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Book Quotes Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development

You can learn from good and bad bosses.

You can learn from good and bad bosses. None of us are perfect, everyone deserves the best support, if there are behaviours you find offensive, call it out in private.  https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/03/04/taking-responsibility-to-how-we-get-treated/

You can help your boss and they in return will help you. Judgement is the worst human trait. https://angelalovegrove.com/2018/06/04/dont-speak-ill-of-others/

Stay always true to your values. You don’t have to compromise, you need to share what is important to you, so you can build rapport and trust. In return you need to take time to understand the pressure and behaviours that result in your boss’s behaviour. Always seek to understand before being understood, one of my favourite Dale Carnegie sayings. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/11/24/why-dale-carnegies-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people-is-my-all-time-favourite-book/

Personal growth occurs when we push ourselves outside our comfort zone. This is the opportunity to push yourself beyond where you have operated before.

With the open honest feedback about your bosses behaviour, you also get it back in return. This has been some of the most transformative coaching I have received in my career.

You can learn from good and bad bosses

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Personal development

Going Native

A term that was used to describe multi year software implementation teams who now represented their client more than the software company they worked for.

It can also mean going from contract to working for a company.

What I want to address here is the former, when an employee represents the customers interests over their own employer.

As a leader this behavior can be observed in any role which works with customers over a long period of time i.e. account manager, project manager. The challenge is how to spot, call it out and then do something about it.

When an employee spends more time with their customer than the team they work in, they lose connection to the team and business, they are at risk of representing their customers needs over what makes sense to the business.

Here are the signs:

  1. The behavior shows up when the employee is continually driving their customers agenda at a cost to your company. It may be the request does not make commercial sense, only suits them and no other customer.
  2. Poor boundaries and expectation setting with the customer, as they believe their customer is right and the business needs to change even when commercially it does not make sense.
  3. Not taking the position of the employees company, behaving like they work for their customer.
  4. Not attending company team events or team get togethers

As a leader its important to jump on early and here are some of the options you have:

  1. Call it out with the individual with specific examples. Approach with seek to understand: Why do you believe this? Is this the interest of our business? Why is it? What would you do if this business was run on your investments? How would you feel?
  2. Move projects or accounts, to another opportunity. Recognize their great work and set them the next challenge. Anyone is susceptible to “going native” if they work on a account or project to long. One better get them to take a holiday between finishing and starting on the new customer or project.
  3. Plan for a eighteen month to two year changeover, make it clear no one is on a project or account for more than 2 years. This sets a framework of expectation, so no one feels like it a reflection of their ability. It is not, its a reflection of human nature and the bonds we build with people who we work closely with over a period of time.

Never approach the individual with judgement as in my career I have experienced this situation many times, what you need is understanding and a plan! When the employee is reassigned you will see the energy and commitment to the company, its incredible how quickly you can get them back on track. Never see going native as a sign a weakness. Its a sign of someone who cares deeply about what they do.

How to manage someone who has gone native!

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Personal development

Preparing for skip reviews

This is a fabulous opportunity for employees to meet your boss, and if you are a leader with managers an opportunity to meet your managers teams. If you have a boss who makes the time for these sessions, that is a bonus. I am fortunate to work for someone who does and the benefits are phenomenal.

I always get asked, what do I need to prepare? What can I say?

As an employee here is what to prepare:

1. Introduce your role if you manage a team or customers who you manage. Don’t assume he/she knows what you do or who you manage? Include any targets and achievement to target.

2. Aspirations for your career. What you are doing to prepare for the next role.

3. Top 3 things need fixing

4. Insights: what’s happening. Remember your 2 up boss may have no idea of the situations you get exposed to.

My recommendation is not to go with a presentation/deck, just well prepared speaking points. Your 2 up boss sits in so many presentations, they just want to meet you and have a conversation.

The other challenge with presenting is then you have to ensure the technology works, then you don’t get to see their facial expressions if over video. So important not to have any barriers that way you can interact and if they look puzzled, you can ask, did I explain that ok? or do you need more context or more information?

