Training, mentoring and coaching: Giống, khác nhau thế nào?

I was working with a group of new supervisors last month and reviewing this thing we call coaching. I asked them to reflect on their willingness to dig in to the coaching role. Two things became very clear in the discussion. One, there was a great deal of reluctance to take on the coaching role. Two, many held the misconception that the primary activities in coaching had something to do with hovering and directing.

Clearly, not all of us were born to coach or lead. Great coaching requires a commitment and an accountability mind-set that takes time and energy, sometimes a lot of both. And, it takes the willingness to develop and maintain relationships through all sorts of challenging, and sometimes awkward, moments. Effective coaches recognize when they have the positive relationship bank account well established so they can leverage improved employee performance, productivity, stewardship, and commitment.

The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes and Pozner) is an oldie-but-a-goodie exploration of what experiences help develop leaders and coaches. This very readable book tells stories of false starts, failures, uncertainty … all the stuff aspiring coaches in the real world experience on the way to effectiveness.

A more recent work, Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, outlines a similar process of struggles, mistakes, and misjudgments that characterized some of our greatest national leaders before they found their true, most effective selves, even in tough times.

What we get from the stories is a nice take-away. A set of characteristics that differentiate effective coaches. It turns out that great coaches:

  • Challenge the Process
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Model the Way
  • Encourage the Heart

Simple, right? But you can certainly see the work that it might take to accomplish all of these things while getting your other stuff done. Great coaches simply make a decision to lean into all the challenges that coaching might bring and seem to act on faith that it will all be worth the effort.

How many of us now challenged with being effective workplace coaches actually wanted this role and then actually asked for it? Many of us were invited into the supervisor’s role because we were competent in some area and others thought we should be “promoted.” Next thing we knew we were dealing with human beings which can be one of the most rewarding or frustrating endeavors we will ever experience.

The reluctance we see from supervisors is usually based in concerns about awkward moments, resistance or defensiveness, being too busy, uncertainty about conveying a negative message, distaste for delivering bad news. These are not small hurdles to overcome. Most of us need some coaching ourselves to resolve some of these concerns.

You might say with all these challenges and impediments, “Why bother?” Well, all this investment happens to really pay huge dividends!! Where we see effective coaching we see much higher employee commitment scores, improved retention, and increased productivity. Leaders who are in the 90th percentile for coaching effectiveness have employee commitment scores in the 88th percentile. It doesn’t take a financial analyst to total up the kind of impact good coaching is going to have on the bottom line.

Come join us for a few hours to explore some of these themes and how you might improve your workplace coaching relationships, on February 13 in Eugene or April 3 in Portland.



JaCivas Cake

Regarded as one of the most established and distinguished Portland bakeries for over 30 years, this Cascade member infuses joy and love into every product they make. Did you know…

  1. JaCiva’s Bakery and Chocolatier first opened their doors in Portland, Oregon in 1986, producing the finest cakes, European chocolates, Swiss pastries and baked goods around.
  2. The company was founded by husband-and-wife duo, Jack and Iva Elmer. They cleverly named their bakery by combining their names.
  3. Jack and Iva perfected their chocolates and desserts by unifying their individual skills and talents: Chef Jack, with his formal Swiss pastry education and passion for baking; and Iva, with her innovative creativity and love for her community.
  4. For years, Jack and Iva worked at perfecting their products and their business. They’ve received over 50 awards and a multitude of acknowledgements in baking and chocolate making, including the Achievement of Excellence Award from the American Culinary Foundation, The Austin Business Family Award, the Master Chocolatier Award and a gold medal from the U.S. Pastry Alliance.
  5. Today, customers continue to file into JaCiva’s for an abundance of specialty baked goods and chocolates too numerous to name here. Located at 4733 SE Hawthorne Avenue, Jack and Iva continue to embody the foundation of a deep sense of community true to their roots.

Cascade is proud to feature JaCiva’s, a member aimed at maintaining family values and a small business atmosphere.



2019 Labor Law Posters

One of the many resources that Cascade offers to employers are all-in-one Employment & Labor Law posters. Regulatory changes require some updates for 2019, so if you use all-in-one posters, reserve yours now and we’ll mail them to you prior to the new year. These posters are available in both English and Spanish, and printed on heavy duty glossy paper or laminated.

Keep in mind that the Oregon Minimum Wage will increase in July, 2019. As an added benefit to ordering from Cascade we will send you an easy-to-apply sticker to reflect the change at that time. This is an easy way to keep in compliance with required postings.

Pre-order now and you won’t be billed until shipped.

Check this off your list  



be thankful

It’s been said that “80% of success in life is just showing up.” But, in the world of work, we know it takes more than just clocking in to develop strong, effective, sustainable teams. Are your employees really showing up? Are they digging in with everything they’ve got?

Be thankful if they are! My consultant friends tell me that full-participation or fully-engaged workplaces are rare. If you don’t think you and your employees have reached this promised land, here are a few things to consider:

What does Really Showing Up look like?

At Cascade Employers Association we begin many of our training sessions with a review of the characteristics of the Engaged Employee to set up a target, the “ideal employee” discussion. Then we reflect on how these extraordinary employees work with passion, have a profound connection to the organization, drive innovation, are great stewards and give 100% of their discretionary effort.

You know, the people we all want more of. The people we wish we could be consistently ourselves. In the discussion we typically have supervisors point out that there are lots of employees who are clocking in, showing up, but not really bringing all of themselves. Leadership Engagement Essentials is one good example of a training session that addresses this specific topic.

Progressive workplaces want to develop and encourage the fully-engaged employee and the high functioning team. Much of our time in the workplace-development world is spent appropriately examining workplace cultures and policies that positively influence this engagement. The workplaces we see having more success in this endeavor are doing a few things to create culture and conversation that improve the chances their employees will want to bring all of themselves on a daily basis.

Do your employees:

  • Show up physically? Rested, stretched, exercised? All there? Feet firmly on the ground? Great workplaces encourage self-care and active lifestyle, creating positive peer pressure toward health.
  • Show up emotionally? Even bring their anger and sadness along with their joy and excitement? Great workplaces teach relational skills and open dialogue so employees feel a connection with their work team. Great workplaces also, while allowing employees to be honest, even vulnerable, call out negativity or selfish motivations.
  • Show up intellectually? Thinking all the time? Admitting, without shame, when they don’t understand something or when they are confused? Also admitting boldly when they see something or a process they can improve? Great workplaces create and maintain an atmosphere of appreciation for strengths and patience with weaknesses.
  • Show up socially? Can find their place, not out of conformity, but out of comfort and fit? Great workplaces are inclusive and focus on strengths and honor all social styles on the extrovert-introvert continuum.
  • Show up spiritually? With proper boundaries and without proselytizing? Great workplaces encourage the search for something larger than themselves.

The Gestalt Psychologists used to employ a technique called the “empty chair” in therapy sessions, designed to help their clients have a conversation with the disowned parts of themselves. We would never recommend this practice in the workplace. Perhaps you can see, however, what this might be like for your less-engaged employees who are missing something, almost as if ghostly limbs were disappearing or half of them was just not there.

What important and productive parts are employees leaving at home when they could be using them to leverage creative success in your workplace? Part of the solution is just asking good questions, paying attention to, acknowledging and celebrating the fully-engaged, making full-participation contagious.

Here’s to being truly thankful for your employees who are really BRINGING IT!

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