What makes coaching successful?

Success is often attributed to mutual chemistry, technique, and readiness to learn. I agree that those are important ingredients in the process. But in reality, they are steps to achieving results. And that’s what we’re looking for, right?

How do we reach the movement and momentum we want?

coaching was discussing performance management on an HR.COM webinar. Managers are often concerned about how to use performance data to really help employees.

That thought popped into mind when, a little while ago, I was in the midst of a coaching session and realized that we were on a roll. So I started paying attention to what was happening–like watching a movie where you are one of the actors. When I looked at the plot, it revealed four components that I think are essential for a coaching session to be successful.

1. Clarity

Ultimately, nothing will happen until you gain laser-like clarity on the issue or goal. The client in this case needed to put a lot of information out there before I could start to ask the right questions after hearing overlapping themes. Finally, he uttered a single phrase that summed up his goal. What was the take away?:

Total clarity before continuing.

2. Confirmation

When I repeated the phrase and asked him if that’s where he wanted to go he smiled and his energy level went up noticeably. As a coach or client, ask the question: Is the excitement increasing because you’ve hit upon the real thing or an exciting thing?

Confirm the real deal or go back to step 1.

3. Communicate it

When we keep a goal or an issue to ourselves, there’s no accountability for action. Once we state our desires or intentions to other people, we have a much greater chance of success. It’s human nature. Tell someone else that you are planning on doing something and the likelihood of you doing it increases. Ask “Who else will you tell about this?” “Who else needs to be involved to help you accomplish this?”

Communicate to motivate.

4. Commitment

Create an immediate action–something that will happen today. Too often we become satisfied with the “Aha” and ignore the “Ah, when?” I ask for an action that can be taken before the end of the day. It creates momentum, makes something happen (we both get paid to make something happen), and shows genuine commitment. It also provides a specific action that allows for follow up. “What was the outcome of your phone call to the customer?” “How did your team react to your initial meeting about the new software integration?

If the coach hears about how things went, then it opens the door to identify next steps. If the action didn’t happen, it’s a signal for both to examine what is happening and to get quickly on track. (That could ultimately lead to a return to Clarity). Without a commitment and follow-up, it’s easy to feel good about the session and still have nothing happen. (I hate when nothing happens!)

Commit to an action that will happen today.

The environment of your workplace is one of the essential characteristics of your organization. A healthy workplace environment improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism. And it’s not as complicated as it may seem—straightforward adjustments can foster a positive work environment.


The happier your employees are, the more successful your company will be. So, why not create an environment where the work is less stressful? Here are tips that can help you improve your workflow and boost your work environment.


Create a Work Family


It would be best if you created a workplace environment that celebrates opportunities, transparency, and the opinions of all to enrich conversations. To flourish, your staff needs an environment that encourages their input. While work isn’t a family, trying to make it feel like one would be a worthy goal.


Creating a family feel is more of an art than a science. You can establish this through a transparent, open-door policy and by creating platforms from the top-down to address issues that matter to front-line team members. Once set up, you shouldn’t risk moving to a new situation that may be less accommodating.


Celebrate the Holidays


The holidays have a way of filling the air with warmth and cheer. Holiday celebrations are an excellent opportunity for employees to bond over social events and sugar cookies. It is also a great way to build positive morale, which results in increased employee motivation.


As a businessperson, you may recognize the value of keeping your workers happy. It would help if you pushed for more creative ways to pack more fun into your office celebration. For instance, you can have employees decorate their office door and have a contest among everyone. Ensure company-wide guidelines are open to all religions and backgrounds. Remember, the goal of most holiday celebrations in companies is to show appreciation for employees.


Team-Building Events


You must have heard this phrase countless times. What does it mean? Team building in the workplace involves creating a team that is cohesively working together. Whether for sporting clubs or businesses, team building is essential. Taking an entire day away from the office with your employees can seem unthinkable. But taking employees out of the office helps groups break down political and personal barriers.


The purpose of any team building exercise is to build a stronger unit of workers. These activities can range from a short activity lasting a few hours to a retreat lasting a couple of days. For instance, you can ask some of your employees to prepare a barbeque on one of the most famous gas grills in the market.


Make Work-Life Balance a Priority


Balanced employees tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work. The best solution is to create a work-life balance. Work-life balance means carving out the appropriate time for your professional and personal life. This phenomenon emerges as a response to demographic, economic, and cultural changes.


