julia@iclc.com.au leonie@iclc.com.au

Blog

Introducing ICLC

Posted by Julia Milner on Oct 5, 2016 in Blog

Alex Couley introduces the International Centre for Leadership Coaching and the organisations mission.

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Coaching in Professional Contexts

Posted by Julia Milner on Nov 25, 2015 in Blog

The directors of ICLC are pleased to announce the launch of Coaching in Professional Contexts. This exciting new book edited by Christian Van Nieuwerburgh features a chapter on the manager as coach challenge, authored by ICLC’s directors Julia. This international compilation also features a number of other Australian authors and is an excellent contribution to the coaching literature. The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. With hard copies available from Sage publications in mid...

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Coaching Life

Posted by Julia Milner on Nov 25, 2015 in Blog

At ICLC we believe that sporting, business, life and other speciality coaches have much in common. Whether the goals are sporting domination, corporate longevity or personal growth, we are all trying to help our charges be the best they can be. The biggest challenge for coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics. While there are coaching bodies and organizations that have codes of ethics and member standards but these organisations are unregulated and with membership being optional, ethics and standards are variable. To raise the image coaching as a united community, we either need to regulate or educate. Regulation, as a strategy is fraught with challenges and does may warrant the overhead and risk it presents. If regulation is not a viable option, then we see the answer is to EDUCATE. We are now contributors to the magazine, Coaching Life, which was created to help educate the coaches and wider public on the standards and practices that we wish to uphold. As coaches, we are a community rather than an association but we believe that we can still support and uplift each other, increase our knowledge and show the world what coaches can do. Look for it in newsagents or get your subscription at...

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That’s not what I expected!

Posted by Julia Milner on Nov 25, 2015 in Blog

Today’s business world is extremely busy. The advent of mobile telecommunications has increased the hours that many of us are working and has made it a true 24 hour working environment. The leader and manager operating within this space are increasingly required to rapidly to changing world events. We ICLC recognised this challenge for todays leaders and managers. In our experience this burden is often the obstacle to introducing a coaching methodology. Most coaching frameworks are generic and don’t recognise the unique complexities of coaching within a leadership or managerial role. It is with this in mind that we developed the LEADER model. The LEADER Model is a coaching model, specifically developed to respond to your needs as Leaders as Coaches.  In a previous blog we described the first step of the model “Listening”. The second step of the LEADER Model is ‘E’. Here we are going to examine the expectations of both the coach and coachee. Are expectations in harmony with one another? If not what can we do about this? As you can see from the graphic below you can still exit the LEADER Model at the ‘E’ if the individual, team and organisational priorities don’t align. If once you have read this blog you want to know more, ‘please look at how our website iclc.com.au where you will also find more on the other phases of the model. Before you move forward ensure you let go of assumptions. Early in the coaching session its is easy to fall into the trap of making up our mind about a topic or agenda item without truly engaging with the coachee. The danger here is that we overlook important messages. we have seen this dynamic many times in the manager as coach arena. You know your coachees well. You have seen them in many settings and drawn conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses. It is possible that this will lead you to make assumptions about your coachees. Realistically, this can be very helpful at times. But every now and again it is worth pausing and asking yourself “What would I ask If I didn’t already know this person”. Tip: We often ask people “what is your best learning style?”. In response to this question many people will describe their preferred learning style. The two things may not be the same. A better question is “ can you describe a time when you learnt something new that stretched you”. Once you have moved through the previously described process of listening you will then need to examine your mutual expectations for the coaching session. To put this simply as you embark upon any joint venture its wise to clarify what you expect of one another, what is your role, what is mine, what do you want from me, what do I want from you etc. This is however much more complicated within an organisational setting. You as the manager/leader coach are juggling multiple hats. So part of the examination of expectations is to ensure that any managerial expectations are placed upon the table. Our book Coaching: How to lead, will also be a great resource if you have further questions. Its also full of useful tips for you. Purchase “Coaching: How to Lead” – on the Inspiring Book...

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‘Can you please say that again?’ How to really listen as a Leader

