Coachability Leads to Success

Coachability Leads to Success

Coachability Leads to Success

How do you handle investments for your organization? As CEO or part of the executive leadership team, sound decision-making is second nature to you so substantial investments require thought, due diligence, and consideration of the timing. You prepare before you act. Choosing to work with an executive coach is a significant investment that warrants the attention and careful thought. You may have reached the point where you recognize that you have to tap outside resources to accomplish your next level goals.

You may need space to think and an objective, neutral party to be your confidential sounding board. In other words, you may conclude that you need an executive coach.

Executive coaching is an investment in your professional and personal growth as well as an investment in the success of your company or non-profit. While coaching is known to increase awareness and produce transformations, it also is an investment, and like other investments, needs to be explored with discernment to ensure you are fully prepared to accept the adventure that lies ahead.

Assessing your own attitudes and receptivity to coaching is a first step toward a coaching engagement, and your willingness to tackle this preparation points toward your readiness, or coachability.

Our attitudes and attributes aren’t fixed. An individual’s level of coachability may vary over time with different circumstances and events. Thus, timing–in terms of readiness and attitudes—plays a part in achieving a successful outcome and receiving the maximum benefits from coaching.

Consider these points as you assess your personal readiness to be coached:

No pain, no growth

Change is frequently uncomfortable, especially when it involves breaking long-standing habits and routines. You’ll be making new pathways and practicing new patterns of thought and activity, so it’s important to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Like changing your golf grip, what feels awkward at first becomes familiar with practice and may bring clear benefits.

As you reflect on questions from your coach, you can expect to see situations—and yourself— differently and you may not like what is revealed. Honestly facing your flaws or areas that need improvement is a necessary part of the transformation process, despite the discomfort you experience.

Exploration, experimentation, and the inherent risks of trying new things

Coaching means that you’ll be trying new behaviors and approaches, testing to see the results, but not all will be successful the first time around. Part of the learning that takes place includes exploration of different solutions; experimentation helps identifying what doesn’t work as well as what does prove effective. You need the courage and willingness to get up and try again. As Brenda Steinberg notes in her HBR article “Are You Ready to Be Coached?” experimentation is an important part of the process, as are the risks that go with it.

Increasing self-awareness and understanding your own behavior

Many people enter coaching engagements to increase their self-awareness and improve their interpersonal skills. Self-awareness is fundamental to any lasting change as is a willingness to learn about the drivers behind behavior. A coach will help you peel off the polished mask that conceals the motivations that determine your actions. Applying the lessons learned from revealed truths also demands a sense of responsibility and willingness to be accountable.

Pair self-discipline with reflection

Self-discipline means staying the course even when it feels uncomfortable, being vulnerable enough to be teachable, and making the effort needed to build new—and more effective— routines and habits of behavior. It could mean setting new boundaries and delegating tasks you once automatically handled. Coaching involves moving from A to B; understanding where you are today and each stage along that progression requires reflection on what you are learning. The best and most successful coaching experiences occur when participants are prepared to participate and committed to cultivating the flexibility to change and self-disciplined enough to forge ahead.

Coaching helps you gain a new sense of perspective that leads to action and change. An executive coach asks questions that challenge assumptions, and that help you clarify goals and values; questions that reframe issues, help you plan courses of action. In a coaching relationship you receive vital feedback and have the opportunity for guided behavioral practice. The coaching relationship provides a safe place for open and honest discussion in a neutral, objective setting, a space where you can pause, think, and establish a plan.

Like any investment, it’s important to discern whether the timing is right for you to get the most out of the coaching experience. As Lillian Valdez points out, certain mindsets and attitudes interfere with attaining the full benefit of coaching and others help a person capture the full value of being coached. Prepare yourself with a warm-up stretch to evaluate your readiness, then hit your stride with the right executive coach. Take time to find the right fit; at RoundTable Consulting, we like to begin with a free consultation to gain a sense of how we could work together to accomplish your goals. Connect with me or give me a call to start the conversation.

