Category: Coaching

The Irish Sports awards were on TV last night, honouring the best individuals and teams from the country. Another year where Irish sports people punched above their weight (pun completely intended there for Katie Taylor) on a global scale. Nobody could deny Shane Lowry the main award. What an honest, humble and ‘open’ (pun intended again) guy he comes across as.

 

As I watched it, one interesting pattern emerged from many of the interviews. The giant role past failures played in a future success in the individuals’ careers. Most notably with Lowry talking about the lessons he learned from falling off the pace at a previous major a few years earlier. By consciously taking the time to reflect on and improve from this previous collapse made him much more prepared and in control for the win at Royal Portrush.

 

Similarly, in the world of project management, keeping an ongoing lesson learned log can be invaluable as you work through issues, and challenges during the life of a project. All too often however, this simple artefact gets deprioritized in the busyness of getting things done, and only comes into focus at the end of a project (if at all). By then, with so much water under the bridge, it’s difficult to recall all the useful insights that could be used to speed up delivery on the next initiative. If the practice isn’t implemented in real-time and documented, it will likely get lost, and with it the lesson.

 

Lessons learned logs aren’t just for elite sports people or busy project managers. They can be very useful in your own personal and work life. In 1-1 coaching, almost without fail, clients are overly keen to move onto the next goal, project, or task. They see taking some time out to reflect on what’s just been completed, thinking and feeling into it a little bit more, and seeing what could have been done differently or what the lesson learned was, as time wasted. When the complete opposite is true.

 

The ROI you gain from a personal lesson learned journal is significant. Just from creating a simple journal, spreadsheet, trello board, or even voice memo on your phone, and spending 5 minutes daily, to capture what you learned today that could be useful tomorrow or at some time in the future, is powerful and simple.

 

If you do, over time, you’ll see patterns emerge highlighting bad habits, procrastination, inefficiencies, and more.

 

Some of the best and most transformative coaching tips and tools are the simplest. I’ve found this to be the case with personal lessons learned logs. But like most of coaching approaches, they are only powerful if you apply some discipline, take action, and just get started.

 

Till tomorrow,

Rob


Check out the full list of Daily Blog December posts on www.robofthegreen.ie/blog

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Rob is a qualified Executive Coach (ICF) and has been Mentoring and Coaching over the last decade in various roles held during his career. In 2017, Rob launched the Rob of the Green Platform which hosts the 1% Better Podcast. Rob currently is a director of Project Management and Leadership Coaching at Dell in Cork, Ireland. Rob also publishes articles on productivity, leadership, goal setting, meditation, and other topics, like this one!

Connect in with Rob on the socials or via email on the links below:

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Time to Quit? 3 ways to help you decide – Day 14

Ever struggle with the quit question? At what point in a project, work related or personal, does one call it quits? When is enough, enough?  Or is it worth just sticking with things that little bit longer as the tide might be about to turn and the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for could be just around the imaginary corner. It’s really difficult to tell.

 

Through coaching individuals and teams, in my own professional and personal life, and from direct primary research asking leaders this very question in podcast interviews, different perspectives and rules to help answer it have come up. Hopefully by sharing some of these, it might help you take a different view when have to face this head on, now or into the future.

 

  1. Pros & Cons – this is one of the most obvious but often not done. When at a cross in the road with whatever effort you’re facing, laying out the positives of continuing, potential benefits from doing so (think what additional learnings that are coming from just preserving with it), versus the downsides of keeping going(wasted time that could be spend on something else, draining mental and emotional energy, etc) can be a quick and powerful approach. Within minutes, one side might far outweigh the other making it obvious to

 

  1. Be clear on your why – from a personal perspective, before starting out on the podcast project a few years back, during the planning stage, I spent time clearly outlining what I considered success looked like. I outlined 6 – 8 key realistic success factors (becoming famous and making a few million $/€ were not 2). This helped hugely as things developed. There were and are times when the question ‘is this all worth the effort and time’ comes up. My negative self-talk taking over. Thankfully, having crystal clarity on the reasons why helps keep that voice very quiet.

