What Kind Of Leader Are You?

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You? Well, let me ask you a question. If you had a choice, what kind of person would you want to follow? It is a good question to ask yourself if you are leader in any capacity. That means from leading a hobby group, a small work team or even a major corporation.

There are some obvious characteristics in our “good leader”, aren’t there? For example, we would all want a leader who acted with integrity. Integrity is the very bedrock of trust and we all hope that we can trust the person who is showing us the way ahead.  As for me, I want to follow someone I believe when they tell me it is safe to take a risk. I’m not going to walk across that rope bridge to a what you tell me is a bright future unless I believe that it really is strong enough to keep me out of the river. Sometimes of course you won’t know any more than I do – but you will certainly know how to find out as much as possible. And you’ll tell me clearly what the facts are and why I should take the risk anyway, if I should.

Of course, we want a leader who has a clear vision of where we are trying to go And their works can paint it so that we can see the destination too. We want someone who can paint the future in colours that lead us to have enough faith to step out with them. We need a message that gets us all turning in the same direction – marching along together. The vision needs to be bright enough to illuminate the way.

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Most of us would like to follow a leader who wasn’t working for their own ends but for ours. That is a servant leader who is prepared to act with compassion. John Maxwell put it this way: “Servant-leaders never pursue a mission at the expense of their people. Rather, servant-leaders earn the loyalty and best efforts of their people by serving the interests and investing in the development of those they lead. A servant-leader wants to see others succeed.”

Good leaders know that they’re only as good as the people who support them. They invest time and energy in ensuring the well-being and success of their team.

So, what kind of leader are you? Are you demonstrating integrity, vision and compassion? If not, what changes do you plan to make? You will need to change something won’t you? That is if you are serious about your career and expect others to follow you.

If you would like some help in developing your leadership skills please get in touch. Good leaders are modest enough to know that working with a coach really can make a difference.
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

 

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Giving feedback – in all kinds of situations you may need to give feedback to someone about something they have said or done. This could be an employee, a work colleague or a business partner. Here the  advice is targetted at giving feedback to an unsuccessful candidate. But most of the advice holds good in other work situations.

1. Prepare for the discussion. Be clear about what you want to say and make sure you can support it with evidence.
2. During the discussion think before you speak! Don’t make ad hoc remarks that imply, for example, that you personally would have made a different decision.
3. Stay positive. This doesn’t mean not giving constructive criticism about gaps but do make sure you balance criticisms with clarity about what you did like.
4. Be specific. Avoid general comments and try to be as clear and simple as you can!
5. Focus on evidence presented of competence and not the person and their personality.
6. Stay in the neutral ground emotionally but accept that it is reasonable for the candidate to feel disappointed.
7. Own the feedback. If you have been part of the interviewing panel, then own the feedback, it is about “we” not about “the panel.”
8. Empathize. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes! Think how you would feel receiving the same information! No room here for humiliation!

Giving feedback – are you advising a job seeker?

Are they stuck in their job search? Have they have been out of the job market for a while? There are new techniques to learn and some they will need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

giving feedback
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of How To Get On With The Boss and The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Leading Teams Through Conflict – when a new group comes together all kinds of tensions may arise. Team members will begin to debate how to go forward. What are the priorities going to be?  Who is going to take which role in the team? What systems and processes will you put in place? At this point your leadership skills are important.

Differences of opinion and beliefs can lead to conflict. And team members may begin to jockey for position. Power struggles can break out, particularly if you have a number of strong personalities vying to lead. They may begin to challenge you as group leader. And cliques may form. 

Leading Teams Through Conflict – where to start

So what can you do? The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues. Some compromises will need to be made. You will need to help them find the middle ground. 

A good way to start is to make sure that all are clear about the goal. Show them the real benefits of what you are trying to do. There needs to be lots of communication. The group has to understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles. 

If all is going well, the group will move on to agree some “norms” for working together.

If you still have tensions

But, if you still have tensions, set down the ground rules for group behaviour.  Get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect. You will need to keep a close eye on the debate. If it is about ideas, that is a good sign and they can be left to work it out if time allows. But, if the debate becomes personal then you will need to intervene. Don’t suppress conflict completely because the group will stagnate. They will not learn to work together very well if you suppress debate. This is where planning social events can help. These give people an opportunity to see each other in a more rounded way. 

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets. Get the group to focus very sharply upon them. Make sure they understand the benefits which will be lost if people are not ready to compromise and reach agreement. If cliques have formed, try putting people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup. This is so that new relationships can be established. 