My focus this fall is on helping people to stop spending time with people who don’t deserve their time, so they can better manage themselves and their teams. Is this you? Do you know anyone who could use this kind of help? I am currently interviewing for 1 or 2 client openings. Come discover what’s possible with me! Click here and let’s get the conversation started.

 



Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational, insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations.

Coachability Leads to Success

Busting Myths about Executive Coaching

Busting Myths about Executive
Coaching

Quick, what do you think of when you hear the term executive coaching? Or if you’re the one looking for a coach, what do you think that experience will be like? Certain misconceptions about executive coaching are common. Clearing up what coaching is and is not points to insights on the true strengths and benefits that coaching provides to those willing to dedicate time and energy to make this investment in their future.

Is a coach like a therapist?  Executive coaching is oriented toward the future and its fresh possibilities for change and growth. Therapy, on the other hand, while it deals with some similar concepts and aspects of a person’s internal landscape, is generally centered on the past. Yes, a coach may need to understand aspects of a person’s past, but primarily for context rather than as the structure that leads to resolution.

Is a coach a mentor or a teacher?  Coaching is driven by the powerful resources within the person being coached rather than by information handed down from another. Many of us have been blessed in our careers to have been shepherded along by a wise and capable mentor. Typically a mentor would be someone older, or at least more experienced, who guides us through stages as we learn and grow in our career. Whether helping a young professional get exposure to multiple facets of the business–production, sales, administration–or being guided into increasingly specific nuances of a particular discipline–a mentor’s view is valuable. While mentorship involves transferring knowledge from outside, coaching, as opposed to teaching, unlocks the creativity, innovation and resources within the person being coached. Rather than an older, wiser superior, the coach is a partner revealing the resources already present within the one being coached.

Coaching is more than a simple solution.  Coaching is a client-driven process in which the coach is a partner and supporter; the one being coached is accountable for envisioning the goals and taking steps toward their achievement–a process that cannot be outsourced. The executive or individual being coached isn’t just told what to do by a consultant–following a formula of steps or waiting for a final resolution to be delivered through a handy solution.

Coaching is personalized attention that unlocks potential.  Executive coaching deals with high- performing individuals and is often reserved for those leaders showing great potential. It is viewed as an added benefit that can enrich one’s career and it has the ability to boost strong performers to even higher levels. Certainly, coaching elevates an individual’s performance at any level to bring about change and refinement.

Executive coaching in an investment in yourself, your future, and the future of your business. It’s an experience designed to provoke deep thought and enliven the creative process within you so that you can reach your full potential. The answers you seek are already there but hidden; the coach’s role is to help you open up previously untapped areas, inspiring imagination, productivity and leadership.

The process is by no means do-it-yourself, however. You are in charge, but the coach is your trustworthy partner and guide, nudging you to new depths within a safe, professional relationship. The goals are yours, not superimposed by anyone else, and it requires your active participation.

All that may be easy to describe, but the skeptic in you wants to know about specific benefits and the outcomes to expect from executive coaching.

The best executive coaches are exceptionally skilled at asking questions. They ask questions that challenge assumptions and help reframe issues. They ask questions that encourage the one being coached to clarify their goals and values then go a step further and think about the resulting possible courses of action.

Executive coaches are keen observers. They offer feedback and perspective, and provide opportunities to practice behaviors that are being cultivated.

Ultimately the process of questioning and discovery leads to several positive results for both individuals and their companies. Enhanced emotional intelligence and greater self-awareness are consistent results that are connected with a host of additional benefits that tend to fall within three areas.

  1. Personal fulfillment. Self-management skills, goal attainment, and improved decision making are a few of the personal benefits. Individuals find enhanced well-being, reduced stress, self- efficacy, breakthroughs in thinking, and heightened self-awareness.
  2. Interpersonal skills. Social skills improve and in conjunction with personal fulfillment, individuals improve collaboration, empathy, communication and management skills.
  3. Organizational benefits. Coaching leads the individual to identify clear priorities and gain strength and focus for the hard but necessary conversations. It sharpens the focus on the future and planning and accelerates action. With positive change, turnover may decline.

Executive coaching is a powerful tool for development, growth and improved emotional intelligence. Ryan Bonnici’s post expands on these and other coaching results. Better alignment of key leadership behaviors, accountability for appropriate leader behaviors, and improved executive focus also result.

