Accepting applications for Winter Program, 2020 Now!
This advanced track learning begins where other leadership programs leave off. After you’ve learned the basics of understanding how to engage your team members, mastering your time, building trust with others, adapting to different behavioral preferences, becoming a better problem solver, and getting better results through others, you are ready to take the next step in leading through coaching.
Whether you took an executive leadership course with Cortex or completed one with another organization or college, you will find relevant and applicable tools and build your skills quickly in coaching, mentoring and consulting your team members to peak performance through Leadership Coaching Conversations I.
In a recent Harvard Business Review study they found that more than 80% of managers/leaders who thought they were coaching their direct reports were actually consulting them. They also found that the skill of coaching can easily be taught. The key components of becoming a better performance development coach includes the skills of active listening, building and maintaining trust, emotional and conversational intelligence, and asking quality questions.
Leadership coaching conversations will be a unique experience to increase your coaching and emotional intelligence skills sets and practice and will give you ample opportunities to practice what you learn. It is in the practice of coaching that skill is truly built.
This course will leave participants with an increased ability to coach themselves and their team members to achieve their peak performance.
How long does the course take?
2 – Full Day In-Person, Live Sessions
2 – 2-hour coaching practice clinics that can be completed in-person or via Zoom video conferencing
5 – One-hour live, video training with author of content with your small, 10-12 person leadership cohort
8 – Hours of homework
Cortex Coaching Enhancement Platform is designed to track the comprehension of the coursework, motivate you to take action, and ensure that you execute what you have learned. These tools are provided for 4 months with the ability to provide progress reports on the participants forward momentum. They include an interactive “coach in your pocket” for on the spot instruction Articles/research that allow you to take a deeper dive into selected learning modules
Live Full-Day Sessions:
With a focus on the content you will learn in the cohort video conferencing sessions, you will experience a 2 full days of working with other cohort members and Cortex Certified Coaches to receive the instruction and evaluation you need to improve your craft of leadership coaching conversations.
This will be an immersive experience that takes our past coaching clinics to a whole new level of instruction and practice.
In addition to your deep dive days you will also have the opportunity to practice your coaching conversation skills during one of the offered coaching clinics. Whether you are in-person or on Zoom video you will experience a structured learning environment that allows you ”test drive” what you have learned with fresh faces and a desire to be coached.
One of the participants of a past coaching clinic made these comments about his experience:
“I find the coaching clinics refreshing. When trying to coach my own staff the day to day work that has to get done can get in the way; what should be a transformational conversation often becomes transactional. There are task lists, deadlines, projects to be done. By coaching others I’m able to focus just on the skills I need to develop as a coach and on the person in front of me.”
City of Roanoke
Coaching For Peak Performance – The Cortex Coaching Method, Part 1
It’s easy to think you are coaching your team members if you are the one doing the evaluation of your skills. To be an effective coach you will need to learn the core skills of coaching others and have different types of coaching methods depending on the person and the circumstance.
Performance development occurs when the person can trust that you have their best interest in mind. To accomplish this you must first be sure that they understand their role and they feel appreciated for working hard to execute that role. Your employees need to receive effective feedback on how they can improve their performance and trust that what right looks like for you is something they are capable of achieving. When those factors are applied, only then is the table set for coaching to occur.
Through the use of the proprietary Cortex Peak Performance model, you will be able to identify your high potential team members and coach them to reach their maximum contribution potential. This simple yet comprehensive model will help you set up effective coaching conversations with your team members and move them from the high potential zone to the high performance zone.
The learning objectives for this segment are:
•The four R’s of Peak Performance coaching: Roles, Recognition, Review, and Refine
•How to define the roles of those on your team and set them up for success and maximum contribution
•How to properly appreciate and recognize the efforts of those who contribute to the team’s success
•How to effectively review and evaluate the performance of your team to increase engagement and alignment with the team’s mission and vision
•How to successfully navigate the conversations required within each step to move the conversation from evaluation to appreciation and ultimately to coaching
Active Listening – The Cornerstone of Effective Conversations
Effective listening skills are crucial in order to build trust and coach others. This module breaks down the keys to active listening and teaches you how to listen from 3 different centers to not only hear what others’ are saying but also to capture the emotions and intent in every conversation.
The learning objectives of this segment are: •How to become a better active listener through demonstrating the 5 key elements of active listening i •How to leverage the listening strengths and overcome the listening challenges of your unique behavioral style to better communicate with other behavioral styles •How to listen from the 3 different centers: your head (what they are thinking); your heart (what they are feeling); and your gut (what they have experienced) •Practice what you learned •
Coaching For Peak Performance – The Cortex Coaching Method, Part 2
The best intentions can occur between a manager/leader and their direct report. They want to have a coaching session, yet it usually turns into a conversation where few questions are asked and a specific desired outcome of the conversation is reached.
Managers/leaders need a simple and effective coaching model to follow to create trust, have the team member feel heard and understand, and develop a plan to take the next step of their development journey. This is why the Cortex Coaching Method was developed. The method will provide managers/leaders with an easy to use and apply tool that they can feel confident and comfortable to use in the performance development process.
The learning objectives for this segment are:
•Learn the Cortex Coaching Model – its origin and why it is proven to be effective
•How to use the method to better structure a performance development coaching session
•How to use it with other, simple tools to keep the growing going Discover additional tools that provide quality questions for any level or phase of the performance development spectrum
The Coursework also includes:
Exactly how to prepare to coach for each of the 4 types of coaching conversations which are: performance management, development management, trust/relationship building (or rebuilding), and check-ins (accountability).
