How full is your glass? - Careers guidance

by Toni Butler - Guest Contributor in Blog

DatePosted on September 21, 2010 at 09:15 PM
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Can you recall a time when you were acknowledged for the talents you bring to the job? How frequently, and how recently, has that occurred? Can you recall a time when you were made aware of your shortcomings at work? How frequently, and how recently, has that occurred? My guess is that for most of you, the latter will be most frequent and more recent than the former.

This deficit model of development i.e. focusing on what is lacking – reflects what I call “glass-half-empty” thinking. The feedback we receive often only tells us what we are NOT doing well or what we’re not doing at all. This can be both discouraging and difficult to overcome, especially if what we are being asked to do comes less naturally.

How could this be different if we shift perspectives and look at a “glass-half-full”? This would force us to look at what is in the glass, rather than what is missing. The result – we’d focus on what it is you do that makes you effective now. And in order to continue filling the glass, the questions to ask might be….

  • What more could you do, to be even more effective?
  • How might you leverage what it is you already do well?
  • What could you learn from others to generate other ideas for enhancing your performance?
  • How might you approach your own professional development planning if you used “glass-half-full” thinking? You would identify your strengths and learn to use them to better advantage. A useful way to get started is to undertake the Reflected Best Self exercise, available from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business (see link).

While this exercise might seem like a daunting task, initially, it continually proves to be rewarding for its ability to provide information otherwise rarely received and is often referred to throughout the years that follow. Go on, give it a try, and understand the value that already exists in your glass.

About the Author

Toni Butler - Guest Contributor

Toni is an executive and leadership coach with over 30 years experience as a manager, leader and coach across the Australasia region.  She is often described as a challenging coach who readily blends theory with practice and a strong sense of pragmatism.  Toni is able to draw on a range of tools, techniques and methodologies relevant to the particular needs of clients, along with a readiness to challenge the status quo to bring about change and deliver return on the coaching investment.

Her client base has geographic and sectoral diversity, a result of living in Australia, Asia, India and the UK and working in the legal and financial services, hospitality, development, retail and logistics sectors. 

Coaching for personal transformation and leadership impact, clients include:
•    Executive and senior leaders in professional services, financial services, health, FMCG, mining
•    CEOs of not-for-profit organisations
•    Senior public sector leaders
•    Entrepreneurs
•    Emerging leaders and high potentials in manufacturing, education, investment banking

Continuous learning is a fundamental tenet for Toni. She has a business degree in human resource management and economics, where she received academic awards in her penultimate and final years of study; a graduate certificate in business and has pursued a masters in international management.  

She is a certified practitioner of a range of instruments including:
•    Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching
•    Marshall Goldsmith Global Leader of the Future assessment tool
•    Human-Synergistics® products – Life Style Indicator, Group Style Indicator, Leadership/Impact, Management/Impact
•    PRINT® - a tool to reveal the unconscious motivators that drive behaviour 
•    Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
•    PsyOpus® Team Synergy Scale
•    Rosinski’s Cultural Orientations Framework

Toni is accredited by the International Coach Federation as a Professional Certified Coach. 

Beyond work, Toni loves new adventures and strives to live by her motto of “never let security be your anchor”.  As evidence, she obtained her motorbike license in her 40s and rode her BMW motorbike from London to Tokyo via Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.  And that was just the start of her motorcycling adventures.

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Note: the views and beliefs expressed by our independent contributors are of their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Star Anise.  All personal development matters of an individual are unique to that individual, and coaching should be tailored to suit that individual's needs. 

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