Posted by Julia Milner on Nov 25, 2015 in Blog

Let’s be honest; with multiple roles, tasks and demands, leaders sometimes feel that they just don’t have the time to really listen. The easiest way out, is to ‘pretend’ to listen by nodding your head and making some half‐way intelligent confirming sounds … (note the worst case scenario is the classic ‘yes dear’ answer to a question that would have required a ‘of course not dear’ – for example the classic ‘Does my bum look fat in this?” scenario). Often our mind is miles away or in other words we are in a state of ‘mind‐emptiness’. Listening Formula To really listen, means practicing ‘mindfulness’. How can you do this? Here are 3 tips. Stop what you are doing and focus on the person in front of you If you can’t stop doing what you are currently doing then ask for a better time to talk. Focus on the other person by observing their body language, what they say and how they say it. Now let’s have a look at common but less effective listening habits. These can of course differ from person to person but here are few popular ones: Using your iPhone. It doesn’t matter if you ‘just’ want to look something up that might be useful for the conversation, if you ‘just’ want to finish that one email or if you ‘just’ remembered something that you need to note down. Put your iPhone (and any other screen away and turn your body and mind towards the other person). The multi‐tasking ban is not only reduced to technology but applies of course also to other tasks. Be mindful, be present. Feeling the urge to solve everything for the other person straight away or pushing your own agenda onto the other person without even listening first. Often managers jump in with comments like “Why don’t you do xy”, “How about zy”, “Have you tried xz” without having tried to first understand the issue at hand. No reaction at all. Showing no signs that you are listening is similar to the multi‐tasking point above. Whilst you can stop all of your obvious tasks you could still be somewhere else in your mind. So staring into no‐mans‐land is not helpful either. What to do? That depends a bit on you and your team member’s personality as well as on the cultural context. You need to feel authentic whilst showing that you are listening, your team member should feel comfortable (e.g. some people don’t like too much eye contact and will look away) and it should be appropriate within the cultural context of what constitutes good listening (e.g. again the level of eye contact is one aspect that can be different across cultures). For example when I worked in Australia, Germany or China and ask a group of managers what constitutes good and bad listening habits some of the answers vary. Coaching as a way to move into listening mode In a very simplified way ‘coaching’ someone means helping them to arrive at their own answer instead of you given it to them. By doing this you automatically have to swap from a telling to listen mode. To help leaders use coaching skills in the workplace we developed at the International Centre for Leadership Coaching specifically the LEADER Model for the unique...

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Associate Professor Julia Milner at the Suzhou Executive Academy in China

Posted by Julia Milner on Aug 14, 2015 in Blog

Associate Professor Julia Milner at the Suzhou Executive Academy in China

Presentation of Kevin Feng from GE and Associate Professor Julia Milner at the Suzhou Executive Academy in China on the topic “Leaders as Coaches”. Key insight: When training leaders in coaching skills it is not only about coaching models, the right coaching mindset is as important – or in the words of Johann W. von Goethe “Treat people as if they were, what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being”.

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How to really listen as a Leader: The ‘L’ Phase in the LEADER Model

Posted by Julia Milner on Aug 13, 2015 in Blog

How to really listen as a Leader: The ‘L’ Phase in the LEADER Model

The LEADER model is a coaching model, specifically developed for Leaders as Coaches. The situation of managers is quite different compared to the external or internal coach and hence a unique model that takes these considerations into account is needed in order to help leaders use coaching skills in the workplace. The first step of the LEADER Model is ‘Listening’ to make the following decision – Is Coaching the right tool or is another Leadership approach better suited? As you can see from the graphic above you are starting the LEADER Model with the ‘L’ but you can exit it also straight away at ‘L’, ‘E’, or ‘A’ depending on the outcome in each of these phases. This blog post focuses on the ‘L’ phase and we will explain the other letters in the following...

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How to really listen as a Leader

Posted by Julia Milner on Aug 2, 2015 in Blog

Let’s be honest; with multiple roles, tasks and demands, leaders sometimes feel that they just don’t have the time to really listen. The easiest way out, is to ‘pretend’ to listen by nodding your head and making some half-way intelligent confirming sounds … (note the worst case scenario is the classic ‘yes dear’ answer to a question that would have required a ‘of course not dear’ – for example the classic ‘Does my bum look fat in this?” scenario). Often our mind is miles away or in other words we are in a state of ‘mind-emptiness’. Listening Formula To really listen, means practicing ‘mindfulness’. How can you do this? Here are 3 tips. Stop what you are doing and focus on the person in front of you If you can’t stop doing what you are currently doing then ask for a better time to talk. Focus on the other person by observing their body language, what they say and how they say it.   Now let’s have a look at common but less effective listening habits. These can of course differ from person to person but here are few popular ones: Using your iPhone. It doesn’t matter if you ‘just’ want to look something up that might be useful for the conversation, if you ‘just’ want to finish that one email or if you ‘just’ remembered something that you need to note down. Put your iPhone (and any other screen away and turn your body and mind towards the other person). The multi-tasking ban is not only reduced to technology but applies of course also to other tasks. Be mindful, be present. Feeling the urge to solve everything for the other person straight away or pushing your own agenda onto the other person without even listening first. Often managers jump in with comments like “Why don’t you do xy”, “How about zy”, “Have you tried xz” without having tried to first understand the issue at hand. No reaction at all. Showing no signs that you are listening is similar to the multi-tasking point above. Whilst you can stop all of your obvious tasks you could still be somewhere else in your mind. So staring into no-mans-land is not helpful either. What to do? That depends a bit on you and your team member’s personality as well as on the cultural context. You need to feel authentic whilst showing that you are listening, your team member should feel comfortable (e.g. some people don’t like too much eye contact and will look away) and it should be appropriate within the cultural context of what constitutes good listening (e.g. again the level of eye contact is one aspect that can be different across cultures). For example when I worked in Australia, Germany or China and ask a group of managers what constitutes good and bad listening habits some of the answers...

read more