PS – As hard as it may be to think about cooler weather, it is right around the corner! As we wrap up our summer vacations and head back into work, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get something accomplished before year-end. Do it with ease and intentionality, and with a partner to help you generate forward momentum.

My focus this fall is on helping people to stop spending time with people who don’t deserve their time, so they can better manage themselves and their teams. Is this you? Do you know anyone who could use this kind of help? I am currently interviewing for 1 or 2 client openings. Come discover what’s possible with me! Click here and let’s get the conversation started.

Source: Longenecker, Clinton & McCartney, Mike. (2020). The benefits of executive coaching: voices from the C-suite. Strategic HR Review. ahead-of-print. 10.1108/SHR-06-2019-0048.

 



Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational, insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations.

Coachability Leads to Success

Culture’s Power for Managing the “Great Resignation”

Culture’s Power for Managing the “Great Resignation”

“Now Hiring” signs are everywhere, perhaps even at your business, documenting the effects of what’s being called the Great Resignation.

This Sloan study from MIT, and others, tell us that record numbers of Americans are leaving their jobs. While some people are changing jobs, others are choosing to remove themselves from the employment pool altogether.

Why so many resignations and why now?

In some cases, people are leaving simply because they can—they have tasted new possibilities as a result of remote work experience through COVID. Today’s landscape looks different now, as people realize they can work productively without being in the same location as their employer, a situation that may offer improved integration of work and family life. The world is more connected, and information is easily available; workers know when there is disparity in how they are treated versus how others are treated. Having many different jobs on a resume has become more common and less of a worry for potential employers, giving people the courage to leave an unpleasant situation. Others leave because they are upset, exhausted, or burned out with trying to keep up with multiple demands.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that companies must redouble their emphasis on retaining and attracting qualified staff members. Just as it’s easier and less costly to retain a current customer than attract a new one, it’s easier to invest in and keep employees than it is to find, hire, and train new ones.

Now comes the task of transforming your organization into a destination workplace. Assessing the factors that have driven workers to resign helps highlight key ways to retain and attract talented team members.

Gather the facts

Get up, get out, and talk to people. Certainly, you’re already interviewing those who leave, to learn their reasons for departing, but don’t stop there. SHRM suggests talking with valuable team members to find out what it takes to keep them there—what is presently satisfying and what on the horizon might need to be addressed to keep them happy and productive.

The answers might surprise you. Although an updated pay and benefits package is a necessity, or simply the cost of entry for retaining and attracting staff, throwing money at the problem isn’t enough. Your organizational culture, and the components that make up that culture, is your best solution for building the kind of workplace that thrives.

Compensation and culture: a powerful combination


Pay and benefits are related to specific roles. Take a fresh look at the roles in your organization, evaluating them honestly and unsentimentally. Which tasks and job duties have become so excessively routine that automation may offer a supplementary solution? Revise job descriptions to reflect the way work is done now.

Once you have a clear picture of the roles you need to maintain and those you need to fill, be sure to update the pay package with attractive wages and meaningful benefits. Healthcare and retirement benefits maintain their appeal within certain demographics, but it’s important to consider the possibility of other, more innovative but appealing benefits like a one-time bonus, benefits that provide help with student loans, or work-from-home stipends.

Culture is multidimensional. It’s the linchpin not only for an ongoing healthy workplace, but for retaining and attracting workers. Several key elements contribute to the workplace culture that your employees perceive, and these can be significant factors in retaining and attracting talent.

Respect

A recent study in MIT Sloan Management Review dives into the elements of culture that matter the most to employees, and assigning scores to these attributes that reflect their relative importance to predicting a company’s culture rating in the eyes of their employees. At the top of this list is respect, being treated “with consideration, courtesy, and dignity” while “perspectives are taken seriously.” Respect is 17.9 times more powerful as a culture score predictor as compared to the average topic.

Respect affects worker morale, productivity, and engagement. What does this look like in practice? A McKinsey report points out that listening to employees is one critical factor in creating the type of workplace where people want to stay.

