The pros and cons of intergenerational teams

An article about the advantages of developing an intergenerational workplace, prompted me to share this personal story.

My aunt was a prominent figure in the Insurance sector and had a traditional, yet successful career. Nearing retirement, (at 59 years old) she was approached by a forward-thinking, new firm in the market, offering her ‘many times her annual salary’, (in permanent employment) to grow their business and to share her knowledge and coach the younger generation in their firm.

Ten years later, the same insurance company became an active shareholder in my aunt’s first commercial venture, whereby they still received ongoing advice from her (as a consultant) and she had the financial backing she needed to take a step, she had never thought possible.

According to Birkman’s paper, ‘How Generational Differences Impact Organizations & Teams’, Baby Boomers tend to be optimistic, ambitious, competitive, and focus on their personal accomplishments. However, nobody’s perfect and the paper deals with the many issues that organisations can experience with inter generational teams. ‘The good news is that common ground exists among members of different generations. Differences exist on all teams regardless of generation and can be successfully addressed through training, and coaching. Other differences, such as work and communication styles, are an outcome of changes in the workforce that can be addressed in a variety of ways.’

Whilst knowledge may be perceived to some as power, sharing that knowledge is worth its weight in gold. It’s how organisations use the knowledge of individuals in their ‘golden years’, re-training these individuals to advise, mentor, coach and train, that makes these organisations more successful than those that choose to make these ‘senior citizens’ redundant.

Companies who want advice may also wish to read:

Helen Martin is a leadership coach and can be contacted for more information.

How important is self-awareness?

Having researched ‘how to change behaviour in 3-months’ as the basis for an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural change, I was surprised to note that 70% of my coachees lacked self-awareness i.e. low to very low.

This was confirmed by an HBR article which states than between 85 and 90% of individuals they surveyed lacked self-awareness.

Self-awareness is at the foundation of emotional intelligence; without it, it becomes hard to develop meaningful (business) relationships and since building relationships are vital for business growth, it’s a skill that shouldn’t be underestimated.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that emotional intelligence can be learned. Psychometrics and Emotional Intelligence models are invaluable to help you understand what can help and hinder you in business, and coaching, can be valuable to unlearn bad habits.

Contact me if you would like to find out more.

Fight, Flight or Freeze?

I love change; whether it’s moving to another country, managing a challenging project, or learning a foreign language; but, when I was made redundant, I abandoned all sense of reason and froze.

Many experts have written about the amygdala and how it is responsible for emotions and survival instincts, and triggers our ‘fight, flight or freeze mechanism’. No matter how much individuals love change; myself included; they may react differently to change which is imposed upon them, than to change which they have planned.

To put this into context, we use the ventral striatum and the amygdala for judgment and decision making, calculating the reward or degree of threat of a situation. The prefrontal cortex, contains the historical context of a situation and regulates the response of the amygdala and ventral striatum, depending on the context of a situation.

Individuals often ‘freeze’ and find it difficult to make decisions, when they are faced with a situation for which they have no point of reference, so they may have no idea of how to react.

Having come through imposed change unscathed, and having coached many others through the same situation, I understand why my clients often fear change. They fear a distant memory of what has yet to come. So, whether an individual chooses ‘fight, flight, or freeze’, the emotions experienced during change can be traumatic and cannot be ignored.

Fortunately, our brains plasticity means that we have the ability to rewrite how we choose to remember past memories, which helps us to unlearn bad habits, discard our limiting beliefs and, focus on realising positive future outcomes.

To find out more about my practice, please visit: www.helenmartincoaching.com, send me a note, or click the Home tab.

Visualise to succeed

As a coach, I often ask my clients to visualise what they want to achieve in their minds-eye, and to think about how they will feel when they have achieved it.

I then ask them to think about the incremental steps that they will need to take each day to reach that goal. By breaking a goal up into bite-sized chunks, it becomes easier to attain.

