Monday, September 24, 2012

The Impact of Coaching Skills on Leadership

Coaching and management are synonymous. If you aren't focused on regularly coaching your team, there's a good chance you're not leading them as effectively as possible and an even better chance your sales are suffering as a result. Coaching creates an environment that naturally increases productivity, enhances collaboration, boosts morale, and improves performance.
As a manager, there are many coaching skills that impact your ability to more successfully lead your team. Here are a few of them:
• Problem solving plays a huge role in being an effective leader. Your team looks to you in a time of crisis-large or small-to take immediate, decisive action. Whether or not they buy-in to your decisions and follow your lead has everything to do with their respect for you. Gain that, and you will have a loyal team that trusts in your ability to solve problems before they can become disasters.
• Upholding accountability is important if you want to ensure employees take responsibility for both their individual and team performance. You make employees accountable when they understand exactly what their roles are, the goals of the department or company as a whole, and the consequences of not achieving those goals. Accountability is the skill that makes it easier to make informed staffing decisions.
• Encouragement is an underrated and often overlooked coaching skill. You need look no further than a football coach for a model-always telling his team they can do it, always believing in them. Coaching is building people up. This isn't to say that a coach does not get upset, of course. A good coach tells the team that they are better than how they performed, and how they can deliver better results next time.
• Staying positive naturally follows the skill of encouragement. Coaching requires a positive approach to every situation. It is nearly impossible to be encouraging or solve problems with a gloomy outlook. A positive coach is a better problem solver, holds employees accountable with the right attitude, and provides encouragement when and how it is needed so the organization's goals can be achieved.
It has been said that great coaches are made, not born. It's true. Leadership can be learned and, in fact, must be learned for a manager to be successful. No amount of foresight and education can replace experience. Success relies heavily on a manager's ability to connect with employees, read situations quickly, set achievable goals, develop action plans, and then motivate employees to get the job done.
Coaching and managing need to be viewed as coexisting behaviors. Succeed at one and you'll succeed at the other. Your personal performance-your leadership-can have a huge impact on your team's performance. Lead by example and motivate your team to follow you to achieve even greater success for your organization.

Monday, September 17, 2012

San Francisco Giants Leadership Lessons

What can business leaders learn from San Francisco Giants baseball manager Bruce Bochy, who led two diverse teams to World Series championships in three years? The secret lies in his communication skills, humility, confidence and ability to manage away from a superstar mentality. Bochy epitomizes what management consultant Jim Collins calls a 'level-five leader', someone who can transform a company from good to great through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will. A level-five leader acts with quiet, calm determination and relies on inspiration, not charisma to motivate. He demonstrates an unwavering resolve to do whatever it takes to produce results, no matter how difficult.
An essential lesson from Bochy is that culture matters. Before games, you would see players jumping up and down in the dugout having fun. Instead of telling them to get serious for the big game ahead, Bochy allowed the team to be themselves. They enjoyed playing together and played better when they were loose and relaxed. In business, helping establish a culture in whatever way is right for your company is time and money well spent. Team bonding activities may in some cases seem childish, like the pranks going on in the Giant's dugout, but they helped keep the team resilient and optimistic when faced with fierce competition."
At the heart of leadership effectiveness is the ability to continually learn and enhance your personal effectiveness.
You are not solely defined by what you do or know. In fact, there's a lot you don't know about yourself because everyone has limited vision and blind spots. We err in thinking. We jump to conclusions. We have poor communication habits that could definitely improve. Personal proficiency takes time, vigilance and help from others.
Who you are as a leader has everything to do with how much you can accomplish with and through other people. In The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner cite three reasons why people follow someone:
1. Integrity
2. Competency
3. Forward thinking
Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development for enlightened leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop an emotionally intelligent business culture? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.
One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is "Am I a level-five leader bring out the best in people?" Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who create world-class teams.
Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy company where everyone is motivated and fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Medical Records Storage During a Move

Professionals in the medical field are well aware of their responsibility to safeguard patient information. In addition to the hefty fines that come along with a privacy breach, as much as $1,500 per incident, there are moral and ethical considerations that clients take very seriously when it comes to medical records storage and the protection of their personal information. With identity theft on the rise and highly confidential medical data at stake, any business that handles medical records must exercise the most stringent storage and security precautions in every aspect of day-to-day operations.
This is especially critical during the disruption and confusion that can accompany a move. With normal protocols on temporary hold, strangers handling the physical move, and records undergoing transfer from one location to another, privacy breaches are all too common during relocations. Patients have found their information compromised and their identities stolen, which is notoriously difficult to repair. In addition, such incidents are well-publicized in the media, resulting in a public relations nightmare for healthcare providers.
Choosing the Right Office Mover to Handle Medical Records Storage
When moving healthcare-related files, most hospitals, medical centers, labs, and physicians' offices employ a logistically complex strategy that incorporates the services of standard office movers with the services of a medical records storage company. Unfortunately, this method is rarely error-free, as standard office movers lack the expertise required to properly protect confidential files, and most records management companies lack the manpower to complete a full office move.
The only relocation solution that offers a complete, highly secure, end-to-end move for all building contents-including patient records-is a hybrid version of the two: a best-in-class, elite office mover and medical records storage company. The highly skilled professionals of such companies are fully versed in the protection of patient files and employee data, and they have completed extensive training in HIPAA requirements. Two of the most critical points include the following:
• Any entity that handles protected health information, referred to as PHI, is responsible for its handling by any third-party vendors.
• Access to records or documents containing PHI must be controlled at all times, even during relocation.
In short, any breach of confidentiality is the healthcare provider's responsibility, making moving confidential documents a delicate task. Selecting a moving company that also handles medical records storage ensures the expertise necessary to protect patients, stockholders, employees, and the board of directors.
Regulatory Compliance
Unlike standard office movers, those with medical records storage and transport experience understand the regulations that surround PHI. For example, the laws around printed material are precise in their requirements for keeping confidential records safe in transit. Only the most highly skilled office movers have the training and manpower necessary to oversee the proper packaging of documents. They also have the infrastructure in place to ensure that no medical records are ever left unattended and are always in compliance with regulations.
Keeping sensitive data safe during a move cannot be left to a patched together plan that includes multiple vendors with various responsibilities. The only guaranteed way to transport PHI without risk is to entrust it to experts in both the moving and medical records storage fields.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Dynamics of Bullying

