Friday, December 06, 2013

Leadership a-z - L is for Learning

Learning is an integral part of the leadership process. Learning may happen formally and informally, Informally through action, conversations with mentors, our bosses. Formally we may be exposed to formal leadership training and undertake skill development around some of the core leadership skill areas (discussed earlier at this leadership a-z blog post).

I regularly speak on the different modalities of learning and some of the distinctions between Supervision, Coaching, Mentoring and Training. This stems from my own experience as a senior leader working in the domains of coacing, mentoring and training. As a consultant and leadership coach today, I continue to work with partner organizations across these varied disciplines.

My latest book, From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching, addresses the topic of leadership capacity development, and learning in part 3 of the book.

The following Iconograph comes from ASTD's 2013 State of the Industry report:



Coaching Questions:
* How much time have you dedicated to learning this year - for you? For your team?
 Which skill areas could you benefit from sharpening or learning more about?
* What do you find you need the most useful - Formal learning opportunities? Informal learning opportunities? Support from peers or others in your industry? Mentoring?

* What one learning activity would have the greatest impact to your work, and your life, in the next year?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Read more about our coaching, retreat and leadership development offerings and support
 
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching.  She has spent the last 25 years supporting teams and groups real their full potential. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training/

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Leadership a - z: N is for New Hire Orientation



The first 90 days of any employee's job is critical to success, for them, as well as for your team. What
are typical considerations when welcoming a new member to the team?

Consider these items:

1. Schedule time to welcome them to your team. Introduce them to all team members, as well as other influencers and connectors in the department/organization.

2. Create a series of meetings to:
Set expectations  What do they expect from you as a leader? What do you expect from them? How do these align? You may also want to have dialogue about expectations on the team level, depending on their role.

Review the job description. Spend time reviewing the person’s job duties and responsibilities. What are the performance expectations? What does good performance look like? Time spent at the start of a person’s placement is well spent in clarifying behaviorally what is expected of them.

Discuss how their role fits into the work of the entire team, unit and organization. The more you can share about the bigger picture, the easier it is for many employees to see the connections, and know what can happen to others when work is not completed on time or in a complete manner.

Discover their preferences and share yours.  Discuss what they can expect with communication, feedback, performance discussions.

Many HR departments will have a pre-established on-boarding program. As a leader or manager the time spent up front building relationships, clarifying expectations, and providing clear information abou the role and priorities can be invaluable.

Questions:
What do you want to communicate about yourself as a leader. The direction they will receive? 
What are he goals and priorities of the team?
 How does their work will fit into the bigger picture of the team and the organization?
What can they expect in terms of feedback and support?
What should they know about your style? What should they know about yours? (Learn more about styles through the Everything DiSC profile).

Have a great week,
Jennifer

 
Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Read more about our coaching, retreat and leadership development offerings and support
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training

Monday, December 02, 2013

Leadership a-z: M is for Motivation and Micro-monitoring

Today we are a the letter M in #leadership a through z. Two words in particular jumped to mind for  me -
Motivation and Micro-monitoring

Motivation: What motivates you as a leader? What motivates your staff? A great book on this topic is Dan Pink's book Drive. In the book he explores what motivates us and proposes that we are motivated by three things - autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Questions to consider: 
Looking at ourselves, where do we get motivation from? Is it an internal driver like purpose, or an external driver like money or recognition? Consider your team members - what are their motivators? What can you do to align their motivators with tasks that need to get done?
How do goals support motivation for your team members?

Resources around motivation:
Motivation 123 website - a website dedicated to motivation. You can visit it here
Jim Riley presents various theorists around motivation including Maslow (remember his Hierarchy of Needs) and others. You can read Jim's overview here.
An animated video by RSA based on a presentation Dan Pink gave. View it here.

Micro-management versus micro-monitoring: A common statement in any leadership development training process is that you don't want to micro-manage.

As a former co-facilitator of mine, Doug McLaren, always stated "as a leader you want to micro-monitor, not micro-manage". Micro-monitoring is about being aware of what your team members are working on, and making sure that you are there to provide support, resources and troubleshooting as needed. Micro-management, in contrast, is about taking over and not letting your employees work autonomously. As indicated earlier in this post, what is a major driver of motivation? Autonomy. Consider the implication

Questions to consider:
What does micro-management mean to you? What does it look like?
What does micro-monitoring mean to you? What does it look like?
On a scale of 0-10 (with 0 being none, and 10 being high) where are you as a micro-manager? A micro-monitor?
What support does each one of your staff really need at the moment to be successful with a particular task or project?


