PEOPLE STRATGY FORUM

EPISODE #27

Gillian Faith

Gillian Faith On Why Coaching Can Enhance Your Team’s Performance

As a leader, coaching can actually help improve business. Some people think coaching doesn’t work, but it only doesn’t work if you don’t follow the feedback. Coaching can help you emotionally and mentally. It will allow you to be more vulnerable and humble. As a leader, you need those two traits. Your employees would be more willing to talk to you and ask questions if you show that side of you. To learn more about the value of coaching, join Sam Reeve, Char Miller, Sumit Singla, and their guest Gillian Faith. Gillian is the founder of Next Level HR Consulting & Coaching. She provides contract HR & People Operations services to small businesses. And most importantly, she provides coaching to individuals for leadership and professional development. Discover leadership coaching and mental fitness coaching today.

Gillian Faith On Why Coaching Can Enhance Your Team’s Performance

It’s so great to have you all here with us. We’ve been running this for years and turned this into a show as well. I wanted to let you all know that option is available to you before we get started. If this is your very first time here, we are very excited. We have a panel of hosts each and every week. We also bring on a guest speaker. Our mission is to engage, energize, and elevate your workplace. I want to introduce you to the rest of the panel here because I don’t do this alone. I get a lot of help from my friends here.

We have Char, who is here every week and is very committed to us. She is the Founder of Mountain & Sea Health Advocacy and Mountain & Sea Career Coaching, which is a slightly new venture for her because she is a nomad living between Mexico and the US. She is learning day-by-day how to be an ex-pat, nomad, and work from anywhere. She’s converted that into a coaching business, which is awesome. She does have a very strong background in HR and talent management and has run a few other businesses as well.

I’m the guinea pig of this wildlife style. I’m going to learn the hard way and help others figure it all out if they choose to do as crazy a path as I have.

I think a lot of people are choosing a crazy APOC. They’re like, “Why am I in a cubicle? I can’t do this. Let’s go to Costa Rica, Mexico, Bali, wherever, and get to work there.” You’re blazing the trail. We also have Sam. Sam is the Founder and CEO of CompTeam. He puts everything together for us. Gets all the speakers on for us, but he’s also a compensation and rewards expert. His company, CompTeam, goes in and helps organizations revitalize and refresh all their compensation and reward practices.

We have our lovely guest speaker. We’re very excited to welcome Gillian Faith to the forum. This is her first time here. She is the Founder of Next Level HR Consulting & Coaching. She provides contract HR, people operations services, and leadership and professional development for executives, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. She’s definitely a busy lady. She was telling us before we got on the forum about her mental fitness coaching as well, which Sam is a part of. Hopefully, we can speak to that a little bit. Welcome, Gillian. We’re so excited to hear all about the value of coaching and how it can enhance performance.

Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

As we start out, Gillian, it would be great to hear a little bit about how you get started in this business. I can hear your accent. You’re not a native United States person. Can you tell us a little bit about your story? How did you come to your passion here?

I have spent roughly eighteen years in healthcare and started in Scotland working in rehabilitation. I moved into HR and small business leadership. I have been on that journey for several years. Integral to both working as an occupational therapist and as an HR professional is mentoring and coaching. It’s something that comes quite naturally to me. I decided that it was time to take the bull by the horns and get certified as a professional coach and make it more of my detained job. It’s something that I enjoy doing and have seen some good results from.

When did you come over to the States?

It’s about 1991. It’s been a long time, and the years fly past.

Did you come over here to pursue your coaching business?

No, I was working in healthcare at the time. There was a shortage of staff. It’s shifted from the US. It was only supposed to be for two years, but my husband loves it here. He’s grown a business. The two years have well passed.

One of the big topics that we love to talk about here is all about performance. How do we help our people perform better, have happier lives in their jobs, and so forth? Us as leaders, how do we perform better? How do we up our game every day and have that continuous improvement? I think your topic is very timely. Right now, we’re in a situation where people have been under stress for quite some time. They’ve been forced to operate in different environments, but they weren’t used to it. They’ve had to find new strategies. As far as personal coaching and coaching individuals, it’s been more important now than ever to be able to do this. Have you seen the same thing in your practice?

