There is plenty of nonsense from online extremists. I’m sick of it. You may be frustrated too.
One of my clients said, “I’m just paralyzed. I’ve submitted my PPP application to Wells Fargo because I trusted them to deliver. Now they say I should consider a new bank. I don’t know who to trust.”
Another client said, “We have adopted new norms for remote work. Everyone has a laptop with a secure virtual private network (VPN). But, people are late for meetings. WebEx doesn’t work. We get interrupted by crying children and barking dogs. Our deliverables are down 20% in 3 weeks.”
That’s why I want to give you these 6 great resources:
As a species we have always adapted to aversive stimuli with resilience. 100 years ago over 600,000 people died as a result of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Our grandparents survived. 100 years from now we will have new global health protocols. You and I will not be alive, but our children will learn from our work today. Resilience defines us. We can adapt. Some great resources are at the Greater Good Science Center.
Teams are stronger than individuals. They always have been stronger. Consider any project team, family team, virtual or direct team… Teams will always will be stronger because teams provide different perspectives, tension, innovation, results. Social isolation leads to anxiety and depression, and kills more people than cardio-vascular disease, obesity and smoking. Combined. Lately I have been calling at least 5 old friends every day. Physical isolation is critical. Social isolation occurs when we do not reach out to one another. Some great free resources are here. You can strengthen your teams today.
The road ahead is paved with new leaders, from many networks. Consider recent examples of healthcare leaders like your local physicians and nurses, or Dr. Anthony Fauci. Consider thousands of leaders in education who quickly migrated course content online and are encouraging songs across the physical distance. Leaders emerge when teams practice using OKRs. Objectives and Key Results (OKR) increase accountability and engagement, especially with over 50% of the workforce who are millennials. Recently, over 20% of the U.S. workforce has lost their job or is underemployed. Please share this link from my newest book with anyone in a career transition. For anyone interested in learning about OKR Leadership, please share this link to chapter 1 in audio or digital format. You may be a great leader for your loved ones.
We finally have a new language to describe our virtues and character strengths. Over 7 million people use the language of signature strengths to describe themselves or others “At your best.” For the past two years I have listed my signature strengths in my email signature as a small experiment. I strongly recommend that you take the free VIA assessment here and practice developing your strengths daily. When we leverage our strengths, then we are more capable of flourishing. The science and practice of character strengths has gained momentum during this pandemic, because people want to know, “What really works?”
Here are some gifts from 2018 that I’d like to share with you, my clients and associates.
I strongly recommend that you save this url in your contact for “Doug Gray” or “Action Learning Associates.”
You may want to download this new content and add it to your digital folder for “Action Learning Associates.” There are many great resources here!
Here’s to you, at your best! When playing with new friends like Spider Monkeys, or not.
Q4 included several customized leadership development workshops.
One F500 client wanted to “develop a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).” If you are a client and want to see the customized app that included that content please contact me here.
One client wanted to “introduce positive psychology practices into their organization.” Over 1,300 people have viewed the content here.
One F500 client wanted to “develop the executive presence and the reputations of their leaders.” A video of that content is here.
Several small business leaders wanted succession planning content to accelerate their leadership to the next generation.
Q3 included trademarking the AD-FIT model for any managers or professional coaches to use.
Many clients asked, “What works?” They needed a process or protocol to cascade consistent expectations to direct reports, to serve clients, to lead others effectively.
The AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course is at www.WhyCoachesFail. If you are a client and would like free access please contact me here.
Many consultants, managers and professional coaches have completed the AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course. And I have been invited to share the AD-FIT model at the Metrics That Matter conference hosted by Explorance, in March, 2019. Contact me for licensing details.