Have a great start to your week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Read more about our coaching, retreat and leadership development offerings and support
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training





Thursday, November 28, 2013

Leadership A-Z: K is for Kick-off Meeting

A large part of my professional work has focused on program management. I always describe program
management as "project management on steroids". As a former leader, director and manager who worked at the UN, and within other international development organizations, a large part of my work focused on creating, leading and managing multi-disciplinary programs from disaster management, through to health care, and education. Typically programs would consist of a multitude of discrete projects, involving dozens of experts, generalists and other stakeholders. I very quickly realized early in my career that one of the most important activities for a new project, program or initiative was the kick-off meeting.

Some considerations in pulling together an effective kick-off meetings are the following:
1. Who needs to be at the table or involved in the kick-off? Make a list. The RACI framework of stakeholder analysis can provide us with a useful framework to think through the multitude of potential players, partners and stakeholders. What happens if they are not represented from the start?

The RACI framework stands for:
R - Responsible: Who is responsible for executing the project?
A - Accountable: Who is accountable for results?
C - Consulted: Who needs to be consulted, and perhaps involved through the provision of knowledge, information, expertise?
I - Informed: Who needs to be informed - about the project, outcomes and results?

How are you involving a representation of these different players? What's the most effective channel for communication.

2. What needs to be communicated at kick-off?

3. What roles and responsibilities need to be identified or clarified? What other expectations need to be clarified?

4. Communication, Reporting and Evaluation  - What ongoing communicaton, reporting and evaluation processes will you create? Who needs to be involved and when? What are the major milestones going to be?

5. Checking in on accountabilities - Accountability in today's business environment has become a Pandora's Box at times. What are the specific accountabilities each person/party has and how will this be measured? Who are they accountable to? What's expected in terms of reporting? What happens if things go off course? Failure to discuss this from the start can set a slippery slope for any project or initiative.

6. Goals and Outcomes - Of course, clearly defining goals and outcomes is another critical factor of success. What is the common vision across all stakeholder groups?

What components do you want to make sure you include into your next kick-off meeting? Anything else that you would add?

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Potentials Realized
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Read more about our retreat and leadership development offerings and support
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just-in-time: Leadership a - z is j

Today's leadership a through z is about Just-in-time. So much of today's business context makes just-
Wordle created at Wordle.com, Britton, 2013
in-time approaches so valuable -

Just-in time coaching
Just-in-time feedback
Just-in-time training

What words come to mind when you think of "just in time"?

For myself, words such as:
Immediate
In the moment
Specific
Informal
and Focused spring to mind

Immediate feedback and support is important for people to be able to access information right now, in the moment and not six months later or a year later at the performance review process. As leaders we often fall into the trap of thinking that it's going to take a lot of time, when in fact, it doesn't.

What immediate feedback/support/coaching/feedback can you provide right now to your team members? How much time would this really take?

Just in time approaches are very specific, tailored, targeted and focused. If we look to just-in-time warehousing approaches that retailers like Walmart and Canadian Tire have based much of their inventory process on, orders are place when needed, and for specific items. In translating this to the leadership realm, what specific, focused and targeteted feedback do you need to offer to each team member, right now?

Just in time approaches to training or coaching often are more informal. In the moment training can be invaluable, to solve or address an issue right away, rather than when training can be scheduled. This then becomes a more proactive approach to development, enabling "course correction" along the way.

What are the tools you have at your fingertips right now to support you in these conversations?

What other qualities come to mind when you think of just-in-time?

With best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized - Leadership, Retreats, Team Development
 Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM

As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.



Monday, November 25, 2013

Ideas for Your Year End Retreat Processes - Leadership a-z is I

Year end team building or retreat programs can be a great idea, but often are not as leveraged as they
SWOT Planning - Photo Britton
could be. If you are planning a year end retreat, here are some things to consider:

1. What's the purpose? What's the purpose of the program? To start building connection amongst team members, to undertake some strategic planing or goal setting for the next year? To build skills in areas such as conflict resolution? To get to understand each other better? These areas are not exclusive to each other, however, you will want to be clear in your engagement of a facilitator what's the focus and what emphasis do you want to place?

