Category Archives: Managing Employees

Giving Employees Feedback

Dave Blankenhorn

 

Do you believe you know how to give employees proper feedback? Do they learn and develop from your assessment?

If you believe you could do better think about some new ways to become more effective. No one really likes to hear criticism but there are ways to make it more palatable and productive for the organization and the employee.

When giving negative feedback decide whether it is better to do so immediately when you see the problem or at the time of more comprehensive review. No matter the approach when you give negative feedback be specific. While there is no need to bring up every single time the employee has erred it should be detailed enough that the employee clearly understands your concerns and sets the stage for a solution.

As part of this tie the comments into the employee’s values and goals. For example, If the behavior causes others to do more work the employee who values what others think about them will be more receptive to changing their behavior.

When giving feedback maintain a neutral voice and watch your body language. Yelling is counterproductive. Being calm sends the message that you are there for constructive purposes, that it is part of the normal business world.

Be specific about the solution. Be sure you have a remedy in mind before talking with the employee but before you do so ask the employee if they might have a solution to the problem. If it matches yours so much the better.

Lastly infuse any criticism with words of encouragement and praise for what they are doing well. This is a coaching opportunity to build confidence, communicate respect, and hopefully build a better relationship with the employee.

Author:  Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Focused Conversation Practice, Action Planning and Consensus Building

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

The skills mentioned in the above title are a must for every NP manager.  Last week I took a two day workshop at One OC that focused on those skills. The course is called ToP Facilitation Methods and taught by ToP facilitators Becky Foreman and Emma Diaz. The ToP methodology is associated with a group called the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA).   ICA programs strengthen the capacities of organizations, communities, and individuals to build and implement innovative plans of action that draw upon assets and social capital in a collaborative manner.

Here is the description of the specific workshops:

The Focused Conversation Method: This common sense approach leads naturally to a meaningful exchange of ideas

  • Conduct purposeful discussion
  • Capture a group’s best thinking easily
  • Surface new ideas and solutions
  • Stimulate candid feedback

 

The Consensus Workshop Method: This Structure process is so engaging people are energized getting to consensus.

  • Tap rational and intuitive thought processes
  • Integrate diverse ideas
  • Generate practical and creative solutions
  • Develop group consensus

 

The Action Planning Method: These practical steps help groups plan, organize resources and build commitment.

  • Visualize a successful result
  • Analyze the current reality
  • Create a practical plan
  • Maximize group involvement

 

This was a first class workshop. The leaders are  top notch professionals. If you are a NP manager looking for ways to activate group participation, this workshop is the ticket!!! It helps groups think, talk and work together.

Institute of Cultural Affairs: http://www.ica-usa.org

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Management and Leadership Skills

Bob Cryer

 

Would you be interested in quickly learning how you might get better results from your nonprofit management and leadership efforts? NonprofitReady.org can deliver some ideas relevant to your interests whenever you are ready, and do it quickly and at no cost to you. Here are some of the most popular of the 47 NonprofitReady.org trainings in the “Personal & Professional Development” category, sub-category “Management and Leadership”.

Becoming a Coaching Manager – Part A This 15-minute online course is designed for managers seeking to improve their ability to coach employees to higher performance. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Identify ideal coaching situations, Explore tools for coaching success, Understand how coaching can assist both individuals and teams within an organization.

Fostering and Maintaining Motivation This 20-minute online course is designed for leaders seeking to improve their motivational skills. Objectives: Identify motivational levers, Undertake effective action to motivate colleagues, Delegate in a motivating and effective manner.

Making Your New Management Position Successful – Part A This 12-minute online course is designed for new managers as well as those looking for a basic refresher on the core principles of management. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Clarify the implications of your new position as manager, Succeed in the first steps of your new position; Identify the key points of delegating.

The Management Styles This 20-minute online course shows how to adopt an effective management style. The course is designed for all levels of managers and team leaders. Objectives: Understand the value and purpose of different management styles and when to apply them, Incorporate the positive aspects of each management style when leading teams, Determine when and how to adapt management styles to different circumstances and colleagues

Essential Skills for New Managers This curriculum will address questions such as: What are the markings of an effective manager?  What knowledge and skillset are essential for great managers to succeed in leading people?  What are the most common pitfalls of managing people?  What are the essential skills that all new managers need to be successful?

5 Levers for Producing Great Leaders This 30-minute online course is designed for anyone seeking to improve their leadership skills. Objectives: Successfully communicate vision, Maintain cooperative relationships, Push for achievement.

