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Measure your coaching skills

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. To celebrate its Learning at Work Day on 16 May, organiser Campaign forLearning has put together this coaching quiz. Use it yourself or share it with line managers to see how your companymeasures upCoaching is an increasingly popular tool for staff development, but as thepreceding feature shows (Analysis page 12) it is in danger of not being properlyapplied. Its seemingly informal nature makes it open to abuse. There is also thedanger that line managers, who are relied upon to get the most from their staffand are the first choice to be coaches, are not fully competent. Yet it remains a valuable method and with this in mind the Campaign forLearning has put together the following quiz. It is not intended to be apanacea but can be used to measure the training department’s approach tocoaching and also to assess and help line managers on areas of weakness-perhapsforming the basis for discussion. Select one answer to each question and use the boxes below to see howcommitted to coaching you and your organisation really are. Q1. Listening You have a deadline looming and one of your staff interrupts with along-winded account of a problem he or she is having. Do you: a. Listen absent-mindedly while carrying on with your work? b. Stop what you are doing, invite them to sit down and tell you all aboutit in their own time. You will meet your deadline by working late. c. Stop what you are doing and give them your full attention for fiveminutes. Then interrupt gently, explaining you have a deadline, and arrange tomeet with them later to give the so that you can give the problem your full attention.d. A staff member would never interrupt when you are busy as you alwaysclose the door to prevent disturbances. Q2. Feedback An experienced staff member is working on a task for you that you believewill stretch them but is within their abilities. Do you: a. Ask for daily written reports on how they are progressing. b. Let them get on with it, they can ask if they have any problems. c. Ask regular, informal questions on specific aspects to establishprogress. d. You prefer to keep staff working safely within their own limits to avoidmistakes so this situation wouldn’t arise. e. Ask them what would be the appropriate intervals for review meetingswhere you can give support and note progress. Agree the dates. Q3. Understanding of Learning Styles Your department’s computer systems are being upgraded and you have beensent on a training course to learn the new system. You now have to transferyour knowledge to your staff. Do you: a. Gather everyone together in a meeting room, give them a copy of themanual and talk through the content. b. Gather everyone in a meeting room with a flip-chart and draw a diagram ofthe new system to explain it. c. Demonstrate the system personally on a computer with small groups ofstaff, making sure that everyone takes turns to sit at the computer and have ago. d. Send everyone a memo giving them details of the online help that isavailable for the new system and encouraging them to ask you if they have anyquestions. e. A combination of two or more of the above. Q4. Communication You want to introduce a new reporting method for the work of yourdepartment. This will involve all your staff making a simple change to the waythey document their work. Do you: a. Send a memo to everyone outlining the new method. b. Hold a meeting to discuss the new method and hand out the memo in themeeting. c. Send an e-mail to everyone outlining the new method. d. Pin one copy of the memo on a notice-board. e. Two or more of the above Q5 Inspiring individual learning One of your staff members has confided they would like to improve theirEnglish. Do you: a. Feel worried that you have employed someone with poor skills and startlooking for other signs that they are not up-to-scratch. b. Feel pleased they have asked for your advice and call the neighbouringcollege to find out what is on offer locally so you can give them the rightinformation. c. Offer to go with them to the local college to find out what is on offer. d. Tell them to ask for advice at the library. e. Discuss with them the benefits of improving their English, ask them toinvestigate possible sources of tuition and report back to you. Q6 developing skills You have noticed that one of your staff avoids situations where they haveto speak in public, despite a recent training course in presentation skills. Doyou: a. Offer to give him or her an informal presenting opportunity within thedepartment to practice their skills. b. Advise them to visualise giving successful presentations to help buildtheir confidence. c. Recommend a book that you have found useful in improving presentationtechnique. d. Conclude they will never be any good at giving presentations so make surethey don’t have the opportunity. e. Ask them to list the ways in which public speaking opportunities willbenefit them and discuss why they are avoiding taking the opportunity to speak.Q7. How do you handle poor performance? A staff member, who has been with you four months, has made a mistakewith serious consequences for your organisation. You have managed to resolvethe problem but it