Q2 included my PhD in Organizational Leadership dissertation defense from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
My dissertation title was “Positive Psychology Coaching Protocols: Creating Competitive Advantage for Leader Development.“
My abstract / summary was: A gap exists between positive psychology coaching (PPC) theory and practice because PPC lacks rigorous measurement, evidence-based protocols and standard processes. This quasi-experimental study assessed the relationship between PPC protocols and performance or behavioral outcomes of leaders. The participants were global professional coaches (n = 220) who completed two sets of surveys after delivering 90 days of coaching, and completed approximately 60 minutes of digital training. The primary assessments were (a) the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ-12), (b) the Values in Action (VIA-72) questionnaire, and (c) the Outcome Measures Survey that included the Goal Attainment Satisfaction (GAS) score. The PPC protocols included compliance using assessments, defining meaningful coaching outcomes, compliance over time, and compliance with the AD-FIT coaching protocol. Those participants with higher compliance to the AD-FIT coaching protocol (n = 16) reported slightly higher goal attainment scores than the participants with lower compliance (n = 18). Open text box analysis was conducted to deepen understanding of the relationship between participation and leader outcomes. The top two performance outcomes (n =100 responses) were increased productivity and focus. The top two behavior outcomes (n =115 responses) were improved relationships and effectiveness. The theoretical, methodological and practical significance of this research indicate opportunities to create competitive advantage in leader development.
All of you who are individual or team coaching clients are familiar with this new client intake document. Here is a very generous gift. When I work with leaders I ALWAYS use the AD-FIT process. Since 1997. It works. Outcome-based coaching is a straightforward process. I strongly recommend that YOU adopt the AD-FIT protocols. Click on the bullet below. Then download the content. Then use these 28 validated outcomes for executive coaching or business coaching. Leaders practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law.
Positive Psychology is a vast science with countless applications. The most inclusive model to describe well-being is called PERMA.
The PERMA Model was developed by my favorite psychologist, Martin Seligman. (We have met twice and discussed my research on positive psychology coaching.) I strongly recommend his seminal 2011 book, “Flourish”.
“PERMA” stands for the five essential elements that contribute to individual or team well-being. These are:
1. Positive Emotion (P)
For us to experience well-being, we need positive emotion in our lives. Any positive emotion such as gratitude, satisfaction, hope, curiosity, or love falls into this category. We each have subjective experiences of positive emotions.
I made a short video on Positive Emotion (P) for you. You can watch it here.
2. Engagement (E)
When we’re truly engaged in a situation, task, or project, we experience a state of flow. Time seems to stop, we lose our sense of self. We concentrate intensely on the present. We excel at challenging tasks. You can increase engagement for yourself and your team.
I made a short video on Engagement (E). You can watch it here.
3. Positive Relationships (R)
Humans are social beings and good relationships are core to our well-being. You can develop meaningful, positive relationships with others. We can measure fMRI images that describe the quality of your relationships. We can develop better relationships and accelerate behavioral or performance outcomes. (That was my dissertation research.) Curious about the details?
I made a short video on Positive Relationships (R). You can watch it here.
4. Meaning (M)
Meaning results when we serve a cause bigger than ourselves. Your meaningful outcome may be quantitative (e.g., earn $100k/year or give away 15% of earnings per year). Your meaningful outcome may be qualitative (e.g., care for your loved ones or serve humanity in some way.) We all need meaning in our lives to develop well-being.
I made a short video on Meaning (M) for you. You can watch it here.
5. Accomplishment/Achievement (A)
Many of us strive to master a skill, achieve a goal, or win some competitive event. Achievement defines us. Or not. Accomplishment is another element that contributes to our ability to flourish.
For specific details, I made a short video on Accomplishment/Achievement (A). You can watch it here.
Now that you understand the PERMA model, I hope you will use it to increase your well-being and help your teams flourish.
P.S. Let me know how you are flourishing?
P.P.S. Let me know if you like this long-form email or if you prefer the shorter ones?
Action leads to learning. What are you waiting for?
To contact Doug Gray, CEO, PCC, call 615.236.1892 or contact us here. Today.
Define a meaningful goal or outcome for the leader/ coachee. (A measurable performance or behavior)
Focus on the leader/ coachee’s agenda. (“I’m a little concerned about…”)
Intervention or possible action for the leader/ coachee. (“Have you considered…”)
Takeaways or next step for the leader/ coachee. (Model accountability and change.)