2. What's the follow-up? Many great ideas are left at the retreat site. Build into your 2014 programming time to revisit and follow-up on your retreat learning, actions and commitments. When do you want to schedule a follow-up to continue the conversation?

3. What venue will be conducive to your event? Event venues can range from boardrooms, to specific retreat sites. What location will be conducive to your team? What is the environment you want to create? How easy will it be for participants to get to and from the venue? What transportation and other office arrangements need to be made so everyone can "leave" the office for the day?

4. What type of activities do you want to include? The range of activities offered in today's retreat programs can vary from ropes-courses to strategic planning. How active do your staff expect to be? What are the three or four main areas you'd like to include in a day long program? Looking back at the purpose of the program, where would you like to place the main emphasis?


For more tips and ideas for your retreat programming, you may want to read an article I wrote years ago entitled "Six Essential Design Principles for Your Corporate Retreat" here.

Wishing you a successful retreat process!

With best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Read more about our retreat and leadership programming

As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Leadership A - Z : H is for Habits

Ghandi said,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Under times of pressure or stress, our ingrained habits, whether good or bad, have a tendency to emerge. Habits are not always ingrained, and new habits can be created in approximately 21 days or consistent actions. Habits can range from spending five minutes at the end of each day to plan, to building in daily activity, taking the stairs rather than the escalator, or building in time to team meetings to talk about successes and lessons learned, or building in time each quarter to review and create plans with your team.

Coaching Questions:
  • What are the habits that are supporting you in your work and leadership?
  • Which habits are derailing you?  What habits might have the risk of derailing you?
  • What would it take to make a change to these not so positive habits? What beliefs underpin them?
  • What is more important - to address one of these habits, or to create a new one in a new area?
  • What actions, consistently undertaken daily, could form the foundation of a new habit?
  • What would it take to have this focus for 21 days? Who do you want to be accountable to?

Have a great start to your week,
Jenn

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized - Coaching, Training and Facilitation Services
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Leadership A-Z: G is for Goal Setting: NaBloPoMo

Today we are at G in the Leadership a-z. A central focus of coaching conversations, whether working
wtih individuals, teams or groups, is on goal-setting.

Many of us are familiar with SMART goal setting, on a personal or professional level. In this framework the acronym reminds us to ensure that our goals are:
S- Specific: What exactly are you going to achieve? What are you aiming for?

M - Measurable: How can you measure your progress towards this goal? This might be a specific number, percentage or other.

A - Achievable: Is the goal achievable, with a stretch? What do you need to make sure you achieve it?

R - Realistic : It is realistic with the resoruces you have?

T- Timebound: What is the timeframe on these goals?

In my book, Effective Group Coaching, I add an E on the end, to stand for Exciting. If our goals are not exciting to us, what happens? The chances of them being fulfilled goes down.

Another useful goal framework is the CLEAR goal framework introduced by John Whitmore in his book, Coaching For Performance. Whitmore's CLEAR stands for:
C- Challenging
L - Legal
E- Environmentally Sound
A - Appropriate
R - Recorded (as many of know, what doesn't get written down, doesn't get done)

Coaching Questions:
1. What is the status of your current goals professionally?
2. How do they connect with your team or departmental goals?
3. What might get in the way of goal completion during 2013?  What do you need to achieve them? What changes might be needed to the original goal?
4. As you look towards next year, what are some possible goals for your work?
5. What goal framework with work best for you?
6. What will support you in keeping your goals in mind?

Have a great week,
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Leadership A-Z: F is Frameworks for High Performing Teams - NaBloPoMo

A large part of my work with organizations of all sizes (non-profit, SMEs, governmental agencies and
corporate) revolves around creating the conditions for more effective team work, usually through a mix of coaching, training and other performance improvement support.  Whether I am working with a team in a one day team building offsite, or having sustained conversations over the period of months, I like to share the following definitions. First, what is a team?

 In the Wisdom of Teams, Kazenbach and Smith offer us this definition " “... a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common
purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable” (p 45).

