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Check out comments and interview on article in NZ Herald:

Re-engaging workers with their roles

New Zealand Herald – 8 April, 2010

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New Zealand Herald

Clear vision provides a compass point for staff to follow
New Zealand Herald – 14 April, 2010

Jasbindar Singh, coaching psychologist and executive coach of SQ Executive Management Consultancy, agrees. She says: “Values are fundamental to the purpose …

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(c) SQ-Zine – Coaching tips for leading self and others

Getting better results through high employee engagement

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(c) SQ Zine – Coaching tips for leading self and others

How to stay inspired

Doesn’t it feel great when we are inspired, uplifted and on top of our game? But it’s not always like this.   There are times in our lives when inspiration is lack luster and questions abound  – from the superficial to more fundamental ones like the very purpose of being.  We feel tired, unable to see the  light at the end of the tunnel. Take a minute and check yourself – what is the reading on your inspiration gauge currently?  Low-medium, medium, medium-high or high? And is this reading just currently. And  has it been like this for a while now?
When we feel inspired, we are energized – there is fire in our bellies,  .  Creative endeavours have at their very source some form of inspiration which helps start,  then propel one’s efforts and vision forward.  Conversely when we are in the middle of a project, not honouring some of our basic life balance needs and are caught up in the demands of routine, we find that inspiration wanes.
Inspiration can also be hard to find when one is going through a life transition.  Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are in  this process as circumstances change and we are left questioning why the old ways of operating are just no longer working.
In times of transition, one can rightly expect clarity of purpose and direction to desert us.   The desire for energy, inspiration and clarity is an underlying need, be it knowledge workers or the always ‘on the go’ executive who is now having to deal with a new unknown chapter in his life.
Naturally we feel much more productive and ‘switched on’ when we are purposeful – we know where we are going (or at least trying to!) and can see some returns for our effort.

So what can you do to keep your levels of inspiration up?  Depending on your circumstances, you may need to consider the following points which range from the big picture to the more immediate needs:

1. What is the framework or big picture that gives meaning to your work and life? The SQ perspective is about having a clear  understanding about what it is that you are doing and why. What makes it worthwhile for you to get out of bed in the mornings?  My clients’ responses have included enjoyment of doing deals, making money, having fun, learning and making a difference.Re-visiting this can remind you of what is important to you as well as the intentions you hold in doing what you do. These are the foundations  for your actions and being.

2. Align your current activities with your short, medium and long-term goals. Are you clear about your values base. Even  more importantly are you living from these as your foundational touchstone?  Actions arising in alignment with your values also provide synergy and help focus direction.

3. Manage your ‘now’ well.  In being on the go, have you sacrificed the basics such as your exercise routine, healthy eating, getting adequate sleep and quality sharing with loved ones? Be conscious of your own physiology and emotional needs and plan accordingly.  Putting the basics in place tends to restore the baseline level of energy and a sense of deeper fulfillment.

Inspiration also comes from achieving your milestones and taking time out to celebrate your achievements.  My IT clients routinely experience frustrations when things take longer than expected –  they can’t quite see the end in sight, as originally planned.  The sense of tiredness combined with jumping into the next project before there has been time for a breather is also not a great recipe for inspiration. Finally, in pursuing your dreams and objectives, don’t forget to appreciate the journey…NOW!

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(c) SQ-Zine – Coaching tips for leading self and others

Giving and receiving feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is an aspect of human relationships we tend to not be that great at.  In the work setting, whether it is giving feedback during a “coachable moment” or a more formal context such as performance appraisal or review, there are some principles – discussed below, which make the giving and receiving of feedback positive and constructive.