has caused you considerable trouble. Do you: a. Fire them immediately. You can do without staff that cause you this muchtrouble. b. As you have resolved the problem this time, you won’t say anything andhope it doesn’t happen again. c. Make time to have a private meeting with the staff member so that you canboth review what happened, focusing on the action not the person, and help themlearn from the experience. d. Give them a written warning so that they understand the serious nature oftheir mistake. Q8. How do you handle good performance? One of your staff members has performed a specific task very well. Thechief executive has personally let you know how impressed he or she is withtheir performance. Do you: a. Pass on the CEO’s praise personally to your staff member – you would havethanked them for their good work earlier. b. Make sure the CEO knows how you personally contributed to the successfulperformance. c. Stress to your staff member that he or she is part of a team, not anindividual star performer. d. Pass on the CEO’s praise personally to your staff member – you would havethanked them for their good work earlier. In the following few weeks you wouldalso take the time to give positive feedback to other team members. Q9. Do you communicate the big picture? Your chief executive has asked you to think about the strategic directionof your department over the next five years. Do you: a. Let your imagination run riot and create some suggestions based on yourown ideas. b. Send a memo to your staff asking them to send you suggestions. c. Hold a meeting, explaining what the CEO has requested and discuss a rangeof options with your staff. d. Ignore the request. You and your department have enough work to dowithout worrying about what will happen five years from now. Q10. Work-life balance One of your staff members is working late most nights to meet a tightdeadline. Do you: a. Say nothing, if they need help they will ask and there is nothing wrongwith working hard. b. Tell them they won’t be entitled to overtime but you are pleased to seethem working so hard. c. Ask them how they are progressing and help them review their workload tosee if they can reduce other aspects of their workload. d. Offer to work late with them every night until the deadline is met Answers (max score 30)Q1 Listening skills              a          b          c         d          e              1         2          3          0 You need to make sure you can complete your own workQ2 Feedback            a          b          c         d          e              0         0          2          0          3You need to give your staff the freedom to develop their owninitiative if you would like them to develop. Staff will stagnate and loseinterest if they are not stimulatedQ3 Understanding learning styles            a          b          c         d          e              1         1          2          1          3Q4 Communication            a          b          c         d          e              1         2          1          0          3 Q5 Inspiring individual learning            a          b          c         d          e              0         2          1          1          3You are a manager not a parent. Staff may find it overpoweringto have too much support    Q6 Developing skills      Previous Article Next Article             a          b          c         d          e               2         1         1         0         3Q7 Handling poor performance             a          b          c         d          e              0          0          3          1Don’t wait to address staff performance issues. The longer youleave it the harder it will be Q8 Handling good performance            a          b          c         d          e              2         0          0          3Q9 Big picture communication               a          b          c         d          e              0          0          3          1Most people are interested in understanding how their job fitsinto the organisation as a wholeQ10 Work life balance            a          b          c         d          e              0         0          3          1           What’s your score? are you good coach? Score between 0 and 10 You need to spend some timethinking about the best way of developing your coaching skills. Look back overthose areas where you scored zero which will help you identify your weaknesses,particularly in the people arenaScore between 11 and 20 You have already developed somecoaching skills but  you cannot sit backon your laurels as there is still plenty of scope for becoming a more effectivecoach. For this reason look closely at those areas where you scored zeroScore between 21 and 30 Congratulations. You havealready developed some strong coaching skills . To become an even better coach, look back over those areas where you scored two or lessLearning at Work DayThis year’s Learning at Work Day is held on 16 May.You can find out more or carry outthis quiz online by logging on to www.campaign-for-learning.org.ukOr call 0117 966 7755 to register for free planning materials and to getinvolvedcenter_img Comments are closed. Measure your coaching skillsOn 1 May 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Mosquito populations discovered in UK

