Old Habits Die Hard

We are creatures of habit – from the time we get up in the morning until we go to bed at night we engage in countless daily routines such as brushing our teeth or turning on our computer. Research shows that we make upwards of 11,000 decisions every day–thankfully most are unconscious and involuntary – meaning… we don’t really have to think about them, we just do it!

A habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice especially one that is hard to give up. Over the past few months I established a habit of reading the news feeds morning and night or watching news on TV. I recently came to the conclusion that I was devoting too much time to hearing the same events played out over and over again and the stories were mostly negative and often horrible. I’ve made a conscious decision to catch up on news only once a day, and not at night so as not to disturb my sleep. I recognized that in order to change this habit I needed to replace it with a new habit that was more satisfying. I have decided to use this 30 minute daily pocket of time to connect with business colleagues on social media – to  read informative and motivational articles, respond to posts and submit material such as this blog. I hope to ‘see’ you more regularly online!

If you’ve recognized that one or more of your habits are no longer serving you well, ask yourself this question:  What are the costs of sticking with this habit?  Or conversely –What are the benefits of changing this practice? What new practice would you like to develop? It’s important to identify the benefits or WIFM (What’s in it For Me) in order to build momentum towards your new goal.

Remember it takes a minimum of 21 days to develop a new practice into a habit and then you must continue with it to ensure it sticks?

What new habit would you like to develop? Share it below if you feel so inclined. Going public with your goals gives it a boost.

I hope you are enjoying the summer.



Train-the-Trainer Coaching Certification Program for the Confident Coach™


September and October 2014 – Limited Space
Train-the-Trainer Coaching Certification Program for the Confident Coach™

Ideal for Internal and External Coaches, OD Consultants, HR Business Partners, Trainers.

Do you believe that people want to learn, grow and contribute – and that organizations want to grow their bottom line?

Do you also believe that when managers regularly coach their staff engagement soars?

Achieve certification in the Confident Coach™2 day coaching skills program and train managers how to coach and inspire their teams.

The 2 day Train-the-Trainer Certification Program, will be held in Toronto, Ontario at OTEC’s  Head Office. This training will provide you with the knowledge and licence to market and deliver the 2 day Confident Coach™Program to managers in any organization of any size.

You will receive:

  • Interactive, in-class training; limited class size.
  • Electronic PowerPoint presentation of the Confident Coach™.
  • 100 page Leader Guide with comprehensive resource tool-kit
  • Opportunities to customize learner content and co-brand marketing materials.

Want to register or learn more?

Contact Rebecca Heaslip – President of Leadership Insight
Email: rheaslip@leadership-insight.com
Toll Free:1-888-878-5913

Enhance your professional standing – get certified and make an impact!

“talent talk” – Newsletter

Create a Coaching Culture

Studies show that employees thrive in the workplace when they know that their supervisor cares about them as people, and invests time and resources to support their development. Coaching is a vehicle to achieve this level of engagement and is predicated on the following: a culture of trust is present (an absolute requirement for coaching to be effective); the coachee (employee) is receptive to the idea of change; and the coach (manager) exhibits superior communication skills, such as listening, questioning and feedback skills to empower and inspire the employee to take action.

How do you measure the effectiveness of coaching? Outside of conducting a full-blown employee engagement survey, you can measure the success of your coaching endeavours through observing the following:

  1. You “ask” more than “tell” or direct.
  2. You provide 5 positive comments to every 1 critical comment daily.
  3. You meet regularly (monthly/quarterly) with staff to discuss their needs, goals and motivations.
  4. Regular use of affirmative language such as: “I will” or “I can.”
  5. More collaboration up, down and across.
  6. Fewer surprises and fewer fires to put out (more regular communication).
  7. People come to you with solutions not just problems.
  8. People are working smarter not harder and/or longer.
  9. People find ways to leverage their strengths and manage their weaknesses.
  10. Less push back from staff.

When you take time to coach your employees, you’re effectively saying “I care about you and your job satisfaction – not just your performance”. Please visit www.theconfidentcoach.com for additional articles on coaching skills and to learn about our Confident Coach™ training program for managers.

Enjoy this issue of talent talk !


Click here to view the rest of the newsletter

The Return on Investment of Job Benchmarking

Many organizations are successfully using behavioural assessments to augment their selection process and career development programs. When behavioural profiling is used in conjunction with job benchmarking we are able to help companies pin point the root cause of many business issues such as high turnover, low morale, low productivity and weak sales. We help our clients assess the key skills required in mission critical roles and evaluate incumbents using validated objective assessments against these benchmarks to identify ‘fit’ for the role. We then create a gap analysis that clearly shows if their people and/or the roles need to be reconfigured and where development resources are best allocated.