I think the coaching world has taken off. It’s huge, and more and more leaders and companies are realizing the benefits of bringing here an external coach or having an internal coach or coaches in their organizations. One thing that I think has changed a lot is we all know these old performance management review meetings that managers and employees dreaded. They were retroactive. It was an annual thing. Look back at the employee’s performance for the last year and make all these comments.

Overall, I would say the last couple of decades, many companies have moved away from that. I think there are still companies that are doing that and moving towards much more communication on a much more regular basis, targeted at what the actual job is about and the company culture is about. Enabling and empowering employees to come up with their own answers and help drive their own performance. I think it’s been much better received.

Several years ago, there was a stigma around coaching. The leadership would say, “We’re having problems with Jerry over there. Maybe we need to get him a coach so he can improve and be better, but things have changed now. Everybody wants a coach and not one for several different things. We have our personal trainer. It could be your mental fitness coach as you have it, your leadership coach, or a career coach in which Char specializes. There are a lot of different areas where people are the expert.

If you were getting coached, it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. It was part of a performance improvement plan, but now, it’s something that is part of an employee value proposition. It’s a value add. It sends a message that the company recognizes that they want to help somebody become more successful.

Leadership coaching is the leadership of yourself, your teams, and your organizations. Click To Tweet

Gillian, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this particular focus. I also worked in healthcare HR for 25 years in all types of healthcare HR as well as other industries. I can’t tell you the number of committees that I was put on around performance management to revamp the performance evaluation, the corrective action processes, and restructure how we’re going to drive performance in the organization. At one point, I was on twelve different committees for the corporate and the region. Talk about a yes woman. I was on everything. Sadly, it wasn’t until later in my talent management career, and I got a Master’s in Talent Management, that I started evaluating what we need to do differently around performance management strategy.

Everyone has heard me say this before. It was a cultural mind shift for the organization to accept that a coaching culture, as you describe, is the way we need to move. This is even as short as a decade ago. I know Sam, Howard, and the team here that might be on right now would recognize this. I recall when that was so non-traditional to say, “Let’s throw away the performance evaluation.”

It’s like, “Okay, then now what? We throw the performance evaluation, but none of our leaders are trained how to coach, mentor, and support, and what we refer to with positive psychology and not negative psychology.” Our forum spent a lot of time talking about what is positive coach coaching. What is all of that? My question for you is, what do you think about the word positive psychology coaching? What’s your reaction to that particular terminology?

I think I love that because it puts a positive spin on it versus the whole performance management or performance appraisal, which I don’t like. I like to think in terms of performance enhancement or people development. That’s got a much more positive spin on it. I love your terminology.

I know that you focus on two elements, leadership coaching, and mental fitness. Can you tell us what the difference is between the two or the different approaches? Programs like?

I think of leadership coaching as the leadership of yourself, first of all, the leadership of teams and organizations. It covers many different aspects of who you show up like every day and how you lead, inspire, and motivate people to get the results you want. That’s one side. The other side is mental fitness. I am enrolled in coach training for positive intelligence. I’m in one of my test subjects now.

Positive intelligence is all about building mental muscles. They call them saboteurs. It could be that you’re a stickler that you have to have perfection. That perfection gets you stuck because you don’t move your projects forward because you’re looking for 100%. Maybe 80% is okay to get it moving, and you can refine it along the way. It’s taking these traits that have made you successful in the course of your career.

Sometimes they get in your way. It’s turning those around and making the main shifts so that they work for you and not against you. It also helps deal with things like focus, stress, and anxiety reduction. It’s a form of meditation, but it’s all on an app on your phone. It’s very user-friendly. You can tell me what your experience has been in the three weeks that you’ve been using it.

The program has been very successful. It’s the little things of self-awareness and short intervals throughout the day. As I’m running my business, my schedule is packed. I’m going from one thing to the next. When I started picking up this opportunity with you, I was like, “I’m not going to have time for this. Where am I going to fit it in?” As I was talking to you, we work these habits into our lives, and we can start with two minutes several times a day. When I was jumping from one meeting to the next, I would take some of that baggage or stress, especially when we’re doing Zoom calls where we tend to have them back-to-back.

