Published on March 15, 2009
Insight on Coaching Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: IEC: Insight Ubiqus Reporting Educational Consulting
Time Speaker Transcript 0:00 Tom Floyd Hello, everyone, and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I’m Tom Floyd, the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting, and your host for today’s show. Today’s show continues our discussion of coaching skills for leaders, what it takes to be successful as a leader in today’s corporate world. It’s a theme we’ve been exploring over the past few weeks, have had a lot of discussion around what it takes to be successful as a leader, ranging from really being yourself as a leader and being authentic, to the importance of executive presence, to the importance of relationship management, and lot of other things as well. And we’re absolutely thrilled to continue that conversation today with two guests that we are delighted to welcome to the show, Marshall Goldsmith and Pam Brill. Let me give you a quick overview of each of our guests. I’ll start with Marshall. Marshall Goldsmith is Corporate America’s preeminent executive coach. Marshall is one of a select few consultants who have been ask to work with more than 80 CEO’s in the world’s top corporations. He has helped implement leadership development processes that have impacted more than one million people. His Ph.D. is from UCLA and he is on the faculty of the executive education programs at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. The American Management Association recently named Marshall one of fifty great thinkers and business leaders who have impacted the field of management, and Business Week listed him as one of the influential practitioners in the history of leadership development. In 2006, Alliant International University renamed their schools of business and organizational psychology the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. Welcome back to the show Marshall! 2:17 Marshall Happy to be here. Goldsmith 2 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 2 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 2:18 Tom Floyd Very happy to have you. And our next guest is Pam Brill. Pam is Linkage's Senior Vice President of Learning Solutions responsible for combining Linkage's best practices and learning tools into integrated solutions targeted to client's current and future business challenges. As a Licensed Psychologist, Pam brings over twenty years of experience in consulting to and coaching with organizations, teams, and individuals on engaging self and others to confront challenges head on and to perform at peak levels. Prior to joining Linkage, Pam consulted and coached through her own firm, In the Zone, Inc., and with larger firms that include The Tom Peters Company, Manchester Partners, and directly with world-renowned Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith. A Licensed Psychologist, Pam earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College, her Master's from Boston University, and her Doctorate from University of Maine with a Predoctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology at Dartmouth Medical School where she served on the faculty for over a decade as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Pam is the author of The Winner's Way: A Proven Method for Achieving Your Personal Best in Any Situation (McGraw-Hill). Welcome to the show Pam. 3:28 Pam Brill Thank you, Tom. It’s great to be here. 3:31 Tom Floyd Today’s show is definitely—I see it more as a conversation than I do a formal dialogue or interview. And the first couple questions that I have for both of you really focus on some of the themes and kind of connect some bridges from some of the shows we’ve had over the past few weeks. And on some of those shows, we’ve talked about what it takes for leaders to be successful in their roles. Kind of a big picture question: From each of your perspectives, in general, what do you feel it takes for a leader to be successful in his or her role? Marshall, let’s start with you. 3 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 3 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 4:18 Marshall Well, my area of expertise is working with people who are already successful, and Goldsmith trying to help them become more successful. I think the first thing it takes is an openness to listen, to learn, to reach out to others, and to recognize that we’re all successful because we do many things right, in spite of making some mistakes, and figure out what are the areas of growth for us individually—which, by the way, I can’t generalize that because for each person it’s different—get to work on those and make a positive difference. Pam, what do you think? 4:47 Pam Brill Well, I think that the whole idea of being authentic is an underpinning to the work that you and I do, Marshall. And being successful is really about being real with people, whether it’s real in the areas that you’re working on, and being vulnerable and going to the people who work for you, and for whom you work, and say, “Listen, I’m working on this. Can you give me some help”? Or being real in exhibiting your strengths. But it’s definitely not one size fits all. 5:19 Tom Floyd And do both of you find in your experience that being real, so to speak, is difficult for people? 