As an employee seize the opportunity and if you are a leader carrying out skip reviews, they are priceless for employee engagement, understanding the morale and culture of the teams at the next level of the organization.

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Book Quotes Personal development

12 Rules for life Antidote to chaos by Joran B Peterson

This book was a recommendation for all time reads. There are some absolute nougat’s, but I found parts tough going and there was one point where I was going to give up. I rarely give up reading books.

Here are the gems that resonated with me:

Rule 4: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.

“No matter how good you are at something, or how you rank your accomplishments, there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent”

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today”

Its easy to forget where you came from and what you have achieved, I take it for granted except when I am mentoring. Mentoring takes me back in time and helps me realise the skills I have learned.

Rule 8 Tell the truth or at least don’t lie

“If you say no to your boss, or your spouse, or your mother, when it needs to be said, you transform yourself into someone who can say no when it needs to be said. If you say yes when no needs to be said, however, you transform yourself into someone who can only say yes, even when it is very clearly time to say no. You have to be willing to walk away when that is the right thing to do.”

This is easier to do as you age, because your values become stronger and act as a moral compass. You also feel like you have less to lose, so you are willing to stand up for what you believe in.

“If you betray yourself, if you say untrue things, if you act out a lie, you weaken your character.”

“Sometimes someone power hungry makes a new rule at your workplace. It’s unnecessary. Its counterproductive. It’s an irritant. It removes some of the pleasure and meaning from your work, but you tell yourself it’s all right, it’s not worth complaining about. Then it happens again. But by failing to react the first time, you have trained yourself to accept such things, and shown the power-hungry types that enjoy their little displays of power, that their mind games are ok. The second time it happens, you’re a little less courageous. Your opponent, thus far unopposed, is a little bit stronger. The institution, a little more corrupt. The process of bureaucratic stagnation and oppression is underway, and you’ve unwittingly contributed, by pretending that is was OK. Why not complain? Why not take a stand? If you do, other people, equally afraid to speak up, may come to your defence.”

The other impact this has if you don’t take action, is you are perceived as a spineless leader. When you do, people are lavish with praise for taking a stance. They also reflect on their own behaviours and how they need to change. You inspire others to fight the good fight.

Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

“Its amazing what people will tell you if you listen. Sometimes if you listen to people they will even tell you what’s wrong with them.”

“Each person can speak up for himself only after he has first restated the ideas and feeling of the previous speaker accurately and to the speakers satisfaction.”

“She described him as the wisest living man, because he knew that what he knew was nothing.”

The more we know, the more we need to prove what we know. When we say nothing and listen, we learn more.

Thought provoking read and the words of the Stoics: all reading is expediting the learning process. So the gems I have taken away will help me on my journey of learning. We are never too old to learn

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Personal development

Its easy to forget where you came from and what you have achieved. I take it for granted, except when I am mentoring. Mentoring takes me back in time and helps me realise the skills I have learned.

Angela Lovegrove

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High Performing Teams Personal development

How to provide air cover for the team

Coaching a relatively new leader on how to build trust with a team. One of key areas to work on is always having the teams back.

What this means is that if you are representing the team you promote their work, telling the stories of success. When someone fails to meet your expectations the only conversation is with them. And they know that.

Over sharing those coaching conversations in the wrong context with certain leaders can having a lasting impact that can negatively influence the 2 up leaders perception of the individual. In the worst case this can be carried by the 2 up leader for years and regurgitated in conversations years after the incident occurred.

This can limit the career of the team member and if the individual finds out you have destroyed their trust.

The only exception is performance or conduct management.

Protect your team and have their back

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Personal development

Want to call out the lack of diversity at the exec level

An ex colleague and friend called me re: lack of diversity at the exec level in the organization she recently joined. Her question was on how does she call out the lack of diversity.

The answer is, not advisable to call it out, what is advisable is how you are prepared to help the leaders and HR team to change.

What does that mean?

