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CEO Coaching: What, Why and How the Best CEOs Utilize a CEO Coach

CEO Coaching: What, Why and How the Best CEOs Utilize a CEO Coach

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how to utilize a ceo coach

Some say it can be lonely at the top. If that’s the case, then CEOs must be in desperate need of company. Thankfully, CEOs and leaders can turn to CEO coaching to provide the guidance they need to overcome the struggles of running and managing a company. With the future of the company weighing on them, they need help too. And this is where a coach can come in. But this type of coaching goes beyond that. 

With the right coaching and a CEO’s drive for success, this combination can deliver impressive results for a business. 

What is CEO Coaching?

Imagine this: Jess Bezos uses a CEO coach. Even Steve Jobs once had a coach. Even Tom Brady, arguably the best quarterback of all time, has a lot of coaches and trainers who are focused on improving every single aspect of his game.

What do we take from this? Coaching is something that everyone can benefit from no matter how good you think you are in what you are doing. In this study by Harvard Business Review, they demonstrate the link between coaching and high performance.

Before you can learn about what CEO coaching does for you – the CEO – and your company, it is important to define what it is. CEO coaching is dubbed the fastest and most efficient way to grow your business by becoming a more effective leader. But exactly how does that happen?

A coach is generally someone who is experienced at being a CEO or executive leader. They have formal training in mentoring using a structured framework aimed towards success. Their goal is to help CEOs clarify their thinking and make informed decisions that will impact the company. It is a great source of support for CEOs because they do not normally have anybody to turn to for help; after all, they are so used to people referring to them for any major decisions impacting the business. 

reasons why you need ceo coaching

Reasons Why You Need CEO Coaching

Today, CEOs serve as more than just the face of a company. They are looked at as visionaries and thought leaders. For a select few, they are considered pioneers and trailblazers in their field. But even CEOs can benefit from CEO coaching. In fact, the best ones continue to seek out suggestions and advice from an external viewpoint in order to improve how they manage business operations and conflict resolution, and boost team engagement.

These are some of the reasons why you need to consider coaching and ways you can optimize its benefits.

1. To learn something new

The best leaders and CEOs are the ones who continually seek to learn and improve. They do not claim to know-it-all, but rather are open to learning new things or skills. Even if your expertise is in one area, such as finance or technology, it does not hurt to learn a new skill so you can become a more well-rounded leader. 

The best coaches are the ones that can help CEOs develop professionally and personally. 

2. To see things objectively

It is easy to overlook any aspect of the business that isn’t going well or could be detrimental to your long-term success when you have too much on your plate. Therefore, having a coach is helpful because they can provide you with an objective, third-party assessment. A coach can give you a reality check, so you can fix blind spots or any aspect that you don’t even know could be hurting your business. 

When you deal with something so often and on a regular basis, it is easy to dismiss issues until they impact your business negatively. Don’t wait until that happens before you do something about it. 

3. To set aside time to reflect.

CEOs often lead a very hectic schedule. In between meetings and operational obligations, CEOs have so many things to think about on a daily basis when it comes to running a business. 

The time spent with a coach is a chance for them to slow down and reflect. A coach can help CEOs to use this time as an opportunity to explore new business strategies. It allows them to open up to possibilities that they may not have considered on their own. This is very promising for businesses that wish to expand or grow. 

4. To see things in a new light.

CEO coaching can open new doors of possibilities for your business. Coaches can help with overcoming business obstacles and see new ways of approaching these obstacles. By trying out new things, you have the opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity within your business. 

5. To help the company grow.

The style of leadership can have a huge impact on the productivity of the company. CEOs that are committed to developing their personal and professional skills are more likely to inspire the rest of their team to become better too.

The true impact of business coaching is evident in how the business is managed and what business decisions are made. However, acquiring soft skills like interpersonal communication and improving teamwork can go a long way in achieving organizational success. 

optimize the benefits of ceo coaching

How to Optimize the Benefits of Coaching

There are a variety of reasons why CEOs use a coach. Some turn to coaches for sound advice in solving common issues that face their company. A few others use a coach to help develop a smart and well-planned strategy for their business’s long term success. 

The best way you can optimize the benefits of coaching is to identify what you want to achieve first. This will help you both achieve accountability with every coaching session, so you can achieve your strategic goals. 

CEO coaching is a win-win situation for your business. It helps business leaders learn new skills and a new perspective on how to handle common business responsibilities. In the end, it is a good investment to allow your business to flourish because a company (or team) is only as good as its leader inspires them to be.

In fact, the most successful CEOs are the ones who are diligent, open to learning new things, and constantly seeking growth and development. 

Coaching Organizational Development

Trust in the Workplace: 6 Steps to Building Trust with Employees

Trust in the Workplace: 6 Steps to Building Trust with Employees

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steps to build trust in the workplace

The Importance of Building Trust in the Workplace

Trust is the core foundation of any relationship, be it social or professional. Trust in the work setting is vital for the organization’s culture and success. Without it, people will easily feel disengaged and discouraged, and this could mean disaster for any organization. With that said, building trust in the workplace means bringing a culture of honesty, respect, and a sense of psychological security for everyone. It helps people, regardless of their position in the company, feel safe and happy about their roles in the organization. 

However, trustworthiness does not happen overnight. Rather, it’s a long and continuous process that needs everyone to be involved. As a leader, it is your job to cultivate this kind of culture in your workplace, from all levels and across all departments. But how do you do this?

importance of building trust in the workplace

Tips for Building Trust in the Workplace

Here are some key points you need for building trust in the workplace. 

Listen More Than You Speak

Understand that each employee is a unique individual who has his own idea and opinion. They have their own expertise and experience that they bring to the table. 

When communicating, listen actively to what they have to say. This shows you are fully connected and interested in understanding their situation or opinion before reacting or answering. Active listening will leave you with a happier relationship with everyone in the workplace. 

