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Coaching & Mentoring

Coaches Succeed When They Have the Right Mindset

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Coaches Succeed When They Have the Right Mindset

Command and control isn’t the only way to relate to employees, nor is it the best mindset when you want to engender staff who are more creative or empowered. Coaching skills also help managers demonstrate their interest in their employees, a key factor for retaining and engaging employees. That’s why there’s a lot of talk these days about managers and leaders using coaching skills. It’s actually an acronym referenced in courses and coaching studies by the International Coach Federation: “MLUCS.” And while the skills of coaching tend to feel...

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Coaching Is Essential to Your Staff Retention Strategy

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 2 comments

Coaching Is Essential to Your Staff Retention Strategy

If you’re thinking strategically about employee retention, then your budget has line items to fund coaching. Employee retention isn’t just about making sure employees don’t leave. It’s about ensuring employees feel invested in. Not just “productively utilized,” but supported, engaged, heard, trusted—effectively connected to their work by the opportunity to deploy their strengths. Without using coaching skills, managers, leaders, HR professionals, even peers, may not know how to hold conversations that help employees do that. Recent research...

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Coaching Questions that Help Individuals Move Forward

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring | 1 comment

Coaching Questions that Help Individuals Move Forward

We regularly hear that managers and leaders should coach their teams, but being “coach-like” has a variety of interpretations. Ask any number of leaders and you’ll hear answers that range from teaching and skills training to giving advice, giving answers or suggestions, learning from a coach’s experience, and thought-partnership to generate new perspectives, challenge assumptions, and create new possibilities. As you’re driving for business results, knowing what distinguishes coaching from other tactics can help make sure you’re deploying the...

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Federal Spotlight: Georgia A. Thomas

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Georgia A. Thomas

Georgia A. Thomas serves at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the organization’s Southeast and Southwest Area Manager, Communication and Stakeholder Outreach (CSO), Field Operations. Here is our Federal Spotlight interview: MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today? Georgia A. Thomas: I have been with the IRS since 1979. In my current position, I serve as an Area Manager in Stakeholder Liaison—Field Operations. I manage two Areas of the country, (1) the Southwest Area which...

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To Overcome Anxiety in the First 100 Days, Coaching Is Clutch

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 2 comments

To Overcome Anxiety in the First 100 Days, Coaching Is Clutch

Executive orders, cabinet confirmation hearings, and Supreme Court nominations are leaving many in the federal sector uncertain about how they’ll be impacted. This uncertainty can increase anxiety for Federal employees. This uncertainty, combined with how people feel about the uncertainty, affects people’s ability to tolerate ambiguity, increasing the intensity of their experience of anxiety. The experience of uncertainty can also in turn amplify a particular feeling you already have about what’s going on in your workplace. One of several...

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Presidential Transition Worries? Good Coaching Gets You Through It

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Presidential Transition Worries? Good Coaching Gets You Through It

I don’t know what to expect. I can’t share this with my coworkers, and I certainly can’t talk with my boss about this. I didn’t realize how much this is actually affecting me. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I hear these phrases a lot from my coaching clients these days. While they’re to be expected in coaching conversations, they’re particularly prevalent during this current change of Presidential administrations. According to the Senior Executives Association’s handbook on Presidential transition for Federal executives , “Over 4,000...

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How Coaches Overcome Generational Differences

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

How Coaches Overcome Generational Differences

It’s popular these days to generation-bash. Who among us hasn’t heard colleagues decry the disloyalty and entitlement of millennials, or the outdated thinking and rigidity of boomers? Who hasn’t come close to, or fallen into, perpetuating generational stereotypes, even by way of commiserating silently with others?  When working with millennials in particular, coaches have to be able to break through the catch-all stereotypes of generational difference. Leaders are right to be concerned about the impact of beliefs, expectations, and...

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The HUD Federal Coaching Conference – Our Take

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

The HUD Federal Coaching Conference – Our Take

For anyone who was still skeptical about the value of coaching in the workplace, the HUD Federal Coaching Conference unabashedly put stakes in the ground, with thought leadership from academia, and both the private and public sectors making case after case for why coaching works and why it isn’t going away. Scholars and practitioners from Georgetown, George Mason, the Department of Defense, Treasury Executive Institute, Management Concepts, and others fielded questions as fundamental as “what is coaching?” and “how is it different from...

