EMOJIS, EXPERIMENT, ENERGY, EXPERT & EMOTION (& Elisabeth Murdoch)

Emojis, Experiment, Energy, Expert & Emotion ( & Elisabeth Murdoch)

A great statue of a great women … who no doubt contributed to the Frankston Art Centre where the BITE Business Conference was hosted, sponsored by Frankston City Council.

A great statue of a great women … who no doubt contributed to the Frankston Art Centre where the BITE Business Conference was hosted, sponsored by Frankston City Council.

The B.I.T.E conference hosted in Frankston by SMART Solutions (Accounting Practice) and partly sponsored by Frankston City Council (great to see may rates at work) exceeded my expectations, yet again.

The entertainment was hilarious.

Andrew Morello traveled from the west to ‘'edutain’' us, keeping the day moving from one great speaker to the next.

Taking lessons from ancient Egypt and the Chinese language, we’ve refined using pictures as our communication on technology using almost 3000 Emojis. However, when the Poo emoji is mistaken for Chocolate Mr Whippy, we still have our work cut out to communicate more effectively using our devices and our mouth!

To keep up with changes and to make progress we do need to experiment. It’s critical to stretch our thinking, sooth our skepticism and determine if these new approaches give us energy. Because, Energy is our Currency.

Steve Sammartino looking flashy in those red shoes.

Steve Sammartino looking flashy in those red shoes.

Be the expert, use your voice to be known for what you know and let’s hear your story. Enable people to talk about you.

And don’t let your emotion prevent your success; allow logic to catch up with your emotion by having that internal conversation to determine ‘should I say what I am feeling and experiencing, right now?’

And finally, be a leader that concedes that they don’t need to be right. Allow the talented folk who you hire and acquire to be right at what they know about the world through their eyes.

 Speakers:

Sharon Kneale (Time2Talk Leadership) Trent Innes (Xero), Susan Wright (Q Strategies), Jim Mullan (Secondbite), Michael Licenblat (Bounce Back Fast), Sue Ellson (LinkedIn Specialist) & Shannon Smit (Smart Business Solutions)

Love these words of wisdom from Dr Seuss!

Love these words of wisdom from Dr Seuss!

20 Tips To Lead with Resilience & Emotional Intelligence

LEADING WITH RESILIENCE & EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

The Female Factor is a leadership program for women to boost their confidence and have a positive presence in their business, workplace and community. Women have the X Factor, the chromosomal difference which when celebrated, and lived, makes a remarkable difference to the lives of others.

The Female Factor is a leadership program for women to boost their confidence and have a positive presence in their business, workplace and community. Women have the X Factor, the chromosomal difference which when celebrated, and lived, makes a remarkable difference to the lives of others.

To future-proof yourself, your career, your business, your workplace and community, we look to building skills, furthering our knowledge, increasing our connections and continue to squeeze in doing a bloody good job at our current role, or should I say, roles.

Taking on additional roles, for women, is just in our DNA; we need to boost our resilience and our emotional intelligence to maintain the momentum and tuned into our mind, body & soul.

We need to consciously build our muscles and skills in these two areas, resilience and emotional intelligence, to enable us to lead our life, business and a workplace.

These 20 tips, which I’ve gathered through observation, my reading, research, my own practice and through the many conversations with women on my The Female Factor Leadership Program.

 

I’ve categorized these tips into three levels:

PREPARATION – start with the internal; think and feel, don’t rush in too quickly, get yourself mentally and emotionally prepared

PRACTISE – share the practice by practising together, creating a movement by being a role-model and holding yourself accountable; people will begin to expect what you expect and more likely to follow your lead

PERMANENCY – consider achieving a habit status of being resilient and emotionally intelligent.

 

PREPARATION

Principles: re-evaluate your principles and consider how these align with resilience & emotional intelligence. Being principally minded means saying “no” when necessary if you find you are hurtling down the old familiar track of saying “yes” to please, when behaviours are disconnected from what’s most important to you.

People Person: have a mindset that you are a ‘people person’ with the intent to set your team up for effective, happy and positive work experiences. With a desire to achieve this goal, you know that you need to be more mindful of how you work and lead people.

Picture of Shared Success: move from being self-centred to a place of shared success. Continually visualise how ‘we can do this together’, remind yourself that you’re not on your own, that asking for help is normal and that asking for others’ point of views is sharing the load.

