Posts tagged "#coaching"

Pigrizia Commitment

Three very good reasons for being lazy

December 1st, 2021 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Three very good reasons for being lazy”
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Cal Newport in his book Deep Work suggests to inject regular and substantial freedom from professional concerns into your day providing you with the idleness paradoxically required to get (deep) work done. 

At the end of the workday, shut down your consideration of work issues until the next morning—no after-dinner e-mail check, no mental replays of conversations, and no scheming about how you’ll handle an upcoming challenge; shut down work thinking completely. If you need more time, then extend your workday, but once you shut down, your mind must be left free.

Reason #1: Downtime Aids Insights

Dutch psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis’s gave subjects the information needed for a complex decision regarding a car purchase. Half the subjects were told to think through the information and then make the best decision. The other half were distracted by easy puzzles after they read the information, and were then put on the spot to make a decision without having had time to consciously deliberate. The distracted group ended up performing better.

Dijksterhuis proved that some decisions are better left to your unconscious mind to untangle. In other words, to actively try to work through these decisions will lead to a worse outcome than loading up the relevant information and then moving on to something else while letting the subconscious layers of your mind mull things over.

Reason #2: Downtime Helps Recharge the Energy Needed to Work Deeply

A paper appearing in the journal Psychological Science describes a simple experiment. Subjects were split into two groups. One group was asked to take a walk on a wooded path in a botanical garden. The other group was sent on a walk through the bustling center of the city. Both groups were then given a challenging task called backward digit-span. The nature group performed up to 20 percent better on the task. The nature advantage still held the next week when the researchers brought back the same subjects and switched the locations: It wasn’t the people who determined performance, but whether or not they got a chance to prepare by walking through the woods.

Walking through nature exposes you to what lead author Marc Berman calls “inherently fascinating stimuli. These stimuli “invoke attention modestly, allowing focused-attention mechanisms a chance to replenish.

Reason #3: The Work That Evening Downtime Replaces Is Usually Not That Important

Anders Ericsson studied the practice habits of a group of elite violin players training at Berlin’s Universität der Künste and discovered that the capacity for deep work in a given day is limited. It follows, therefore, that by evening, you’re beyond the point where you can continue to effectively work deeply. Any work you do fit into the night, therefore, won’t be the type of high-value activities that really advance your career; your efforts will instead likely be confined to low-value shallow tasks (executed at a slow, low-energy pace). “By deferring evening work”, says Newport, “you’re not missing out on much of importance”.

The three reasons just described support the general strategy of maintaining a strict endpoint to your workday. Only the confidence that you’re done with work until the next day can convince your brain to downshift to the level where it can begin to recharge for the next day to follow. As Newport says, “trying to squeeze a little more work out of your evenings might reduce your effectiveness the next day enough that you end up getting less done than if you had instead respected a shutdown.”

Adapted from Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport, Grand Central Publishing

Your coaching skills as a manager: a reality check.

November 13th, 2020 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Your coaching skills as a manager: a reality check.”
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If you’re a good manager and you want to improve the skills of the people working with you, this self assessment can help. (more…)

kata coaching

What’s the difference between executive coaching and kata coaching?

September 18th, 2020 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “What’s the difference between executive coaching and kata coaching?”
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Kata coaching (or coaching kata, if we want to be closer to the original japanese definition) is a form of coaching people for results. (more…)


The signing of the pact: the ritual for successful coaching

July 3rd, 2020 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “The signing of the pact: the ritual for successful coaching”
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Think of two strangers …

Think of two strangers who meet for the first time …

Think of two strangers who meet for the first time with a goal of growth and improvement of professional and managerial skills.



Do you know the difference between Coaching, Counselling and Mentoring?

April 4th, 2018 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Do you know the difference between Coaching, Counselling and Mentoring?”
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Imagine you’re a manager who actively works on developing your staff. You definitely need people who solve, rather than create, problems and you want to help them excel. But are you using the right tools?

Do you really understand the difference between coaching, counselling and mentoring? Let’s make things clearer.

Coaching can help all your staff. When you coach employees, you improve their ability to do their current job and increase their potential to do more in future. But be aware that you need those staff to have the right motivation before you start.

The ideal coachees are people who don’t have to be forced to improve. They genuinely want to better themselves, to be all that they can be. You need to confirm the presence of this kind of motivation first, before you take action. And they won’t be the only ones who benefit from it. In doing so, you’ll become a better manager yourself.

A coach, by definition, helps people grow and improve their performance, by asking questions and facilitating them to find a way to improve.

You can be both a manager and a coach to an individual, but be aware that these are two distinct roles.

When you are operating with your managerial hat on, you have the organisation’s interests at heart. Your primary role is directing performance and ensuring that the individual’s efforts are aligned with the objectives of the organisation. As a manager, you are responsible for holding people accountable for meeting their performance targets and for measuring the level of performance that was achieved, as well as for the productivity of your organisation.

As a coach, your responsibility is directed more towards the individual and to providing insight that will enable that person to develop.

In many respects, the coaching role is like holding up a mirror, so that the person can more clearly see how he/she is affecting others. You are fostering their self-insight and helping that person grow through introspection and feedback from others.

While these two roles are very different, a good manager should be effective at both. The power of being a manager who coaches comes from an ability to see the difference in the roles yet also see them as equally important.

Counselling, on the other hand, has some elements of coaching, but it is designed primarily to address problem performers: people whose bad habits have become chronic.

Taking care of people problems when they arise may cost you some of your time, maybe 10% of it. If you don’t deal with those problems, however, you may find yourself spending much more of your time trying to put out the fires. You may have employees whose work is consistently substandard, who regularly miss deadlines, who are uncooperative, insubordinate, or frequently absent or late. Chronic complainers also fall into this category.

If the situation warrants counselling, your first step will be to bring the problem to the employee’s attention. Often this can be done with a simple, spontaneous comment, such as, “George, it feels like something isn’t going well lately, am I right?” A counselling service is often promoted and managed by the HR department, because of the sensitivity of the possible issues that can emerge.

Typically, counselling begins with a series of one-to-one meetings with the problem employee. These interviews are the primary tool of counselling.

While questioning is the main tool, listening and rephrasing skills are what you need to correctly conduct a counselling session.

With people who are performing below average, counselling is the appropriate choice. By definition, counselling is a supportive process to define and correct personal problems or skills that affect performance. The counsellor rectifies behaviours and provides direction and discipline, for as long as necessary.

Mentoring is reserved for your most talented employees. If their company helps them advance, they will become assets now and allies in the future. If ignored, they’ll find someone else, maybe a competitor, who they feel appreciates their talents.

Mentoring is usually the best approach for your above-average performers, those who are excelling. The mentor, by definition, is an individual with advanced experience and knowledge who is committed to giving support and career / job advice to a less experienced person. This is the best tool for your exceptional employees, the people who show promise but need help to become top players.

While a coach doesn’t take part in deciding on actions to be taken, by contrast a mentor does provide suggestions and advice.

As a mentor, your responsibilities are to represent the company’s values, give open and encouraging advice, offer instruction about your company’s political structure, indicate decision makers who can help your mentee, and provide contacts and resources.

However, you can’t mentor your own staff. One of the most important things about effective mentoring is the complete absence of a direct working relationship between mentor and mentee. Therefore a mentor is usually a senior manager from a completely different department than the mentee.

This is why mentoring is often proposed by the HR department as part of a specific development program, rather than something which starts from a line manager.

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