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Posts tagged ‘Leadership’

How can coaching help?

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Clients can come to coaching for many reasons and benefit from the personalised nature that a coaching session can bring. Clients find the main benefits of working with a coach are:

  • Greater clarity over personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Improved confidence
  • Having a safe confidential place to talk through concerns objectively and bounce ideas
  • Accountability and follow up to do the things they said they would
  • Non judgemental support
  • Achieving personal goals

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Case Studies- Twinings

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Coaching

I coached a number of people over a 4 year period at Twinings. Covering those in more senior roles and those that were transitioning into manager roles. Each coachee had a tailored programme based on 3 way contracting for objective setting over a number of months with often a follow up/ refresh session after an appropriate length of time. I worked with people in procurement, marketing and finance. A common theme was that each person was transitioning, often being promoted or changing job roles and need some tailored support to help them flourish in their new roles. Some of this work also included some outplacement and maternity coaching.

L&D

I worked closely with the wider procurement department designing a stakeholder engagement awayday focused on flexing communication styles and communicating complex information concisely.  

Case studies- Herbert Smith

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Change management

Over a 12-18 month month period I designed and assembled a team of 5 consultants, to deliver a large cross departmental change programme “Good to Excellent’  across support services with the focus on building a sense of community and customer service for internal and external clients. The design had 4 phases including workshops and skills boosters.

To read more about the programme and its design please click :  Herbert Smith Good to excellent Programme This was written by the OD department at Herbert Smith for an award submission.

Top Team Development

Prior to Herbert Smith’s merger, I worked over a period of seven years with the Information and Systems department. During that time I worked with them to build a sense of team within the Leadership team, each sub team within the department, across the overall department and also inter relationships between the department and other departments they worked closely with. Work included

  • Consulting, designing and facilitating tailored nine yearly top team  leadership offsites and 1:1 coaching
  • Designing and facilitating intra departmental team events
  • Designing and facilitating a series of tailored department wide team leader management development 
  • Designing and facilitating an all department conference

We needed a facilitator to help us in the critical task of coalescing the senior management team. Heather did exactly that and lived up to out high expectations.

Group Chief Information Officer, Herbert Smith LLP (now retired)

Learning & Development design and facilitation

As part of the wider change programme I ran for Herbert Smith I designed five 90-120 minute skills booster sessions focused around increasing key soft skills that the support population were particularly requesting 

Success…at what cost?

July 3rd, 2012

Heather Johnston

On the day that Bob Diamond resigns I can’t help wondering about how success is defined and its ultimate impact on human and therefore organisational and societal behaviour….

Having worked in both Investment Banking and in the NHS and consulted in a number of other sectors, I have got to experience a number of ‘cultures’ at work. Having made the step into self employment 8 years ago, it makes you have a long hard think about what type of life work you want to craft for yourself, what do you stand for, what type of work do you want to offer and what do you not want to do…In effect how do you want to define your own success, values and ethics.

In organisations, it is very difficult to step out of line with the current way of doing things without being seen as a maverick, a loner or troublemaker. This is why it is so crucially important for Leaders, individuals, teams and organisations to take a step back regularly and look at what they are creating and what success they are chasing. Is it purely for individual gain or for the benefit of our particular group be it a team or an organisation or even a sector? Perspective is key.

It is a tricky balancing act to please many different parties with different priorities. However, if we do not spend time really thinking about what we stand for, the consequences of our actions and how we define success we are likely to be swept away by the current tide…well if they are doing it, it must be alright…yes?…well not always!

In these current turbulent times, it forces us to look at how we define our success and I believe a reflection on our values cannot be a bad thing. Looking at the situations we face and the decisions we make from a view wider than ourselves, considering the impact and consequences at a societal rather than an individual level (for personal gain) may help in navigating us down a path with our integrity intact.

