Categories
Personal development

Getting someone’s name right.

A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie.

On Wednesday I had to read out 111 award winners at an internal meeting. I read every name first and last, I asked the person if I pronounced their name incorrectly, please correct me, they did, in front of over 100 staff. I continued as I wanted to get the name right. Thanks for your patience.

We often feel embarrassed about pronouncing names we don’t know how to say. Ask them and then repeat and keep repeating until they have told you, that you have got it right.

In Australia it’s common for people to abbreviate names Ange instead of Angela. It’s ok as long as the person is happy with the abbreviation. Ask them first?

The abbreviation of the initials of the first and last name. This is used when people’s names are difficult to pronounce. Again check with the person they are ok? But make the effort to pronounce their name.

A colleague of mine said to use https://www.pronouncenames.com/search. It’s a great way to practice.

Remember Dale Carnegies saying. A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Categories
Personal development

Gail Kelly Live Lead Learn

Thanks to Sue Davies for the loan of this book. Read in less than a week which is totally unusual for me! What a great read. Inspiring and humble.

She is open and honest about her challenges, but more importantly her vision and clarity of what was needed to change the banks is inspirational and exceptionally perceptive. Every CEO needs to have spent time in front line customer situations, without that experience business is too inwardly focused.

Her grasp of the challenges for bank tellers led her to restructure the banks to be centred around the customer and not the internal needs of business. Trust is king and you cannot build trust with your customers if you don’t listen.

In her book Gail quoted “I really battled to have commonsense changes imbedded. I encountered lots of ‘Yes, Minister’ behaviour with the team hoping my attention would move to other things and their lives would return to normal.

In my experience too often leaders are too busy “spraying the next initiative” to follow up and employees become fatigued and realise that they are better to lie low. Persistence in the same goal is uncommon, as when there is not gratification in an outcome, execs move on. The difference with Gail was it was imbedded in her personal values, she was never going to move on, until the customer was served in the way she needed them to be.

I loved Gails honesty about dropping the ball on a number of issues, just because she did not have the bandwidth to manage. Her openness is very refreshing and for anyone who is juggling a lot of conflicting priorities it is not surprising.

Her husband Allan was a rock, but also someone who encouraged Gail to step up with every opportunity and did his fair share around the home.

This is a book that inspires, in spite of Gail’s upbringing in South Africa during apartheid, she has tremendous humility and ability to seek out the truth. She never stops learning and that is something that is important to me today. A must read, regardless of you career, there are so many important life lessons in this brilliant read.

Categories
Collaberation Collaboration Communication High Performing Teams Leadership Personal development

Contact your peers weekly

Throughout my career I have focused on my team more than my peers or other stakeholders. Connecting regularly with your peers (who work for the same leader) not just in meetings is critical for you, your team and wider teams success.

I am not advocating for scheduled sessions, but a phone call to check in and say hi and are you Ok? Is there anything you need help on?

It means a lot to show your peers you care and you are there for them. It also builds rapport and trust, which are essential to support the performance of the team.

Other opportunities to build rapport with your peers who report to the same leader:

Over the last 12 months I have been challenged with support of a certain role and each time I have called on my peers and they have been keen to help. Make sure also that you thank them publicly so they know you appreciate their support.

Your peers are great as accountability partners, helping you to stay on track with your goals. This is great way to work together and build rapport.

Catching up as a group without your boss is also a great way to build the trust and support for each other. Let your boss know, and let them know you want to take away some of the noise by landing key decisions as a team. Also run monthly people only session with your peers to talk about Vacancies, Paternity leave, Talent, bench strength across the business, training, leave and much more. Again this is something you can do without your boss and just share the minutes.

Building relationships with your peers is critical to the business success. Just looking at your own team will not demonstrate leadership, make the time for your peers.

Other sources on this topic https://workbravely.com/blog/from-our-coaches/peer-working-relationships/

Categories
Influence Personal development Sales leadership Strategy

Importance of briefing execs ahead of external meetings

Briefing execs ahead of meetings with Execs from outside your business is critical to gain the outcome you are looking for as well as preparing the execs for questions.