Perspective: a critical element of emotional intelligence is gaining perspective about what’s important and what’s a waste of your energy. Recognise that you are human and that it’s tough to keep focused. Humans are social beings and appreciate social connection, not just pumping out volumes of work.

Permission: give yourself permission to be vulnerable and apply a new approach to how you operate – give yourself permission to talk about how you’re feeling and how you want to feel. The Female Factor is about celebrating your feelings.

Ponder thoughts: question yourself about your feelings. Have an internal conversation and journal your thoughts about your feelings. This is one of your first emotionally intelligent practices to make a change in your leadership style. Insight and hindsight open the door to foresight – the aim to use your X factor in The Female Factor.

Purpose: remind yourself of your purpose of being resilient and tuning into your emotional intelligence. Write yourself a mantra or put a reminder on your phone – let it be the purpose of your day.

 

PRACTISE

Passion: pour your passion into exercising your resilience and emotional intelligence and it will do the heavy lifting.

Presence: your presence captures the hearts and minds of the people in the room in which you walk into; it’s how you converse, approach people, engage and leave the room. How you hold yourself and communicate, is determined by your resilience and your emotional framework.

Pause: before you react to something or with someone, PAUSE and consider how you could respond better, knowing what you know about other people, your PAUSE is your weapon of choice.

Partner with your Team be their coach, help them learn and increase their performance. Be sincere and humble. Don’t be a ‘know all’, rather partner up and practise and learn together.

Power: know that your power can be perceived positively and negatively; be in control of your own power, in your language and actions. Being ‘right all the time’ and your status can damage the resilience and relationship with others. Use your power for the force of good. Apologize when you wouldn’t to value your relationship over your ego.

Positive Interactions: look for opportunities to find positive interactions with team members which you can provide positive feedback. The biggest disconnect in business is feedback – we don’t reassure and reinforce what we expect.

Point of View: leaders need to be trusted, quickly, and what engenders this trust is being heard, empathised with understood. Your point of view is secondary. It’s paramount to hear your team and colleagues’ point of view to reduce fear, anxiety and create hope and joy in the workplace.

Protect your feelings: become more aware of how you respond to feedback (verbal and your body language). Flip how you react and respond and welcome any feedback as being helpful feedback – whether that be about yourself or a ‘window’ into understanding the other person better.

 

PERMANENCY

Perfection: this is the enemy of the good – don’t believe it will happen overnight and don’t believe it will have an end – you’ll always be aiming to practise to be perfect and the goal posts will move, and you’ll be tested to the core. Focus on practising, not perfecting.

Personal Plan: sharpen your Emotional Intelligence by making time to purposely behave with emotional intelligence and record reactions and responses. Plan to maintain your resilience by equipping your resources into the categories of emotional, physical, mental and social which you can tap into when needed.

Practise the Practice: continue to share with your team that you’re practising resilience and emotional intelligence to heighten their awareness of the behaviours which make the difference.

Persistence – keep at it, keep practising, keep experimenting, keep tweaking and above all, remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Permanent – as James Clear said in his book, Atomic Habits, it may take 10,000 hours to form a new habit. Good Luck to make your resilient and emotional intelligence, permanent!

Please connect and contribute to this list of my tips to practise and in particular, lead others in Resilience and Emotional Intelligence. There so many wonderful practices practised by people which I haven’t captured. Your sharing will boost the resilience of other women.

For details about The Female Factor - CLICK HERE

To connect with me and discuss how we can potentially work together - CLICK HERE

THE X FACTOR - THE FEMALE FACTOR

THE X FACTOR - THE FEMALE FACTOR

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Champagne Consultants

In my recent ‘Champagne Consultants’ meeting, they’re my Brains Trust, their feedback hit me; “when you talk about the work you do with women, The Female Factor, your face lights up.”

It’s interesting what others observe in us when we’re in the arena.

What subject makes your face light up?

My subject is ‘Women and the need to have more female leaders in our business and community.

I’ve deducted that women carry so much baggage from their current and past roles, including home and work life, that they’re exhausted when they arrive into the present; too weighed down, missing opportunities which require them to make a sprint.

My goal is to take their baggage, unpack it, repack it with items which will never date and remove what’s unfashionably heavy and holding them back.

I recall wearing a grey suit to the office and I immediately felt ‘one of them’ – a feeling which I was unconsciously aiming to achieve. I was generally one of the few females in the office. When I reflect on my wardrobe’s era, it was a beautiful suit, however I wore it the least. I was the one wearing the canary yellow, the red and the green suit … I was fighting for my seat at the table, to be seen and heard!