 

 

 

Being good enough

May 18th, 2012

Heather Johnston

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It takes huge courage to admit to either yourself or others that we are struggling or feeling vulnerable… Particularly if you are a leader. It could be that we haven’t met the goals we set ourselves or our team/organisation and are judging ourselves, that we have been made redundant or haven’t got the job we want and think we are a failure or that we didn’t get the performance rating or promotion that others have. Outside of work it could come in many forms around perceived societal measures of success or juggling home and work life.

Core to these feelings of vulnerability are a sense of shame, a feeling that you are ‘bad’ in some way.  By its very nature shame drives you to hide and self judge and creates a sense that you are not good enough. It gets further compounded, if you are a Leader, with a sense of needing to be seen to be perfect and in control. Many leaders suffer from a sense of feeling an imposter or that they will be found out as not being good enough…

I invite you to reconsider whether in fact the mental self talk that you are telling yourself is in fact helping or hindering you? Could you actually be good enough already? Recognising that imperfection is being human? That presenting an image of infallibility causes challenges for those that work for you and can drive a culture of pretension and in-authenticity?

To be vulnerable in front of others is in fact to be courageous, and you might want to consider to some that

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. ” Brene Brown

To see more of what Brene has to say, a researcher specialising in vulnerability and shame, I highly recommend having a look at her TED talk of  a couple of years ago and her more recent talk this year.

By being authentic, taking risks, being vulnerable and daring to do it anyway you may well find that others are on that journey too! And, if you are leader of others telling your story, warts and all can help a more authentic and courageous, creative, resilient culture to develop.

The power of vulnerability

Listening to shame

Employee engagement versus employee wellbeing

May 11th, 2012

Heather Johnston

perspective

Central to my positive psychology approach to Organisational Development and Coaching, is looking at whether an individual is flourishing in their work and their wider life. By focusing on helping an individual explore their strengths and helping align these with their work there can be a win/win in terms of an individual’s happiness and wellbeing as well as an increase in individual and organisational productivity.

An interesting article, written by Dr Bridget Juniper and promoted by Action for Happiness, about the downfalls of traditional productivity orientated employee engagement measurement, argues the case for employee wellbeing becoming more central in workplace productivity measures and quotes

…the top 10 drivers of employee engagement, identified by Towers Watson – ISR, show that, of 75 possible areas, the one that was rated the most important was the extent to which employees believed that their senior management had a sincere interest in their wellbeing.

The research goes on to ask employees whether or not they think their senior management actually exhibit this behaviour, with only 39% believing this to be the case. By contrast, the second driver relates to employee development, which is more often associated with conventional engagement measures.

In these times of uncertainty and strain, even more consideration needs to be given to employee wellbeing both for the benefit of the individual but also for organisations and society as a whole. By creating leadership strategies and working practices that help to enhance wellbeing, we will be helping all of us to remain resourceful, happy, healthy and productive.

 

 

Are you an Angel or a Judge? Your ethicability MoralDNA

April 13th, 2012

Heather Johnston

Roger Steare and Pavlos Stamboulides have been researching for a number of years our ethicability-particularly pertinent in these current times: ‘ how we decide what is right and finding the courage to do it’ .

So what are our moral values? How do they influence the decisions you make day to day both within and outside of work and how do they particularly influence you in Transitions in your life…? Are you acting with Integrity, being Authentic? Understanding more about your moral values and what drives you can help you to understand more about the tough dilemmas (and why you are finding them tough) you are facing in both your personal and work life. Once understood it can then give you a springboard for thinking about how best you deal with these conflicts of interest you face on a daily basis.

If you want to find out more, they have just launched a free revised version of their ethicability moral DNA profile. MoralDNA™ is a personality test which reveals our moral values and the way we prefer to make decisions about what’s right. Check it out at: www.moraldna.org

When you complete your profile, you will receive a PDF report that describes your character type. This could be Philosopher, Judge, Angel, Teacher, Enforcer or Guardian. You will see how you score against the average for human beings on three scales that measure how we prefer to do the right thing, both at work, and in our personal lives. You will also see how you compare with others on 10 moral values including Love, Fairness and Wisdom.