Thus, it is important that you instill this trait to each member of your company.

You can improve your communication skills by engaging in active listening training. This includes making a deliberate effort to ask each member of your team to speak their mind and encourage them to elaborate on what they have to say. Listen to both positive and negative feedback, and show them you are open to their feedback whether you agree with them or not. 

Empower your team with trust

This may sound like a no-brainer, but many managers fail to take this first step. Showing your employees that you trust them is a huge deal – pretty empowering. And in most cases, they will reciprocate it.

You can do this by giving them autonomy on tasks and projects that you have given them. 

You can also give them extra responsibilities. 

Also, you can encourage growth through professional development. One good example of this is to invite them to be part of important meetings that they wouldn’t normally attend. Say for instance you need help in your marketing and sales plans. It would be wise to take a sales rep with on-the-ground experience to the meeting and ask him/her for his insights. This person will remember your gesture and you may benefit from their experience. 

Cultivate accountability

If your team often suffers from poor work quality, missed deadlines, repetitive errors, and lack of trust, then that is a sign of accountability problems within the team. 

Remember that there will be no top-class management without accountability. Thus, the success of your team and the trust within each member of the team depends on the leaders being accountable for themselves and cultivating accountability with the team. 

Remember, trust is earned not given. Thus, building trust in the workplace means leaders must acknowledge their shortcomings as well. This will encourage employees to follow your lead. Walk the talk. 

Inspire with authentic leadership

A boss manages employees and tells them what to do. A leader, on the other hand, teaches employees why and how to do things, inspires, trusts, and values employees. Do not be a boss. Be a leader. 

Authentic leadership cultivates trust and improves employees’ performance and engagement. A good way to lead your employees is to coach them. This means providing training, encouragement and support, especially when they are struggling. Offer words of appreciation on a daily basis too, especially for those who are excelling at their jobs. 

Provide balanced autonomy

Surely, you do not want to be controlled or told what to do at every step of the way in your assigned tasks or responsibilities. Neither do your employees.

Rather than commanding your employees and telling them what to do and when to do it, allow your employees to be at their best by giving them autonomy.

Do not micromanage. After all, you (or your HR department) have hired these individuals for what they can bring to the table. Thus, trust them. Grant them a sense of ownership; give them tools, resources, and boundaries to work with. Encourage them to work with each other and make sure everyone is on the same page. And when they make a mistake, stay calm and tackle the situation head on, help them solve the problem. 

Establish an inclusive and welcoming culture

Your team is a collection of people from different walks of life; different cultures, traits, personalities, and viewpoints. Use this diversity to your advantage by accepting these different values and strengths. 

Create a company culture that welcomes everyone. You can pursue activities and initiatives that create a positive and welcoming workplace for different cultures that will benefit everybody. 

More importantly, establish a company culture that reflects appreciation, respect, and teamwork. Bring them together and give everyone an opportunity to connect with their co-workers. 

Tackle issues that concern your employees, especially issues that are important to them and give them a chance to be heard. For example, you have members of the LGBTQ+ community in your company. Make sure you provide them a safe space to work and give them equal opportunities to grow and develop their careers. 

Likewise, welcome new hires graciously. As a manager, you play a huge role in your company’s hiring process which is vital for boosting the organization’s employee retention. Small gestures like taking them out for a cup of coffee or lunch can help you establish a rapport, which is crucial for building trust in the workplace right from the start. 

tips building trust in the workplace

The Bottom Line

The more you actively work on building trust in the workplace, the more cohesive your workforce will become as a unit. With the right leadership, encouragement, and tools, you will soon have your dream team of people who trust each other and love working with each other. 

Coaching People Development

Localizing Your Leadership Team

Localizing Your Leadership Team

By Gary Malcolm, Managing Partner of LHH and an accredited Executive Coach

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Localizing The Leadership Team

In my capacity as an Executive Coach, a common challenge that I have heard from international companies in Vietnam is how to successfully localize, “promote from within”, and onboard newly promoted executives into the leadership team. Having supported these new executives over the years, I have seen three common themes emerge around challenges they face with the leadership transition.

Adopting a Two Team Mindset

All individuals that have been identified to be a leadership team member have a fairly ‘cookie-cutter’ recipe for success: be technically excellent at what they do, achieve exceptional performance leading a business unit, and be recognized by the organization as having the qualities and potential for executive leadership.

However, a common misconception is that this winning recipe will also equate to success in the leadership team. Partway into the new role, they default to a focus on their own performance and the success of their business unit to the detriment of the leadership team. What they often fail to appreciate is they are now a member of a new team, and their contribution, perceived value-add and collective success of the leadership team are now of equal.

When I work with an executive, I call this “Adopting a Two Team Mindset“. To be effective, the new executive member must accept they are a member of two equally important teams that are both competing for their time and effort. The imperative is the executive has a shift in mindset, finds the correct time/effort balance, and is conscious of when they slip back into old behavior.

Politics Is Not For Me

Another theme that I have observed from coaching fresh executives is a reluctance to be involved in organizational politics. They typically describe it as a bad practice, or against their values and beliefs, or that it feels inauthentic and manipulative. As such, they adopt an avoidance approach.

Unfortunately, every company has internal politics. As a CEO eloquently put it to me: “It’s just a form of soft influence or an alternative way of getting things done. It is not necessarily a negative, but it’s a necessary part of doing business.”

To be effective, an executive must accept that “playing politics” is a necessary part of being a leadership team member. Therefore, it’s important the executive practices “good” politics which enables them to further their individual and team’s interests appropriately. It’s not always a negative and it is possible to further a cause without compromising values and beliefs.

Am I In, or Part-Way In?

The third and most frequent theme is how organizations onboard locally promoted executives into the leadership team. Typically, it takes the form of ‘part membership’ through attending (some) team meetings, a slightly larger scope of responsibility, or being asked to lead an organization-wide project. It is done under the notion that the executive needs to prove themselves or earn their place.