•Best practices for coaching in the moment through conflict
•Proven techniques to quickly build rapport with others
•How to use empathy to build connection
by: Lynda McNutt Foster
During a change management process at work, there tends to be two type of people. The thermostats and the thermometers. Knowing which one you are and how to handle the other can be helpful reaching the desired outcome you want to achieve.
Thermometers take the temperature at work and may be quick to give you their observations. It doesn’t take much effort to tell others what you think. Nope. Thermometers are the type at work who are quick to tell you why what ever new idea or innovation won’t work. Thermometers think they are helping by consistently pointing out the problems and rarely offering any solutions. They react to what is happening outside of themselves.
Thermostats are different. A thermostat sets the temperature of the room or building. Being a thermostat that sets the focus and response at work to one of positive, forward motion isn’t easy. It’s actually a pretty tough job. Thermostats have to think ahead and the good ones are strategic. Thermostats hold themselves accountable and in a leadership position, create a culture of accountability. What they do doesn’t always happen immediately so they have to be a patient. Sometimes the thermostat in the room heats things up to pull things out that need to be discussed or noticed in order to deal with the current reality of a situation and change course to a more prosperous outcome.
Thermostats don’t like sweaty conversations, they just know they are necessary.
Do you want to be a thermostat leader or a thermometer?
Here are 5 ways to be more like a thermostat:
- Have realistic expectations. You are not going to point things out that others don’t want to face, develop ideas that require your team or organization to change, or even suggest a sweaty conversation (the kind of conversation no one wants to have, is tough, but must happen to move forward) without causing some waves. An experienced business colleague of mine told me once, “Lynda, if you aren’t leaving a wake, you’re not moving forward with a speed that leads to momentum.”
- Thermostats can bring thermometers value. It’s easy for the thermostat to think that the people pushing back are just lazy or ill-informed. Perhaps. It is more true, from my experience, that they might move at a different pace then you, be focused on something you aren’t, and may be reluctant to change. Their point of view may be valuable if they feel safe enough with you to share it. It is likely that the thermostat “naysayers” actually have valuable information that you need to know to create or implement that great idea or proceed with the next innovation that is necessary for the organization to stay alive and profitable. Stop arguing and telling them and start being curious and asking open ended questions. After all, your point of view is your point of view. You have blind spots in your thinking. We all do. You need others with a completely different perspective to give you feedback so that you can execute effectively.
Try this Path to Problem Solving this week
It can be confusing. One minute you need to smooth over an upset team member. The next, you need to hit a deadline on a report that is due. You need to jump on a conference call and send out an email to that customer that wants a quick response. You get to Friday and it feels like nothing truly important got done. A month can go by you’re still battling the same issues you did last quarter. What are you supposed to focus on? Is it what the customer wants? Or is it what you promised your team member you would get done? Maybe the most important task is getting that report that was due last week finished and sent out?
It’s easy to say you need to focus on the intersection between what truly matters and that which you can control. It is much harder to pinpoint exactly what those things are and most importantly, to execute them.
Begin with the end in mind by filling in the blanks because it’s important to create clarity before trying to solve any problem you are facing:
- If we get to the end of the year and ________________ is not complete the consequences will be significant to our team or organization.
- If we don’t ____________________________, we will not complete that thing that has such high consequences.
- What we need to do is ___________________________, to make certain we complete that thing.
Try this if you are stuck.
- Am I or are we focusing on things that are not within our control right now and therefore wasting time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere? Do we know what right will look like December 31, 2018?
- What is within our control right now, that we can change, fix, or complete? Do those tasks or issues work towards our goal of what right looks like?
- Is there anything that can be removed from our task list so that we can fully focus on tackling the things that matter most to achieving what right looks like on December 31, 2018?
If all else fails, do this.
- Stop. Really. Just stop. You could be operating from a place of anxiety which will not result in the best outcomes or your highest-level thinking. Take a day to observe what is really happening in yours or others work flow. You could be dealing with a systems issue. If you have time to redo things constantly and fix things that are messed up or done improperly you have time to observe and plan for better outcomes.
- Get a thinking pair. Find someone who will ask you great questions and be curious about what you are doing, how you are doing things, and why you are doing certain things at all. Curiosity is key here. Your thinking pair is not an “expert” but rather a specialist in asking great questions that bring out our highest-level thinking. The answers are there, you may not be seeing them from the perspective you are at.
- Unplug and relax. Sometimes we’ve worn ourselves out trying to solve the same problems over and over again. Our brain needs a break. Take a drive. Go for a walk or run. Turn off your phone, don’t check your email for a few hours, take some nice deep breaths and allow your brain to do its best job possible to solve some of your toughest problems.
Finally, it’s important to remember that competence breeds confidence. You got this!
This is why it’s so hard to unplug from work and why you need to anyway
By: Lynda McNutt Foster
61.5% of people, in a Cortex survey poll conducted by K92 radio, said they were not going to unplug during the Christmas holiday. I asked folks on my FB today if they planned on unplugging, not one person said they were going to.
One respondent to the K92 poll question, “Do you plan to completely unplug during the Christmas holiday?” said “No way… it’s the only way to escape my family!” Ha!
Even when we want to unplug, why is it so hard to do?
It used to be that our phone did one thing. It rang, and when it did, we answered it. Or, we didn’t. When I was growing up we got an answering machine when I was like 10 and we didn’t have voicemail until I was like 18 or something. Getting call waiting was transformative. I was allowed to talk on the phone when my mom was waiting for a call to come in – wow!