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Volume 14 · Issue 2 · Summer 2014

Happy Summer!

Summer starts with fireworks, a surge of independence, and the Fourth of July, a favorite holiday of mine because it speaks to values I admire. On this day we celebrate a national community as we set aside differences to focus on more connected common goals—pride, gratitude and the right to pursue happiness. In this spirit, I’d like to update you on upcoming items while continuing the discussion on executive coaching.

Wishing you all a terrific summer.

In This Issue

Shout Out To The AMA

At AIM® we are often remiss in thanking our supporters; the organizations that believe in our mission and provide us with opportunities to share our message. One such organization is the American Management Association (AMA). A longtime supporter of Yael’s work, Amacom (Publishing Division of AMA) not only published “A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams”, but has engaged Yael’s educational expertise to teach several courses. Two popular courses, “Successfully Managing People” and “Collaborative Leadership Skills for Managers” are offered in-person or through live online web presentations.

Click here to learn more about other programs available through the AMA, which many of you know is a well-respected institution with many resources for managers and executives to grow critical business skills. Continue to access AIM Digest, eNews and Blog Newsroom for information on course dates and new subjects Yael will teach in the near future.

Something To Talk About

IMAYael just returned from a great experience at the IMA’s 2014 International Conference held in Minneapolis, June 20-25. She presented a keynote session on networking skills to over 200 management accountants and financial professionals. Attendees noted how relevant the content was to the issues they face in a world that now requires more out-front leadership and analytical engagement from them rather than traditional back office transaction-based approaches. We expect to hear more from this population as we assist them in adapting to these changes.

Are Assessments Seeing A Downward Trend?

The ebb and flow of what’s in and what’s not occurs across all industries. Though not as obvious as shifting hemlines, human capital professionals can sense changing preferences in the twin arenas of business management and leadership assessment. In the past few years I have observed what I hope is a short-lived phase. It seems that senior management sees declining value in working with skilled assessors. Is this due to the lack of experience some practitioners bring to their contracts or to an inflation of their services? Here is my take on this issue.

As an executive coach with more than 25 years and dedicated hours of experience toward this profession, I can truly say I’ve seen it all—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. And by good, I mean GREAT, but more on that later.

Let’s first address the latter two: the bad and the ugly.

When it comes to noting the bad (the inexperienced) and the ugly (the unscrupulous) some practitioners have marred my profession. With organizations shedding many HR staffers, I don’t blame any HR professional who, in search of sustainable employment, turns to consulting as a stop gap. However, I take exception to those who have a “How hard can it be?” attitude, hanging a shingle soon after losing a job, without proper training and/or boots on the ground experience. These individuals don’t fully realize their impact on a client’s livelihood and professional choices—and that is cause for concern. As for the unscrupulous, namely consultants who pad their fees, there’s nothing to say except this: I do believe in Karma.

So what about the GREAT? Let’s begin our focus with a little background:

The mid 20th century was an especially stimulating time in the Organizational Development (OD) field, with Kurt Lewin and W. Edwards Deming researching group dynamics and quality control respectively. By the time Douglas McGregor and Dick Beckhard coined the term “OD”, performance improvement was also the subject of research and fresh ideas. Then, Margulies and Raia propelled OD forward by defining its humanistic values, thereby clarifying OD’s purpose—to help organizations via an intricate meshing of behavioral sciences. And, in the case of OD’s offshoot profession, executive coaching, managers define and solve their own problems through a productive coach-client relationship.

Acttm Coaching: Assess The Situation

What does it take for the coach and client to ensure a successful engagement? Some years ago, to help me in my own coaching work, I devised the ACT™ process [comprised of the three phases: Assess, Coach and Transform].

You may recall that the last eNews contained an article on ‘Choosing Your Coach’. What follows is an explanation of the A in ACT™- How to ‘Assess The Situation’.

The first step in the coaching process is the Assessment. We can define an assessment as a series of evaluations of behaviors and attitudes based on gathering and analyzing data (provided by subject and possibly manager, peers and subordinates). A feedback loop follows, and finally, a development plan is created.