  1. How do ensure males become the best sponsors for women? This is the single reason for women not getting to the top, as without a sponsor its impossible. Sponsorship is promoting the success and ensuring the failures are learned from in a supportive way. The largest gap is sponsorship of women in their 40’s and 50’s. You can help here by encouraging each senior exec to sponsor a women and then give them the support and coaching. https://angelalovegrove.com/2019/10/07/the-difference-between-a-coach-mentor-and-sponsor/
  2. Most senior men are comfortable coaching younger women. They are more fearful of coaching older women, that fear is how women will react to feedback. The key is here is for women to ensure their bosses know they embrace feedback. Value the time they take to walk through examples where they can improve. Share progress and learnings, so over time your boss enjoys the conversations and enables them to become a better leader. Encourage both parties to have more open dialogue. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/03/30/feedback-is-critical-for-growth/
  3. Where a senior male leader has not had female leaders on their exec team, broach the subject with HR about getting a coach for the exec. This is a common approach for male execs who know they have difficulty with women to work with a coach to help them overcome their bias, Often the coach needs a women to work with the exec to develop the skills and capabilities. Over a decade ago I was fortunate enough to work for a senior male exec who approached me to work with his coach to help him overcome his bias. I learnt a fortune about what causes the issues for the males and how I could help him.
  4. Ensure your emerging leaders are equipped to lead women. I talk openly about the differences and encourage my female and male leaders to discuss what causes them challenges re: female behavior v;s male behavior’s. Over time they begin to adapt and the females thrive under their leadership. This is critical if we want to change the future for women in the workplace.
  5. Call out privately with individuals bad or poor behavior towards women. I previously had a boss who constantly criticized strong female leaders in front of his leadership team. I was appalled as he did not do this in relation to male leaders. The first few times I stewed over it and then the next time, I pulled him to one side in private that I found his comments offensive and please stop. A couple of times of pulling him to one side did the trick and no more offensive comments in front of me. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/03/04/taking-responsibility-to-how-we-get-treated/
  6. Don’t judge! None of us are perfect. It’s important to lock the judgement up, you cannot coach or support when you are judging.

All the best with changing the work place and I hope the 6 steps are helpful.

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Personal development

Don’t die wondering

My Business coach favourite saying. Today I coached someone regarding an opportunity, they were unsure what to do, the words of my coach came out.

We never know unless we put ourselves out. Often fear of rejection or failure gets in the way of us approaching an opportunity or taking on a new challenge.

Always follow your hear and “never die wondering”. Words of wisdom

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Personal development

Speaking across people

What do you do when someone constantly speaks across you. This is a common question from mentees, here are the options:

1. Continue talking more loudly so the person trying to talk across you, realises that you are not going to stop.

2. Say politely I have not finished, please allow me to finish.

3. Take the person aside and let them know that the behaviour is unacceptable and let them know how it makes you feel. It’s also important to let them know the conversation is confidential and will go no further.

4. It’s a common practice for certain individuals to say sorry to cut you off and continue speaking. This is the worst behaviour as they are consciously speaking over you. Don’t let them get away with it. Use one of the methods above. Once dealt with they won’t do it again!

4 tips for managing people who speak across you. Make a move and build the respect you deserve

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Personal development

Daily Stoic journal

If you enjoy journaling then this book will take you to another level. Since my 20s I have journaled to release frustration, learn from my poor experiences and practice gratitude. This book is thought provoking, combined with meditation and you will become focused on those areas of development, that you have not recognised previously or you have chosen to ignore.

If you love yoga you will know that your practice changes all the time due to different parts of the body reacting differently to the moves and stretches. With practice you are highly tuned to your body and where it does not feel normal to you. The stoic journal taps into you subconscious in the same way.

Each day it gives you a question to ponder and then note section for morning and evening reflection. The discipline is addictive, as it channels your energy into those areas that you need to focus on.

The writing creates a calmness and for me, as well as detachment, something that I am challenged by, being a passionate and driven individual. In a years time I know I will look back at my entry’s in the diary and know that I will have moved on, driven to be a better person and leader.

Learning is a life long journey, being open and challenging yourself everyday, is life. My purpose: sharing the journey with others, warts and all. I want no one to believe they have arrived, there is no such thing, until we leave this world.

Today’s question: What is the real cause of my irritations – external things or my opinions?