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Why are coaching and mentoring effective leadership techniques?

Effective coaching and mentoring are essential components in helping any member of staff to perform more effectively and helping a business to function more smoothly. As we see our economy on tenterhooks and we look over the edge of the cliff of a potential second lockdown, many businesses will welcome ideas and inspiration to lead their teams through this tough time, so this blog post runs through some ways in which coaching and mentoring are good leadership techniques. Investing in success When you’re applying coaching and mentoring techniques to develop a colleague, you’re helping them to succeed. Taking the time to carefully coach someone can seem difficult when your days are filled with important work, but the time invested in the short term is likely to lead to more productivity and effectiveness in the long term. As an article in the Houston Chronicle suggests, give positive and meaningful praise as part of your coaching and mentoring practices to boost morale and improve wellbeing. Empowerment Positive reinforcement from an effective leader allows team members to realise their full potential. Self-doubt can [...]

By |October 5th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

Improving productivity to help you become a better leader

As we enter into a new school year, many of us are thinking about fresh starts, new routines and an all-round more productive life. Often, these ideas are fleeting, as we quickly get swamped with daily demands. But this year can be different – after almost six months of our routines being flattened by Coronavirus, it’s time for us to take charge and forge ourselves a new, more organised path. This blog post goes through some tools and techniques to help you achieve best practice and improve the way you work. Sometimes just the smallest of changes can make a big difference, so have a read, try some of our suggestions and see if these ideas could work for you. First things first Before we start, let’s remember that productivity starts at the very basics – at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. If you’re eating   right, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep, you’ll be more effective without even thinking about it. As you work through the tips below, remember that productivity isn’t just about doing things [...]

By |September 1st, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

How do coaching and mentoring contribute to leadership development?

A leader’s role is to give advice, guidance and direction to the people following him or her. A great leader inspires others to be empowered, creative and enthusiastic. If you can influence people to be their best, you’re already a leader, no matter what your job role or title. The best leaders in business are always learning, adapting and developing. They are looking for new ways to improve, which is where coaching and mentoring can help. This article explains why coaching and mentoring are essential as part of successful leadership development. People learn new skills in lots of different ways, but developing yourself as a leader takes more than attending training courses, reading industry publications or shadowing peers. People need to be in a learning environment where they can practice the skills and techniques they learn. Coaching and mentoring gives leaders this opportunity to practice as well as exploring issues and opportunities in a collaborative, personalised and nuanced way. An excellent coach can help a leader to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and determine how to fill any knowledge [...]

By |August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

How diversity can drive innovation

Decades of research has shown us that diverse groups are more innovative. Diverse groups, including people from different ethnicities, races, genders, and sexual orientations, have been proven to be more innovative than homogeneous groups. This is discussed in depth by Katharine Phillips in Scientific American, who concludes that diversity and inclusivity are giving companies a competitive advantage. It’s believed that this happens for two main reasons: People from different backgrounds bring new and differing information and viewpoints. Interacting with people different from ourselves forces us to be more prepared, to have more empathy, and to expect differing points of view. This article explores diversity and innovation in more depth. What is diversity at work? Employee diversity can include people with a range of backgrounds. Staff might be a range of ages, a mix of genders, from different ethnic minorities, different races, and different sexual orientations. It can also include people with a variety of experience in life, for example, the subjects they’ve studied, the industries they’ve worked in, their career path before joining your company, and the countries they’ve chosen to [...]

By |July 2nd, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

How can you lead effectively through change?

The pace of change was already at top speed - we were always running to keep up. Now Coronavirus has given us all a level of change that we’ve never experienced before. We’re feeling scared, confused and uncertain, and we’re working as fast as we can to mitigate the damage caused and to find new opportunities as the crisis passes. It’s highly likely that your teams are feeling the same way as you. They’re worried for their livelihoods and fearing the worst. It’s your job as a leader to make sure they know how much they’re valued and understand what’s in store for them. This blog post looks at different ways you can be a better leader through this period of major change. Alleviate worries By keeping your team informed about the importance of the work they’re doing, the security of their roles and the timing of future updates, you can help them to stay with you through these tough times. Even if your team members have been furloughed, you can keep them up to date about what’s happening at [...]

By |June 4th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

How will your business bounce back from Coronavirus?

We have a global pandemic on our hands, thanks to a pangolin somewhere in China. A single event, originated in nature, has created effects that are unprecedented and has caused ripples across the globe. Image: A pangolin. From Wikipedia Commons. We’re at home for the foreseeable future and potentially facing a very different way of living and doing business for several months. Many of us are wondering how to keep our businesses afloat in these uncertain and worrying times. This article explores opportunities that could help us to develop ourselves and our businesses. What changes can you implement? We’re all now doing things that we never thought we could. All the businesses who felt they weren’t ready to adopt the remote working trend were suddenly forced to make it happen for themselves and their employees. Government offices were already pushing hard to deliver digital transformation and have begun to make great strides much faster than ever before because this is their only option. There’s been a shift in management styles, from bums on seats and micromanagement to project [...]

