7 Ways to Drive Commitment

Commitment is a key driver for performance.  Show your direct reports how much you care and they will show you how they can perform at a higher level.

  1. Care by giving regular positive and constructive feedback. Make it part of your daily communication.
  2. Care about how your direct reports are going to deliver on a project.  Have a conversation and let them talk.
  3. Care about the development of your direct reports. Know their aspirations and support them.
  4. Care by collaborating (involve your direct reports in decision making).
  5. Care by listening to the ideas of your direct reports (even if you don’t agree).
  6. Care to recognize the unique talents of your direct reports.  Everybody has one.
  7. Care enough to recognize your direct reports contribution along the way, not just at the end.

Bottom line, show that you care and you will be rewarded with more committed performers.

With care,


3 Reasons people get coaching and are supported by their organization

Individual coaching is widely reported to be growing rapidly and has become a well-known development opportunity for leaders at all levels in business.  What may not be clear is the real reason(s) individuals get coaching and businesses support it.

I’ve recently put together my documentation for Professional Certified Coach status with the International Coaching Federation.  Part of the process requires 750 hours of coaching with a minimum of 25 different clients.   Putting this together has reminded me of the many reasons people and businesses hire me as their coach.   Here are three:

1.  Coaching for performance is huge.  Individuals want to perform at a high level and the business requires it.  Coaching brings immediate clarity to the barriers preventing high performance.  Once the barriers are clear they can be removed through coaching.  The focus is then directed towards high performance.

2.  Interpersonal effectiveness – The better people are at communicating and relating to others the better they are at inspiring increased productivity and building the self-confidence of employees to face challenges critical in meeting organizational demands.

3.  Leadership development – High potential leaders in business are interested in their growth and development as a leader.  They have insight into themselves and how they inspire team members.  A confidential, judgment free sounding board provides them the opportunity to explore and address key development areas in a safe and efficient environment.

For coaching to be successful, for an individual and the business, coaching outcomes need to be linked to business outcomes and the progress on the outcomes needs to be evaluated.  The one valid reason for an organization to invest in coaching is to support business strategy and objectives. 

If you would like to discover how you could benefit from coaching I’d love to hear from you.  Please send me an e-mail at coach@nicolajohnson.ca for a complimentary 30-minute coaching session.

Until next time, be your best.


Be Present

I have many ideas for how to start this year’s Blog. My idea’s range from sharing my personal growth and learning from 2014, to the importance of health and fitness for business leaders, then back to insights from the challenges I hear from the leaders I coach every day. So I’ve decided to move forward with all of the above starting with my personal growth and learning from 2014. After all, getting personal and sharing challenges is what I ask of my clients. Here it is.

As I reflect on 2014 I realize it was a year of ups and downs. I had some great vacations to Whistler and Mexico and have great memories from vacationing with my family. It was also one of the most heart wrenching years of my life as my daughter spent 45 days in CHEO throughout the year. Sometimes life can beat you down if you let it. It can also teach you a lot about yourself if you let it. Being a Leadership Coach I chose to learn and grow during this difficult time. This was critical to my ability to be available for my daughter, my family and my clients. The greatest learning was to differentiate between what was about me and what was about her.

Think about that for a minute “What is about you and what isn’t?” How do you know the difference?

As scared as I was for her life I had to compartmentalize it so I could be fully present for her and not be reactive based on how I was feeling.Learning to understand the difference between being reactive and being fully present for her, allowed her space to grow, develop and succeed at her pace, the way she needed to, from precisely where she was. I took me and my issues out of the equation…my thoughts, what I knew to be right, my feelings. Instead I learned to listen, to inquire and give support when everything inside of me was screaming “just fix this, just make it right, this is all you have to do, just do this and stop doing that and everything will be fine”. Does that sound familiar? Have you ever told somebody what to do because you have the answer? There is a time and a place for this for sure, the problem is when we think we have the solution when we haven’t even taken the time to understand the problem/challenge, which is really only known by the person.

I share this story with you as a metaphor for developing as a Leader. Great Leaders are fully present for others to inspire them to achieve what they need to achieve. My question for you as you start the New Year is: “How present are you as a Leader?” For many this question takes time to answer.

These activities will help:

  • Notice what the voice in your head is saying as you are listening to someone talk.
  • Record what the voice in your head is saying. Really get to know what you’re telling yourself. What is the pattern?
  • Remind yourself that to be fully present the voice in your head needs focus on what the person speaking is saying.
  • Use that voice to be curious; seek to understand where the person is coming from and what they see as the next best step for them.
  • For best results share with your coach :)

Best wishes for a year of health, personal growth, and success!


Certified Executive Coach


What if…you could inspire your team to higher levels of engagement and performance?

