Conversations about leadership, learning, coaching and change.

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Learning

How kids build our leadership muscles

How kids build our leadership muscles

by Moyra Mackie on April 5, 2014

This weekend my eldest son turns eighteen.  So I’m in reflective mode.

Of course it makes me feel OLD.  And I’m asking myself, “How on earth did that happen?  How can I be the mother to an adult when I still feel like I’m finding my way?”

It makes me think that the most important leadership role we ever take on is the one we have as a parent

Just like leading in corporate life, we get a real live person to take care of without a manual, a training course or a coach to help us out.
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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Room for reflection: How coaching leads to real change

Room for reflection: How coaching leads to real change

by Moyra Mackie on January 12, 2014

“In coaching the client learns and grows through reflecting on their own experiences and intuition via thought-provoking and insightful inquiry from the coach in a trusting and supportive environment.” 

~ Coaching Relationships: The Relational Coaching Field Book

In order to be consistently effective, it helps if coaches first go through the same process “reflecting on their own experiences and intuition”

And that is just what I have been doing for the last 12 months;  Year 1 of my MSc in Executive Coaching at Ashridge Business School, a program that aims to “develop your ability to respond to, initiate and enable change through the coaching process.”

In addition to attending a series of two-day experiential workshops, I have also been writing a 12,000 word personal reflection journal, answering a series of questions that require me to apply psychological models to specific coaching cases and to my coaching approach.

It’s not abstract, it’s highly personal

The assessors are not looking for evidence of someone who can understand and recite reams of academic theory and research, they want to see how deeply I can inquire into what makes my clients tick and how self-aware I am about my own patterns of behaviour.

Coaching is all about the relationship

Research shows that the most important factor in determining whether coaching is effective or not, is the quality of the relationship between coach and client.

And if this is the case, then it is vitally important that I understand what baggage I bring to the coaching room – what are my triggers, my drivers, my biases?

Effective coaches are always learning and reflecting

As Mary Beth O’Neill says in Coaching with Backbone and Heart:

“If you do not develop yourself enough to withstand a client’s stress, you default to actions that handle your own discomfort but are not useful to your client.”

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Lessons from the sun lounger

Lessons from the sun lounger

by Moyra Mackie on September 6, 2013

How do you feel asking other people for help?

What happens if you’re struggling to find your way and GPS or a plain old-fashioned map fails you? Do you hesitate to ask for guidance?

Or perhaps you’re not physically lost, but you feel out of your depth or overwhelmed? Do you reach out and ask for help or continue to struggle?

To the eternal embarrassment of my teenage sons I have no problem asking strangers for directions, no matter where I am in the world.

I’m afraid of asking for help in other ways

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Why I need a coach

Why I need a coach

by Guest contributor John Stepper on August 30, 2013

From the age of 5 to 23, I spent much of my weekdays with teachers. People I could learn from or rely on for help or guidance. Then, for decades after, I stopped.

As I struggled through some of the most difficult times in work and life, I almost never asked for help at all.

Isn’t that odd? Why would I get more instruction and assistance for trigonometry than for making work and life more fulfilling?

What is coaching, anyway?

For sure, there have been helpful people in my life.

My parents were supportive but lacked the experience to help me at work.

I’ve had the occasional good manager, but most lacked the empathy and emotional objectivity you need in a good coach. After all, you can’t reasonably expose your fears and weaknesses about work to the same person who’s paying you for that work.

If these people can’t coach you, who can? And what would they do?

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Guest contributor John Stepper

John is changing how people work at Deutsche Bank using collaboration platforms, communities of practice, and public social media. He writes about making work more effective and fulfilling at johnstepper.com and on Twitter as @johnstepper

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Ten tips for hands free presentations

Ten tips for hands free presentations

by Moyra Mackie on May 17, 2013

I’ve lost count of the number of clients who come to me for presentation skills coaching who ask:

“What am I supposed to do with my hands? I feel so awkward.”

If you’re going to be a great presenter you need to stop worrying about what you do with your hands.  You’re not directing traffic or carrying out brain surgery.  You’re talking to people.

When you talk to people in the office, at home, in a bar, do you worry about your body language?  I’m guessing that for most of us, outside of a first date or important interview, the answer to that question will be “no”.

And why don’t we worry?

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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“You’re a good writer.  You write with personality, but I’d like to see more of YOU in your work”.

So said my tutor, as he reviewed my learning journal for my Masters’ Program last week.

And his view probably holds true for what I write here.  So I’m putting his advice into practice.

This is only the 10th week I have been publishing  – so seasoned bloggers feel free to smile knowingly here. But I thought I would talk about what I have learnt so far, how it FEELS and my thoughts on how you could help me to get better.

So what have I learnt about writing a weekly blog?

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Leaders like learning

Leaders like learning

by Moyra Mackie on March 9, 2013

I have been developing and delivering training for more than 15 years now and my mantra has become “Training doesn’t work.” So why would I say that? Does it mean I’m suffering from some kind of commercial death wish?

Well, no. I’m not. But perhaps I should be more precise and say it slightly differently.

Maybe I should be saying: “Training doesn’t lead to change or lasting improvement.” But that’s not so catchy.

@MoyraMackie says: Leaders know the difference between training and learning.

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Do you remember your first day at school? The fear of the unknown? The big, unfamiliar building? Worrying if you would fit in? The fretting about wearing the right clothes? The anxiety about whether the teachers would like you and you would like them?

I remember those emotions, oh so well. But I probably have an advantage over you. My first day of school was in December 2012.

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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