This practice can be compared to a business that creates a strategy and breaks that strategy into the tactical steps it needs to take, in order to reach its goal.

How do you (and your team) practice visualisation and achieving your goals?

During a 90-minute one-on-one coaching session, or a half day workshop with you and your team, I can help you regain focus to achieve your goals.

Contact me!

5 ways to improve your life in 2018

Here are a few of my own simple tips to improve your outlook on life. How will you be living your life in 2018?

1. Worry less and reflect more.

Look at any problem as an objective bystander, and ask yourself:

What went well or not so well?

How it made you feel?

What you could have done differently?

What you learned from the experience?

Then move on in your mind and do not brood on the issue.

2. Love yourself as you are.

Add a ‘Hello gorgeous’ to yourself every morning, when you look in the mirror.

3. Accept people as they are.

You cannot change other people, but each little change that you make, may extract a different reaction from other people.

4. Be grateful.

You may already have a lot more than most. Be thankful.

5. Visualise….visualise….visualise.

The skies the limit. You can achieve anything you truly desire; work diligently towards any goal and visualise what the end goal looks and feels like will help you get there!

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Helen

If anything in this article has piqued your interest, please contact me.

Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. She can be contacted here.

8 questions to ask yourself before you switch jobs

Questions

The end of the year is looming and you may be thinking about your next career move. But, how do you choose between ‘good’ and ‘good’, when you receive two ‘similar’ job offers? Will you be wooed by a larger package or a more senior job title?

The Job. Ask yourself:

  1. What do you love about your current role? Are these tasks even listed on the job description? To find out how to accelerate your career by determining your sweet spot click here.
  2. Will you have visibility to senior leaders to be recognized for your work or to learn from them?
  3. What is the new role offering you that’s new? How will it challenge you; if at all?

The People and Company. Once you’ve been for an interview, ask yourself:

  1. What do you like or dislike about the people who work at the new company? Remember they will not change for you!
  2. Could these people be overselling the job and the company, to lure you to work for them? You can often find information online about companies and what it is really like to work there e.g. Glassdoor.
  3. Are the company values aligned to your own?
  4. Are there opportunities to grow and develop; to study?
  5. Where is the company located? Will your travel time be acceptable?

Whatever you decide, remember that the job title, salary and benefits package are just the start. Don’t be wooed too quickly. Take everything into consideration and if it doesn’t feel right, listen to your instincts and carry on searching.

Good Luck!
Helen

If anything in this article has piqued your interest, please contact me.
Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. She can be contacted here.

Accelerating Change

Organisations often need to change quickly to stay ahead of their game, but since it’s people that roll out and implement change, how do they change?

New processes, management, reorganisations….it’s all about change! Over 70% of change programs still fail because of resistance to change’ (Beer, 2000) and organisations experience higher costs and greater risks when the people-side of change is not managed effectively, yet we continually focus on organisational change and not on employee development.

It’s individuals who need to understand, manage and implement change, adapting to new circumstances, so how do you ensure that your employees are set up for success and embrace change?

Whilst little literature exists on how organisational development and people development can best work together theoretically, (Bachkirova, 2017:163 – 168), opening channels for two-way dialogue and understanding some of the reasons why individuals resist change can be helpful in improving the process of gaining acceptance for change.

Knowing what drives a team member’s behaviour is a good start to understanding whether their inherent traits will serve your organisation well, or not, during change.

Team coaching is a method which I frequently use to understand what makes individuals tick in the team context; their resistors and drivers; in combination with the next generation of professional development tools, Lumina Spark, supporting individuals, teams and organisations to work more effectively and improve the bottom line.

Unfortunately there’s no 24-hour pill for change projects, but ongoing personal development in the form of individual and team coaching combined with channels of communication which encourage two-way dialogue are a great start to successful change initiatives!

If anything in this article has piqued your interest, please contact me.

Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. She can be contacted here.