I think that’s a modern thing that we’re trying to figure out with a lot of these virtual meetings and video conferencing. The important thing is having that two minutes. In this particular coaching session, it’s called PQ reps, where they’re having a moment of focus or distracting, whether it’s on touch or breathing or visual cues, things like that. You’re changing your perspective. When you go to a fine restaurant and have several courses of meals, they bring out the appetizer and have that course in the middle that prepares you for the next. It’s like that. The PQ rep is a way that you take a mental break. It’s only a two-minute interval, and you’re getting ready for the next thing.

It sets you out on the right foot because otherwise, what I was doing in the past is I was taking this stress from the first meeting to the second and hitting my performance. I think that’s a great way to get through that. Back on, we’re talking about leadership coaching. You mentioned saboteurs. I want to jump into that a little bit more. In leadership, what are the main saboteurs that you see most often?

The hyper achievers go, go, and can’t turn off. They go home at night. They’re still checking emails and not spending time with their family. That’s one of the major ones. Another one is a controller. The people in leadership positions quite often are there because it suits who they are. They have to take some level of control to do what they’re doing, but there’s a point where that becomes a negative, or it can become a drain. It doesn’t always work. Especially when we’re talking about these coaching cultures, being a controller doesn’t fit into that model. There is some state close which is a perfectionist.

PSF 27 | Coaching Enhances Performance

Coaching Enhances Performance: The old performance management review meetings that managers and employees dreaded have slowly gone away. Most companies have been moving towards a coaching style instead.

 

Those are the main leadership ones that you’re seeing. One thing is from a personal perspective, when you’re thinking, “I seem to be an overachiever. I’m charging hard. I’m working long hours. I’m not spending enough time on my health or with my family.” A person can identify that in themselves, but often what they don’t see is how this is impacting others around them, their employees, and their staff. First of all, with leadership, what are the main signs that employees may feel or coworkers may see when experiencing a leader that is an overachiever or controlling?

They may find them unapproachable and think it’s not okay to make a mistake. If we make mistakes, that’s fine, but we have to learn from them. If you keep making mistakes over and over, there’s something wrong. Having the confidence to be in that learning environment where that’s permissible, being told what to do, micromanaged, and people don’t like that.

There definitely can be a lot of downsides. Not just with employees or coworkers but also with family members who received those negative stresses from those saboteurs.

We would identify the saboteurs through the program. I’m in a position to be able to work with somebody one-on-one to help shift some of that to help bring awareness. Awareness is huge because if you don’t have awareness, you can’t fix something. Awareness is the first step to making some change. These saboteurs are technically raising awareness. Either through the program or with one-on-one coaching, we can work on those saboteurs.

How does a person understand or identify what their saboteurs are?

If anybody’s interested, they could go to www.PositiveIntelligence.com, and you can take a free assessment. It’s been a while since I did it. You did it, Sam. It was about 15 or 20 minutes.

It was pretty cool. I enjoyed it.

You take the assessment, and they’ll very quickly send you your results with some level of explanation.

I think those are great descriptors, the saboteurs, and it’s quite fascinating. I assume that all of us have elements of the saboteur behavior. Without looking at your material and reading what you’re describing that some are more prominent than others, the saboteurs in an organization. I think that my experience, particularly working with the executive team, the controlling behaviors, certain executive levels, and CEOs, is often a blind spot.

It’s my assumption without understanding exactly your approach, for those individuals to realize that the controlling behavior and the way of a constant authoritative. Even though this sounds like old age philosophy, it’s still very much there. Particularly when many organizations are fearful of the future economically, financially, and the sustainability of an organization.

Some of our executives may be so much in a control state that there’s a blind spot that they’re sabotaging the leadership, the creativity, the innovation, and the positive approach to helping the organization move past challenging times. With that thought in mind, what’s your thought? How do you call executives or certain senior leaders to open up their minds to the blind spots? How do we be brutally honest and allow those executive leaders to be open to the idea that they may have to sabotage type of behaviors and not take offense or get defensive about that accusation?

