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.
10 years ago Phil Crenigan encouraged me to raise money and awareness for the homeless. The evening of the sleep out people from all walks of life speak up about the events that led them to become homeless and then the loneliness of homelessness.
Up until that point I would not make eye contact with homeless people, let alone hold a conversation, that day changed me forever and since then I always say hello and pass the time of day, and often give food or coffee. My judgement has gone and been replaced with a deep understanding of others who are less fortunate.
Over the years of the sleepout I have listened to many stories of people getting themselves into financial difficulty. The stories are confronting, as they are everyday challenges that can impact anyone. it could be you or I.
Last year we had a number of women with Children who were living in cars, to escape domestic violence. The team at Vinnie’s do an amazing job and really make the difference, creating a safe environment for the family.
In my 40 year career I have had bosses that are uncomfortable giving me feedback when asked. The reasons are varied, but its important that you make it safe and support your leader to feel comfortable.
If you have acted defensively in the past, they will be reluctant to share feedback for fear that you will react in the same way.
Here are some tips to help you make it safe for your boss:
Share what you are personally working on with your boss, so they can see you are keen to improve. Share progress on what’s working not working for you and how you are changing your approach.
Share feedback from others on areas you need to focus on. Share who gave you the feedback and what you are doing to address.
Once you have done the above, ask do you have any feedback for me, on areas I need to work on, or anything I have shared already.
When they give you feedback, play back to them what you have heard. Then reflect and say thank you this information is priceless, I will work on this. Then share all the progress, so they can see you demonstrate the self awareness to work on improvements
Use self deprecating humour to show that you don’t take yourself to seriously. May make your boss laugh.
When something does not go to plan, share with your boss what happened and how you plan to turn the situation around. Bad news early
Sharing progress with your boss on your self development journey is vital to your future success and it really helps your boss feel comfortable sharing feedback and observations which are essential for growth
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?
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/
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/
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.
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.
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/
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.
When Andy and I came to Australia to live and work 12 years ago, I left the motorhome for my parents to enjoy. For months it sat on the driveway and then one day they went to stay near some friends they had not seen for over a decade. That trip 12 years ago was one of many across England, Wales and Scotland.
During Covid lockdown in the UK, my parents talked about their next trip to Scotland. For the past 6 weeks they have prepared the motorhome, including habitation checks, new tyres, clearing out the garage (under the fixed bed,) cleaned the solar panels on the roof etc etc. The list goes on.
They left on Thursday for their four week tour of Scotland. To see your parents so excited for an adventure, is inspirational. Tonight they called me on Skype in Australia from Loch Lomond on a mobile data package. They were so happy and the adventure had begun.
The fridge was not working so they had to detour from Gretna Green and Lockaby to meet someone who could fix it. With the fridge fixed they headed for their favorite place in Scotland: Loch Lomond.
On the call, they were full of the stories about their adventure and fun of being on the road. After the locksdowns, its inspiring and fills me with admiration for my parents, that they are fearless in the face of what has been a challenging time.
So proud of my parents and their spirit of adventure in a pandemic.
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
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?
Avoidance of fear takes its toll on our mental wellbeing. The more we avoid the things we fear, the more we retreat into ourselves, resulting in anxiety and depression.
I hated swimming as a child, the school pool in Oxford England was not heated and the summers not warm enough to make the water luring. It was my move to Australia twelve years ago where I found my love of surfing that finally made me go to swimming lessons.
I was in my late 40s and terrified of swimming. I had never worn goggles and terrified of putting my face under water. Surfing I was ok with as you only go under water when you are thrown off your board or jump off. Somehow I was ok with this, but not swimming where your face is under water a fair proportion of the time.
I read a lot about facing fears and how to move closer and stay longer. Being competitive and always pushing myself, I took a different approach to swimming. It will take as long as it needs to, I will go regularly, will not force myself to put my face in the water. The lack of pressure on myself, meant I could relax. A few years later I completed my first 1Km freestyle swim.
Friends took me out on an ocean swim at Clovelly , which was exhilarating, but my technique needed more work. So I am now back at stroke improvers swim school. Three months on, my swimming has improved, I also completed 25 meters of dolphin (pre cursor to butterfly).
The fear has not gone away, but my regular practice in the pool, has made me more confident, I never thought I would say this, but I enjoy swimming. Once I get going, I find the pace that works for me and I love the feeling of moving through the water.
A month ago I did an Ocean swim clinic at bondi. As we sat on the beach learning about the surf and how to manage swimming, I could feel my anxiety rising, knowing we were swimming out on the north bondi rip. As we stood waist deep in the rip with my goggles on, I started freestyle and before I knew it we were out the back of the waves. I relaxed, how difficult was that? Not at all, in fact it was an amazing feeling as the water acted like a motorway.
The next hour of exercises were challenging but fun, the highlight was the body surf back to the beach. At the end I felt a sense of accomplishment and felt so pleased with myself that I persisted with the swimming.
It’s easy to give into fear, its harder to face it, move closer and stay longer.