Tag Archives: management

You Are Strong! What Your Hands, Head and Heart Already Know

soy fuerte workshop-1 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.

soy fuerte workshop-2Here’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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. Connect the three pictures (hand, head & heart) with a triangle and ask them to write “Soy Fuerte” or “I Am Strong” in the center.
  5. 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!

Posted in Global Training & Coaching, Inspirational Leadership, Kit's Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen R. Covey, Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Covey’s timeless book “7 Habits” is still the best of the best in helping all of us develop our personal and professional effectiveness in every aspect of our lives. But in improving our communication skills Habit #5 “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood” says it all. It captures the essence of what I’m saying regarding the pitfalls of making hasty and often inaccurate assumptions when working with others.

So go pull out your own copy (everyone has at least one well worn copy) and flip open to page 236. Or ask your bookstore about the new edition coming out in November! Covey challenges us to listen (and therefore connect) to others on a deeper level before making assumptions that often get in the way of healthy communication.

Posted in Kit's Resources & Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Team Coaching

As a leader in your organization, you are tasked with bringing out the best of your employees for the productivity of your company. Sounds easy but it’s tougher than it looks especially in these economic times when everyone feels stretched. But it can be done both with your direct individual reports but also your project teams or department staff.

Lifting Together Makes the Difference 

Here’s how . . . use a strengths based coaching approach with powerful questions. One piece of the executive coaching program that I offer is an intensive hands-on training and practice on how to use basic coaching skills to engage and motivate employees.  We start with individual one-on-one practice with employees doing their annual reviews or wanting to take their careers to that next level within the company.  Coaching may also be appropriate for employees struggling with performance expectations, communication problems or interpersonal conflicts with their colleagues.

With this practice behind them, leaders move to a more complicated coaching challenge – working with their designated teams around specific outcomes.  There are more moving parts including difference in personalities and communication styles that can make leading a team successfully much more challenging.

You Don’t Have to Do All the Work 

But here’s the trick . . . know and use the same coaching philosophy, collaborative approach and basic powerful questions that work so well with individuals and just expand them for the larger group.  Listen closely and concentrate on giving your team the space and support to contribute their ideas and strengths.

You don’t have to say much in the beginning – just get out of their way and let them do what you hired them to do.  Acknowledge their wisdom with the result that you may be pleasantly surprised that with a coaching approach you’ve opened up a wealth of possibilities, creative thinking and some excellent options. And you didn’t have to do all the work!

It’s a very fast paced competitive work world. Just like this great picture of the Army moving the Red Cross tent in the pouring rain.  Everyone needs to contribute their best strength, lift together and move forward to the designated goal or vision. It can work really well with the right kind of leadership – do you have what it takes?


Posted in Career Tips & Strategies, Communication Tips, Emotional Intelligence, Inspirational Leadership, Navigating Change | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Ways to Minimize Multi-Tasking

The summer is winding down, kids are back in school and the fall work projects are ramping up. It’s so tempting to get over over committed this time of year. Doesn’t that sound familiar! But we quickly regret saying yes to so many requests – our plates are overfilled and tipping over. So we just work harder and “multi-task” even faster. But is that really effective? Many times it is not.

Downsize of Multi-Tasking

The research (and our own observation) confirm that we simply can’t do several things at once and do them well. Do you know that it takes between 9-15 minutes to refocus when you have been interruped from a task. So while you’re trying to get back to where you were you are losing valuable time and energy. We can feel our stress level going up because we’re not getting anything done well – and we’re making mistakes – silly, stupid mistakes that take even more time to fix. And it leaves us with a feeling at the end of the day “I didn’t get anything important done today.”

Beach ChairReduce Your Multi-Tasking

Resist the temptation to multi-task by practicing on concentrating on one thing at a time. Select what is most important (to your business, to your job, to your boss) and make a personal commitment to be the best that you can be by being present in the moment. Stay focused until you get the job done. Sounds simple but it’s actually takes practice, practice and more practice. Especially when you’re getting pressured to do several things at once – being pulled into other people’s urgent requests. But by managing your time and energy effectively you are doing what you’ve been hired to do. But it’s tough to resist the temptation to start juggling tasks. But this has several things that have worked for me . . .

  1. “Chuck” your time by setting aside a block of time to concentrate on one task at a time.
  2. Resist reading your email early in the morning because it pulls you away into multiple directions – many relatively unimportant.
  3. Be more realistic about how much time a task will really take and build in some extra time as well.
  4. Close your eyes when talking on the phone so that you can really concentrate.
  5. Take at least three things off your list today to minimize feeling fragmented.

So think about it . . . are you ready to resist the popular notion that multi-tasking is the way to go? If so, try these tips to see how they work for you. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Posted in And a Bit More, Inspirational Leadership, Navigating Change, Personal Development, Your Time & Energy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment