Thursday, 28 April 2016

AirServer is awesome!

It has puzzled me for some time now, how can I view my iPad screen on my desktop? I use my iPad a lot and quite often want to video a demonstration of an app, but not sure what to do? I even plugged in my redundant Apple TV (why did I buy it anyway!) but was obviously doing something wrong as nothing happened.

Then last week when I was using skype to coach someone I ended up holding my iPad up to my webcam and failing miserably. So I decided to do some serious research and wow did I strike gold!!!

It's called AirServer and it is superb!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Team Coach - an HR Business Partner development programme

As with all good things, we stumbled upon the role of the Team Coach. We were running a superb inspirational leadership programme and out of that we developed a High Performing Team programme (HPT) and needed resources to be able to cascade HPT. I would run HPT at a board/management committee level, but then each member of that team wanted to run the workshop with their teams.

To rise to this challenge we developed a great win-win solution, an HR Business Partner development programme:
  • Inspirational leadership Programme (ILP)- all senior managers were attending our inspirational leadership programme, so what better way to prepare HR to support these managers when they returned to work, than get them to experience the same life changing programme. So we ran ILP for HR and it was amazing to see how they too transformed.
  • Coaching - we then taught our HR team to be able to coach the teams that they supported.
  • Facilitating - we created a train the trainer workshop and taught our HR team how to run the HPT workshop.
As a small European region (5,000 people) of a giant multinational we had created an enviable capability that gave outsiders the impression that we had a huge training department! What we did have was a few passionate internal trainers working with an outstanding external training company and a wonderful team of willing HR Business Partners, plus line managers who were prepared to give up their own time to release the magic in others.

That was then, now many years later I am developing a Team Coach programme, an HR Business Partner development programme and all I can tell you at this stage, is that I know it will be ....

                                         A M A Z I N G ! 

Assertiveness is good!

I know it's wrong to generalise and make big assumptions about what troubles people, but so often I listen to the people I am coaching and struggle with my inner dialogues. What's going on in my mind is 'why didn't he just say no?', 'why didn't she tell him that she wasn't happy with the new arrangement', and 'why doesn't he have doormat tattooed on his forehead'. I have concluded that a lot of people struggle to be assertive and somewhere along the way think of assertiveness as bad, confusing it with aggression!

I did find a very simple guide on the net to the three key communication modes and an endorsement that assertiveness is a good thing. The good news is that if you or someone you know struggle to be assertive, with coaching support you can develop this skill and change your life for the good.


Compliant, submissive, talks little, vague non-committal communication, puts self down, praises others.

“I don’t mind … that’s fine … yes alright”
Actions and expressions fit with words spoken, firm but polite and clear messages, respectful of self and others.

“That’s a good idea, and how about if we did this too …” or “I can see that, but I’d really like …”
Sarcastic, harsh, always right, superior, know it all, interrupts, talks over others, critical, put-downs, patronising, disrespectful of others.

“This is what we are doing, if you don’t like it, tough”

You’re okay, I’m not
Has no opinion other than that the other person/s are always more important, so it doesn’t what they think anyway.
I’m okay, you’re okay
Believes and acts as if all the individuals involved are equal, each deserving of respect, and no more entitled than the other to have things done their way.
I’m okay, you’re not
Believe they are entitled to have things done their way, the way they want it to be done, because they are right, and others (and their needs) are less important.


Avoids eye contact, looks down, teary, pleading
Warm, welcoming, friendly, comfortable eye contact
Narrow, emotion-less, staring, expressionless

Makes body smaller – stooped, leaning, hunched shoulders
Relaxed open, welcoming
Makes body bigger – upright, head high, shoulders out, hands on hips, feet apart

Together, fidgety, clammy
Open, friendly and appropriate gestures
Pointing fingers, making fists, clenching, hands on hips

Give in to others, don’t get what we want or need, self-critical, thoughts, miserable
Good relationships with others, happy with outcome and to compromise
Make enemies, upset others and self, feel angry and resentful

Friday, 15 April 2016

Coaching people to make good decisions

At a training session for coaches that I ran last week, we discussed helping people to make decisions (without telling them what to do!).

From my own experience the best help I received was from my cousin's husband, an estate agent! I was being transferred by my company from Cape Town to Johannesburg, great from a career point of view, but heartbreaking to be leaving the most beautiful city of the world. We had sold our house on one weekend, and flew up to Johannesburg the next weekend.

On arrival on the Friday evening, over a few beers my cousins husband spoke to my wife and I as follows:

"I am going to help you to be very clear on the criteria you will use to make your final choice of the house you will buy. If you don't do this you might fall in love with a great feature in a house, buy it and live to regret your decision as you discover the house didn't deliver on all your needs."

Years later I have learnt that all of decision making is emotional and what he was doing was injecting some logic into the process.

"Tell me what 3 to 5 attributes your house must have, meaning you will not look at a house that doesn't fulfil your 'must' needs." 

I can't remember exactly what our 'musts' were but I think it may well have been a cost ceiling, location near a good school, three bedrooms, south facing and with a swimming pool??

"Now tell me your 3 to 5 'wants', your nice to have, not deal breakers but criteria that will help you to choose between a short list of house?" 

I think our criteria covered house style, garden layout, outdoor living space and internal decoration. Once we had established our criteria we then spent two days looking at what was available on the market and finally sat down and evaluated our chosen few against our criteria. Finally and quite quickly we mad up our minds, put in an offer, signed the sales contract and three months later moved in.

The 'coaching' we received was hugely valuable and helped us to buy a house that we ended up enjoying for many years. A very good process, that will help you to guide your coachees to make the well thought out decisions.

To summarise this approach:
  • Coach people to define their choice criteria before they start looking at options
  • Define the 3 to 5 musts and only look at options that meet those needs
  • Define the 3 to 5 wants that will help your coachee to make their final choice from their short list