Archive for June, 2009


340 feedback

Leadership Performance Coaching* typically begins with one of three launch points:

  1. on request of the prospective coachee – based on a desire to bridge gaps and increase leadership horsepower – usually in preparation for a desired promotion, career change, or entrepreneurial venture
  2. as part of an organizational or team leadership development initiative – whether on request of the coachee, a supervisor, or as identified by a succession planning or other talent development program.
  3. on request of the prospective coachee’s supervisor – as part of an intervention or performance improvement plan. When coaching begins as an intervention, there is typically a triggering event, such as an emotional meltdown, team failure, leadership change, or frequently – feedback from numerous colleagues. And there is a significant difference in the coach/ coachee relationship. After all, the coachee rarely feels like celebrating the development opportunity – at least in the beginning, while dealing with the defensiveness and hurt feelings that often result when long-standing behavioral tendencies are suddenly and inexplicably confronted. And it’s hard to develop the trust that is integral to a coaching relationship because the coach is perceived to be there to serve the needs of the organization first and the coachee second if at all.

Leadership Performance Coaching begins with a diagnosis and action plan – based on an objective assessment and gap analysis, which typically includes:

    360° feedback survey

    stakeholder interviews

    behavioral profile [and depending on the situation, additional skill-or-cognitive testing]

    skill, performance and behavioral gap analysis

    prioritized recommendations for leadership development

Especially in the case of intervention coaching, there is commonly a significant feedback disconnect:

the common reaction to feedback from the coachee: “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me?”

the most common reaction from everyone else:  “How could it possibly be a surprise?”


The feedback disconnect is typically created by one or perhaps all of the following:

 1. The sender didn’t:

   say it clearly

   say it in a way the receiver could understand and process

   communicate it’s potential career impact

 and . . .

2. The receiver didn’t:

  hear it

   ‘get’ it

   or believe it

More details about how and why this happens – and recommendations for how to improve the feedback process and results – next time.  Meanwhile, your experiences with giving and receiving performance and leadership feedback are welcome.    

 * http://www.thestage1.com/index_files/performancecoaching.htm


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According to recent cable buzz, Timothy Geithner, a financial expert with a degree in international economics, is not winning awards and accolades for his charisma, social warmth and inspirational public speaking.


Next they’ll announce that many CPA’s, scientists and others who are deeply technical aren’t change agents and the life of every party! A certain amount of introversion is expected of people who have deep technical capabilities. For people who spend a lot of time ‘in their heads’, being socially outgoing and good with small talk is rarely considered fun – or important.


The flipside: many executives and business owners want to hire ‘entrepreneurial’ people and develop an ‘entrepreneurial’ culture. What it usually boils down to is this: they want people who take action, are accountable for outcomes, innovative and work 20 hours a day. Unfortunately, they’re rarely prepared for the accompanying attributes:


 – People who are action-oriented rarely have patience for unnecessary bureaucracy, and are often intolerant of anything that stands in the way of the stated goal and forward progress.

 – Innovation is often accompanied by a ‘change agent’ approach, impatience for forward movement, extreme dislike of administrivia, and impatience with people who don’t see their vision.

 – Someone who is bright, sees trends and has a bias for action may move too fast – mentally and physically – not realizing that they’re leaving the rest of the team in the dust by the side of the road.

 – People who work hard – and long hours – tend to expect more of the same from the people around them– sometimes including the boss. They may also burn out or melt down at times.


Unfortunately, to-date, there is not a botox equivalent for the introverted personality, and you can’t steal the batteries of an engaged innovator. Sure, there are a few superstars who combine the best of technical depth and EQ; they’re pretty rare. Usually, in life and work, we need to carefully evaluate the strengths we need, and be prepared to accommodate the rest of the personality that comes with it.


Most executives eventually ‘get it’ regarding the need to carefully assess talent, and compare the personality attributes needed with the leadership, culture and team needs and constraints. Many times, this recognition emerges slowly, after hitting the wall a number of times.


Even the best talent is also typically thrown into the deep end of the pool. Onboarding and orientation programs rarely provide the information that’s actually needed to succeed in the company and culture. More on that later.


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