By |May 11th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

Are leadership skills inherent or learned?

We often hear the saying that some people are ‘born to lead’ but is that really true? The adage of nature versus nurture is as old as time, and unfortunately it seems the debate is as true as ever when it comes to leadership skills. Are some people ready-made leaders? Like some people seem to have innate musical abilities, or possess athletic prowess from the get-go, so it can seem that some people are ready-made leaders. We all know the type. Those who just seem to seamlessly rule the room, adopting and succeeding in their positions as they go. However, it’s unlikely they’ve been dominating the social spheres since nursery. Rather time and experience (even those unassuming moments in your memory that you might want to gloss over) have come together to build a seemingly natural leadership persona. If you looked closer you’d often see a simple mix of self-confidence, communication skills, motivation, and initiative – drawn from learned experience. Dr. Michael Maccoby, a business advisor, believes that every leader needs thee inherent qualities - purpose, passion courage. Beyond this, [...]

By |April 2nd, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

How to be more effective when you’re working from home

I have been working with clients this week who are now entirely working from home. Adapting to the new work situation and being in such close proximity to spouses and children they are finding it difficult to get more than ten minutes’ work done at a time without being interrupted or distracted. I gave them some guidance on more effective home working, which I thought you might find useful in this unprecedented time. Create your own space I’m one of the lucky few who have an office space at home, which is a real luxury. Many people don’t have this, and the ones that do are currently sharing it with partners and sometimes their older children. One friend of mine has had to create space for herself, her husband who’s also working from home and her daughter who’s home from university but still learning virtually. They’re finding it really hard to give each other the space they need in a small house.If you have a spare room that you can use to create your space, that’s great. If not, you [...]

By |March 27th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

What are leadership theories?

Have you ever wondered how some people become leaders? Some seem ready-made for the positions, others, well, we might internally ponder how they got to where they are. Leadership theories give us a way to explain why certain people become leaders. For a long time, the typical discussion revolved around nature versus nurture, and whether some people are born with the inherent skills they need to lead. Formal leadership theories are a more recent concept that offer reasoning and alternative hypotheses to explain why some leaders are successful whilst others fail. So how can we explain what makes a good leader? This article discusses some of the main theories. The Great Man Theory We’ve already touched on the concept behind this one. The Great Man Theory, whilst lacking equality in the title, takes the stance that people are born with leadership abilities and are predisposed to lead. This theory was established in the 19th century by historians, who suggested that the world's history is a collection of biographies belonging to great men Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is [...]

By |March 10th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

Are leadership skills inherent or learned?

We often hear the saying that some people are ‘born to lead’ but is that really true? The adage of nature versus nurture is as old as time, and unfortunately it seems the debate is as true as ever when it comes to leadership skills. Like some people seem to have innate musical abilities, or possess athletic prowess from the get-go, so it can seem that some people are ready made leaders. We all know the type. Those who just seem to seamlessly rule the room, adopting and succeeding in their positions as they go. However, it’s unlikely they’ve been dominating the social spheres since nursery. Rather time and experience (even those unassuming moments in your memory that you might want to gloss over) have come together to build a seemingly natural leadership persona. If you looked closer you’d often see a simple mix of self-confidence, communication skills, motivation, and initiative – drawn from learned experience. Dr. Michael Maccoby, business advisor, believes that every leader needs thee inherent qualities - purpose, passion courage. Beyond this, he believes that leadership can [...]

By |November 16th, 2019|Categories: Leadership|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

What is executive coaching?

This animation describes exactly what executive coaching is, in case you’re thinking about it but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. It describes the uses and benefits and will help you to know if you would benefit from an executive coach. Executive coaches sometimes work with metaphors so, for a moment, think of a coach as your private travel guide for your personal journey of exploration and development. The guide helps you to choose where you want to get to and navigates the journey to help you get there. The journey you take with them will explore challenges, but it is your guide who will help you nurture these into results. Each journey takes a different and personal route, with distinct destinations for each traveller. The coach’s goal is to help you get to where you want to be and ultimately, be the best you can be whilst delivering the best results for your business. Your coach isn’t there to teach you, but to aid your learning and reach your peak. Athletes have coaches; why not business leaders? [...]

5 Keys Ways to Accelerate your business growth

With only four in ten small businesses surviving more than five years, it’s important for business owners to focus on continuous profitable growth. If you’re surviving the strain and running well, but you want to take it to the next level, this article is for you. Truly Understand your Customers’ Needs Ask yourself critically, do you really understand what each of your customers wants from you? You should continually consider your customer needs as it can be easy to get lost particularly when you’ve been working with a customer for a long time and lose track of what you initially set out to achieve. If you haven’t done it for a while, check in with customers and find out how happy they are with your service. If you don’t do this, your competitors may! Understand your Sales Challenges The first step to achieving business growth is understanding the sales challenges your business is facing. Are you struggling to get leads, close calls successfully or increase traffic to your website? You might be great at getting work but struggle to get [...]

What’s the difference between traditional learning and experiential learning?