A framework I usually share, and get leaders and team members to rate themselves, are the six factors of High Performing Teams. Katzenbach and Smith found that High Performing Teams have:


  1. Shared purpose or mission
  2. Shared performance goals
  3. Shared behavioral norms
  4. Shared team practices
  5. Shared Commitment
  6. Clear Roles



Coaching Questions:
1. On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low, and 10 being high) where do you rate yourselves in each one of these six areas?
2. Which ones are your strengths? What can you do to leverage these?
3. Which ones are your weak areas?
4. What are some specific action steps you can take to address areas which you have a lower score. If roles are not clear, what could you do to clarify them? If performance goals are not clear, what needs to be done?
5. Who needs to be involved in these dialogues?
6. When do they need to happen?

Interested in finding out about what your team can do to address these? Please contact me or refer to the chapters on team coaching in my latest book - From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching.

Have a great week,
Jennifer


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)


As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Did you find this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution. Thank you! 



Sunday, November 10, 2013

What's your team temperature? NaBloPoMo 10

As you start the week what do you notice about the temperature of your team?
 
Is it stormy? If so, what issues need to be addressed.

Is it calm? Is it breezy? If so, what do you need to keep an eye on?

Is it calm? If so, how will this serve the team.

Having the team take the temperature on a regular basis can be a great checkpoint, and may signal some differences on the team.

Have a great start to the week!


Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416)996-TEAM

Potentials Realized
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)


As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Did you find this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution. Thank you!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Styles and Teamwork - NaBloPoMo 9

What your style preferences in working and communicating? Do you see the world in broad strokes or fine detail? In a majority of the team and leadership programs I develop with clients we often wind up spending a significant amount of time exploring styles, and how they contribute to what's working, and what's not working within teams, decision making, and communication. A lot of teams find that using an assessment such as the Everything DiSC(R) or the Team Diagnostic as a foundation for our team buiding or team coaching work, creates a common foundation and language to start the dialogue and understanding needed.

I wanted to share one of the weekly tips on teamwork which are posted over at our  Potentials Realized Facebook page in today's blog post:
Photo: Week 22 question for leaders and #teams. How are styles enhancing the conversation on your team? How are they getting in the way. Contact us today for more information on Everything DiSC asessments - Workplace, Sales, Management, Work of Leaders, and the 363 for Leaders.














 Coaching Questions:
What is your style as a leader? How does this influence your communication, leadership and conflict management approach?
What styles exist in your team?
Given these styles, what are the needs and preferences of your team members? Hpw do they approach communication, work and conflict management?

Have a great weekend,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized

Potentials Realized
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)


As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Did you find this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution. Thank you!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Leadership a - z - E is for Expecations: NaBloPoMo 8

Today's leadership a-z post is for Expectations. When expectations are not clear, or are not met, things can go off the rails.

Common expectations leaders may be discussing with their team may revolve around:
- Start and end time
- Communication patterns (frequency, way - face to face, email)
- Process expectations related to task
- Dealing with questions or conflict

High Performing Teams are known to have articulated their expectations in Team Agreements. Team Agreements explicitly spell out behaviors all team members agree to. As written in other posts, we may have an agreement around Respect. What does Respect mean for this team? What does it look like? If I were to film the team in action, what behaviors would I see around respect?

As you may gather, it's not enough in today's work place for the leader to talk about his or her own expectations. It's a two way streeet. What are the team's expecations of the leader - individually and collectively? Teams will want to consider co-creating their expectations, or collectively creating their expectations.

Coaching Questions:
What expectations - explicit and unspoken - exist within the team? For you as a leader?
What needs to be made explicit?
What are the behaviors underpinning these expectations?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized

Potentials Realized
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)


As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Found this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution. Thank you!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Leadership a-z: D is for Delegation NaBloPoMo 7

Today's leadership a-z post is about Delegation. Not a leadership training program goes by without someone asking about how to delegate more effectively.


In starting to think about delegation and what we can delegate, we can apply the 5 Ws to Delegation:

What - What do you want to delegate? What are the specifics? What resources do they need to complete this?
Who - Who will you delegate to? Do they have the skills required? What support do they need along the way?
When - What are the major milestones along the way? How will you check in, and when?
Why - Why is this task important? Have you communicated the big picture?
Where - Where does the work need to take place?
How - What are the steps/actions required? How will it be measured? How will you all know it has been successful?

A lot of leaders fall into the trap of either not delegating and doing it all themselves. What is the cost of this? On the flipside, some leaders may over delegate, wondering why things are not done right. Often the questions flowing out of the 5 Ws have not been taken into account. Perhaps the person does not have the skills or resources to do the work, or maybe the authority to make it happen. Perhaps they've gotten things done, but there have been no checkpoints, so the actions taken really weren't the ones needed.