Leadership Best Practice This 30-minute online course is designed for senior managers seeking to build the leadership pipelines within their organization. Objectives: Carry out a leadership inventory in your organization, Develop an innovation strategy to cultivate leaders in your organization, Secure collective buy-in of leadership development goals.

Please go to https://www.nonprofitready.org to take a few of these no-cost trainings

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

 

In Coaching and Managing, the Question May Be More Important Than the Answer!

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

 

When I am done coaching a client, I usually convene the evaluation committee in my head to assess the session. The first criteria is, did I ask good questions that led to the critical thinking process. Recently I came across a book devoted to the subject of asking the right questions in coaching as a manager. The book is: “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier.* Michael is an Aussie who runs a coaching and leadership consulting firm in Canada. The book’s focus is to managers who employ coaching as a managerial and leadership style.Here is a list of the questions he puts forth: 1. Kickstart  Question: What is on your mind? Let’s talk about the thing that matters most. 2. The Awe Question: And what else? The underlying assumptions here are to stay curious, ask it one more time, avoid advice giving, and move on when it is time. 3. The Focus Question: What is the real challenge here for you? Focus on the real problem and not the first one. 4. The Foundation Question: What do you want? 5. The Lazy Question: How can I help? What do you want from me? 6. The Strategic Question: If you are saying YES to this, what are you saying no to? A YES is nothing without the NO that gives it boundaries and form. 8. What do you think I should do about? It is the cheddar on the mousetrap!

I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. It puts us in the mindset to engage in the process of curious inquiry in our coaching.

  • The Coaching Habit-MIchael Bungay Stanier (2016) Box of Crayons Press, Toronto,Canada

Website: www.boxofcrayons.biz

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County. www.ECofOC.org

No-cost Nonprofit Training Opportunities

Bob Cryer

 

NonprofitReady.org (NPRO) is a website of 43 interactive E-learning curriculums and 385 online classes and videos on a wide variety of nonprofit best practices, all at no cost to any user.  I took one of the curriculums (Management Essentials) and was impressed with the content and interactive presentation. More importantly, sixty thousand people have used the site in the past year, and six thousand new users join each month.

In my opinion, the more people in a nonprofit who know nonprofit best practices, the more effective that nonprofit is likely to be. NPRO best practice trainings can be accessed at no cost, at any time, from anywhere, for as long a session as the user has time for at that moment. It is, by far, one of the most convenient and cost effective methods that I am aware of for acquiring know-how in nonprofit best practices.

Here is a sampling of a few of NPRO’s most popular online courses, videos and curriculums:

  • Managing Expectations This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing expectations contains a 3 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Managing expectations is a crucial part of any professional relationship, from your colleagues to your customers.
  • Managing Your Boss This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing your boss contains a 2 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Your boss can have a big impact on the way you do your work, but your actions can also influence their management style.
  • Introduction to Proposal Writing This 27 minute video is designed for anyone involved in the proposal writing process. Course Objectives: • Understand the basic components of writing and submitting a project proposal
  • Introduction to Finding Grants This 30 minute video is designed for anyone seeking to better understand the grant-seeking process. Course Objectives: • Identify the 10 most important things you need to know about grant-seeking • Understand the primary misconceptions about grant-seeking
  • Project Management Essentials – Part A This 20-minute online course is designed for anyone responsible for managing projects and/or programs. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Define the life cycle of a project and structure it around milestones, Control your project using flexible tools, Create a plan for day-to-day project management.
  • Grantsmanship Essentials Pack In this 1 hour and 50 minute curriculum from the Foundation Center, you will learn the basics on how to find grant programs and funders as well as how to write a proposal that aligns with the funder’s criteria. Objectives: To understand how to identify funders aligned with your organizational mission and cause, To articulate what is required in receiving and managing grant funds, To identify the best practices for writing a successful grant proposal.

Please visit NonprofitReady.org to learn more.

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Management Essentials

Bob Cryer

 

This is a report on my experience with the no-cost Management Essentials curriculum at NonprofitReady.org

The NonprofitReady.org website contains over 400 trainings on nonprofit leadership, fundraising, board governance, program and project management, marketing and PR, volunteer management, administration and operations, HR, etc. Most of the curriculums were developed by Cegos, an international $200M developer of e-learning and blended learning curriculums that are used by a million learners each year. Cegos donated some of their nonprofit e-learning curriculums to NonprofitReady.org, who now offers them at no cost to all nonprofit employees and volunteers.

