"I analyse, interpret and explain. Then I advocate action."

Improve, not Fix

by Kim Miller | November 14th, 2013

I coach senior managers and executives. Often I am asked if and how I “fix” them. The answer of course is that I do not, at least do not often, fix them. I improve them through the coaching process.

I am in the fortunate position of being able to work with talented and successful people. I do not regularly work with people who are early in their career. So my clients have already achieved much, and in many cases a great deal in their careers. They come to me to get better. To improve. To build on the strong business skills, activity and behaviour that got them where they are.

They want to continue the process of applying themselves to their work. They need to adapt; to new business challenges, to new people, and to new responsibilities. True success is the ability to keep it going. To improve as needed, not fix.

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Ego and Insecurity

by Kim Miller | August 7th, 2013

If you are successful in business, you have both – Ego and Insecurity – probably in substantial amounts. I am not postulating here, merely observing. I coach leaders of organizations. They all have healthy egos. They also all have significant insecurities.

Another way this is manifest is in the very human NEED to achieve, and the equally human FEAR of failure.

It is easy to confuse one with the other because they both provide motivation. But the former – let me call it “Achievement Ego” – is more likely to lead to action. for this reason, most of us in the business world would say that Achievement Ego is better than “Insecurity Fear”. Action is better than inaction, right? You can’t win if you don’t try, right? Generally, but not always.

If you take action with a high degree of competence, you are more likely to succeed. If you don’t know what you are doing – or if others simply do it much better – you are less likely to succeed. Your Insecurity Fear may be the thing to tell you when to hold off, even when your Achievement Ego is saying, “Go, go, go!”

By aware of – and use – both. Listen to your ego, and respect your insecurity.

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It may be Apples and Oranges, but it’s still Fruit

by Kim Miller | May 1st, 2013

I often find myself challenged by a client who believes they are different. They believe that their particular situation is unique and calls for extraordinary action. Sometimes they are right, then we must get creative to solve the problem(s). Sometimes they are (half) right, but the differences are really not that great.

It is important for me and the work I do to identify when the differences in a situation are important and when they are not. Most problems in running a business have occurred to other businesses and perhaps to the same organization in the past. This then calls for reviewing proven solutions for application. The key is assessing the situation carefully, and deciding whether the situation warrants extraordinary effort. Experience counts here, combined with a healthy dose of solid judgment.

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Work as hard as you can…

by Kim Miller | February 16th, 2012

I believe that work is a good thing. It keeps you occupied. It gives you a challenge – big, small, or in between. It can make the world a better place for others. It provides you and your family with an income. So you should work as hard as you can. This will help to maximize the above attributes.

The very important qualification to the above encouragement is that you must take care of the health and well-being of yourself and your family. So, work as hard and as long as you can, but make certain you are also taking care of your self and your family.

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Listen!

by Kim Miller | March 22nd, 2011

One thing comes up regularly when I do my “360” background interviews for my coaching clients: “Listen, I want him/her to listen to me.”

Let’s face it, most of us don’t listen well. Instead of truly listening to our partner in a conversation, we often take the time to develop our thoughts so that we can start to speak again just as soon as we get the opportunity. So we make our point, but at what cost? My experience tells me that the cost is great. Rather than being impressed with our linguistic prowess, people are often annoyed, discouraged, or worse…

As a result of this input, I often work on listening skills with my coaching clients. There are various techniques, such as: offer one thought at a time before stopping and waiting for a response; give yourself 30 seconds to make a point, then wrap it up, really. One that I like is more of a concept than a technique: to make them think that you are the best listener in the world. This is easy to say, hard to do. You must put aside your ego and your insecurities. You must let your brilliant thoughts go unuttered. You must hear and understand the words and the message.

Try it. You may learn something.

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