• Personal and customized journey towards a well-defined goal
  • How to better understand your own impact on the organization?
  • More than ‘just a leader’
  • What is psychological safety and how to create it in a team ?
  • When a meeting becomes more ‘meeting’
  • How to better interact with your team ?

Lean management
Change …
Achieve a new level of performance
Operational excellence
Risk management….

and what about the people?

Differentiating leadership

And what about the people behind those changes ?

You may be creating value by designing new and innovative processes but do the people called upon to implement these new processes support these changes? How will you know whether people genuinely support the changes you want to make or simply pay lip service until the next innovator comes around?

Enters ‘team psychological safety’.

Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes. ( A.Edmonson) Data show that an environment of high psychological safety within a team leads to higher performance standards. Confronted with uncertain conditions, teams that feel psychologically safe feel comfortable acknowledging their interdependence thereby creating the conditions for learning and growth.

How can leaders build psychological safety?

Start off with analyzing the culture of your organization. How do people interrelate with each other? How do you communicate with employees, how do they communicate with you? How does the management team collaborate? How do they see their value added, and how do they view theirs compared to their peers? Are there any tensions among your management team members, hidden or open conflicts, favoritism?

You may be able to carry out this task on your own but, in our experience, you will get a much richer and deeper picture of your organization by using an independent, neutral expert like GPS4life.

We are trained to understand the guts of an organization, we can detect inner tensions — often a consequence of unresolved or hidden conflicts that may result from a chain of minor errors— to identify the core of the organization’s key challenges. Tensions between people occur because we all live and see others from different perspectives or frames. (Non-) Communication and lack of transparency play an important role in this process of installed assumptions and beliefs, of different perceptions of reality. Gps4life helps leaders to create a psychological safe environment within an organization or within a team, enabling the organization or team to evolve into a behavior where learning is valued and avoidance of behavior ( i.e. not acting) , well, is simply avoided.

What are the benefits of team psychological safety?

Psychological safety stimulates personal and professional growth, develops resilience and enhances the acquisition of knowledge. It help to surpass inherent learning risks, such as punitive responses, judgment, hierarchical oppression. It reduces stress and burn out. In short, a leadership team and workforce that feels comfortable to communicate, to constructively dissent, to feel empowered to engage and to learn has a much higher chance to succeed in making necessary changes that are sustainable. Leadership is all about knowing how to create and nurture this safe environment, where change is seen as a shared challenge and where people are motivated to take on the challenge as a team for the benefit of the future of the organization.

This is creating value for the organization. * Paul Verdin
This is a new type of leadership, one from an organization-as-learning to an execution-as-learning. ** Amy Edmonson

What added value personal coaching could bring you, as a leader? Why would you even consider being coached as a CEO? Isn’t this only for people flirting with burnout? Leaders are stewards in organizational energy: within their companies, within organizations in which they are engaged, within their families. Good performance and health are grounded in adequate energy management. Leaders do pioneering work in this: Thinking and communicating solution-focused, open questions and brainstorming, all have an interesting interplay with the energy balance. Problems and challenges pre-frontalizing: this means going from dual thinking, routine, certainty, empiricism and social status towards flexibility, nuancing, putting into perspective, curiosity, and risk assessment…

What more added value could personal coaching bring you, as a leader?

Quite some strategic ways of thinking and inter-relational considerations are too delicate to share with colleagues. Solution-focused thinking and communicating are great tools to get the best out of yourself and out of the other, but doesn’t seem that easy to apply in reality. A coach can be a sounding board, who is able to listen without judging and with whom you can share your irritations, questions and successes. A coach is someone who asks you questions, so that you can learn to think about strategic choices in a solution-focused way, as well as about your approach towards your employers. A coach helps you to implement Einstein’s quote: “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it!”

Energy Leadership

What is the main factor that differentiates successful leaders from others? What personal quality does a leader need to radiate confidence towards clients and to obtain respect and loyalty from both colleagues and employees? On what leadership style should you focus to become successful in performance, in your career, in life? The answer is very simple: energy. But how do you balance your energy, so that you feel stimulated instead of undermined? Bruce Schneider developed a simple tool with 7 energy levels, to help you perceive your own energy, and more specific to recognize the impact of your own thoughts and actions on your energy level. In this context, energy is defined as “potential output” which depends on your awareness of your potential. Energy Leadership Coaching is a process towards effective leadership that helps you to get a grip on your own energy balance, as well as on your environment. You are creating psychological safety. Energy Leadership is the art of knowing how to steer your energy and how to adapt your energy with a positive impact on yourself and your environment.

Less meeting, more teaming

Running from one meeting to the next. Lunch meeting with sandwiches. Splitting the attention during the meetings between being present and answering emails. Missing numerous calls that will have to be done …later. Arriving at your office late afternoon, realizing that after the calls you might have time to do your own work , questioning yourself how many hours were really efficient and how many meetings you came out without concrete next steps or solutions?
“Reunites” we call that : the disease of a tight agenda full of meetings….
Recognizable ? Besides the time management issue there is also the challenge of efficient and effective handling the meetings.
How to prepare for the meeting ? How to get every one to share their ideas and come to a decision and/or solution with concrete steps ?
As so often, using the right communication, asking the right questions, listening to what is said, processing the ideas and gathering the new information into a new form.
And of course, installing psychological safety so everyone in the meeting dares to speak up, because otherwise a lot of useful information is lost. Gps4life can help you !

High concern interaction

Where communication is defined as a reciprocal exchange of thoughts, content and know-how, one could call this “interaction”.
If stakes are high, if content is important, if psychological safety is at stake, then we could say that the interaction is of “high concern”.
Referring to Helen Coley-Smith’s article , key points are :
‘One needs to develop a core set of skills and competencies to deal with change announcements and supporting communication when major organizational change is happening.
Those involved in communicating change, such as CEO’s, need as much support and guidance as those on the receiving end.
High concern scenarios may be organizational structure, merger and acquisitions, relocation, outsourcing, leadership crisis, transferring the baton to the next generation,…’
Quotes like these remind us that it is critically important in high concern situations for the underlying frames and beliefs to be recognized and worth being tackled.
Moving from the problem solving communication to the solution focused communication is one of the interesting ways of addressing these challenges.