Tag Archives: coaching

19 (yes 19!) reasons to work with an Executive Coach

As a professional Executive Coach and Mentor, probably the one question I am asked most often is, “What would executive coaching do for me and my business?”.

Well, to help answer that question, here’s a simple list of just some of the ways executive coaching can make a difference to you, your career, and your business:

  1. Completely bespoke solutions: a professional Executive Coach will work with you to develop solutions that are as unique as you are, ensuring they completely ‘connect’ with you and so deliver the results you seek
  2. Clarity: an Executive Coach will help you find far greater clarity in the areas you work on together
  3. Focus: your Executive Coach is fully equipped with the tools and experience to improve your focus in the areas you choose, significantly improving your performance
  4. Ownership and responsibility: working with you to develop a thoroughly defined ‘picture’ of the scope of your ownership and responsibilities, and how you interact with them
  5. Direction: by bringing together many of the elements listed here, your Coach will help you develop a clearer direction that ‘fits’ with you in the best way possible
  6. Self-awareness and awareness of others: your coaching sessions will significantly enhance your self-awareness, and your awareness of others, improving your understanding of how you, and especially your emotional states, influence your behaviour, and how you observe, interpret, and respond to those same states in others
  7. Confidence: your Coach works with you to improve your confidence by bringing together all the elements listed here
  8. Purpose: your Coach will help you understand what your purpose is – what you are here to do (or be)
  9. Improving your leadership: your leadership is a constantly moving, developing skill set which your Coach will help you understand and build on in the best way for you
  10. Improving your decision-making: every great leader is a great decision-maker too, and utilising coaching to establish and understand the decisions you make, will deliver decisions of much greater quality
  11. Empowering your beliefs: our beliefs can drive us forward, but also hold us back too. You Executive Coach will help you understand your beliefs, how they influence your life and work, and what you can do to work ‘with’ them rather than being held back by them
  12. Results: your Executive Coach will facilitate you achieving genuine, worthwhile results!
  13. Reflection and learning: your coaching sessions will allow you a dedicated, completely confidential space to reflect and learn
  14. Motivation and action: when you have greater confidence in your direction and understanding, you feel more motivated to take the actions required to move you forward. Coaching clearly facilitates this
  15. Values: eliciting your core values (the fundamental, life-long ‘building blocks’ that make you the person you are) could well be one of the most valuable exercises you undertake with an Executive Coach
  16. Vision: one of the key elements a professional Executive Coach can do for you, is to help you develop and fine-tune your vision
  17. Emotional support, and truth/honesty: your Coach will help you take a long, ‘hard’ look at yourself, but in a place where such ‘deep’ exploration can be undertaking in a thoroughly supportive ‘space’
  18. A confidential ‘sounding board’: the very best leaders and executives all need someone who they can confidentially share anything with, collaborate on sharing their knowledge and experience, and who is outside of their family and social circles
  19. Confidential and dedicated support: for improving your knowledge, skills, experience, abilities, and understanding

Remember, a professionally qualified and experienced Executive Coach possesses an extensive range of tools, experiences, and abilities that are all specifically focused on working closely with you in delivering the unique solutions that move you forward with clarity, focus, direction and motivation.

N.B.: one recommendation I would always make is for you to always, always, always choose an Executive Coach who is genuinely professionally qualified. Take a look at my blog article ‘Choosing the best business coach for you’, which contains tips for choosing a great coach.

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

General Election 2017: the key leadership lessons

“Well, how did that happen?”, appears to be the most common response to the outcome of our recent General Election.

Compared to the widespread expectations when the Election was called of what the result would be, what leadership lessons can be learned from the campaign?

Rather than analyse what worked and what didn’t in the tiniest detail, let’s look at just three essential (and significant) learning points:

1) Everything that glitters etc, etc…

Firstly, if someone is telling you that everything looks certain, that you’ll ‘win’ easily, that you’re set for huge gains, never, ever believe them – and I really do mean never!

Straightaway consult others, especially those of opposing views to yours, and build a thoroughly complete ‘picture’ of the environment in which you are competing – something every world class leader I have ever met does habitually. Then trust your knowledge, experience, and, perhaps most importantly, your intuition in making your strategic decisions.

Remember, as soon as you enter into any formal competitive environment, including elections and business (e.g.: bidding processes), the gaps between the competitors will narrow, and, usually, continue to do so over the entire ‘competition’.

So, make it your decision, not someone else’s.

