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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

CEO Sleepout

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.

The work Vinnies do to help people get back on track is outstanding. People who have lost all their ID through walking out of a unsafe situation, this is incredibly complex as all the agencies need ID, Vinnies don’t just help solve this for an individual, but working in conjunction with the Post office and other organisations to remove the complexity and assist in the best way possible. https://auspost.com.au/receiving/manage-your-mail/po-boxes-and-private-bags/free-po-boxes-for-homeless

This is my 10th Year of fundraising and raising awareness for the homeless. Please support by donating:
https://lnkd.in/deJuPv6n

Categories
Personal development

A gap year in your 40’s

Over a decade ago we lost three friends in their 30s in the space of 6 months. That loss combined with mid-life crisis sent my husband Andy, dog Harvey the basset hound and the adventure of a lifetime.

We left our jobs and travelled Europe in a Rapido 7 meter luxury Motorhome. We had no idea as we pulled off our driveway where we were going or for how long, but what we did know was that there is more to life than what we were experiencing at that time.

We travelled to France and spent months in all the regions down the west coast, highlights being Normandy and Bordeaux, we travelled across the plains of Spain, San Sebastian, Salamanca  and  into Portugal, stayed in the Estrela mountains, and the ancient cities of Beja and Evora, spent months in the Algarve over winter before heading off to Italy.  The destination driven by the weather and living off the rent of the house meant budget camping on beaches which you can do in many places around southern Europe over Autumn and winter.

It took 3 months to truly unwind from the stresses of life, but when we did life was far more richer, as you  had time to smell the roses, explore, spend hours in the markets, learning languages, reading, speaking to people. Being present and totally living in the moment. What we experienced and learned about life was transformational.

We met the grey nomads, there were many from many countries, people that had travelled for decades following the fruit picking seasons. The Dutch travellers are the best, a couple we met south of Bordeaux in Mimizan on the coast, each winter they take their motor-home and a menagerie of animals including a budgie and live on the beach. There was a Dutch professor from Utah and his wife that escape the winter to San Vito Lo Capo in northern Sicily.. too many stories and so many magic moments.

From Aging to Saging

When  you have all the time in the world, you start reflecting on your life and what you want from life. It was these moments that prompted me to read Aging to Saging a non religious book written by a Rabbi https://www.amazon.com/Age-ing-Sage-ing-Revolutionary-Approach-Growing/dp/0446671770, the exercises made me think about my future years and what I wanted from life. Looking at life backwards I understood, that although I loved my travels I need a purpose in life.

I always loved being in business, the people, customers, strategy and learning something new about people and my self every day.  I missed it, I only have to look at my dad who started a business at 50 and is now 70 and has a great balance of work and life as he loves getting away in the motor-home as my husband and I left it for my parents when we moved to Australia.

As the months of travelling unfolded the mist cleared and a plan emerged. We no longer wanted to live in England the weather was depressing and we needed to experience something new.  Although living in a motor-home for a year was fun we missed the luxuries in life, the experiences made us appreciate what we had a whole lot more when we returned to living in a home.

We all want to help others, it is in our blood, so what became clear is I wanted to help others to enjoy success and live a balanced life.  Through my work as a business leader I had the opportunity to embrace both. When I returned to the UK, we had the opportunity to move to Australia with the company I ran before we travelled, Andy and I jumped at the opportunity to live in Sydney. My legacy is all about others realising the potential  of others and creating a good life/work balance.

Categories
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