I think there are some people out there, some leaders, executives that aren’t aware that there’s something wrong with how I’m leading or managing my people. Some people do have some awareness. Some candid conversations would be very appropriate. As far as introducing positive intelligence and the saboteurs, that’s another way into that conversation. Coaching is very much about creating a safe or confidential space where there will be some feedback if feedback’s required. There will be action agreed upon to work on whoever’s coming up.

If you don't have awareness, you can't fix something. Awareness is the first step to actually making some change. Click To Tweet

What you’re saying is that it’s part of the coaching culture that everybody that’s participating in. This is going to be expecting some feedback. It may be very positive and not so positive. It’s the responsibility of all of us to say, “Be open to the feedback and willing to work on that.”

Yeah. That’s the ideal situation. There are going to be people that are not receptive to it. That’s the way it is, but I think as HR professionals or as leaders, we need to be part of the recruitment process. It’s looking for people that are receptive to coaching and constructive feedback. That’s something that should be asked in interviews.

In my experience, I was in charge of the development departments and the coaching departments in one of my healthcare organizations. I had employees who specialized in that expertise. I would tell you that it was a challenge. I think some of my colleagues in HR can appreciate this. It was very much a challenge to convince certain levels of executives that you need to be open to feedback about your behaviors or personality type or what have you.

It’s not another HR program. It needs to be part of our culture. We all need to embrace this. I think a lot of my HR colleagues have the same similar challenges. How do you convince an organization to change that paradigm shift? I would assume with all the happenings over the last couple of years, my assumption, without the data to substantiate that, is that more and more senior leaders are being open to the idea of a coaching culture and perhaps changing their thinking around that. Do you agree? Do you think that’s shifted in the last several years as another HR professional?

I think it’s shifting, yes. It’s probably a slow change, yet I believe that there are changes in mindset. There are large coaching organizations there that companies do and contract with. Those companies are doing very well. I know that coaching has become much more acceptable and sought after. I do believe the needle is moving in the right direction, but there’s probably quite a bit of work to do as well.

Char mentioned earlier as far as managers learning how to coach, but as individuals, sometimes we don’t want all our coaching from managers. Maybe a third party might be a better person for that role because when we’re thinking about your manager, there’s often that relationship you’re thinking about. This person determines my pay, if I stay or leave this organization, and my performance. There’s something that person can hold over you in a certain aspect where maybe a third-party person doesn’t have that. You can expect maybe more constructive or professional feedback, whereas some managers don’t have that coaching muscle developed.

Training managers is huge. There’s definitely a big need there. Bringing in an external coach brings in more objectivity at probably a higher perceived level of confidentiality.

Sumit, I would love to hear your perspective on coaching and how that’s perceived in other areas of the world?

That’s an interesting question, Sam. It’s catching on and becoming a lot more popular. A few years ago, when we first started hearing the word coach, it meant you were deficient in some way. There was something that was lacking in terms of capabilities. Anyone who was assigned a coach meant you’re not cutting it. Something needs to change. Now, it’s become almost directly opposite where if you don’t have a coach, maybe you are too thick-headed to get any new ideas in. There’s not much of a point in wasting an organization’s money assigning you a coach.

Increasingly, I see leaders themselves reaching out for coaching and saying, “I see other organizations investing in coaching. Why haven’t we done this yet?” It’s being perceived a lot more positively. If I remember correctly, I was reading a report that said, “The number of certified coaches in the world has jumped by 40% in the last two years.” There were 15,000 or so coaches earlier. Now they’re 70,000 in the world. The pandemic has made people realize that they need more coaches and more coaching to be more effective.

I understand that. The thing that I like about the coaching movement was in the past, when we thought about development, you took a class or a workshop around a specific technique. Often, that’s something that we can pull together, but with things that are a little bit softer, such as leadership or management, or how we manage our lives, health, and mental fitness. Those are things that are a little bit more elusive and often need an observer from the outside to see how you’re showing yourself or presenting yourself at work or in these different things.