first_imgAn Oxford doctoral student in Biological Sciences, Nick Golding, has recently rediscovered a species of mosquito not seen in Britain since the 1940s.Culex modestus is found throughout the continent and as far away as Russia, and can carry the potentially lethal Western Nile Virus.The results of collaborative nationwide study between the Oxfordshire based Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the Health Protection agency yielded the unexpected discovery of established populations of the mosquito in marshes in Kent and South Essex.Golding stated, “It’s unclear how long culex modestus has been breeding in the UK” but added, “It’s something to watch.” Its manner of migration is unknown, but other mosquitoes have been known to spread through international shipping.The mosquito can transmit the Western Nile virus between birds and humans, and is thought to be responsible for other forms of disease. It does so by biting an infected bird, and then biting a human, acting as a ‘vector.’ The virus is not thought to be present in the UK at the moment, but it has caused almost one hundred deaths in various epidemics in southern Europe. An outbreak in the United States starting in 1999 has also caused more than one thousand deaths. Symptoms in serious cases include severe headaches, high fever and paralysis.The team are now using satellite imaging to identify potential breeding habitats, before collecting specimens. Golding’s doctoral supervisor, Doctor Miles Nunn commented that the discovery “highlights the importance of expert long-term biological recording of UK wildlife by the scientific community.” The CEH maintain that Golding’s continued research into this insect and its habitats will prove invaluable for policy making and risk evaluation.J.J. Castle, an Oxford medical student added, “The media often present research at Oxford as superfluous, but this discovery shows how scientific studies at Oxford can serve a useful purpose.”last_img read more