Introversion and Leadership

April 13th, 2012

Heather Johnston

This is a topic close to my heart and also that of Susan Cain who has just been in the UK doing a book tour of her new book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. As a coach, I coach a large number of clients who are Introverts in the increasingly more Extroverted world of work. The book talks about what Introverts can bring to the party, how introverts can help themselves and how they and Extroverts can capitalise on their strengths.

To find out more about what she has to say have a look at the following TED talk:

or have a listen to an audience interactive talk a few weeks ago at the RSA Susan Cain at the RSA

or have a look at the book which just launched in the UK.

Coaching (Executive, Management and Careers)

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I have been a coach since 2000 and use a tailored mix of cognitive behavioural coaching, positive psychology, mindfulness, heartfulness (kindness and compassion) and creativity based approaches, we will work together to see how you perceive your challenges and how different perspectives can help you to overcome and/or accept them. We will then put this into a change action/intention plan with the ultimate goal of you becoming your own coach.

My approach to coaching and leadership development focuses on building on an individual’s strengths and how a leader can best bring out those strengths in themselves and others to build engagement, motivation and results. We will also think about these strengths in relation to what the organisation needs of them and how this balances with external pressures that are being brought to bear on the individual and the organisation. I like to mix up my approach, and where appropriate in helping leaders deal with change, ambiguity and complexity, we may use  awareness and acceptance approaches such as mindfulness, compassion,  the creative arts and walking and the outdoors. I have a particular interest in working with those that are going through transitions and I also work privately as a careers coach.

Want to know what some of my clients have said about working with me, what to expect? Click helping you decide

I am able to design tailored leadership development programmes that are centred around helping current and emerging leaders understand where they are in their own personal development journey and how that aligns with what the organisation and wider society needs of them. The implementation of the programme will be tailored to the needs of the organisation and can be offered as a blended solution of one to one coaching, workshops and skills boosters combined with ‘bibliotherapy’, mentoring and action learning groups.

Please click the links to find out more about the inspirations and our approach that inform mindtrip’s coaching.

Case studies

twinings I coached a number of people over a 4 year period at Twinings. Covering those in more senior roles and those that were transitioning into manager roles. Each coachee had a tailored programme based on 3 way contracting for objective setting over a number of months with often a follow up/ refresh session after an appropriate length of time. I worked with people in procurement, marketing and finance.

Heather coached me over a 2.5 year period through a career transition into a leadership role and returning to work after having my first child. Her support has been invaluable during this time. Heathers style is relaxed and informal putting you at ease straight away. She is able to navigate any topic required with the greatest of ease moving seamlessly from one learning to another providing tools and resources with the best fit for each individuals learning style.

Joanne

St albans high school for girls copyI have coached members of the senior team at St Albans High School for girls. Either helping them to transition into new leadership roles and/or to help in their career progression

Thank you for all help with clarifying my priorities and future plans. I found our sessions hugely empowering.

Senior Teacher on Leadership Team

Team Coaching & Development

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I bring a strategic consultancy approach to team development, designing tailored events for 5-100 people focusing on where you are now, where you want to be and what you need to do to move forward. Focus will be both on the task, process and people aspects of the team’s development be it development within an intact senior leadership team or getting teams to work effectively together across an organisation.

Mindtrip delivers a variety of approaches to team development using coaching and creative techniques, analysis from instruments and surveys as well as the latest academic research and thinking from business schools.

Case Study

Herbert smithlogoPrior to Herbert Smith’s merger, I worked over a period of Ten years with the Information and Systems department. During that time I worked with them to build a sense of team within the Leadership team, each sub team within the department, across the overall department and also inter relationships between the department and other departments they worked closely with. Work included

  • Consulting, designing and facilitating tailored nine yearly top team  leadership offsites and 1:1 coaching
  • Designing and facilitating intra departmental team events
  • Designing and facilitating a series of tailored department wide team leader management development 
  • Designing and facilitating an all department conference

We needed a facilitator to help us in the critical task of coalescing the senior management team. Heather did exactly that and lived up to out high expectations.

Group Chief Information Officer, Herbert Smith LLP (now retired)