5:26 Marshall I think there’re two different issues. Goldsmith One is the issue of being real, and the other is the issue of appearing real, because there’s a gap, in what I do, between changing peoples’ behavior and changing other peoples’ perceptions. It’s harder to change perceptions than it is to change behavior. One think I always try to point out to people is in leadership, what’s important is not what we think we say, it’s what they hear. And if people don’t hear us in a certain way, that’s what we need to work on. Whether they’re “right or wrong” in an absolutely sense isn’t the point. What do you think, Pam? 4 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 4 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 5:56 Pam Brill Well, Marshall, I’ve learned this again and again from working shoulder to shoulder with you, and in my own coaching work, that the way we think we’re being perceived is different from how people may be perceiving us. And it takes probably nine times as many times of doing something differently to dispel peoples’ perceptions. I would agree with that a person can have a sense that they’re being authentic and real, but if they’re being perceived in a different way, then that’s what they really need to work on, and keep working on that again and again. And in this instance too, it’s not one size fits all. With one client that I’m working with, he has a very diverse team. It’s in the construction industry, and there are women in that industry who are quite successful on his team. But for him to be authentic with different styles of people requires adjusting his style of communication. With some people, he needs to take more time to really listen to how they are, if he asks them how they are. And with other people, he needs to deliver news in bullets so that they feel like he’s really listening to them and playing to their concerns in the way they like information. 7:18 Tom Floyd So does it really come back to—it’s not going to be a one size fits all solution for all audiences, as a leader that you’re responsible for. What you need to communicate to one group might be totally different than how you would handle and communicate that same chunk of information to another. 7:37 Marshall Yes. Goldsmith For example, you may think you really need to become a more effective delegator, and your peers or coworkers may have no idea whether you’re an effective delegator or not, or even care. So you may have one issue with a completely different issue than your colleagues. And that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either with you, your leader or your colleagues. 5 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 5 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 7:58 Pam Brill I have to totally concur with that. That, for me, is why the 360 interviewing that Marshall does, and that I do in my coaching my practice, can be far more rich in the information it provides than one of those 360s that provides you with some pretty bar graphs, and that you can make money at. But to get some real interview data, and to be able to look at it and say, “You know, you have some different audiences here. Your peers, your colleagues think that you’re doing terrifically at this, but they don’t really know if you’re doing it. But the people who work for you want you to delegate more.” It’s really important to understand those different audiences, and within that audience group, the different styles of peoples’ communication. 8:47 Tom Floyd When both of you work with leaders, is that an expectation that you set as well? So kind of, “In order for us to work with you, we’re going to need to go through this 360 process,” because I’m really glad that both of you brought that up. When I heard the example around your peers having one perception versus your employees having another, the question that came to my mind is, how would a leader know that, particularity if it’s somebody who’s not asking for that feedback? Kind of back to the original question, do you make that a requirement or an expectation when you sit down with leaders you’re going to coach, and say, “You know what? We need to do this 360 assessment process”? 9:28 Marshall Yes. Goldsmith When I work with people, that’s just a regular part of what I do. How can you get better at something if you don’t know what you want to get better at? The way I coach people, I typically don’t get paid if they don’t get better, so I’d have to say, get better at what? It’s kind of hard to do that if you don’t know what it is. 6 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 6 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 9:45 Pam Brill Absolutely. You know, coaching, in that sense, is like going to a doctor. You need a really good assessment. And I am convinced, from my experiences with written 360s versus face-to-face or telephonic verbal interview 360s, that you need to get that interview data, and that it needs to be current. I’ve had some clients who’ve said, “We don’t want to pay money for the assessment. We’ve got these assessments,” and they pull out these dog-eared assessments that are on carbon paper. And you say, “Hey, I think you’ve probably changed since then. And if you haven’t, we’ve got some serious problems, and that will be the coaching that we work on.” But the interviews, from above, from sideways, from below—and I often will interview former employers or employees, and also, spouses and kids. 10:37 Tom Floyd Oh, really? 10:38 Pam Brill Different perspective in all of those arenas. 