Can You Be an Anytime Coach?
We would all like to create a more encouraging and empowered workplace, and see better performance from our employees, colleagues and leaders. One way to do this is to implement the key principles of our recently published book, Anytime Coaching—Unleashing Employee Performance, co-authored with Wendy Sherwin Swire.
Since the original publication, we’ve learned from conversations with leaders who have read and applied its principles that they witnessed many benefits, including:
- Becoming more aware of the “self” that leaders bring to their workplace
- Slowing down to observe themselves and those around them more consciously
- Hearing their employees’ ideas and concerns more empathetically
- Developing richer work relationships
- Asking more insightful questions
- Having more productive difficult conversations
- Being more deliberate when responding to others
- Continuing along the path to great expertise in being an Anytime Coach
The Anytime Coaching model enables you to make positive changes that will encourage and empower employees to make performance changes that last.
How? In writing the 2nd Edition of Anytime Coaching with Wendy Sherwin Swire, we drew wisdom from the intersecting disciplines of neuroscience and mindfulness that shows how individuals can build resilience through specific practices that train the brain. Yes, “train the brain.”
Neuroscience tells us that the truly amazing “bossy” brain (which controls not only your body and how you move, but also what you think, feel, remember, and learn) can be “rewired” for greater effectiveness, creativity, empathy, and happiness. We reveal how recent discoveries in neuroscience support the recommended practices of Anytime Coaching.
For example, the practice of “observing the positives” helps to “rewire” your brain to perceive more positive experiences. Psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness, explains that, “Over time, taking in the good could actually turn your brain’s negativity bias into a responsivity bias—that will help you stay centered, strong, happy and healthy.” A leader’s regular practice of “observing the positives” encourages and empowers employees to do their best.
With the burgeoning popular interest in mindfulness, we explore ways of being more fully attentive and aware as you go through your day and engage in coaching conversations. More and more studies are showing that a regular practice of mindfulness increases attention, enhances cognitive performance, improves memory, and reduces the feelings of stress in our demanding work environments. We interviewed mindfulness experts and included new exercises in the book that make mindfulness accessible to our readers.
One simple method to be more mindful described is to practice “just noticing.” As you move through your day, from house to car, from car to office, from meeting to meeting, practice being present with just the sights, sounds, and sensations right in front of you. Notice how the lighting and temperature might change from the garage to the elevator. Notice the textures of the walls, carpeting and ceilings, the sounds of your footsteps and your own breathing. When negative or critical thoughts intrude, simply return to “just noticing.” Such “mindfulness in the moment” is representative of a type of mini meditation that is possible throughout the workday and leads to a less distracted, more focused “you” when it’s time to address the work at hand.
These examples show how the workplace can shift to one that is more encouraging and empowering when more leaders choose to “observe the positives,” and practice “just noticing.” Employees begin to feel that what they do matters when their supervisors and colleagues see and comment on the good work they do. When more leaders maintain a less distracted, more focused demeanor, they coach in the moment without creating unnecessary stress in those around them.
Take a look at our Anytime Coaching resources – what can you add to your repertoire to become a better anytime coach?
Teresa Wedding Kloster is a co-author of Anytime Coaching—Unleashing Employee Performance