Written by Patricia Soldati

Meaningful work honorsrepparttar deepest part of your being. It isrepparttar 142892 embodiment of your gifts and talents and all that you value. Finding it in a safe, smart way requires these six steps:     1. Soul Searching. Your journey begins with some intriguing self-examination. This step goes beyond looking at your work experience and skills. You also consider your values, interests, and personality preferences. This can be done informally throughrepparttar 142893 use of specially-designed exercises or it can be done formally through professional assessment testing. Taken all together,repparttar 142894 soul-search phase allows you to come up with a comprehensive personal profile that will help you develop future work possibilities.   2. Identifying Options. The key word here is “options”…not “answers”. In this step, you use your profiling “clues” from Step 1 to brain- and heart-storm as many possibilities for future work as possible. This is one ofrepparttar 142895 most creative parts ofrepparttar 142896 change process – and best done with one or more friends or colleagues who have a broad view ofrepparttar 142897 business marketplace.   At about this point, it’s important to begin to create a compelling future vision for your work and life. The act of creating your vision is inspiring, and it can actually help to pull your career change journey forward.   3. Testing. Testing has three purposes. The obvious one is to avoid making a big mistake by jumping to a solution too fast. The not-so-obvious purposes are to network more deeply into an area that you think you might like to make a career of, and to learn as much as you can about it from an inside perspective rather than from afar. It is experimentation with a purpose – while you keep an open mind and heart.

The Power of Effective Coaching Skills

Written by Mark Wayland

The most valuable assets of a 20th century company were its production equipment. The most valuable assets of a 21st century organization … will be its knowledge, workers and their productivity. -Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker is a respected author and opinion leader (he inventedrepparttar process of “management by business objectives”) and I’m positive he would agree that one notable way to getrepparttar 142891 best performance from “workers” and maximize their “productivity” is through coaching; an interactive communication process between members of an organization aimed at exerting a positive influence on performance.

Is coaching developing some momentum? Atrepparttar 142892 2003 ASTD Conference, President Tina Sung spoke of coaching skills as being one ofrepparttar 142893 four emerging trends forrepparttar 142894 future. Type “coaching skills” into Google and you’ll find about 5 million entries. Graduate Schools of Management andrepparttar 142895 AIM run courses on it. Even my local suburban newspaper advertises coaching franchises. The AITD’s February meeting in Sydney featured Coaching and drew 85 participants. Who knows, we may soon be watching prime time TV and marvel at a cluster of coaches renovating a block of home units. Now that’s what you call acceptance!

Since coaching is something done with people, rather than to people, just how well prepared (both in skills and attitude) are managers to coach? Managers typically have an innate interpersonal technique, and so perhaps management’s perceived value of coaching can be indicated by how readily it’s being absorbed into business culture and put into practice.

Kate Farrelly reported inrepparttar 142896 Sydney Morning Herald (March 2003) that in “a study of 35,000 managers in Australia and New Zealand their leadership style is oriented towards fear of failure and denial of responsibility rather than pursuingrepparttar 142897 company’s goals and developing good staff relations.” The ASTD’s journal (T&D, March 2003) reports Mercer’s “Effective Management Practices Survey” that found “78% of employees surveyed said their managers routinely conduct annual performance reviews, (while only) 26% said managers routinely provide ongoing coaching and constructive performance feedback.” So, managers are either not coaching orrepparttar 142898 people they’re coaching don’t know when they are being coached! But this data indicates that coaching is one ofrepparttar 142899 most avoided of all leadership tasks.

So why in some managers is there a disconnect betweenrepparttar 142900 manager’s ability and/or willingness to coach and their drive to achieverepparttar 142901 organization’s goals?

Further to this disconnect, we need to makerepparttar 142902 distinction between “coaching skills” and “effective coaching”. Managers coach when they are willing and able to addressrepparttar 142903 effective and efficient performance of tasks. If coaching occurs within an obvious context of a shared vision, corporate objectives, organizational values and performance indicators then what’s achieved is effective coaching.

Finding solutions to this disconnect provides trainers with an opportunity to develop a role as a performance consultant - someone who has a primary role of improving productivity, first through analysis ofrepparttar 142904 cause ofrepparttar 142905 issue and then, designing appropriate behavior change programs. Start by understanding howrepparttar 142906 managers think. What they do and don’t react to and where their focus is aimed when it comes to people. Stop using “training language” and start using “management language” to improve understanding. Find out what business processes and outcomes managers measure in order to determine productivity and profitability. From a selfish perspective, being an advocate for coaching and being able to communicate this business case for coaching places you in a position of higher value withinrepparttar 142907 organization. You show yourself as someone who is on a similar wavelength asrepparttar 142908 managers in helping driverepparttar 142909 business.

Some managers confuse coaching with simply giving advice. As Gore Vidal said, “There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.” The reality is often that, as Gordon Dickson noted, “some people like my advice so much that they frame it uponrepparttar 142910 wall instead of using it.” So, what is another alternative, a more effective approach?

There is an increasing need to improve involvement and engagement of all employees to achieve business outcomes. Managers are continually asked to improve productivity without additional resources. One option is to enhance behavior and performance through interactive communication and influence, such as coaching. Managers need to invite employees to participate as partners, develop trusting relationships and combine everyone’s best efforts into creating business solutions. Managers also need to use their coaching skills with people within (who don’t necessarily report to them) and outside their organization.

Typical business performance indicators include productivity, employee turnover, profitability and customer satisfaction. The Gallup Organization published a study that examinedrepparttar 142911 relationship between employee perceptions and these performance indicators (Curt Coffman and Jim Harter, 1999). The study found that,

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