Recently I skipped a briefing with my boss ahead of an executive steering committee with on the grounds my boss met with the executive of the Customer regularly. I have never done this, so what processed me to make this call I don’t know! But DONT miss a briefing.

Regardless of how well the executives know each other, what they don’t know is what is happening on the ground that’s impacting the relationship, gaps in process or opportunities for greater sales and other improvement observed by the wider team that may need to be brought to the attention of the exec.

What good looks like:

  1. What is the Customer likely to raise? What’s your response

2. What you would like to ask or opportunities identified? What is their likely response?

3. What other insights can you share, that would be helpful to their business?

If the exec is meeting for the first time, also have link to linkedin profile or summary.

Make sure you send the points in advance. Use summaries for each point not chapter and verse.

Set up 15-30 mins to brief the exec and take them through the points. Help them get familiar with the topics. If a member of your team has pulled this together, get them to do the brief with you in the room or on the call.

Once the exec meeting has taken place, then set up a time for a debrief and include your team members, to ensure all the topics are followed up correctly and updates re progress on any points are given at agree intervals i.e. daily, weekly to your executive as well as agreeing updates for the customers executive, including who is sharing the updates..

Categories
Coaching Communication Personal development

Good News Angela

Important lesson from a Dale Carnegie trainer over 2 decades ago.

When coaching one of my team members regarding communicating good news first, before landing less favourable messages, I was taken back to my twenties.

It was when I attended a 12 week Dale Carnegie class that followed the book “how to win friends and influence people”, the trainer Keith set me a personal challenge to be known as “good news Angela”.

It meant I had to change the fact based communication to fun, exciting and happy words. The transition was easier than imagined and it truly transformed how my colleagues viewed me.

How I made the change? Any win, new breakthrough, insight, media info relating to customers or industry related, team win, individual team member success, other teams success make sure you talk about it in a energetic, enthusiastic tone. Make it a daily habit and transform your communication.

When we communicate bad news too often or our perception of bad news, executives switch off. You become someone no wants around, so finding the gems of news and communicating regularly and enthusiastically will transform how you are viewed.

When there is less pleasant news to communicate it is less common and not the only thing coming out of your mouth, which means you have the ears of the executive.

How do you become “good news NAME”?

Categories
Book Quotes Personal development Work life balance

Ikigai Book review

The Japanese secret to a long and happy life. I am always keen to learn from other cultures and this book gives you an insight into Japanese way of life. The book written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

These were the sections that resonated me:

“fill your belly to 80%” this is to prevent overeating and wearing down our bodies with long digestive processes. As a child we were not allowed to leave the table until we ate everything on our plates. Took me decades to change an engrained discipline from childhood. This gives you the why its important not to overeat.

The basic principles of Morita therapy. Accept your feelings, if we control or suppress they become more intense. Work in progress for me, the hardest challenge is the feeling being accepted or suppressed?

Naikan Meditation, loved the questions related to the meditation: 1. What have I received from person X? 2.What have I given person X? 3. What problems I have caused person X? the questions are aimed at taking responsibility for our own actions. Will be utilising these questions in my meditation.

The art of the takumi an expert in a particular skill. The story of Steve Jobs is a fascinating insight in to the extent of research Steve Jobs investigated to continually improve his products. The chapter looks at many organisations and the relevance of Takumi.

Using flow to find your ikigai. Thought provoking chapter looking at activities we do where we lose our sense of time. When we are in our flow we are at our happiest and it is these activities that extend life. They dont need to be challenging, they can be every day activities: cooking, cleaning.

Overall worth the read, as there are many concepts that are thought provoking and insightful. Will definitely implementing changes on the back of reading this book.

Categories
Collaberation Entrepreneurship Influence Personal development

Its above my pay grade

What does this phrase show about the person communicating?

For me it maybe a person who lacks confidence or self belief, as leadership can be demonstrated by anyone at any level. If you see an issue that needs addressing, what’s stopping you getting the right people together to discuss? Don’t be afraid to invite leaders above your grade, this applies to individual contributors and leaders at all levels. If they are interested they may attend or send a delegate.

Here is how to approach:

  1. Problem statement: Have a go at a sentence or short paragraph to frame the problem. This is the title of your invitation
  2. Also include background in the invitation: How the problem came about, what you have tried already, who have you engaged
  3. Invitation Agenda: Problem statement, background, Brainstorm of potential solutions and then pros and cons, next steps. AOB.
  4. Ensure the invite goes to all stakeholders impacted, missing someone out, may cause challenges later on, so think about all personnel impacted.
  5. On the day of the event: Ensure the attendees are comfortable that the problem statement makes sense. Tweek if needed.
  6. On the day: Brainstorming ensure that everyone contributes and that no idea is discussed or dismissed, objective is to capture all ideas.
  7. On the day: Once the brainstorm is captured, then work through pros and cons for each idea, ending with a vote on the best solution and next steps.

If you have strong views on the solution to the problem, challenge yourself to leave your attachment at the door. If you are facilitating, you need to facilitate only. If you are participating and have someone else facilitating, challenge your self to say nothing and listen. The process will take care of the outcome.

Have fun, this is how to be a leader as a individual contributor.

Categories
Personal development

Tips on working with a new boss

I am often asked how do you work successfully with my current boss. Firstly that’s a great question to ask if you are working with someone new.

Styles vary enormously and understanding from someone who knows is a great way to prepare working with a new leader. Also as my business coach says ‘never die wondering’ ask them.

Here are five key areas to focus:

1. The more senior the leader the more precious their time is. So short sharpe messages. Summarise always, if they need to know more then they will ask.

2. Never send presentations or emails longer than a few sentences. If you need their time ensure you include in the request the purpose of the presentation: to inform, instruct, inspire or decision making, also include Length of time for presentation and Q&A , when you need to present. Keep it very short and sharp.

3. Bad news or potential bad news early. Here is how to do it https://angelalovegrove.com/2021/02/28/fyi-no-action-required-escalation-possible/

4. Reliability. Know the facts and if you don’t know say so. Passing information which is unreliable will damage trust, so if you don’t know say so and find out the answer quickly.

5. Your job is to make your boss look good. Results, successful delivery of initiatives, insights are all opportunities to elevate your boss.

Most of all have fun! Hope these are helpful.

Categories
Personal development

Showing anger as a leader

Once a leader shows anger or aggression, there is no psychological safety. Trust is 0.

Rebuilding trust is a long road.

There is no place in modern leadership for anger or aggression. Compassion and focus on the person needing the help is essential to building high performance.

If I have feedback, I always ask the team member to think about what they will do differently? What will be the trigger?. I ask them to spend 0 time on ruminating the event as it is emotionally draining and unhelpful. Instead focus on the long term solution.

My tone is always curious, non judgemental and supportive of the learning. I also want to understand what the trigger is for the person, so I can help them in the future.

If you are angry as a leader, reflect on your ego because anger is a reflection of you.

Categories
Collaboration High Performing Teams Influence Leadership Personal development Strategy

6 tips for optimal collaboration

What does it mean to collaborate? Dictionary definition:  the action of working with someone to produce something.

Collaboration has become overused, poorly implemented. Leading to collaboration fatigue!

Here are my 6 tips for optimal collaboration.

  1. Define the problem statement as a group. Ensure everyone is aligned on the statement: we all love getting to the solution however, this is unhelpful and can limit creativity.
  2. Educate on the impacts of the problem and why its important. Data is key to presenting the facts of the impact. Don’t assume your audience understands the context, history or challenges the problem represents. The more time you spend here the better the creativity re the results.
  3. Black hatting is a great way to ensure all voices are heard especially people who are not convinced about the problem and reluctant to work on a solution. The purpose is take the role of all the internal and external stakeholders and role play their position on the matter, including any risks or opportunities
  4. Ensure all parties that are impacted are included in the collaboration. The last thing you want is having to bring someone on the journey when a recommendation is made.  
  5. Don’t be afraid to lead. I am often asked why are you doing this? In the absence of anyone owning, it is impacting my team and I therefore I am happy to lead to find a resolution. You can lead as an individual contributor. Regardless of where the process lands, leading change is critical and very fulfilling.
  6. Have fun. Get to know each other. Don’t launch into a session, socialise with each other for the first 5 mins.

Have fun Collaborating!