Category Archives: Coaching
This past weekend, my wife Bonni, her parents, and I saw Tony Bennett perform at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
He is 88 years old and still performing regularly.
It’s not just his age that’s impressive. He’s had chart topping releases in each of his six decades of music (including his new Cheek to Cheek* album with Lady Gaga).
As adults we face a version of the marshmallow test nearly every waking minute of every day. We’re not tempted by sugary treats, but by our browser tabs, phones, tablets, and (soon) our watches—all the devices that connect us to the global delivery system for those blips of information that do to us what marshmallows do to preschoolers… Read the rest at HBR.
My first full-time job was with an education company. I oversaw both the instructional services that the kids in our program received as well as the business aspects of marketing to the community.
Since it was a membership program, we grew concerned when kids failed to show up for their after-school lessons. When a child missed lessons for a few days in a row, we reached out to their parents by phone.
Missed lessons were often a beginning sign of a bigger issue: the child struggling with the curriculum, the family having budgetary concerns, or simply a lack of commitment with the program. Either way, difficult conversations often emerged during these calls. So, I did what any reasonable person would do when they don’t want to do something.
The communication funnel is a concept I regularly discuss with coaching clients, most of whom are senior leaders in constant contact with their direct reports and/or managing virtual teams.
We prioritize immediacy and convenience in our communication, so we start with the fastest and easiest channels at our disposal–text, chat or email. But these channels lack bandwidth, so they’re poorly-suited to conveying nuance and complexity.
…comes from the wonderfully cantankerous early 20th century actor W.C. Fields:
I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.
We’re so quick to assume that if someone has an issue or a dispute or wants to pick a fight with us for some reason that we’re obligated to reciprocate. “We’ve been invited to an argument,” we say to ourselves, “and it would be rude to decline.”
We would do well to reconsider that logic.
Awhile back, I was having a chat with a client that I’ve always liked and respected. We got to talking about her career trajectory and she was telling me about the best manager she’d ever had.
Her first manager was someone who was kind, consistent, and most importantly, made time to coach her to be a more effective professional.
She mentioned being particularly impressed with the time he spent a few times a year to meet personally and provide her with some coaching. She was even more grateful for it now, since she had since worked for several other people in the industry and realized how rare it was for a manager to provide the kind of personal attention he did.