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Performance Coaching – The STAR Way

From the era of Ramayana and the Mahabharata in the times of Rama, Krishna, and Drone, performance coaching is an age old tradition in India. In today’s modern world of Shiba Maggon and Gary Kistern still follows the very same principles of the yester years coaching.

In the corporate scenario today, coaching works wonders in helping individual performers and teams achieve excellent results by introspecting within and working together. This not only contributes to the entire persona of the individual, but also and helps organizations move towards sustainable growth.

Coaching as a practice is not about telling one what to do. It is more about understanding the situation by asking questions and aiding the individual to arrive at the right solutions.

Corporate executive coaching requires working with an individual on a particular goal or result area in their professional development. It is usually a creative and thought provoking process by which the coach enables the coachee to think and maximize his/her potential and performance in the goal or result area under consideration. The various goal of coaching can be in areas of career management, performance enhancement, managing personal, professional and organizational changes, enhancing problem solving and creativity, effective conflict resolution, amongst many others.

A trained professional uses many techniques and methods of coaching, one of them also being the STAR model i.e. (a) Situation (b) Task (c) Action and (d) Result model.

The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format, an avid interviewer’s powerful tool can also be used as a coaching technique that can be used by executive coaches to help individual and teams enhance performance and productivity in specific areas or situations.
The STAR model can be used when the coach needs to help the coachee to re-visit an experience, learn from the same, and implement in the future.

For example, when there are conflicts occurring in a team, or certain organizational changes like mergers etc, this model works effectively. This is construed by making the coach and the coachee/team to sit together, explore the various facets and avenues of the existing situation through a series of questions, thus gather all the relevant information and there after arrive at a most applicable and sustainable possible solution.

• Situation: Take an example of a situation that can either work as a positive situation or a challenge. Explain and elaborate the situation with all specific details of all the tasks and individuals involved in the situation. Example: the recent disagreement of the employee and their supervisor over a client presentation.

• Task: The various tasks that led to this situation and can lead away from the situation are explored. By asking the appropriate questions such as: Why has this situation occurred in the first place? What has the individual done so as to be in this circumstance? What learning can we take away from the present situation, for the future? What can be done to arrive at a solution in this present scenario? Various options of possible further steps are enlisted.

• Action: What did you do? The earlier actions are re-visited, examined, and evaluated. The coach helps the coachee to identify the aspects in self that created the current situation, understand why it happened, and analyze on what action can be taken to (a) overcome the challenge now, as well as (b) learn to avoid repeating similar scenarios in the future. The various alternative action plans are drawn up and evaluated.

• Results: How was the current situation the outcome of the individual’s past actions? How did the past actions work against the objective the individual had? Once the individual is aware and has eliminated these same aspects in the current possibilities of action, further exploration into the possible outcomes or results of the action to be taken are analyzed. What will be the outcome of the current set of actions? What can the individual achieve through these actions to meet his/her objectives. How can the individual implement the learning from this experience?

The important aspect for a coach to remember while using the STAR model is the ability to ask the right questions and wait patiently for the coachee to explore the situation for possible answers. As a coach, one must always note to remember Winston Churchill saying “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like to be taught.” Helping one learn themselves from their experience is the core of any coaching process.

Follow the STAR process, and coach away!
You have the power!

Published in ‘The Hans India’ newspaper on 4th Aug 2011

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August 5, 2011 Posted by | The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Management: ROI of Seconds

Time Management: ROI of Seconds

ROI… Return on Investment! A term so common and popular in terms of money! Every one of us is usually so careful with where we invest what we earn, with what we can get in return of investing our hard earned money. Here is a question I would like you to ponder upon:

What if a genie were to appear in front of you and offer you an amount of Rs 15,77,66,400/- tax free! Yes, that is right. An amount of Rupees Fifteen Crore Seventy Six Lakhs Eighty Thousand! The only catch is, before you take this money, you got to tell the genie for sure, what you are going to do with it and how you are going to spend it, and you have to then do exactly the same! Here are other points to consider:
(a) the areas in which you spend/invest the money much be specific, i.e. you can’t just say invest and spend – you have to say where and in what
(b) the entire money can be used up in only 3 things – not 2 and not 4, just 3!
(c) you have to say exactly how much of the money you are going to spend for each of the 3 things – either in percentages or in actual amounts

What will you do with the money? Pause here before continuing to read, think for a minute, or more, and write the same down! Be honest with yourself.
What did you write??? Are you sure that is how

Now, let us re-look at the situation. Do you need a genie to come and give you this money? Doesn’t each and every one of us already have it??? How so, you may ask? I don’t see that amount anywhere in my bank accounts, you may ask? Sure, you do not see it in any bank, because it is not yet in form of the money we are used to dealing with in day to day life.