10:40 Tom Floyd Do you find that most leaders you work with are generally open to that? 10:45 Pam Brill Some of them really volunteer that, and want to open the door. It’s like showing someone your dirty laundry. And others will, with some convincing. Most of the leaders that we work with, as Marshall said, are successful already, regardless of title, and they want to do what it takes to get to that next level. Sometimes they have different motivations, but if you can provide them with compelling case for why this works and why it’s important, then, for the most part, they’ll go for it. 11:15 Tom Floyd Do you ever receive or take on situations where the person might not necessarily want a coach? If someone came to you said, “You know what? I think Joe needs a coach, and I want you to do it,” how would you feel about that? 7 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 7 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 11:32 Marshall No, no, I wouldn’t. Goldsmith I wouldn’t do it, because to me, the impetus for change has to come from inside the person being coached. And if they don’t want to do it, don’t. I’m often asked the question, “How do I convince people to do the stuff that I do”? The answer is I don’t convince anybody; they have to convince me. Most of the issues that we work on are issues around people and respect. If I have to convince somebody that this is worth their time, they’re not going to get better anyway. My response to that is I spend absolutely zero time convincing anybody to do anything. I guess I’ve got older. I’m over the convincing phase. 12:09 Tom Floyd So they really have to want to change and have that goal up front, almost to the point where they’re coming to you, or to their boss, or to whomever and saying, “You know what? I need a coach, and I want this.” 12:20 Marshall Sure, because if they don’t want to do it, they’re not going to do it anyway. Goldsmith Why waste time? I mean, again— 12:24 Tom Floyd I agree. 12:25 Marshall Yes. Goldsmith Why waste time? 12:27 Pam Brill I totally agree with what Marshall is saying. And it may be an age thing, or it may be being humiliated when you try to change other people— 8 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 8 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 12:37 Marshall Yes, that’s a good point. Goldsmith Learn from bad experience, right? 12:40 Pam Brill Exactly. 12:41 Marshall Yes. Goldsmith A wise person learns from their mistakes. A much wiser person learns from someone else’s stupid mistakes. I’ve got 29 years of stupid mistakes, so might as well learn from mine. 12:50 Tom Floyd I like that. And Pam, a question that I would have for you, along the same lines, is from your perspective, why is coaching so hard for people? Why is it so shocking for individuals when they figure out, “Oh, my God. I’m going to have to put some work into this. I’m actually going to have to change”? 9 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 9 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 16:26 Pam Brill That’s such a good question, Tom, because change really is essential to coaching. And the person who has to change isn’t the coach, it’s the person being coached, the client. There’s no manual for it, and oftentimes, we ask people to change things that they think are just dandy, that are just fantastic. For instance, Marshall and I are working with someone who tended to report things in a lot of detail, and that was one of the things that he got feedback on. He said, “Okay. I’m going to work on being less detail-oriented.” And then when we asked him about a trip, he proceeded to tell us, with precision and utmost detail, about this trip. And when he was done, Marshall said, “That’s great, but you must never, never report things like that again.” His jaw kind of fell, and he realized he had done it. And later in a one-on-one, he shared with me that this was really difficult, that he was going to really have to change and become more self-aware. And I think it’s that understanding, that coaching is not easy. Even when I worked with athletes and sports teams, trying to teach someone to change the way they shoot a hockey puck, when they believe that this has brought them success, is very difficult. And yet, once they make that transition—and there’s a little dip in performance when they initially change, and then they soar, like Tiger Woods when he changed his swing—then they realize that, okay, this change thing isn’t so bad. Marshall, what do you think? 17:58 Marshall Again, I wrote an article about this called, It’s Not About the Coach. Goldsmith And I guess the biggest learning I’ve had in coaching over the past few years is don’t make it about the coach. And a lot of the literature in our field really indicates, well, people get better because the coach does this or the coach does that, with the implication that somehow, if you read a book you’re going to get better, or you hire a coach you’re going to get better. Well, no one gets better because they read a book or they hire a coach. That’s like taking out of shape people, listening to a speech on how to workout, and expecting you to be in shape. You’ve got to workout. 18:29 Tom Floyd I wish it was that easy. 10 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 10 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 18:30 Marshall Yes, right. Goldsmith The analogy is you’ve got to workout. And the leaders who are willing to work out get in shape, and the leaders that don’t work out don’t get in shape. We’ve got research—my friend Howard Morgan and I did a research study with 86,000 people. It was published in the Journal of Strategy in Business. And the research study was pretty obvious—by the way, if any of the listeners want it, just send me an e-mail at email@example.com. I’ll send it to you. Tom Floyd Fantastic. 18:53 Marshall The results are pretty obvious. Goldsmith It shows if people go to leadership development, talk to people about what they learn, follow up on a disciplined basis, and guess what? Get better. And shockingly, the people that go to leadership development and do absolutely nothing when they come back to work might as well be watching sitcoms. 