You can receive that constructive feedback. There are a lot of different ways of doing this nowadays. Gillian, you and I are members of Vistage, where we have a group that comes together. There’s also individualized coaching. What are the different methods that people can receive coaching from your perspective?

PSF 27 | Coaching Enhances Performance

Coaching Enhances Performance: If you’re a controlling leader, you will be unapproachable to your employees. The workplace won’t be a learning environment because they would be afraid to make mistakes.

 

Basically, as an individual, one-on-one with a series of sessions, or as a group, group coaching is quite effective as well.

Can they work together? Can you have a personal and a group session? I know there are probably magnitudes of ways of approaching coaching, but I’m wondering what models are available? Individual or group, are there any other types of flavors?

That’s it. It’s in-person and over Zoom. Zoom made everything much more accessible, but individual, one-on-one is the most popular because that’s where the deep work can take place.

As I’m thinking about this, I think each coach might have a very specific specialty. For example, my cousin does getting unstuck coaching about how to get over the hump of being held back by yourself and moving forward with barriers of procrastination. Another one of my colleagues focuses on how do you deal with your mental health, anxiety, stress, and focus? Whereas another coach might be focused on what we were talking about, where your mind is wandering all over the place. I call, for lack of a technical term, ADHD thing where so many different things in our brains keep distracting us from focusing on what we need to do at the time.

Our zillion 110-page past lists in the back of our brains are constantly distracting us from everything we need to get done. Each person’s not going to be able to afford 10, 12 different coaches for different specialties. I think that’s one thing. It’s important to realize that it’s worth the investment in your time and yourself to consider hiring someone like Sam said from the outside, someone that you’re comfortable sharing that you may be distracted at work or concerned about your ailing family member. You don’t know how to get through some personal health challenges. You’re afraid to tell your boss, “This is why I’m distracted all day. I have so many personal struggles in my personal life,” or what have you.

To not cross the personal boundary of what’s affecting your productivity at work while maintaining that confidentiality. I can see where this would be a very fine delicate balance that leaders have to navigate through. How do you help your employee on a work level and a personal level? How do you help them with all those multiple different aspects of coaching that they may need to get through?

From an organizational point of view, they’re looking for measurable performance changes. You can’t separate the two completely because if somebody is dealing with something stressful in the world, and let’s face it, the last few years have been extremely stressful for so many people. In most instances, that is going to overflow into professional life and the professional world. Even as a corporate coach, executive coach, or leadership coach, whatever you want to call it, there’s still the probability that there’ll be some aspect of personal life that gets worked on in a coaching session because it has a knock-on effect into the professional life.

I had a lady by the name of Joanna. In 2009, I knew this was also Ian’s go. I was getting my Master’s degree. I had two very young babies at home. I have a very high-level position in healthcare in HR. I was expected to do multiple hospitals and regions at the same time. My workload was ginormous. I was trying to deal with taking care of my family and my babies at the same time I’m getting a Master’s degree probably wasn’t the best decision. I was blessed to have this corporate coach that year who helped me clarify, simplify, focus on the essential few, learn how to better give feedback to my executives about what I needed to be more successful in my professional career, and also balance my personal life.

It’s simple tips about time management and home life. It was a beautiful balance of what you’re talking about. Joanna was very talented in that space and probably way ahead of her time because I didn’t see later in my career those types of coaches being sponsored through the organization like that particular individual was. I’m glad to see we’re starting to make progress in that arena, particularly in this day and time.

For many people working at home or in hybrid situations, it’s very hard to separate work from home.

As we’re talking about coaching and there are coaches for everything. Jules here is an on-camera coach. He helps people with their presence. Smith is a very accomplished coach in HR. Char is in career development, career coaching, and HR as well. There are a lot of avenues. I think everyone needs a coach and maybe even multiple at a time, depending on what they’re trying to go through.

When you’re thinking about what is the right fit for me now? How do they determine what type of coach they need? How do they choose a coach that’s going to be the right fit for them? Let’s start with the first thing. How do you determine the right coach for our particular need now? I know we talked about the assessment for the mental fitness place, but should we be reviewing our work, our life, and looking at our particular pain points? Is there a process that you typically recommend for people to identify what type of coach they need?

