I said the wrong thing

This week’s experience of what could be counted as ‘saying the wrong thing’ gained alot of interest in my weekly newsletter. Have a read and see what you think. And if you want to subscribe to get this kind of content each week, the link’s at the bottom.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind read more

Just, Trust.

My kids are going to be part of a flu immunisation trial in Leicestershire. We got the forms home, I filled them in, ticked yes for them to be in the trial, and sent them back. It made me think…..what if we lived in a country where we couldn’t trust our health provider. How much extra work would it have taken for me to decide whether this was a good idea or not? I’d have thoroughly read the information leaflet. I’d have been talking to my doctor friends and family. I’d have been searching online. And then I’d have been doing the form-filling and box-ticking.

A lot more time and effort would have been involved.

I got to thinking about the low trust environments we have at work.
—-Managers don’t trust their teams to do a good job so watch over them, inhibiting their self belief.
—-Employees worry about the impact on their performance rating and hide mistakes – which leads to more problems elsewhere for someone else.
—-When someone’s off sick it’s assumed they’re lying – and then there’s the form=filling-for-the-file when the person comes back because, well, we can’t trust that it won’t come back to us if they complain we didn’t do the right thing by them on their return. And we don’t trust they won’t go off again and that time we’d want to start to move them through the absence management process.
—-If you use a forced ranking performance distribution, employees find it harder to trust each other because ‘if I do & tell them stuff they might beat me to a better rating’.
—-People don’t tell each other the full story – knowledge is still seen as power – so poor decisions and outcomes result.
—-People spend more energy defending and protecting than achieving.
—-People spend more time ‘checking-what-I’ve-been-told/given’ rather than just ‘getting-on-and-doing’.

What a place to be!

Today at the CIPD MAP event, Julie French talked about the use of Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of Team (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Leadership/dp/0787960756) to create great teams who are better able to deal with change.

5 Dysfunctions

At the base of that triangle is TRUST. Nothing you do will be as good as it can be without real, total, absolute trust among team members. And, in fact, I believe that even beneath trust – or perhaps alongside it – must come SAFETY. Trust requires open vulnerability about what’s not gone so well for us, about how we’re not so perfect. But to open up in that way requires either COURAGE or SAFETY. For the latter, people must believe that there is empathy and reliability around them. They must believe that when they share their vulnerability they’ll be listened to, not laughed at, not criticised.

Without total trust, yes you can get by. Yes you can deliver something. But it will probably be hard going. You’ll probably do alot of compensating stuff. And it will probably drain your energy.

So how’s the trust in your team – not just the team you manage but with your peers.
Think of each person. How would you rate your level of trust in them. 1 = no trust. 5 = full trust.
Are your ratings good enough?
What will you choose to do to change these ratings?
Whose support do you need?

I believe in people being the key to success in a business and that success is unlocked by great bosses. I’m an Executive Coach for SME businesses to help create success for them, for their team, for their business.

Get in touch if you want this for your business – helen.amery@wildfigsolutions.co.uk
or take a look at my website to find out more http://www.wildfigsolutions.co.uk

#CIPDCoach14 – Roundup from me

HelenMichelleSelfiI really care about coaching cultures becoming the way we do things in Britain – I’ve experienced coaching from both sides of the table and the impact is just huge. The difference it can make to individuals, and therefore the organisation, is the reason I set up my own business.

So I feel privileged to have been tweeting and blogging for the CIPD today at their Coaching Conference 2014 and to hear some of the fantastic stuff that’s going on!

Michelle Parry-Slater and I were there to capture the back channel action on #cipdcoach14 so take a look to see some of the insights on there.

And I’ve been doing some live blogging from the sessions which I’ve rounded up in here.

IcebucketBut before that, hats off to the CIPD who’ve listened to the feedback from the same event last year – the speakers were a major step on from 2013 and there was even some interaction (http://wp.me/p45I4E-fE)! It was also loads better to keep everyone together for the whole day. Last year I think people had a sense of FOMO with what might have been going on in the other stream of sessions!

So if you want to see my posts from each of the sessions you can see a bunch of stuff from the corporate approach to embedding an internal coaching or mentoring approach from –
News UK – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fw
Visa – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fI
BBC – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fL

You can see what’s going on in an adult-to-adult self-managed learning approach from –
Ikea – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fB

And then there were the exciting, innovative approaches other organisations are taking to push the boundaries of what we believe to be ‘the way these things are done’ –
Freebridge – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fm
Cisco – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fU

All underpinned by a strong message from Frank Dick OBE about coaches needing to have the winning mindset, positive attitude and desire to be challenged in the same way they expect of their clients –
Frank Dick – http://wp.me/p45I4E-fp


My favourite sessions by far (which you might have already guessed!) were those from Cisco and Freebridge. They’re taking approaches that exist, and new ones that maybe don’t, and making them fit THEIR business, THEIR context in a way that works FOR THEM. They’re not following the pack. They’re not doing the ‘best practice’ thing. And they’re getting great results! This takes bravery. It takes support from the very top of the organisation. It takes commitment to see this stuff through and not move quickly onto the next shiny thing.

But I also admire Ikea for their adult approach to learning. How many organisations continue to push people into learning to tick a box or to do an easy sheep-dip? ‘We’re doing this new sparkly learning programme and we want all people in X job to do it’. What will they gain from this? What will you gain from this? What if a coaching approach from managers removed the need for much of the sheep-dip because those conversations would enable the learner to think for themselves and find the stuff they need to develop to meet their goals for themselves.

So there really is great stuff going on, but something that interests me and which I believe in being needed for this stuff to really stick, is the strategic approach. Although Freebridge hinted at it (and I appreciate they have a limited number of minutes to speak so there may be more of this to hear about) but nobody really talked about how they were thinking about coaching form a strategic HR, helicopter view. helicopter-clipart-ncX8zrpcB

Maybe it was the wrong audience for that?  I don’t know.  But either way, it’s something important to me….and means asking –
What’s the culture we want round here?
What are the attitudes and ways of being we need from people to achieve that?
How do we want people to feel? And what would make that true?

And so….
Yes we’ve heard today about what that means for how you might develop people – the coaches, the mentors, the line managers.

What does that mean for how we recruit people?
What does that mean for how we have performance conversations?
What does that mean for our reward structure?
What does that mean for our succession planning?
What does that mean for communications across the organisation – consistently & ongoing?
What does that mean for absence – or even better, healthy living – conversations?

I’m not saying you need to have all the answers to all of this when you set out. All you really need is clarity of what you’re trying to create. Clarity in the kind of place you want this to be. And clarity that everything you do that involves people will have a touch-point with creating that culture. If you – if everyone – has this clarity then the other stuff will follow with time – as long as the coaching culture is starting to take hold. Freebridge gave a taster of this with the fact their coaches are now taking this stuff and running with it. I wonder what else they can achieve.

So what does this mean for you?
Where will you start?
What’s the next step you’re going to take on your journey?

If you’re interested in thinking about what this could all mean for your organisation, I’d love to explore it with you, so give me a call (07718 316 616) or drop me a note (helen.amery@wildfigsolutions.co.uk).

Photo credits –