Crafting Communication is a Strategic Choice

Dear readers,  One thing I love about our coaches, facilitators, and consultants is the variety of backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives they bring and share with their clients and with our team. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Julie Guirado, a wonderful leadership coach who often focuses on cross-cultural challenges. I asked her to…

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Rethinking Training as More Than Just a Magical Fix

Dear readers,  Today I’m delighted to share some words of wisdom from an amazing Instructional Designer who works with The Sparks Group, Jennifer Eichenberg! Jennifer designs and develops training and leadership development curriculums, reviews training materials and makes recommendations about the most cost-effective way to move forward and is a wonderful all-around partner in our…

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Tourist, Traveler, or Pilgrim?

  In life, are you a tourist, a traveler, or a pilgrim? I love to travel, as many people do. When I learned Rick Steves was giving a talk in Charlotte, I had to go. Rick Steves is an American travel writer, tour guide, and tv host. His company helps 30,000 people a year travel to…

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Strategic Planning That Hits

  I was recently asked to facilitate the strategic planning retreat for a long-term client of The Sparks Group. I thought I would share the story of this work to illustrate how both developmental and business objectives can be accomplished in an integrated fashion, making the investment of senior leader time and effort have a…

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Happy Holidays: You are seen. You are safe. You belong.

Happy Holidays from The Sparks Group! We hope you are enjoying the season in whatever ways are most meaningful for you. Also: this can be a tough time of year for many reasons. We are delighted to share some thoughts from Dr. Laura Yee Breeding, one of our many talented coaches, on how the holidays…

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Teamwork Ugh

Teamwork. Collaboration. It sounds so straightforward, doesn’t it? Time and again, however, leaders share with us just how challenging it is. Many models describe what effective teaming looks like, the lifecycle of teams, and the dysfunctions team experience (thanks Patrick Lencioni!) While there’s value in many of these ideas, in the individual coaching context getting…

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How to Measure Vertical Development with Assessments

Maturity assessments measure where a person falls within the seven stages of the vertical development framework. Key Takeaways: Maturity assessments are used to help leaders and their coaches understand the stage of adult development they’re in and how they can move forward The assessments usually contain a sentence completion element, take about 20 minutes online,…

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Proactively Trying to Move to the Next Stage of Adult Development: The Last Three Stages

We’re back with more about how to transition from one stage of vertical development (or adult development) to the next. Now, we’re focusing on the post-conventional phases. Post-conventional means these stages have the common characteristic of shedding some societal norms and expectations. This may look like letting go of stories we’ve always told about ourselves…

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How Do We Grow Vertically?

Vertical development requires the right conditions and experiences, which we can find ourselves in and also create for ourselves when we want to grow. Key Takeaways: Growing vertically means we move forward through the seven stages of vertical development, finding and working through our limitations to expand our thinking Often unplanned life experiences push us…

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