With your leadership, the team will come together and meet their goals. 

Other resources to help you

You will find lots of other tips on team leadership on my blog. Try this link.”

Leading Teams Through Conflict
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

If you are looking for a new job, you can find help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help you be successful. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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

 

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

job interviewJob Interview – say thank you after by email, letter or even by text but you can’t avoid it.  It has become so much of a custom that some employers think less of you, if you don’t do it.

Send your thanks within 24 hours of being interviewed, if you can, and you need to tailor your letter it to suit the organization!  The style should reflect the kind of organization and the type of interview you’ve had; a formal process requires a formal response.

If you are not sure what to write, then you can use a thank you letter template as a guide.

Your letter is a chance to emphasize what a good fit you are for the job.  Even, if you have decided the organization is not one you want to join, still send polite thanks. Who knows what the future holds?

You can use the letter to reinforce what a good fit you are for the job, now that you know more about it.  And your letter is a good opportunity to flag up things they need to know but didn’t ask at the interview. You can add what you didn’t mention or make something clearer.

If you have some information that might be useful to them or thoughts on helping to solve an issue they raised, that can make you to stand out from the crowd.

Some people recommend writing to everyone you spoke to in the organization. But, personally, I prefer to write to the person who is leading job search within the organization.

Remember to proof-read your letter carefully – nothing is more off-putting than reading a letter from a candidate that includes typos. If you are not sure of the spelling of names and the correct titles, then ring the organization to check.

Timing comes before creative brilliance – get your letter in as soon as you can – most organizations make their minds up about interviewees pretty quickly.

Working with a coach really can make your job search zing! Get in touch at the email address below.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Bringing in a new team leader

Team Work – bringing in a new team leader

Bringing in a new team leaderThere will be times when you need to bring in a new team leader. This can disrupt an existing team and impact on their performance. Here are some tips for a smooth transition.

Has your existing team leader had to leave suddenly?  Perhaps they have found a better opportunity elsewhere?  You might have decided it was time to make a change? Whatever the reason, now, you have to bring in someone new to lead the team.

The top priority is to explain what is happening. You don’t want to paint the old leader in a negative light – you know there are loyalties. But you want them to accept the change and the new leader.  Here are some top tips for bringing in a new team leader.

  1. Give the team a clear and honest explanation for the change. If things have not been going well, be careful about attributing any failure specifically to the old team leader. But you can be clear about why a new approach is needed. Then emphasize the background and experience of the new team leader.
  2. Honor the past. If good progress has been made and the old team leader left on good terms, there is something to celebrate. This should be done as part of the change to the new team leader. Again, if the old team leader has been taken ill, it is important to recognize the contribution that they, and the team, have made so far.
  3. Tell the team about the new team leader before they arrive. Give them as much information as you can on why this person has been chosen. Show that that both the team and the new team leader have your confidence. Make sure the team are clear about their roles and your expectations.
  4. Make introductions. When the new team leader arrives introduce them to the team yourself. It is great if this can be over coffee or lunch so that there is an opportunity for some informal chat as well as formal introductions.
  5. Have an induction program. Make sure someone takes responsibility for showing the new team leader round. If you want to minimize any glitch in performance make sure that there is an induction program. The new leader needs to meet key people and know why they are important.
  6. Follow-up. Remember to check back. Don’t wait for the next formal board or project meeting to find out how the new leader is settling in. A short phone call from you asking how the new team leader is settling in will make them feel them feel appreciated. It will also give you early warning if all is not going well. Touch base with the team themselves sometimes to show you haven’t abandoned them. But be careful not to undermine the new team leader when you do it.

If you need support transitioning between team leaders, get in touch. Working with a coach can help a team make the change without disruption.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How do people engage at work?

How do people engage at work?

How do people engage at work? Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Kingston University Business School’s Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society (CRESS) has shown that people engage for vastly different reasons. The research has emphasized the distinction between people who do their job mainly to earn a living and others whose emotional attachment is much wider. Their engagement can extend to the organization itself and to colleagues, line managers and customers.

Those engaged primarily with their jobs may well enjoy and take pride in their individual work. But they just want to do it and get on with rest of their lives. It is interesting that the study found that these people who are mainly interested in the technicalities of own work (transactionally engaged) report higher levels of stress. They seem to have more difficulties in achieving a work-life balance than those who are emotionally engaged with the organization.

