Sometimes a successful development intervention entails no more than raising awareness about something that people are already equipped to fix. They have the ability and the motivation, but cannot pinpoint what the problem is or what they should do differently. It’s a common problem for teams.
Finding your voice and making it count is a challenge that everyone needs to meet, especially if you are in a leadership or management role.
It’s a challenge because it needs to be your voice; it needs to be true to you and your values and personality or it won’t convince others. It’s also a challenge because it needs to be different; your voice needs to be distinct and additive, if it is to bring value to the team.
Are you good with numbers but less good with words and with people? Many people, especially perhaps those with quick and active minds who have a lot going on inside their heads, are not as effective as they would like to be when it comes to communicating their thinking to others.
Tom’s office is going to lose nearly a third of its people. When the moment comes, he will have to break this news.
Tom is passionate about his work. He is a compelling ambassador for the business when he speaks about it publicly, which he enjoys doing. He is proud of the improvements that his office has delivered since he became General Manager, and he is protective of his people. He demands a lot of them, and when the pressure is on he knows he can sound sharp and critical, but he also takes a lot upon himself; working hard and pursuing improvements are among his core values.
What does he want from his coaching? ‘To learn more about dealing with pressure.’
vp-adminLearning to handle difficult conversations
The trouble with being really capable at doing something is that it is often accompanied by a corresponding blind spot in another respect.
This case study describes how VoicePrint can help someone to know when a strength has become a weakness, and what to do about it in practice.
Mac is an IT security expert. He manages the cyber security team for a big corporate concern. ‘He’s technically brilliant,’ they told me, when we first discussed the objectives for Mac’s coaching, ‘but he lacks certain interpersonal skills and this causes issues in his team and beyond.’ Mac did not spend time on diplomacy or winning people over. If he needed something from them, he simply demanded it.
vp-adminIntervening when a strength has become a weakness
Creating and embedding a coaching culture in an organisation
“We saw an instant change in beliefs and behaviours – our people realised that they weren’t always coaching their teams in the right way. The managers who went on the programme are now leading their teams more effectively.”
Graham is a rather specialised sort of medical scientist, but he does not speak with the dry, measured diction of the stereotypical clinician. He talks brightly, with colour, energy and enthusiasm.
What also struck me in that first meeting was that Graham seemed so open-minded, ready and receptive for the coaching that his employer had decided he needed. This was an encouraging surprise, because it’s not easy to accept the feedback that you need lessons in anger management. It’s especially difficult to accept, if you’re already in a senior role.
Each of us has a personal but largely unconscious profile of ‘voices’ which shapes the way we talk and the impact we make. We each favour some voices, and often over-rely on them, while neglecting others.
The effect is not only to leave us less versatile than we could be and need to be, but also deaf and blind to our own inflexibilities and to the consequences of some of our actions.
By bringing your personal pattern of voices, and its impact on others, into conscious awareness, VoicePrint makes your personal, inter-personal and organisational skill-set more complete, more agile and more effective.