What we can do for you at 4thway:
Strengths-Based Coaching and Mentoring for Leaders and Managers
The purpose of coaching and mentoring engagements is to support your development as a leader and manager of people and relationships both at work and in life. Our coaching approach is based on people achieving their goals through realistic and practical action; it is fundamentally person-centered and strengths-based.
Our experience is that this enables you to really clarify your goals, your reasons and motives to achieve them and the practical steps for you to take towards them. This approach encourages you to stretch well beyond your current state and achieve tangible results.
As a leader or manager, you need more than formal authority and knowledge to engage your team members and generate energy and enthusiasm. Your self-awareness and awareness of others (social sensitivity) is essential. People at all levels expect direction, appreciation, feedback, mentoring and role modelling. Coaching is a great means to further develop these qualities and capabilities in you.
It is a relationship and engagement operating through freedom of choice and governed by a clear Coaching / Mentoring Agreement which includes:
- The purpose of the coaching for you;
- Specific goals and objectives you want to work towards and achieve;
- The actions you are working on and your next steps;
- The timeframe for the coaching engagement;
- Agreements about how we will work together in coaching sessions;
- Absolute confidentiality.
Please contact us to talk about the development needs of your leaders.
Developing Men and Families: Strengths-Based and Male-Focused Approaches
The social norms of masculinity existing in our society encourage men never to display 'weakness'. Men have a greater tendency NOT to recognise or respond to their own shortcomings whether they are practical and physical (often resulting in warning signals regarding physical health being ignored), emotional (generally showing up as negative emotional states that induce anxiety, stress and depression) or intellectual (lacking understanding but being unwilling to expose that to others and ask).
John has particular interest and experience in working with men (of all ages), helping them grow and develop through challenges and issues including anger and violence, relationship troubles and break-ups, sex and sexuality, family and performance both at and outside of the workplace. This stems largely from his own experiences over many years of working through various challenging situations arising in his own life.
Using strength-based and practical male-focused approaches, he works with clients to help them develop their individual understanding of responsibility, ownership and the courage to be honest. Clients find the means to deal with their challenges, unhelpful patterns, behaviour and associated emotions and to develop healthy and sustaining attitudes and practices. They become more resilient to old and new challenges as they arise, more helpful to others around them and a stronger role model to their peers, families and especially to partners and children.
Conflict Resolution and Mediation: Groups, Couples, Individuals
We work with groups, couples and individuals helping them to identify and resolve their differences effectively. Based on over 20 years of experience in this field, we bring a straight forward, fair approach, helping all those involved to efficiently clarify key issues and commitment for resolution.
Helpful and unhelpful dynamics exist in all relationships, groups and teams. When individuals or groups have conflicting priorities, tension occurs and issues naturally arise. It is a completely normal occurrence but not normally dealt with.
The first step in the process is for all involved to freely choose participation. Our approach and methodology enable people to say what needs to be said and to 'clear the air' safely. From that place, the possibilities for a more positive future can be discussed. The most appropriate options to suit all parties can then be decided, collaboratively. Agreements are then recorded and new ways of working and relating begun.
Follow up is a key step in this process to evaluate and re-set, and to acknowledge steps and changes made.
Leadership and Management Development
Based on our own experience of working in and with senior leadership teams, we design and deliver development programs rather than one-off training events. They have a strengths-based foundation and are aimed at your leaders learning about themselves and how they relate to and interact with others (growing their emotional and social intelligence).
People Managers are in particular need of development as the majority are appointed to these roles based on their technical competence - not necessarily their people management capability. The most effective means to learning and developing people management capability is through a dedicated programme including specialist coaching and mentoring to suit the individual's needs.
Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles. It requires courage, awareness and discernment. On the other hand, management is a set of processes that can keep a complicated set of people and technology running smoothly, (John Kotter, 'Leading Change', Harvard Business School Press, 1996). Effective performance and results are achieved by people who are well led and well managed. The reality is that people need to develop and use both leadership and management skills and experience in current work environments.
We work with you to schedule programs consisting of experiential workshops with follow-up sessions in between. This grounds the learning more effectively in real situations. Particular content covered will be determined by your needs and will typically include some or all of:
- Leadership styles and attributes, EQ and its importance to effective leadership, leadership and management, leadership responsibilities and core leadership practices;
- Team dynamics, creating practical working agreements to ensure collaborative practice, clarifying purpose and setting direction, identifying priorities, setting the plan;
- Motivation of self and others, communication styles and practices, listening and speaking, resolving conflict in challenging situations and making clear agreements;
- Coaching others and in particular performance management coaching;
- Collaborative fundamentals, making decisions effectively, solving issues and problems, managing time and commitments and delivering clear messages.
Please contact us to talk about the development needs of your leaders.
Communication and Engagement
Generating clarity and engagement is critical to taking the results of any review or planning process into effective action, for individuals, teams and organisations - whether they be annual business plans, project plans, change plans or other. People want to be informed by the leaders / owners of the plans, inspired by them and acknowledged as being critical to successful outcomes being achieved.
In our experience this is rarely done well, so that even the best laid plans are not clearly understood by those who need to put them into action, NOR are the people motivated and engaged to action the plans effectively and enthusiastically. We too often see this step being missed completely, alluded to indirectly, and/or delivered through mixed messages by different people at different times.
We work with clients to plan and deliver workshops, events, and communication sessions so that people ARE clear and engagement has effectively begun.
