Tag: responsibility

3D Juggling 549: Hot Seat

Claire writes: ‘I was running a ‘Brilliant Chairing’ course last week and was talking about why chairing a meeting can feel like being in the hot seat. How much do we make it hot? And how much do others make it feel hot for us?

Whose responsibility is it to make sure a meeting is effective? The chair has an important role in that, and the responsibility is held by everyone. Isn’t it? Think about it…’

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Keeping the responsibility in the middle

In any kind of reflective conversation, it’s important that the facilitator/ coach/ reviewer/ consultant doesn’t take over and that the responsibility is appropriately in the middle.  Here’s how:

3D Juggling 538: Congruence – not compliance

Jane writes: “Our credibility depends on several things and one of them is others experience of any gap between our intent and our behaviour.  Our intent is our motive or agenda, our behaviour is what we say and do.  The smaller the gap, the greater our credibility.

Behaving in ways that achieve compliance with what’s expected (explicitly or implicitly) in our family, community or organisation may enable us to ‘fit’ or to retain our role/job in the short term, but when compliance is at odds with our real beliefs and motives about how we should be behaving it will show.  It will seep out in what we say and do.  It may also help to prevent the truth about what is going on from being exposed, creating risk for individuals and organisations. Far healthier to achieve congruence – where we are honest about our motives.  Other people appreciate that, even when our motives may be at odds with theirs.  Our challenge is to work with them to find where our motives and beliefs overlap so that we can acknowledge these.
Sometimes it feels as we have to make a choice – compliance or no friends, compliance or no job.

How do you find the alternatives?

Think about a situation which you find difficult.  How clear are your motives – to you and to others?

Coaching can help you to understand your motives and work out how to be honest about them in ways that build your credibility and help you to discover new options.  And that will help you build you confidence as well. Think about it…“

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 523: Pain

Jane writes: “Pain is a strange thing.  It can be strong, it can be mild, it can be chronic, and it can be frightening.  However it feels it’s impossible for anyone else to understand what it’s like for you.  And sometimes, fortunately, it’s over.  I recently cared for my daughter through her labour and was reminded that, when the pain of labour is over and a healthy new life is delivered, the memory of the pain soon fades away to make way for pleasure and wonder at what is possible as a result of real effort.

How does pain relate to coaching?  Well, we don’t aim to inflict physical pain, although we find that helping people to identify and articulate the consequences of not taking action in a given situation can be painful for them.   So is facing up to the truth about a situation and what this means.  Recognising the impact of how we have behaved up to now can hurt as well.

We have found that where we are direct and honest with people, so that they can be truthful, they grasp responsibility for taking actions that they might not otherwise have contemplated.  Facing the personal consequences of not taking action can be a powerful motivator, as can understanding that the pain to come will deliver a reward that will include pleasure and wonder about what is possible as a result of real effort.

Many executives have developed a high pain threshold, so sometimes we have to be very direct and challenging to jolt them into action.  We do this carefully, mindful of the ethical guidelines and competencies of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Where do you need to feel pain so that it will lead to learning and change? Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 503: Sawdust

Claire writes: “I spoke at a lunch for retired businessmen recently.  We were exploring what needs to happen to make sure that retirement contains some purposeful things as well as simply being busy.  I told them Stephen Covey’s story about filling a jar:

A man was talking to a group of busy and powerful people and used a one-gallon, wide-necked jar to make a point. First he took about a dozen fist-sized rocks and placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was full, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table, pulled out a bucket of gravel, poured it in and shook the jar so that the gravel worked itself into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. Again he poured it it, shook it and asked: “Is this jar full?”

Finally he grabbed a jug of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One person raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

At one level, the learning is what are the big rocks which you need to put in first?

All this about what you put into your life.  But you’re not always in control and it may be that someone else decides to put some sawdust in – and that absorbs your time.  Because…at the end of my lunch, a man came up to me and said: If you use sawdust and not sand, other people can put in twice as much water as they did in the Covey story.

So the question is: Whose responsibility is it to make sure that we’re not including things like sawdust in our schedule? AND if we are, what do we need to take out?
Because saturated sawdust becomes very heavy to lift.”

Discuss this week’s juggling at http://www.3dcoaching.blogspot.com/

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 502: Swiss Balls

Claire writes: “Now that I have got back into a routine at the gym, I am back using Swiss Gym Balls.  Yesterday there were no 55cm diameter balls and the only ones I could find were overblown enormous things which were too wide to lift. I’d like us to have one in the office because they’re meant to be a healthy way of sitting at a desk – but they do take up rather a lot of room!