Striking a healthy work-life balance is a difficult challenge even in the best of times, but as an employer, you should be looking for individuals who have full and well-balanced lives. A work-life balance should foster a culture where employees can enjoy the best of both worlds. For instance, many organizations are beginning to implement flexible working hours. If that’s not feasible, you may be able to join other companies that offer a dependent care flexible spending account.


Break Time


All workers are legally entitled to have break time while they are at work. But taking breaks throughout the day can also improve your team’s productivity. Most people work best in short bursts with breaks in between. Following a break, your employees are geared up to work again, greatly increasing their performance level.


It would help if you gave your employees enough breaks to make sure they are healthy and safe. For instance, you can allow employees to head outside and walk two laps around your block or building.


Create a Clean office


An unclean workspace can become a breeding ground for bacteria. So, it makes sense to keep up the overall tidiness of the place you and your employees spend a lot of your time in.


A clean workplace means more than just having a fresh or newly renovated building. For example, maintaining clean, dry floors is essential for the prevention of slips in the workplace.


Final Take


Creating a positive work environment is critical to your company’s success. You can use these tips to take care of your team and encourage them to get more done.



Do you know you spend almost 80 percent of your time at the workplace? It is one place you have to create long-lasting friendships and permanent enemies in equal measure.

 Every workplace has policies that cushion its employees against any form of abuse. The most common types of abuse at the workplace are

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Racism
  • Modern slavery

The paperwork is a shield; all the protection and security is a personal responsibility of an employee.

In line with the government regulations and various workplace policies that govern workers, your safety at the workplace is paramount. Let’s look at how to prevent specific abuses and the best form of defense


Defense boundaries against physical abuse


Any form of external body harm to an employee is termed as physical abuse. There is no genuine reason for physical damage.

Physical abuse is cruel; no words can use to sugar coat it or rather have an excuse for such actions.

The first thing to do to prevent such occurrences is laying down control measureswithin the workplace that triggers physical abuse.

As an employer, look at some of the prompts to this, is it an employee going through an emotional problem and projects it through physical violence.

Before you dismiss such an employee, let him seek guidance through counseling sessions.

Moreover, the office environment should be able to minimize exposure to such physical acts. It can be

  • Use of open office with keen attention to professional distance
  • Incorporating shared offices rather than lonely offices
  • Installation of physical barriers
  • Mounting CCTV cameras for proper monitoring


The use of guns at the workplace is left to law enforcement agencies.


 However, the high profile employees who include the directors and managers have permits to have them within their office if and only if they exercise best gun safety measures; otherwise, it’s a time bomb. The right way of doing this is by investing in the best gun safewithin the premises or an office for easy access in case one needs to use it as a self-defense tool. A gun safe is a must-have equipment at the workplace.


Defense boundaries against sexual abuse

 Sexual abusers take time to learn the movements of their target even in the workplace. Sexual harassment policies are the first line of defense for such kind of abuse.

However, this is just a document; a lot needs to be done to ensure the employees’ complete safety enforces the actual acts.


 The best measures include:

  • Let the harasser know you have an idea of his intentions
  • Use communication channels stated within the policy
  • Seek legal redress when all the above proves futile


Defense boundaries against emotional abuse

Any action that creates tension, anxiety, the stress of depression is classified as emotional abuse.

The diversity in lifestyles and opinions is the leading cause of emotional abuse. What do you do when exposed to such acts?

Matters of emotions are very delicate and need to be handled with care. Employers should try their level best to avoid emotional disturbance since there is no manual in handling them.

It requires a  case-to-care kind of approach. The only remedy for this is to seek internal or external counseling services. Psychologists are better equipped with the right skills to handle such situations.


Defense boundaries against racism

A multicultural workplace enjoys the benefits of diversity but fights racism scourge. American workplace contributes 70 percent of cases of racism.

Racists know when to hit, and in most cases, they are wise enough to work within the law.

The only savior as a victim is to arm yourself with the law in case things don’t work in your favor in seeking justice within the corridors of management. Other options include

  • Avoid unnecessary conversations with racist colleagues
  • Choose a neutral ground when handling work-related issues that need crucial decision making
  • Lay down ground rules in situations the trigger racism
  • Capacity-building among employees on the need to accommodate inclusivity
  • Use team-building activities to foster unity among employees


Defense boundaries against organizational abuse

Slavery was a vice since colonial times. Despite the inroads in independence, different forms of slavery still exist in an intelligent way that you may fail to detect it.