Please enjoy these case studies that highlight the tremendous benefits to your business of using the job benchmarking process. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Case Study 1: Job benchmarking results in increase in retail profits of 30%, and manufacturing sales of 40%

Case Study 2: Using Benchmarks to Reduce Turnover by 50% Case Study 3: Increase productivity with Emotional Intelligence- Billable hours increased 30%, and profit after tax increased by 25%

Case Study 4: Job Benchmarking and Employee Onboarding Result in $2.2 Million Turnaround

Case Study 5: Sales Force Turnover Reduced to Zero from 74% Due to Job Benchmarking

Case Study 6: Sales Team Skyrockets to First Place from Last Place Position

Case Study 7: Company Experiences 940% ROI and 40% Reduction in Turnover

Top 5 Reasons People Do Not Follow Through on Their Goals

Goal Word - Arrow in TargetThere are many reasons why people do not complete tasks that lead them to achieve their goals, even goals that they were initially pumped about. External variables over which a person has no control can sometimes derail a goal (such as a lack of resources, for example, or changing priorities). If we’re honest though, there are many times when we simply lose interest in the goal and its associated rewards/benefits.  This is often on account of one or more of the following:

1. The goals are not SMART: Their goals are not specific, measurable, attainable, realistic or tangible or any combination of these. This sets the stage for a lack of commitment and follow-through.

2. Lack of Accountability: There is no accountability and no consequence for failing to follow through. Again, this begs the question – is this is smart goal and has the individual truly bought into it?

3. Behavioural trait: The habit of procrastination has become their ‘norm’. It’s their status quo and it’s become such an ingrained behaviour, it fails to register with the person.

4. Mental disorder: The individual may be suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental illness or disorder such as ADD and my not even be aware of it. This can explain the lack of sustained focus.

5. Overwhelmed:  The individual may have too much on their plate and they don’t know how to say ‘no’ (or don’t want to). A fear of rejection or fear of disappointing others can cause this.  When a person takes on too much, they end up disappointing themselves, and the familiar pattern of non-completion repeats itself.

If you observe someone in your team or your family failing to make progress on their goals, open up a dialogue with them to help uncover the reasons.  Or share this article with them to see if any of the bullets ring true for them. Early intervention might prevent them from developing a lifelong pattern of failing to complete things, a habit that gets harder to break as time goes on.

For coaching assistance, please contact Rebecca Heaslip, Executive Coach and President of Leadership Insight Inc. at rheaslip@leadership-insight.com or 888-878-5913.

Why do staff members ignore solid advice?

Managers often lament that staff members do not take them up on their suggestions. So recently I ran a poll that asked the question ‘why do you think some staff members ignore solid advice? ‘

The poll presented four possible answers:

  1. They lack initiative and motivation.
  2. They self-sabotage and thrive on drama.
  3. They view the well-meaning advice as an edict or order.
  4. They want the reward of coming up with their own solutions.

Of course the question begs another question “what is ‘solid’ advice and how does a person know it is ‘solid’?” Is it because the person giving the advice is a solid person – someone you respect? Is the advice based on logic, rationality, facts or common sense? One third, or 30% of respondents believe that staff see the advice as an edict or order, not well-meaning advice, while 23% believe staff either lack initiative and motivation and 13% believe they self-sabotage and thrive on drama. The balance of 34%, give staff members the benefit of the doubt – they assert that people want the reward of coming up with their own solutions. Managers should take note not to offer advice too quickly – it is always better to support your staff member by asking quality probing questions to help them discover all the available choices and to form their own solution. They are more likely to commit to a course of action they have created as there is a stronger emotional connection and sense of ownership.

The diversity of perspectives in answer to the question ‘why do staff ignore ‘solid advice’’ suggests there are multiple reasons, many more than I listed. This was quite evident in the comments posted by colleagues on LinkedIn. (Thank you for these insights!) Many suggested that staff will not act on well-meaning advice if they don’t trust or respect their manager or if the manager micro-manages them. If your staff is not reacting positively to your advice and suggestions, you may need to re-establish a bond of trust. And that is the best advice I can give you! :O)

Written by Rebecca D. Heaslip – President of Leadership Insight Inc.
© Copyright Leadership Insight Inc.

Top Coaching Tips – Facilitating Sustainable Behaviour Change (Part 3)

  1. Celebrate goal achievement; reward and recognize success promptly. This doesn’t have to be elaborate – sometimes a simple thank you and acknowledgement in front of their peers will suffice. People understand that budgets are tight and so don’t expect a big fuss.
  2. Help your employee set achievable goals – don’t set them up for failure by setting the goal too high. Crunch the goal down into manageable bites. Check in with them regularly to offer support or suggest a possible course correction.
  3. Give employees room to grow, take risks and make mistakes. Provide additional learning opportunities and resources for development where possible. Don’t micro manage yet don’t let them make bad, career-shortening decisions.
  4. Hold employees accountable for agreed-to goals and actions. They will respect you for it. Remind them that high personal accountability is one of the hallmark traits of top leaders throughout the business world.
  5. Act as their internal advocate for their development and personal growth. Help them to navigate obstacles, advocate on their behalf and champion their ideas to higher-ups. And as the economy improves, implement their ideas and reward appropriately.

Click here for information on the Confident Coach™ our coaching skills workshop for Managers.

Written by Rebecca D. Heaslip – President of Leadership Insight Inc.
© Copyright Leadership Insight Inc.

Top Coaching Tips for Managers – Effective Communication © (Part 2)

How to Keep Employees Engaged.

