‘Tis the Season – Reflecting on What You Learned

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Welcome to December, friends!

How exciting that we have made it to the last month of 2017! What a ride it has been.

We’re not sure if you’ve ever dabbled in project or program management, and either way we’ve got a best practice from some of Coaching Right Now’s PM’ing team this week!

At the end of each project or program we love to capture our “lessons learned”. What are those things that either worked amazingly well that we’d LOVE to make sure we do again? Or, what are those things that did not work so well that we hope to never experience again?!

So for all of us, as we are closing up 2017 and moving into 2018, what if we were to take some time to think about our personal lessons learned?

Need some questions to get you started? Try these!

  • What are three things you are most proud of this year?
    • What made you proud of those things?
  • What is one thing that if you could do differently you would?
    • What is it about it that you’d want to change?
  • What are two things that surprised you about yourself, and would you want to do those things again?
  • What are two things that gave you a lot of energy this year?
  • What are two things that took away a lot of your energy this year?
  • What is something I wish I could have spent more time on this year?

Hopefully these will give you a starting place!

“The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi

‘Tis the season for reflecting on what you learned!

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Interviewing: Finding the “Right” Candidate

Interviewing: Finding the “Right” Candidate

You’ve got a new position added to your team – yes!

Now you’ve got the challenge of finding the just-right person to fill the role.

Historically, interview questions center around how the candidate has the best skills for the job or what they think sets them apart from all the other candidates.

But how can you be sure they have these skills?

Try interviewing FIRST for character, personality, and culture fit for your organization!

Ready to try it? Here are some behavior-based questions to get your juices flowing:

  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
  • If you could choose to have any superpower – what would it be?
  • We are sometimes confronted with the dilemma of having to choose between what is right and what is best for the company. Can you please give me an example of a situation in which you faced this dilemma and how you handled it?
  • Walk me through a time you were able to be creative with your work.
  • Tell me about a situation in which you have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control. How did you handle it?
  • What does your best day ever look like?
  • Give me an example of a time you discovered an error that been overlooked by a colleague. What did you do? What was the outcome?
  • We’ve all done things that we regretted. Can you give me an example that falls into this category for you? How would you handle it differently today?

Try some of these out and let us know how they go!

We’d also love to hear some of your best interviewing questions!

 

Think More Like A….

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It’s probably safe to say that we have all had a moment like this… someone who you work for calls you into their office and says “I want you to think more like entrepreneur”.

What does that MEAN?! Entrepreneur is ambiguous, unclear, and you feel like you don’t have the freedom/power/authority to do what your boss is asking. You walk away wondering what is it that they are actually asking you to do?

Frustrated yet? Me too.

And your boss is frustrated too.

Now what?

The next time you are asked to think more like an entrepreneur, merchant, sales man, lawyer, or like your customer – we’d encourage you to ask some of the following questions:

  • Can you tell me a little more about what that means to you?
  • How can I demonstrate the quality you are looking for?
  • If I were thinking more like [a sales man] how would you know?
  • I am totally on board with working towards this – can you help clarify what success would look like here?

By asking clarifying questions you are engaging the other person to help define what they would like to see changed.

And, maybe think about being a little more descriptive the next time you ask your direct reports to change something they are doing too!

Reflecting on Where You’ve Come From

Snowy MountiansWe made it!

It is the last week of 2014. Can you believe another year has already gone by?

Let’s take a few minutes to think back about the year that just passed by.

Like the picture of the mountains, sometimes before you look at what you are going to conquer next it is helpful to look back at all the mountains you’ve already hiked.

Regardless of how this year was, here are some questions to direct our thoughts about the year:

  • What was best thing that happened this year?
  • What was the most challenging thing that came up this year?
  • What was the most unexpected joy?
  • What was the most unexpected obstacle?
  • What are 3 words you would use to describe 2014?

Let’s use the best and most challenging things from this past year to help us dream about where we want to go in 2015.

Are you Listening?

ListeningOftentimes, people say they want to communicate better.  What I have found is that they mean they want their communications output to be clearer – written, spoken, presented, or otherwise.  But when I hear this, I look to their listening skills first.

If you agree with the adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’,  listening is the most important component of communication.  It’s the input part of communication and you’re unlikely to produce good communication output without considering your inputs.

There are a few different levels of listening to consider:

1 – I hear your words, but I’m thinking about how they affect me and how I’ll remember and respond.

2 – I hear your words and I’m aware of your body language, tone, and the context of the communication, and will respond taking into account all those factors.  I ask questions.

3 – All of level 2, plus, I’m aware of you, and I’m aware of additional context and history.  I am clarifying and summarizing what I hear to get even closer to what you’re saying. My goal is to understand.

There are certainly reasons to be in each level.  But the key differences are important to consider when building relationships and trust.