Growth

Opportunities to grow and advance are significant to employees. Workers want the opportunity to learn new skills and to make full use of the skills that they bring to the table. Harvard Business Review survey data indicates that “68% of workers around the world,” across both blue-collar and white- collar populations, “are willing to retrain and learn new skills.”

Purpose

Your organization has a purpose, and leaders should be living out that purpose and value structure every day. Action, not just conversation, is needed to strengthen the connection with your workforce.

Belonging

Connection and strengthening bona fide relationships must be a priority—both between you and those you employ and between peers. This involves genuine conversation—listening to each other and getting to know each other. For new employees, these connections are vital to retaining them on your team. Isolation is too often a byproduct of remote and hybrid work arrangements.

A recent PwC report points to the benefits of workplace connections. Some companies are taking the next step by encouraging and facilitating the formation of work friendships. Pairs of colleagues meet and follow organized steps to healthy connections that go deeper than sports scores or the weather. The goal is to form friendships and peer coaching relationships that combat stress and anxiety while building accountability. These are the types of relationships that strengthen organizations, increasing the sense of purpose for workers and enhancing their well-being with new opportunities for friendship.

Appropriate pay is a baseline condition. Cultural aspects of your organization have the power to drive good employees away or attract talented people to your team. The good news is that a less- than-stellar culture can be changed. The tools are in your hands; if this seems like a daunting task, you don’t have to face it alone. A business consultant like RoundTable Consulting can help you lay out a plan for transformation and help you move forward. If you’re ready to start, give us a call to schedule a free consultation; it all begins with a conversation.



Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational,  insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations. Find Nancy on LinkedIn or reach out to her to learn more about authentic leadership and her coaching, facilitation, and training services.


Ready for more?

Are you seeking a peer advisory group to strengthen and support professional and personal growth? We are currently recruiting members to the Senior Manager and Executive Roundtables through IUSB..

Contact me to take advantage of either opportunity.

Coachability Leads to Success

Intergenerational Communications and the Workplace

in the workplace

Intergenerational Communications and the Workplace

 

What’s getting lost in translation within your organization or between your organization and others? Effective communication is the backbone of a high-performance organization; statistics reported by Pumble indicate that more than three-quarters of employees and executives attribute workplace failures to a lack of effective communications. Similarly, when teams communicate effectively, productivity could increase by as much as 25%. Onsite, hybrid and remote working options place new demands on everyday communications. Add to that, five distinct generations are now present and active in the workforce and need to collaborate.

Take a close look at your own organization. Are your habits of communication building bridges for collaboration and trust or creating barriers that fragment your company culture and undermine mutual respect?

A message is more than words.

Communication begins with a message, with raw information that needs to be conveyed clearly and without ambiguity to one or more individuals so that action can be taken. A sender and a receiver of the message must participate, each with their own context or frame of reference. Instructions on the basics of communications are plentiful. Deloitte, for example, offers insights for communications that include defining the audience, preparing the critical message and its objectives, and determining the most effective form or “package” for the message.

Words must be chosen with care, so the message is suited to its purpose and matches the needed level of formality. Is the communication strictly internal or is it directed to those outside the organization? If the message goes to customers, clients, or others outside the organization, does it accurately reflect the style and values of your organization as you wish to be represented?

Context and mode make a difference.

The mode of communication—how the message is conveyed and its effect on the receiver—taps into the human side of emotions and feelings. This is where trust is built or lost, where feelings can be hurt, or understanding can be strengthened. The mode of delivery affects the fundamental sense of whether or not someone feels heard and respected and therefore a valid member of the team. This is the realm of different communication styles, where misunderstanding can so easily surface.

Sent but not received.

Perhaps some of these situations will sound familiar. One person complains that their phone messages to another team member are never returned—or the answers they get are in the form of brief texts instead. Another person can’t understand why they receive so many emails, or bulky email threads, when an instant message or text could have been used instead. Technology has blessed us, or some might say, cursed us, with an abundance of methods for communicating in the workplace— in addition to the most basic method of face-to-face conversations. A recent PwC survey points out some of the key factors that allow employees to feel confident in the workplace, including the sense of being heard and understood. Flexibility is now the norm. For some, that represents freedom, for others, stress and insecurity at the loss of a standardized, predictable structure.