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Value of Peer Coaching

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Value of Peer Coaching

Perhaps you have heard of the practice of coaching, where individuals receive coaching from external professional coaches, internal coaches, or managers; and the benefits of coaching for improving self-awareness, leadership, and organizational performance. What is less widely understood or implemented, but may have a broader organizational impact, is the practice of peer coaching. In my last blog I wrote about the democratization of coaching—making coaching skills training and one-on-one coaching available to employees regardless of...

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Democratization of Coaching

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Democratization of Coaching

You name it, it’s being called for. Bringing to the masses what has previously been available to only a few. From leader development, to information and data, to change management, a trend toward demystifying these domains and making them accessible and applicable to employees of all levels is in the organizational air. I’d like to join in the ranks of many others who are calling for a “democratization of coaching,” meaning: In support of employees – regardless of seniority or supervisory responsibility – having access to skills...

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AMA: Mentoring

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

AMA: Mentoring

This Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), we wanted to provide Federal employees with some helpful information on mentoring. Whether you’re a millennial, baby boomer, someone who wants a mentor, or thinking about mentoring yourself, this information can be useful throughout your career. Below please find our take on a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) with our Coaching and Mentoring Practice Lead, Natalya Pestalozzi. What’s the best way to find a mentor? Potential mentors are everywhere. Finding the right one for you and entering into a...

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Is It Coaching or Mentoring?

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Is It Coaching or Mentoring?

Have you ever found yourself listening to someone tell you all about how to avoid the pitfalls they experienced in their career, and to heed their advice, when what you really needed was for them to help you draw out your own ideas for how to navigate the situation? Or have you been in a new role where what you really needed was someone to tell you directly how best to navigate your organization and who else to speak with, rather than asking you what you wanted to do? These examples are indicative of the overlap, and confusion, about coaching...

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Providing Difficult Peer Feedback

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Providing Difficult Peer Feedback

As organizations move towards cultures of coaching and real-time feedback, the ability of peer groups to provide meaningful performance feedback will need to grow. In some regards, giving difficult feedback to a peer can be even more challenging than if it were part of your supervisory duties. Since giving peers feedback often isn’t required or part of the group’s norms, providing performance coaching can feel out-of-place to initiate. And if this is the first time, your peer might not understand your motivations. Whether this is a new...

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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

We all know the value of productive mentoring relationships for career growth and development. But, like any relationship, the relationship between mentor and protégé isn’t always sunshine and roses. When things aren’t going quite as well as you’d like, it’s easy to think “I have to fire my mentor!” or “I have to cut the cord with my protégé!”, but if you’re thinking about calling off your mentoring relationship and aren’t quite sure how to do it, a bit of reflection is in order. The object isn’t to simply get out of the conversation alive...

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Making Waves: Observing Yourself and Employee Performance in 2016

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Making Waves: Observing Yourself and Employee  Performance in 2016

January is a popular time to reflect on personal and professional change. Creating New Year’s resolutions is a powerful way to implement meaningful change. As a professional executive, I often hear my clients share their New Year’s wishes – to better managers and leaders. Others talk about wanting to improve morale within a team. What are your resolutions to enhance productivity, increase trust or improve communication within your workplace and with employees? Anytime Coaching: Unleashing Employee Performance, written with my co-author and...

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The Art of Coach Matching

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

The Art of Coach Matching

A strong coaching relationship is based on just that…relationship. While some of the factors that we’d think to be important are meaningful matching criteria, some considerations carry more, or less, weight than we’d expect. What the client wants doesn’t always track with what the client needs. Yet one or more client preferences may increase the likelihood that they feel connected to their coach or even view their coach as legitimate. And while we can’t all be expert match-makers, below are some considerations to keep in mind, whether you are...

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Coaching’s Impact on Training

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Coaching’s Impact on Training

How many times have you left a training program excited to implement newfound skills and ideas, only to get caught up in old habits and fast paced office life, leaving your inspiration to apply those new skills back at the classroom table? We know that training provides a safe space to share an experience of gaining knowledge and skills with others. The networking and knowledge sharing that occurs during training can be invaluable, and yet we know that it can be difficult to translate what you learned in training to your job environment....

