Kit Prendergast, PCCKit brings you a wealth of expertise and experience as well as a wonderful spirit, energy, and a gift for inspiring you to create the life you truly want for yourself.
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Tag Archives: coaching
TEDTalk. “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders,” Sheryl Sandberg, 2010.
I’ve watched this first TEDTalk by Sheryl Sandberg several times and always enjoy learning something new. Sandberg is such an inspiration because she is talking about what many of us professional women have been experiencing for years – external gender cultural barriers and internal self-imposed barriers that continually impact us – often very subtly – as we move through our professional careers.
As COO of Facebook and past Google executive, Sandberg speaks from a wealth of experience both personally and professionally on these issues. She reminds us that no one ever got to a leadership position by sitting on the sidelines – and women often do.
So how do we shift these barriers? In this TED Talk, Sandberg gives us three powerful pieces of advice to get started. First, we must always “sit at the table”. Second, we need to make our partners our “full partners” at home and at work. Third, we need to be careful to not “leave before we leave”. Want to know more? Check out Sandberg’s TedTalk – it already has 5.952,700 views!
Posted in Kit's Resources & Book Reviews Tagged Career, coaching, Leadership, millenials, Multigenerational, training Leave a comment
What 5 Qualities to Embrace as a Leader
How is leadership developed? Does it come about just naturally or is it a learned set of skills? Or maybe a combination? I love to work with emerging leaders as well as those who have served as leaders over time.
And this is what I have learned . . . great leaders have a wonderful capacity to visualize what “can be” rather than just focus on what “has been”. Great leaders have a gift of being able to inspire and engage others to commit themselves to meaningful work that makes a difference in people’s lives. Great leaders are committed to listening deeply to what is important to others, giving them a voice and a seat at the table to contribute their ideas, talents and strengths.
Have you ever worked with a great leader? We don’t often get that chance but when we do we don’t forget what that experience was like. It meant a lot at the time because we felt recognized, appreciated and honored for the unique value we could bring to the company, project or organization. We simply worked our heart and souls out for those great leaders.
These are five of those best qualities for you to integrate into your own leadership growth.
- Visualize the Bigger Mission & Purpose
- Inspire & Engage Others
- Listen & Communicate Effectively
- Recognize and Leverage Strengths
- Demonstrate an Authentic Commitment to Team/Consensus
How to Begin Asking Powerful Questions
What is your favorite question to be asked? What question or questions can someone ask you that engage you right away in a meaningful conversation? And what signals do you pick up that tell you this individual is genuinely interested in you?
It’s a gift when someone is truly curious about us and interested in learning about what we think. And it’s even more unusual for someone to be willing to listen deeply to what we have to say without interrupting with their own agenda or opinions. When we feel “safe” in those conversations we can relax and be ourselves. And just as importantly, we can share our own wisdom freely.
As leaders in today’s rapidly changing world, we all need the very best of everyone at the table. We can’t afford to ignore or minimize the strengths of those we work with simply because we don’t know how to ask the right questions at the right time. But how do we know what to ask and when?
Here’s how to start . . .
First, know that people are naturally “resourceful and whole”. This is a core belief of coaching and challenges us as leaders to create safe conversations for others to bring their best ideas, energy and focus to mutually desired outcomes.
Second, step into your curiosity. Be quiet, mindful and simply curious. Start the conversation off with a “What” question or a “How” question. Avoid “Why” questions because they often have the unintended result of creating defensive feelings. Examples of questions are:
- “What have you already been thinking of?”
- “What would that look like?”
- “How will you know you/we are successful?”
- “What is the opportunity/challenge here?”
- “What is your professional assessment/recommendation?”
Third, listen deeply without interrupting, especially if the other person is more introverted. These questions are some of my favorite.
- “What else?”
- “What is the part that isn’t yet clear?”
- “What other resources/planning do you need?”
- “What is getting in the way of your success/movement ahead?”