You need to be a good fit for your coach and vice versa if you want the coaching relationship to work to its optimum. Click To Tweet

There are so many coaches out there. There are coaches for everything these days. If you are going through a career transition or you’ve been laid off, it’s fairly obvious that probably a career coach is what you’re looking for. It depends on what the issue is or the pinpoint is. ICF has lists of coaches, as do other organizations. Coach fit is very important. I always have a discovery call, an initial call to get to know each other. There’s either going to be chemistry or there’s not. You quickly know if a client’s a good fit for a coach or if a coach is a good fit for a client. That has to be right, or the coaching relationship is not going to work to its optimum.

The first step is to basically, as if you’re interviewing coaches, request a discovery call to have a conversation.

That’s a good start.

You’re looking for a personal style and fit if there’s that chemistry.

Every coach thinks something different because I have an HR background. I tend to get people coming to me with people challenges at work or a challenge that they have with their leadership or whatever. I’ve worked in a very positive manner with some people in these situations. I bring my professional background. I’ve got three grown-up kids. I’m from the UK. I bring something unique to my coaching relationships, as do the other coaches here and every coach out there.

We had a list of maybe twenty different contract coaches. We had to assure that we had an agreement with each of these contract coaches. We had to ensure that the contract coach is still working in 2022 and have their bio. It was a very organized, facilitated process because we had 9,000 people in that particular region and all the leaders amongst them. I remember my job and my team’s job was to organize all these different contract coaches and align them to the special needs. Even that in itself requires a project manager.

Char, can you tell us a little bit more about that? As an organization, let’s say you want to set up a coaching culture. You mentioned creating a resource guide where they have different types of coaches that have been vetted by the organization. Can you tell us more about how a business can go about setting up a coaching culture? How did you do that in your past?

It was quite the challenge because I had a solving world hunger job description at one of my health care organizations. It had to be completely facilitated with the entire talent management strategy. As you said, Gillian, it needed to be every aspect of talent management, even all the way back to the hiring process, onboarding and development, and stages of that particular individual’s career. The HR business partner needed to be very much in tune with that particular division or a leader with what their development needs would be and the stages of their development needs.

To me, it was that relationship between your talent management strategists and the talent management strategists that were over the coaching departments and development departments, particularly in a large organization that I worked with at one point, and the partnership with the 6, 7 different HR business partners who also had what I’d call left arm in the coaching and development space. The key was that our HR business partners had the competencies and capabilities to understand the world of coaching.

The key was to help tap into the resources of the right leader at the right time. The big part of it was the senior executive. At that particular organization, there were fourteen executives. It was all about starting at the top of the coaching culture and cascading the expectation of the coaching culture from the top, all the way through every level, the vice-president, the directors, and the managers down to every single level. Sometimes, it gets extremely complex to be able to articulate the complexities of this culture and the technical side of orchestrating the resources, the names, and the types of the actual philosophy around the cultural side.

Having a role like mine is to connect the dots and bridge those elements together and be able to pull those resources and make sense at the very top of the team. That’s a very complex question, Sam. I would go to sleep at night analyzing this question. I would tap into how could I make all this make sense? It was certainly like an orchestra. You have your flute and percussion section. Every single section of the talent management strategy and all those need to line up simultaneously. If each of those areas is fragmented and broken, the coaching culture won’t work.

I’m trying to influence more coaching in my organization. When I recommended a coach for one of my employees, they got a little offended. They were saying, “Do you think I need a coach? I don’t have enough time for a coach. Why do you think this is important? I don’t know if this topic or this issue is relevant to me. It seems like it’s maybe a waste of time.” I would like to hear everybody’s responses here on how to handle this feedback.

PSF 27 | Coaching Enhances Performance

Coaching Enhances Performance: You can’t separate your professional life from coaching. There’s still the probability of some aspect of personal life that gets worked on in a coaching session.

 

I want Gillian’s view on this, but I would say I had a problem where I had a vice president that wanted to use the coaching program as a performance management program. They wanted to do corrective actions through the coach. I was like, “No, that is not what coaching is about. It’s not about a corrective action process because you, the senior leader, don’t want to do the due diligence of giving candid, frequent, ongoing feedback about performance challenges.