As long as there is forceful use of labor and recruitment, then that is a modern-day slaver. What happens when you are the one given most of the tasks, yet other employees have all the time to sit and relax?

With the right information, it’s possible to differentiate slavery from sycophancy. Most employers use sycophancy to escalate their slavery acts


How can you identify modern slavery?


  • Working away from your job description
  • Long hours of working with no compensation
  • Forced duties not in line with your skills
  • Getting fewer favors compared to your colleagues yet genuinely you are more productive
  • Low wages compared to the national if not international standards


What to do  when you experience one or two of these signs in your area of work


  • Equip yourself with the right knowledge on the topic
  • Seek help from the relevant authorities within the organizations
  • Engage anti-slavery organization for professional help
  • Speak up and socialize with people to hold your hand in your quest to end this form of slavery

Evaluate the systems in your workplace. What do you like, and what is not right in your thought? Is it some form of abuse, or it’s a norm that you fail to identify?

Please note that most abusers at the workplace normalize the act to a point the victims tend to get used to it. There is nothing to get used to, its abuse, PERIOD, take action. If that will cost you the job, so be it. You will stay counted as a voice for the voiceless.



The job of a tradesperson or tradie does not require them to have a bachelor’s degree, but needs work experience, on the job training, and sometimes formal vocation education. Plumbers, Electricians, Welders, Carpenters, Heavy equipment operators, Tailors, et cetera are examples of tradespeople, as these jobs require specialized skills and knowledge.

Tradies differ from professionals in that professionals receive more advanced education and often have to use their skill and expertise to make decisions on situations where there’s no precedent.

That said, while the work of a tradesperson is considered a blue-collar job, they differ from other unskilled workers like truck drivers, gardeners, and painters, as these jobs require the use of significant amounts of physical labor. In contrast, tradies rely on specialized knowledge, acquired skills, and abilities.

For the tradesperson, workplace productivity is dependent on some factors, chief of which is having the required knowledge and skill set for the job, whether the tradie obtains this knowledge formally or informally is of little or no consequence.  Another element of somewhat lesser importance is experience. Still, for optimum productivity, a tradesperson should complement these two main factors (knowledge and experience) with other attributes. Below are tips to boost workplace productivity among tradespeople.

Safety First

Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job. The workplace of a tradesperson is one that is exceptionally prone to accidents. For instance, fire, electrocution, falling objects, machine malfunction, and other injuries are some of these workplace risks. The ILO estimates that there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses each year.

The notion that forgoing personal protective equipment (PPE) will save money and maximize profits is wrong. This notion is, in fact, counterproductive. If a worker dies or gets injured on the job as a result of unsafe working conditions, the company will receive a penalty for not adhering strictly to safety guidelines, and such workers won’t be able to perform their duties for some time. Either one of these will lead to an immediate drop in productivity.

A safe and healthy workplace will not only protect tradespeople and save the company from being penalized, but it’ll also help workers feel safe and better about doing their work.  This feeling of safety can lower absenteeism and raise the morale of workers, making them more efficient and productive.

For instance, a welder equipped with gloves, steel-capped boots, and helmets that keep the face safe from sparks will go about his work happier than one who does not have PPE. A satisfied welder is a productive welder.

Keep Up with the Latest Technology

In almost every sphere of human endeavor, there are advancements. Researchers keep developing new techniques and inventing new machines. All of these discoveries and inventions are a result of the need to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Take advantage of mobile applications that significantly reduce work-induced stress and provide more accurate results. The most productive worker is one that keeps abreast of these changes, advancements, and discoveries so that they can apply them to the job.

Establish Reliable Communication Channels

The inability for tradies to communicate with their colleagues, superiors, or clients is often a cause of low productivity. Establishing reliable communication channels will ensure that all parties involved are on the same page at the same time; thus, unnecessary delays and costly errors that may jeopardize the project are avoided.

Use the Best Tools for the job.

A tradesperson is only as good as his tools. A mallet looks very much like a hammer; still, it is not a hammer. It will take the mallet a longer time to drive a nail into a block of wood than it would take a hammer. The same can be said of aluminum welding with a spool gun and welding without a spool gun.

To be more productive in the workplace, use the best tools available for the job as this will save both time and effort.

Set Clear Objectives

Goals and objectives lend a sense of direction. Clear objectives help in determining the best course of action to take. Thus, tradies can channel their energies into tasks that will most likely lead to the accomplishment of the objective, as opposed to a generalized approach that may indeed work, but will take more time and considerably more effort. For every project, there should be a well-defined plan of project execution at each stage.

