You will be hard-pressed to find an Olympic athlete or premier division sports team without a coach. Even when a midget team of junior athletes in any sport finds themselves without a coach then it’s never long before the most able parent steps into the breach, because we know inherently that coaching is a necessity in order to see athletes achieve their potential, whether they be pre-schoolers or elite professionals. Yet how often are team leaders in business left to ‘learn from observation’ which is a sluggish and haphazard way to develop people at best. After 30 years of developing people (including sports team coaching), and particularly those in leadership roles, my two key strengths are clear: the ability to quickly connect with coachees, and the skill and insight to challenge them to lead more effectively.
It’s always my preference to coach people who have some exposure to my leadership content via conference speaking or workshops or training programs- contact me to talk further about your leadership coaching requirements today!
The following is a coaching story from my book “The Art of Persuasive Influence”. I was coaching a team leader from one of my leadership programs who informed me he was quitting the course because he was resigning from his job - the problem: his manager was micromanaging him and he was finding it intolerable. My initial question to him was “Do you really want to leave the job?” because I needed to ascertain if he had the energy to pursue a solution, which he did- it was only the micromanagement that he was finding unbearable. So, I discussed with him the approach that I suggest in many of these kinds of situations whose direct reports are raising potentially contentious issues with their up-line management. Having covered the “Above the Line” model in training, I began by asking him how he thought the manager might respond to the suggestion that she was micromanaging him. He thought that she would quite likely get defensive, and when I asked him why, he thoughtfully considered the question and then responded that the term ‘micromanagement’ was a derogatory comment on her leadership. So, we discussed alternative language that was less inflammatory. The biggest question I wanted him to consider though was what he thought was causing his manager to micromanage him. He concluded that it was a lack of trust, so I suggested to him that the more he could take responsibility and ownership for the issue of lack of trust, the more likely he was to get a positive outcome- in other words, I suggested to him that he was the one that needed to change rather than his manager.
He then went to see his manager and talked the problem through with her. He was careful to omit the word ‘micromanagement’ from the conversation, and he set his tone to be neutral and non-judgemental. He suggested to his manager that because she was spending so much time watching over his work that he wondered if she had an issue of trust in his ability. She responded somewhat defensively to this suggestion as if it were a slight on her leadership, but he continued the conversation without an accusatory tone and instead said to her that he wondered if it wasn’t so much her issue, but rather his issue for being insufficiently trustworthy in some areas. He took full ownership for the issue of untrustworthiness and asked her in what areas she needed him to become more trustworthy. This tactic changed the manager’s response to him entirely- they worked through the situation to a very positive outcome- he kept his job and enjoyed it a lot more, she freed up her time as he became more trustworthy.
That was a fantastic final outcome for someone that really didn’t want to leave either their job or the course. In this case, it was certainly more effective to be involved in this 1-1 coaching because we had already covered off leadership models in the training program. It’s always my preference to coach people who have some exposure to my leadership content via conference speaking or workshops or training programs, and it’s also always my preference to work with the unable rather than the unwilling!
Contact me to talk further about your leadership coaching requirements today!
his free chapter (10) from the book “The Art of Persuasive Influence” focuses on Courageous Conversations and includes the story: “Teaching a Bold Dog New Tricks!” which details the story of coaching a team leader to have a challenging conversation with a particularly resistant team member.
Download a free PDF chapter from The Art of Persuasive Influence
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"He is an outstanding presenter"
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"The way in which Sharkey captivates and engages the audience is nothing short of amazing"
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"More importantly showed us first-hand, how to connect with an audience and bring any subject matter to life to have greater impact"
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"(Glen) quickly established himself as a transformational provider to our organisation"
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"On my recommendation two of New Zealand top speakers are now working with Glen on their talks, presentations and workshops"
"Generous, highly capable and inspirational male with a very encouraging yet firmly motivational ability to move people forward in this space"
"Glen was absolutely inspiring to the leaders he trained"
"He got people out of their comfort zone without anyone feeling ‘uncomfortable’"
"Sharkey is one of those presenters that holds your attention with such ease and interest and you suddenly realise an hour has gone by and you still want to hear more"
"It's been life changing and has set us up well for progressing in life and our careers in the future"
"His ability to relate to all levels and gain trust and really entice people to speak openly and freely is a real talent"
"His focus on pre-event planning and preparation results in amazing outcomes at his workshops"
"He has an amazing facilitation style which puts attendees at ease and his use of storytelling and real word examples is his glue in achieving outcomes for his clients"
"We were thrilled with the quality and value of his presentations"
"Sharkey is a great presenter and teacher. He really does practice what he preaches in his use of stories, passion and humour to get his audience engaged"
"His presentation skills are above anything myself or my team had experienced"
"Glen Sharkey has and remains our preferred presenter for everything from leadership training to facilitated strategy sessions"
"He can relate to and influence every level of our organisation – he can keep difficult audiences engaged and challenged by demonstrating intelligent thinking in a highly pragmatic manner"
"To be coached by Glen is a huge honour, given his massive speaking prowess"
"Glen worked with me to build from scratch a completely new world class talk, new Intellectual property, other content such as a professional edited introduction video… and most importantly of all, a talk that now captures any audience in the first 15 seconds"
"To spend an hour with Glen is to drink from a fire hydrant of new ideas and be challenged and motivated. If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with him then grab the chance! (His books are awesome too!)"