 

2) The E-word rules, OK?

The whole point of being in a leadership position if that you are there to lead others! (I know that sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many ‘leaders’ don’t realise, or forget this!)

This means, perhaps most fundamentally in leadership, is that you engage those you are leading, integrating them into your plans.

In the Election, just look at which party leader proved to be the most engaging with the electorate, and what happened to their share of the vote as a result (not least, as they were almost written off when the Elections campaign began).

Exactly the same applies to any leadership position in any other sector, and especially in business: as a leader, you must be able to thoroughly engage everyone you are working with (team members, peers, superiors, etc).

 

3) Simplicity trumps complexity. Every time!

As a leader, you need to always be able to communicate quickly, easily, and effectively with everyone.

Remember this simple ‘communication equation’:

Simple + clear = effective

Keep it simple (use simple words), and keep it clear (use easy to understand language), and it will be effective.

During the Election campaign, which part leader did this best?

The results speak for themselves!

So, if you ever have to ‘win’ in a challenge with a competitor, and as a leader you will from time to time, remember these three simple leadership lessons:

  1. Everything that glitters is…usually too good to be true!
  2. The E-word (‘engagement’) rules, OK?
  3. Simplicity trumps complexity. Every time!

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

Business is business, but cash is King!

‘Money’, as the old saying goes, ‘is a dirty word!’ 

There’s an old saying in business which, in my time at a very large German corporate I used to visit some or our joint ventures and hear Lord X (to keep him anonymous) bellow often (and usually whilst banging the boardroom table), “Business is business, but cash is King!”.

It’s one of the most valuable pieces of ‘advice’ I have ever had the good fortune to receive.

One of the most valuable ways you can focus your efforts to build your business success is to ensure you have healthy cashflow.

In other words, make sure you get paid the right amount on time, by the right people, at the right price, and that you do the same.

Very often I find myself working with companies, of all sizes, to strengthen their cashflow. In many cases the bulk of it is easy to put right: just get your customers to pay up on time.

However, a great many cashflow issues are created because we have a habit of being a bit ‘too British’. What I mean is that many business owners and leaders tend to avoid talking about money….and end up paying the consequences.

If someone owes you money on a certain date, then they should be paying you on that date. Fact!

Obviously, the intricacies of building a strong cashflow go far beyond just getting people to pay on time, but this probably has the single biggest impact.

So, here are some tips for developing and strengthening your cashflow – easy to do, and great for your business:

  1. Know your customer! Obvious isn’t it? Be clear who you’re trading with, what type of organisation they are, what assets they have, and, for peace of mind, take out a credit check too (#BizTip: if you have business banking services at your bank, these checks can often be obtained free or at nominal cost). More detail and knowledge is better than less.
  2. Minimise your risk. Seek up front part-payment if necessary, ensure your terms and conditions make it clear you own the goods, or may withdraw/turn off the services in the event of late or non payment. If necessary, seek a written guarantee from the directors/owners.
  3. Make sure you have fit-for-purpose terms and conditions, covering payment, at what point full ownership is transferred, guarantees and liability. If you need to update your terms, many local law firms can do this at a sensible cost, or speak business support groups for guidance.
  4. Keep up to date! Even before payment is due, make it clear to your customer when payment is due and that you know it’s due. If you are being paid late, you are effectively funding their business (which is what banks are for). You’re running a business, not a bank, so remind and chase that payment. It’s your money, after all!
  5. If you do need to enforce your terms, or take legal action, be decisive and clear about your aims and objectives in doing this. Consider reasonable offers if necessary. Remember you’re running a business so paying legal fees, and using up valuable time and effort in chasing late payment is taking you away from the customers who you know and trust.

Sir Clive Woodward, World Cup winning England rugby coach, used the acronym T-CUP: Think Clearly Under Pressure.

When the pressure on you, and your cashflow issues grow because of late payment, think clearly about how you will resolve it, and take action.

 

To find out more about improving your focus, your cashflow, as well as the benefits of professional coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

There’s always a reason not to, isn’t there? Really? I mean, REALLY?

Over the last 17 years, I have delivered a wide range of professional coaching, mentoring and consultancy services to the leadership and management of over 250 different businesses across the UK and Europe. From long-established multi-national corporates, to brand new single person start-ups, and many variations in between.

I have lost count of how many times some clients, and prospective clients alike, have said they’re “too busy”, or that they “need to sort a few things out first”, or “I’ll get back to you”, “School holidays/Christmas/etc is coming up”, etc, etc, as reasons for not doing important tasks.