Shared history influences interpretation.

Some of the differences in preferred communication methods—face-to-face, phone, email, text, instant message systems—break down along generational lines. While we don’t want to resort to stereotypes, each of the five generations present in the current workforce has been shaped by world events outside their control and technologies that arose in their lifetimes. Just as the Great Depression, World War II, and the advent of television shaped the Traditionalist generation, the lives of Millennials have been influenced by 9/11 and the internet. The lives of Generation Z digital natives, now recently entering the workforce, have been shaped by the Great Recession and lifelong easy access to technology.

Advancements in technology redefine speed and what is considered effective. Like the fax machine that once was the epitome of rapid communication, panelists on this discussion from NYU point out that Gen Z tends to look at email the way boomers view snail mail.

Unintentionally, each generation brings their communications preferences and prejudices into the workplace. Every generation values effectiveness and strives for efficiency, but they select different means to achieve those results and often don’t recognize the reasons why others use alternative modes of communication.

Speaking the right language to be heard.

As if the variety of communication options isn’t enough to make work life complicated, each person has their own preferred learning style. Add this variable, and the mix grows even more complex. Multiple variations exist, but the typical breakdown includes Visual, Aural/Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic learners. That means, for example, that some people—regardless of their generation— prefer to take in information verbally (think phone, or in-person meetings) and others may strongly prefer graphical or written materials.

And don’t forget the business and professional objectives of communication. These objectives range from maximum speed and efficiency to the need for accurate, permanent records. Within a team, instant message conversations with responses consisting of emojis may be the most expedient way to reach a quick decision; in dealing with formal contracts, or interacting with clients of different generations, communications may require more formality along with speed.

Evaluating methods and moving toward more effective communication.

Given the dynamics that drive everyday communications, how does your organization stack up? Are you building a cohesive culture with effective communications that get the message across while supporting trust and respect between people?

Awareness of the various factors is the first step. Rumbling frustrations, attitude and morale problems often point to communications problems. Resolution begins with identifying communication style preferences: simply ask people how they prefer to interact.

Evaluate the methods and forms of communication that are needed and then determine the baseline standards that are appropriate. Some individuals may need support in skills that allow them to communicate more effectively in person or in a written format while others may need additional training or support with learning to make full and fluid use of new technology. Opening the discussion in itself acknowledges the feelings and perceptions of people and sets the stage for developing an effective blended solution.

As you navigate these challenges, don’t hesitate to call on a business consultant for help. RoundTable Consulting can help you pinpoint the areas that need to be addressed and work with you to develop a plan that will allow your team to bridge the gap and move forward with respect, understanding, and effectiveness.



Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational,  insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations. Find Nancy on LinkedIn or reach out to her to learn more about authentic leadership and her coaching, facilitation, and training services.

 


Ready for more?

Are you seeking a peer advisory group to strengthen and support professional and personal growth? We are currently recruiting members to the Senior Manager and Executive Roundtables through IUSB..

Contact me to take advantage of either opportunity.

Seven Steps Toward Better Leadership in 2022

Seven Steps Toward Better Leadership in 2022

in the workplace

Seven Steps Toward Better
Leadership in 2022.

 

When that calendar page flips to a bright, shiny new year it’s easy to think of resolutions—wishes that we’d like to have fulfilled. Why not go deeper and make this the year for lasting transformations in the skills you depend on to lead your team or organization? What follows are seven steps to improve your leadership in the coming year.

Consider your mindset.

Start with an honest assessment of your personal strengths and those of your organization. What patterns of thinking need to be replaced? Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie, in their article Lead at Your Best, review methods you can use to learn more about your mindset as a leader and find the specific mindsets that limit your leadership. New behaviors won’t take root and last if we don’t change the old underlying mindsets that hold us back.

Live out your organizational values every day.

Talking about values is easy, living them out day by day takes effort. The result is an organizational culture with integrity. The workscape is changing and being reinvented to reflect the organizational culture; people craving deeper connections and driving change. Take time to listen, inspire, and connect; as noted in the SHRM blog, make the effort to invest in people—from skills development to health and wellness.

