Coaching

Understanding the Scopes of Leadership

After years of working as an academician and management trainer, coach and consultant, I daresay that no organization can survive in today’s business environment, unless there is a strong leadership ahead. It is, definitely, one of the most important concepts in the world of business, widely used by scholars and practitioners and also long a topic of interest among historians and philosophers.

Indeed, the concept of leadership has been around since such great leaders as Sun Tzu, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and many other outstanding and powerful historical leaders. Statesmen and military generals have long been the subjects of central interest in empirical studies of leadership. However, since the first attempts at defining leadership in a scientific way, there have been many different definitions of this complex phenomenon: indeed, scholars have defined it in many different ways. More specifically, leadership has been linked to many other topics such as followership, vision (shared purpose), change, inspiration and motivation, personal responsibility and integrity, influence and many more.

In the academic world of business, leadership can be defined or studied from many perspectives; these are  individual, dyadic (one to one), group (one to many) and organizational (one to the whole organization). What I personally like (and emphasize on in my training workshops and seminars) is what is called “Transcendent leadership” which talks about “the strategic leader who leads within and amongst the levels of self (being proactive and self-aware in developing and improving self), others (influencing others), and organization (the alignment of three key areas of environment, strategy, and organization)”. Managers can achieve high performance for their companies only if they display a high level of leadership in all three areas of self, others and organization.

What organizations need the most is leaders who are proactive and self-aware in improving and developing themselves, able to communicate and influence the members of their organizations effectively, and also able to create an alignment amongst their surrounding environment, organization and strategy.

What is your opinion about that? How do you think we can look at leaders and leadership? Do you think talking about leadership from individual perspective is enough for us to understand this phenomenon?

I have discussed this issue in more detail in my recent book.

Learn about ALTA’s “Design Your Life” program to learn all you need to learn about the Subconscious Mind.
For more information, email us at info@altatc.ca

What is Coaching

What is Coaching? You have probably heard about this word from your friends, or at workplace. Many people have made significant changes in their lives, careers, relationships, or financial situations by choosing the right coach. You might have worked with a coach (or more than one) to get the results that you wanted.

But what actually is coaching? And how does it work? What kind of coaching do you need?

These are probably the most common questions that people like you ask. Simply saying, coaching is a process of assisting people in identifying their goals, issues, challenges and problems, and helping them become more capable and competent in their lives or careers.

Coaching usually happens in one-on-one bases and it is because the client needs individualized feedback. Such sessions were traditionally physical; however, the advancement of the technology has enabled coaches and coachees to meet through online means of communication such as Skype or WhatsApp calls, although in some instances, it is highly recommended or even necessary that the meeting be held in a physical location.

It is one of the best ways in developing people’s skills, abilities and competencies. It can help you deal with your problems and issues before they become major problems for you. It is usually done on one-on-one basis.

The first step in coaching involves asking clients a series of questions to understand their real problems and the causes to those problems. Usually, what the client says is not the actual problem, but a sign of it. Clients usually make three big mistakes:

  • Deletion: Clients delete a part of reality and do not talk about it; this is partly because they think what they say to their coach is sufficient. For instance, a client might say “my husband doesn’t care about me” or “I have been trying but I have failed a lot”. Here, in these examples the first client did not mention how the husband is not showing care. What is care? How should he act to show care? Or for the second comment, the question is how did this client tried? What did he/she do specifically?
  • Distortion: This is another big mistake that a typical client make. For instances a client might say: “My manager wants me to be a bad performer” or “My boyfriend didn’t me last night and that means that he doesn’t love me”. These are very typical comments that a coach may hear in a session.
  • Generalization: The third mistake is when clients talk about their issues and they claim that everyone is like that, it will always be like that or that is the only way. The following statements are good signs of generalization: “Bad luck always come to me”, “I can never maintain a perfect relationship” or “I have to get a PhD to be successful”.

In such circumstances, your coach needs to ask right questions to explore the possibilities and to find the root cause of your problem. Once this is done, the process becomes easy. He/she will explore ideas and changes the way you view yourself and your world. In other words, he/she starts challenging your thoughts, attitude and viewpoint.

Coaching is about self-discovery and self-awareness; it is a process of empowering the client to learn and actualize their potential.
- Dr. Alireza Sharifi

Afterwards, the next step is usually removing your barriers or whatever holds you back from actualizing your potential and achieving what you really want and deserve. During this journey, your coach gives you tasks and you need to accomplish them one by one.

An experienced coach knows what to give you and what to expect from you. As a result, you will find yourself free from negative emotions, limiting believes and limiting decisions that you have built and accumulated throughout your life. You will replace blockages with positive learning, constructive emotions, liberating believes, resourcefulness and powerful states of mind.

The final step is “refining and reflecting”. Your coach helps you learn from your past mistakes and start living in the moment. Your attitude and your way of thinking will be changed, so, your behavior and outcome.