Coaching Questions:

What do you want to delegate?
Why is it important?
How will you communicate this to your staff?
When will you check in?

Have a great week,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized

Potentials Realized
Supporting leaders and teams through enhanced skills, better conversations and focused performance
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)


As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Found this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Leadership a-z: C is for Core Leadership Skills - NaBloPoMo 6

Created at Wordle.com
Today's journey through leadership takes us to C for Core skills of leadership. The design and facilitation of leadership training has been a core focus of my work, with individuals as well as teams since opening
the doors of my company Potentials Realized back in 2004.

Regardless of industry I've worked in, or in my former life as a leader within the UN, what country I worked in, core skills of leadership are global.

Yes, the terms we use may change with time, however, open any leadership book, participate in any leadership development initiative, and you are likely to focus on many of these core skills:

- Communication Skills (including feedback and difficult conversations)
- Coaching and Mentoring Skills
- Influence
- Relationship Building/Relationship Management
- Team Leadership including team development issues
- Project Management or Program Management
- Presentation Skills/Train the Trainer
- Leadership and Personal Styles
- Building Trust and Respect
- Performance Management
- Goal Setting
- Creating a Vision, Working with Values
- Conflict Management

What other skills would you include in a core leadership foundation?

Coaching Questions/Assignment:
Rate yourself on a scale of 0-10 on each one of these leadership areas. What is your skill level in each area? What do you notice about your strengths?
Which areas need attention?
What could you do to develop in these areas - training, coaching, mentoring?


With best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Potentials Realized
Building Leaders and Teams through Coaching, Training and Retreats
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)


As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Found this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Leadership a - z: B is for Behaviors and Bottom-lining: NaBloPoMo 5

Leadership a - z: B is for Behaviors and Bottom Lining
Copyright 2013 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved.
Photo from DoortenJ - stock.xchng


Today's leadership a-z blog post is around Behaviors and Bottom-lining, two key areas for any leader - new or experienced.

Behaviors shape results and shape the workplace and team experience. As a team coach, a common focus in my work with teams is to support them in the development of Team Agreements, those behaviors they are going to commit to undertaking no matter what. Research continues to show that one of the factors of a high performing team is that they have developed agreements around behaviors - those appropriate and welcomed, and those that aren't.

In developing team agreements I ask the team to describe behaviorally what things like Respect, TRUST, and other terms bandied around the workplace LOOK LIKE. It's very easy to talk about practices like authenticity, accountability, respect, trust, AND what does it look like? If I were to enter into your workplace today and sit down at a meeting, or walk through the halls, WHAT are the BEHAVIORS I would notice? If I had a smartphone videoing your interactions WHAT would I see, regardless of interaction?

Coaching Questions  Behaviors:
What are your team agreements - the behaviors your team has agreed to?
How consistent are you with these behaviors?
What do your behaviors say about your workplace?

The second B for today's leadership post is around the coaching skill of bottom-lining. This coaching skill is also known as "laser speak" or "headlining" and is an encouragement to get to the core or essence of your communication. In today's business climate getting to the point, and concise communication is key.

Coaching Questions - Bottom Lining
What do you notice about communication patterns within your team?
When could you practice the skill of "bottom lining"?
What value would there be in sharing this with team members?

Have a great day,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized 
Building Leaders and Teams through Coaching, Training and Retreats
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-TEAM

As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.

Found this post useful and want to share it? Please do so by linking and attribution!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Leadership a - z: A is for Action and Accountability: NaBloPoMo 4

To provide some structure through this month of posting on leadership topics, I thought that it might be useful to adapt the structure of the a-z that has been so popular with posts I have done at my Effective Group Coaching Facebook site.

I am envisioning that in these a-z of leadership posts, I will include questions to prompt leaders in their reflection process and/or possibly journalling. One recommendation for blog readers is to use the daily questions as part of your journalling process.

Starting off with A, the focus is on Action and Accountability.

Coaching Questions to ask around Action:
What actions are you supporting as a leader? What does this enable?
What actions are really supporting the most strategic goals of the team or company right now?
What actions are pulling the team off course?
How is each team member equipped to take action? Do they have the necessary resources? Are they given the necessary authority to get the job done?
What action do you need to undertake this week.