Finally, ask several questions directed to action steps and accountability. That’s the easy part for leaders who are strong problem solvers. Remember to stay curious and ask how they want to move forward. Listen for their wisdom – that’s why you hired them!
Posted in Kit's Tips Tagged coaching, communication, Emotional Intelligence, energy, Multigenerational, Talent Development, teams, training Leave a comment
Finding Meaning Is Key to Engagement
It’s not surprising. . when we find meaning and purpose in our daily work we are significantly more engaged. Think about it. When are you the happiest? Feel the most excited, passionate, and energetic and focused? It’s when you see the deeper reason and benefit to your efforts.
And as leaders committed to inspiring and guiding others, we know that we can create that authentic meaning at work and when we do so, we tap into the key to full engagement.
As Tom Rath describes in Are You Fully Charged?, creating meaning in our work evolves over time rather than just falling in our lap. It’s the culmination of small actions that result in people becoming more energetic, optimistic, creative and flexible. It is a commitment to a deeper purpose that brings out the best of what each of us has to offer. But how do we as leaders do that?
Here are three questions that I ask and encourage my coaching clients to consider each day. You may also find them helpful and could modify them to work in your own unique work setting.
- Ask yourself each morning: “What will I do today that will make a positive difference in someone else’s life?” Set that intention, follow-through and then observe what happens for you. It’s almost always a sense of increased well-being.
- Ask yourself: “How does my daily work provide positive benefit to others, or doesn’t? Is there a way I could change it up to be more impactful? What would that greater positive ripple effect look like?” Have the courage to make those small changes.
- Ask yourself: “From what perspective or lenses do I see my world each day? Is it from an abundance or scarcity perspective?” This has an enormous effect in your own sense of well-being as well as your ability to be fully engaged in meaningful work.
Let me know how these three questions and resulting actions work for you. I’ll be doing the same – and even picking up the pace as we speak!
Posted in Career Tips & Strategies, Kit's Tips Tagged Brain Science, Career, coaching, energy, Leadership, Positive Psychology, strengths, Visioning Leave a comment
You Are Strong! What Your Hands, Head and Heart Already Know
How do you help someone else recognize their own strengths? Their own potential? To believe in themselves and their future when the odds are against them?
This was the challenge when our team of Global Volunteers was asked to design and deliver a motivational workshop for the teenage boys aging out of their orphanage in Lima, Peru. They had lived there for years and now they would be on their own in just a few short months.
Would they recognize their unique strengths and be able to use those assets to achieve the future they wanted for themselves? How could we help set them up for success, and do it in a second language, with limited training supplies and in just 45 minutes?
It was actually the boys talking about their passion for soccer that sparked the idea of using a simple picture of a hand, a head and a heart to capture their individual strengths. Our goal was to have each young man recognize and appreciate his own foundation of unique strength.
Here’s how we did it in five simple steps – so simple but so powerful – and you can do the same with any young person in any life circumstance.
- Start with a large piece of white paper for each teen and several colored pencils. In the left bottom corner, ask them to outline their hand with outstretched fingers. On each finger, ask them to write a skill or strength that they have with their hands. (For example: soccer, art/drawing, cooking, electrical repair, wood working, etc.)
- Next, ask them to draw a picture of their face or head in the upper middle page. Ask them to write down their “head” strengths, usually from their schooling (math, writing, music, etc.)
- Finally, ask them to draw a picture of their heart in the lower right corner of the page. Here they write their “heart” strengths like courage, persistence, faith, etc.
- Connect the three pictures (hand, head & heart) with a triangle and ask them to write “Soy Fuerte” or “I Am Strong” in the center.
- From here, you can flip the paper over and help them identify their future or dream jobs and finally, what resources they will need to use to achieve those goals.
Did it work? Yes! Very Well.
It was amazing to see how quickly the teenage boys grasped these concepts of interpersonal strengths and were able to apply them directly to their future. We were amazed and so inspired by their courage and spirit. Thank you boys for allowing us to be part of your journey!