The Management Essentials curriculum is targeted at mid-level and experienced managers looking to build their skill set. Its objectives are to help them:

  • Become a better decision maker
  • Learn to prioritize information and reduce uncertainties
  • Identify the stakes of a team project and how to best manage them
  • Recognize how to coach both individuals and groups

The curriculum content was robust enough to keep me interested throughout. The presentation used a variety of pop-up animations, texts and graphics to present information and questions, avoiding the tediousness of the many text-based e-learning curriculums. I particularly liked the use of case studies to get you to think about how to apply the ideas, rather than just giving you a quiz to help you remember the ideas.

The curriculum suggests that new employees are typically dependent on their managers and trainers to teach them how to meet basic job requirements. However, if a nonprofit wants to grow in effectiveness, its trained employees must be encouraged to function more autonomously, undertaking projects to improve existing operations or initiate new programs, initially as individual contributors, and eventually as team members and leaders. In order to facilitate this, managers need to learn how to function as coaching managers who mentor independent action, rather than as authoritative managers who encourage employees to continue to be dependent on their manager’s knowhow. This curriculum guides a manager through that transformation.

I encourage all nonprofit employees and volunteers to visit NonprofitReady.org  to try out some of their no-cost curriculums, classes, videos and materials.

If you are a nonprofit manager in Orange County CA who would like a no-cost Executive Coach to work with you on implementing some of the ideas in the Management Essentials curriculum, please contact me at BobCryer@ECofOC.org

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

ECofOC Nonprofit Growth Program

Robin Noah

 

ECofOC is presenting a special program for Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations.  The program is designed for ED’s who want to take their nonprofit organization to the next level.

The Executive Director

Consider the ED/CEO as the person in charge of the operations of a nonprofit organization with many unique responsibilities. Among these responsibilities Executive Directors are also charged with the responsibility of the growth of the organization by:

  • Establishing and enforcing the vision of the organization;
  • Successfully recruiting and supervising office staff;
  • Maintaining a productive relationship with the board of directors;
  • Creating a fundraising plan that will ensure sustainability;
  • Managing organizational finances.

 

The Program

This special, comprehensive Nonprofit Growth Program is designed for the Orange County Executive Directors who want to take their nonprofit organization to the next level. The Executive Director needs to complete an ECofOC coach application and be assigned an Executive Coach. The ED must have or create a strategic plan for significantly growing the nonprofit’s capacity to serve the community, and must be willing to make the time investment to participate in the benefits offered in this program. In addition, the nonprofit must have at least 5 additional employees. Limited funding available.

You will find the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Coaching program description and application on our web site (ECofOC.org). To apply for the ECofOC Nonprofit Growth Program, state that interest in the “Coaching Expectations” section of the application.

 

Program includes:

Coaching:  One on one Executive Director coaching with your own personal ECofOC Executive Coach

Resource Experts:  Access to other ECofOC coaches with expertise in a variety of topics relating to running a successful nonprofit organization

ED Forum:  Option to join the Executive Directors Forum, which provides speakers and mentoring from peers and coaches. First 3 months free.

Strategic Planning:  Option to have ECofOC coaches facilitate a strategic planning session for your organization

Training:  Opportunity for Executive Director and any nonprofit staff member to attend most OneOC training program at a highly discounted rate.

Author:  Robin Noah, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Culture’s Link to Job Performance

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

Korn Ferry recently released a global study that found “culture is the lifeblood of an organization”.[1] Culture is the expectations and assumptions of values that a person has for the organization. I am reminded of what my husband, a former Marine, says about the Corps. He says the Corps takes a recruit’s head, empties it, and stomps in valor, loyalty, and patriotism. The Corps reinforces it with training, leadership, and discipline. For most Marines that is a lifetime culture. If only it were that easy in the real world.

Leadership is the defining quality of shaping culture. In the below article, Arvinder Dhesi, a Hay Group (Division of Korn Ferry) senior client partner states, “we believe that talent, leadership and culture are intrinsically linked, and they are critical for strategic execution”. To create a cultural foundation, Korn Ferry  proposes four (4) pillars of learning for their leadership development programs.

  • Context is critical: Development work to support an existing or desired new culture must be connected to an organization’s current issues and strategies. Thus, stressing the goals, mission, and strategies are necessary.
  • Develop the whole person: Maximizing a person’s strengths and motivations, and matching them to the organizations goals and needs, are more likely to align the person’s values, beliefs, and behaviors to the culture.
  • Treat leadership development as a journey: While the authors stress that an employee shoud have a variety of work experiences to thrive, I might add that this step means performance reviews, personal goal setting, and succession planning are crucial to this pillar.
  • Service promotes purpose: I believe this is the most important pillar for the nonprofit world. Most nonprofits claim a powerful purpose that employees can embrace. Keeping this mission, and the values it represents, always in the forefront, succeeds in strengthening the employees’ motivations to keep the culture healthy and thriving.