Often I observe that the executive is not given full access to all information to be able to contribute equally or the decision-making authority to get things done. They are expected to perform at the same level as their peers, yet without the tools and resources to be successful. As a result, they are often on a path to failure.

In this case, I work with executives to have meaningful discussions with their boss on defining their roles, responsibilities and reporting lines, barriers resulting from ‘part membership with the aim of gaining clarity around their pathway to full leadership team membership.

Whilst the above three themes are not an exhaustive list of the challenges facing new leadership team members, they are common barriers to success that are easily overcome.

About Gary Malcolm

Gary is the Managing Partner of LHH Vietnam, and an ICF-PCC accredited Executive Coach.

In his role at LHH, Gary is helping to reshape the Coaching, Career Transition, and Assessment markets in Vietnam; through education and the implementation of best practice and international standards.

Gary’s clients are senior leaders and executives at Global 1,000 companies. He helps them navigate Workforce Transformations – both managing the “pain” of restructures, whilst focusing on the “gain” of developing the organization’s people.

A market leader for the last 20 years, LHH’s services include Career Transition & Outplacement, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Workforce Advisory, and Change Management. We are powered by LHH Global’s 385 offices in 64 countries, and our clients are the most recognized brands in Vietnam and all of Southeast Asia.

Coaching People Development

Why Coaching Works

Why Coaching Works

Why coaching? – It’s good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

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the value of coaching

Imagine what your organization could achieve if everyone were coached to be their absolute best. – Sure, there are other ways to invest in your people. But have they ever brought someone to tears through self-reflection? Doubt it. Through coaching, your people get to know themselves. Their goals. Weaknesses. Hang-ups. And once they know all that, they can build on the good stuff and work on the rest.

Coaches change lives. And organizations. That’s why we’re here.

The Value Of Coaching

A Business Superpower For Everyone

Why not away days? Bigger bonuses? More vacation time? Those are fine. But they’re not tailored to each person. And they don’t have the same tangible impact.

Coaching is good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

The personal power of coaching

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), 99% of people who get coaching are satisfied with it, and 96% would recommend it to others.

Why? Unlike other benefits or training, coaching’s personal. It’s about your people, not the company agenda or corporate tick boxes. Sessions can touch on mindsets, beliefs, internal barriers, self-doubt, perspectives, work issues, home issues – whatever the coachee needs.

They feel more confident. They know what to do in tricky situations. They become better leaders. If that doesn’t sound like the model employee, we don’t know what does.

What’s in it for your organization?

It’s like supercharging your workforce.

Coaching makes them happier, so they’re more likely to stay. It makes them more confident, so they can tackle whatever they face. And it creates a culture of learning, so the coaching goes on outside the sessions.

We’ll show you the proof, too.

Coaching sessions are always confidential. But we’ll send you a monthly report outlining everyone’s feedback. And you can see data on how people are getting on with their objectives too.

All of which means you don’t have to take our word for any of this – you’ll be able to see the progress for yourself.

What is Coaching?

A quick intro to professional coaching

Professional coaching has definitely seen an upswing in recent years as companies grow larger and jobs become more complicated. But what exactly is it, and why might you need it for your team?

What actually is it?

The International Coaching Federation describes coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

This means that a coach works with a client to define their professional goals and encourage self-discovery, and assists them in designing a plan that holds them accountable for making changes.

A growing demand

The stats alone show that the demand for professional coaching is constantly growing. Rapid changes in the way we work and our business environments has meant traditional methods of developing our companies and staff no longer yield the same results that they used to. As the landscape changes, it becomes a constant battle for employees to stay on top of their shifting responsibilities and goals.

In order to combat this, companies have to start committing themselves to developing their staff and encouraging their growth. Hiring a professional who can be trusted and who knows what needs doing is the obvious answer.

Why Get Coaching?

Why bother with coaching in your business?

The results from coaching will vary from person to person but, whatever your end goal is, it provides a perfect opportunity for both personal and professional development for your team.

Improvements across the board

According to the Harvard Business Review, ten years ago coaching was mostly used to fix toxic behavior. Nowadays it’s used for all manner of reasons across whole companies, not just at the top.

Whether it’s developing high-potential staff, helping to facilitate transitions, or encouraging someone in a new role, coaching is a way of supporting your team and promoting a positive environment.

Results for the long-term

It used to be that staff would be sent on short-term improvement courses, but this often only promotes a short-term change. In order to see long-term development, managers and leaders need to consider an approach that works to change internal thought processes and patterns. That’s where coaching can help.

As coaching grows, more studies are undertaken and the takeaway from them is that you can expect to see a marked improvement in your team’s positivity and productivity, their confidence and their ability to adapt and be flexible, and their attitude when it comes to facing challenges or obstacles.

Source: Ezra

Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Coaching People Development

Reskilling the C-Suite: Leading into the Future

Reskilling the C-Suite: Leading into the Future

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C-suite executives are not being asked to personally match the reskilling demands that are being placed on other levels of the leadership hierarchy. There are some very basic things senior business leaders can do to ensure you are transforming yourself at the same pace and magnitude as you are trying to change your organizations.

I have always considered myself digitally literate.

I’m comfortable using all my tech devices and know my way around social media. In my position at LHH, I have regular and informed conversations with other senior leaders about things like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the blockchain.

So, when I agreed to take a digital literacy self-assessment a couple of years ago, I wasn’t all that worried about the outcome.

Turns out I should have been at least a little concerned.

The self-assessment is part of a foundational digital literacy course for executives offered by General Assembly, a sister enterprise to LHH in the Adecco Group. To my great surprise, I found out that there were several areas of digital knowledge where I just didn’t know as much as I should have.