It is however, with each one of yes in yet another form, “time”. Yes, Rs 15,77,66,400/- is right here with us in the form of “time”. Take the next 5 years of your life: that amounts to 1826 days (taking into account one leap year of 366 days): this is 1826*24*60*60 = 157766400 seconds. Thus Rs 15,77,66,400/- is the next 157766400 seconds of your life, i.e. the next 5 years of your life!

Now, revisit the 3 choices that you made. Ask yourself, “If at the end of the next 5 years of my life, the above are the only 3 accomplishments that I would achieve, would I be happy and satisfied?” If your answer is YES, then Congratulations! According to various researches conducted, you come under that lucky 3% of individuals who work on tasks that are in tandem to their goals!

If your answer is NO, then consider this, “Why is it, that when it comes to money, we choose to acquire things with it that we would not value over time?” The reason is very simple. We value time and money in different ways! It is time that we started to value time as money, in fact in today’s scenario, much more than money.

We invest money. We also invest time! We get returns on our money investments. We also get returns on our time investments? The very same ROI (Return on Investment) matrix that applies to money, also applies to time (refer matrix below)!

You can do tasks that need high investment of time with low returns – example, watch hours of television endlessly, surf the internet aimlessly, gossip, and so on. These tasks are time wasters and in order to lead a successful life, we ought to learn to reduce the time we spend on these.

You can do tasks that need high investment of time with high returns – example, register and study a part time course related to career, training programs, reading books, taking vacations with family, and so on. These tasks take time, however, can offer fantastic benefits in our goals and relationships in life, we ought to learn to make time to work on these consistently.

You can do tasks that need low investment of time with low returns – example, having a quick cup of coffee in the midst of work, checking email or facebook, etc every hour, and so on. These tasks do not have much benefit, however, also, do not create any loss.

You can do tasks that need low investment of time and high returns – example, exercising for 15 minutes every day, spending quality 30 minutes with family daily, and so on. These tasks take little time, however the benefits can be profound and long lasting, we ought to learn to find more of these to do every day.

Know your low investment high return tasks, and work on them!
You have the power!

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Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer & Inspirational Speaker
http://www.revathionline.com

Published in ‘The Hans India’ newspaper on 22nd July 2011

July 25, 2011 Posted by | The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Concept of Forgiveness

Let me ask you this question – Should we easily forgive those who have caused us grief and anguish??????

Would you have been honestly able to say yes???

There is a well known story about how a kindergarten teacher helped the children learn the importance of letting go of hatred and to forgive. She gave each child the number of potatoes as the number of children they hate, and asked them to walk around with these in their bag for a week. By the end of the week, the potatoes rot and the children with more number of them start complaining. The teacher then explains that this is what happens when we carry negative feelings or hatred against others and that it will only harm us so we might as well let it go by forgiving.

A very profound concept to which one response from anyone could be that his/her experiences have shown that hating the other person helps him/her to raise and succeed more in life and so s/he would not believe in just forgiving. Seems logical enough and there may be many others who may feel so too… so, does this story reveals a practicable moral? Here are a few thoughts that I penned down as I mulled over this…

This discussion reminds me of the popular statement that most behavioural trainers rely on, “different things work with different people. Pick what works for you and use that.” Not always true. There are always principles and laws in this world that when practiced the way they are professed, will definitely help an individual succeed. Problem is, we do not always follow them as professed, but do so as we like… coz of which the outcome is not the same as it is supposed to be.

The same is true in the case of forgiving also. We so easily say “forgive and move on – that is the way to success” that we do not ask the one important question – “how? How does forgiving and letting go of hatred help clear up the path to success? How should I work on forgiving such that it will clear that path?” Even in today’s age of techniques and concepts such as NLP’s modelling and Meta Mind Management, we do not ask the vital “”why?”

Many people also say – “I am not like the Mahatma. I will not show my other cheek if one is slapped. In today’s world I will do what it takes for me to go forward and those who purposefully come in my way with negative intentions towards me are wrong and I do not need to forgive them.”

Very true, you do not need to… In the article, potatoes are taken as an analogy for hatred. Let us think about this for a minute: it is true that potatoes over a period of time do get rotten! However, it is but human to usually carry these potatoes (feelings) with us for some time. What is important is what do we do with these potatoes for the time that we carry them (while they are not yet affecting us)? Do we achieve what we have to and then get rid of them before they become a problem for us? Or do we just let them be and let them rot and keep holding onto them until they become unbearable (in life this can be stress and frustration caused by our feelings).

Meta Mind Management in forgiveness happens when we accept the negative feelings that arise in us (instead of trying to be saintly – of course, assuming we encounter these once in a while as humans), and know what to do with them such that they help us towards our goals, and then discard them aside before they start to harm us…

Also see http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=2819edc7-9825-44f2-b677-862c22bf8eff

Revathi Turaga
International Meta Mind Management and Certified Edward de Bono trainer
http://www.revathionline.com

December 9, 2008 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments