Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Development Planning? Focus on Strengths…Close Development Gaps

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/14/2013

“People can do great things. However, there are some things they just CAN’T do. I, for instance, have not been able to transform myself into a Popsicle, despite years of effort.” — Brandon Sanderson, American fantasy author

Much has been written over the past several years about focusing on one’s strengths. Thousands of individuals at all levels in organizations have taken the StrengthsFinder® survey. For those unfamiliar, the StrengthsFinder® is an assessment that reveals dominant “themes” that help people focus on their strengths and abilities and focus their work and lives around them. The premise is that it makes more sense to leverage our strengths and talents versus trying to overcome shortcomings.

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How to Measure Results in Coaching

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 2/14/2013

Executive and leadership coaching has become increasingly popular for companies interested in developing and keeping key organizational talent. While the number of coaches in the market has increased, we have noticed that few provide potential clients with a model for measuring success. This isn’t surprising because much of what a coach works with a client on are some of the more intangible aspects of work (e.g., leading others, team effectiveness, communication style, etc.). Though intangibles may be difficult to quantify, our background and experience as evaluation and assessment practitioners, led us to develop a model for measuring success based on 5 key factors:

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Courses and Employee Development

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 9/19/2012

For the last couple of weeks I have been doing some training for one of our clients on goal setting and employee development. The training has primarily focused on helping employees write SMART goals and develop action plans and helping managers enhance their coaching skills. One of the handouts I like to use as part of the training is the 70/20/10 rule of development planning. Studies on how adults learn suggest that a good development plan should have 70% related to on-the-job tasks and assignments; 20% people interaction (coaching, mentoring, others to work with); and 10% courses, workshops and readings (see graphic). For those of us that have reviewed action plans, you know that most employees build development plans around courses and formal training and few concentrate on opportunities for on-the-job learning. My message to the managers in the audience was, “courses are a tool for employees to collect knowledge, but they need to use that knowledge back on the job.”
As several managers nodded in agreement, a manager spoke up with some reservations. He was concerned that “using the knowledge back on the job,” was creating nothing but busy work for his employees. Apparently, within his department, when an employee completes an external course that others in the department may need to learn about, it is the responsibility of the course-taker to create a presentation for the department. I have heard similar stories from other clients that they too encourage course-takers to create presentation for their departments and teams. The manager’s challenge was that the hours spent on a presentation to an audience that may or may not have an interest was indeed busy work and did not help the organization overall.

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Willpower is Not Enough

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 1/10/2012

As January begins, and your New Year’s resolution is fresh in your mind, your will to complete your stated goal is strong. You’re focused, energized, and determined. If you are like many individuals that struggle with your resolutions, if I checked back in March, you’d be much less energized, not quite as determined, and possibly focused on other priorities. For many, the inability to stay on track and see a resolution through to completion is a sign that you lack will power, and will power is all that is needed to meet a goal. The good news is that will power is only a small portion of the equation to success.

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Coaching is more than just action planning

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 11/15/2011

A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason. – J.P. Morgan

Over the last several years, organizations have spent more and more money on leadership coaching for their executives and key leaders. When done well, leadership coaching can have a dramatic impact on the development of those being coached. This is due in large part to the relationship established between the coach and client. Through this relationship, and the ability of the coach to uncover the internal drivers of client behavior, sustainable results can be achieved. Unfortunately, not all coaches work with their clients to get at the drivers of behavior, preferring instead to jump to problem solving and action planning too quickly. In doing so, the client may not be able to sustain the change in behavior they are striving for, because they aren’t personally invested in the solution.

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To Lead, Sometimes We Must Follow

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 11/1/2011


My family was recently enjoying a glorious fall day. The weather was great—the air was crisp, the sun was shining, and there were beautiful cottony clouds in the sky. The horses were grazing in the pasture enjoying the afternoon sun.

My sister-in-law commented on the horses walking back and forth across the field. “See how that horse leads the others around the pasture. Everywhere he goes, the others follow.” (To set the context, you have to realize that she is not a horse person.) As I looked out to the pasture, I saw something else. I’m no horse whisperer; however, if you have ever owned horses, it wasn’t hard to see what was really happening.

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New Year, New Beginnings

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/4/2011

The new year often means new beginnings.  Yes, there is just one day’s difference from December 31 to January 1, but there is something about turning the calendar over that feels exciting and energizing.  These new beginnings cause many of us to reflect on the previous year and contemplate the next.  New beginnings bring change.  The changes might be small (writing 2011 instead of 2010); or, they might be more significant (living a healthier lifestyle, making the decision to change careers).  Failure to change (or failure to make the decision to change) often comes from fear.  John F. Kennedy said, “We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.”  As you embark on 2011, make a decision about what is important to you, clarify your purpose and vision, and create a path to make a difference (in your life and the lives of others).  Don’t let fear hold you back. 

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