19:10 Tom Floyd So it’s almost like with the inherent nature of coaching, it allows the best of the best to rise to the top, because it’s those people that are really going to try that care, that do want to change, that are going to be your best leaders anyway, and are going to be the folks who really do want to invest the time in what it’s going to take. 19:31 Marshall I’ve looked at a lot of studies about the effectiveness of coaching, and the results, so Goldsmith far, unless I’m missing something, are all pretty clear. The biggest payoff for coaching is not coaching people who are about to get fired. The biggest payoff for coaching is coaching high-potential leaders who are already successful, and trying to help them get better. 11 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 11 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 19:48 Tom Floyd Lots of head nodding on this end. What’s the percentage, from your perspectives, of someone who gets started that quits? Is that something you see frequently, on average, or not often? Do you have people who within a couple sessions are like “Screw this. I’m out of here”? 20:10 Marshall Not so much. Goldsmith Again, over the years, I’ve had it happen a couple times. Sometimes it’s just a bad fit, or sometimes maybe—in my case, I acted like an idiot. So who knows? But that doesn’t happen too much. It’s happened before, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve got no great fixation to work on everybody in the world on every topic, so every now and again, people have different needs. And I try not to judge anybody. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, I’d say, for me, about 90 percent of the people that get started stick with the plan. 20:42 Pam Brill I would give a similar percentage. And I think part of that is due to some screening at the start, really asking someone if they’re committed, if they want to go through this process, and outlining for them that they’re going to have to change, that it’s not about the coach, it’s about them and commitment to the process. I do remember working with one physician who was losing people from the O.R. Nobody wanted to be in the operating room with this doc. Tom Floyd Yikes. 21:15 Pam Brill His manner was so terrible. It was like one of those doctors on “E.R.” who yells at everybody. Tom Floyd Oh, yikes. 12 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 12 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 21:21 Pam Brill And you definitely didn’t want to be a patient on the table. He was losing a lot of staff, and so he was referred for coaching. And he seemed to be into it, but he wasn’t changing, so I essentially fired him from coaching. I said, “Look, the medical will put a lot of money into this, but it’s not worth your time; it’s not worth my time.” About six months later, he came back to coaching, but sadly, because he had an accident in the O.R., and someone had left with a surgically induced injury. Tom Floyd Oh, no. 21:55 Pam Brill That was a life-altering event for him, and he did change many beliefs and many behaviors, and became a truly stellar all-star at building teams and understanding the role of all of the players, that it wasn’t just him as the star. 22:15 Tom Floyd But it really took something of a very serious nature to kind of help propel him in that direction? 22:20 Pam Brill It did. 22:22 Tom Floyd Got it. Well, Pam, I know that your approach to coaching is unique compared to a lot of others’, particularly in your focus on really changing behavior. Can you speak a little bit more about that? 13 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 13 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 22:34 Pam Brill Well, I’ve learned a lot of that from Marshall, but also from being a psychologist. I started my career working street corners with juvenile offenders, and ended up working in corner offices with senior-level leaders. Much of my approach is really pretty simple. It’s about what does it take to get into that state that athletes call “the zone,” where you’re really engaged with the challenge at hand, rather than denying it, whether it’s a people problem or a profit problem? And what are some of the simple things that you can do that will create other changes? Marshall has always said to some clients, “Here are five things you could work on. Choose three.” And the client will wonder aloud, “Well, which ones should I choose”? And Marshall will say, “Well, if you change any one, chances are the others are going to change.” That’s pretty much how I work, that when people engage and they’re committed to changing something—changing how they relate to people, or changing their emphasis on details, or changing their micromanagement style—then there are ripple effects that, suddenly their negotiation skills are improving, or their ability make decisions is improving, or their ability to engage others. The approach is really pretty simple. It’s about identifying the behaviors and the beliefs that underlie those, and that’s where Marshall’s new book, about the things that we do that we believe make us successful but are really keeping us down in the ground level, is integral, too, to my thinking. So really identifying, what are the behaviors and the beliefs that are maybe outdated, that keep you doing the same old thing? And how can you engage yourself to see things in new ways and do new things? 24:24 Tom Floyd Was that really kind of the driving premise that made you want to put the book together, “The Winners Way”? 