Looking for Work is Tough

Do you think this kind of service would be useful? Have you got examples of when this kind of personal/life coaching support might be something you would have chosen?

Looking for Work is Tough

Looking for work is tough. Job Search means you are in a process of change. And all change comes with some degree of pain. Even changes for the better come with some degree of loss – something gets left behind. 

Looking for work is tough. Even if you are looking while you are employed you will have doubts and uncertainties. You will need confidence. It is tough at any level and at any stage in your career. But in some ways I think it gets tougher as you move further up the professional or management hierarchy. The reputational risk is higher. You have more to lose even though you usually gain confidence as you rise. I provide life coaching as well as career coaching to my clients and I know that helps them be more successful in job search.

For most of us changing roles has implications for those close to us.

You may have the opportunity to earn more but perhaps the family will have to cope with you travelling a lot more and/or working longer hours. Some families may feel the extra money doesn’t make up for losing you. But how do you reconcile their wishes with your own professional ambitions and the kind of work you always dreamed of doing?

And then, of course, circumstances can change. Suppose someone close to you suddenly becomes much more dependent on you.? Say they develop a long-term illness. Yes, you can now pay for their physical needs to be met. But how do you now make time to meet their need for emotional support?

I’ve been thinking about what all this that means for me as a coach and kind of work I do. And I believe life coaching combined with career coaching can help you, as a client, deal with the kind of situations I describe above. If you want to get the best outcome for changes in your life, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link

Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time

Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time

What’s the secret of becoming a better boss? Wally Bock, Author, Blogger and Writing Coach has been writing great pieces on management for quite a while. He knows the answer to my question. And that’s why he has written a new book, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.

Questions and Answers for author, Wally Bock

Q: Tell me about your new book, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time? one tip at a time

A: This book has 347 tips for how to do a better job as a boss. They’re simple and they’re field-tested.

Q: Who is this book meant for? 

A: This book is specifically for men and women who are responsible for the care and performance of a group. Sometimes that’s a permanent position with a title like “Team Leader” or “Supervisor” or “Crew Chief” or “Manager.” Sometimes it’s a temporary situation like a project manager. If you’ve got the job, this book is for you.

Q: Why do you use the term “boss?” Many people don’t like that term. 

A: I define a boss as a person who is responsible for the care and performance of a group. There are lots of people who exercise leadership without position, but the boss has the position and therefore no place to hide. He or she is responsible all the time and in every situation.

Q: What about people who aspire to leadership? Should they buy the book?

Probably not. This is for folks who’ve got the job. I think there’s valuable stuff here for anyone, especially on personal development and difficult conversations, but I wrote it for working bosses.

Q: Ok, then, what about top management? Can a C-Suite executive get something from this book? 

I give that a qualified “yes.” Most people who’ve climbed up the org chart have developed their own pet ways of doing things. So, they might use the book as a refresher on the basics. They might also find that some of the tips challenge their usual way of doing business. That can help them rethink some of the things they do.

Q: What’s in the book? 

A: There’s an introduction that summaries what I’ve learned about being an effective boss over the decades I’ve been practising, researching, teaching, and coaching. It should take about five minutes to read.

There are 347 total tips. Twenty-eight of them are about personal development. Eighteen are for specific situations. The rest are about everything else a boss does, things like making meetings more effective, working with your boss, having performance conversations, problem solving, and more.

This is all field-tested stuff. I’ve learned from studying working bosses and picking up ideas. I’ve tried them out. I’ve suggested them to other bosses and gotten feedback and some of those bosses told me about things that worked for them.

Q: Why tips? 

A: I think that development is about getting a little bit better every day. Tips make that easy. You can pick something to work on today and something else tomorrow. Or you can zero in on a subject, like better performance management, and use tips to guide your learning. If you’re in a tight spot, you can get some ideas that may help. And, certainly, if you’re participating in a training program or getting some coaching, you can use some tips to make that experience more potent.

Q: How do you hope people use Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time? 

