The Next level Living Radio Show

The Next level Living Radio Show
Author Tony Husted coach

I recently had the opportunity to host an ecumenical Radio Show for KWEB Radio. The opportunity was a blessing, and short lived. Jeff Reid the producer of the show, and owner of the station was called home to be with the Lord in June 2007, brining the show to a premature end. Feel free to listen to the first few shows below. I will be taking the concept of Next Level Living and turning it into a 21 Day E-Course in the near future.

The Next Level Living Show #1 Part 1:

The Next Level Living Show #1 Part 2:

The Next Level Living Show #1 Part 3:

The Next Level Living Show #2 Part 1:

The Next Level Living Show #2 Part 2:

The Next Level Living Show #2 Part 3:

The Next Level Living Show #3 Part 1:

The Next Level Living Show #3 Part 2:

The Next Level Living Show #4 Part 1:

The Next Level Living Show #4 Part 2:

The Next Level Living Show #4 Part 3:

The Next Level Living Show #5 Part 1:

The Next Level Living Show #5 Part 2:

The Next Level Living Show #5 Part 3:

Interview with Marilyn Atkinson PhD. Founder of Erickson College International: What is Coaching?

From Coaching to Expert Consulting

From Coaching to Expert Consulting
Author Tony Husted coach

Human Resource Management Term Paper
From Coaching to Expert Consulting

August 15, 2006

Coaching has become a buzzword recently in business. More and more job descriptions list Coaching as a primary responsibility for managers. The Noe and Mondy (2005) text, Human Resource Management, states that, “Coaching is considered the responsibility of the immediate boss.” (p. 211). Noe and Mondy also contend that, “the purposes of mentoring and coaching are similar in concept and in terms are often used interchangeably in the literature, we discuss them together.” (p. 210).

Coaching is not interchangeable with mentoring even if the purposes might be similar. Through an exploration of what Coaching, Mentoring, Managing, and Expert Consulting are, and the roles individuals play within these areas, the proper usage of each can be better understood, and indicate that the statements quoted above are in fact false.

A good understanding of the proper uses and distinctions of these four areas are essential for anyone who is responsible for managing human resources at any level.

There are circumstances where each of these four areas in fact cross over, but they should not be used interchangeably. They each have attributes and uses that make them distinct. Through an exploration of each in pure form, and considering how certain roles and responsibilities impact these relationships the uniqueness of each and the reasons they should not be used interchangeably will be apparent.

These four types of relationships cover a spectrum of relationships in business. Although all four areas can certainly cross over at certain times and under certain circumstances, understanding the nature and benefits of each in its true form allows for the proper use of each from a Human Resource Management perspective.
Coaching

In pure form Coaching is question based and non-directive, involving a Coach and a Client. According to Marilyn Atkinson PhD. (2006), President of Erickson College International, “Most people don’t yet understand that coaching is truly an advice-free zone that assists people to regain their faith in life, turn on the flow of inner connection and creativity, and open wide to humor and life balance. People immediately reach out to the capacity to take leadership in their own lives.”

The International Coaching Federation, the largest organization in the world involved with the field of Coaching defines the role of a Coach: “Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches’ help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.

Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.” (2006)

One key distinction is this statement is the scope of Coaching stretches beyond the workplace into all aspects of the client’s life. This distinction can become problematic for a Manager, and will be explained later in this paper.

Jan Elfine PhD, a Master Certified Coach, Coach Trainer and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming explains, “The major difference between masterful training, therapy, consulting or mentoring, and masterful coaching can be described quite simply. The coach does not have the answers. The coach does not provide expertise. A coach operates from the presuppositions that clients have all the resources they need, including the ability to discover and utilized resources. The coaching relationship moves the client toward an increased awareness of his/her choices. The coach encourages the client to develop more behavioral flexibility, to try the unfamiliar, to venture into new territory and his or her own pace. As clients expand their repertoire of behaviors, they are aware a deeper level that the effort is their own, that they have made the choices and taken the actions that led to their growth. “Credit” goes to the client, not the coach” (2002)