Cambridge beats Oxford in new university league table

first_imgCambridge University has beaten Oxford to top the 2018 Complete University Guide rankings.Cambridge kept its place at the top of the survey which it has held for the last seven years, scoring 1000 points to Oxford’s 998, which placed it second.The rankings rate UK universities across a range of factors, including student satisfaction, research quality, and employment prospects.Oxford was ranked above of Cambridge for research quality and student-staff ratio, but fell behind in entry standards and student satisfaction.St Andrews University was placed third and London School of Economics fourth.Suffolk, a new entry, was ranked last in a table of 129 universities.last_img read more

Campaigners tell Oxford: “pay your taxes” after fossil fuel investments leak

first_imgThe Paradise Papers revelations follow pressure for both Oxford and Cambridge to divest from fossil fuel companies. In a statement earlier this week, OCJC sharply criticised the University, saying: “The Paradise Papers revelation is shocking and infuriating, but it is in line – unfortunately – with the current Oxford administration’s practices of denial and obfuscation and the University’s colonial, exploitative history.”Speaking to Cherwell before the protest, Zagoria and Bertholdi-Saad said: “It is disgraceful that the University has been pumping money into private equity partnerships based in tax havens, in order to invest in areas such as fossil fuels.“These revelations are symptomatic of a system in which the wealthiest institutions can act with- out scrutiny and without regard to global inequality or the urgent need for climate justice.” The report also revealed that Jesus College and Magdalen College invested in another corporation – Dover Street – which has indirectly invested in controversial retailer BrightHouse. BrightHouse has been accused of selling electrical goods to people with learning disabilities at high interest rates. Oxford SU, along with hundreds of academics from Oxford and Cambridge, have previously called on Oxford to divest from fossil fuels. In a statement, Oxford University told Cherwell: “As charitable trusts, Oxford University’s endowment is exempt from UK tax. The taxpayer therefore does not lose a penny from our investments. The investments generate some £80 million a year which is spent on key academic priorities in Oxford.“These include the majority of our scholarships and bursaries for students, vital research across medicine, the sciences, social sciences and humanities and our globally outstanding teaching. That is £80m for UK education and research which the taxpayer does not have to fund.” The protest was organised following the publication of the Paradise Papers earlier this week which revealed revealed the Guardian had made investments in multiple offshore funds. Coller International Partners V – one of the University’s two off-shore funds – invested $1bn in Shell. Xtreme Coil, one of Shell’s business partners, also received funding from Oxford. The firm specialises in “innovative and efficient drilling rigs”. Other Shell ventures that received funding are invested in “production and exploration” technologies. Over half of Oxford’s colleges were found to have placed money in offshore funds. The full list includes All Souls, Brasenose, Christ Church, Corpus Christi, Exeter, Jesus, Lincoln, Magdalen, Merton, Nuffield, Queen’s, Somerville, St Antony’s, St Catherine’s, Trinity, University, Wolfson, and Worcester.Photo: Meghan Shea.As part of the protest, organisers held a “teach-in” to educate those present about the meaning of these papers. Speeches were then given by the organisers, as well as representatives of the other campaigns, before the symbolic financial form was given to OUem. A representative for On Your Doorstep, Alex Kumar, told the crowds: “This is a story about a university that can afford to invest tens of millions of pounds in offshore funds and deep-sea drilling, but cannot afford to invest in basic human dignity within its own city.“It has become clear that it’s down to us now to provide the University with the moral compass it has clearly been lacking.” Oxford University is facing fierce criticism for fossil fuel exploration investments, following the revelations in the Paradise Papers earlier this week that showed Oxford has invested tens of millions in offshore funds. A student protest calling on the University to “pay your taxes!” took place earlier this afternoon. Campaigners accused Oxford of “lying to its students, faculty, and the world”. Over 50 students gathered to protest against the University outside the Oxford University Endowment Management (OUem) headquarters. Following several speeches from protestors, including a Labour city councillor, they delivered a symbolic financial transparency form to OUem. The protest was organised by third-year students Tom Zagoria and Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, both of whom are former co-chairs of Oxford University Labour Club (OULC). They were joined by representatives from Oxford University Climate Justice Campaign (OCJC), Oxford SU Campaign for Racial Awareness, and On Your Doorstep, as well as other students. Speaking to Cherwell during the protest, a representative from OCJC, Julia Peck, said: “Our separate movements – climate justice, racial equality and the Labour Party which represents a socialist vision for living together as a society – are looking for a university that does not act like a corporation but instead acts like the beacon of education social progress that it is supposed to be.”Peck added: “It was a really fantastic opportunity for different Oxford groups implicated in the newest revelations to come together and demand some transparency and, more importantly, a fundamentally different role in the University.”Bertholdi-Saad, one of the organisers, told Cherwell: “This is the start of a longer campaign. We really want to hammer home this message and bring this message through the common rooms, through the University democratic structures – those which still exist – and make sure that the change happens permanently.” last_img read more

Ocean City Field Hockey Team Shuts Out Middle Township

first_imgBy Lesley GrahamOcean City High School’s field hockey team defeated Middle Township, 4-0, under the lights on Wednesday night at Carey Stadium. After a sluggish start, the team stepped up its offensive firepower, rattling off three goals in the second half.With the win, the Red Raiders improved to 7-1 overall (6-0 conference), while the Panthers of Middle Township dropped to 4-4.Ocean City’s Reese Bloomstead had a hat trick on the evening and teammate Tara McNally scored once. All four of Ocean City’s goals were assisted, with Bloomstead and Sophia Gresham each tallying one, while Chloe Prettyman dished out two assists.Red Raiders Head Coach Kelsey Mitchell said the team got it done, while also giving credit to an athletic Middle Township team.Ocean City goalie Maddie Kahn stops a shot by Middle Township.The majority of the game was spent in Ocean City’s offensive end, with all goals coming from penalty corners. About halfway through the first half, Ocean City called a timeout to make some adjustments to the game plan.Five minutes later in the second half, Ocean City had its first goal of the night and then never looked back.“We are a second-half team, which can be a good thing and a bad thing,” Mitchell said.Athletic play could be seen all over the field, especially from junior left back Morgan Pizagno and goal scorer Reese Bloomstead.Pizagno is one of those players whose name doesn’t appear often on the stat line, but her confidence when she steps up to the ball is something Mitchell counts on.Bloomstead, who now has 16 goals on the season, matching her total from last year, is an offensive threat whenever she is near the ball.“Putting the ball in the back of the cage is the expectation we have of her,” Mitchell said.Ocean City players Meredith Moon (17) and Morgan Decosta (30) get ready for a penalty corner.The team is off to a great start this season, but Mitchell isn’t letting the players get too far ahead of themselves, taking it one game at a time.“That day, that focus is the only thing in our sights,” Mitchell said.   The Red Raiders field hockey team is back in action Friday afternoon against Mainland High School.  The game is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start at Carey Stadium. Ocean City’s Shannon Decosta (29), Reese Bloomstead (10) and Jaclyn Charbonneau (33) set up for a corner opportunity. (Photos courtesy Lesley Graham)last_img read more