It’s not 1920; it’s 2019 and before we know it, it will be 2020.

How do you want our workplaces to feel and appeal to your crew, clients and colleagues?

I don’t and shouldn’t need to share this, but I’m going to.

Women are unique; to begin with, they have the X factor – they have an extra X Chromosome. This chromosome gives us the estrogen which filtrates our bodies, think of periods, pregnancy, post-natal depression, inability to fall pregnant and then it depletes when we travel through menopause. (I’m not going to linger here – that’s another story.)  These bodies of ours are wired differently. And then, there are the emotions associated with all these changes!

Women can’t be treated equal; we are unique. We bring a different and diverse set of behaviours, strengths and feelings to the table which are needed for fair appraisal of decisions in the workplace.

More men need to sit at the table – the kitchen table (Who said that?) and more women need to sit at the boardroom table.

We are all responsible to have women at the table yet it’s reliant that there is a belief and desire to be in these leadership positions. Whether it’s leading a project, being the gatekeeper to the CEO (there are some awesome EAs) or a first-time team leader.

My 12-year-old daughter proclaimed this week that she’s going to become the Prime Minister of Australia. She’s disillusioned with the behaviour of the male leaders. Only three years earlier she was surprised that I had a female doctor; she believed only men were doctors and women were nurses.

There’s a gender deafness when there is only one women in parliament.

We are stuck; sadly, women are stuck because we are invisible. There are so few women at the table that men don’t notice us, let alone hear us. As Julie Bishop, former Foreign Minister in the Australian Federal Government said, “there’s a gender deafness when there is only one (or a few) women in Parliament.”

There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support each other.

And worse still, some women, don’t support each other. It’s one of the worst offences in business and I believe there should be a punishable charge for being guilty of this inaction. Madeleine Albright, First Female Secretary of State of the United States of America said, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support each other.”

What got you here, won’t get you there.

Being stuck needs action. You may know or not know you are stuck. And being pulled out is a step in the right direction; a woman needs to take control; make a choice of the change she wants to see and develop a system of behaviours to make that happen. What got you here, won’t get you there as Marshall Goldsmith, world leader in the art of coaching, told us on the front cover of his 2007 book.

Or, maybe the woman has been thrown in the deep end, into a position with no training or experience. She’ll have the technical expertise yet missed receiving the manual to follow the function of a leader.

Let’s proactively help women around us. Whether you’re a man or woman reading this (thanks for staying with me) we need to act.

Women are less likely to do this alone - they have less ego and bravado of her male counterparts. I suspect this stems from the testosterone levels in their chromosomal composition! Men sit, stand, speak, show and share differently.  Sadly, we want to be treated equal, when, how can we? What we want, is to be included. The more we seek equality, the more closed we become at seeing our uniqueness.

Let’s concentrate on enabling females to become who they are and ask males to make space at the table for the female heads, hearts, and hands.

 

THE FEMALE FACTOR – A LEADERSHIP PROGRAM TO FUTURE PROOF YOU & YOUR BUSINESS

The Female Factor was created when a client solidified what I was observing in client workplaces. She said, “we need to help women with a ladder of frameworks, tools, techniques and tips to have presence in the room to confidently speak and take a lead.”

The speed to arrive at achieving this confidence and presence isn’t breaking any records. If anything, some businesses should be charged for going too slow, if not backwards. Those racing ahead have role-models, mentors and coaches and a clearly defined map.

However, life isn’t always laid out that way and often the confidence prohibits the urgency to request help.

I’ve researched this desire and business requirement and created a system to fast-track women to an awareness of the route on the map and arrive at where X marks the spot.

 

These are five factors for the journey to arrive at The Female X Factor:

1.      Know your fundamental motive - your reason, purpose, philosophy, drive and allow these to do the heavy lifting when you find yourself failing.

2.      Be the force. Be strong and identify with your leadership style. Find folk who will lift you, challenge you, sing your praise and remind you to play to your strengths.

3.      Be flexible rather than fixed with your communication. Use your three key intelligence: emotional, conversational and relational to build and give trust.

4.      Flip your thinking and focus on what you can confidently do and watch your facade take on a reputational presence.

5.      Find opportunities to continue learning, experimenting with the exercises, connecting with other female leaders and developing your super X factor.

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Investing in women/yourself, giving permission to someone to guide you to focus on what is more effective for your performance, rather than listening to the loudest voice, the one in your head is the ultimate approach to an agile mindset, ready and flexible to grow the X Factor.