 

  1. Where is the LOVE!! – This one is very fresh in my mind but really could be the most powerful question you have to ask yourself when struggling with this decision. In the episode of the podcast released just yesterday (Friday 13th) with Maysoon Zayid, this exact question came up. Her answer was perfect. Maysoon had always dreamt of being an actor but was always getting passed over for roles she wanted. So, after a period of time, she realised that the love she for acting started to fade. This spelled out clearly to her it was time to find another dream! To do something different. She became a comedian. And that’s working out pretty good! So, if you don’t love what you’re doing anymore, it’s maybe the best indicator to quit.

Honestly, there are more that could be shared here but the clock beat me this morning. Hopefully these 3 give you something to think about. Don’t let stubbornness get in the way. It’s empowering to take control and quit. Hopefully this gives you something to thinking & feel about when faced with the quit question next time.

Till tomorrow, thanks for reading.

Rob


Sign up to the 1% Better self-improvement slack community here – https://buff.ly/2qEyUW5


 

How often to you commit to doing something but it never gets done. There is not enough time, other priorities take over (that also might not get done), or it just falls off (one of your) to do lists, and its forgotten for ever! Sound familiar?

From direct coaching and mentoring experience over the last number of years, holding oneself accountable is right up there with as the biggest problem or obstacle professionals face in their work (or personal life). One common example is at the start of a coaching sessions, the client is at pains to apologise for not preparing for the session, not following up on their actions, or doing their ‘homework’. It just didn’t happen as there was no self-accountability.

I’ve learned that most people, even very high performers at work, find it very difficult to hold themselves to account. Especially when it comes to personal development goals, projects or initiatives.

When it’s work related, having a boss, deadline, or both tends to help a lot. Then projects and tasks are much more likely to get done.

So, what can you do to better hold yourself to account when you’re the boss?

From my personal experience, and from coaching successes, here are just a few areas to look at that work.

  1. Plan – this is basic project management fundamentals like setting dates, breaking down tasks, and taking the time to think through it. It’s a great way of decluttering the mind. Dedicate even 1 hour just to plan out what you’re going to do for the week ahead. It will make a huge difference. By doing this, you’ll quickly see the benefit and ROI. The quality of your work will improve too.

 

  1. Prioritize – The goal is not to do everything. So, when you have your tasks and projects listed, tag the must do ones that will bring you the most value/joy/fun/benefit. Make these P1’s. Then go for the P2’s next. Get strict with yourself here. It helps narrow the focus.

 

  1. (track) Progress – again, this might sound like work. Well, it is. But work that you should be invested in and will directly benefit from. So, for whatever project or goals you have, make sure there is a way of tracking the progress, on a daily & weekly basis. Create a personal scoreboard or dashboard and keep it simple. If your project is to run a half-marathon, track your daily and weekly distances against targets. Just like you would when budgeting finances. Take the time to come up with these measures at the start and gamify the goal. Some very wise business leader once said what gets measured, gets managed, and then gets done. It’s true though.

 

  1. Locus of Control – Are you always blaming others for your lack of progress or failed personal goals. If you are, it’s likely due to having an external locus of control. So, watch your language and self-talk. Stop passing the buck and take ownership and bring the control back in. This is a big one that prevents many of us from achieving our goals. So, take a moment at the end of the day and listen to what your excuses are for not getting stuff done. Is it always someone else’s fault? (external locus of control) or are you admitting it was yours (internal). Notice this and work on it.

 

  1. Get some Accountability support – this is huge when working on these personal endeavours. Or work related too. We sometimes just need that ‘boss’ like figure watching over us. A Coach or Mentor is excellent for this. Or maybe just ask a friend. Even better, have your friend take their own goals and you hold each other to account. This works great. And is fun!

Developing personal accountability can be done. It just takes a bit of focus and some help.

If you’re interested in getting that help from a supportive community of like-minded folks, you should join up to the free 1% Better/RoboftheGreen slack community set up earlier this year. We are holding monthly challenges where you pick any goal or project and share it with the group, report progress, and get some friendly support. You can join up via this LINK. The January 2020 challenge could be a great way to start the new year.

Let me know what you think of the above? Any others you’d include to the list?

Till tomorrow,

Rob

How To Be More Straightforward – Day 7

A number of years ago, through some manager or leadership training, I completed an Emotional Intelligence Assessment. The results were pretty interesting. As I looked over the results, across 10 competencies assessed, I felt it got me pretty spot on. One that really jumped out was a low score in straightforwardness. The ability to be more direct, to speak-up, and get your point across, when not fully comfortable doing so. Yep, that was me.