24:31 Pam Brill The driving premise was that I had been teaching athletes and sports coaches— because I really have coached coaches—about how to get into that state, individually and as a team—into that state for peak performance—how to push yourself, how to believe in yourself, how, for coaches to believe in their teams, because even in sports, a lot of coaches don’t believe in their teams. And my— 25:55 Tom Floyd That’s disappointing to hear. 14 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 14 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript --was 9/11. When September 11th happened, someone challenged me, “Well, are 24:56 Pam Brill you going to finally write that book”? And so I coached myself to really do it. 25:08 Tom Floyd It was more of an inspiration even? 25:11 Pam Brill It was, yes. 25:13 Tom Floyd Got it. One of the things I wanted to ask both of you about—because this is certainly an important topic for me because when I put my consultant hat on, I think of my own business, IEC, it’s one of the ways that I see coaching as one of many interventions that is really one puzzle piece within career development for a lot of people. And you hear and see a lot of the terms around talent development, and talent retention, and talent selection. Those definitely seem to be the buzzwords lately. From each of your perspectives, how do you see coaching fit within an organization’s overall talent development or talent management strategy? 25:59 Marshall I think it’s a very good adjunct to it. Goldsmith It’s not the whole strategy itself, but I think it’s a good supplement to the strategy in the right situations. In my case, the situation has to be—the issue has to be behavioral, because I certainly cannot fix strategic, or technical or functional issues; the person has to be very motivated to change; they have to be a high-potential leader; and they have to be given a fair chance. If those conditions exist, then coaching is great. If those conditions don’t exist, then coaching, at least from my perspective, is largely a waste of time. The other thing that I’m working on right now though, and am very excited about, is the concept of partner of peer coaching. We have two PhD students writing dissertations about this, and so far, it’s not published, but the results have been fantastic. Tom Floyd Interesting. 15 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 15 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 26:44 Marshall It’s something you can scale. Goldsmith And then everybody gets a coach, everybody has a coach; the results have been spectacular. GE did some work with Linda Sharkey, when she was there, on HR coaching. Their HR coaches worked with high-potential leaders and had just as good of results as external coaches, if not better. If you happen to read the article, send me an e-mail, and I’ll send you a copy of the GE case study they did with their internal peer coaches, which were fantastic. I think that the world of coaching is an increasingly coming field, but it shouldn’t just be executive coaches who are external coaches. I think a large part of the leadership development strategy could be internal coaches, could be HR coaches, and this new thing that I’m doing a lot of work on—my friend Andrew Thorn sort of turned me onto it—is peer coaching or partner coaching. I think those are all great opportunities. 27:34 Tom Floyd And, Pam, I’d like to turn to you for a few of these. The first question that I have is, when we say peer, we’re talking about people within an organization who are at the same level, and then actually coaching each other. Do they have to go through some type of training of education in doing this, or do you just kid of turn them loose? How does that work? 16 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 16 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 31:42 Pam Brill Well, yes, education and training is extraordinarily helpful. I’ve had people in organizations tell me that they were coaching or engaged in coaching conversations, and when they told me what they were doing, Tom, by jaw just hit the floor. There is a methodology. Marshall’s methodology around peer coaching is one that Linkage has been driving organization-wide, in a very large global organization, getting people of similar levels—I’m working with a very senior team—to partner with another person to engage in peer coaching, using the methodology of Linkage and Marshall combined, so engaging people to get motivated to change, asking the right questions, having the right kind of contacts, focusing on behaviors, having an open mind rather than judging, all types of skills that we teach them to engage in. And then, Linkage provides ongoing coaching for the coaches, so to speak. There are a variety of ways for getting trained up on this, and that’s one of Linkage’s strengths, is our coaching certification and the thought leader format that we do with Marshall around his coaching methodology. And in fact—Marshall mentioned research that he had done—at Linkage, we did a large-scale study of what do people consider to be coaching in organizations nowadays? I would be happy to forward those results onto people. They’ll get some eye-opening facts. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. But yes, I think it’s critical to get some kind of training, and to understand that there is a methodology to peer coaching that will enhance your results. 33:34 Tom Floyd Yes and forwarding information along would be fantastic. Another question that comes to mind for me—and I hear this. This actually came up at a—I was at the conference event in March, in Chicago, and I’ve heard this in a few sessions. It’s that, for some organizations, there’s a natural struggle for people to open up. Some people are seeing folks open up more to external coaches than they are internally. And when I think about the peer-to-peer relationship, are you finding that it’s difficult for peers to open up each other? Has confidentiality become an issue at all, in terms of things leaking out to other folks that probably should have been kept just between those two folks coaching each other? 