Robert Dilts an internationally known developer and author in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming wrote that, “Coaching emphasizes generative change, concentrating on defining and achieving specific goals. Coaching methodologies are outcome-oriented rather than problem-oriented. They tend to be highly solution focused, promoting the development of new strategies for thinking and acting, as opposed to trying to resolve problems and past conflicts. Problem solving, or remedial change, is more associated with counseling and therapy.” (Coach to Awakener)

Because Coaching holds the clients agenda, is advice-free, question based, and solution-focused in nature, Coaching in business needs to come from outside the organization. One way to do this is through the use of independent coaches. There are also specific applications where outside Coaching can be especially effective: at high levels within an organization a leader who struggle outside of the work setting with personal challenges might be hesitant to share intimate details of his life with his superiors, possibly the Board of Directors. This is especially true with CEO’s. Who can the CEO take his challenges, or even his own personal victories to in confidence?

What is the likelihood that he would take this challenge to a subordinate within his own human resources department? Now imagine a senior manager who is struggling to meet the work demands set forth by her manager. Who can she take this issue to? If she takes this issue to the boss’s boss, possibly the CEO of the company, it is sure to get back to her boss that she “complained” about him and could have negative consequences. On the positive side, she might have a great idea that she is developing, but would like to explore and develop more before taking it to others within the organization?

Now imagine that her company has an outside coach available to her. A Coach can work with her to examine the environment where she works, her behaviors, capabilities, beliefs, values, and identity to identify potential solutions, actions plans, obstacles, and motivation to improve the situation.

The field of true Coaching is based on the work of Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis. The underlying concept behind what Gallwey taught is the ability of the unconscious mind to learn and create naturally by occupying the conscious mind and allowing the unconscious mind to then take over the task. Gallwey would not tell you how to swing a forehand he would literally have you pay attention to something, like the spin on the ball coming toward you, or singing a simple lyric like “toss-and-a-swing” to “teach” you how to serve, with the understanding that the unconscious mind can handle many more “chunks” of attention and the conscious mind can.

This basic concept has taken a step further in Life, or Business Coaching. Coaching presupposes that the client is completely resourceful and through questioning and exploring their own environment, actions, capabilities, beliefs, values, and spirituality the client comes to profound answers that are their own. More than likely you’ll have experienced pure coaching in your life. You have probably seen someone who wanted to make a change in their life for example to lose weight, or to quit smoking for a long time. Their friends, family, and maybe even their boss all had ideas of why, when, and what they should do to accomplish their goal. However when it came down to them actually achieving that goal, it was their own internal decision of why, when and how they should do it that empower them to make the change. That type of decision can often come in response to someone asking a profound question that changes the way the person perceived their world. Coaches assist clients to reach the why, when, and how through a free flowing relationship that can create change in a rapid manner.

Some coaches do more then pure coaching. One of the major online organizations providing coach training and ongoing educational opportunities for coaches is Coachville.com. Dave Buck, one of the founders of Coachville, in his Coaching Manifesto, believes the whole conversation of what coaches do and don’t do, “is completely useless. Mostly because the people who matter- the players – REALLY DON’T CARE. Whether or not coaches give advice, or only ask questions or get involved or don’t get involved or have an agenda or don’t have an agenda – FORGET IT! This is what coaches do: whatever it takes within the context of fair play to help the player win the game.”

The biggest gap between being a Manager and being a Coach is agenda. A Manager’s primary responsibility is to the corporation. Milton Freidman, (1970) Nobel Prize winning economist, wrote that, “In a free-enterprise, private-property system, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business. He has direct responsibility to his employers. That responsibility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.”

A conflict can arise when a manager must make a decision that is in the corporation’s best interest but not in the employee’s best interest. At that moment the manager violates one of the International Coaching Federations Core Competencies, “Attends to the client and the client’s agenda, and not the coach’s agenda for the client.”