% of adherence to this model? (0-20%, 20-40%, 60-80%, 80-100%)
Understanding of Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) protocols:
Introduction to Positive Psychology
Positive Psychology (PP) may be operationally defined as the science of well-being and optimal functioning. The phrase “positive psychology” was coined by Maslow (1954) and is rooted in humanistic psychology. Recent research in PP has defined five clusters of scientific findings, the PERMA model, that describe positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments (Seligman, 2011). The construct of signature strengths can be assessed using the Values in Action (VIA-72) questionnaire (Seligman & Peterson, 2011). The construct of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) can be defined as a dynamic, higher-order construct comprised of hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism (Luthans, Youssef-Morgan & Avolio, 2015).
Introduction to Positive Psychology Coaching
This Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) program was designed in response to a perceived need for development of business leaders actively engaged in professional coaching. The confidential relationship between coaches and coachees will be maintained throughout this research. Autonomy and mastery are critical aspects of professional coaching relationships, and will be maintained throughout this research.
The goals of this PPC program include: (a) assessing and developing individual character strengths using validated strengths-based assessments, (b) adhering to a structured evidence-based protocol for positive psychology coaching, (c) developing a strengths-based goal attainment process customized for each leader (coachee), (d) measuring Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) by evaluating adherence to three goals that are personally meaningful and relate to business outcomes for the leader (coachee), (e) modeling action planning and accountability in each coaching session by evaluating adherence to the coaching protocols, (f) quantitatively and qualitatively measuring the effect of positive psychology coaching on coachee outcomes.
Coaching engagement goals
The goals for each coaching engagement will be defined by each client (coachee) and customized with their professional coach. Each coachee will be encouraged to define three goals that are personally meaningful, relate to business outcomes, and can be measured using the goal attainment scale (GAS). Representative examples of coaching engagement goals may include (a) driving retention and organizational performance through tactical execution, (b) developing strategic thinking and planning, (c) developing leadership capability in key areas to leader success, (d) aligning and integrating current role with desired future role, (e) developing executive presence, (f) aligning operations with other business sectors to drive shared accountability and measurable impact on business outcomes.
Coaching engagement outcomes
The outcomes of each coaching engagement are typically described by knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs.) Examples of knowledge outcomes for the coaching engagement may include (a) aligning the leader’s role with organizational vision, mission, and values, (b) defining how the leader’s role expectations affect collaboration with others, (c) understanding the strengths and values that describe each leader “at their best” and incorporating those strengths into regular vocabulary, and (d) defining key actions essential to reinforce business outcomes.
Examples of the skills outcomes of the coaching engagement may include (a) building capacity to manage resources and the productivity of others, (b) developing strategies for managing energy and time to improve productivity, (c) communicating the leader’s vision and key messages in an impactful manner, (d) developing skills in written messaging that focus on strength-based leadership, (e) modeling self-awareness by incorporating signature strengths into leadership and management activities, (f) applying conflict resolution skills to reach mutually beneficial and positive outcomes, (g) demonstrating effective active listening skills, (h) accurately reading a situation and projecting confidence, decisiveness, assertiveness and poise under pressure, (i) modeling collaborative leadership skills by creating actions plans that include partnering with other leaders, supporting performance goals, building key alliances, and implementing business outcomes.
Examples of the abilities outcomes of the coaching engagement may include (a) fostering innovation, (b) directing initiatives that build alliances and mutual respect, (c) communicating across business sectors by translating key messages between different groups, (d) leading alignment with others using strategic thinking, (e) enhancing problem solving ability to approach common issues/concerns with extraordinary thinking to foster innovation.
Possible activities for PPC engagements
The following list of evidence-based activities is a descriptive resource and is not intended to be prescriptive for any professional coaching or consulting engagement.
