I had the pleasure to participate in a coaching experience as part of our company global initiative to provide a Leadership program to Top Management. This activity was delivered by Zenger Folkman based on their Extraordinary Leadership Program. I had the opportunity to meet Ian Tan, principal consultant from life skills resources as coach on this sessions. I really enjoyed the experience and found it very positive and helpful both for the direct participants but also for the rest of people that later on we will interact with. So let me take a few lines to highlight the main benefits I can see from those sessions.
As start, getting a 360 degree report provides a clear picture about how is the perception that rest of the people have from you, letting us to identify improvement opportunities to have a better communication and work relationship at different levels. A big number of surveys will provide a clear picture about our strengths and weaknesses in terms of communication with others. It also delivers a very clear rate about how much other’s perception match with what you think about yourself. Big treasure.
One very interesting and helpful benefit during sessions was to have a very clear understanding of how important is to communicate, approach and provide feedback to other people in the right way. It let’s us to be more efficient but even more important to make others become too. It might sounds simple in principle, but not sure if we really realize the effects we can have in others. During different exercises, we go deep in the difference between our intention and the perception by others during communication process. It was clearly highlighted and easy perceived how the way to communicate things, to approach people, even body language may change or misunderstood completely the message, hiding the intention. This is very important to realize about, in order to simplify the things, be effective and make others feel better and recognized.
Another clear benefit I will like to remark is to be able understand the benefits and learn about some key rules to develop an active listening skills. Much more that take the time to hear what people want to say is to create the suitable atmosphere, having the sensitive attitude to make the other person feel comfortable, show him/her actively your willingness to listen and enjoy / learn during the listening about the rich information coming back. On these conditions, it will be as much more fluent and more useful as much more open the speaker will feel, giving the chance to share all the real message he/she was to transmit without conditioning or prejudices. Active listening help people to express themselves. Clearly.
I especially enjoyed the practice and exercise with my peers. It let me know some details about them than sometimes even surprised me, at the same time that it showed us clearly the benefits of the guidelines provided. Even more when they were followed and highlighted by the coach with “real life examples” that illustrate the relevancy of the message. Simple , but these simple things are the best to connect and engage with the audience.
Finally, this exercise also reinforces me on my self-knowledge about my strengths and provide me suitable tools to keep on improving on those competencies identified as no so strong. But even more, nothing about to change the way you are. Be yourself, but Just make sure that what you want to show is what the rest will perceive. And this is a powerful gift. This gift, together with having some time with peers, smile and have fun during exercises and find some simple guidelines to improve the communication skills makes me definitively to recommend this activities to anyone thinking about how to improve the company.
Thanks for your support, Ian.
Miguel Angel Monje, VP Operations OHS BU Asia Pacific
Antolin (China) Investment Co Ltd