“Coaching, often considered a responsibility of the immediate boss, provides assistance ship such as a mentor. The coach has greater experience or expertise than the protégé and is in the position to offer wise advice.” (211) A Coach might have greater experience or expertise than the client and could give wise advice, but this is much more in line with a mentor a model. Mondy and Noe’s description of Coaching violates one of the basic tenets of Coaching, that the client is the expert in their own life and that they have unlimited resources and potential within them.

Comparing traditional sports coaching with the type of Coaching introduced by Timothy Gallwey is a good representation of this difference as well. A traditional sports coach has an agenda; maybe it could be described as a method. The traditional sports coach looks at the behavior and tells the athlete how to change their actions to improve performance. Timothy Gallwey’s believes that if the conscious mind is occupied and a learning space is present, the athlete’s unconscious mind will learn through the natural process of doing the activity. Gallwey never assumed that he knew how an athlete should do a forehand in tennis.
Mentoring

Mentoring in pure form involves a Mentor and Protégé relationship. The Mentor is considered to have knowledge and experience that the Protégé needs or wants. In a metaphorical sense the Mentor has walked the path that the Protégé is about to embark on. The Mentor advises the Protégé what to expect, what pitfalls to watch out for, and what resources will be needed for the journey.

Chip Bell (2002) in his book Manager as Mentor proposes an updated definition for what Mentoring is: “Bottom line, a mentor is simply some one who helps someone else learn something that would have been otherwise learned less well, more slowly, or not at all. Notice the power-free nature of this definition; mentors are not power figures.” (p. 5)

The above description is much broader than how Bell describes an older narrow idea of what Mentoring is: “The traditional use of the word ‘mentor’ denotes of person outside one’s usual chain of command – from the junior’s point of view, someone who ‘helps me understand the informal system and offers guidance on how to be successful in this crazy organization.’ Not all mentors are supervisors, the most effective supervisors act as mentors. Mentor is typically focused on one person; group mentoring is training or teaching.” (p. 5)

Mentoring can also be viewed on a wide scale, and many Mentors do Coach. Bell reflects upon how being a supervisor can have a negative impact on the relationship between Mentor and Protégé.

“Mentoring works best when implemented in the spirit of partnership. In the Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge talks about another’s ‘fellowship’ as a key support for learning but I think ‘family’ is a better ‘f’ word to capture the spirit of partnership. Fellowship could be simply an association, but ‘family’ implies a much deeper relationship. Learning requires risk taking and experimentation. In necessitates error and mistake. It is uniquely difficult for a mentor to carry out an insight goal (fostering discovery) from and in charge (I’m the boss) role, simply being an ‘expert’ creates the potential of unequal power. Applied to mentor and protégé, ‘family’ implies a closer relationship, not a parent child relationship. The goal is partnership. (p. 13)

This idea of partnership clearly moves the relationship towards the left end of the continuum. Senge’s (1990) idea of partnership with equal power raises the agenda issue. A corporate executive clearly cannot maintain a relationship of equal power with employees.
Managing

In their textbook Management a Practical Introduction, Kinicki and Williams (2006) define Management as, “the pursuit of organizational goals efficiently and effectively by integrating the work of people through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the organization’s resources.”

There is one core reason why a manager cannot be primarily responsible for Coaching: agenda. A Manager’s primary responsibility is not to the employee but to the corporation. Milton Freidman (1970), a Nobel Prize winning economist, stated that, “In a free-enterprise, private-property system, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business. He has direct responsibility to his employers. That responsibility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.”

A conflict can arise when a manager must make a decision that is in the corporation’s best interest but not in the employee’s best interest. At that moment the manager violates one of the International Coaching Federations Core Competencies, “Attends to the client and the client’s agenda, and not the coach’s agenda for the client.”
Expert Consulting

Expert Consulting is in many ways the opposite of coaching. The first big differences in the name, the use of the word expert implies that the consultant has specific knowledge and experience beyond that of the client. In some ways consulting is limited by the simple fact that the consultant must have experience with the specific areas the client needs assistance with. Expert consulting might also be in conflict with this tenant if the consultant believes that the areas the client wants to work on are different than what the consultant identifies opportunities or problems.