You have come across something similar, I expect? Perhaps it even rings a few bells with you too?

But what is the main cause of this? What makes so many people feel they’re “too busy”, and so on?

The irony is that this is exactly one of the areas I work on with clients to improve their leadership, and grow their businesses.

So, how come there’s always a reason not to?

Easy!

It’s because their focus is not where it provides the most benefit, either for the individual or their business or, most often, both!

Now, focus is often a tricky thing to get right – there are so many things to do, so many changing priorities, and, dare I say, too many easy reasons to put more important tasks off!

So, how can focus be improved?

I’m a keen believer in trying to develop and deliver simple solutions to issues like this, simply because simple ‘works’. Complicated (usually) doesn’t!

So, when it comes to improving your focus, try these simple steps:

  1. Do or Delegate: whatever you come across, either do something with it yourself, or delegate it to someone else. Do not put it off until later!
  2. If it isn’t indispensable, it’s useless: this is one of the best time management tips I have ever been given. If you really can’t do without it, keep it. If you can do without it (no matter in how small a way), you don’t need it. Be firm in making your decision.
  3. Prioritise. Prioritise. Prioritise. Make a weekly and daily list of what you need to to do, prioritise it (click here for a simple way to prioritise any list), and do it in order of highest priority first!

To find out more about improving your focus, and other benefits of professional coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

The EASY way to prioritise ANY list

In my experience, one of the things people in the business world find most challenging is how to prioritise.

Theoretically, it should be easy. In reality, it often ends up in confusion, unnecessary complication, and, worst of all, delays in getting things done.

So how can you prioritise you ‘to-do’ list easily?

Here’s a simple method:

  1. make a list of your ‘to-dos’
  2. number the list, in numerical order, top to bottom
  3. decide on one prioritising question. e.g.: which needs doing first?
  4. compare all of the items on the list with all of the others, see below
  5. best of all, it takes justa  couple of minutes!

How to compare every item on the list with each other

Let’s say there are 5 items on the list.

Start with item 1, and compare it with item 2, asking (e.g.) ‘which needs doing first, 1 or 2?’. Put a tick against whichever item ‘wins’.

Do the same again, comparing 1 with 3. Then 1 with 4. Then 1 with 5. Each time, put one tick against which item ‘wins’.

You have now compared item 1 with each of the others.

Now move to item 2, and compare it with item 3 (you do not not need to compare it with item 1 as you have already done so above), and add the relevant tick. then compare 2 with 4, then with 5.

Now move to item 3, and compare it with item 4 (you do not not need to compare it with items 1 or 2  as you have already done so above), and add the relevant tick. then compare 3 with 5.

Then compare 4 with 5.

List Prioritised!

You now have a list of 5 items, and the number of ticks against each quickly and easily shows you the priority – the more ticks, the higher the priority.

It’s then easy to rearrange the list in order of priority.

TIP: you may end up with one or more items on your list with no ticks at all. So, these are obviously of a lower priority when compared with the other items on your list. However, it may also be a sign that they might not have any priority for you at all (double-chek by adding them to a list of different items, or by using a different prioritising question).

To find out more about how professional coaching, mentoring and consulting can improve your productivity, thinking, and decision-making, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

Having your own executive coach: Congratulations! You’re so cool!

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Are you one of the growing number of executives, directors, and business owners who have their own dedicated professional coach?

You are?

Then congratulations! You are now officially ‘cool’! A visionary! Insightful!

Above all, you have dramatically increased your opportunity for on-going success…by around 400%!

Here’s a quick stat for you:

  • around 80% of those who engage a dedicated professional coach achieve greater success in business. Fact!
  • around 80% of those that don’t, don’t!

It’s true: if you have a responsible position in (particularly) a business organisation, whatever its size, you have will have taken a significant step towards assuring your and your business’s success by recruiting the services of a professional coach.

Much as having your own therapist became ‘the’ thing to have in business on the 1990s, here in the 21st century having your own dedicated executive coach is rapidly becoming a sign of how ‘cool’ you are, and a clear sign of your dedication to making the best of yourself and your opportunities. Yes, really!

Coaching, through working with a professionally qualified and experienced coach, will help you to establish the best solutions for you and your business – it’s an entirely bespoke service dedicated to meeting and exceeding your needs, at the time you need it, in the way you need it.