In a way, I knew this was an area for development, yet I wasn’t making a conscious effort to work on it. This 15-minute questionnaire and following report had the desired effect. It spurred me into action. I already had a strong understanding of the Emotional Intelligence framework and was aware that, with some effort and practice, these traits could be developed and honed to improve one’s overall EQ score.

A few years later, around the time I started out on my own executive and performance coaching journey, I took the EQ assessment again. The straightforwardness had improved over time. And while still not a signature strength, it was encouraging to know that the practice did actually make better.

Over the last 18 months, when coaching emerging leaders and managers, getting a baseline of their EQ is a great starting point. It’s interesting to find that this straightforwardness trait is one that comes in lower for many. Especially those that are, like me, a bit more on the introverted side. 

So, how can you be more straightforward & direct? While there are many obvious ways, like just asking more questions, and speaking up more, one I like to use with clients is a bit more measurable and objective. Let me (try to) explain how it works.

Let’s say you’re in a work meeting, and you want to ask a question or speak up, but you hold back, bite your tongue and the chance passes. You leave the meeting feeling like you missed an opportunity. How many times would this happen each day or week? Count them up, even get a rough number. From experience, clients could have up to 20 instances of this per week! Ok, this is your baseline.

Now, your goal is to notice this happening the following week and aim to reduce it. Set yourself a small reduction. Even 5 times less to start. And track it. This way you are able to measure it. You’ve gamified it slightly and you’re thinking less about the consequences of bringing the attention or spotlight on yourself. Which can be the root cause blocker to begin with. Give it a go for a few weeks and see how your behaviour changes.

Is this something that could work in your quest for a more direct and straightforward you? It’s one of a few approaches I’ve had success within coaching. And the feedback and impact are pretty great.

As with all of these approaches, practice is key.

Till tomorrow,

Rob


Join up to the RotG Slack community and join the fun and challenges HERE!


Rob is a qualified Executive Coach (ICF) and has been Mentoring and Coaching over the last decade in various roles held during his career. In 2017, Rob launched the Rob of the Green Platform which hosts the 1% Better Podcast. Rob currently is a director of Project Management and Leadership Coaching at Dell in Cork, Ireland. Rob also publishes articles on productivity, leadership, goal setting, meditation, and other topics, like this one!

Connect in with Rob on the socials or via email on the links below:

Email   Twitter  Facebook  Website

Subscribe to the Rob of the Green Newsletter Here

Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to provide coaching & leadership development workshops to new and emerging leaders. These half/full day sessions have been hugely rewarding and a great learning experience. Being able to listen to and understand so many perspectives on leadership and help deeper thinking around it is a privilege.

One specific exercise I love to use and always brings up very interesting views is to give the attendees space and time to think about what makes up a great leader? What are the attributes, traits, competencies and habits they’ve experienced, or would like to experience from an inspiring leader? It gets the conversation started, helps the group open up and connect better.

Interestingly though, when the question ‘what makes up a horrible boss?’ is posed, the energy changes. There is more laughter, greater enthusiasm, and one flip chart page per group to list out the traits never seems to be enough! Everyone has a few words to contribute about their horrible boss experience over the years and the sharing within the group goes up a few notches. All in a confidential way, of course.

Next the real interesting work happens. When the group is asked to come up a leadership philosophy of their own (in 25 words or less) first using the words identified in a great leader, it can be difficult.

However, when asked to do this same task by thinking of the words to identified for the horrible boss traits and flipping these to be opposite (e.g. flipping micromanagement to autonomy), to be the leader they DO NOT want to be come, the philosophy starts to flow onto the page much quicker.

What are the great inspiring lessons you’ve learned from a horrible boss? You have a lot to thank them for as are their bad habits are helping you grow into exactly the leader they aren’t.

Till tomorrow.

Rob  


Join up to the RotG Slack community and join the fun and challenges HERE!


Rob is a qualified Executive Coach (ICF) and has been Mentoring and Coaching over the last decade in various roles held during his career. In 2017, Rob launched the Rob of the Green Platform which hosts the 1% Better Podcast. Rob currently is a director of Project Management and Leadership Coaching at Dell in Cork, Ireland. Rob also publishes articles on productivity, leadership, goal setting, meditation, and other topics, like this one!

Connect in with Rob on the socials or via email on the links below:

Email   Twitter  Facebook  Website

Subscribe to the Rob of the Green Newsletter Here

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