Like many of you, I am grieving the loss of Robin Williams. I know I’m not the first to ask “How can a man who was so funny, who brought such joy to me and to millions of others, experience a level of depression beyond the reach of those who loved and supported him?”
I know Williams was not alone is suffering depression and that many bear the agony of their suffering in silence and isolation. Each day, five Australian men commit suicide linked to depression.
Last week Vicki Henricks and I launched the Global Coaching Institute.
It’s the realisation of a dream Vicki and I first spoke of lying on a beach in Hawaii when we were first en-route to study with Arnold Mindell, the founder of Process Oriented psychology. Our coaching methodology is based on the work of he and his colleagues. At the time, the conversation could best be characterised as idle dreaming rather than a clear plan or from intention. We were shy about our visions and still needed to grow into the ability to realise them.
So it's hardly a surprise, with our first cohort of students commencing in October, my focus lately has been on what it takes to become a skilled coach. I’ve been thinking about what prompts individuals to take that step to develop their coaching skills and perhaps embark on a coaching career. I’ve also been thinking about what prompts individuals to seek out coaches.
Over the past few days there’s been widespread commentary on Olympic gold medallist, Ian Thorpe’s announcement that he is gay. Discussion ranges from unconditional support, expressions of disappointment and even criticism that he didn’t come out sooner.
Have you ever thought you’re pushing too hard? If you drive yourself, chances are you’re pushing others as well. Usually the two are connected.
Having our foot permanently on the accelerator results in chronic change fatigue and burnout. As an organisational development consultant, I see individual leaders and organisations spinning their wheels.
For the last week I’ve been in Warsaw, as a member of the facilitation team for an event known as Worldwork. Delegates from twenty-eight countries gathered to discuss, understand and address current and historic global conflicts.
As a coach I find one of the biggest challenges leaders face is knowing how to relate to the power and authority that comes with their role.
Some leaders are so uncomfortable with the idea that they habitually defer to others and fail to take action on issues that turn into major problems. But sidestepping the question of power and leadership, is short-sighted.
If we are to develop confidence in our use of power in leadership, we need to understand it. It’s important to be able to differentiate between the effective use of power and its misuse. We need to recognise the circumstances in which each of us may be prone to using power poorly.
Do you want to set your staff up for success? An important strategy is ensuring that they are clear about their roles, responsibilities, delegations and accountabilities.
Whilst this may seem obvious, its something most managers don't pay enough attention to.
Many managers rely on position descriptions to convey this information. While position descriptions are a starting point, the truth is that each person needs to discover what their role really means and how they can best occupy it. Bruce Reed likens this journey to that of an actor who given a script must determine how to interpret the role.
As 2013 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the events that had a significant influence on me this year.
High on that list is a trip my partner and I made to the Philippines for our friends, Russell and Linda’s wedding. The openness and generosity of our hosts is still with me. That simple meeting with strangers, who celebrated, laughed and danced with us, reminded us of our basic humanity. We came home deeply enriched.
Only a few weeks after our homecoming, super-typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. I found news coverage of recovery efforts both inspiring and deeply challenging. Sitting in the comfort of my lounge chair I became an uneasy voyeur, watching some of the poorest people on the planet piece their lives together.
I found myself discussing Japanese Window Sitters recently. What’s a Japanese Window Sitter you ask? I’ll explain shortly.
The conversation took place in a training program to develop manager’s coaching skills. The goal of the program is to enhance employee and organisational performance. It all began when my co-facilitator Stuart noticed a broken chair with a note taped to it, saying ‘Broken’.
Who are your role models? What do you love most about them? How have they inspired you?
One of my role models is my former high school principal, John Tindley, an approachable and progressive leader who was out and about in the school yard chatting with us on a regular basis. However what comes to mind, as I think of him today, is that he threw his job in at the height of his career and became a truck driver.