I believe that culture as an entity is under duress. There is so much divisiveness that surrounds us – liberal vs. conservative, globalism vs. nationalism – that it becomes crucial for an organization to stress and remain loyal to its mission and strategies. This allows an employee to understand if he/she can faithfully embrace the culture and perform successfully.

Click here for information on how one of our coaches might you develop your skills as a leader in developing people and your organization.

[1] BoardSource, Smart Briefs, “CEO’s Rank Culture as #1 Priority for Success”, Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP, January 16, 2017

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Coaching Mechanics (Coaching Series part 6)

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

 

Before we move into some new material, it’s a good idea to summarize what we have covered up to this point. As you consider selecting a coach, you need to think about a good fit between you and the coach. The previous sections on What Makes A Good Coach and “The Coaching Relationship” will serve as a reference. I will be discussing the fit in a future blog post.

I would like to discuss some mechanics to consider. The frequency of sessions is usually, at a minimum, monthly. My preference is to meet bi-weekly as this creates momentum, intensity and accountability.The sessions usually last an hour. The client and I commit to be on time. With technology, some coaches prefer to use telecommunication, i.e. phone or Skype, for sessions. I prefer to meet face to face for a couple of reasons. First, meeting in person lends itself to advancing the relationship.Secondly, meeting face to face requires effort, motivation and commitment from both parties. Most of my colleagues at ECOC share the same view. The meeting location is usually a neutral site, allowing the client privacy and confidentiality away from the work environment.

I use a client prep sheet to organize the client for the session.The client fills out the prep sheet prior to our session and e-mails it to me. This forces the client to organize their thoughts and also gets me focused and prepared for our session.

Some coaches use assessment tools when they begin to work with the client. Such tools as the Myers-Briggs Inventory, Wheel of Life and questionnaires are used to help generate data for the coach and client.

At the end of each session I try to set with a clear formulation of goals generated by the client. The client is held accountable for this with a set timeline. The client and myself then agree on a date for a future session.

Accountability is an essential ingredient and driver of this process.

Click here for more information about our no-cost coaching program for nonprofit managers and leaders.

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

 

Facilitation Skills for the Leader and Workplace Technology

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

 

Facilitation skills can be used in many settings – running Board/Staff meetings, strategic planning, problem solving meetings, even conducting performance evaluations. The mission of facilitation is to disclose the facts, and the truth, which means the leader, must be objective and unbiased. If this demeanor cannot be attained, it is better to contract for an outside facilitator.

In a March 13, 2017 issue of the Wall Street Journal there was a whole section on WORKPLACE TECHNILOGY, “How is AI (Artificial Intelligence) Transforming the Workplace”. The premise is that in the future managers will decide who to hire, how employees might work together on special teams, how they might be evaluated – even predicting how long employees will stay or leave – based on the analysis of mounds of data and a search for certain patterns. This is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential.

Working on this article about the use of facilitation skills led me to conclude that the future must be even more open, transparent with how people work together in this new world. With leaders facilitating how decisions are made, goals are determined, may help to retain trust and faith in the leadership and ultimately the organization. Here are some tips for successful facilitation practices.

Getting started: Setting expectations is an important part of getting started. The facilitator should state the purpose of the meeting and what outcomes might be expected at the end of working together. If confidentiality is an issue, the leader must ensure that ‘what’s said in this room, stays in the room’. If the facilitator is the boss, it is critical to state that she/he will be non-judgmental and unbiased in the discussion.

Asking good questions: Asking good questions takes skill and practice, especially for the facilitator. They must further the truth and circumstances, but remain non-judgmental and unbiased. Open-ended questions are a good start. For example, it is better to ask, “What led up to this situation”, than “How did Jane get involved in this situation?” But the follow-on questions can be a challenge. Here are some examples:

  • Can you tell us more?
  • Can you give us an example?
  • What led you to that conclusion?
  • What should we do next?

Facts and Evidence: The purpose of good facilitation is to put the audience at ease. They must have enough facts to understand the subject and can make an educated conclusion about the decision.

Final expectations: Facilitators owe it to an audience to summarize the discussions and answer the question “where do we go from here?” After taking time to elicit an audience’s opinions and knowledge, it is respectful of their time to be clear about outcomes. They really expect that.

I urge you to read the WSJ section. It is startling – especially for privacy issues. Successful working relationships are built on trust and respect. The future workplace rules will need to consider inhuman data and maintain respect, trust and privacy – a challenge for good facilitation skills.

Click here to learn more about our no-cost coaching program to help you develop your nonprofit leadership and management skills.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org