Leadership Today
Professional Coaching
12/21/2009 10:39:18 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment


One of the increasinging popular resources available to leaders today is assistant from professional coaches.  We are pleased that Sondra Calhoun will be making contributions to this blog in the topic area of "coaching."

I believe you will find her thoughts and insight very useful.
Many thanks,


What is Professional & Executive Coaching?

The relatively new profession known as Professional & Executive Coaching is often misunderstood or completely unknown by many leaders. This resource has been growing and developing for about the last 15 years with leaders at all levels finding it to be a valuable tool for moving their teams, their careers and their own personal growth forward. So, what are the basic principles of Coaching in the business world?
First of all, Coaching is based on the assumption that the client and the coach are each “naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.” A powerful coach never underestimates the power of his/her clients to know exactly what is best for them. A large part of the coach’s job is to ask questions and articulate observations that will help the professional to access that innate wisdom and creativity. Because of this, a well trained coach will often have more questions than answers.
The intent is for the leader to experience the power that they will feel through discovering their own answers and ideas which tend to produce a greater level of commitment and satisfaction. This also produces long term growth for the professional as they learn how to access and apply the wisdom and insight that they gain.   
For the partnership to be successful, there has to be an openness and willingness to be truthful with self, and a leap of faith to believe in one’s own answers. A strong coach will be candid, and will often blurt interpretations of their own intuition, trusting the leader to know what feels relevant, and to take or leave what is offered. The coach will ask the leader to commit to actions and or other exercises throughout the relationship. He or she will hold the professional accountable to actions that are agreed upon, in support of their own forward movement.
The coach will also be curious with the leader at those times when he/she does not do what they had planned or committed to in order to make it a learning experience. The leader is expected to be at least as committed to their own success and personal development as the coach.
So, if you find yourself stuck, frustrated or unable to see what the “next step” is, you might want to seek out a Professional coach that has gone through extensive training to help you find movement.
Warm regards,

Sondra Calhoun

Effective Communication

As a leader, you’re familiar with the importance of communication within your organization. Regardless of your company’s mission, communication is probably a critical area of focus.   It can be the biggest enabler or the biggest stumbling block for your team.

 You and your employees are most likely in some type of communication for the majority of the workday. It might be spoken, written, or only body language, but you’re doing it – giving and receiving information.
Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw said,
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Yes, we communicate all of the time, but are we doing a good job? Is it effective? Is the message being received as intended?
When we fail at getting the message across, a communication gap has occurred. Imagine a baseball game. The pitcher has thrown the pitch, but the catcher didn’t catch it. It could have been either player’s fault, but it sure isn’t going to help the game. It happens to all of us.
So what’s really at stake? Do miscommunications have a direct impact on our success? Absolutely. Think about the potential consequences if communication fails. Work isn’t done, or it’s done wrong. Sometimes it’s done in duplicate, resulting in wasted time and resources. We can fail our clients or our team, impacting the image and credibility of ourselves and our organization. It can hurt morale and deteriorate the culture of the organization. All of this can have a real impact on a team’s bottom-line results.
If we agree that this is an important topic, and we agree that there’s room for improvement in most of our organizations, what can we do to eliminate or minimize our communication gaps?
Communication Tip: 
Slow down! We are in such a hurry in the workplace these days that we don’t take the time to communicate well. I’m all for concise communication, but we’ve become so brief and rushed that we’re creating more gaps than ever. This is true in our spoken communication and definitely true in our business writing. I can think of endless email examples. 
Think of complete communication as an investment that will give you a return. If you take just a little longer to communicate, you might get it right the first time. We all know how much time it can take to undo a miscommunication. Doing it right the first time is actually the shorter (and smarter) path.
It never hurts to evaluate now and then. On a scale of 1-5, how effective are you and you team in workplace communication? Where are the gaps, and how can you bridge them?

Many thanks,

Angela Gallogly, ATC Vice President of USA Operations 


Renewed Focus on Teams
12/7/2009 12:22:15 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

empowerment, Leadership, teams

We want to share an interesting observation with you – the most searched part of our website in the past few months is on the topic of team development. In addition, the number of hits has increased dramatically in the past two months.

What might this suggest? Well, one thought is that many organizations are feeling a special area of pain following recent restructurings and staff reductions. Many of these same companies have leaders that recognize that strong teams can be an essential ingredient to pull through tough times and move on towards a healthy recovery.
Existing team structures are often upset significantly through the processes of re-organization, and new or increased investment in team development can be very useful to re-build damaged team structures.
It will be interesting to see how this materializes in the coming months as we see more companies begin to reinvest in people and organizational development. We will provide you with updates through this blog.
In some cases, re-establishing high levels of empowerment will be critical because of the reductions among leadership teams.
There is one powerful and critical suggestion that we would emphasize – equip your leaders and teams with solid knowledge about the processes of empowerment.
Avoid mistakes that were often made in the past. Many managers rushed toward empowerment, recognizing the potential that exists in a highly empowered team environment. Unfortunately, they did not understand the process, and the result was “entitlement” rather than empowerment, which is a very negative and costly organizational illness.
Push to move your leaders and teams along the “empowerment journey,” but take the time and make the investment to do it correctly.

Warm regards, 

President, Advanced Team Concepts



Observations on Leadership and Teams
12/4/2009 8:00:20 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

change, Leadership

This is a new blog on Advanced Team Concepts’ website. We feel it is a critical time to be in dialogue on issues important to organizations.

Within the USA and much of the world, we are in a period of change that is dramatic.
Change is certainly not new to any of us, but the pace of change has really been accelerating. To keep pace, it may be important for all of us to keep our finger on the pulse of what is transforming around us.
This particular period also finds countries and companies trying to emerge from a long season of economic trouble and challenge. As with many similar periods in the past, this can leave the heads of leaders spinning with questions:
·         Where to go from here?
·         What now should be driving our priorities?
·         After restructuring and downsizing, how can the survivors cope and continue?
In the coming weeks we will include postings on relevant leadership topics, advice and thoughts from our coaching experts, and possibly other organizational development topics. Key members of the Advanced Team Concepts team will be contributing. We look forward to your comments and suggestions as we go.
Larry Meeker
President, Advanced Team Concepts

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