Monday, 17 November 2014

Flying High in the Aerospace Industry

I will be speaking at the annual conference of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Committee of the Royal Aeronautical Society. The conference, Flying High in the Aerospace Industry, is on Friday 21 November 2014 at The Royal Aeronautical Society, 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ and will be exploring the topics of continued professional development and mentoring - What steps can you take to control your personal and professional development and where could this take you? How can mentoring help you in your career? Why should you become a mentor?

I will be addressing the conference on How to Move Forward in Your Career: Insights from Behind the Coaching Room Door. 

Victoria Hall, Executive Coach
Founder of Talent Futures

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Self-Discovery in Coaching, Part 2: Challenges Posed by Organisational Life

As an executive coach, my ethos is to create deeper and broader understanding with my clients.  If the client can have a broader view of the world, and deeper understanding of himself as a leader, then the capacity to continue to develop after our work ends is his (or hers) for a lifetime.  At the heart of this process is self-discovery.

In executive coaching engagements, however, there are two major challenges to self-discovery by the client:
  1. A client’s organisational conditioning that developmental insight is given,  rather than gained through reflection.
  2. Time—the increasing amount of change required in leaders by shorter and shorter coaching engagements. 
Conditioned to Receive Feedback 
Clients sometimes come to coaching in the hopes that mysteries about themselves or what holds them back

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Self-Discovery in Coaching, Part 1: On Assessment and Wild Analysis

Lately I have had a few new clients start at the same time, and so have been reflecting on my process in the early stage of working with a client.  Unrelatedly, I was also recently reading about Freud's concept of "wild analysis" which is the act of revealing to a patient upon first hearing their difficulties, the doctor’s interpretation or speculation of the person’s unconscious material.  Freud cautioned against wild analysis:
"Any attempt to bowl the patient over at first consultation, by suddenly
revealing to him the secrets interpreted by the doctor is reprehensible
in terms of technique, and usually punished by deep hostility on the
part of the patient and an end to any further chance of influencing him." 

Freud was, of course, referring to psychoanalysis, and often very troubled patients, but the caution to avoid wild analysis got me thinking about two things. 
  1. Does the use of assessment at the beginning of coaching thwart self-discovery? 
  2. What impact would "wild analysis" have in the initial chemistry meeting with a client?            
In coaching, as in psychotherapy, the most effective learning the client makes is through self-discovery, rather

Monday, 7 July 2014

Overcoming New Job Challenges: A Discussion at Talent Futures Emerging Leaders Forum

Last year I created the Emerging Leaders Forum for women on the cusp of executive leadership.  We meet every other month for discussion and peer coaching.  Last week our topic was Lessons from Experience: Transitioning into a New Role.  Since we began the forum last November, roughly half of our members have experienced this challenge.  Here's a summary of what all of the forum members have learned over the years when starting a new role.  I've included some links to helpful articles on various topics.

What's the hardest part about starting a new job?

  • The job spec is never accurate!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Change Management: Are you Blocking Your Own Progress?

Today I am thinking about four of my clients and how they each lead change.  I'm also thinking about some further study I've done lately in Transactional Analysis.  Often we allow our internal scripts to impact how we lead change. Scripts are internal rules on how or what to be, do, think, feel, and need that we formed early in our lives.

Often we allow our internal scripts to impact how we lead change.

Two of my clients have just worked through massive restructures in their organisations.  Their new teams are "finding their sea legs" together and determining how they will fulfil their objectives as a team.  Both leaders have been working extra hours for several months as they cover vacant posts and deliver tough messages to unsuccessful candidates.  Each cares deeply about their organisations, and they have seemingly ceaseless energy.  As they make their personal transitions from being hands on and involved in the day-to-day to defining the strategy and inspiring the team to achieve it, it is easy to fall into a few traps.  For example:
  •  Leaving the day-to-day too quickly.  You've waited a long time to get the full team in place, but acclimating the team as a team is important.  Resisting the desire to step away entirely and move exclusively into the longer-term strategy now you have a full team is important

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Oh The Power of the Business Psychologist--A Big Green Light for Paul Flowers?

Today I read Jill Treanor's article in the Guardian, Ex-Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers aced psychometric tests –deputy.  As a business psychologist who has delivered a number of in-depth executive assessments, and is certified to administer a range of psychometrics, I felt I had to respond.

The problem with Paul Flowers’ selection as Chair
lies more with the tendency of companies,
when hiring CEOs or selecting a Chair,
to woo potential candidates, rather than to assess them.

Here’s a selection from the article:

"The former deputy chairman of the Co-op Bank, Rodney Baker-Bates, told MPs that he lost out to Flowers in becoming chairman... To laughter on the committee, Baker-Bates said he had been told Flowers had been picked as chairman because he had done well in psychometric tests. David Davies, another deputy chairman, said he had been told Flowers – a member of the Co-op Group board – had been chosen for his leadership skills and admitted he had been surprised by the results of the psychometric tests."

Friday, 3 January 2014

Determining Your Purpose (Confidence is an OUTCOME Gained through H.O.P.E.)

Back in October, I wrote about Purposeful Selfishness, and challenged readers to focus on one thing for an hour at the beginning of each day that would help them achieve their longer-term purpose.  As it is the beginning of a new year, it is a good time to go a bit further with this and to consider how having a singularity of purpose in our careers that we are driving toward, helps increase your confidence.

This is part 5 of my series, Confidence is an OUTCOME Gained through H.O.P.E.  The "P" stands for "Purpose."

Without purpose, it is easy to feel at the disposal of others.  

And when we feel that we are only serving others, we can lose faith in ourselves.  

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Before You Make All Those Resolutions...

It was a hectic December, but with the holidays comes a time to relax, read, play, re-connect, re-charge, and reflect.

Or perhaps by now you are resonating with the line in the Perry Como Christmas song, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas where he sings, "And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again!"

The beginning of a holiday can seem like a huge stretch of time in which you will be able to do all you want, but often it doesn't work out that way.  How often clients have told me of their ambitious reading lists over their holidays and then found that it was really more enjoyable to do something else? Or nothing? And that's good, too.

We all need time to unwind and just BE, rather than DO.

It is the time of year to set new goals and keep resolutions for self-improvement.  But before you leap