Transitions? Ask Kate,The People-Skills Coach

As a coach, I specialize in transitions to help professionals meet some specific goal.  The transitions are from one behavior to another to achieve something new, different, or more.  

Some recent examples: 

  • A Help Desk manager who wanted to be more assertive after receiving performance feedback in that light.
  • A manager who wanted and needed better presentation skills for many aspects of her job.   She found the coaching fun and productive. 
  • A systems analyst who wanted to relocate from the east coast to New Mexico and live a very different life.  She did not know where to begin to have this new life.   She is there now!
  • A big thinker type — great at generating ideas, brainstorming, and creativity — needed to communicate with more focus.  The big thinker now uses an email template we created to communicate for impact. 

Why tap a coach?  Transitions from one behavior to another require more than just learning a new skill.    For most, it means overcoming blocks that stop learning and change.   There are many books out there about changing your career, your life, your outlook.  Ever read one and still no change?  As a coach, I inspire you to action!

ASK Kate!  This blog gives you the opportunity to pose your transition questions to me directly and get transition steps at no cost — until the end of March 2009.   I have extended this offer through the end of April 2009 to include followups to the International Help Desk Conference.   Many don’t want to post their questions here preferring instead to email me.   Either way is fine.

Let’s get started … Kate Nasser

3 Responses to “Transitions? Ask Kate,The People-Skills Coach”

  1. Joe Williams says:

    Hi, Kate – As I mentioned a few days ago on Twitter, your post concerning Teamwork: Compete or Collaborate reminded me of some work I did a few years ago for NASA on a somewhat related topic. Although I consider this as a work still in progress, I wanted to share it with you in case you find it useful in your own work, or if you’d like to offer your feedback to me.

    A few years ago NASA initiated an effort called OneNASA that, among other purposes, sought greater unity in how the Agency functions as a distributed entity of 10 field centers scattered across the country. Part of the effort collected thousands of survey inputs from NASA employees and contractors on what the Agency could do better. My role in OneNASA was to help sift through the thousands of inputs and “pan for gold” – find those nuggets around which we initiate improvement efforts.

    Examples of inputs: “Why do we have wind tunnels at (center A), (center B), and (center C)? Why don’t we consolidate to one set of wind tunnels at one center and get rid of the others to save money?” “Why is the NASA Administrator making our team compete for work against (so-and-so)?” “It would be so much better for the Agency if the people at the (such-and-such) Space Center would cooperate with us because…” “Why is NASA Headquarters insisting that we collaborate on (such-and-such) with (so-and-so)?”

    Repeatedly, in the thousand of survey inputs, I kept seeing four words: compete, cooperate, collaborate, and consolidate. Most of the time, the inputs were centered around just one of the four and ignoring the others as the means to achieving OneNASA. Yet a picture was forming in my mind as I read through the inputs and began talking about it with my superiors on the project – a picture that all four with very precise definitions have a place and time when talking about a team and how it needs to interact with its environment – often other teams – to achieve results.

    Compete – The competitive process, centered around contracts and clear requirements, can lead to tremendous value to the Government in the selection of contractors to perform work that leads to the best possible results at the best cost. It’s a survival of the fittest that – although leads to short term winners and losers – ultimately results in a win for the America taxpayer.

    Cooperate – Two or more different teams working towards different objectives often need to exchange ideas and information that help each other in ways that are better than if each tried to go at it alone. This creates a win-win for the different customers of the teams.

    Collaborate – Two or more different teams with different strengths come together to work on a common goal that creates a result that may not have been possible if any one of the teams attempted it by itself. Again, this creates a win-win for the participating teams and the customer.

    Consolidate – Two or more different teams do essentially the same thing as independent teams. Greater synergy can be attained by combining the separate parts into a greater whole that saves money and provides greater opportunities to the individuals on the consolidated team. Consolidation must be done carefully to avoid creating inefficiencies due to too great of a size.

    Kate, these are my rough perspectives on each of the four “C-words.” Although the OneNASA initiative came and went as many initiatives do, I held onto these kernels and have referred to them repeatedly since I first formed them several years ago. I welcome you to them in case they help you, and of course I welcome any feedback you may have for me.

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