Encourage your coachee to take a validated assessment such as the Values in Action (VIA-72) assessment or the Psychological Capital (PSQ-12) assessment
Conduct a strengths-based interview of your coachee using results from the Values in Action (VIA-72) assessment
Conduct a strengths-based interview of your coachee using results from the Psychological Capital (PSQ-12) assessment
Encourage your coachee to describe their best leadership story (“At my best story”) using results from a validated positive psychology assessment
Encourage your coachee to determine three performance or behavioral goals, that are personally meaningful, that relate to business outcomes
Measure achievement of those three business-related goals using the goal attainment scale (GAS)
Encourage your coachee to develop a gratitude journal
Encourage your coachee to document “Three Good Things” for a day or a week, and note any contributing variables or patterns
Invite your coachee to practice multiple acts of kindness toward others, especially within 24 hours
Conduct a Best Future Self activity or guided meditation activity
Encourage your coachee to document the quantity and quality of physical activity, emotional shifts and cognitive energy, for at least 24 hours
My bias/ The bottom line:
The art and science of professional coaching requires that professional coaches adhere to the AD-FITTM protocol model.
See details in the products section.
For details on assessment, interventions, certification, training, or research contact us today.
My friend Steve, in Charlotte, NC, is very intentional about his daily practice of mindful-ness. As an executive coach and yoga master, he has achieved a state of awareness that others cannot imagine. Yes, this is his car…
Steve would ask, “What daily practice do you adopt to increase mindfulness?”
Prayer? Meditation? Random acts of kindness? Daily expressions of gratitude? Generosity?
Throughout 4,500 years of recorded history, humans have sought insight from such daily practices.
Yoga teaches the value of breathing and moving. Just like any hard physical activity. Gardening. Running ultra marathons. Doing 10-day expedition adventure races.
Now we have social media triggers such as this clip from Alan Watts to take us on a virtual adventure…
Alternately, for those who need a provocative clip from Alan Watts, consider this:
More importantly, a coaching question is “What daily practice do you adopt to increase mindfulness?”
RE: The Positive Organizational Leadership Project (POLP)
Invite practitioners/ leaders/ consultants to share digital stories of HOW they are applying Positive Psychology individually and organizationally.
Leaders practice leadership. We can all be better leaders.
We can leverage technology and our communities.
Relationships matter. When we model relationships that matter, then we increase awareness and learning.
After attending the International Positive Psychology Association conference in Montreal, Canada, in July, 2017 one theme stood clear. Marketing and branding for practitioners using positive psychology is NOT well defined. Market confusion abounds. This Positive Organizational Leadership Project emerged as one initiative to help practitioners share HOW they serve clients in our global marketplace. Join us?
(a) share this invitation broadly, (b) schedule a 30-minute session with Doug Gray here or at https://actionlearnin.wpengine.com/ (c) receive Time Trade confirmation with calendar link (d) encourage participants to write responses to the 5-7 questions below and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours prior to our scheduled call so that we can each be well prepared, (e) download https://zoom.us/ software and familiarize yourself with software on YouTube, (f) at the scheduled time, record 5-10 minutes of video session using https://zoom.us/j/3432485703 (g) send MP4 recording to practitioners for their distribution, (h) post on https://www.youtube.com/user/dgrayful/videos channel with invitation to be included in the project.
Self-introduction: Who are you, what do you do, where are you located, do you have a website or invitation to share with others?
Self- awareness: If you have taken the assessment at https://www.viacharacter.org/www/, what are your top 5 signature strengths? How would you describe yourself, at your best, using those top 5 signature strengths? (FYI, my top signature strengths are creativity, hope, perspective, honesty, zest.)
Definition: One common definition of positive psychology is the science and practicing of flourishing or thriving… how do you typically define positive psychology?
What attracts you to the science or practice of positive psychology?
Clients: Who do you typically serve in your PP consulting work? Please share 2-3 examples/ case studies/ successful interventions or client experiences.
Trends: What trends or market opportunities do you see in the future for positive psychology consulting?
Referrals: Who else can you refer me to who (a) is a Positive Psychology consultant and (b) might be willing to be interviewed in this project?
How can you help? Share this invitation broadly. Thank you in advance for your participation.