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Your Weekly Leadership HVA (High Value Activity)

Hello Lifelong Learner ...

Here's the next in our series of weekly managerial TIPS (Techniques, Insights, and Practical Solutions) to help you better engage your team in the activities that lead to higher performance.

CORE Bites #7: As a leader of people, you've probably observed an interesting dichotomy in your coaching sessions — past thinking and future thinking. Both exist but, in my experience, there are many more past thinkers than future. These past thinkers seem compelled to take coaching discussions into the domain of what happened; what went wrong; who was at fault. Their thinking is hijacked by mistakes made; the should've, could've, would've.

The greatest risk to the future success of any individual is letting the past dictate the future. With a few simple techniques, you (as coach) can help these employees LEARN from the past but not DWELL on it. The past may teach, but the future is the land of opportunity thinking!

High Value Activity (HVA) Action Step: This week (starting today), watch for coaching situations that are 'past-thinking' oriented and use a bridge statement to take the conversation into the future. Try a variation of this: “You can't do anything about what's already occurred; you can only influence what happens next. What you've been given is a gift — EXPERIENCE! How will you use what you've learned from this experience to make sure you have a different outcome next time?" or “In light of what you've learned through this experience, what needs to change to overcome that [obstacle/problem] in the future?”

The message should be clear: Don't ignore what happened; get the lessons from it and move on!

I'd love to hear how this HVA works for you!

Have a brilliant day ... and enjoy the journey!


Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA

RESULTant and Behavioral Engineer


"We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it." — Rick Warren 


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