WHEN HAPPINESS IS ELUSIVE
Q: I have always been grappling with happiness. What is it? How can I achieve it? As a coach, what are your views on this?
A: The single most important outcome people want from coaching is happiness. Although different people have different reasons for wanting this, it brings about the kind of outcomes that put more meaning to their lives. Some key ones include: a satisfying life filled with good experiences, a good relationship, a career that one is proud of and enjoy doing, able to live to one’s highest values, and be loved by dear ones and respected by all.
The difference between a “happiness” goal and other types of goal is, it is not a future state that you seek to have and you do not have it now. You cannot say, “I want to be happy in three years’ time”, but you can say, “I want my own house in three years’ time”. You cannot pursue happiness as a future state because you will start to set condition for happiness, for example, “If my children love me, then I will be happy”. So, a coach will work with you on how you can be happy now!
POWERFUL QUESTIONS. What does being happy mean to you? Think of a time when you were happy. What was it like? How can you be happy with the things you already have? What new positive meanings can you put on the key aspects of your life: family, career, friends and health?
COACHING TO UNLEASH TALENTS
Q: I am a human resources director. For years, we have been working over many projects to build talents for the organisation. How can coaching help to unleash potential talents in an organisation?
A: When we treat talent-building in a mass-customised way, it is bound to fail. If your organisation has about 30 years of history, you need to be aware that there are four generations of people working there. Each generation has their specific skills, interests, values and motivation.
When diversity in development is not exercised to treat them in special ways, any form of programmes will find it hard to survive.
There is a need for focused attention on each individual. This is where coaching is relevant as it gives individual attention to people.
Another problem with conventional development programme is that there is only “one way” to do things and that itself robs people the opportunity to be creative and resourceful.
The key to coaching is challenging people to think and find different ways to a solution rather than following an established tradition set by
The ability to unleash people’s potential is an advanced management skill and not something that every manager will know what to do.
POWERFUL QUESTIONS. What training has your managers undergone to develop employees’ potential? What causes poor results? What is your commitment to ensure better results next time? What will you do differently to move forward?
COACHING THE TECHNICAL MANAGER
Q: How would a team of technical managers benefit from coaching? I am not sure whether coaching is all about soft skills, which may be either too much for my people to learn or whether they are all that relevant?
A: Whether they are technical managers or not, there are two types of leadership competencies that leaders require to succeed well: technical and non-technical or adaptive leadership competencies. The business world today is no longer in distinct black or white, but is in “shades of grey” that makes things more ambiguous. Technical challenges have clear answers, for example fixing a production line or solving a cashflow issue. Non technical issues are a lot more complex. Clear answers are elusive and most people cannot get such clear answers when they were studying in colleges or universities. While technical issues can be solved from people’s positional powers, non technical ones are usually solved through influence and persuasion.
Your technical managers may have to, for instance, redefine customer handling strategies for greater effectiveness, or boost the performance of their people. They cannot do all these by themselves and will have to involve people, deal with their emotions and so forth. This is where coaching comes in to help them increase their personal powers to deal with a variety of people and situations.
POWERFUL QUESTIONS. What is the “picture” of your ideal organisation? Where are you now? What proportion of your managers’ time involves dealing with people? What are the current challenges facing them? Rate their effectiveness in managing each of these critical areas? What are you committed in helping them to acquire sustainable leadership behaviours to deal with their challenges?