You want to use your executive coach to give that feedback. That’s not the purpose of that coach.” I got so much resistance. I have this scenario in my head and the individuals involved. It was very tough to convince all parties at the senior level that it was not what this program was about. What do you think, Gillian, about that?

I agree with everything you said there. If people see company leaders having coaches, it makes it more acceptable, a privilege, and a positive thing. That’s a sticky one to deal with.

I like your recommendation because I’ve said a million times that even the president has a coach, and the top-performing athletes have coaches.

Relating it to athletics is a good way to go because any high-performing athlete has a coach for the same reason. They’re pushing and inspiring them. They’re dealing with whatever’s coming up and helping them push past their perceived limitations. I think relating it to sports is a good way to go.

I think that if your CEO stands up or your president says, “I got some feedback through my coaching sessions. I learned that I come across.” One of my presidents admitted he got feedback. Every time he walked into one of our hospitals, he frowned on his face. He got feedback that it was the executive assistants and the frontline employees that noticed his non-verbal cues and mannerisms.

When he would stroll through the hallways of the hospital, people say, “That man is unapproachable.” He’s like some holy moly guy nobody can ever talk to and approach. He would get frustrated and come out of that hospital saying, “Why would nobody talk to me?” He’d have this scowl and grumpy look on his face. It’s like, “If you look in the mirror, you’ll notice why people don’t ever talk to you.” Eventually, he came out and told the top leaders, “I finally got some feedback about my non-verbal mannerisms. Now I’m working on that.” He gave the whole group a big smile.

That’s huge. For that leader to have had that impression on everybody, come out and had the vulnerability and the humility to fess up and own it. That’s amazing. That sends a huge message down through an organization.

That’s the day that I stood up and said, “Yes, let me give you some feedback.” I’m like, “Crap, why did I do that?”

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and humble is huge in leadership, as we all know.

Particularly with the 360s, I think going through a 360 with your employees is the most brutally challenging thing to do. You don’t want that feedback.

It can be very intimidating for people.

If employees see their leaders having coaches, that'll make coaching more acceptable. Even the president has a coach. Click To Tweet

It can be good and bad, depending on how the 360s ran. I’ve walked into an organization once. There was a 360 done on the leadership team. It was a small company. In a spirit of transparency, they released the results to everybody in the company. The CEO felt so beat up and was so hurt by some of the feedback. The fact that everybody in the company had the right to see everything. It was a horrible experience for them, as you can imagine. I was not consulting on 360s. I was consulting on compensation. I happened to be in that meeting because I had a section on Comp that I was going to talk about. Even as an outsider, they let that transparency happen.

For example, in Gallup or People Surveys, I had to sit there through the thousands of employee comments that were literally blasting the executive team. I had to sort those comments into certain categories and be called the messenger. They would get angry at me. I would be like, “This isn’t coming from me.” This is what you asked for. The candid with anonymous commentary, and now I’m communicating that, so don’t be angry with me. I’m trying to let you know what employees are thinking. It’s tough.

The message here is that feedback needs to be constructive and delivered in the right thoughtful manner. We’re talking about ways of finding out what are the areas of coaching that I want around and developed. How do I select the right coach? One thing that I would recommend is the TMA method, which is an assessment you can take that shows your particular competencies in which your natural drives are.

The nice part about this type of assessment is they can use it with other things that are aligned with your job. For instance, let’s say you’re a financial analyst. Certain competencies are associated with that particular job, attention to detail, and following the rules. If you know what those competencies are and you have taken the assessment and said, “Maybe this is an area where I am not as good as I should be in.” Perhaps that’s an area where you can get some coaching on how you can develop those pieces.

I want to point out this free resource that TMA has. It’s called CompetencyLibrary.com. You can go in here and see what the different types of competencies mean, for instance, attention to detail and so forth. It’s a great tool. It’s free. It’s very interesting. You can use it in your business. TMA method has other software that helps bring all this to life.