That’s a tough realization for any executive leader. How could I be lacking in skills and knowledge that are so essential for success in the current business environment? That question strikes deep at the heart of a much bigger issue: the collective failure of executive leaders to engage their organization in reskilling and upskilling.

Unless you have starved yourself of all business news, you’ll know that the world is facing an enormous skills mismatch that could possibly leave tens of millions of working people around the world out of a job. Too many people are trained to fill jobs that are quickly disappearing; too few have the training and skills to fill the jobs of the future.

None of us can say we haven’t been warned.

From Oxford University and MIT, to the World Economic Forum to McKinsey, Gartner and PwC, the world’s leading strategic business thinkers, consultants and researchers have been warning us for years now that technology and the demands of macro forces like climate change are going to make many jobs completely disappear. Without urgent and focused investment on reskilling, there are going to be millions of people unable to earn a basic living.

And yet, in our client conversations and through all the available data we see at LHH, it’s quite clear that we’re not taking the action needed to address this urgent problem.

A recent survey by LHH of more than 2,000 hiring decision-makers from around the world found that less than half (47 percent) believe their organizations are trying to identify their employees’ transferrable skills so that they can be reskilled to fill future job openings. And only one-third are confident in their organization’s ability to deliver reskilling and upskilling programs

No matter how you cut it, those responses prove that we are just not meeting this challenge head-on.

So, why are the senior-most leaders failing in the face of the greatest human capital challenge in many generations? After considering all the possibilities and talking at length with leaders all over the world, I’ve come to believe that business executives fail to provide reskilling for their people because many of them are in desperate need of reskilling.

Many years ago, earning money as a student, I worked on an IT help desk that, on many occasions, required me to attend to the offices of C-level executives to help them with computer problems. Although some of these problems involved legitimate failures of hardware or software, in many other instances it was a case of executives not possessing even the most elementary knowledge of how to operate and utilize their technology devices.

Given that technology has a much larger role in all our lives today, the problem is just as bad, or maybe even worse now than back then.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review noted that while survey data is showing that the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation at most large companies, C-suite executives were not being asked to personally match the demands that were being placed on other levels of the leadership hierarchy.

The authors of that article analyzed job postings for C-suite positions across a broad swath of Fortune 1000 companies. The study found that while digital skills were very much table stakes for chief information and marketing officers, only 60 percent of postings for CEOs and 40 percent of advertised jobs for presidents included digital skill requirements.

This data is a pretty graphic example of the disconnect many executives have to the reskilling equation. We all understand reskilling is a key to transitioning people out of redundant jobs into more sustainable jobs in the digital economy. But many of us just don’t know how to make that happen because our own skillsets are lacking and the people around us are loath to tell us how far behind we’ve fallen.

Fortunately, there are solutions we can employ. In short, it’s time for executive leaders to start changing the way we approach our jobs. It’s not just the pressing need to acquire more and better digital skills; we need to start building cultures where the people around us can provide us with honest feedback, so we know where we need to do better.

When you’re at the very top of an organization, it’s unlikely that someone else is going to tell you that you need to up your game. You must find the motivation within yourself to identify those areas where you need to upskill or even reskill. There are some very basic things you can do to ensure you are transforming yourself at the same pace and magnitude as you are trying to change your organizations.

Get out of the echo chamber. One of the biggest problems that C-Suite leaders have is that if they get any feedback – and many do not – it’s not honest or frank. The hierarchies in many companies ensure that the senior-most leaders are never in a position where their performance is being critiqued. As C-suite leaders, we should seek that kind of feedback and be willing to act on what we hear.

Get a coach. I remind C-suite leaders who eschew coaching that all the best elite athletes in the world, both in team and individual sports, rely on coaches to help them perfect their technique and fortify their mindset. Coaching helps us confront and reflect on our shortcomings and focus on corrective courses.

Use a coaching mindset when leading others. One of the greatest parts of having a relationship with a coach is that it will teach you how to use a coaching mindset to get more out of the people you lead. A coaching mindset ensures that you do as much listening as talking, and that you inspire others by showing your confidence in them. A coaching mindset, or a reverse-mentoring approach to leadership, not only helps you embrace your own skill deficit, but it will help you start conversations with other members of the executive team who might suffer from the same problem.

Future-proof your own skills to help guide your organization. Even though you’ve reached the C-suite, you still have a lot to learn. If you want to build an organization that embraces change and welcomes reskilling, demonstrate that you embrace it in your own job. Take a digital literacy course, register for some Harvard short courses, make sure you are constantly reading books and news to keep up on what’s going on in the world. Show the people you lead that continuous improvement through learning is baked into the culture of the organization at the highest levels.

There is no escaping the pressing need to reskill and upskill to meet the future of work head on. Change is coming. And business leaders must demonstrate that they are adapting to the seismic transformations that are unfolding today and those that are unknown to us now but which we will face soon.

If you want your organization to follow you fearlessly into that future, you need to not only tell them what they need to do, you need to show them you can take your own advice. Only then will you be able to find yourself on the right side of the upskilling challenge.

digital transformation

“The overwhelming response from employees is the positivity in feeling rather than outcomes being dictated to them they have more control of their own destiny,” he says.

This article was originally published in C-Level Magazine on May 13, 2021.

To learn more about developing a renewable workforce, visit https://lhh.com.vn/the-new-roi/

Coaching People Development

EQ: The Great White Whale of Leadership Development

EQ: The Great White Whale of Leadership Development

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EQ: The Great White Whale of Leadership Development

In a new survey of 500 people managers, a solid majority of respondents (57%) said that EQ was likely to be found in the highest-performing members of a team.

Author: Burak Koyuncu

It is the great white whale of leadership development.

Leaders who are not only technically proficient but also mature, empathetic and trustworthy. Leaders who are decisive but also listen to their teams before reaching a conclusion. Leaders who are attuned to the emotional state of their teams and demonstrate confidence to inspire others rather than to feed their self-aggrandizement.