A: I can think of several ways. They can use the index and search function to find tips for a specific situation they’re facing. They can look at a different tip every day or pick a tip or group of tips to work on for a week or a month. They can browse the tips and pick something to try. I know one thing for sure. Readers will figure out ways to use this book that I can’t imagine.  The bottom line for me is that if you’re serious about doing a better job as a boss, this book should help.

Q: How can readers get a copy of Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time? 

A: Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time costs $9.99 (that’s less than 3 cents per tip). There are two bonuses that you get free. One is a Forms Packet with several forms that will help you sort out problems, keep records, and improve your performance conversations with teammates. And, I love this, there’s a collection of tips from Leadership Experts including you, Wendy Smith. There’s more than twenty of them, and you won’t find the collection anywhere else.

You can find Wally’s book here;

http://www.threestarleadership.com/about-three-star-leadership/become-a-better-boss-one-tip-at-a-time

 

Project specification – make it precise

Project specification – make it precise

The project specification is key to your assignment’s success. This will provide your terms of reference. If you are going to succeed it needs to be an accurate project specificationdescription of what the project aims to achieve. It should set out the criteria for success and how much flexibility you will have in how you achieve it. Your specification should include parameters forthe project; scope, range, outputs, sources, participants, budgets and timescales. Be careful when considering timescales.

Usually you will consult those with an interest in the project. You will agree the project specification with the project sponsor, or whoever is accountable for your assignment. The specification may involve several drafts before it is agreed.  But a clear specification is essential. It provides the measure to which you will be held accountable. The specification is important for potential reviewers so they can assess how the project is going.

A terms of reference framework helps to keep the project on track. It protects the project manager from being held to account for issues that are outside the scope or beyond their control.

Drafting the specification means any special conditions or exceptions can be agreed with those in charge. Once the specification is finalised you have created a very firm set of expectations by which you will be judged. So, if you have any concerns discuss them while the specification is being drafted.

It takes time to produce and agree a complex project’s terms of reference. Simple tasks and projects won’t take long to think through and consult about! But even for simple tasks, getting clear what is expected is important.

A project specification template

This is what a project specification could include:

  • A description of the purpose, aims and “deliverables” agreed for the assignment.
  • A clear statement of timescales, budgets, scope, any agreed constraints and to whom you will be accountable.
  • Who is involved and the way the team will work together. For example, frequency of meetings and the decision-making process.
  • Established ‘break-points’ at which to review and check progress, and how progress and results will be measured.

Make sure you and the person in charge have the same understanding of the specification and what it actually means. You would be surprised how often there can be confusion.

If you need help please get in touch.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Coaching Online and Phone Coaching – Advantages and Disadvantages

I was asked recently about providing coaching services on line and I thought you might be interested to read my answers

Coaching Online and Phone Coaching – Advantages and Disadvantages

Wendy Smith is a Career and Life Coach who has run a successful online coaching practice for some years.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Coaching online and phone coaching have advantages but also some disadvantages. I was asked a little while ago about providing coaching online and phone coaching. So, I thought you might be interested to read my answers

Interviewer: How do you communicate with clients online? What are the strengths and limitations of each approach?

Wendy: I use three different ways of communicating with clients on line. So, I use phone/skype, email and instant messaging.

Phone or Skype

The strengths of phone coaching (or by Skype) include convenience and comfort for the client. They are able to receive coaching where, and usually when, they choose.  For most, this will be at home or somewhere else familiar to them. So, they do not have to add travel to a coaching location at the end of a busy working day. Also it means I’m happy to coach them much later in the evening or at weekends. Phone (or Skype with the camera switched off)  is often easier for clients who feel shy and exposed when sharing intimate feelings.

I’ve been working with clients by phone and Skype for several years now. That means that I am very much attuned to nuances of voice and other sound clues. It takes a lot of practice to work with clients, particularly new ones, without visual clues. I do occasionally work through Skype with the camera switched on, of course. Working with voice only, it is really important to build up trust and the relationship quickly. For me, much of that depends upon authenticity.

