Categories
Personal development

Defensive behaviour

As a mentor and a coach I often call out defensive behaviour and how it reflects poorly on the individual.

Far better when you feel you are being personally attacked especially in a group environment, take a breath, and another breath and then calmly ask the person why they feel the way they do? Why they came to the position they are taking? What they want you to do? In Dale Carnegies words ‘Seek to understand before you are understood”.


Defensive behaviour, hostile challenge and reactive leadership and the same thing: reacting badly to a situation.

I found the creative vs reactive leadership helpful, when dealing with areas I feel attached to.

https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/09/14/reactive-vs-creative-leadership/

What is triggering your defensive behaviour?

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
Personal development

Attractive Challenge

Girls should be taught that sexism in the workplace is an “attractive challenge” rather than developing a “hostile attitude” towards men, the former head of one of the country’s top schools has said. The article finished by saying “concentrate on the positives” of the future rather than on “putting on your armour for a battle”. Food for thought.

http://www.landoeducation.com/blog/2019/11/20/the-telegraph-girls-should-be-taught-that-sexism-in-the-workplace-is-an-attractive-challenge-former-top-head-says

I was sent this article by an amazing mentor. I read with intrigue, as over the decades in business I reflected on my own behaviour, what it was that triggered the hostile versus the attractive challenge. Working in software and now telco sales predominantly male industries, I have developed a hostile attitude to the “boys club”.

As an example the attractive challenge approach gives support when a male is hiring, offering up a list of female candidates from your network, offering an introduction, or call them to see if they would be interested in the role. Offering to be on the interview panel. This approach is far more supporting and helpful to your unaware male colleagues, than being hostile over their behaviour.

The attractive challenge when facing a bias situation: I am often told I am passionate, a male would be called courageous. An attractive challenge is questions such as ‘what is different between me speaking up on an issue and John speaking up about this issue? Why is John courageous and I am passionate? ‘ Drawing the individual to their own realisation of bias. In contrast the hostile attitude is reacting with why do you label women as passionate and men courageous ? This is confrontational and wont achieve the same outcome.

We all have choices, the attractive challenge coming from a calm place and coaching which has a greater effect than a hostile attitude, where you can damage your brand and your relationships.

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
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

Difficult conversations

A new employee in the team a few years in full time work shared with me his concerns about having difficult conversations. He said he is not looking forward to the conversations I have to have with various customers. I was curious as to why, he said they are really difficult you are sharing information with the customer, they really don’t want to hear.

difficult conversations v2

I asked how did the customer respond when I delivered the news around the real challenges not perceived challenges by the customer in a customer meeting a few days prior to the catch up. He responded the customer was really appreciative of you sharing your insights.

Trust is built when we share insights and information that the recipient has not considered.

My belief is that I have a duty of care to provide information that has not been previously considered, so better outcomes can be achieved.

The new employees perception and beliefs play a big part on the approach. He felt very uncomfortable with the information being delivered, he saw it as challenging. The frame of reference for him was delivering bad news, mine was delivering important information to help them be successful.

The same is true when we have performance issues with employees. When we approach it in the frame of mind, I want to help and ensure success, as opposed to you have let me down, your message lands in a supportive as opposed to judgmental way.

What is you intention when approaching a difficult conversation?

Is the intention one of support and advice? If yes go ahead, if no, rethink your own intentions and take the time to approach at a time when you are in a better mind set to have the conversation.

Categories
Book Quotes Mentoring

Eckhart Tolle- The power of now

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This book is life changing.  Why? We are all on a journey, to find meaning and peace, this book is thought provoking and challenges how we live. The book really helps you understand what is important.

Life’s meaning for me, is to help people. I love helping people, whether its to realise their dreams or overcome career obstacles, setting up a business or supporting them in a transition. I feel most for-filled and at peace with myself when I support others.

Eckhart talks to the Egotistical mind and it constantly wanting more. When we control the cravings we find peace and happiness. When we give into them, we find ourselves on the treadmill always looking for the next fix.

These are three of my favourite exerts from the book:

  1. Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving.
  2. Carl Jung also tells the story of the Native American chief who said The whites always want something, they are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.
  3. Peace comes from controlling the egotistical mind and also mind strategies that avoid the now: when we make the present the enemy, we feel we are being taken advantage of, neglected we need to drop the negativity the mind has created around the situation or we need to stop and speak to the person concerned and express fully what you feel. One or the other, as not doing this is a huge emotional drain.

This is a book that really makes take a hard look at yourself. Life changing

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Eckhart-Tolle/dp/B0095GVWMA

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Eckhart-Tolle/dp/B0095GVWMA

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Eckhart-Tolle/dp/B0095GVWMA

Categories
Personal development Strategy

Running with the baton v’s ping pong

Companies use the terms CX, NPS, CSAT , but unless your company employees run with the baton, customer experience will always be poor.

Customers hate being passed around from person to person, re explaining their needs. They want to have some one run it to ground to get the outcome for their Customer.

The converse is ping pong, where you get handed from one person to the other, no ownership, just someone trying to move you into someone else’s queue. The lack of ownership or willingness to find the answer, leads to hours of frustration and no outcome and appalling CX.

How do you build a culture of running with the baton?

1. Recognise great behaviour by calling out individuals demonstrating the traits

2. Build it into your values and call it out

3. Build a knowledge base to accelerate finding the answers

4. Be careful not to create a band aid, ensure the root cause is identified and an owner assigned to fix the underlying process.

5. Make sure the customer is updated regularly. Even if there is no news. Better to check in regularly than leave the customer guessing

Next time you deal with a frustrated customer run with the baton.