Focus on strengths.

Change the area where you concentrate your efforts; stop focusing on your weakness and concentrate instead on your unique and specific strengths. That’s the advice from design engineer and Olympic speed skater John Coyle. In his recent article, Design for Your Strengths, Coyle talks about the significance of making this shift. It starts with a clear-eyed, detailed look at yourself. Equipped with this knowledge, the key step in moving forward is to identify the right problem to solve, then push forward in a way that works with the strengths you identified. It’s not enough to target problems to solve—they must be the right ones; the ones that unlock progress in a way that allows you to move ahead from a position of strength.

Build resilience.

A firm commit to learning and growth is the first step on the path to cultivating resilience in the face of events that are outside our control. Brent Gleeson, in Embracing the Suck, digs into the methods of developing resilience and builds on Carol S. Dweck’s research into fixed and growth mindsets. Build learning into your daily life, feeding your curiosity by stretching for new experiences and looking outside yourself; these actions help make the shift into a growth mindset that can form the foundation for resilience. A mindset of growth enables the inevitable setbacks in life to be transformed into opportunities for inspiration; the potential for a fresh start rather than a reason to quit.

Value human qualities.

The distribution of work between humans and machines is affecting jobs and desirable skills across virtually all industries. As a result, in-demand skills are those that are distinctly human-centered and not replaceable by artificial intelligence. Focus on the development of analytical thinking and complex problem solving; bolster creativity, innovation and emotional intelligence in yourself and across your organization.

Agility is a necessity.

We all know that one constant in life is change. Keeping up with changes and trends in the world and in the workplace requires ongoing effort. The World Economic Forum Report on Jobs 2020 identifies several trends that are shaping the world of work. Agility, the ability to respond to changes with flexibility and grace, is not just a temporary buzzword, but an expected practice. The definition of “workplace” has expanded. We have to be prepared for flexibility in working arrangements and hybrids of remote and in-person work; training and skills development are in high demand everywhere to meet the needs of changing job roles resulting from increases in technology and automation.

Reinforce new behaviors with discipline.

Make a commitment to disciplined practice to support ongoing learning. A mindset focused on growth involves a deep commitment to intentional learning; Lisa Christensen, Jake Gittleson, and Matt Smith illustrate the basic steps to be mastered. Make learning stick by setting small, clear goals that are securely anchored and explicit regarding what you intend to accomplish. Don’t go it alone—search out honest and meaningful feedback, then act on it. Dedicate the time necessary to deliberately practice—with the right amount of challenge to build your expertise; and finally, reflect on the entire exercise. Living, and leading, with intentionality is the goal, offering rewards that stretch far beyond a single calendar year.

Individually, we can make progress toward transformations in ourselves and our organizations; however, sometimes the process benefits from the support and guidance of a professional outside observer or business consultant. Turn to RoundTable Consulting for insights, facilitation and coaching as you deepen your leadership skills and recharge your organization.



Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational,  insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations. Find Nancy on LinkedIn or reach out to her to learn more about authentic leadership and her coaching, facilitation, and training services.

 


Ready for more?

Are you seeking a peer advisory group to strengthen and support professional and personal growth? We are currently recruiting members to the Senior Manager and Executive Roundtables through IUSB..

Contact me to take advantage of either opportunity.

Seven Steps Toward Better Leadership in 2022

Signs that you need to find a business consultant: HERE’S HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FIT.

in the workplace

Signs that you need to find a business consultant: HERE’S HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FIT.

 

You had a dream and an inspired team, on fire to succeed. That was yesterday. Today it’s a different story. What’s broken and how can it be fixed? Leadership at any level from a small team within a department, a single location of a franchise, or a medium to large corporation, may need help from a business consultant to answer that question.

Maybe each member of your team does a solid job individually, but by watching their interpersonal communication and work styles it’s clear that they could work together better: you observe territorial behaviors and incompatible communication styles. One person likes to keep all the details of current work in his head—never on paper—so if he’s not there to answer, no one else can fill in. Another team member is so painfully shy that interactions are determined by how he can utter the fewest words. A manager is unaware of how her actions reinforce a system of favorites by the way she doles out information. Your customers aren’t getting the best experience possible; trust between team members is shaky and morale is suffering.

