Yearly Archives: 2013

Skills of a multicultural mentor

Studies by two professors at French business schools[1] identify seven characteristics of a multicultural manager: Sensitivity to one’s own and other cultures Cultural awareness and curiosity Cultural empathy Multilingual skills Contextual understanding and sensitivity Semantic awareness Ability to switch among …

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How to use “HR Bling” to good effect

OK, so we know that either inherently, or as practised, or both, pretty much everything HR has relied upon for managing talent in recent decades turns out to be ineffective, misleading and in some cases, damaging. We also know about …

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Using analogy in coaching and mentoring

Coaches and mentors use many tools to stimulate the learning dialogue. Among the most frequent, though we are often unaware of it, is the process of analogy.  An article by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander explains that “an apt analogy …

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How social networks affect careers and succession planning

Research into social networking suggests that people can on average manage a maximum of 150 strong connections and a much larger number of weak connections (Dunbar, 2010). Strong connections tend to be characterised by a higher quality and frequency of …

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Coaches and mentors bearing gifts

Studies have shown that overly altruistic motivations for coaching and mentoring tend to lead to more directive, unconsciously manipulative behaviours in the coach/mentor. “I want to put something back” or “I’ve got a lot of experience to share” may be …

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12 questions to help a client transition to a new role

Moving into a new role is one of the most common situations that arises in coaching and mentoring. There are multiple uncertainties and inevitable concerns on all sides. The new role holder will usually have to make adjustments in how …

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Why do smart people do stupid things?

It’s a question that has occupied philosophers for centuries and one that coaches and mentors often encounter in their conversations with clients. Sometimes, it’s people in the client’s environment, who make stupid decisions; sometimes it’s the client him/herself. But a …

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Dialogue for performance: how networking helps

One of the basic rules for growing and maintaining effective networks is to look out for interesting conversations. I was fortunate recently to encounter, on a guided walk through the mountains of Gran Canaria, the author of a fascinating study …

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Getting to Aha!

How to help coaching/mentoring clients achieve powerful insights The Aha! moment is something that all coaches and mentors relish – the point when there is a sudden and seismic shift in a client’s perception about an issue. It’s almost impossible …

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Managing allegiances in the coaching relationship

A recurrent theme in my coaching supervision is the complexity of managing expectations and conversations with other stakeholders in the coaching relationship. The client’s line manager and HR, as well as, in some cases, important peers of the client, all …

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