This is our second article in our 3 part series, Top Coaching Tips for Managers.

Our first article outlined the Top 5 Tips for Building a Trusting Relationship. This article will be of interest to managers who believe that superior communication skills are integral to effectively engaging and motivating staff.

Poor communication is often ranked in employee satisfaction surveys as the number one issue employees have with management. Savvy managers are addressing this gap by increasing the quality and frequency of conversations with staff that focus on their career aspirations and development goals… not just their performance. As the economy improves, all managers will need to become more connected with their staff or they’ll risk losing top talent.

Here are the Top 5 Tips for Effective Communication:

  1. Communicate using a conversational style, as opposed to a directive style, creating a relaxed mood, free of tension. Balance formal structured coaching sessions with casual, “speed” coaching, also referred to as ‘just­in-time’ coaching.
  2. Ask open-ended questions then stop talking and allow time for your staff member to reflect and respond. When delivering critical feedback, begin and end with a positive comment. More than ever, team members need to hear what they are doing right!
  3. Listen with your eyes, ears and heart. Stay open and non-judgmental. This is difficult since we see the world through our own lens and may find it difficult to see things from another person’s point of view. Also, make a concerted effort to clear your mind of clutter before meeting with staff, which enables you to listen with true understanding.
  4. Provide regular, frequent feedback, recognition and praise. Immediate feedback is preferable as it has the greatest impact on behaviour. If you postpone giving feedback, you may forget the nuance of what you observed and wanted to convey.
  5. Avoid bundling grievances. Deal with issues as they arise, one at a time. ‘Less is more’ when it comes to delivering critical feedback. And don’t sweat the small stuff. Granted, it’s not all small stuff – just use common sense on this one.

Click here for information on the Confident Coach TM, a leading-edge coaching skills workshop for Managers.

Create A Coaching Culture

An Employee Engagement and Retention Imperative!

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Increasingly, organizations are retaining executive coaches to support time-crunched managers to engage and retain high potential employees and top performers. Meanwhile, other employees struggle to capture the attention of busy managers who appear to have little time or knowledge of how to ignite their passion, dreams and goals. Discussions about goals typically center around a person’s performance – where they’ve met, exceeded or fell short of expectations. Even then, substantial discussions about performance rarely occur outside of the perfunctory yearly or bi-annual performance review.

 Higher level conversations about a person’s career path and personal development goals have only recently begun in earnest in many organizations. Some companies use online career portals enabling employees to map out their career path and track progress on their goals. These systems are effective only if a manager meets regularly with each employee to understand how they can support them in their learning and development. Many managers feel ill-equipped to coach employees on the subjective and intangible elements of their performance – their behaviour, personal interests, values and motivations.

 Well ‘the times are a changing’ and the younger generation is driving the change.

The Millennial or Generation Y born after 1980 are asking managers to provide regular feedback and praise and show interest in them as people –not just cogs in the wheel. They want to know how they can add value and how their work relates to the organization’s goals. They want to talk about their needs and wants and how the manager can assist them in developing their career. It is imperative that organizations train managers how to engage this generation or they risk losing them.

Managers ask ‘how can I find the time to have these warm and fuzzy conversations when I barely have time to do my own work?’ Inspiring your team to be the best they can be is (or should be) one of the top 3 accountabilities of all managers. Coach-managers are disciplined with their time and practice the art of empowerment through delegation. They are committed to the process and believe they can make a difference in the lives of the people they manage.

I’ve heard many managers say ‘why bother coaching this generational group – they’ll just leave in 3 years to seek new opportunities.’ This thinking is short-sighted. The research shows that people leave their manager, not the organization.  A manager can have a profound impact on an individual’s success. Managers who know how to leverage the talent of employees can fast track their development and personally benefit as their internal coach.

 Developing coach-managers requires a shift in the attitude and behaviour of managers to commit to their own development. This demonstrates authenticity which fosters trust… a fundamental element of all effective coaching relationships. It’s the old ‘walk the talk’ – you can’t be a coach unless you’ve experienced what it’s like as a coachee. ‘Success on the outside begins within,” Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Simply, you gain the right to guide others in their personal discovery process when you show you are committed to the same.

In addition to a commitment to personal growth, superior self-management and a genuine belief in your ability to influence and effect change, managers will need to learn the art and science of conversation; how to question, listen and give feedback that is well received and acted upon. Then they will need to learn how to hold staff members accountable for realistic and achievable goals that they have co-created. Lastly, they will need to believe that they can act as a staff member’s internal advocate and cheerleader for their career development while holding them accountable for performing at a high level in their current role.

Creating a coaching culture in an organization takes time and the dedication of all managers at all levels. Coaching needs to be valued as a key leadership competency and an essential accountability for managers. Corporate compensation and recognition systems need to align with performance systems to elevate this important skill set with other leadership skills such as developing and implementing strategy and influencing stakeholders.

The demand for external executive coaches will continue. However, managers who act more coach-like with their teams will reap the rewards when inspired Millennials (and Boomers) stick around because someone values them as people and recognizes their contributions.

Written by Rebecca D. Heaslip – President of Leadership Insight Inc.
© Copyright Leadership Insight Inc.