I’ve utilized these tools in my company. I’ve applied all those tools from the recruiting tools, the development tools, and the competency. The highest we had was anywhere from 20 to 30 employees. It does work. The free resources are very helpful. It’s right on your manager’s phones. It’s right here. It’s easy. It’s a matter of orienting your leaders on how to utilize the tools. Mind-bending the philosophy around what performance and talent strategy is all about in coaching culture. Gillian, it’d be a nice partnership with what you do.

Yeah, absolutely.

Gillian, I’d love to hear a little bit more about how people can learn a little bit more about your offerings and the different coaching opportunities. Can you tell us about the programs you have in place?

I primarily do one-on-one coaching. We’ve been talking about this new positive intelligence aspect of my practice. My website is under revision, and hopefully, we’re back up soon. You can find me on LinkedIn, and my email address is public. That’s the way to contact me.

The website address for our readers?

It’s www.NextLevelHRCC.com.

The positive intelligence program’s been so fun. To give everybody a glimpse of what that looks like the first thing is that it’s centered around a book that’s called Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. I read that years ago and didn’t realize there was coaching around it. Gillian, you mentioned it. It was interesting because there’s an app that goes along. The book is in the app. The app is very user-friendly. It helps you go through the coaching and brings it out in regular sessions, short sessions that you can get your arms around. You can learn about each of the pieces of the book and how to apply it in your life. It has the separate practice of doing those PQ reps. It’s like mini-meditation. It helps you with that mindfulness.

PSF 27 | Coaching Enhances Performance

Coaching Enhances Performance: If leaders can show vulnerability and humility, more of their employees will be able to open up to them. Being open as a leader will send a huge message down through the organization.

 

They have research on the neurological changes as a result of doing this positive intelligence, PQ reps on a regular basis.

The parts of the brain become more active. You’re building those mental muscles that you were talking about.

It’s neuroplasticity.

The app that you mentioned, what is the app called? That sounds interesting. I want to get my PQ reps in.

You have to be part of a pod to do it. You have to be connected to a coach, for example, like myself, who then have you join a pod and the app.

A pod is a group of peers that are also going through the same program as you are. You get to meet other professionals that share stories about the things that they’re trying to overcome. It’s a safe place where people can talk about their vulnerabilities and work on them together. Gain from others’ experience on how they’ve accomplished or overcome some of those problems. Great points come out and how they’re applying the methodology.

You can do PQ reps as you’re driving down the road, or you’re waiting to board a plane. When we think of that traditional way of meditation, we often think about, “I need to have that quiet space. I have to sit in this position and think. I have that cool music that’s going on in the background, some Buddhist statue or something like that.” PQ reps are very user-friendly and easy to do. I’m enjoying the program. I’m a promoter there.

That’s good to know. I’ve had people tell me that they sleep better. Their blood pressure has come down. They’re more focused. Some are taking a break in between Zoom meetings. Somebody told me he showed up for his clients’ and his meetings in a better manner as a result of taking a couple of minutes.

If anybody wants to learn more about that program, please reach out to Gillian. She’ll fill you in and show you how to access that app and in the sessions. It has been a pleasure, Gillian, as always. I can’t wait to be at our next session and see our regular Vistage meetings as well. You’re such a wealth of great knowledge. Thank you for joining us here.

Thank you for inviting me. I appreciate what you said.

 

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About Gillian Faith

PSF 27 | Coaching Enhances PerformanceGillian Faith is the founder of Next Level HR Consulting & Coaching, designed to provide contract HR & People Operations services to small businesses and nonprofits and professional coaching to individuals for leadership and professional development. Originally from Scotland, she is experienced working in both the UK and the US and brings a background in healthcare, business ownership and leadership and human resources management to her clients.

Gillian holds a Masters’s degree in Management, is SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified, and has completed Certified Coach Training with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is a member of the ICF (International Coaches Federation) and is also in the final stages of the Positive Intelligence Coach training program. Gillian volunteers with SHRM as an item developer for the SHRM-SCP exam and also with Mile High SHRM on the Education Committee. She has organized a charity golf tournament to benefit CureSMA since 2003.

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