Put it all together and you have a leader who embodies what people managers would describe as a high degree of emotional intelligence. However, while most organizations value these qualities, new research suggests that we regularly fail at identifying or cultivating emotional intelligence, more commonly known as an Emotional Quotient (EQ).

In a recent Lee Hecht Harrison Penna survey of 500 people managers, a solid majority of respondents (57%) said that EQ was likely to be found in the highest-performing members of a team. Not surprisingly, 75% of respondents use EQ to determine promotions and salary increases.

However, the same survey revealed more than two-thirds of organizations (68%) do not have any formal tools in place to identify, develop or leverage EQ. Further, only 42% provide specific training to help employees cultivate emotional intelligence. 

A Deeper Understanding of Emotional Intelligence

To understand the impact that EQ can have on the performance of an organization, we need to take a deeper dive into the qualities most often associated with emotionally intelligent leaders and the consequences that a low EQ can have on an organization.

We asked survey respondents to identify the qualities they associate with leaders who are emotionally intelligent. For example, more than half of our respondents identified empathy as a quality demonstrated by a leader with high EQ. The responses to our survey show very clearly that what have traditionally been described as “soft leadership skills” are in fact the key ingredients for EQ.

These qualities are not only growing exponentially in importance for existing leaders, they are also being used increasingly to guide recruitment and promotion decisions.

In fact, some survey respondents identified EQ skills as more important than experience in a similar role (13%) and educational attainment (11%), which have typically been considered precursors for leadership success.

Our respondents also connected higher levels of emotional intelligence with success in a series of critical tasks and responsibilities, particularly in the area of decision making.

People with higher EQ tend to be better able to assess the impact of their decisions on both customers and employees. It allows them to arrive at more balanced decisions that take into account all perspectives. That helps build support for decisions. People with low EQ might focus on purely numerical or non-human aspects of a challenge and will almost certainly ignore competing or alternative perspectives. 

Survey respondents also believed EQ is a key ingredient to success in leading teams through times of change (44%), addressing personal issues of employees (37%), giving feedback or employee appraisals (31%) and spotting talent (25%). Someone with a high EQ is much more likely to spot others with the same mindset and capabilities; low EQ hiring managers tend to either not recognize or devalue skills related to emotional intelligence.

This shifting mindset—and the growing recognition of the importance of high leadership EQ—may have a lot to do with the increasing awareness about what happens when leaders do not possess emotional intelligence.

When there is a lack of empathy, self-awareness or trustworthiness, employees can easily become disengaged from their employer and, more importantly, their customers.

Our research showed clearly that even when an organization recognizes the value of EQ, it may still have no idea about how to develop and harness its power. There are, however, several critical steps an organization can take to improve their overall EQ.

Assess and measure existing EQ

There are several assessment tools that can help organizations successfully measure the EQ landscape in their workforce. If an assessment reveals that a majority of leaders in one department score low in “empathy,” the company can intervene to educate those individuals in the importance of considering other perspectives when executing their duties. An organization cannot intervene, however, if it doesn’t know which departments have an EQ deficit or what specific qualities are lacking.

Integrate EQ into management practices

Learning programs can help bring awareness to the importance of EQ. However, companies can also integrate EQ into their leadership culture by taking steps to build a culture of coaching, where reflection, listening and collaboration are emphasized over quick judgment or imposing solutions. 

Related Article: There Isn’t a Better Time to Build a True Coaching Culture

Encourage leaders to learn from other leaders

Creating opportunities for leaders to gather and discuss their experiences can help develop EQ muscle memory. When leaders see the value of connecting with each other on a more personal or individual level, they should begin to see the value of using a similar approach with their own teams.

Create time for reflection

Sometimes, deadline and workflow demands make it hard for teams and leaders to just take a break and reflect on what they are doing and how they are doing it. It’s important to build in those pauses so that team members can discuss successes and struggles or failures. Creating those opportunities to reflect not only builds EQ, it also ensures people are not bottling up feelings of frustration or resentment. 

Build a pipeline

It is harder to cultivate EQ with existing leaders than it is to recruit new leaders who already possess high emotional intelligence. Consider incorporating EQ identifiers into recruitment tools like job descriptions and interview scoring sheets. There are also some psychometrics available in the market to identify individuals’ EQ values.

In the final analysis, EQ is about employees being more self-aware of their emotions and the emotions of the people they lead. It’s not an easy mindset to develop, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Leaders with strong EQ create an environment of trust and confidence that fosters strong teamwork and higher levels of performance. 

Source: lhh.com


Why Executive Coaching is Key For Your Organization’s Success

Why Executive Coaching is Key For Your Organization’s Success

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Executive Coaching Is Key For Your Organization's Success

Executive coaching is fundamental if you want your organization to be successful. Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan tells us why he’s such a big advocate of executive coaching.

How excited is Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan about executive coaching? Excited enough that he posted an entire YouTube video on the subject.

Released in late 2019, the video featured Narasimhan in frank conversation with his own executive coach, Jennifer Garvey Berger. They talked about how important it was for senior leaders to continue growing and changing even after reaching the e-level, and how coaching was the key to that growth and change.

Narasimhan revealed that one of the first and most important things he learned while working with Garvey Berger was that leadership was “a lifelong journey” and that like all leaders, “I’m a work in progress.”

It’s a mindset that Narasimhan said he tries to instill in all Novartis leaders, every day.

“It’s like we tell our people, ‘if we want to re-imagine medicine, we have to re-imagine Novartis. But if we want to reimagine Novartis, we have to reimagine ourselves, starting with me.”

Although not directly mentioned in the interview, Narasimhan’s comments acknowledged a worrisome trend that most executive coaching firms know only too well: a reluctance by many senior leaders to even accept an offer of coaching support let alone go and seek it out. 

