Monday, June 28, 2010

What I am Listening To

When I travel, I like to listen to audio books. On the recent trip to Charlotte for the CBF General Assembly, I had the opportunity to listen to two and both were very informative.

Despite its provocative title, Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni is a business fable about “shedding the three fears that sabotage client loyalty.” Although written from the perspective of a business consultant, the lessons can apply to any number of fields including coaching. The author suggests that “naked service” requires that the provider be vulnerable. This means being willing to be humble, selfless, and transparent for the sake of the client. To do this, the provider must overcome three fears—a fear of losing business, a fear of being embarrassed, and a fear of feeling inferior.

Lencioni has several lessons for coaches. First, coaches should be willing to ask dumb questions. It may be that these are questions that the client is afraid to ask himself/herself. Second, tell the “kind truth.” This means that the coach is willing to say what no one else will say to the client for his or her own good. Although it is done in a loving, constructive way, it is done! Third, the coach should make everything about the client. The whole purpose of a coaching (or consulting) relationship is to help the client become the best that he/she can be.

The other audio book was Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. Pink has reviewed decades of research to give a fresh perspective on motivation. Motivation 1.0 was based on survival needs—hunger, thirst, sex. Motivation 2.0 came out of the “scientific management” era and centered on the punishment/reward or “carrot/stick” approach. Motivation 3.0 recognizes that people are basically curious and self-motivated and work best when given the opportunity to take initiative for their actions.

He suggests that we consider a one-year-old child. He or she is naturally curious and eager to learn. Having an 18-month-old grandson, I can identify! Children naturally want to excel but that motivation is not always encouraged.

The author differentiates between a Type I management approach based on Motivation 3.0 and Type X management that depends on Motivation 2.0. There are three key elements to Pink’s Type I model: autonomy (people want to have control over their work); mastery (people want to get better at what they do); and purpose (people want to be part of something that is bigger than they are).

If you work with people, I encourage you to read (or listen to) these books.

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