Mags Bell, Author, International Speaker, Executive Coach, Director of Creating Powerful Results and HR Leaders Resources Summit sponsor claims that, “we’re not having the discussions in the workplace that we should be having, because it is perceived to cause too much conflict.” She stresses the importance, but lack of an honest and connected working environment; emphasising that although we may not always realise it, challenge, is needed for people to learn and grow in order to drive a culture that values it’s own Values.
- You said that bad management and lack of personal coaching initially led you to become a coach yourself. Can you speak on your experience with bad management and how this has shaped your overall approach with Creating Powerful Results?
By personally coming from a place of: believing that I was managing well because I was hitting the numbers, the targets, the financials, while being unaware of the impact I was having on others until it effected those numbers. That’s when it woke me up!
I learned the hard way and was reluctant to see any benefits in the skill of coaching, when I was put on my first coaching course as a manager. It wasn’t until I went on the second course, when I was having problems with a member of staff and could see a way to directly apply the knowledge and skills being given on that day. I took them back applied them and have been polishing those skills ever since.
I learned that focusing on our people, their strengths, their development through coaching…that is facilitating not telling and having real conversations about work and their lives…and their behavioural styles, we could learn together and smash the targets, while having fun and celebrating. I learned to have a REAL interest in the WHOLE person. Coaching taught me how to be fully present with someone not just passing the time. That is so important to the individual you’re having a conversation with, so it must also be important to you! I learned I don’t need to have all the answers as they already have them; they are brilliant. I just needed to learn to extract those answers through probing questions.
I learned to lead, not manage. It’s all about your people because they make the business valuable to your customers; they make it shine. By making sure our suppliers, contractors and our customers share similar values we have a great time working together to achieve brilliance!
- What do you mean when you say, “people in business don’t love themselves,” and how do we drive a culture that encourages people to respect & appreciate themselves, in order to so to one another?
It’s not just people in business who don’t love themselves but ‘Love’ is a dirty word in business! We are encouraged to only use the word love outside business as if we are not human and work is separate from life? Yet we feel drawn to those who love what they do and envy that feeling…what’s that all about? It’s about unwritten rules that most organisations don’t even realise they have written!
When we understand that ‘Self love’ is the answer to everything and how to overcome those negative thoughts and reactions we have to ourselves and others, that’s when we really begin to encourage, respect and appreciate ourselves and others. The ugly side of the Inner Critic is when it turns into the ‘Bully’ or turns into mental health issues.
When we truly love ourselves…warts and all; love our work, love our working environment and love the people we work with by appreciating their strengths and respecting their points of difference that’s when a company really begins to be the place where we feel loved and want to be there and do more.
Our 4Rs Release Model ™ when followed, takes that Inner Critic out of the equation and allows us to fully love self and learn from our mistakes, staying in that positive feel. What a difference that makes to your business.
It starts with our ‘WHY,’ our Love of Self and our similar shared Values. When a company taps into all of these it’s unstoppable e.g. Apple; until they think it’s ok to ignore one of these areas.
Customers can smell it a mile off.
- How can we challenge one another in the workplace to not only get to the next level, but also to take our co-workers there? How does coaching assist this process?
Firstly we need to understand what makes ourselves tick, what makes my co-worker tick, and how does that fit into the workplace. By this I mean; knowing our own and others’ personal values, purpose and vision, understand and being aware of our own behavioural styles and the differences that other behavioural styles exhibit, followed by practice on flexing our style more towards others. This needs to be taught, practiced and coached. This allows us to respect others strengths that supplement our weaknesses/the things we don’t like doing that others love doing…utopia!
Very few people take the time to find these questions out and yet wonder why things aren’t going to plan…what plan? If you don’t know what you are working with ‘YOU’ then how can you plan? In organisations we forget to truly find out what the individual’s values and visions are, so how can we help them achieve them, if THEY don’t even know.
When we only have a Values list on walls and it is not used in all processes, all awards, all communications and lived and breathed throughout the company, we will not bring in the talent nor highly motivated people. Self Motivation comes from fulfilling our highest values.
Coaching helps in all these areas as it helps embed learning. Coaching is all about self-awareness and awareness of others; it’s about asking a question to facilitate and bring out what is in the other persons head, heart and gut, allowing them to see they already have the answers, which grows their confidence and in turn seen in a new and often better light by colleagues. Depending on the coach, it can also allow the client to live more authentically and grow in ways they could never have imagined. All of this is underpinned with accountability. Regular meetings to review actions set out by client.
That is why Creating Powerful results was set up to help both the individuals and the organisations to find the best for both, but this needs honesty and trust on both sides and commitment to work together to a mutual goal. We often find that some people do not belong in that company due to a clash of values, which is no good for anyone.
- Rather than asking the usual interview questions…you said that, you’d rather, ‘ask someone to tell you about a time that they’ve lied.’ Why is it so important to push people and challenge them initially, in order to get the right people in from the start?
Most interviewers don’t use values based questions when interviewing, which leaves them at a very big disadvantage. I learned this after many years of learning to interview (2000+ interviews completed), being not very good at the beginning and then learning what happened when I made the wrong choice, even after following the due process.
Firstly we interview for skills, knowledge, experience and sometimes attitude. These are all very good but we can teach people skills, give them knowledge and even qualifications and we can also give them experience. As a behaviourist I can even change peoples’ behaviours, which affect their attitudes. I appreciate that not everyone can.
Secondly we usually ignore the values that we have spent months if not years collating, agreeing on and then rolling out…for what…to ignore them when recruiting? Using values based questions; for example to elicit Honesty from someone, we set it up by saying something like…”we are all human and lie from time to time; tell me about a time you have lied?” This is a challenging question and it’s meant to be, as I really do want people to be authentic, honest and learn. I have had many who say they cannot recall a time they have lied…now you and I know that’s a lie! So do I really want to employ someone who lies from first interview?
I feel it’s important to challenge people initially because we learn and grow through challenge and if we don’t want to be challenged then we may as well not be here. It’s how we grow as individuals and how our companies grow too! However you do need to understand that my top value is Growth both as an individual and an organisation, so I am biased on challenging.
- What does the saying, “Cut, Polish and Reset your Inner Diamond” mean? Why is this an important asset and how can it influence change management in the workplace?
We are all diamonds and we have them within. Diamonds are just carbon, like coal but have been under immense pressure, just like us. If we choose to keep that diamond buried then we cannot show our brilliance. We all have flaws just like most, if not all diamonds, it’s just some cannot be seen by human eye…oh isn’t that true, of us as humans. So we help bring out that diamond, show the clarity by Cutting and Polishing then we Reset that diamond on it’s authenticated journey to brilliance, for both individuals and organisations.
This is important as change is constant and if we ignore we become jaded, covered in shite and our brilliance shines no more. People love challenge, as that’s really what keeps people with a company: NOT money!!! It’s all about ‘HOW’ we challenge.
We don’t want to be destructively criticised or shouted at or be fearful of making mistakes. We want to be appreciated, thanked, valued and respected. It really is that simple…we are human and love that great community feel. Your people and customers have the answers to your problems so build them both to challenge your organisation and be free to tell it as it is on all facets and you will go on to show your brilliance!
If you can harness this in an organisation with your ‘WHY,’ Values and encouraging ‘Self Love’ in your people, then the same type of customers will be attracted to your brilliance and ‘LOVE’ you! Just like the diamond that sparkles and shines!
Thanks Mags, look forward to seeing you at the HR Leaders Resources Summit!