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March 2015

Welcome to the March Discovery in Action newsletter.

In this edition of our newsletter, we share
  • a link to a blog with some important insights about 'what makes a star leader',
  • a summary of recent research about a new approach to thinking about employee engagement
  • a great video on Coaching and the GROW model, and
  • tips to help make getting feedback less stressful!
Thanks to those of you who have been in touch about the content in our previous newsletters. Please feel free to get in touch to ask us questions or to forward on information you think might be useful sharing in future newsletters. And please feel free to forward the newsletter on to anyone in your network who you think may find it helpful...

Paul and Melanie Eyres

What makes a star leader?

Someone once said to me that the definition of maturity is ‘the ability to hold two conflicting thoughts simultaneously’.  It seems that this capability, oftentimes described as the ability to manage ambiguity, is core to high performing leaders.

In this blog post Who Are the Stars by Manfred Kets de Vries, INSEAD Distinguished Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change, he describes how he has observed that organisational ‘high-flyers’, as he describes them, have a ‘knack for reconciling opposites – the ability to hold the tension of the opposites’:

‘True stars have the creative ability to manage short-term and long-term orientation, action and reflection, extroversion and introversion, optimism and realism, control and freedom, holistic and atomistic thinking, hard and soft skills.’

This reminds me of how, in our Discovery in Action® program, we often discuss the importance of balance in leading people – undertaking both harder-edged activities such as setting high performance standards and establishing role clarity, as well as softer or more humanistic activities such as showing appreciation and recognition and understanding individuals' motivational drivers.

Click here to read more...

Video on Coaching and the GROW model

Many of us have personally seen the value of coaching in the workplace, when leaders can truly help their people to realise their potential. Leaders who find opportunities to coach their teams help team members to build confidence and self belief in themselves, help them to discover a greater self awareness and understanding of their impact, and by encouraging self directed learning, development and action, ensure they remain accountable for their own performance.

It is difficult to find a ‘good’, simple, short video that outlines the GROW coaching process! However we have found one that we thought people might find helpful and have included it here.

Click here to get the link to the video and our 'top up hints' that give some deeper insight into coaching and GROW...

Becoming ‘irresistible’ – a powerful new model for employee engagement

We recently came across a very useful article by John Bersin (Deloitte) that explores the very important issue of employee engagement. Their “research suggests that the issues of “retention and engagement” have risen to No. 2 in the minds of business leaders, second only to the challenge of building global leadership.”

“The balance of power has shifted from employer to employee, forcing business leaders to learn how to build an organization that engages employees as sensitive, passionate, creative contributors. We call this a shift from improving employee engagement to a focus on building an irresistible organization.”

Many leaders in organisations know that engagement is a challenge in their organisation, but finding the answer to solving engagement issues is often a struggle.  This article provides some specific elements and practices that will positively contribute to higher engagement levels.

Click here to learn more...

Make getting feedback less stressful!

We are often given advice about to provide effective feedback to people, but are not necessarily taught how to deal with the other half of the equation – how to receive feedback more effectively.

'Six of the scariest words in the English language are: 'Can I give you some feedback?'

As Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone wrote in “Find the Coaching in Criticism” in the January-February 2014 issue of HBR, “Even when you know that [feedback is] essential to your development and you trust that the person delivering it wants you to succeed, it can activate psychological triggers. You might feel misjudged, ill-used, and sometimes threatened to your very core.” And this is true even in feedback-friendly organizations, and it’s even worse in environments where feedback is infrequent and surprising.”

This blog post has some of our suggestions, and some of those suggested by Ed Batista (HBR) to help you cope better with feedback.

Click here to

Some recent assignments

  • kicked off a new DiA program for high potential people leaders
  • ran an action planning workshop resulting from an organisational assessment
  • ran an Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring skills program for co-ordinators and team leaders in a local council

Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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