Even within the field of expert consulting there are varying ideas on what a consultant’s does. One example, a form that some consider a method of group or organizational coaching is Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a change management tool developed by David Cooperrider, PhD in the 1980’s. The main thrust of AI is appreciation of what works and is going well in an organization or individual.

Through holding a focus on the positive aspects of a business or an individual’s life, these strengths develop and manifest to a greater level. This is in stark contrast to societal habits focusing on what is wrong, broken, or not going well. AI, like Coaching holds a belief that there is power in process. Simply by having someone from the outside ask questions about the workings and dynamics of the organization, group or individual, there is learning and change that takes place. The AI consultant may gather information together and facilitate processes for the client, but often does not offer advice or expertise in regards to making changes within the organization.
Conclusion

Although many the outcomes and purposes of Coaching, Mentoring, Managing, and Expert Consulting might overlap, they are each unique in their pure form. With this knowledge a manager of human resources can be more effective in choosing the correct type of relationship for the growth and development of individuals within the organization. Being aware of the conflicting agendas between these four areas, the human resource manager can better address “the utilization of individuals to achieve organizational objectives. (Noe and Mondy. 2006. p. 4)

References

Atkinson, M. (2006, Summer). Who Else Wants To Play The World Game? Erickson College Newsletter, p1

Bell, C. R. (2002). Managers as Mentors. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Buck, D. (2006, August 12). Coaching Manifesto.

“Coaching Core Competencies.” (2006, August 8).

Dilts, R. (2003). From Coach to Awakener. Capitola, CA: Meta Publications.

Friedman, M. (1970, 13 September). The New York Times Magazine.

Kinicki, A. & Williams, B.K. (2003). Management A Practical Introduction. NY, NY: McGraw Hill/Irwin

“Mentor.” Pennsylvania State University. (2006, 9 August).

Senge, P. (1990). The Fifth Discipline. NY, NY: Doubleday/Currency.

“What is Coaching?” International Coach Federation. (2006, 14 August).

Communicating Presentations

Communicating Presentations
Author Tony Husted coach

Communicating Presentations

Tony Husted

Organizational Communication
Dr. Forrest Inslee
Communicating Presentations

Effectively transferring information to an audience during a presentation can be a challenge. Looking at a presentation through the lens of a basic communication model will identify some key factors to be considered. A very basic model consists of a sender, receiver, message and noise. The presenter is the sender, the receiver is the audience, the message is verbal and non-verbal communication that is being sent and the noise is all the possible outside influences that may change how the message is perceived.
Sender

The message is sent from the presenter through the noise to the receiver. In this model the area the presenter has the most control over is the sender. There are three major areas of focus when thinking about the sender presenting information. According to major research in this area the three areas are Body Language, Voice Tonality and Words (Mehrabrian, 1971).

In his research Professor Mehrabrian found that 55% of the communication actually comes from body language of the presenter, closely followed by Voice Tonality at 38%. The most amazing finding of the study is that the actual words used only account for 7% of the actual communication that takes place.
Words

This research does not discount the value of the actual words being conveyed but it does shine a light on the outcome of material presented. When preparing a presentation the words used should be preplanned and well thought out. However in light of Mehrabrian’s research, just as much or more time should be spent on the physical aspects of how the presentation will be given.

A good rule of thumb is to go for quality not quantity. More often than not, you will have a limited time to present your material; you will be probably be constrained by the time allotted to you or your audience’s attention span. Make sentences short, concise and to the point. Imagine that you are presenting an executive summary. Give the audience the essential details, preview the main points, tell them know what you will be covering, explain your outcomes, and make a recommendation.

One of the most powerful uses of words is telling a story. Through story telling you can explain complicated material, keep the audiences attention and One of the most easily distracted audiences in the world are children. How do you keep a child’s attention? By telling them a story you can hold a child’s attention for hours as well as convey a message in a non-confrontational manner. This can be an important skill with a high-context audience (see Receiver below).

Jesus is one of the greatest presenters in history. His use of stories as a presentation tool is still relevant today. He used parables to convey moral stories and communicate values. He used everyday stories that the audience could relate to and understand to engage his audience in thought.
Voice Tonality

The second largest amount of information the audience will receive according to Mehrabrian is from voice tonality. People pick up a wide range of information from the quality of our voice. Keep in mind your audience and use proper vocabulary and pronunciation. Don’t use complicated jargon in an attempt to sound smart, instead use terminology that the entire audience will know and understand. Be aware that you may be nervous and this may cause you to speak rapidly. Take brief pauses in your speech and monitor your speech rate. Be sure that your voice reflects the energy of the topic; a professional speaker like Tony Robbins will definitely use a different amount of verbal energy when speaking at a large motivational rally than with a smaller group of people at a fund raising event.

One of the most effective ways to improve your voice quality is to tape record yourself. Have you ever heard your own voice on a voice-mail recording and think to yourself, “that doesn’t sound like me!” When we speak and hear our own voice it resonates in our head and what we hear is not what others hear.

O’Connor and Seymour (1994) suggest listening to and modeling radio announcers. They only have the auditory realm to work with which makes them very effective with their voices. They also suggest watching presenters you like and some who you don’t like to get a model of what makes a good presentation versus what makes a poor one.
Body Language

The importance of your appearance is summed up in the common saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” How you appear before your audience is a communication in itself. Is it what you want to communicate? Make sure that what you are wearing is comfortable and appropriate. When considering appropriate attire look at yourself from the audience’s perspective. If you were in the audience what kind of first impression would you make if the roles were reversed? It is also a good idea to get feedback from someone you trust, how do they see your hair, clothing, and watch/jewelry?

Your posture makes a fundamental assertion about yourself. An upright stance with good posture communicates ease and confidence. Imagine that someone is pulling a string that is attached to the top of your spinal column straight up, pull your shoulders slightly back and tuck your chin straight back a little. Now look at yourself in a mirror, how different does this look as compared to when you slouch? Stand comfortably on both feet equally. Swaying back and forth, rocking forward and back, shifting from one leg to the other, and going back on one hip can be very distracting.

Once in front of your audience eye contact with the group is very important. Imagine having a conversation with a person who never made eye contact. Would you trust the information that individual gave you? If the audience is large, mentally divide the room up into four to six areas. Pick one or two of the friendliest people you see in each area and make eye contact with them in turn, to get started. As you continue to speak continue rotating through the sections making direct eye contact with different individuals. Practice holding eye contact for five seconds. This practice will keep your eyes from darting around the room and making the audience feel like you are not looking at anyone in particular.

Gestures are one non-verbal way in which we communicate meaning. They can either add to or detract from our presentation. The gesture that will change your speaking presentations the most is often referred to as the nervous gesture. This is the habitual and often unconscious movements that we make when speaking in front of a group of people. It may be twisting the hair, reaching into a pocket, clicking a retractable pen or any other number of ‘ticks’. Video taping yourself and watching the tape is often the quickest way to identify a nervous habit like this. Once you have removed this habit, find the next one and remove it as well. Doing so will remove a large amount of the unintended gestures that may distract from your message.

Use the space that is given to you as a tool. If the space permits try to move around in a meaningful manner. When asking rhetorical questions or trying to gain agreement move towards the audience. Like gestures use this movement intentionally. Don’t pace back and forth across the stage but do get out from behind the lectern if possible.