Email

The major disadvantage of email is that it is asynchronous. It can take time to get a reply.  With email (and text) both coach and client need to agree when replies can be expected. Also, how privacy will be managed. The initial relationship can be much harder to establish. It requires patience from both coach and client.  As well as being able to choose the location and time for the exchange, there is another a major advantage for email. Both the client and the coach have a record they can refer to. Plus you can take time to reflect on what you want to write and the answer given.

Instant Messaging and Text

Communicating by instant message is quick.  Again, the client can choose the location they write from. But, there can be issues of privacy if other people have access to the same computer or phone. Often, I use text with established clients to deal with issues that might arise between session. It is really hard to get a clear picture of the issues this way with a new client. It isn’t my method of choice.

Recently in my own coaching practice, the phone and Skype have been my main methods of communicating with clients.  I usually combine this with email between sessions. Plus I use a little instant messaging and texting as I’ve described above.

Interviewer:  In your opinion, what elements need to be in place in order to create a coaching relationship online or by phone? In what ways does this differ from face-to-face coaching?

Trust

Wendy: Coaching online or off requires an agreement between the coach and client about the service to be provided. And, for online coaching this is a priority. Both coach and client need the right environment in which to work! They need privacy and the opportunity to develop trust. This is in the medium as well as in each other.

Both client and coach need to be comfortable. And they need know that they will not interrupted. This can be difficult with a computer on the kitchen table. The coach and client both need to know they cannot be overlooked or over-heard. The equipment used needs to be reliable with good security cover.

Agreement

With phone coaching, you need to agree not only what time you will ring but also who calls whom and on what number. Before beginning a conversation, a coach needs to move very quickly into active listening. The success of this kind of coaching is all about careful and sensitive listening.

In using email, there needs to be clear agreement about turnaround times. The client needs to understand that messages can sometimes go astray. Special arrangements need to be made for the coach’s absence. For example, when the coach goes on holiday.

With instant messaging and text, the use of language needs particular care. Language is important – for example when working with young clients. The coach may have to learn a whole new language, particularly with instant messaging. .

For me the advantages of online coaching vastly outweigh the disadvantages massively. I’ve run a successful coaching practice online for several years now.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

Job Search – Verbal Skills Important

Job Search – Verbal Skills Are Important

Job search requires you to demonstrate your communication skills. And verbal skills are the most important of the communication skills. This means successful job search is more likely if you can speak clearly, concisely and fluently. A new survey has shown that employers identify strong verbal skills more than written, visual, or electronic communication skills. So such skills are essential.verbal communication

Verbal skills in the study included interpersonal communication, presenting and listening skills. This was as well as team or group work.

Electronic skills, while growing in importance, ranked second in the study. Visual communication skills were rarely mentioned, although body language is important when you wish to influence others.

Students enrolled in a business communication course in the US had been asked to contact potential employers in their fields of interest. They requested information about important communication skills in those fields.

The employers identified 165 different communication skills for job search. The result appeared in  Business and Professional Communication Quarterly. But you can read more about the study in non-technical language at this link.

Lack of confidence sometimes inhibits the ability to speak fluently. Working with a coach can help you learn to express yourself more clearly and with confidence.

Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search. If you would like some help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can book a discussion with Wendy about your coaching needs and your personal development at this link

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Boss: I need help to get on with you.

How to get on with the boss!

jealous bossBoss – I want to get on with you. Learn how to make a great first and lasting impression at work.  So, you can help your boss help you.  And you don’t need to be made unhappy, suffer stress and lose confidence because you cannot get on with the person in charge. Poor relationships at work can damage life at home as well as your career. There may be long-term effects on health and on your motivation. This little eBook by an experienced manager and coach can really help. Here’s the linkhttp://amzn.to/1Toimt3

Solution Focused Coaching: Finding The Answer

Solution Focused CoachingSolution Focused Coaching focuses on building solutions in the present rather than analysing the past. It uses positive everyday language to address problems.

