April 2005

Learn how to be an effective coach – e-Coaching with Impact

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime. That’s coaching. It’s the difference between giving orders and teaching people how to get things done.”– Larry Bossidy – Former Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International

Coaching is one of the most important leadership skills and being an effective coach will enable you to expand the capabilities of your team.

L’Epée Coaching & Consulting and learn2grow, a company dedicated to leadership development through blended learning formats, are happy to introducee-Coaching with Impact, a six-week coaching course designed to increase your skill and effectiveness as a coach. During thee-Coaching with Impactprogram you will spend time determining your coaching mission, learn to build a stronger relationship with your team members and find out to recognize and take advantage of the right coaching opportunities. You will also learn to communicate more effectively with your team, using action language and practical feedback. Don’t pass up this unique opportunity to make a powerful impact on your team’s performance.

Look for a separate mailing with more information about this e-Coaching program.

Jump-start your career – Smarter Career Assessment

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”– Goethe

Are you contemplating a career transition? Do you need to take stock, broaden your perspective, build confidence and gain clarity? Are you searching for a clear sense of direction or a more rewarding financial situation? Whether you want to work more effectively at your current job, get a promotion, size up new career options or go out on your own and start up a new business, Smarter Career Assessment will help you find out what it is you really want out of your professional life. By offering insight, support and inspiration, the Smarter Career Assessment program will help you clarify your professional strategy and take action that will make an impact. For more information check: http://www.coaching.cz/sca/index.shtml or contact Karin Genton-L’Epée at 603 57 24 69.

Prague Speakers Toastmasters Club: Charter Party and Area Contest – April 9

Do you want to overcome your fear of public speaking or learn to speak in front of an audience with maximum impact? Toastmasters International is a worldwide organization with a mission to promote communication and leadership skills.A Prague Toastmasters club was recently established and now counts itself among the Toastmasters family of over 93,000 clubs worldwide.You are welcome to attend the Prague Speakers Toastmasters Club’s Charter Party as well as the Toastmasters Area Contest in Speech Giving and Evaluating. Come out and learn how more than 195,000 people have become better leaders and communicators through Toastmasters.To register or get more information, please contact Sonja Kosman at sonja@kosman.cz

Calendar

April 4 WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
April 6 Toastmasters in Prague
April 9 Toastmasters Area Contest and Prague Charter Party
April 13 Toastmasters in Prague
April 14 Leadership Power Lunch: Networking Part II
April 20 Toastmasters in Prague
April 27 Toastmasters in Prague
May 2 WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
May 19 Leadership Power Lunch: Leading a Multicultural Team
June 16 Leadership Power Lunch: Mistakes Leaders Make

Communication tip of the month: Avoiding culture clashes

Along with ever-increasing prospects for international trade and new and exciting business opportunities in the Czech Republic comes an urgent need for greater cultural understanding among the players. As a businesswoman, I have watched Czechs and business people from abroad profit and grow from one another’s experiences and develop long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. As a business coach, I am constantly observing the way these two groups interact with one another and looking for ways to promote better relations.

One key to a positive working relationship with your Czech partners and colleagues is to always be aware of the subtle cultural differences distinguishing yourself from those you work with. After being promoted to managing director in his company, my friend “Pierre” (not his real name) quickly realized that these differences can mean success or failure in communicating and managing in a multicultural environment.

For example, while Pierre was quickly accepted by his Czech team thanks to his friendly and informal manner, he has the typical French inclination to run business meetings with the same informality, and as a result, he experienced some unexpected resentment. His tendency to arrive late to meetings or to drag them out longer than scheduled caused some understandable hostility among the Czechs working with him. Unfortunately for Pierre, this hostility was due to some fundamental differences in the way the Czechs and the French communicate.

What Pierre did not know was that this difference can be explained by categorizing people, or in this case nationalities, into two groups. In this situation, Pierre’s Czech colleagues focus on one activity or relationship at a time, with added importance on schedules, timetables and deadlines. Pierre, on the other hand, is inclined to manage numerous relationships and activities simultaneously. He also has a more relaxed attitude toward time, a trait not unusual in a French setting.

So, in spite of his nature, Pierre had to make a few changes to his weekly management meetings to ensure that he would meet his colleagues’ expectations and respect their time. This meant beginning and ending meetings promptly, sticking to a clear and specific agenda and agreeing on specific actions to be taken after the meeting.

Having addressed those issues, Pierre soon found himself tackling yet another sticky cultural dilemma – his staff’s need for his approval. Pierre wasn’t in the habit of checking the work he delegated, because in France such a custom would appear overbearing and too authoritative. However, his Czech colleagues saw his approval of their work as an indication of care and concern for what they did and as a sign of appreciation for their contribution. So Pierre focused on adjusting his management style to his new environment and responsibilities, and his increased monitoring became a process for them to demonstrate their skills and gain recognition for their hard work.

As a result of these experiences, Pierre has become more successful as a manager. With an improved understanding of the local culture, he is now more capable than ever at adapting his style of communicating to the cultural needs and expectations of his partners and colleagues.

This article was written for The Prague Post and published in their March 10, 2005, issue.

Yours truly,Karin