Categories
Personal development

FYI No action required. Escalation possible

Keeping your boss informed of potential escalations and things that he/she should know about is an important part of your role. No one likes receiving bad news without a warning.

The earlier the warning, your boss can mentally be prepared, with no surprises and feel confident you have the situation under control. There are many steps to communicating well and in a timely manner.

Here are the 5 key steps and principles to landing the message without creating unnecessary action.

1. Email is good. Ensure the title is clear. FYI NO action required. Repeat after your Hi line in your email. This is important to ensure they dont take action. Also if you believe it may get escalated to them or above then put FYI No ACTION required. Escalation Highly probable.

2. Context: what is the issue and what is it causing concern. Be explicit but do not write more than a paragrath

3. What action has been taken already and the outcomes. This is to inform of steps taken, so your boss knows what you have tried already.

4. What steps you are taking at present and possible other steps if there are any. This is important for your boss and stakeholders to know what avenues you are exploring

5. Next Update will be in 24 hours. This is critical to keep your stakeholders informed and if they are in communication externally you are on the same page.

These can be done in one email, keep it short and concise. The earlier the warning the better prepared your stakeholders and boss can be. Don’t wait to crisis point. If you suspect the situation could blow up, go early and over communicate.

No boss enjoys surprises, this is a sure way to communicate timely information which means they are never caught off guard.

FYI NO ACTION REQUIRED. ESCALATION PROBABLE

Categories
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?

Categories
Career planning Coaching Leadership Personal development

How to get on in corporate?

There are some unwritten and unspoken rules to getting in incorporate. Here are 10 things you need to nail to get on.

1. Get on with everyone. You cannot afford to have any detractors. Always look at how you can help others be successful.

2. Deliver results. Focus on the inputs to deliver results not the outputs. Energy placed in the right place will deliver the outcome

3. Get great at PowerPoint. This is key with point 5. Being succinct on your delivery of information, content for a decision or content for collaboration, be clear on your asks as this is where most presentations fall down.

4. Dont talk too much, learn to ask questions, be the third or forth person to contribute

5. Learn to speak in public and be on point. Remove the waffle

6. Always give execs a heads up on things that may get escalated. A key skill is making sure stakeholders understand a risk of escalation. Content needed what have you tried to mitigate the risk, what you are doing next and the next update.

7. Be a great project manager. Key skill to delivering plans

8. Have great Business process skills. Never bandaid, always find the root cause and fix process

9. Collaborate to deliver great strategy, resolve issues and creating plans.

10. Communication is critical to keep everyone across what you are doing and get feedback.

Corporate is where you accelerate your personal development and develop skills that are critical to driving business success.

Categories
Personal development

Strong ideas loosely held is the path to success.

Often our opinions are not heard by leaders, whether bias, credibility or other reasons. In that moment when there is no acknowledgement or you are shot down or the conversation moves on to someone who is listened to far more than you, you know that you flogging a dead horse. One of my colleagues has a saying “put it in the drawer and dust it down in two years”. When she told me this, I was puzzled. The reason: when I don’t get heard I keep going in the hope the message will land. Repetition irritates others and hope is never a strategy, its better to take my colleagues advice and move on and put the suggestion in the drawer for another day.

Strong opinions are often based on bias, so we need to consider our first position as an initial hypothesis, until we uncover further information to develop an opinion. Source https://medium.com/@ameet/strong-opinions-weakly-held-a-framework-for-thinking-6530d417e364. We need to actively seek out contradictory information instead of clinging to an opinion.

In the words of John Gruber: Strong ideas loosely held is the path to success. The inference is not to cling to your original idea, decision, or forecast even in the face of contradictory information. In fact, actively seek the contradictory information — this provides you with data to iteratively improve the situation or forecast, until you get to the right answer.

If you have not disproved your original opinion, when the opportunity comes knocking, you dust down your opinion and off you go for round 2! However by now you may also have a greater groundswell of support and evidence, but what was implemented is not working.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink: the power of thinking without thinking , makes the argument that people frequently make some of their best decisions in mere seconds. We think without thinking, sizing up situations and determining how we feel about someone or something based not on voluminous new information, but rather on our accumulated experience.

The alternative is that other facts or information have emerged, which demonstrates your opinion or idea was ill informed and its time to well and truly move on. This is also a great personal learning to reflect on what bias created the strong opinion in the first place?