Benjamin Franklin once said: ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn’ Experiential learning is different to traditional learning because its purpose is to get people involved and challenge their thinking. How do you like to learn? What makes you remember things? Is it sitting and listening? Is it watching or reading? Is it taking notes? Or do you learn and remember best of all when you’re actively involved in a project or experience? Traditional teaching methods focus on transferring skills or knowledge from one person to another. This is fine and works well, but is not always the best way to engage people in learning and activate their brains effectively enough to make sure the learning sticks. Experiential learning teaches the subject and transfers the knowledge at the same time as increasing learner confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose. Experiential learning is used regularly in scientific and medical industries because it’s clear that using real-life cases and people will be more beneficial than reviewing the theory. Just as someone learning to be [...]

Scenario planning – Hoping for the best BUT preparing for the worst

The only certain thing about the future is uncertainty, so how do we prepare and plan our business effectively in these uncertain times? In this week’s post I’ve explored scenario planning as a way to help you imagine and prepare for the worst and to make sure your business stays viable if times get tough. Why worry about something that hasn’t happened yet? Professor Ewan Gillon, writing for the Press and Journal, highlighted that as humans we’re programmed for certainty and we do our best to avoid uncertainty. We don’t like to think about the worst potential outcomes, and mindfulness experts tell us not to worry about events before they take place, but in a business environment, this is essential. There’s plenty we can do to prepare for uncertainty and by doing this, we are equipping ourselves to deal with every eventuality. Prioritising and ranking risks Looking at a year, three years, five years in one go will become overwhelming, so the best way to start with imagining scenarios is to look at what could happen today, this week or [...]

Ways to unlock business creativity

Creativity drives growth - there’s no doubt about this. McKinsey reports that creative leaders outperform their peers on all financial metrics. An astounding 67 percent of creative leaders achieve above-average revenue growth. But we’re all so stretched for time, and creativity seems to keep getting pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. Finding time for creativity to develop new ideas can be difficult, but here are some ideas that can help you start being more creative straight away. Avoid processes, procedures and systems stifling creativity Rebecca, Shambourgh, a fellow leadership coach based in the US, told Harvard Business Review that the biggest thing blocking creativity is processes and systems. If your teams are bound by spreadsheets, tools and software programmes, these could be blocking their confidence and stalling creativity. Teams who are encouraged to try new ways of working will take businesses to new levels, finding ways to boost productivity and profits. If you feel like you teams are creatively blocked, look at your processes and consider to what extent you ask team members to follow rules without flexibility. [...]

Are you listening? One crucial skill to improve business performance

Smart home devices saw record sales over Christmas, according to Business Insider. Amazon's Alexa took the lead in these sales and this technology is taking the world by storm using one key skill – listening. Listening is becoming a lost art in the human world, according to Forbes. In our high-tech, fast-moving world, our attention spans are at an all-time low of eight seconds. Our brains produce up to 50,000 thoughts a day, so we need to find ways to channel those thoughts for positive purposes and remember how to push thoughts to one side to stop and listen when we need to. So how can we rediscover the art of listening, and focus on it as an essential skill? How can we make sure we’re modelling good listening across our businesses? Building effective relationships Children are the most perceptive, wise and simplest way to test your listening skills. Children have a lot to say, and a lot of questions to ask. They know if you’re really listening, and if you’re not, they’ll let you know by repeating themselves until [...]

Where’s my crystal ball? Business planning in an uncertain landscape

Yesterday the Business Desk reported that businesses had held off making decisions in 2018 due to uncertainty, businesses are stockpiling ahead of Brexit, and Jaguar Land Rover announced 5,000 UK job cuts. Airbus’ Chief Executive Toms Enders has openly described the uncertainty of Brexit as unbearable, and large organisations such as NHS trusts are struggling to plan in the midst of such uncertainty. So how can we plan effectively in such an uncertain climate? Of course, we can’t fully predict or prepare for future events, but we can make sure we’re equipped with the right tools, and we can develop fluid plans with multiple scenarios in mind. Below are some ideas to help you prepare for the coming years. Plan for different scenarios If you’ve seen the most recent Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch, where you get to choose your own ending, and you’re old enough to remember, it will have taken you back to the choose your own story books we all loved in the eighties. It’s this kind of multiple scenario situation we need to prepare for. Imagine that [...]

Where to focus your business efforts in 2019

Happy new year from all of us at Catalyst Coaching and Mentoring. It’s that time of year again when we’re looking at the twelve months ahead and determining how we can make this year THE YEAR.  Have you set your priorities yet?  If not, to help you and give your thinking a boost, we’ve rounded up some New Year advice from top business experts. Bring in the new but keep hold of the old Gregg Schwartz, writing for Entrepreneur, believes that if we’re serious about business progress, we need something stronger and more sustainable than a New Year’s Resolution. He reminds us to take care of our existing customers to keep them happy, not to focus solely on acquiring new business. It’s important to keep filling up our buckets, but it’s no good if there’s a hole in the bottom, so keep your good customers close, and make the most of referral and testimonial opportunities. Embrace digital Schwartz also recommends evaluating your marketing efforts. If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get the same results. 2019 [...]

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