Tuesday, 2 February 2016

#hrevent16 blog #2 of many

Second speaker up was Marshall Goldsmith. 

At this point my head is spinning. I should have taken an earlier train as it got in at 8:30 and I more or less sprinted to get to the ICC by 8:40. I then spent a good 25 minutes queuing at and arguing with the delegate registration staff to get myself a badge before they and I realised that my badge was waiting for me in the Speakers Lounge, but that that badge had my name and company spelt wrong so a new badge was eventually procured. So I missed the welcoming speech and also missed out on getting a coffee. 

And I need coffee every morning. 

So I'm listening to Marshall Goldsmith give his talk and my mouth is dry, I need to go to the toilet and I am still in a bit of a whirl. It's a small wonder I managed to blog Howard Webbs speech at all. 

So Marshall Goldsmith is talking about a range of things, primarily to do with employee engagement and how we can build better resilience. He talked at length about triggers, the emotional kind mainly, and how we can avoid wasting energy in responding to triggers that send us down dead ends. His advice was to control ones reaction to the triggers to avoid wasting energy - life is always going to be crazy, so accept it and deal with it. 

He then talked about a structured coaching process that should help us all to coach ourselves and others. Before he did that he talked about lessons from Alan Mullally attempting to change leadership behaviours to turn around corporate performance. Mullally had zero tolerance for poor leadership behaviours, and helped the company to turn around by living the values and behaviours, not by talking. This achieved cultural change through employee engagement by showing leaders who were engaged and truthful and transparently living the values and behaving correctly and in line with how they ought to.  

Goldsmith openly admitted that coaching oneself is difficult and he pays a woman called Katie to ring him every day and ask him a series of coaching questions, because he, as the worlds leading executive coach, finds it too hard to do it to himself. 

His Daily Question process covers - how many times yesterday did you try to prove something right that wasn't worth it? How many angry or destructive comments did you make about other people? How many times did you (do exercise / do or say something nice / etc etc). Basically it's questions about how you live your life, and it's up to you how you answer them but going through the process is hard and takes practice. 

His approach to employee engagement includes the concept of active questions. Active questions focus on what YOU can do to make a positive difference to yourself and the world, not the other way around. They all should begin "did I do my best..?"

- to be happy
- to find meaning
- to be fully engaged
- to build positive relationships
- to set clear goals
- to move towards the goals

And then ask yourself what you would do differently to get a higher score the following day?

These are powerful coaching questions and I can immediately see application for myself as I move towards starting a new job and making new relationships at the end of this month. Studies show that the vast majority of people report some improvement, on most of the items, with almost no one reporting any negative change and only a minority reporting no change. The studies show that these questions WORK and deliver individual employee engagement.

Now multiply that by thousands, millions. It's a good thing to try. I know I will. 


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