The coach lets the client talk, building trust and rapport with appreciative listening. This helps the client tell their own story and gain clarity as well as insight. The aim is to help the client see the problem as solvable with self-directed learning and a recognition of personal ability moving forwards to a solution.

The discussion between coach and client can be quite fast paced but it should build to a collaborative and motivating relationship. Constructive feedback from the coach on progress should help the client reflect and to take responsibility for creating their own change.

The History of Solution Focused Coaching

The approach first emerged for Milton H. Erickson’s work on Strategic Therapy which developed into Brief Solution Focused Therapy. This was simply asking questions that focused attention on solutions rather than the source of the problem. It was found to be effective in Couples Counselling (Murray and Murry, 2004), Child and Adolescent Counselling (Corcoran and Stephenson 2000, Lethem 2002) and Depression (Dahl, Bethel and Carrean 2000). Solution Focused Coaching has been shown to be successful in Personal Coaching (Green, Gades and Grant 2006) and Workplace Coaching.

The Key Underlying Principles

These are;

  • Problems often stem from a limited repertoire of behaviour,
  • The focus is on building solutions, not how the  client got here,
  • The client is the expert on their own life,
  • The coach learns about coaching from the client,
  • The coach helps the client fully use their existing resources,
  • Action orientation. That is faith that positive change will occur and that the client will do the work of change outside their coaching sessions,
  • Clear, specific, stretching, but attainable, goals are set with a time frame,
  • A strategic intervention is designed for each client,
  • The focus is on the future,
  • The coach influences and challenges the client to think in a new way,
  • This will be an attractive and engaging process.

Solution Focused Coaching empowers a client to find and implement a solution to their problem. It frees them to focus forward instead of being constrained by the limitations of their past.

Wendy Smith is a life coach with depth of experience in career coaching, business coaching and personal development. She helps clients find a new career direction, start-up new businesses as well as dealing with the life problems and personal developement. You can contact Wendy at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Do you think this kind of service would be useful? Have you got examples of when this kind of personal/life coaching support might be something you would have chosen?

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! Looking for work means you are in a process of change. And all change comes at a cost. Even changes for the better come with loss – something gets left behind. 

Looking for work is tough. Even if you are looking while you are employed you will have doubts and uncertainties and you do need confidence. It is tough at any level and at any stage in your career. But in some ways I think it gets tougher as you move further up the professional or management hierarchy. The reputational risk is higher. You have more to lose even though you usually gain confidence as you rise.

For most of us changing roles has implications for those close to us. For example, you may earn more but perhaps the family have to cope with you travelling a lot more than you did and working longer hours. Some families may feel the extra money doesn’t make up for losing you. But how do you reconcile their wishes with your own professional ambitions and the kind of work you always dreamed of doing?

And then of course life circumstances can change. Suppose someone close to you suddenly becomes much more dependent on you. Say they develop a long-term illness. Yes, you can now pay for their physical needs to be met. But how do you now make time to meet their need for emotional support as well as dealing with work?

Personal/ life coaching can help you explore just the kind of situations I describe above. Those are the kind of things that challenge you to find your own solutions that best enable you to achieve the balance you want.

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! I provide a coaching service to help executives, senior managers and senior professionals to deal with family issues and life’s more difficult events at the same time as handling a busy workload.  If you find yourself getting stuck in your job search or career development, or need just the kind of support I describe, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Career and Life Coaching Online – Advantages and Disadvantages – Some Questions and Answers

I was asked recently about providing coaching services on line and I thought you might be interested to read my answers

Career and Life Coaching Online – Advantages and Disadvantages – Some Questions and Answers

I was asked recently about providing coaching services on line and I thought you might be interested to read my answers

Interviewer: How do you communicate with clients online and what are the strengths and limitations of each approach?

Wendy: I use three different ways of communicating with clients on line; telephone, email and instant messaging.

Telephone The strengths of telephone coaching include the convenience and comfort for the client of being able to receive coaching where they choose.  For most, this will be at home or somewhere else familiar to them. They do not have to add travel to a coaching location to the end of a busy working day. The phone can also provide privacy for those who feel shy and exposed sharing intimate feelings with someone else.  The disadvantage is that we have to work without visual clues and being able to see each other’s body language. So, authenticity and trust is important.