What is more, a professional coach should effectively pay for themselves through the benefits they facilitate.

Remember to be very careful how you choose your coach, though!

Always:

  • make sure they have achieved a good professional coaching qualification from a UK university or management school, or one of the respected providers of coaching qualifications (N.B.: many, many providers of ‘coaching qualifications’ are not providing genuine qualifications at all, and are almost always of poor quality)
  • check out their post-qualification experience. It will help you to establish that they have a proven ability
  • look for a coach who focuses on the topics you are seeking help with, and meet with them before making a decision – if you can’t work well together, you won’t reap the greatest benefits from coaching
  • if your ‘coach’ wants you to follow their prescribed ‘programme’, walk away (as they won’t be helping you establish the unique solutions you seek)!

After all, would you use an unqualified accountant? Or an unqualified solicitor? No! So, make sure your coach is qualified too.

To find out how professional coaching can make a difference to you and your business, please call me on 01242-672440, or click here to email me.

Choosing the best business coach for you

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Let’s face it. Choosing a good coach to work with you and your business is a potential nightmare!

After all, what makes a good coach?

How can you be sure you’re getting a genuine professional?

How can you minimise the risks in choosing one and what should you expect from them?

Whilst none of these have straightforward answers, there are a few things you can do to minimise any potential risks, and dramatically improve how you find and select not only a good coach, but a great one.

To start with,  remember this ‘golden rule’: always, always, always do your research before you choose your coach.

In doing that research here are a few simple steps to focus on:

1) Ask the ‘coach’, “What is “coaching”?”

Can they clearly and simply explain the key differences between coaching, mentoring, counselling, training, teaching and telling?

TIP: make sure you know what “coaching” actually is. If you’re not sure, click here to ask me for a definition.

If the ‘coach’ cannot give a detailed and correct answer to this simple question, move on to your next candidate straightaway.

N.B.: most so-called ‘coaches’ cannot answer this question correctly!

 

2) Are they genuinely professionally qualified in coaching?

It is estimated that over 85% of so-called ‘coaches’ are not professionally qualified in coaching.

Alarming, isn’t it?

So, beware! An unqualified ‘coach’ could do untold damage to your development and the success of your business. It also means they probably do not have professional indemnity insurance for delivering coaching services (I am yet to come across an insurance provider who wouldn’t require a professional coaching qualification).

Sadly, there are a vast number of flaky (to be diplomatic) ‘coaching courses’ out there, almost all of which are well below acceptable professional standards, let alone being robust enough to be genuine qualifications.

Establishing the credibility of any ‘coach’s’ professional qualification can be tricky, but a few simple checks can make a big difference and bring much greater peace of mind to the selection process.

In my view, the best professional coaching qualifications in the UK are obtained from UK universities and management schools. Clarify whether the qualification was classroom-based (good) or distance learning (not so good).

There are also a small number of professional bodies and dedicated coaching qualification providers who deliver good quality qualifications. e.g.: the CIPD (predominantly HR focused, for delivering coaching within an organisational development programme), the International Coaching Federation (a dedicated coaching skills qualification provider who has improved the quality of their programmes considerably in recent years), Eurocoach (again another dedicated coaching skills qualification provider who is gaining in reputation for the quality of coaches they produce), to name but a few.

Note: many ‘coaches’ have completed in-house coaching skills programmes from when they were working within large organisations. Be careful! These are rarely genuine qualifications or aimed at developing coaching skills to a professional standard (of course, there are a few exceptions). These programmes are usually designed for the ‘coach’ to be working within the organisation, rather than being independent. If your preferred ‘coach’ has been trained in this way, establish how they have adapted to being a professional independent coach before going further.

(TIP: if you’re thinking about qualifying as a coach, remember the simple ‘rule’ of coaching qualifications – on the whole, you get what you pay for!).

 

3) Check-out their specific post-qualification coaching experience.

It may sound like a contradiction, but the professional qualification does not ‘make’ the coach in the fully rounded, competent professional sense.

It is their post-qualification experience that really defines a coach’s credibility and expertise as a genuine coach.

When I qualified as a coach back in 2004, I completed around 150 hours of post-qualification coaching with a very wide range of business clients before I felt I had reached a level of professional competency and ‘rounded’ coaching ability required in a professional, independent coach.

All professional coaches will understand the need to continuously and pro-actively review and develop their skills and abilities throughout their careers, learning from every coaching session they deliver. As such, an experienced coach tends to work in specific areas of delivery that reflects their skills and experience (as this will provide greater empathy with the subject matter). In my case, for example, I concentrate on working with business clients around their leadership, business strategy and growth management requirements.