- Working with you to craft messages that are effective, inspiring and clear;
- Preparing you and your leaders to effectively deliver the messages in a united and engaging manner;
- Providing you with processes and activities to generate engagement in communications sessions, forums and workshops;
- Sharing ideas for collateral and applications to remind and reinforce key messages;
- Shaping communications plans to maintain and build engagement from the initial communication sessions throughout the life of the plan.
Cultural Development and Practice
How healthy is your organisation's culture? Every organisation has a culture; they are all unique and have a significant effect on organisational performance. However, culture and cultural practice are not often given due attention and resource and are more often taken for granted and even ignored as not being important. We can help you to understand your organisation's culture, and shape it to be congruent, high performing, healthy and sustainable. This is equally applicable for your team or specific key relationships.
Professor Mike West of the Aston Business School (Aston University, Birmingham, UK) conducted research in more than 100 companies over an eight year period as to the influence of culture on business performance. What he found was this: a clearly defined strategy and plan in a business accounted for 2% of performance variability, while a clearly defined organisational culture (congruent to a core ideology) accounted for 17% of performance variability. In other words, even the best business strategy in the world will underperform without a strong and aligned organisational culture to support it.
Ideally the culture will be based on the core values of the organisation translated into practical day-to-day actions and behaviour. When people experience congruence between the stated values and the behaviours they encounter, trust is developed. These environments encourage innovation and collaborative practice, which in turn lifts individual and team performance.
Developing Collaborative, Innovative Cultures
We work with teams and organisation to set culture and ensure that it is kept healthy and vibrant. It is critical that leaders and managers display culturally congruent behaviour and action. At the same time, the culture of a team or organisation is everyone's responsibility. Collaborative practice and cultures create challenging and rewarding environments to be a part of. We work with you to firstly ensure core values are defined and clear, and then through workshops and coaching, help people to take responsibility for their contribution.
We work with teams and organisations to develop their vision and strategic goals for the future, based on a clear purpose and principles. High performing teams and organisations harness the power of a healthy and vibrant culture to support the plans getting into effective action. As Peter Drucker commented, 'Culture eats strategy for breakfast'. Culture and strategy work together whenever goals are achieved effectively and efficiently.
To produce clear and engaging plans is essential, so that everyone knows what it is and furthermore understands their place in it. We use facilitated sessions and workshops so that employees are engaged in the process and contribute to getting the work done. We recommend that as many of your people are involved in the process as possible to ensure that it is truly inclusive and owned by the team.
Purpose, Values and Vision
Purpose and values form the core ideology (Collins and Porris, "Built to Last") of any team, business or organisation. Defining these enables a vision or direction to be set which has clarity and meaning for people involved. This establishes the foundation for practical plans and effective action. Facilitated workshops generate the material for these foundations.
Strategy and Planning
Research shows (from Collis and Rukstad, Harvard Business College, USA, 2006) that in successful organisations, people are able to describe the strategy in around 35 words or less. They also found that in many organisations, even the Executives cannot describe it succinctly for others - and then they complain and wonder why their initiatives don't get taken on by the staff and implemented successfully. We work with people to define a clear strategy with practical action plans based on the foundations of the organisation.
All too often plans are made and then not well implemented. People tend to blame the plans (or lack of them) for poor progress, when the problem is no clear provision for tracking and regular review. Without this, it is almost impossible to make sure you are doing the right things given your strategic priorities; and that you are doing things right. We provide support and review processes to ensure that your strategies are executed effectively.
Operational Review, Process Improvement and Managing Change
The main objective of review processes is to help organisations like yours deal with and address issues effectively, instead of simply reacting to the challenges brought about by growth and change. Working with organisations and teams, we help you to clarify the operational and cultural components of issues. From there, you can identify areas for improvement, create and find possibilities and alternatives, and decide on the most practical and beneficial options.
Individual sessions with a cross section of key people, and facilitated group workshops and focus groups help to generate the base material, possibilities and options, and the means to engage people in changes required for successful implementation.
An operational review is an in-depth and objective review of an entire organisation, a specific segment of that organisation or individual processes undertaken within the organisation. It can be used to identify and address existing concerns within your company such as communication issues between departments, problems with customer relations, operating procedures, lack of profitability issues, and other factors that affect the stability of the business.
Operational reviews allow your organisation's members to evaluate how well they are performing, given that they perform appropriately according to the procedures set by them, allocating their resources properly, and performing such tasks within time frames set and using cost-effective measures. More importantly, it also shows your organisation how well it is prepared to meet future challenges.
A process is simply a series of actions and tasks taken to produce an outcome or result. There is truth in the old adage "if we keep doing what we've always done, we'll get what we've always got". Evaluating processes regularly brings the benefit of positive changes that can be made - continuous improvement and common-sense, but not always common practice. We work with your organisation and teams to clarify existing processes, evaluate the usefulness of component tasks, identify areas for improvement, create and find possibilities and alternatives, and decide on the most practical and beneficial options. We recommend our facilitated workshops and focus groups as useful means to achieve this.
The results of review processes will generally recommend actions to change the current state. Change can be seen as a positive process. Attending to a well-tested set of steps in any change initiative will greatly enhance the experience and outcomes for all concerned. We work with you to develop a clear plan, including support for the implementation steps with an appropriate blend of facilitated processes for groups and individuals.
In particular we work with your senior leaders and people leaders to understand their role in the process. A clear vision well led, communicated and represented is essential. Failing to recognise and address people's fears and suspicions greatly reduces the chance of success. We help you leaders develop prepare for the airing of concerns and uncertainties, crucial parts of this process. Communicating the practical first steps to achieve clear goals and benefits are key components.
We provide independence and objectivity to support this process and ensure everyone's voice is heard.