That scenario could take place across all industries and types of organizations—from a car care and detailing shop to a non-profit organization or large corporation to a specialty service provider like a wealth advisory firm, law firm, or medical practice. Common principles of human interaction drive the success of each one; when those systems of communications, responsibility and leadership break down, problems arise, and progress slows.

A breakdown in communications is not the only form communication problems can take. The style of communications used by an individual or group as well can lead to difficulties that interfere with success. Business consulting can address a whole spectrum of issues for teams at every scale.

Maybe the challenge is less glaring; you have a sense that operations could flow more smoothly. Growth is stagnant, employees seem to be frustrated, as the list of unfinished projects grows while time runs out on reaching goals that have been set. The tension is palpable, and productivity isn’t where it should be.

You may be thinking, “I know there’s a problem, but how do I figure out the issue that’s causing the problem? And once I do, how do I develop and implement an effective solution?” Unhappy, unsatisfied employees and high turnover hurt business. Productivity and efficiency improve, and sales increase, when employees are happy and satisfied with their work and setting.

When you see signs of illness, you seek treatment. It’s no different when considering the health of your organization. Experienced leaders may be well-versed in methods and strategies designed to improve performance and revive strained relationships, but even with those tools at hand, sometimes you’re just too close to the problem to have the right perspective. The practitioner you seek is someone who can bring clarity, fresh perspective, and problem-solving skills to mend what’s broken and restore high performance.

Now you know you need to call in a consultant, but are you ready?

Are you ready for what’s ahead?

Before treatment can start, you have to check your attitude. Is leadership on board with making changes—and ready to accept sometimes painful truth—or is another agenda lurking in the background? Organizational change requires intestinal fortitude, so be prepared. When leadership is willing to look at the overall health of the organization, treatment can begin.

You have an active role in the transformation process.

Transformation is the intended outcome of consulting–an active process in which you participate, not something that is done for you. It begins with desire and receptivity to face the challenges ahead. Work is necessary for growth; it likely involves some pain, as well as the need to deal with tough questions and follow through.

Diagnosis is the first step.

Where are the gaps? What’s working and what is not working and what are the opportunities for improvement? The consultant to work with will ask tough questions and demand honest answers.

Careful observations are necessary for a consultant to get to know you, your business and your industry. Only with a deep understanding of your operation and culture can a consultant shape a customized plan. That’s why if a consultant offers you a standardized solution instead of one tailored to your needs and business sector, you should run the other way.

Listening to your answers.

A skilled consultant does more than ask good questions; they listen to the answers. At RoundTable Consulting we believe this involves pushing just a little harder to uncover the truth and your deeper motivations. As a consultant, we invest the time to understand both your culture and your industry. We allow space to brainstorm. Then we connect the dots to form a plan that can be implemented with accountability. The goals developed are yours alone, uniquely customized to your team and the dynamics of your organization.

Rewards

Commitment, effort, and determination are rewarded. Healthy communications heal and refresh working relationships. Clear goals and expectations lead to identifiable results in the areas that matter most to your organization: increased productivity, decreased employee turnover, reduced customer attrition, improved profitability, best use of human resources, and competitive advantage in attracting the best talent.

You’re a specialist at what you do—fixing cars, restoring physical or financial health, or running an industrial business and it’s important to play to your strengths. It takes wisdom to know when to turn to an outside expert for perspective and the skills and accountability to help you make transformative change in your operation.

When you’re ready to find a solution for your organization’s difficulties, we’re ready to help. Let’s start the conversation that can lead to a fresh start.



Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational,  insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations. Find Nancy on LinkedIn or reach out to her to learn more about authentic leadership and her coaching, facilitation, and training services.

 


Ready for more?

Are you seeking a peer advisory group to strengthen and support professional and personal growth? We are currently recruiting members to the Senior Manager and Executive Roundtables through IUSB..

Contact me to take advantage of either opportunity.