Before you give feedback

1.Be clear about your intention in giving the feedback. Keep it constructive and clean
2. Make sure that feedback has been asked for or that you have a relationship or context in which giving feedback is an accepted part of that relationship or process
3. Giving feedback is not about “dumping on the other person”
4. Choose your time and place well e.g. not when others are present
5. Make it constructive and of value to the recipient
6. Think about how you may be able to provide support and or resources, which will help shape the person’s future behaviour and help them work on that vital feedback
7. Put yourself in the other person’s moccasins as you plan and prepare

How to give effective feedback

1. Focus on specific behaviour, not the person e.g. you were late again for the morning team meeting versus, ” you are lousy!”
2. Focus on describing –  not judging, giving advice or being moralistic
3. Feedback specific observation and facts rather than inferences
4. Avoid absolutes – “either/or”, “always/never”. Focus on descriptions of behaviour, which are in terms of “more or less”
5. Keep to specific examples in the “here and now” rather than generalizing
6. Focus on exploring alternatives with the person rather than providing the answers or solutions.
7. Focus feedback on the amount of information the person receiving it can use at the time, rather than all that you have to give

Why is feedback so important?

Research shows that feedback has the power to direct behaviour and motivate performance.  You might even a recall time when this happened to you.  What made the feedback so useful or significant? What did the feedback provider do that made it easy for you to receive their message?

Receiving feedback

And while we are on that topic, the following approach will help you in receiving feedback:

1. Practice good listening
2. Ask for clarification if you are left with a mixed message
3. Ask for examples, if the feedback sounds general
4. You can share and say where you agree, disagree and why but
do a self-check and be aware that you are not just being “defensive.”
5. If you are feeling defensive, try old dad Singh’s timeless gems.
a) Ask yourself – ” Has this person got positive intention towards me?”
b) Are they qualified to give you this feedback? e.g. they have expertise, are experienced  and or  know you very well.
c) Is there something you can learn from what they are saying?
6. Ask for time for reflection and have a further advancing conversation
7. We are never too late or old to learn new things – our brains love stimulation and new input!The SQ Perspective

The SQ perspective is that our ability to learn, develop and grow is fundamentally tied with our ability to be open to feedback. We are constantly adjusting, re-calibrating what works or doesn’t and the feedback loop is a critical part of that self-adjusting/learning process. Giving and receiving feedback is an important factor in increasing our effectiveness.

As in the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”The SQ Application

Over the coming weeks, I would like to invite you to become more conscious of the following:

1. How you give feedback?
2. How is feedback given to you?
3. How you receive feedback?
4. Practice the Singh Rule – numbers 5 – a, b, and c!* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Top employees work well with others
New Zealand Herald, June, 2008

Business psychologist and author of Get Your Groove Back, Jasbindar Singh says

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Mind Matters
The Global Indian, monthly column

Jasbindar writes a popular column, “Mind Matters”, for The Global Indian, a monthly Indian magazine published from New Zealand…

Read Jasbindar’s past articles

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Coaching the Bosses
Unlimited Magazine, June 2006

Ed Sims was your typical stressed-out, hard-nosed boss before he discovered executive coaching. Air New Zealand’s international airlines group general manager says his natural style was…

Read full article

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‘A’ Team or Reserve Bench
NZBusiness magazine, February 2005

We all know the Together Everyone Achieves More philosophy – but what can teamwork really achieve for your business? Patricia Moore asks the experts…

Read full article

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Coaching on leadership style
Employment Today, August 2004

Are leaders born or made? This is a perennial question about leadership. While an argument can be made for both sides, one thing we do know is that…

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Right click here & choose “Save As” to download PDF of article (631 KB)

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Balance in business according to Jasbindar Singh
Management Magazine, November 2000

Coaching for success

Are you closing business deals on a Sunday when your friends are on the golf course, sneaking out of parties to check on your email or phoning clients in Asia when you would prefer to be reading a bedtime story to your kids? As global communications improve constantly, businesses become leaner and pressures mount, it is becoming increasing difficult for business executives to maintain a healthy balance in their professional and personal worlds, according to Jasbindar Singh…

Read full article

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Avoiding career derailment by Jasbindar Singh

In this article, Jasbindar shares tips to help you take charge of your career and avoid derailment in your current (or future) job…