April 2003

L’Epée Coaching & Consulting Newsletter for Easter 2003

Welcome to this month’s L’Epée Coaching & Consulting Newsletter. A warm welcome to our newest readers, and as always, warm appreciation to our long-time readers.

Based on the ongoing success of and demand for my Career Assessment Workshop, I am happy to announce the launch of a new Career Management Program.

This program is aimed at individuals who are unemployed, unsatisfied or unfulfilled and will introduce, explain and facilitate the use of a practical system for:

* Exploring and evaluating alternative career paths* Choosing and attaining the ideal job

The Career Management Program will incorporate the following specific tools:

* Self Evaluation: Career Assessment, Personality Tests* Self Marketing: Resume writing, Cover letter writing* Search process: Approach, Research, Lead Generation (Networking, Direct contacts, Headhunters, Classified, Internet…)* Interviewing: Preparation, Techniques, Follow up

This program will be available in a workshop format and/or via one-on-one coaching sessions.

Look for a separate mailing with more information about this in the next couple of weeks. Should you have any immediate questions, do not hesitate to contact me.


April 5th Effective Communication Techniques workshop
April 7th WIB – Women in Business dinner
April 8th IWAP evening group
April 12th Career Assessment Workshop Part II
May 5th WIB – Women in Business dinner
May 14th Cursus 2002 / Many Cultures – One business: Nordic Countries
May 17th Effective Communication Techniques workshop
May 27th ASTD dinner: Managing change – The Human Side of Mergers & Acquisitions
May 31st Career Assessment Workshop Part I
June 2nd WIB – Women in Business dinner
June 10th IWAP evening group
June 14th Career Assessment Workshop Part II

Communication Tip of the Month:

Coaching or Managing?

Coming back from his annual management retreat, where one of the participants explained how he incorporated coaching into his management practice and shared the results, a country manager – let’s call him Karel – was determined to see how he, also, could implement coaching into his management practice.

Aware of the differences between coaching and managing, Karel until now thought that a manager couldn’t coach his team members. “Isn’t the neutrality of a coach one of the conditions for a successful coaching? How can I be neutral as a manager when I am ultimately responsible for the results of my department? What is Coaching in terms of Management anyway?”

Like many managers, Karel was struggling with what exactly coaching is and what it entails. Within management, coaching is about increasing the performance of an individual by enabling the employee to gain clarity about his objectives and goals: what he has to achieve, how best he is going to achieve it, and how he will measure his progress and success.

Coaching is a facilitative skill that employs the combined communication skills of proactive listening and strategic questioning. Most of the time, a manager will use coaching to identify an individual’s blocks to performance. Coaching in management is about present day performance; it is about enabling employees to identify their business objectives and supporting them to find the most effective way to achieve them. It is also about identifying their strengths and weaknesses and supporting them in building a personal development plan and then continuing to support and enable them to develop that plan. What Karel was most concerned about was where and when he could us his coaching skills while managing his team.

One of the biggest challenges while coaching someone is time management. And this is where many managers fail by not understanding that in order for coaching to happen, a certain time period is required. Unless managers learn to manage their time effectively, they won’t be able to coach their staff.

A manager can coach his team member most effectively during the formation of a business plan or a personal development plan. What is the employee trying to achieve? What are his objectives? How best is he going to deliver against these objectives? What skills does he need and how is he going to acquire them? Once a business or development plan is in place then regular reviews should be arranged in order to identify how the employee is progressing towards his objectives. Coaching will be used to keep the employee on track. This is “dedicated time” coaching.

A manager can also apply his coaching skills when an employee is implementing a new skill or attempting to enhance a skill he already possesses – for example when a sales executive is attempting to close an important order or an IT executive implementing a new software system. This is “capability” coaching. A manager can benefit from sharing information and best practices with other managers, as Karel saw at his management retreat.

One way to promote such an exchange of information is to organize (or join) a monthly coaching support group, where several managers get together to share ideas, issues and challenges. Each manager can rotate as the group facilitator. During each meeting, participants can summarize their current situations, bring forward any problems or concerns they are struggling with and get advice on how to find solutions. When run well, these coaching groups can be very powerful and productive. Managers usually leave such meetings with renewed energy, especially when they have been supported through a challenge and see a new and clear way forward. These groups can be established inside a company or outside with managers from different industries.

Are you incorporating coaching within your management style?

Yours truly,Karin