This is a concern shared by other iconic business leaders. In 2013, six years before Narasimhan recorded his video, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates co-hosted a TED talk on the benefits of executive coaching. “Every famous actor, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach—somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say, ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’, and give them perspective,” Schmidt said during the TED talk. “The one thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as other people see them. A coach really, really helps.”

With evangelists like that, why would any senior leader reject the offering of executive coaching? Opinions vary, but there are a few well-established theories that have been borne out by our experience.

Many senior leaders believe that once they have entered the rarified air of the C-suite, there is nothing left to learn. Or, that having scaled the leadership hierarchy, they have already learned more than most people have forgotten. So, why continue learning?

There is also the fact that senior leaders are almost always sought out as teachers and mentors. As a result, many possess an unshakable belief they must appear invulnerable to the stresses that burden leaders at lower levels of the organization.

Part of this is due, no doubt, to the fact that executive coaching is sometimes employed as a remedial tool provided for struggling leaders.

There are a lot of strong arguments for why executive coaching is a must-have for all senior leaders. But here are three that should make even the most traditional of executives think twice about rejecting an offer of coaching.

Elite-level athletes rely heavily on coaches. 

o ensure that they are performing at the highest level, all the time, top-level professional and amateur athletes require effective coaching. No team would take the court/rink/field without working intently with coaches on preparation and execution. Some sports have coaches for specific skills like the goalie coach in hockey, and the quarterback coach in football. Even those athletes in individual sports like golf and travel with their coaches wherever they go. It all makes you wonder – if elite athletes cannot live without a coach, how can executive business leaders?

Coaching is the best way for long-time leaders to acquire the soft leadership skills that are so in demand today.

Even if you haven’t noticed, the definition of “good leadership” has changed quite a bit in recent years. Organizations are looking for leaders that can not only produce results, but also exhibit a full grasp of Emotional Intelligence, and so-called soft skills like vulnerability, self-awareness and empathy. Not all leaders, particularly ones that have been in leadership for a long time, naturally exhibit those skills. Coaching is one of the best ways for experienced leaders to find their “softer” sides. 

If you’re not working with an executive coach, you can bet the CEO at your competitors are.

The reflections of leaders like Narasimhan, Schmidt and Bill Gates are instructive on a number of different levels. Mostly, however, it reminds us that leaders have to change, they have to grow, and that change and growth are easier and faster with a coach. “Becoming a leader is a lifelong journey,” Narasimhan wrote in a LinkedIn commentary. “It requires the courage to self-discover – and the courage to change.”

Source: lhh.com

Coaching People Development

Restructuring in 2021: What are the risks?

Restructuring in 2021: What are the risks?

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Restructuring in 2021: What are the risks?

We explore the 5 key risks that get over-looked in a large-scale restructuring programme and how best to mitigate them.

Many labour market’s across Europe have largely been on pause throughout the pandemic. Whether through generous government and central bank stimulus or furlough schemes that subsidised wages of around 45m people1, employees and organisations have in some way been shielded from the fallout of the pandemic. As the pandemic continues to affect us all in 2021 the strain will be on these government schemes to remain, and on organisations to keep their people employed where they can. However, as we’ve seen already, some companies need to act now and restructure to survive and thrive beyond 2021.

33% of C-suite executives believe restructuring the organisation is a top measure needed to ensure survival2

The Scale of Restructuring

Although outlooks continue to brighten and some markets are starting to slowly recover, the unemployment rate is still expected to reach 8,1%3 across the eurozone and continue to rise through 2021. This isn’t surprising considering the significant size of the job cuts that have happened so far from big named brands. Even with the help from government schemes to prevent job cuts, we’ve seen companies from a variety of industries reduce headcount in the tens of thousands like never before.

With companies being forced to downsize in order to survive, organisations that will remain standing at the end of this year and beyond are those who handle this transition period effectively. Large-scale restructuring programmes are highly complex and require an extensive collaborative approach across the organisation as well as a significant investment in time and resources. The risks of getting a large-scale restructuring programme wrong can be huge and sometimes fatal for organisations.

Putting people at the heart of a restructuring program

Businesses will be depending on their HR professionals to deliver and provide support for a key part of any large-scale restructuring programme. Putting people at the heart of any restructure is what separates a successful process from a high risk one. This people aspect requires technical expertise in topics such as employment law, social plans and specific career transition approaches as well as programme management, communication and change management. Additionally, any complications that arise with various regional and/or local requirements will only add to the complexities of a restructuring programme.

Top risks in restructuring

Here are 5 potential risks that get overlooked in large-scale restructuring programmes:

1. Employee engagement and morale drop

Risk – High

The risk of low engagement and a drop in morale is high. Employee issues and concerns need to be addressed appropriately as any confusion or frustration left unattended will quickly lead to negativity that will seep onto remaining employees. Some of these concerns may also include how those who are leaving are treated as they evaluate how fairly the process is handled.

2. Significant productivity loss

Risk – Moderately high

Due to the inevitable disruption caused by a restructure, productivity will be affected. But by how much? If managers fail to lead and provide transparent communications throughout the process, the risk of productivity taking a significant loss is moderately high.

3. Employer brand damage

Risk – Moderately high

An erosion of trust caused by a poorly handled restructuring programme can have a negative impact on turnover, engagement and the employer brand. The impact of this may not be felt immediately but can certainly be seen over a longer period which is why this risk is moderately high. 

4. Restructuring goals not fully met

Risk – Moderately high

In the absence of clarity of what success looks like and how it will be measured, the restructure effort presents a moderately high risk of failure. The difference a well thought-out and realistic plan can make on the success of a restructure can be substantial. 

5. Negative leaver sentiments

Risk – Moderate

If any part of the consultation or communication process is dealt with badly, the impact on leavers sentiment may be negative. Even though these people are leaving the business, the risk is still moderate as any loosely defined processes, false starts or inconsistencies has a potential to come back and harm the organisation. 