Ex-prisoner set to grow bakery business

first_imgA baker trained in prison for a Gordon Ramsay TV show has plans to expand his business with four sites.Ex-convict Chris McKay, who learnt his skills as part of Channel 4’s 2012 series Gordon Behind Bars in the Bad Boys’ Bakery, HM Prison Brixton, London, currently runs one stall in Brixton market.On 1 March, he will expand into the Lower Marsh market, Waterloo, and hopes to open additional stalls in Herne Hill and Camden, as well as Borough Market near London Bridge.McKay said: “I basically want to get the products out there into the streets. It’s somewhere to start, really, and I want to get other markets in London.”Additionally, McKay said he wanted to form links with independent coffee shops and stores in London to stock the products.He launched the stall last December with help from Working Links and Sola Outreach. Purchasing products from the bakery at wholesale prices, the stall sells on average 100 items each Saturday.Items produced by the bakery include lemon treacle slice, carrot cake loaf, banana bread, chocolate pecan nut brownie, as well as white and wholemeal bloomers, bread buns and scones.last_img read more

David Crosby Announces New Album, Co-Written By Snarky Puppy’s Michael League [Listen]

first_imgIn an interview with The Wall Street journal, legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby revealed plans for the release of his fifth studio album, titled Lighthouse, due out October 21st. In anticipation of the album, the Crosby, Stills, & Nash member has shared the track “Things We Do For Love” (listen below). Crosby co-wrote much of the material with Snarky Puppy bassist Michael League. Crosby had this to say about the talented musician, “He’s an immensely talented musician. He was very sneaky, too. He didn’t tell me he could play lead guitar. He didn’t tell me he could sing. And he never told me he could write words. But when we sat down at my house, we wrote three songs in three days. I think the only person in my life that has been that good at writing and co-working with [me] is my son James. I love writing with someone else because the other guy always thinks of something you didn’t.”Lighthouse comes 45 years after his first solo album If I Could Only Remember My Name. The singer laments about that time period, and how some of his best friends and incredible musicians helped create that album:“I had a bunch of songs and I had only used two of them on [Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s] “Deja Vu,” because there were four writers. The joy of it was, I was having a very hard time emotionally. My girlfriend had gotten killed in a car wreck. I was pretty damaged from it. So I stayed in the studio. It was the only safe place I had. And my friends came. Notably, [Jerry] Garcia came just about every night. And [Phil]Lesh, and [Bill]Kreutzmann and other guys from the Dead, and Grace [Slick] and Paul [Kanter] from Jefferson Airplane, some guys from Santana and Quicksilver [Messenger Service] and other San Francisco bands. Of course Gram [Parsons] and Joni [Mitchell] and other friends of mine. They gathered around and helped me make that record in the most organic and loving way. It pretty much saved my sanity. I had something to do and somebody to do it with. It was a lifting force in a pretty tough spot.”Take a listen to “Things We Do For Love”:Lighthouse Tracklisting:1. “Things We Do For Love”2. “The Us Below”3. “Drive Out to the Desert”4. “Look in Their Eyes”5. “Somebody Other Than You”6. “The City”7. “Paint You a Picture”8. “What Makes It So”9. “By the Light of Common Day”[via The Wall Street Journal]last_img read more