Also, there will be times when troubles arise, and things do not go as planned; setting objectives make it easier to formulate new plans with the same end goal.

Outsource Secondary Responsibilities

Time is of the essence. To become more productive as a tradesperson, identify those tasks that are not primarily tradies’ work to do, you can then reassign to a third party. Paperwork and Administrative responsibilities can take up time that may be needed more on the actual project.


Every organization and business wishes to be more productive. A productive business is a profitable one, and increased productivity implies increased profits as well. The six points discussed above are ways to improve the productivity of tradespeople. These tips are not just postulations but measures you can implement.

For more useful tips on issues relating to tradies, other professionals, and the workplace, All The Things Workplace is a great resource.

How will you feel when you have to apply all the time after washing your hands with hard water after visiting the washrooms? It is not only cumbersome but also tiring. The best way to make the employees comfortable is by making sure that you install a water softener in the office. Moreover, cleaners will feel the side effect of side water since the detergent budget will also move higher than when you have soft water. Maintenance costs of plumbing will also be on the higher side now that there will be clogging all the time. It is therefore important to install a water softener in your unit to curb all these.

This is a simple technology that comes in handy to separate the ions such that the calcium and potassium elements freely move to mingle with the rest for easy incorporation with the detergent. Let us look at the benefits of soft water in an office.

Maintenance of cleanliness

Nothing is disgusting as going to an office mirror only to have contours not because the cleaner did not do a good job but because of the type of water that is used. Soft water helps to maintain the shiny look of the mirrors, glassware as well as the tiles. There is power in productivity when an office is sparkling clean and shiny. It boosts once confidence and raises their self-esteem in the workplace.

Softens the skin and hair

Employees spend more time in their offices than at home. You can imagine the long hours they have in contact with hard water and the chemical reactions. Although it is mild, it is the reason behind the rough texture of hands in most office employees exposed to hard water. It is even worse for employees to shower at work. It is therefore important to maintain the smoothness of their skin through the installation of a water softener.

Prolongs the lifespan of appliances

Have you wondered why your coffee maker spoils often yet they are of the same brand with yet another busy office? The answer lies in the type of water that one uses. Soft water is ideal when it comes to increasing the lifespan of the kitchen appliances- electric kettle, coffee machines, iron water heaters and dishwasher among others.

Saves money and time

Which company wishes to increase their budget on maintenance and energy costs? If there is something that these enterprises love then it is the fact that they can get a similar or even better service at a low cost. The rate of energy consumption is higher in hard water than when using soft water. This is because of the regeneration process.

There is no debate as to whether you need a water softener in the office or not. The disadvantages are not worth even if you are a non-profit making organization. Based on the side effects, prolonged use of hard water makes it difficult for the comfort of the employees.

Safety in the workplace is paramount, to protect you from an injury or illness that might be found in your course of work. In metalwork welding fumes are inevitable, gas masks are the only protective gear for welders. Who would want to contract a disease or an injury from his/her workplace? Absolutely no one.

 In light of this, the Occupational Safety and Health Act law was put in place to create safer workplace conditions. Precautions should, therefore, be taken to prevent illnesses and injuries at workplaces.

Welders are exposed to fumes during cutting of iron and steel and toxic gases, which are a mixture of silicates, fluorides, metallic vapors. They can cause serious illnesses especially due to prolonged exposure.  Care must thus be taken to eliminate or at least reduced the harm they might cause to the user by a high degree. It is a protection standard recommended by the World Health Organization. since the vapors and gases can be inhaled, they can be blocked by a simple gas mask of N95. The gases and vapors can cause serious ailments in the respiratory tract.  Gas masks are sealed to cover over the nose, mouth, eyes and other soft parts of the face, to prevent both inhalations of toxic gases, and injuries that might be caused by sparks released during welding. They come in different shapes and sizes depending on the nature of the work, the intensity, and how long the work will be done.

Welding helmets are also used as protective gear. It is one of the most useful and needed equipments for any welder. It has special features like goggles and a shield for the protection of the eyes and face from heat and sparks generated from the welding materials. They use batteries.  For those that use batteries, replacement of the batteries is part of the routine maintenance of the helmets. Tell-tale signs for replacement of batteries is when it is unable to adapt well to light changes.