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Establishing a Successful IT PM Mentoring Program

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Project Management | 0 comments

Establishing a Successful IT PM Mentoring Program

Welcome back and if you did not read my previous blog post for August, you might want to quickly do that as it is background material for this follow-on post on how to establish a successful IT Project Management Mentoring Program at your organization. As we previously discussed, having a mentor when you are beginning or seeking to enhance your skills and abilities as an IT project manager, a mentor can provide help you achieve this objective. However, most companies or organizations do not have such a program to assist their PM staff. To...

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Can You Be an Anytime Coach?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

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...

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Thanking My First Mentor

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Thanking My First Mentor

I’ve recently begun following the #thankyourmentor series on LinkedIn where various bloggers, some famous and some not, are sharing a letter of thanks to those who have had a key influence on their career success. After reading the excellent and inspiring tales of the impact of mentors on the personal and professional success of the writers, I thought I’d share what I learned from one of the many wonderful mentors who’ve helped shape my career. My grandfather married my grandmother in his late 40’s, taking on her family of eight children and...

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How Sponsors Are Different

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

How Sponsors Are Different

Professional guidance comes in a variety of forms. It is important for leaders to recognize the different roles they may play in others’ professional development, and equally important to recognize the type of guidance leaders themselves need to grow. One such distinction is the difference between the role of coach, mentor, and sponsor. What makes a sponsor different from a coach or mentor? In sponsoring, an action component emerges to set it apart from both coaching and mentoring. Sponsors are your advocates. Sponsors are actively invested...

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Peer Coaching: Modeling the Coaching Community

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 1 comment

Peer Coaching: Modeling the Coaching Community

With International Coaching Week taking place last month, it’s important to take a look at what the coaching community itself is doing as we continue to think about ways in which organizations can build a strong coaching culture. Today, let’s explore a common practice in the coaching community that can help organizations build a coaching culture from within: Peer Coaching. What is Peer Coaching? Peer coaching gathers together peers (often within an organization, but not always) to use critical coaching skills and offer non-judgmental support...

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Permission to Self-Reflect

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Permission to Self-Reflect

As coaches, we know we wouldn’t be serving our clients if we did not ask them to reflect in ways that heighten their awareness, prompt new insights, and lead to new action. Getting our clients, our team members, or our employees to slow down enough to reflect can be a challenge. In a “do more” culture, doing the unseen work of self-reflection can feel difficult to justify. Coaches and leaders using coaching skills are not immune either. Many coaches also have their own coach for just this reason. While we challenge others to slow down and...

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Holacracy and Coaching and Being A Manager

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring | 0 comments

Holacracy and Coaching and Being A Manager

Late last month I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Human Capital Institute’s Summit in Orlando. The keynote speaker – David Novak, Executive Chairman of Yum! Brands – spoke at length about leadership, engagement, and the importance of people. One point in particular that he made reinforced a trend that I’ve been watching for a while. Novak’s point was that the supervisor role has changed. It’s not in the process of changing or about to change. It has already changed. In the past, the supervisor was an overseer whose primary...

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Support Your Mentors

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Support Your Mentors

Throughout my career, I have had the good fortune of having several excellent mentors. They naturally took me under their wing, took an interest in my development and gave their time, energy, and expertise without my even having to ask. I am so thankful for them, knowing that my career most certainly would have taken a different direction had it not been for their genuine interest and commitment to our relationship. This organic mentoring, though, doesn’t happen for everyone and organizations cannot rely on this more natural process as a way...

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Inside the Minds of Chief Learning Officers

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Inside the Minds of Chief Learning Officers

On March 10 Steve Maier, President of Management Concepts moderated a thought-provoking panel discussion at a recent Training Officers Consortium (TOC) luncheon that included the following esteemed Federal Chief Learning Officers (CLOs):   Sheila Wright, Housing and Urban Development Michael Casey, General Services Administration Jeffrey Vargas, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Susan Camarena, Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration We’ve all heard the phrase “do more with less” – especially in government – but...