Trader Joe’s to open at Eddy Street Commons

first_imgNotre Dame is partnering with Kite Realty Group Trust to open a new Trader Joe’s grocery store at Eddy Street Commons, a press release announced Monday.University executive vice president Shannon Cullinan said in the release that the addition of a grocery store was part of the vision of Eddy Street Commons from the beginning.“This vision has been realized with Trader Joe’s, a truly iconic brand in America. We are confident that this key addition to Eddy Street Commons will be a wonderful resource in many ways for both the campus and broader communities,” Shannon said.Eddy Street Commons, the residential, retail and dining district close to campus, is the result of a 15 year partnership between the University and Kite Realty Group Trust.“We are thrilled about the impending arrival of Trader Joe’s and what it will mean for the community,” Tom McGowan, president and chief operating officer of Kite Realty Group, said.The press release said several years of focus groups have been wanting to add a small, specialty grocer and even specifically, a Trader Joe’s, for years. Construction is underway and a future opening date will be announced at a later time.Cullinan thanked the city of South Bend, the Notre Dame Trustees, advisory council members and Kite Realty Group Trust for their support.“We are deeply grateful to the Kite team for their tireless efforts in helping us bring Trader Joe’s to the region,” she said.Tags: Eddy Street Commons, Kite Realty Group Trust, Trader Joe’slast_img read more

BNEF: Solar plus storage nearing price parity with gas

first_imgBNEF: Solar plus storage nearing price parity with gas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Natural gas-fired power plants will be facing more price competition from solar farms in some parts of the U.S. as falling battery costs make it possible to deliver electricity produced from sunshine even after dark.Solar projects that incorporate storage are becoming cheaper to build per megawatt-hour in parts of the U.S. Southwest than new gas-fired generation, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg NEF.That positions solar to replace a significant portion of the 7 gigawatts of coal-fired power that’s expected to retire in the region over the next decade, said Hugh Bromley, a New York-based analyst at BNEF. And that trend will likely be repeated elsewhere. “This won’t be contained to the Southwest,” Bromley said in an interview Monday. “This is spreading and will continue to spread.Utilities that buy electricity from solar farms typically still rely on gas-fired generators in the evenings. But the increasing affordability of batteries — thanks in part to a federal incentive — is making solar compelling, even after sundown.For example, a 100-megawatt solar farm that goes into service in Arizona in 2021, coupled with a 25-megawatt storage system with four hours of capacity, will be able to provide power for $36 a megawatt-hour, according to BNEF. That’s well below the $47 price from a new combined-cycle gas plant, according to the report.“In the long-term, this is a threat to gas suppliers whose demand from utilities will be in decline,” Bromley said.More: Solar with batteries cheaper than gas in parts of U.S. Southwestlast_img read more

Argentina Thanks Chile for Help in Fighting Fires

first_img The government of the Argentine province of Chubut (in southern Argentina) thanked Chile for their firefighter support in fighting the forest fires that have consumed around 2,000 hectares in that district, Governor Martín Buzzi announced. By Dialogo January 10, 2012 A severe drought and wind action in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer are contributing to the spread of the flames, which are consuming a dense native forest of cypresses and pines. Around 40 Chilean firefighters will join the 300 Argentine personnel fighting the flames near the city of El Hoyo (1,075 km southwest of Buenos Aires), a tourist destination and the center of the disaster, and in neighboring Puerto Patriada, 12 km south of El Hoyo. center_img “We are grateful for this effort by a brother country that has also suffered a fierce fire in recent days, and that is contributing its people to support our brave and determined firefighters,” the governor of Chubut said. The governor has said that the fire “was intentionally set” and that it began “after no fewer than 20 previous attempts were extinguished by firefighters.” According to authorities, the fire has not caused any injuries, but the population living near the forests was urged to leave the area as a precaution. The small tourist locality of El Hoyo, with 3,500 residents, receives hundreds of visitors every summer and is the most affected by the situation.last_img read more

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