The protective shield is unable to auto darkening, thus exposing you to brighter light, hence affecting your eyes. Battery replacement should be done regularly to maintain high protective standards. Each welding helmet that uses battery has an instruction manual on how to change the batteries, the user must read carefully before starting the procedure and maintain high levels of care not to destroy the helmet and also protect oneself.

Welders are exposed to so much danger while discharging their duties.

The dangers include inhalation of toxic fumes and physical injuries due to sparks and heat generated during welding. Their safety must be guaranteed by the availability of protective gear and education of proper use of them to wipe out any risk of injury or illnesses caused by the harm posed to them. Gas masks, welder helmets, aprons, and heavy-duty gloves amongst others should be made available to the welders for their own safety.

There seems to be an ongoing attempt to recycle, re-package, re-label and microwave new leaders into existence. Yet that approach must be important, fascinating, or both because it’s a huge moneymaker. Look at this:

Leadership books at Amazon: 72,587  vs. 26,086 for Nutrition & Diet. There are twice as many authors and publishers banking on people wanting to become leaders than paying attention to staying alive long enough to get there.

Google the word “leadership” and you can spend the rest of your lunch break reading your choice of 160,000,000 results. Want to know the definition of “leadership”? No problem. There are 9,650,000 search results for “leadership definition”. That one got me thinking: “If we have so many people concerned about leadership (a good thing), what happens if they all define it differently (a potentially confusing thing).

Pause for just a moment. If you were asked by a “leader” how you define that role, what would you say?

Leadership Definitions From Four Experts:

  • Peter Drucker: “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.”
  • John C. Maxwell: “leadership is an influence – nothing more, nothing less.”
  • Warren Bennis:  “Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential.”
  • John W. Gardner: Leadership is the process of persuasion and example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to take action that is in accord with the leader’s purpose, or the shared purposes of all.”



Can You Find the Similarities?

One striking similarity for me is that none of the definitions includes rank or title. Three of the four are explicit about influence and persuasion. Two of the four-state or imply process and potential vs. “I’ve reached it!”

But my personal favorite is Drucker. He’s saying “Look over your shoulder. If you don’t see anyone, you’re not leading.” More importantly, if you have followers, you better recognize that you’re leading!

Some food for thought:

  • If it’s really that simple, then why do you and I, along with thousands of others, meditate on the deep meaning of “leadership?”
  • Do individual definitions vary so much that leaders simply can’t win when employees are surveyed?
  • Could part of the problem be that you and I won’t let someone lead because we refuse to be followers? (Instead of arrogant, “sucky” leadership, perhaps we have some arrogant, “sucky” followership.
  • If it’s all about influence and being influenced, what gets in the way?

Leadership, stripped bare, involves two elements:  the boldness to stand up and lead, and the humility to stand up and follow. I’m wondering if the bigger leadership challenge may actually rest with the second.

Employees want development and developmental feedback. Every legitimate, broad-based survey from the past ten years confirms that as a fact.

Here’s the challenge: most managers aren’t very skilled at developing people over the long-term.

The data show that, although managers acknowledge the importance of development, they are usually ranked near the bottom in terms of there effectiveness and attention to “development.” Related to this is the ability to deliver critical feedback, also a skill that receives a consistently low rating. In all fairness, colleagues and others in the organizational food chain aren’t really any better when the data are analyzed. (Makes sense. Colleagues and others are also executives, managers, and supervisors).

What About High Potentials?

In a study done by Kaplan et al., in 1991, the findings revealed that high potential employees, especially executives, receive less feedback than others. (Subsequent research yields the same information). When high-po’s do get feedback, it’s more along the lines of how terrific they are. Feedback to high potentials is seldom specific and their bosses even tend to skip over the formal, face-to-face, yearly performance appraisal. We should all be so fortunate.

What to Do?

OK, let’s agree that delivering pointed, negative feedback is uncomfortable for most people. It must be, otherwise there’d be more of it. 

The easiest way I know of to “get honest and developmental” is to sit down and agree on a set of specific skills or competencies needed to achieve strategic objectives. In general, we all lean toward the notion that skills can be developed and, when they are, it will bump up performance. Taking this approach makes it easier to discuss specific performance issues because each is tied to a skill that was agreed to at the outset.

Sure, it takes thoughtfulness and face time. If you need a little more motivation, research also shows that employees rate managerial/executive performance, in part, on the relationship established with direct reports. 

The very act of sitting down together is experienced as an indicator of managerial competency.