 

As a Certified Master Coach, I have helped many individuals and managers discover their potentials, invest in their resources and competencies and perform at higher levels. I have offered coaching services to several international clients since 2013. In Alta, I offer Executive Coaching and Personal Life Coaching. I offer Executive Coaching to managers who want to enhance their managerial soft-skills (such as communication skills, leadership styles, conflict management, state control, etc.), and Personal Life Coaching to individuals who want to get rid of their negative emotions and create a better life and a brighter future.

So, if you think and you feel that it is time for you to find your ultimate purpose, set meaningful goals, get motivated, get ride of negative emotions once and for all, and ultimately, learn new skills to achieve higher level of performance.

Learn about ALTA’s “Design Your Life” program to learn all you need to learn about the Subconscious Mind.
For more information, email us at info@altatc.ca

The Art of Criticism

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to criticize someone or provide feedback but you hesitated? Or gave comment and things got worse (and probably out of control)? How about receiving criticism or feedback? A situation where someone, like a colleague, your boss, your friend, or your partner criticized you or gave you a harsh comment? How did you feel after that? What was your reaction? Do you think that criticism is bad? Or you think it is good? How can we give or take criticism?

Well, the answer to this question sounds complicated. Criticism is neither good nor bad in nature; it all depends how we give and take it. Is it simple? Not really.

Before I talk about its nature, let us define this term first. It is “the activity of perception, judgment and interpretation”. What we need to learn about is what is called “constructive criticism”. This term refers to the process of offering someone a valid and well-reasoned opinion about their behavior or the quality of their work, in a professional, friendly and positive way. Let me elaborate it further.

In any given situation where there is a need for criticism, there is usually some positive and some negative points. And by nature, criticism is about providing our value judgment or interpretations to others in order to solve issues or improve people or situations. Therefore, there should always be a positive intention behind every criticism.

Now, how can I give and take criticism that produces best results? I am giving you a simple formula for each here.

  • How to Give Criticism?

    To give criticism, we have a simple formula which consists of three steps:

    1. The Guiding Rule: Attack the behavior/ problem, not the person. You need to stick to the issue and focus on specific events or behavior, facts, statistics, numbers, time and date, etc.
    2. Ask the Question: It is very important to ask yourself an important question before criticizing others: “Why am I giving it?”, “Is it going to be helpful?” and “What is my positive intention here?”.
    3. The Criticism Formula: Empathize, Pinpoint and Move Forward.

    First, you need to Empathize, an in order to do that, you need to see things from the other person’s point of view. Put yourself in their shoes. Second, get to the point and talk about the specifics (DO NOT give general comments); be as specific as possible. In other words, Pinpoint the problem. Third, Move Forward by explaining the consequences of the issue or the undesired behavior, and clarifying the negative outcomes.

    Remember that the whole purpose for giving criticism is to have the problem solved and to get better results. You have a positive intention, so, show it and express it. Also remember to to use words like “but” between step 2 and 3 (between pinpointing the problem and moving forward). Instead, you can have a short pause, and then continue. In some instances you can use words or phrases like “and”, “considering what I said, I would like to add that” or “what I like to say is”.

  • How to Take Criticism?

    In order to take criticism, there is a four-step formula; it is called “The AAAA Formula”. It is as follows:

    1. Anticipate: Before responding, anticipate the other person’s intention and reaction. Ask yourself questions like: “What is the positive intention behind this criticism?”, “What can I learn from this criticism?”, or “What will be his/her reaction if I do this/that?”.
    2. Ask Questions: As questions to make sure that you understand the problem and the topic of discussion clearly. Try to become as specific as possible. This will help both of you to talk about the same topic and to avoid misunderstanding.
    3. Agree with Something: When receiving a feedback or comment, it is important that you show your positive attitude and intention. That’s why you need to agree with something to establish a common ground. In other words, look for the opportunity to show your positive intention by agreeing with something (e.g. a fact, numbers, a part of the comment, etc.).
    4. Analyze: Analyze the situation, your own emotions and reactions to behave in a positive and constructive manner.

    As the receivers of  a criticism, we may be provoked to try a fight or flight response from a criticism (although at some points, these strategies are appropriate); usually these are not a good move). Instead, try to improve your communication skills and control your sudden emerging emotions. One famous NLP presupposition says “you are in charge of your mind, and therefore, your results”. It is your mind and you are the one who can control it. Do not let it control you, or other people or circumstances control it for you. You are in charge of it; so take full control of it.

     

    Conclusion

    The provided formulas here are easy to apply; however, it requires practice to master the art of criticism. Keep these notes in your mind and start applying them until the whole process becomes internalized.

    Proper criticism can help every individual focus on specific problems and issues. It helps create an environment of mutual respect, positive attitude and professionalism, because at the end of the day, we all want to improve things around us…

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