It can become more complicated when, for example. someone is emotionally engaged mainly with their profession and perhaps even their clients. However they are only transactionally engaged with their current role and the current organisation.

This presents some interesting challenges for those leading change. How they communicate about the change to meet the needs of such a complicated audience.

A change that is being made for the perceivable good of the organization is more likely to be supported by someone emotionally engaged with that organization. The well being of colleagues may well be will be seen to be a priority and so will a clear commitment to manage the change well.

However, a change that threatens the work of an individual who is transactionally engaged may present a much greater risk. Most change managers have encountered the committed and brilliant technical specialist who decides they have no alternative but to subvert a change for the good of their work.So how can you respond?

Well, for a start you need to understand your group. Have a care with the results of engagement surveys which may not distinguish between different kinds of engagement.

What kind of people are in your group and what kind of work do they do? Walk the talk – get out there and meet them. Have conversations and be prepared to listen and to deal with feelings and anxiety.

When you communicate the change be aware that the impact will be different for different kinds of people. Take those different needs into account when you are planning the message. Then recognize the risk that different kinds of engagement might present. If your change threatens the organization itself then you need to manage the risk that presents for those committed to it. But handled the right way they will come with you on the journey.

Those committed mainly just to the job may well simply remove themselves. You risk losing their precious technical skills if they can see nothing in the change for them. If their skills are critical to the organization you may need to consider incentives to stay. These could range from money to opportunities for professional development or even enhanced technical facilities.

As with all change programs, success lies with inspiring people to follow the vision. But that inspiration may come with different strokes for very different kinds of folks

If you need the support of a coach in developing your career as change leader or change manager, then get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Interview – Helpful Quotes

Job Interview – Helpful Quotes

Job Interview – helpful quotes if you have one coming up shortly

  1. Remember why you are going! “You go to a job interview to discover whether your talents, abilities, interests and direction are a good fit for the job, the company, and the company’s mission.” Susan M Heathfield
  2. Research the company ahead of time. The more you know about the company, the easier it will be to respond to questions. Alison Doyle
  3. Use Your Contacts! “Who you know at the company really does matter. ….use your contacts and connections to get an insider advantage so you can ace the interview and impress the interviewer.” Alison Doyle
  4. Check the Job Requirements. Before you go to an interview, check the job requirements listed in the job posting you responded to. Make a list of the skills you have that match those requirements. Review the list prior to the interview and if you need a “cheat sheet” jot down the list on the notepad that you bring to the interview with you. Alison Doyle
  5. Dress for success! “Before job interviews, I think: What colour tie best represents me as a person this company would be interested in?
” Jarod Kintz,
  6. Walk in confidently. It’s important you look as professional as possible from the outset. As soon as you walk into the building you’ll begin to be judged on your behaviour. There are even instances where recruiters watch from their office as candidates arrive, to see how their body language changes. Reed.co.uk
  7. Watch your Body Language “Remember: recruiters will only see how you behave; they won’t see how you’re feeling. By getting an interview, the prospective employer already thinks you can do the job on paper. Now it’s up to you to show your confidence and use body language to your advantage.” Reed.co.uk 
  8. Keep your pitch simple and direct: This is what I can do for you. Scott Reeves
  9. The interviewer’s stock question “Tell me about yourself” isn’t a request for childhood memories or a run-down of academic prizes won, but a call for a brief overview of what you bring to the table. Scott Reeves
  10. If they ask “Why were you fired?” try this! “Being cut loose was a blessing in disguise. Now I have an opportunity to explore jobs that better suit my qualifications and interests. My research suggests that such an opportunity may be the one on your table. Would you like to hear more about my skills in working with new technology?” Joyce Lain Kennedy.
  11. Think before you speak! “Sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t even know where it is going. I just hope I find it a long the way” Unnamed unsuccessful candidate.
  12.  Good Luck. You dreamed, you believed and you worked. Now, go and achieve!
    Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
    Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

    Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

             

Are you a good team leader? Take my test.

Are you a good team leader?

Are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Are you a good team leader? See how well you are doing in the leadership stakes. If you are serious about being a good leader, then you should be able to give serious answers to all these questions.