James and Shepard (2001) suggest that you designate certain areas of the stage for certain kinds of activities. For example, by moving to Down Stage Left each time you answer questions, and moving Down Stage Right when are about to present new material the audience will unconsciously associate what is coming next. Over time when you move Down Stage Right the audience will automatically pick up their notebooks because new information is coming and by simply stepping away from Down Stage Left, the audience will know that you are moving on and to hold their questions.
Receiver

The audience or receiver of your presentation must also be considered when giving a presentation. The most important factor is considering who the receiver is and how that might affect the way in which they receive your presentation.

Is the audience mainly male or female? Keep in mind that men are more content oriented and women are more relationally oriented. Unless the audience is completely male or completely female, be sure to address both sexes. If you are a male presenter remember to address the relational needs of the female audience members if you want them to connect with your material. If you are a female presenter and your audience is male be sure that you have hard data and that you use this information logically.

A good generalization to keep in mind is that Men focus on facts, reason and logic while women focus on feelings, senses and meaning. Women thrive on harmony and relating while men thrive on competing and achieving.

If presenting to an audience from other ethnic or cultural backgrounds do some research and find out how this may affect the information you present. North Americans and Europeans tend to be low context and linear thinking. Communication tends to be very direct with the importance placed on what is being said and not how it is being said. North Americans and Europeans are more likely to be linear thinkers and look at ideas one step at a time. They like complex tasks broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks. A possible downfall of this style of thinking is losing sight of the big picture.

In contrast Latin Americans and Asians communicate in a high context manner and are often systematic thinkers. High context cultures place emphasis on relationships, and business is often built on personal connection. Trust is an essential part of doing business and conflict is not handled head on like in low context cultures. Systematic thinking analyses individual parts to reveal their connection and emphasis is placed not on the parts but on the whole.

A good example of how different cultures interact with others differently is the French. If you have ever visited France you may have experienced this. The French have their social defenses up and let you know they are there, right after you cross the border. Asking a Parisian for directions can be daunting task because of this cultural norm. This cultural norm started with the thinking of French military strategist and Minister of War, André Maginot who sponsored the erection of an “impenetrable” fortification between France and Nazi Germany, in the late 1920’s. The Maginot defense was designed to keep the enemy as far away as possible from your strategic center with a one time, formidable defense.
Noise

Noise is anything in the environment that might influence the transfer of information from the sender to the receiver during a presentation. It can be physical or mental, and can be managed by being prepared.

Some physical noise can be limited. Ask participants to turn off cell phones and pagers. If time permits let the audience know that there will be a time at the end for asking questions, this will keep the presentation on track, since often questions lead of on a tangent.

Mental noise is often the conversation the audience is having with themselves. Members of the audience may be distracted by and number of items, such as being hungry, needing to use the restroom, thinking about a project they are working on, or any other number of internal dialogs that may pull their attention from your material. By using engaging speech, practicing good eye contact and asking rhetorical questions you can keep the audience more involved mentally in your presentation.

Noise in a presentation is common, there are bound to be distractions of some kind. To help you prepare for the unexpected, the noise that will inevitably come, vary your practice. Start at different points in the presentation (e.g. the introduction, at each major pint, and the conclusion). Varying your practice teaches you how to jump back into your presentation easily even after distractions, or interruptions. Presenters who only practice from start to finish are left hanging when a distraction or other noise gets their presentation off track.
Conclusions

Careful consideration of the four parts of the basic communication model: Sender, Receiver, Message and Noise, creates more effective and powerful presentations. Each area of the model can be dissected and analyzed to create a thoughtful and meaningful presentation that will have a much greater effect on the audience. There are many more aspects of each area that could be explored and developed. It is up to you to decide which areas will have the most impact for you and your presentations.

References

James, T., & Shepard, D. (2001). Presenting Magically: Transforming Your Stage Presence with NLP. Glasgow: Crown House Publishing Limited.

Mehrabian, A. (1971) Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes. Belmont, CA:

Wadsworth O’Connor, J & Seymour, J. (1994). Training with NLP: Skills for Trainers, Managers and Communicators. London: Harper Collins.