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Psychological Safety

Warming up the room. Making the space safe & creating trustworthiness.

When I work with women, I mold a psychologically safe space to connect and communicate, to be open to hear new and wise words. And, when women get together, there’s a vibe which feels like an electric blanket on a cold evening in a strange bed. There’s an immediate warmth which enables you to quickly relax and feel comfortable and trusted.

The pace of business is demanding that we provide professional development in shorter sessions, aka masterclasses, hosted in the early hours of the day or as evening classes to cause minimal interruption to the business.  Although we know there is tremendous outcomes associated with having day long focused sessions, thankfully I have tested its ability to be delivered over multiple sessions.

Now is the time to consider how it’s possible to create the opportunity for the women in your organisation to get together and celebrate their uniqueness, differentiate themselves from their male counterparts and think and focus on their future as leaders of their workplace and community.

Let’s connect to have that conversations.

 A SPECIAL PROJECT - THE FEMALE FACTOR FOR SOLE TRADERS

One of my projects is hosting a group of women who don’t have business/corporate/government funding to participate in The Female Factor. I’m thinking entrepreneurs, small business operators, sole traders, freelancers and consultants.

Do you fit one of these categories?

I want to offer you the opportunity to participate on this program. This may involve some face-to-face (the more the better) or by virtual connection and a conversation hub to enable you to create your own X Factor Tribe.

Who do you know who would sponsor this project? Are you a government department leader who values the growth of women leaders or you’d like to leave a legacy, investing in female leadership?

I’d welcome this very important conversation.

 

WHY DO WE SUCK AT FEEDBACK?

why do we suck at feedback?

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The real question I want to ask is, why do we invest so heavily into Performance Management Systems rather than creating feedback skills as the fundamental component of the workplace culture?

Organisations continue to focus on the perfection of their performance system when the complex problem to solve is the practice of effective daily conversations which includes performance feedback.

Consequence: Employees leave managers, not companies

What I find, when talking with people, is that so many feedback opportunities are missed. Whether you’re walking down the corridor or sitting in a meeting together, it only takes a few minutes to provide the feedback which could be a game-changer for someone.

Maybe we think by saying “You did a good job” or writing an email advising a team member “I noticed you were late for a meeting” is good enough.

Nope – it’s not good enough.

It is essential when providing feedback, is that it is rich in data, it’s interactive, given with the honest intent to increase the performance of that person (or team), and that it makes an impact. And you know that it makes an impact because the communication flows and loops and there is action.

 Between the intent and the impact is where the skill comes into play.

 Research: It’s more than a hunch

Research tells us that people leave their manager, they don’t leave their company. Read that again.

In the 2015 Gallup Survey ‘The State of the American Manager’, 50% of people interviewed had left their company, at some stage in their career, to escape their manager.

People observe you. If you’re a manager/CEO/people leader, staff watch and listen to you, and have expectations of you in your role. They want you to action or at least feedback to them there is or isn’t progress.

And closer to home, Heads Up, the workplace educational unit at Beyond Blue in Australia, tells us that Psychological mental health is exacerbated when there is a lack of feedback about performance. And the cost associated with unhealthy workplaces which cause depression and anxiety costs Australian workplaces $10.8 Billion each year in lost productivity and compensation expenses.

Fact: Feedback motivates people

Motivating people might involve giving them a bonus but true motivation is the conversation that you have which acknowledges their effort, skill and the impact they’ve made. The effort and time you take to identify where they can improve, change or increase their performance is what motivates them.

Humans have an intrinsic motive to know that they’ve done a good job – so they’re expecting your recognition and praise – this is your opportunity to give feedback.

Martin Seligman, ‘father’ of Positive Psychology created the model, PERMA which identifies the elements that help people lead happy and fulfilling lives. Positive emotions (feeling good), Engagement (finding flow – immersion in what we do), Relationships (connections with people that you trust), Meaning (understand impact of life’s work), and Accomplishments (push us to thrive & flourish). Essentially, if your communication is constant and your feedback is welcomed, you’re helping people find true happiness in what they do while they work with you.

Martin Seligman’s PERMA model - understanding how to help people search for their happiness in their work assists you have rich conversations.

Martin Seligman’s PERMA model - understanding how to help people search for their happiness in their work assists you have rich conversations.

As Andy Grove, (former CEO & Co-founder of Intel) said, “a manager can damage morale, motivation and productivity of their teams based on their actions, or inaction. According to the Gallup’s study of managers, they found that the manager accounts for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.” The manager has such an important role, it rises above their technical expertise.