Do you ever have conversations or meetings and come away wondering why all the responsibility or actions are left with you?

Think of the Swiss Ball – if you hold one during a conversation, you will
* be unable to see anyone else in the room
* feel slightly overwhelmed
* ache quite quickly
And you won’t have much idea of what the other person is doing!

Responsibility is like a Swiss Ball. If you hold it all during a conversation, you will feel overburdened. And if you have to take it all away…. Responsibility needs to take its rightful place – in the space in between you and your companion.  Or – in a meeting – on the table.  Then you can decide between you who does what and take away a manageable amount of responsibility.

A useful question is: How are WE going to take this forward?

If you work with people who don’t like to take responsibility and to give you their swiss ball, and you are a person who likes to fix things quickly and will solve things for them, you can quickly found yourself swamped.  It’s still supportive to acknowledge the problem and help them find out how they might solve it.  But picking it up is like picking up a swiss ball!

Although it can be tempting to grab all of the responsibility, remember how difficult it would be to take a swiss ball home in the car – or on the bus.  They’re even difficult to get through a door! Maybe you could turn it into a spacehopper!”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 491: A Time to Share…. and a time to stay quiet

Su writes: “I arrived very early at the office this morning in order to get some outstanding work completed. In a large open plan office there is just me and one other colleague, head down,  working.  I fly through my work but with a sense of calm and enjoyment which comes from the knowledge that I am not going to be interrupted. It is nice to have the quiet companionship of a co-worker. The only sounds come from the clicking of the keys and the gentle white noise of the office.

It crosses my mind that I should turn round and tell my colleague what a good way to work this is, without the interruptions and with this calming peace around….. then I realise that to do this would be to destroy it. I would become an interruption.

Best to keep that gem to myself. Knowing when and when not to share is my first lesson today.”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 445: Treating people right

Jane writes: ‘I was working with a client recently, helping them to think about how they could respond to some feedback from staff about their experience of working in a team that she leads. We explored several options and when she had decided how to start, she said “You know, I tried to get support to do this three years ago, but my organisation bought in expensive external consultants who didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know. Nothing improved as a result of that”.

Later the same day I was reading an article about lessons that have been learned from previous recessions, and came across the following quote from Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric: ‘The best people move when times get better if you don’t treat them right.’
So what does ‘treating people right’ look like? One way to find out is to ask them, and that’s just what my client decided to do. Instead of relying on her interpretation of feedback from a sample of staff who completed a Staff Survey, she will give all staff opportunities to describe what being treated better would mean for them. The next step will be to engage them in taking responsibility for bringing about changes that they can achieve by adapting their behaviour, therefore influencing change in others.

When we help people to say what they need to say about things that are important to them we are treating them right. When we follow this up by helping them to bring about improvements, rather than relying on others to take action, we treat them even better.

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who leads a team.

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 443: Take cover

Claire writes: ‘I’m back to work after 5 weeks off when Lynn and Jane have been covering all the goings on at 3D. When other people cover, it’s a great way of noticing whether or not your systems are working – does everyone know what they need to know? It’s also a good test of delegation. If you’ve just come back from holiday, is there anything that you don’t need to take back? And are there different ways you need to share information which will make things easier in the future?

Covering for others is also a great way of exploring whether or not there is appeal in a post like theirs, and a chance to stretch your skills into new areas which can really help your CV and future job applications. So if you’ve been covering for someone else, what can you do now that you couldn’t do before? Make sure you get that down on your CV.

Apart from relief, what do you need to remember from your experience of cover over the holiday period?’

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who needs to read it!
© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 442: Integrity

Jane writes: ‘What do you do if you experience a mismatch between what your organisation says is important, and what it demonstrates is important through its actions? This is a challenge faced by Non-Executive Directors (Neds), whose role is to provide an independent view of the company that is removed from the day-to-day running of the organisation. Their intention should be to help the Executive Directors to see what can be seen by others and to use new insights to review the daily operation and performance of their organisation. What can we learn from research into the role of Neds?The Higgs Review in 2003 highlighted that effective Neds question intelligently, debate constructively, challenge rigourously and listen sensitively.

Virginia Bottomley (former Conservative minister, now a headhunter for an executive search firm) states that ‘the trick is knowing how to challenge without being seen as a member of the awkward squad’. Neds can be held accountable for not challenging the decisions, directions, plans and appointments of the executive group. What are you held accountable for? How do you help yourself and others to challenge with integrity, demonstrating your intention of achieving improvements?

3D Coaching can help you to have powerful and transformational conversations, email us info@3dcoaching.com

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is struggling with a non-exec role.

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com