Email The major disadvantage of email is that it is asynchronous – it can take time to get a reply. Both coach and client need to achieve agreement about when replies can be expected and how privacy will be managed. The initial relationship can be much harder to establish and requires patience from both coach and client.  As well as having the convenience of being able to choose the location and time for communicating, a major advantage of email is that both the client and the coach have a record they can refer to. Plus you can take time to reflect on what you want to write.

Instant Messaging Communicating by instant text messages has the benefit of immediacy.  Again the client can choose location they write from. But again there can be issues of privacy if other people have access to the same computer or phone.

In my own coaching practice, the telephone is my main method of communicating with clients.  I usually combine this with email between sessions and occasional instant messaging.

Interviewer:  In your opinion, what elements need to be in place in order to create a coaching relationship online, and in what ways does this differ from face-to-face coaching.

Wendy: Coaching on-line or off requires an agreement between the coach and client about the service to be provided – for on line coaching this is a priority. The parties need the right environment in which to work! They need privacy and the opportunity to develop trust in each other as well as in the medium and in the confidentiality of information shared.  Both need to understand the risks and what coaching and coaching on-line cannot provide.

The coach and client are only very exceptionally likely to be in the same physical space.  Both need to be comfortable and know that they will not interrupted (this can be a difficult with a computer on the kitchen table or even sometimes in the home office).  They need to know they cannot be over-looked or over-heard and they need to be confident in using the machinery. The equipment needs to be reliable with good security cover.

With phone coaching, you need to agree not only what time you will ring but who calls whom and on what number. Before beginning a conversation, a coach needs to move very quickly into active listening.

In using email, there needs to be clear agreement about turnaround times and the client needs to understand that messages can go astray. Special arrangements need to be made for the coach’s absence when on holiday, for example.

I use instant messaging rarely with clients and certainly never with a new client. The use of language needs to be careful and the culture from  which the client  communicates becomes particularly important – the coach may have to learn a whole new language.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

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Phone Coaching Works

Find out just how powerful and effective coaching by phone or Skype can be.

Phone Coaching Works

I’ve been coaching successfully by phone and Skype for a while now and clients have found it a very positive experience. It always amazes me just how powerful and effective coaching by phone can be.  But lots of people seem to have reservations about trying coaching by phone. So here are some thoughts on why it works well and might well be right for you.

What phone coaching can do for you!

First of all phone coaching delivers all the benefits that coaching by other methods delivers. 
This includes an opportunity to gain; 
•Fresh perspectives on personal and career challenges and opportunities, 
•Improved thinking and decision-making skills, 
•Better interpersonal skills and communication
•Increased confidence at work and in your personal life.

There are some special advantages specific to phone coaching.

These include: 
  • Concentration – it if often much easier to concentrate in complete privacy in an environment of your own choosing!
  • Convenient and Relaxing –  you can be in your own familiar surroundings.  Coaching by phone means I can work with my clients pretty much at any time of the day or night – we can fit coaching flexibly into their lives.  
  • Clients find it easier to be open on the phone– there can be a nice blend anonymity and intimacy and people tend to be more open
  • Time Efficient – there’s no time (or money) spent travelling and coaching can be fitted more easily into a busy schedule
  • International Coaching – it really doesn’t matter where you are in the world, so long as you have agood phone connection and can speak English.

I’m based in the UK but I’ve coached clients from a number of other countries including the US.  But you don’t have to be far away – it is convenient wherever you live. I find it helpful to clients to have both US and UK telephone numbers and of course I’m on Skype.  

If you would like to try our coaching by telephone, please get in touch – I offer a free trial session.

 

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home 
  • Job Search – Mistakes to Avoid in Your Telephone Interview
  • Managing Your Career – Getting On With People At Work!
  • Career Development: Confident Public Speaking – A Technique To Help