Ken Blanchard (PhD, management expert, author) coined the phrase, Feedback is the breakfast of Champions. And, Peter Drucker (author, management expert) told us that Culture eats Strategy for breakfast. What I say is, if you have a culture which is continually engaged in conversations including feedback – no matter which role a person is in, then you’ll make it to lunch!

 The Key Act: Follow up with Feedback

We spend days setting strategy, creating objectives for our people to achieve and identifying the key results to focus on and specific actions to complete (add up all those hours) – yet, what hours do we spend following up their progress?

I’m excited when I hear leaders tell me that the spend 5-10 minutes every week following up the people in their reach, providing feedback, seeking feedback and solving problems together. What disappoints me is when I hear staff tell me that they only receive feedback at their annual performance review (which they’ve written themselves).

Checking in on a daily, weekly or stretched out to monthly (depends on you and the individual) is a goal to set to seek and give feedback on performance.

“Hey, let’s talk about the presentation to the board. I’m confused about two items which you raised – can we discuss it now? There is no blaming here – it’s a good example of accountability of follow up feedback. This gives you the data and permission to keep the conversation alive and online.

 The Feedback Goal: Feedback makes an impact

Consider the best feedback you’ve ever received.

Who gave it to you? What did they say?

I recall being told I said “OK” numerous times (try 70!) during a 45-minute practice presentation. Wow, it hit me like a tonne of bricks – I was totally unaware that I was an OK factory! That was almost 30 years ago, and I still recall receiving this piece of feedback. It was delivered directly, it wasn’t sugar coated, and I was thankful for their honesty.

What feedback could you give, right now, to someone in your workplace?

What would you say?

How would you say it so that it lands well and creates a positive conversation?

I hope this stretches your holding zone. Moving from your place in the comfort zone to the stretch zone or better still, I hope it freaks you out! And, quite rightly, it will freak you out because most of us suck at it.

 The Workplace Goal: Let’s create Feedback opportunities

These opportunities present themselves every day, every hour and every minute.

It’s important that you observe people or at least hear them. You could be in a meeting, watching a staff member serve a customer or be in the middle of a conversation with a colleague.

If you see what you want to see or hear what you don’t want to hear – act as close to this moment as possible. Catch people doing the right thing and stop the wrong thing reoccurring.

I have a client whose leadership team shares and seeks feedback at each meeting. They commence with observed ‘strengths ‘in play and the impact they’ve witnessed and secondly, they (now) confidently share where they have ‘overdone the strength’ – with the outcome being a negative impact. This has been a game changer for this organisation. They have very quickly come a culture of feedback.

 The Workplace Skill: Giving & Receiving Feedback

It takes skill to say it with the right intent, in a timely manner, in the right way to make the other person feel alright about receiving the feedback.

Everyone needs to be on board to know that it’s their role to receive feedback. And, that they have permission, that they are accountable to give feedback too.

Here’s an example of feedback which I recently received:

Louise, thank-you (gratitude) for your prompt response with the information I requested (specific task identified) it enabled me to quickly complete an important task for a client (connecting my involvement) – my client was surprised with the promptness and it looks like we may be closer to working on the project together. I really appreciate your help. (Impact)

There are many ‘right ways’ to give feedback – models, methods and frameworks which work for different situations and personalities.

Don’t get stuck using one technique – it might not be the right feedback technique for every situation and individual.

The Four F model is a great Feedback model - one of many which I share with clients during workshops.

The Four F model is a great Feedback model - one of many which I share with clients during workshops.

 The Feedback Challenge: What will you do now?

If your intent is to positively improve the performance of your people, it’s clear what impact you’re seeking, then I can fill the ‘skill’ void – I will use suite of intelligence tools needed to seamlessly seal the intent.

If you are the CEO/the boss, then you can set yourself a key result of giving feedback every day.

How about you start today.

Your challenge is: to give feedback to three people and ask one person for feedback.

When receiving feedback, don’t accept, “you’re doing a good job”; rather respond with, “thanks, would you tell me specifically what I did today that you thought was good.”

Once you have your Feedback Skills embedded into your culture, and you no longer suck at it, you’ll question if you really need a Performance Management System or you’ll be surprised how more effective the process of appraisals becomes when Feedback is at the core.

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My seasonal focus is Feedback. If you value communication in your workplace, please read my White Paper on Feedback Skills, Click Here to request a copy.

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