Archive for ‘Leadership’ Category

The Secret Sauce That Will Help You Leverage Your Potential

In my first coaching conversation with a client, I ask: “Do you have a mentor, or someone you turn to for advice”? Because… Mentoring is the secret sauce that helps people realize their full potential. Although some people find mentors by accident, many don’t know how to find a mentor.

How to Find a Mentor…

  1. Develop a profile of your ideal mentor: their knowledge, skills, experience, achievements. What impresses you about them? What do they have that you want?
  2. Approach the individual who best fits your ideal profile. Rather than telling them you are looking for a mentor, take a softer approach such as, “From time to time I’m looking for someone to give me some advice about my career and I value your expertise. Would you be willing to meet with me for 30 minutes in the next few weeks?
  3. Share what you would like to learn and their related experience.
  4. Define your expectations about how frequently you want to meet.
  5. Request a second meeting. If they are reluctant, move on to other potential mentors.

If you are interested in learning about mentoring or CORE’s other leadership development services, please contact me, Joan Hill, at (905) 990-2515 or

You can also visit our website at

Are You Someone’s Best Boss?

In our Coaching for Results workshops, we ask participants to describe the behaviours of their best boss ever. What did she do that motivated and inspired them to do their best? What specific actions did he take that forged engagement?

The joint work teamwork of two people man and girl travelers help each other on top of a mountain climbing team, a beautiful sunset landscape.Our review of hundreds of responses over the past two years reveals the top 5 behaviours that the best bosses regularly demonstrate:

  1. Opportunities to Grow: Giving employees stretch opportunities to develop new skills and confidence.
  2. Open, Honest Communication: Keeping staff informed, asking high gain questions and actively listening to their input.
  3. Feedback: Providing balanced, constructive feedback in a respectful manner.
  4. Delivering on Promises: Doing what they say they will do, walking the talk.
  5. Caring: Demonstrating interest in staff, not just their results.

For more information about our Coaching for Results workshop or our other leadership development services, please visit: or contact Joan Hill directly at or (905) 990-2515.

What I learned from a horse and a neurosurgeon

On a ranch in stunning Tucson, Arizona, I recently experienced an amazing “equine insp7Diration” with the Harvard-trained neurosurgeon Dr. Allan Hamilton. Dr. Hamilton wrote the award-winning book Zen Mind, Zen Horse and is cited for his ground-breaking work in using horses to train surgeons.

Dr. Hamilton explained that horses are hyper-aware of our emotional state and react to what’s in our hearts and not our heads. He encouraged me to engage my right brain’s intuitive function, while silencing the dominant left hemisphere’s analytical inner voice. He assured me that this would give me a unique opportunity to feel my emotions mirrored back.

Hoping her name wasn’t a reflection of her spirit, I selected Pepper. With Dr. Hamilton’s coaching, I learned:

  1. How my initial trepidation prevented Pepper from cooperating with me, which was apparent from her flaring nostrils and shaking head
  2. How to connect with Pepper through eye contact, posture and movement
  3. The power of patience, especially when you are limited to non-verbal communication
  4. The importance of alignment between telling, body posture and visual aids (in this case, a lead rope and a whip)

Working to quiet my analytical brain and harness my intuition, I began grooming Pepper. I directed her to back up, move forward, turn right and finally led her in a fast-paced, thundering gallop around the paddock. I was thrilled with my success with this majestic creature.

What does this have to do with leadership? When we:

  • adjust our limiting behaviours
  • attend to the subtleties in interpersonal communication
  • demonstrate patience in leading others

we become more connected to others and more effective as leaders.

For more information about CORE’s services in helping clients build leadership capability, please visit:  or contact Joan Hill directly at: or (905) 990-2515


Yes, Build on Your Strengths BUT….

In hundreds of workshops and coaching conversations, leaders have heard me say:E4

“You’ll be more successful and satisfied if you build on your strengths — rather than turning yourself inside out to develop a skill in which you have neither aptitude nor interest.”

Validated by many scientists and management gurus, this is the key message in  the runaway bestseller StrengthsFinder by Tom Rath, designed to help people identify their top five “talents”. Its companion assessment and personal report are very compelling. I found my own results very accurate — although admittedly  I relished the absence of criticism!

BUT (as much as I abhor that word…)

Some individuals have morphed this concept into believing that all they need to do to be successful is find a career or role that plays to their strengths and ignore their weaknesses. Wrong!

Revealed in the 360° results of leaders I’ve recently coached, they’ve had weaknesses such as:

  • Lack of self-awareness: doesn’t know himself/herself well, e.g. impact on others
  • Poor command skills: reluctance to take charge when the going gets tough
  • Coaching direct reports: doesn’t push people to grow, learn and develop
  • Interpersonal skills: poor relationship-building and conflict management skills
  • Presentation skills: lack of audience analysis and ability to manage anxiety

What did the 360° respondents have to say about the impact of these development needs?

They described these weaknesses as career stallers and obstacles to their career progression.

So when I advise my clients to build on strengths I always follow up with this statement:

  • Make sure you know yourself: your weaknesses and your blind spots
  • Determine if these are impacting your current results
  • Validate your perceptions with others whose opinion you value
  • Take action where your weaknesses are negatively impacting your performance/career progression
  • Armed with this knowledge, evaluate future opportunities and roles: What areas play to your strengths? What areas could be a liability? What can you do to mitigate the impact? In what context can you be most successful?

CORE offers customized 360 °surveys, a full suite of leadership development programs and coaching. Please contact us to discuss your needs.


5 Reasons to have 360° Reviews

Our recent survey of HR professionals reveals that persuading leaders to implement 360° evaluations can be challenging.  Why the pushback? Leaders cite negative repercussions for respondents, defensiveness/anger about feedback and time involved. All of these can be addressed effectively in how the survey is designed, communicated and administered.

If your role involves building the case for 360s, job #1 is to communicate the “why”: the benefits of engaging in this process.

5 Reasons to have a 360° Reviews:

  1. We need to understand how our behaviours affect others.
  2. 360s provide a solid basis for establishing our leadership development plans.
  3. Using key organizational competencies ensures that development plans are aligned with our organization’s strategy and direction.
  4. 360s provide career resilience.
  5. Feedback improves motivation and results.

CORE offers both electronic and interview-based 360° evaluations as well as professional coaching to leverage the results. Contact us for a sample report and for a cost-effective quotation.

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