With more changes looming this year, there are positive steps HR professionals can take to support their organisation with planned restructuring programmes. Putting the building blocks together now ensures that line managers, the HR team and the business leaders are prepared to implement a smooth transitional process and that risks are kept to a minimum. 

To learn more about how you can support your business and prepare for a large-scale restructuring programme, you can download our guide here.

Source: lhh.com

Coaching People Development

Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

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Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

Faced with a pressing need to help your leaders forge ahead through an increasingly uncertain world, you’ve decided to take the plunge and partner with a leadership coaching firm.

What a smart cookie you are.

Coaching is a difference maker. In the world of development, it’s a superpower that can supercharge your people.

It can help leaders at all levels of your organization become more effective, more empathetic and more productive. Ultimately, a well-coached leader will help make all of your people more engaged and productive. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario in leadership development.

But for most organizations, developing an appetite for coaching is not the toughest part. The real challenge is finding the right coaching partner. And that, my friend, can be a real mind-bending experience.

So many providers, so many approaches, so many promises. The leadership coaching industry is a complex matrix of solutions, technologies and philosophies. It’s also an industry that is chock full of posers – fitness trainers, wellness gurus and holistic practitioners – moonlighting as professional business coaches.

In a bid to help you understand the true and full power of coaching and how to find your perfect coaching partner, we’ve decided to pull back the curtain and tell you a few things that many other coaching firms won’t. Think of it as your coaching partner checklist.

What leadership coaching is (and what it isn’t)

In short, coaching is one of the most powerful development tools ever created.

It’s a very personalized, intimate, one-on-one intervention that focuses on collaboration between coach and coachee to achieve pre-defined outcomes, some organizational and some personal. It’s all about setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change in a way that works for an individual leader.

Coaches do not “tell” coachees what to do; they help leaders examine the challenges they face and then identify their own solutions. It’s all about the journey to grow as an individual and the coach serves as a guide. It is, in every way, a true partnership.

If that’s what coaching is, then what is it not?

Coaching is not mentoring, counselling or training. Although valuable in and of themselves, those disciplines are more about imparting wisdom or knowledge to a leader. Although they may involve coaching-like approaches, the relationships are more hierarchical, particularly in a mentor-mentee scenario.

And let’s be totally frank. Although you may have many hobbies and share an interest in a particular type of cuisine, coaching is not about swapping recipes for healthy eating or setting fitness goals. It’s not guidance on yoga poses or meditation. Those are all valuable and satisfying activities. But they do not fall into the realm of professional coaching.

How to start a search for the perfect coaching partner?

If you’re company has never provided coaching at scale, or limited coaching solutions to a select few senior executives, then you’re going to have to do some homework before you can start looking for that perfect professional coaching partner.

To be effective, a coaching solution needs to be fully aligned with an organization and its leadership culture. There is very little value in providing coaching for leaders that is at odds with the expectations the organization has for those leaders.

So, methodically answer the following questions and record the answers. They will help to inform your search for a coaching firm.

  • Who makes decisions about leadership development in your company and what are their expectations?
  • How would your organization define the goals for your leadership and talent strategy?
  • How would you define and measure success in leadership development?
  • What are the ideal behaviour and mindset changes you would like to see from your leaders after they are exposed to coaching?
  • What strengths do you want to see enhanced?
  • How would you like your employees to act differently?

When you can answer these questions, then you are ready to start looking for a coaching partner. You now know how decisions about leadership development are made, the goals and modes of measurement and the desired outcomes. Let’s start shopping for a professional coach.

How to find your perfect coaching partner

Be warned: this is a very competitive industry and there is a huge variance between the real coaching pros and the posers. You will do much better if you understand how to spot a real coach but also if you have a list of must-have requirements.

Your coaching partnership must involve:

A firm that offers certified, accredited and 100-per-cent full-time, professional coaches. A coaching partner that takes the time to ask you question to find out your organization’s needs and desired outcomes. And you definitely want a coaching partner that will ensure that the work completely aligns with organizational and leadership culture.

You can deduce a lot of this information from reading a coaching partner’s website or marketing content. But a better approach is to structure an RFP that will give you all the answers you need to pick the right firm.

The coaching RFP checklist

Here are some examples of questions that absolutely, positively must be part of your RFP:

What professional coaching credentials do your coaches hold? 

There are a lot of self-trained, self-identified coaches out there. You definitely want someone with credentials from a recognized leader in the coaching profession, like the International Coaching Federation.

What experiences do your coaches have with coaching diverse employees from different backgrounds and industries? 

Your employee group is a collection of individuals with diverse experiences, backgrounds and career goals. Your coaching partner should be able to find you coaches that are similarly diverse and possess a wealth of related career experience.

How big is the coach pool? 

It’s important to have a broad selection of coaches to pick from. Both to ensure that your leaders are getting coaching when they need it, but also to ensure that there is proper fit between coach and coachee.

What languages do your coaches speak and where are they located? 

Business is a global concern now and coaching needs to be able to reflect a broad array of languages, cultures, and time zones.

What is the diversity mix of your coaches? For example, gender, racial diversity, LGBTQ+

Diversity and inclusion are important considerations in picking a coaching partner. You definitely want a partner that can draw upon an extremely diverse roster of coaches that reflect the importance of gender, race and sexual orientation.

How do you match coaches with employees? 

Coaching firms with small coach rosters will not allow for an intensive matching process. A broad and deep pool of coaches, and a process that helps coachees identify the kind of person they want to work with, will ensure a good match.

Describe your coaching process?

Even with global certifications, different firms still employee different models of coaching. Ask a prospective coaching partner to define their approach. As well, is there a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach or flexibility to design coaching solutions that fit the individual?

What type of technology do you use for the coaching platform?

With the pandemic still impacting face-to-face business interactions, it’s more important than ever to know the full details of your coaching partner’s technology platform. If not in person, then how will they deliver coaching? Will they rely on off-the-shelf video conferencing apps, or do they have a full proprietary platform that allows for seamless integration of coaching with scheduling, feedback and the measuring of outcomes?

Can your coaching partner measure outcomes?

Many coaching providers deliver the service but offer no way of gathering insights or generating reports on feedback and outcomes. If your organization is paying the freight for coaching, don’t you want to know the impact it’s having on your people?

Who are some of your clients and what do they have to say about your work?

Testimonials from other client organizations are a very good way of assessing the quality of any coaching firm. Let’s face it, if a coaching partner is good at their job, why wouldn’t clients want to sing it from the rooftops.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s certainly a good start and it captures many of the most important questions to ask a prospective coaching partner.

Coaching can have a profound impact on an organization and its people. But only if you have taken the time to find the best coaching partner. Best in terms of service, technology and outcomes.

Source: helloezra.com

Change Management Coaching People Development

A Paradigm Shift: Leaders Who Coach

A Paradigm Shift: Leaders Who Coach

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A Paradigm Shift Leaders Who Coach

“We knew at that point that coaching skills would help them slow down, tune into someone else’s concerns while still allowing them the time to engage in some self-care.”

Linda Lindberg, Vice President and Head of Commercial Management for Ericsson Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India

Is a pandemic the right time to train line managers in coaching culture? 

In early 2020, that was the question facing leaders at Ericsson, the iconic Swedish telecommunications company, across the 11 countries in the Oceania, South East Asia and India market area.

Like many companies, Ericsson was anticipating a paradigm shift in leadership culture, with new behaviors, mindsets and skills emerging to meet new and often unpredictable needs of markets and employees. And with so many restrictions on the normal ebb and flow of commerce, the emphasis on developing home-grown leaders had never been as pronounced.

Ericsson had been planning for some months to do a massive leadership development and coaching skills program for all levels of leadership across the region. But when the pandemic struck, the 450 leaders who were the target for this program and the 9,000 employees they oversaw were suddenly forced to work from home.

Did it make sense to follow through with the training when managers and the people they were managing were so isolated from each other? Very quickly, Ericsson leadership determined that it not only made sense, it was essential.

“We knew for some time that we wanted to help our line leaders evolve into strong coaches,” said Priyanka Anand, Vice President and Head of Human Resources for Ericsson Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India. “When the pandemic hit, it was clear early on that this wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. We also began to realize that helping our leaders deal with the stress and anxiety that their employees were going through was very important.”

In the past, many organizations would have looked at resilience or change management seminars when faced with an operational challenge like the pandemic. However, Anand said there was a strong sense that giving line leaders some insight into coaching culture might do more than just calm their nerves in the face of an unnerving situation.

The program that had been designed in part before the pandemic hit focused on five core goals, she said. 

  • Increase ability to make courageous and fact-based decisions.
  • Increase empathy for different perspectives and approaches.
  • Increase cross-company cooperation
  • Increase capacity to execute decisions quickly
  • Increase support for a “speak-up environment.”

Coaching culture, Anand said, was a clear path to connect all these priorities. “We wanted to evolve our leaders into being strong coaches,” she said. “To help their employees, we needed these leaders to be more empathetic. To do that, we needed them to know that they didn’t always have to give advice; sometimes listening is the most important thing they can do. And that helps create an environment where employees feel safe to speak up and express themselves.”

Linda Lindberg, Vice President and Head of Commercial Management for Ericsson Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India, said the strategy behind using coaching culture to help line managers navigate the pandemic and support their employees was an attempt to “take leadership development to a more sustainable context.”

Ericsson performed a pulse survey in the spring to find out how everyone was holding up under the stress and strain of virtual work, Lindberg said. “The results showed that stress levels were up across the board,” she said. “We knew at that point that coaching skills would help them slow down, tune into someone else’s concerns while still allowing them the time to engage in some self-care.”

Although the goal of the coaching culture program was clear, the method for delivering the training was not going to be a challenge. Lindberg said that as a telecommunications company that was performing heroic work to keep people connected during the pandemic, Ericsson employees were very comfortable adapting to virtual technology. That meant they were equally comfortable working or learning in a virtual environment, she added.

“Digital investment has always been part of our DNA,” said Anand. “It’s always top-of-mind in our planning, and we’re always looking at ways of building our digital capacity. So, people adjusted to the virtual nature of the learning opportunities.”

More than 450 of the line managers attended a series of virtual “teaser” sessions. Then, the managers were asked to sign up for a series of intensive sessions on coaching culture and skills. Nearly three quarters of those who attended the teasers ultimately chose to participate in the program. 

As well, participants were encouraged to participate in “coaching clubs” where they could practice their coach conversations. “Learning theories is okay but you really need to dive in and do it and put it into practice before it becomes part of you,” said Lindberg. “Those coaching clubs created a stickiness around the training. It helped us develop those internal muscles around coaching skills.” 

The initial results from the program were impressive. A strong majority of the participants ranked their group coaching skills sessions very highly, Lindberg said. And seven in 10 participants reported that their performance had improved as a result of being involved in the program.

Ultimately, the coaching skills program served two major goals for Ericsson, Lindberg said. It provided line managers with the tools and mindset necessary to deal with the current virtual work environment. However, there were other, longer-term benefits as well.

“We have always talked about the importance of accountability in our leaders,” Lindberg said. “The best way to enable accountability is through coaching skills. When your leaders realize they are being accountable, it triggers some pride. It allows them all to own their results. And it allows them to grow as leaders and build bench strength for the company. It’s literally a culture where leaders are building other leaders, grooming and preparing them for future roles.”

Kevin Ackermann, Director, Client Solutions, LHH

Source: lhh.com

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