Categories
Coaching High Performing Teams Leadership Legacy Personal development Resilience

Just completed a 6 week resilience team coaching during the pandemic

Building TeamResilienceJust completed a 6 week resilience training with Phil Crenigan a leading executive coach and my team. I have personally worked with Phil for many years as a business coach, so the opportunity for team coaching during covid19 on resilience was a unique opportunity.  There were many learning’s from our journey.  

Three weeks into working from home the team were overwhelmed by workload due to covid19 and the many challenges Covid19 posed. The resilience team coaching was timely as they faced new challenges working from home, concerned for family overseas, financial challenges and motivational issues.  The team shared vulnerabilities, what they were implementing from their leanings on the resilience g training, they supported each other and trust was built.  Patrick Lecioni would have been proud of us. 5 Dysfunctions of a team

Personally there were many reflections, honest conversations with myself and recognition of what was needed to move forward. 

  1. Developing resilience means I can move on quicker from situations that challenge me, spend less emotional energy on catastrophizing, and move to action swiftly.
  2. Building trust in the team is critical for people feeling comfortable talking about something that is so personal. The team have been amazing at sharing and supporting each other
  3. Doing the self-assessment on resilience, I started by putting top marks in all the boxes. That is not being honest with myself. When I revisited I realized I need to ask for Support more.
  4. Tools that I learned or re learnt:
    1. When catastrophizing, what is the worst that can happen?
    2. Asking for help more, working with peers and people outside the team
    3. Greeting people in the lift, supermarket, waiting for a coffee: Lighting up their day
    4. Revisit the team feedback about what I do well, keep doing it

Team coaching is critical to bringing the team together and during Covid having a forum to learn together really makes the difference.  Resilience is critical during these uncertain times. Even if you think you can handle uncertainty well, there is always room for improvement. 

I can recommend Phil’s Resilience team coaching as a way to build trust, accountability and most of all Resilience in the team.  https://www.execturningpoint.com/

Categories
Book Quotes Coaching Personal development Resilience

How to build resilience part 2?

The other side of fear is excitement and a sense of achievement.

Getting to the other side of fear is a real challenge. Growing up in England swimming was not something I enjoyed. The school had an outdoor pool that was not heated. The changing rooms, basic sheds. We got to swim outside approx 10 times a year, due to the weather and I hated it. I spent my life avoiding swimming, until I took up surfing in my late 40s. As I got more confident, there was a niggle that if my leg rope snapped my amateur breast stroke was just not going to cut it. So I started swimming lessons. I hate putting my face in the water and never wore goggles and dreaded the lessons. There were just three adults in the class and the instructor was very patient. I was determined to go and master swimming freestyle, as I knew without it my surfing  would suffer.

I came across a book called “move closer stay longer” By Dr Stephanie Burns, and “move closer stay longer” became a mantra for me. A year after learning to swim, I swam 2-3 days a week, I could barely do a length in a 25m pool. I persevered and a few years later I was able to swim 50m then 500m, then last year I went to a 50m pool where I did my first 1km freestyle.

I still have the fear of putting my face in the water,  but the frequency of my swimming, as meant the environment is more familiar and I feel more comfortable. I have learnt to think of other things, to distract myself. The routine is what gets you through the fear.

Before Covid19 I swam at Milson point outdoor heated saltwater pool twice a week, I not only look forward to going, but I now love swimming.

Some of the other things to consider when facing into fear:

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself.
  2. Don’t set unrealistic goals, accept each day and what it brings
  3. Celebrate every success. Yes 25m was success, as was the first 50m and 1km. Now I celebrate the times I am achieving. Share your achievements with friends and family.
  4. The fear never goes away. It fades with time, but it always there. Respect it, not give in to it.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Most of the time when I surf, if its too big out the back I go out two hours either side of low tide in the white water. I have so much fun and have met some wonderful people.
  6. This is a life skill it applies to all you do in life.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Personal development Resilience

How to build resilience?

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If it not’s scary its not worth doing?  My favorite saying.

My mother has suffered with anxiety and depression, on and off her whole life. At age 16 I was on a bus going to my nearest town, when I had an overwhelming fear that this trip was not going to turn out well. I was hot and flustered and I got off at the next stop and got a bus home.  It was a moment I will never forget because it was a turning point, I did not want to be trapped in a life of anxiety. I was so disappointed with myself and spent much time reflecting on the situation and why I took such a hasty retreat.

