Coaching and mentoring

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The Leadership Qualities of Positivity and Optimism

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Some time ago I was coaching a very senior director in Russia and about a year after we began, their company invited a well-known international consultancy to conduct a leadership potential assessment on the top fifty or so executives, of which they were one. Although we recognized some of the findings from the results of the questionnaire, there was one …

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Identifying quick wins

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One of the executives I am coaching in Russia has recently helped set up a new department on Sustainable Development. This is a new area for him (his background is commercial) and also for the chemical company for which he works. Consequently there are many different ideas from many people in the company about the types of ‘sustainable development’ projects …

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GAPS

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I wrote in my introduction to this series of blogs about them ‘containing my ideas, thoughts, observations and helpful tools, based on my experience’. GAPS is one of those incredibly helpful tools. In the late 90s and early-to-mid Noughties when I was at Shell, I did a lot of work with the PDI consultancy, Personnel Decisions International. We were introducing …

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External or Internal Executive Coaching?

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It seems that at almost every Russian or Kazakh company for which I work, I end up helping them design their Executive Coaching programme and process. I am of course more than happy to help. It’s pleasing to see Executive Coaching becoming more acceptable and mainstream, in itself a relatively new development in this part of the world. Nevertheless all …

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Development activities: a guide for individuals and their managers

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I shouldn’t still be surprised, I know, but the number of line managers I continue to meet in different companies and different countries, who still only think about formal training courses for the development of their staff, (or even the individuals themselves who suggest they should follow a training course, usually in a nice location), remains almost as high as …

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70-20-10

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Having worked with CCL (Center for Creative Leadership) in both Russia and Kazakhstan, who were the originators of the 70-20-10 meme for corporate learning & development many years ago (sometimes written 70/20/10 or even 70:20:10), and also being a researcher by training, it isn’t difficult to find out what the 70-20-10 originally meant and was based upon. Because I believe …

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Talent Magnet

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I was having lunch with somebody who used to work for me in Kazakhstan and who had recently left to join an international consulting firm. In fact I had hired him and seen him grow and develop so that he was actually heading up our HR Consultancy team before he left. A talented and modest young Kazakh man. A promising …

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Left hand column

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I have written previously about the Ladder of Inference, one of my favourite tools for promoting productive conversations. https://valshebnik.com/blog/the-ladder-of-inference/ This helps us understand why we jump to conclusions, rightly or wrongly, and gives us a technique to explain our own thinking or to get others to explain their thinking to us. Another tool I learned at the same time twenty …

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The Power of Silence

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I’ve been recently conducting some focus groups for my Russian clients. Finding out what I already know: that Russians in general are not a very mobile workforce, and in this case do not necessarily want to move from their larger city place of work to a much smaller location in Siberia. I’ve been doing this together with one of the …

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The Ladder of Inference

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One of my favourite tools for promoting productive conversations in teams is the Ladder of Inference. I first came across it more than twenty years ago when we were trying to change our ways of working in a huge global reorganisation and transformation. The phrase was coined and the concept developed by the great Chris Argyris. It explains why we …

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