sunnuntai 22. maaliskuuta 2020

Katri´s Quick Online Working Skills Test

Katri's Quick Social Media Skills Test for Manager and Organizations  ( 2011, page 62 )
In the begin of this blog is a picture of how social media- online working skills are developing by using them and sure, it takes time several years. You can find my original MBA dissertation of the item by clicking the headline of the picture.

The first Coronavirus action week is back here in Finland. The Ministry of Education has closed schools from the  primary education to the higher education since Wednesday 18th of March. I also acted in the front line with our executive  team to find solutions, how to organize distance/online  learning for our higher education students.

The first act took place during last the weekend (14-15.3.2020) before our government gave the new regulations. Together with our team leader of Digimentors, we established a Digi Clinic for our staff. The Digi Clinic opened the online doors on Monday morning 16th of March and all our Digimentors started to have open sessions e.g. using of Teams, Skype or Zoom on online teaching. Today (Sunday 22.3) we have 375 participants taking part to Clinic´s activities with 12 facilitators of the staff. I'm so proud of  Metropolia UAS ´s staff', how everyone wanted to help, share their knowledge and skills in this new situation, where the "digital jump" to 100 % online working culture was done in one week.

This all, what happend so quickly during last week brings to my mind a few ideas for online working:
- Thank you social media media for teaching us to communicate online since a decade ago,

- Although many of us are active in social media, it does not mean having good online teaching or working skills, but it does help, when you have good online communication skills

-  The Internet is now full of information, how to survive in this new culture of online working. I want to share these helpful nine tips for online meetings from John Brooker,

- I have started to use the Teams Planner to plan my online working week. I plan the whole week from Monday to Friday as Buckets. I look the meetings in my calendar and check, what I have to do myself beforehand and/or with whom and which co-operative online-tools will be needed. I also use a lot of chat e.g. Whatsup for quick communication and Google Docs for co-working. Next, I was going to challenge myself by learning how to make podcasts for instant messaging, 

- Tomorrow morning I will start the new week with two digital morning coffee/tea, one with my own team and another later with Digimentors. I´m looking for new tips, how I could develope my online working/leading skills and have better manuscript for online working week. I´m more than happy of all kind of tips.

As a conclusion, I go back to the begin of this blog and the picture of Katri´s Quick Test for Social Media Skills, which I developed in my MBA studies. I think a worker/teacher/team leader/manager/executive can change the word "social media" to "online working" skills and evaluate, how she/he manages in this new 100% online working life.

Here you are, more detailed descriptions of four levels of ONLINE WORKING- skills, which you can use and evaluate your online working skills.


- the 0- level person is ONLINE- PREVENTER, who has never been or worked online communities  (e.g. Teams,  Zoom or Google tools). He or she is afraid of online working and defends himself/herself against online working which is nonsense and waste of time. He/she feels fear against online working,

- the 1- level person is ONLINE- SUSPECTOR, who has created profiles or accounts to online working  networks. He/she is a passive watcher, who follows what others are doing, but he/she is not participating e.g. online discussions. He/she feels insecure while being on online networks.

- the 2- level person is ONLINE- TESTER, who is both active and passive social media user, while sharing and participating in online communities. He/she is wondering is or isn‟t online working  "my cup of tea". He/she feels insecurity/security while acting on online working networks.

- the 3- level person is ONLINE- CROWDSOURCER, who is an active online working person in several online working networks. He/she gives/gets positive feedback with others participants and therefore he/she is also engaged in online working networks and acts like a co-operative  developer. He/she feels security and success while acting on online working networks.

What are your test results? Are you as an online worker: 1) a preventer, 2) a suspector, 3) a tester or 4) a crowdsources? And one day, when a miracle has happened and you will wake up and you have  achieved the perfect online working skills for yourself. What kind of online worker you are then, and how much you give yourself time to achieve these online working skills and what will you do next?

tiistai 17. syyskuuta 2019

Solution Focused Coaching- a New Approach to Improve Leadership Skills

Dear Readers,

The aim of this blog is to share my learning experiences, how I'm trying to find my way to
become a better leader by using solutions focused methods in my work and also, 
how could I evaluate my solution focused leadership style.  
These two questions do not leave me alone.

I have been working over 20 years as a director in educational organisations.  I am also a 
psychotherapist, which uses a solution focused working methods.  About three years ago, I noticed
that the same solution focused methods are nowadays also used in organisation development, called 
solution-focused coaching (SFiO 2019). 

In August 2019, I participated for one week Solutions Focused Retreat in Switzerland with 30
coaches from 10 countries in Europe. After that, I became more interested in using the 
solution-focused methods also as part of my leadership style as a Director of Lifelong Learning
in the university context. 
I have noticed that the research results combine both the positive (Braunstein & Grant 2019, Grant & O’Connor 2010
and Hicks & McCracken 2010) and also critical views (Grant & O'Connor 2018) considering 
the use of solution focused approach in coaching. I am acting kind of action researcher; reading
evidence based articles, follow SFiO on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, follow Elfie and Dominic
on their SF Tour . They have fantastic SF-podcasts, which I love listen while taking my SF- friend
Jomppa-the-lab for long walks.
SF-Jomppa- the- lab taking me for long walks

I am in the begin on my way of using solution focused coaching as part of my leadership. I struggle, 
 how could I have a solution focused mindset in everyday situation, where I am involved in
my work. 

Here are some of my observations from my learning path in the end of August and begin of September, how I act or use SF- framework as a mindset:

One- to- One- Discussions as a Psychotherapist
I work as a volunteer psychoterapist in elderly care.  When I act as a psychoterapist, it is easy for me to take a role of SF- mindset. I think before the meeting; observe and listen more, speak less,  remember miracle & scale questions, be curious, give compliments, where are the small steps, future talk, do more, what works and SO ON... and I feel home in that role.

One- to- One- Discussions as a Coach/Director or a Group Leader in My Work
 I wonder, why this SF- mindset does not come so naturally in work situations like it comes, while I'm acting as a SF-psychoterapist. Perhaps in work situations I am focusing more to the content of meetings than to the communication of meetings. I think the trend is that the business running is always more important than the way the communication appears in group situations. Participants (me too) are presenting issues that are linked to other people speech and interaction is very quickly in group situations. While I am a participant of the group, I just act/communicate in a situation and later comes the reflection time, when I'm trying figure out, what just happened.

Dear reader of this blog, what do you think. Why is it difficult to transfer my SF-communication skills from one situation to the another situation?

Key Words: Solution focused coaching, leadership

Braunstein,  K. & Grant, A. M. 2016. Approaching solutions or avoiding problems? The differential effects
 of approach and avoidance goals with solution-focused and problem-focused coaching questions. 
Coaching; London Vol. 9, Iss. 2,  (Sep 2016): 93-109. 

Grant, A. M. & O'Connor, S. A. 2018. Broadening and building solution-focused coaching: feeling good 
is not enough. Coaching Sep 2018, Vol.11(2), pp.165-185.

Grant, A.  M. & O'Connor, S. A. 2010. The differential effects of solution-focused and problem-focused 
coaching questions: a pilot study with implications for practice. Industrial and Commercial Training;
 Guilsborough Vol. 42, Iss. 2,  (2010): 102-111. 

Hicks, R. & McCracken, J. 2010. Solution-Focused Coaching. Physician Executive; Tampa Vol. 36,
 Iss. 1,  (Jan/Feb 2010): 62-4. 

SFiO 2019. Solution Focus in Organisations. 15.9.2019.