Coaching Questions to ask around Accountability:
What does accountability mean for you? In your context?
What are you accountable for?
Who are you accountable to?
How do you take responsibility for these results?

See you tomorrow with B!

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized - Teamwork | Leadership | Retreats
Author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Time to Tweak Your Meetings? - NaBloPoMo #3



 Patrick Lencioni described the  "death by meeting" syndrome in his book of the same title.  
What makes your meetings work? 

What's not working? 

What changes can you make in this coming week to be more focused and gain greater accountability?

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Team Strengths - NaBloPoMo 2


Exploring strengths and how they are used, and not being used, is often a key part of the team coaching process. What are your team strengths? How are they used? How are they overused?

Have a great weekend,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized


Friday, November 01, 2013

My team and leadership stake for NaBloPoMo: Day 1

Happy November! It's National Blog Posting Month and this past year has seen my blog writing and publishing decline wildly, with the writing and publication of my latest book, From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013) in late July.

My creative juices are just starting to get renewed again, especially as I have been "hitting the road" undertaking a number of speaking engagements this fall As I have been talking about team and group coaching issues, the conversation inevitably heads towards team and leadership topics. Given that I would like to be writing more regularly again, and particularly returning to more regular posting here at the BizToolkit, I've taken on the challenge of participating (yes, there is my public commitment - so my feet are now in the fire) in the National Blog Posting Month. As a blogger I plan on posting Monday through Friday, with weekend posts connecting to some of the Leadership and Team and Group Coaching Tips I am sharing over at our Facebook pages (Potentials Realized Facebook and the Effective Group Coaching Facebook page).

So, what leadership and team topics do you want to have featured here at the BizToolkit blog this month?

What are the issues keeping you up at night?

What are the resources you are eager to add to your toolkit?

I'd welcome your feedback and comments to put some grist in the mill for this month of writing! I hope that you will join me!

With best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Supporting enhanced leadership and teamwork through retreats, training, coaching and consulting support

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Five Ways to Keep Your Meetings on Track

Five Ways to Keep Your Meetings on Track

Copyright Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved, 2013

 Meetings are a huge time-consumer in today's workforce. What is the state of your meetings? How
efficient are they? Today's blog post includes five ways to keep your meetings on track, so you can avoid what Patrick Lencioni describes as "Death by Meeting" syndrome.

Some key tips to keep in mind are:
1. Assign a  meeting facilitator. Facilitation comes from the Latin word "facilis" or to make easy. The facilitators role is to keep an eye on the process. As the facilitator, the focus is on:
  •  starting and ending the meeting on time, 
  • keeping the flow moving, 
  • summarizing and capturing key discussion points,
  • identifying issues which may need to be shifted to other events (use of a parking lot)
  • summarizing key action steps
It can be very useful to have a rotational facilitator role if meetings are held regularly with the same group. This supports capacity and skill development, and also recognizes that the facilitator's power is rlated to that role, not the role people usually inhabit. Who will be the "facilitator" for your next meeting? How will this be rotated?

2.  Have an agenda, and assign timelines to it. Does each meeting have an agenda, which has been circulated before the meeting to ensure that nothing else needs to be added? Putting time-frames on each item, and sticking to them, helps to manage time, as well as identify issues which may need to be carried into other venues. What does the agenda for your next meeting look like? How much time will it take?

3. Ensure who you need is at the table. A common challenge in effective meetings is not having who you need at the table. This may be someone who has specific information, background on  a topic, or authority to sign off/give approval. Who needs to be at your meeting, based on the agenda?

4. Confirm Action Steps and Responsibilities - A common pitfall is that action steps, and who is responsible for moving things forward, is lost in the dialogue. Key action steps, and those who will take responsibility for making sure they are done, should be summarized at the end of each meeting. What are the major next steps? Who will be responsible for them?

5. Circle Back to Make sure Actions are being Actioned. What is the status of the action steps? How are they being moved forward immediately, and in the longer term. Who needs to know? Who is accountable? Action Plans are only as good as they are tracked and followed. What will support the implementation of decisions, and the reporting out of these actions?

As you consider your upcoming meetings, in which context might you be able to incorporate some of these ideas?

Have a great week!

Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, CPCC
Potentials Realized - Leadership | Teamwork | Retreats | Coaching
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Now available for Pre-order at Amazon)
Phone: (416)996-8326