeling adequate or not feeling that I had personal power.BeSelf300

Instead of resisting our Nerd, you can benefit by embracing that part of you that shows up in these situations. Of course, once you realize that you are being a NERD, then you can begin to shift and remind yourself that it doesn’t matter what people say about you as long as you really know who you are.  The more we embrace ourselves and the unique person we are, the less we will want to put on our Nerd suit and pretend we are someone else. The bottom line is we will always have times that we are a Nerd – learn to laugh at yourself when this occurs- it really can be funny to see yourself in this way.

Warmest wishes, Barbara