  1. Data Gathering may include: in-depth interviews, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or other Style or Type Tools, 360° Feedback Reviews, Leader Behaviors Surveys and various Questionnaires.
  2. Participant creates a development plan that includes: (1) specific behavioral changes, (2) the means to achieve them, and (3) specific results.
  3. At planned sessions, coach and participant review actionable results.

Just as construction on a building could not begin without a blueprint, it is not possible to create a successful coaching engagement without a well-thought out assessment. The input from all relevant sources to the coaching client is essential to creating the report, which serves as the foundation for the coaching work.

Therefore, my advice is to choose your assessments carefully and make sure to balance three different perspectives – individual, team and organization.

Upcoming Events

Join Yael Zofi and the AIM team for our upcoming events. For more information, visit the Blog Newsroom or contact us at 718-832-6767 / 6699.

JULY 2014

  • Article: High Performing Virtual Teams Have 8 Key Attributes
  • Ask Yael Series: “Coaching Virtual Teams”
  • AMA Live Online Seminar “Successfully Managing People” – July 21, 23, 28, 30
  • AMA Seminar “Internal Consulting” – July 22
  • AMA Seminar “Collaborative Leadership Skills for Managers” – July 31


  • AMA Seminar “Collaborative Leadership Skills for Managers” – August 1
  • AMA Seminar “Successfully Managing People” – August 6-8 NYC
  • Webcast: Leadership Styles: Applied Leadership Skills for Business Managers Webcast – Aug. 14
  • Webcast: Work Your Network: Making Impactful Business Connections Webcast – Aug. 14
  • Lunch & Learn Series: “Is Your Virtual Team Traditional, Transformed or Transformational?”


  • AMA Live Online Seminar “Successfully Managing People” – Sept. 8, 10, 15, 17
  • AIM Featured at Columbia University Meet The Firms Event – Sept. 18
  • Yael presents at NYS SHRM Conference in Buffalo: Bringing Reality to Your Virtual Team – Sept. 29
  • Lunch & Learn Series: “Motivate Your Team From A Distance”

About AIM Strategies

AIM Strategies® Applied Innovative Management® is a results-driven Human Capital Consulting firm specializing in the areas of: Global Leadership Development, Co-located and Virtual Team Facilitation, Cross Cultural Communications, and Change Integration Services. To request information about AIM’s experiential learning methods (5D’s™ Consulting/Proprietary Training Methodology and ACT™ Coaching Process), please email info@aim-strategies.com. In upcoming issues of this newsletter, we’ll update you on tips and techniques related to raising your innovative management IQ. We are confident that the solutions we develop fit your needs and culture. Please forward this newsletter to your colleagues and visit www.aim-strategies.com to learn more about how our services unlock the people potential of your organization!

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  • Virtual Teams:

    AIM offers workshops, training and coaching on strategies for managing virtual teams. For information contact: info@aim-strategies.com
  • Video Cliff Notes:

    To inquire about other resources, webcasts and recordings contact: info@aim-strategies.com or visit our Media section
  • Newsflash:

    Virtual teams are becoming increasingly prevalent, and the best companies know how to insure both efficiency and effectiveness on their teams. AIM can help you get started. We have a systematic approach to VTs and offer training, tools, and best practices. For information, visit our general AIM company website
  • Team Setup Tool:

    Would one of your teams have an interest in receiving data-based feedback on how members can effectively set up their virtual team? Find out by contacting: info@aim-strategies.com
  • Teams in Person:

    If you would like to explore having Yael and/or AIM consultants spend time with your team, please let us know. We are especially interested in offering short presentations or workshops about the new book. Shorter sessions introduce virtual teams to our thinking; longer workshops build people’s skills in using our practical methodology. For more information contact : info@aim-strategies.com
  • Contact:

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    A Yael Zofi Company
    T: (718) 832-6699
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