Intentional Leadership

As a leader, your reality has changed. You are dealing with increased technology, diversity, globalization, the importance of work/life balance, the frequency and pace of change, and a strong emphasis on learning and leading others. Innovative Facilitation, through our program, Intentional Leadership will provide you with an opportunity to discover, discuss and practice proven leadership knowledge, skills, mindsets and tools to set you up for success.

Register now for Intentional Leadership, a two day course that will take place on May 17 and 18, 2016 at Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Drive, Kanata, and receive a 1-on-1 coaching session and 8 e-Tips that will be sent directly to your computer to help you apply and measure your impact over the 90 days following the two day program.

For $1795.00 + HST you will experience 3 phases of learning:

Watch this video by clicking on the following link to see what to expect and how to prepare for Intentional Leadership: http://betterprogram.cachefly.net/IL/intro/index.html

Phase 1: A 2-day interactive program;

Phase 2: The 8 e-Tips (3 – 5 minute videos) sent directly to your computer, with tips to make it simple to apply your learning and measure your impact over the next 90 days; and

Phase 3: A 1-on-1 coaching session for one hour with an Innovative Facilitation Coach to help you apply your learning to your reality and drive results with your team.

Who should attend this interactive program?

This program is exclusively for executives and senior leaders in the public service who define, research, plan, support and partner with others to lead and manage leaders. By attending this program, leaders will be better equipped to enhance the one-on-one interactions with each of their team members which will result in a motivated and productive team.

There are limited spaces available and this program is expected to sell out.

To Register or for inquiries,please contact us at:

Telephone : 613.692.7835
Email: Michele@innovativefacilitation.com

Don’t Take It Personally…Dealing With Those That Do

Don’t take it personally….Have you heard that before?  Most of us have either delivered the message or been on the receiving end.  As my 12 year old son once said “If someone says don’t take it personally, you know it’s going to be personal “ Unfortunately by the time it gets to delivering or receiving the message “Don’t take it personally?” it’s already too late.  Damage is done; message has been received “personally”.

This is really about what to do when you are delivering or receiving a message that is going to be taken personally.   Not because of the message but because of the thinking preferences of the person receiving it.  If you haven’t figured it out by now I’m referring to emotional thinkers.  Whether you are an emotional thinker in the workplace or you’re tolerating one these steps will help manage emotions.

  1. Know that the person is going to take it personally.  That’s what emotional thinkers do.  Don’t expect that you can change that about someone.  You can’t.
  2. Use positive language when providing feedback and focus on idea’s for the future.
  3. Before delivering a message check in to notice what space the person is in.  Someone who strongly “feels” is going to be moody (check and see what the mood is at work today) prior to delivering the message.

One of the most important things you can do to inspire emotional thinkers to produce the results they, you and the organization are looking for is to create an environment where employees feel they are providing added value and are appreciated for who they are and the contribution they make.  Not just appreciation for what they do but how they do it.  Emotional thinkers know the difference.

My intention for these blogs is to provide insight into the frustrations I hear with the hope that it will shine new light to create peace and improved productivity for you as individuals and the organization you serve.

If you would like to discover how you could benefit from coaching e-mail coach@nicolajohnson.ca for a complimentary 30 minute coaching session.

Until next time.


Stuck is …

I was given this when taking the Royal Roads Masters Certificate in Executive Coaching a few years ago.  Sometime we know something isn’t quite right but are not sure what.  I found this “Stuck is…” article to be a very helpful first step towards being aware.  We can be stuck and not even know it.  See you if have a life story that fits one or more of the statements below.

Stuck is when you see what needs to done – but you make another choice.
Stuck is when you make a start – and then don’t follow through on what needs to be done.

Stuck is when you’re doing what you’re told to do and not what needs to be done.
Stuck is when you things aren’t working and you can’t step back far.

Stuck is when you only see one way forward – and it’s not the route you want to take.
Stuck is when you have many options and the thought of choosing one paralyzes you.

Stuck is when you know what to do and can’t see how to do it.
Stuck is when you don’t know what to do and can’t quit define the problem.

Stuck is when you’ve got big dreams and you’re too afraid to chase them.
Stuck is when you don’t have big dreams and you feel empty.

Stuck is when you are doing it all on your own – and it’s wearing you out.
Stuck is when you’re waiting to be rescued – and you’re super hero isn’t showing up.

Stuck is when you’re running flat out  – and you know you’re in the wrong race.
Stuck is when you’ve secretly given up – and you’re still in the race.

Author:  Unknown

Questions are one way to free yourself from being stuck.  Try the following 5 questions:

1.  What direction would you take if the only route you see is not actually available?

2.  What route would you take if there was nobody standing in your way?

3.  What does your head say to do?

4.  What does your gut say?

5.  What does your heart say?

Final question is:  If you were to put your head, heart and gut together, what do they tell you.

We often look to the outside world; friends, family members, colleagues etc… for answers that are only inside of ourselves.  Contact Nicola at coach@nicolajohnson.ca If you would like to experience a free 30 minute coaching session to move forward.