So, look for a genuinely qualified professional coach with a delivery focus in the areas you are seeking to change or develop.

Remember, it is not unusual to enlist the expertise of more than one coach in order to make sure their collective expertise is aligned with all of your requirements.

 

So, that’s it!

Three, hopefully, simple steps to help you find the best coach for you.

Just remember to do your research first.

If you’re unsure about anything here, or if you have any questions about coaching, please get in touch – I’m here to help.

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2015-17. All rights reserved.

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Are you in the coaching minefield?

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At this time of year, I meet many Directors and business owners who are actively thinking of hiring a professional business ‘coach’.

Yet, almost all of them ask me the same question:

“How do I find a good one?”.

It’s a potential minefield! It’s a very fair, and not easily answered question! But here goes anyway…

The challenges are that ‘coaching’ has become a rather trendy word, and the vast majority of people who call themselvesRising profits ‘coaches’ actually have no idea what coaching is, and, more worryingly, have no professional coaching qualifications at all.

So here is how I would go about it as a first few steps, although I would emphasise I have been involved in coaching for around 12 years, and completed my professional qualifications all the way back in 2004.

Remember, your coach will have a significant impact on you and your business, so make sure you put in the time and effort to choose the right one!

 

Understanding

Firstly, I would ask any potential coach candidate to clearly identify the differences between coaching, mentoring, training, teaching and telling – there are distinct, and important differences. Any professional coach should easily be able to do this ‘off the cuff’. If you’re unsure what their answers should include, ask me!

 

Practices

How do they work with a client? Do they want you to follow a ‘system’ they have developed or use (more common with newly qualified coaches who are building their experience portfolio, those who are unqualified or franchised ‘coaches’ (who, in my opinion, you;re best avoiding))?

Or will they give you exactly what you and your business need?

From the experience of clients who have come to me after working with the former, I would certainly recommend you avoid any coach who tries to get you to follow a prescribed ‘system’ as it essentially assumes the needs of you and your business are just the same as every other business….and, I can almost guarantee, they won’t be!

Working with a coach who gives you exactly what you want will deliver the best results, and provide the best value for you.

 

Profile

Next, I would recommend you have a detailed rummage around their LinkedIn profile:

Are they a genuinely professionally qualified, experienced coach, or are they someone who has ‘been on a course’, or left their previous employment and decided to ‘set themselves up’ as a ‘coach’?

Do they use their coaching skills with other useful skillsets (e.g.: mentoring)?

Do they have coaching experience relevant to you and your needs?

Their profile should, at the very least, help you to answer this.

 

Qualifications

Then, look at their professional coaching qualifications.

Are they genuinely qualified?

If so, which body were they obtained from?

Warning! There are many, many ‘coaching courses’ out there that provide coaching skills training of a, being as diplomatic as I can, highly variable quality!

Certainly, many of these are not of the standard you should reasonably expect in a professional coach.

I would firmly recommend that you ascertain their coaching skills qualifications are from a UK university or a recognised, professional UK institute (e.g.: the CIPD or similar). These qualifications usually take 1 to 2 years to complete, let alone the professional development that follows.

It is simply not possible to become a professionally competent coach after attending a weekend course!

Probably only 10%-20% of ‘coaches’ are genuinely qualified, around 80% of which are women.

 

So, you have checked out a bit about their understanding of coaching, their willingness to ‘publish’ their coaching experience and expertise, and that they are properly qualified. What next?

 

Reputation

What about their reputation?

Ask your network as it probably has far greater reach than you realise.

How well known is your prospective candidate among your peers?

What is their track record, and who can you find who would recommend them?

Who has actually worked with them and what were the outcomes?

 

Relationship

Can you work with them openly and productively?

Spend some time with them to find out. Ask any questions you have and consider their answers carefully.

Remember that a coach may well be helping you to explore areas that are challenging to say the least, so trust is essential.

 

Cost

What you pay for genuine professionals is built on the same principle the world over: you get what you pay for!

If you come across a ‘coach’ whose charges seem surprisingly low, beware!

Typically, a professionally qualified, experienced business coach will charge about the same as an accountant.

 

So there you are. Just a few thoughts from me which will hopefully help you avoid some of the pitfalls and risks from choosing the wrong coach.

 

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2015-17. All rights reserved.