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Considerations for Building a Strong Coaching Culture

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources, Leadership | 0 comments

Considerations for Building a Strong Coaching Culture

So you’re thinking about bringing coaching into your organization, but not sure where to start. How do you know what kind of coaching is right? What are you willing to do to make it work? Three coaching modalities are most prominent within organizations, including: External coaches Internal coaches Managers/leaders using coaching skills According to a recent joint report by the International Coach Federation and the Human Capital Institute, Building a Coaching Culture, organizations with strong coaching cultures seek to develop a combination...

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Career Resolutions for You and Your Staff

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Acquisition, Coaching & Mentoring, Financial Management, Grants & Assistance, Human Resources, Leadership, Project Management, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Career Resolutions for You and Your Staff

Each January, we all make resolutions with varying degrees of sincerity and dedication. As we get further and further from New Year celebrations, life has a way of creeping in. Achieving lifestyle changes is not solely about exercise or dieting; it should also be about improving your professional competence and positioning yourself and/or your staff for future success. This year, why not try a different resolution? Are you an individual trying to manage your career? Resolve to focus on your career. Ask for the stretch assignment. Explore...

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Sherpa 101: Mentoring Tips for Guiding the Next Organizational Generation

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership | 0 comments

When many people think of Sherpas, they think of rugged tour guides. The value of a Sherpa, however, is not just their ability to lead you to the summit making sure you have the right gear and make the right turns on the trail. It is their ability to read the mountain, adjusting to cues you cannot see, as well as their relationships with others on the trail who can provide information and assistance that makes the journey with them so different than if you went with just another Bear Grylls. It is not Sherpas’ general skills as mountaineers...

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Federal Workforce Trends Not So Scary When You Have a Plan

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources, Workforce Management | 0 comments

As GAO reported in its February 2013 High Risk update, agencies must integrate strategic human capital planning with broader organizational strategic planning  to develop the talent, skill, and experience mix required to cost- effectively execute mission and program goals. Most critical to the strategic human capital plan is the workforce planning that informs it. Workforce planning has become so increasingly complex in the Federal Government, however, that it’s scarier than Freddy Kruger reading you a bedtime story. Why is it complex?...

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Effective Mentoring as Part of Phased Retirement: HR’s Role

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources, Leadership, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Implementing OPM’s Phased Retirement program creates a powerful opportunity for HR to drive value and productivity through an agency mentoring program. Moreover, according to OPM, “the main purpose of Phased Retirement is to enhance the mentoring and training of the employees who will be filling the positions or taking on the duties of more experienced retiring employees.” Federal HR professionals can rise to the challenge through a structured process for implementing the mentoring program. Although OPM has yet to write implementation...

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A New Role for Mentoring: Work-Life Integration Coaching

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership | 0 comments

A New Role for Mentoring: Work-Life Integration Coaching

Be honest. When you hear the term work-life balance, what is your instant reaction? Personally, it makes me laugh (sarcastically) because it seems absolutely unachievable. Despite my daily effort year after year to balance the scale, as the life side of my equation grows more complex and the work side of my equation consistently intensifies, one side inevitably wins at the expense of the other. For most, the daily wins and losses for work and life likely average out over time, but the constant battle to achieve a zero sum game leaves us...

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How Coaching Really Worked – At Least in This Case

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources, Leadership | 0 comments

Man, was I ever stuck. I had struggled with this problem, literally, for years, tearing my hair out, frustrated, and increasingly pessimistic about a solution. It was a chance encounter at a coaches’ conference (of all places) when I sat down for lunch with the amazing coach Karen Gravenstine. In less than five minutes, everything shifted. The door opened, and I had cracked the case. Before explaining just what happened, it’s important to focus on one incredibly important aspect of coaching, a feature that, among others, helps give the...

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What is the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring?

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Acquisition, Coaching & Mentoring, Leadership | 0 comments

One of the most frequent sources of confusion about coaching is what it is in relation to mentoring. There are some distinct differences, and then some practices that can overlap. The distinction is important, as most groups in leadership development activities typically reverse the true definitions. The key difference is that a mentor usually has some superior knowledge, wisdom or experience, and is able to give helpful, specific information to a mentee. A mentor might understand the politics of the organization, know who’s who or how to get...

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