I spent time reading self help books and realized that to achieve anything you need to face into fear and move through it. Anxiety is a build up of never facing fears. Since then I have faced every challenge with a strong mind and determination to get through and even enjoy the other side, which is all about excitement and achievement.  My life has been far more fulfilling, I am still learning and trying new things in my 50s and love the opportunity to surf which I learned in my late 40s. Yes I am scared as I am not very good, but I face my fears and get out on the waves. The thrill of standing up and riding to the shore far outweighs the fear of being out in the water.

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Categories
Coaching Leadership Personal development Work life balance

Finding motivation in difficult times

There are multiple factors at play when it comes to motivation. Even in Covid19 times, staying motivated is critical to well being.

motivationI am addicted to change, moving countries, roles, places to live. Each change brings about new opportunities to start, stop or continue what you are doing.  I remain motivated when there is something new to explore, challenge to overcome or learn something new. My motivation slows down with humdrum existence.

Covid19 is an opportunity to learn on so many levels. Learn about what you need to do to be successful in these challenging times, learn and develop leadership skills, then ensure you team remain motivated and delivering success.

Five key strategies to managing motivation:

  1. Look after your well being by exercising daily and meditation
  2. Look for learning opportunities
  3. Stay connected to your friends, family and colleagues through video calls
  4. Practice appreciation. Think of three things daily that you are grateful for
  5. Set goals and plan for success

Stay motivated in these challenging times.

 

Categories
Coaching Leadership Mentoring Personal development Work life balance

Over thinking

Why do we read more into a situation than we need to? Why do we play the victim when we perceive we are being hard done by?

The emotional drain of overthinking can lead to a reduction in productivity as you become preoccupied by over thinking a situation.

In 100% cases when you ask questions, your misunderstanding of the situation becomes very apparent. Yet we ponder and posture on the unknown, only by asking questions does the situation become clear,

It is seen as a weakness, insecurity, time wasting and a loss of productivity by the leaders. So the simple answer is get over the situation and move on in seconds and not hours. The swifter you move the more resilient you are seen.

A male colleague of mine who has been a leader for many years says the difference between career women and other women is their ability to manage emotions in the work place. He sees a stark difference between the two.

As you age your ability to move on and not dwell on situations has shortened to a point and I can move on in minutes instead of days. Yes you will be much more productive.

Are you reading too much into a situation? have you asked the questions to understand the circumstance? Or are you playing the victim?

Top tips to help:

1. Finds mentor

2. Read mental resilience by Kamal Sarma https://www.amazon.com/Mental-Resilience-Clarity-Develop-Warrior/dp/1577316258 

3. Don’t die wondering, ask the question

4. Move on from overthinking to liberating your emotions.

 

 

 

Categories
Coaching Judgement Leadership Mentoring

Feedback is critical for growth

Feedback is critical for growth, yet often leaders are not comfortable sharing the feedback  with the individual, often discussing individuals behaviour and performance behind their back. Frustrating if you are always working on being the better version of your self.

You may have a boss who shares remarks about your team, when you ask have you given the individual the feedback they says no. When you ask why, they say ‘ I don’t want to hurt them’. Hurting them is not having the conversation with the individual. 

Be very wary of leaders who gossip about others behaviour, but when you question them, have they had the conversation with the the individual and they say No. What are they saying about you? Worse still when the comment is a “perception” and their are no facts to support.

I treat others the way I wanted to be treated my self. Transparency and truth is a key value, therefore I will share observation for improvements because I care and I want them to improve. Always give feedback within 24 hours of the observation.

When we genuinely care about others you help them, not judge them. When we speak about others failings without them being present, ask yourself, how would I feel if I heard what was being said about me behind my back. The answer is simple don’t do it! Have the guts to have the conversation with the person you have the observation about, show them you care about them, be genuine with your conversation.

There is a great article written the Harvard Business review on What to Do If Your Career Is Stalled and You Don’t Know Why?  This goes to the heart of poor leadership, when the right coaching is not taken seriously enough and a high performer misses an opportunity on a behaviour that could have been coached to success.

https://hbr.org/2018/11/what-to-do-if-your-career-is-stalled-and-you-dont-know-why?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin

Feedback is critical for growth