 

  1. There is no “best” style of leadership. How ready are you to be flexible? What do you think this means?
  2. The most successful leaders adapt their leadership style to the ability of the people they lead and the needs of the task. Do you know what those are? How will you find out?
  3. At the start of a task, good leaders explain what, how, why, when, where and what to do to start the task. Do you have that information ready for your team? How will you get it?
  4. Good Leaders recognize that competence and confidence can wax and wane over a project. How will you monitor those variations? How will you be ready to intervene?
  5. Good leaders share leadership when the group is mature. This helps to keep morale and energy up. How strong is your ego feeling today? How will you share leadership?
  6. Enthusiasm and confidence can take a knock when the group realizes just how complicated the challenge is going to be. How are you preparing to monitor this, then step in and support?
  7. A good leader develops the competence and commitment of the team so that they become self-motivated. Have you got the resources available to do this?
  8. Good leaders share the vision-making, as well as the vision. Do you have a process in place to do this?
  9. A good leader refreshes the vision on the journey. Have you made plans for this?
  10. A good leader communicates clearly and listens well. Are you ready to ask your team how well you are communicating?
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Seeking While You Are In Work

Job Seeking While You Are In Work 

Job Seeking while you are in work does not necessarily mean you are unhappy in your present job. People who are very happy in their Job Seeking While You Are In Work present roles, loyal to their present employers and serious about career development, do look round. What else might be out there?

When you start a new role, you often have a three-part cycle in your mind;

  1. In the first period, things are fresh. You are learning about the new organization and its customers/users. Getting to grips with office politics, you make yourself part of the team and build your relationship with the boss.
  2. The second period is spent making your mark/ Time to excel in the role. Now, you become invaluable to the boss. You start to innovate. This is the time to bring in your new ideas.
  3. You move  on to the last period. Time for a move perhaps? This could be moving up in the same organization; or sideways to extend your professional experience. But if there are no opportunities for career development where you are, you start looking round outside.

If all is well, your boss will not want you to go and an opportunity might be made for you. If there are no possibilities and you are serious about career progression, start looking round.

This is healthy. However, you need to handle this third stage with care. You do not want to find yourself being forced to move because the boss has doubts about your loyalty.

Commit to

  • Continuing to deliver good quality of work in your present role.
  • Nursing and developing your relationships within the organization.
  • Making it clear you would like to develop your career further but will stay loyal. 

If your employer values your contribution, there may be more they can do for you. For example, they may not be able to pay for more training. But they may be able to give you some time for study while you pay the fees.

Job seeking while you are in work – be imaginative

Be imaginative and be flexible. Continue to learn and continue to look for new ways to innovate in the work you are doing. Help your present organization to survive and thrive while you do so too.

Don’t lose your ambitions and your wish to develop your career.

Yes, do keep your eyes open for other possibilities. Have a well planned exit strategy if something does come up. Don’t dump on your present employer. Look after their interests as well as your own. It will pay dividends in the future and who know what else that may hold.

If you would like support in developing your career, get in touch. My email address is below.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership – transformational leaders are able to communicate a clear vision. They Transformational leadershipshare a passion for engaging in the journey. Such leaders are able to make the group they lead feel recharged and energized for the challenge ahead.

Transformational leaders win the trust of those they lead. They usually show energy, enthusiasm and passion and they want everyone in the group to succeed. 

Some military and political leaders are transformational leaders. But without honesty and integrity, transformational leadership skills can be misused.

A transformational leader’s behaviour needs to be absolutely consistent and resonant with the vision, the challenge and a commitment to the well-being of the group.

Transformational leadership is best accompanied by a servant leadership approach. This means the leader has a clear set of values and models these for those who are led. The leader needs to give the team confidence that they really can meet the goal.

The transformational leader challenges assumptions

The transformational leader challenges assumptions and stimulates and encourages creativity in those who follow. Those lead need to understand how they can connect with the leader, the organisation and each other.

Obstacles are overcome together. The group and the leader share responsibility for the task. The leader accepts that he/she “carries the can” and team members are not “blamed” when things go.

Each person in the team is appreciated and encouraged in turn to appreciate others. The leader acts as a coach and encourages personal development in team members.

The theory of transformational leadership was introduced by James MacGregor Burns and later developed by Bernard M Bass. Bass.  It proposed that transformational leaders succeed by gaining the trust, respect and admiration of their followers.

Bass saw four different elements working together to make up transformational leadership. These were

  • Intellectual stimulation – encouraging followers’ creativity and ingenuity
  • Support to each follower
  • The sharing of a clear and convincing vision and passion
  • The sharing of values

If you would like to read more you can  find James MacGregor Burns’ classic text at the link at the bottom of this post.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link