17 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 17 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 34:21 Marshall Well, I think it depends on what you’d mean by peer coaching. Goldsmith Basically what we’re training people to do is not therapy. You know what I mean. Everybody suggests managers should be coaches. Well, they’re not doing therapy, and they’re certainly in the organization. When you and I say peer coaching, basically you’re facilitating a process, and your role is not seen as an expert; your role is seen as a facilitator. You’re facilitating someone else learning from everyone around them. In terms of confidentiality, it is a very interesting point. I don’t share any specific comments about anyone, but basically, the actual behavior that everyone I coach is working on is public knowledge in the company. They tell everybody what they’re trying to improve. This isn’t some deep secret. I think they should tell everybody what they’re trying to improve. And our research is clear, if you’re not going to publicly admit you have a problem, you’re not going to fix it. To me, there’s nothing wrong. I think one thing that’s gotten crazy in this field is people think there’s something wrong with somebody saying, “I need to get better at listening” or “I need to be a better listener.” What’s wrong with that? Most humans need to get better at something. I think it’s very healthy for people to stand up. And I’ve written examples of Michael Dell, who did this on videos; Steve Sanger, CEO of General Mills; George Borst, CEO of Toyota Financial Services. They all stand up publicly and say, “Look, I’m trying to get better. Here’s what I’m trying to improve. Let’s work on this.” That’s, to me, what leaders should all be doing. 35:43 Tom Floyd That actually builds upon a theme which came up last week in our show about sharing your vulnerabilities as a leader, and some folks feeling a natural hesitancy to do that, but really realizing that that’s actually helping in the long-term when folks do that 35:56 Marshall If they don’t want to do it, they’re not going to get any better. Do you know what I Goldsmith mean? So what if they’ve got a natural hesitancy to do it. Well, fine, don’t improve then. Do you know what I mean? Some people have a natural hesitancy to quit drinking, so they call them alcoholics. 18 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 18 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 36:11 Pam Brill Yes, yes. 36:12 Marshall In Alcoholics Anonymous, the first thing you’ve got to do is stand up and say, “I’m an Goldsmith alcoholic.” If you’re not going to stand up and say, “I’m an alcoholic,” you’re not going to get any better, right? Leaders are no different, right? So what, I’ve got a natural hesitancy to not listen. Well, fine, you’re not going to improve then. As long as you say that, you’re not going to improve. Tom Floyd Got it. 36:31 Pam Brill You know, that whole word, vulnerability, is so loaded, because when people do stand up and say, “Listen, I’m working on this,” they don’t feel or appear vulnerable. They present themselves in a strong stance that, “You know, when I get better at this, these other things will improve.” We work to build momentum and motivation to want to change, and then use the system of people who observe and can give you feedback on those things. So when you ask about confidentiality, I would say that, if anything, the peer dyads build more strength between them, a stronger bond, and that there isn’t any confidentiality really, because they’re working on very work-related, behaviorally types of things. If they do talk about other things between them, there becomes a relationship there in which there is a boundary. So that has not been a problem that I have observed. 37:33 Tom Floyd Okay. So really keeping it focused on the work at hand, the task at hand, and not therapy mode? 37:39 Marshall Yes. Goldsmith I have a peer coach, and I think it’s great. 37:41 Pam Brill Yes, yes. 19 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 19 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 37:43 Marshall I think it’s great, and the results have, so far, been very, very good. Goldsmith The other thing is one of the big problems in having mangers are coaches—see; every company’s hammering on the bosses to be coaches. Well, at the same time, they’re expanding the number of employees they manage. Some of them have 20 or 30 employees; they’re working 80 hours a week— 38:00 Tom Floyd They’re stretched thin. 38:01 Marshall When are they supposed to do all this coaching? Goldsmith Tom Floyd Exactly. 38:03 Marshall They haven’t got any time. Goldsmith Well, the nice thing about peer coaching is, guess what? You have to coach one person, and everybody gets one coach. Let’s say it’s not as good as an external coach, or not as good as your manager, if they had the time. Well, number one, you’re not going to afford an external coach anyway, right? It’s not apples to apples comparison. And number two, your manager’s—you’re going to get one-twentieth or one-thirtieth of your manager’s coaching time, and that’s it. I think a lot of times we get into what I’d call the compared to God problem. You say, “Well, gee, this is not as good as something else.” Well, that’s true, but something else is not really an alternative; it’s a better alternative than nothing. 38:39 Tom Floyd This goes along the line of thinking something is better than the nothing that they have today, and in some cases, correct? 38:47 Marshall Exactly. And again, one of the things I always try to do—I’m not going to help Goldsmith anybody get perfect anyway. Let’s just go for better here. Better is a good thing. None of us are going to be perfect. 