Bullying or allegations of bullying at work is always stressful for the people involved. For employers who have to deal with claims and instances of bullying, the dynamic can prove destructive and costly in a myriad of ways. Not least the potential cost of employee complaints, as well as the loss of trust and confidence if such allegations or instances are not dealt with swiftly.
I don't think I have ever been in a work situation where there has not been at least some discussion about whether behaviours can be construed as bullying. I have been in some where bullying has occurred and people have experienced being bullied and it's not pleasant.
In the CIPD Employee Outlook Survey 2010, 16% of people surveyed said they thought bullying by their line manager had increased due to the economic downturn and frankly I'm not surprised. In the last Civil Service People Survey in 2011, 9% of employees said they had experienced bullying, although of those, only 28% said the bullying behaviour had been from their line manager. It seems the allegation of bullying is not exclusively a line manager phenomenon.
In my own experience I have experienced "bullying behaviour" from line managers, customers and colleagues. I have witnessed many allegations of bullying; some warranted and some not so. Personally I've never been accused of bullying, it's easy to perceive assertive behaviour as bullying when employees aren't used to it, and I bet some of my actions could well have been construed as such with certain people, and in certain circumstances.
Bullying has a particular dynamic and it's often not clear cut, which is why so much of the behaviour isn't tackled adequately in the workplace. Some of the dynamics of bullying I have witnessed are:
Bullying or being bullied is
  • An abuse of and giving up of power
Bullying behaviour is an assertion of power over someone else. Mostly such behaviour is saying "I am more important than you and I know better" It's a superiority trap, and it is borne of a fear of lack of inner power.
Being bullied is a giving up of power. No-one can bully anyone without their permission. If you believe in yourself and know your own worth, nothing anyone can say will shake your foundation. When anyone accepts bullying behaviour, even though it can be difficult situation to grasp; they are giving up their power.
  • Rarely a conscious intention and can sometimes come as a surprise to both people involved.
Countless times I have witnessed people who have carried out bullying behaviour become extremely upset and appalled when they realise the effect they are having. When you encounter such a reaction you know the behaviour will stop.
Sometimes I have witnessed a denial and astonishment that their behaviour could be construed as bullying. These people have work to do, but awareness of their effect on others is often the starting point to change the behaviour forever.
People who are on the receiving end of bullying behaviour are often shocked at how vulnerable they are and how upsetting the behaviour is to them personally. They are often ferocious in their condemnation of the "bully" and aghast at how awful any human being could act towards another.
  • A dynamic which springs from fear of not being good enough on both sides
Someone displaying bullying behaviour is using the dynamic of force onto someone else. Anyone who has to use force on another is fearful of their ability to negotiate, influence or gain the co-operation, understanding, approval or help from another.
Someone who feels bullied by someone else feels disempowered to deal with the behaviour in order to achieve a positive outcome, and/or has an unconscious fear they are not good enough and that the bully might have a point.
  • A denial of the possibility of caring for each other
Caring about each other is our natural state. Whenever we are not caring about other people we are in disassociation or denial about who we really are at our core. The dynamic of bullying and being bullied is a blatant opposite dynamic of our natural inner urge to care about each other.
Often a bullying dynamic occurs because both" perpetrator and victim" don't believe in the possibility of another caring enough about them to hear the other.
  • A dynamic of blame
When bullying behaviour surfaces; it is as a result of an inability to have the courage to take personal responsibility on both sides. The perpetrator is either consciously or unconsciously trying to change or intimidate the "victim" because they are "wrong". The person on the receiving end inevitably feels no choice but to see the behaviour as an attack on them rather than see the fear or lack of awareness in the person displaying the behaviour.
While I have observed those behaviours, I also have to say that whenever either real or alleged bullying behaviour occurs it is always unacceptable, and always ugly to watch because there is always an impact. Quite often assertive behaviour can be seen as bullying and often assertive people can be subjected to behaviour which can be designed to get them to submit to another. Even in those situations, getting into the "who is right and who is wrong" debate is futile.