20 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 20 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 38:58 Tom Floyd Can you both tell us a little bit about your Coaching Skills for Leaders Workshop? Are some of the things that we’ve covered so far some of the things that come up in that workshop as well? 39:12 Pam Brill Definitely. Many of the people who attend that workshop, and some of the other coaching workshops that Linkage puts on, are people who are internal, oftentimes, HR professionals, who have been tasked with coaching. And part of the biggest shift that occurs in the workshops—at least from my perspective—is that they move from seeing themselves as having to be experts to understanding that the role of coach is really one of facilitator. They move from seeing themselves as being responsible for the results of the coaching engagement to understanding that they want to engage the person being coached, but the person being coached is the one who’s really going to determine how much change is generated. Still beyond that, the reason I am proud to be part of the workshop with Marshall, and other Linkage coaching workshops, is that we do provide people who are learning how to coach with frameworks, with exercises for learning to understand what you bring and what you don’t bring to the table. We did one exercise that Marshall did with people about getting people fixated on a goal. And one person played a manager who was fixated on why a person had not gotten to some meetings. And the sales person—the person who played the sales person—was trying to explain to the manager that he or she had closed this amazing deal, but it just happened that every time they were going to leave this prospect’s site, someone would grab them and start these conversations that led to this multi-million dollar deal. Marshall pumped each side up, so that those mangers were just bulldog fixated on, “But you didn’t come to the meeting”and, “What’s wrong”? And at the end of the exercise, everybody realized that, in some instances, the manager had just about fired the people who had brought in this multi-million dollar deal. It helps the people who are studying to be coaches to learn that they bring their own blind spots to the challenge, just as I do, and that it’s important to learn how to recognize those and to get rid of them. 41:25 Tom Floyd Yes. My gosh, the ability for all of us to recognize our blind spots is quite a powerful thing. 21 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 21 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 41:32 Pam Brill Yes. 41:33 Tom Floyd Talk to me a little bit about—another think I know you cover in the workshop is helping people focus on creating a positive perception about long-term change. Can you speak a little bit more to that? 41:46 Marshall That’s a very good point because a question—see, I’m really big on follow up. Goldsmith And sometimes [unintelligible] the question, “Do leaders really get better, or are they merely perceived as getting better because they do all this follow up with [phonetic] their coworkers”? And the answer is it is much, much more difficult to change another person’s perception than it is to change our behavior. And by the way, the closer we are to another person, the less likely we are to believe that they’re ever going to change. Just basic cognitive dissonance theory, right? And what’s powerful about follow up— I gave an example of situation A, you’ve gotten some feedback that you make too many destructive comments about other people. I pick this example because it’s so simple. You think, well, to fix that it’s easy; I just making the destructive comments. Well, situation A, you go seven months, you don’t talk to anybody, you do no follow up, but you make no destructive comments. You’re still a human, so seven months later you say, “Oh, those stupid SOBs in finance, idiot bean counters,” your coworkers hear you, and their first reaction is you’ve never changed. 42:44 Tom Floyd He hasn’t changed. 42:45 Marshall Situation B, you talk to them, you follow up, they start reporting in you’re getting Goldsmith better. Guess what? They see you’ve changed. 22 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 22 Coaching Skills for Leaders: Facilitating Change in You and Your Employees Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 42:51 Tom Floyd Got it. For our listeners, an important thing to know, Marshall has a new book out, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” It’s been on the New York Times Best Seller list for several months now. One of the sections that I loved in your book was on the 20 habits, and I wanted to highlight a few of those in our conversation today. I wanted to start with the first one that you listed, which was winning too much. Can you speak a little bit more about how you see this exhibiting itself in leaders? 46:16 Marshall Winning too much is a classic problem of successful leaders. Goldsmith What it means is if it’s important, we want to win; meaningful, we want to win; critical, we want to win; trivial, we want to win; and not worth it, we like to win anyway. I give the case study of you want to go to dinner at restaurant X; your husband, wife or partner wants to go to dinner at restaurant Y. You have a heated argument. You go to restaurant Y. It was not your choice. The food tastes awful. The service is terrible. Option A is to critique the food, point out your partner was wrong; the mistake could have been avoided if they’d listen to me. Option B, shut up, eat the stupid food, enjoy it and have a nice evening. What would I do? What should I do? Seventy-five percent of my clients
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