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

WHY DO WE SUCK AT FEEDBACK?

why do we suck at feedback?

feedback.jpg

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.

Autumn special feedback skills.png

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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DISRUPTING HR IN A VUCA WORLD

Lucy Adams disrupts the world of Human Resources. She offers solutions to turn HR on it’s head to be more about the people opposed to a focus on the policy of people.

Read More

WHAT'S YOUR PROVOCATIVE QUESTION?

WHAT’S YOUR PROVOCATIVE QUESTION?

What do you collect?

I’ve met collectors of shoes, cars, houses and recipes! I simply or crazily collect questions.

Great questions can: transform a superficial conversation into an extraordinary relationship; unlock the real you … someone whom you thought you really knew and questions can elevate your happiness (think: Will you marry me?)

I glean questions at every opportunity. I record them, highlight them in a book, send myself recorded messages when I hear questions and their answers – quite alarming when I think of it!

So, it was very exciting to be handed a book which was filled with questions. That’s a Great Question, written or should I say, collated by Greg Bustin, provides on a platter, hundreds of tried and tested provacative questions, categorized into themed chapters – handy if you’re coaching others or as I found myself, using it as a self-help coaching book. Don’t be fooled thinking it’s a one hour read!

This book is your ideal, end of year practical exercise to prepare for 2017. As Greg suggests, take yourself away from your normal space; go hiking, block out a day to work through this book. Surprisingly, I am still reading this book today (Sunday) as I have found myself continually stopping in search on the answers.

In my business this week, we completed a mini-skills session with a client – exploring a couple of models to coach staff. I am always amazed how people come to realise how powerful a conversation becomes by using great questions to dig and discover.

Greg says that using questions effectively is like a dance. I agree. It’s not a checklist. It’s a conversation which you can exercise your lead but it’s about two people committed to working together. Whilst it might not look like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers on the dancefloor, it should feel like a performance (of achievement).

Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers - Courtesy of DHC Treasures

I couldn’t decide on a favourite question to share; so I’ve selected a few from a few of the thoughtfully categorised sections of the book. Use these on yourself and be surprised how time consuming it can be truthfully respond.

Purpose

If our company did not exist, what would the world be missing?What gives me a sense of certainty?

Values

What’s one principle I wished everyone practised?

Goal Setting

If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?

Trust

What am I kidding myself about?

How do I respond when I place my trust in someone and they let me down?

Communication

If a stranger walked in and asked any employee about our vision, mission and strategy, what would they hear?

Leadership

Do I behave differently in the office than at home? If so, in what ways? If so, what causes my behaviour to differ from place to place?

Time Management

If I tracked my time in 30 minute increments for a month, what would I find? Is this how I should spend my time?

Talent + Teamwork

Who are five people I spend most of my time with? Are they helping me or holding me back?

What am I doing to help make this job the best job my people have ever had?

Customer + Prospects

What memorable experience are we creating with our customers?

Making Things Happen

Do we measure the things that are important to us?

Are we having fun? Am I having fun?

Accountability

Whose job am I doing today? (I do like this question.)

Blue Sky

What would I do if I didn’t work?

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. – Albert Einstein

 

The book provides tips to help you coach others effectively, how to structure your questions, which words to never use and rules to abide by to establish a trusting relationship where private information is shared.

My greatest tip for you is to use the book on yourself first. Leadership works well when there is authentic self-awareness. Let this book be your gift to others by getting yourself ready for an awesome 2017. Alternatively, gift yourself a Coach for 2017 and get in contact with me to discover your best self.

 

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

EGO - YOUR ENEMY?

Is Ego your Enemy?

In the ‘70s, Skyhooks, an iconic Australian band, had a hit song, ‘Ego is not a dirty word’. So iconic, that the mere mention of the word “Ego” sends the Australian (of my era) mind into a lyric mode. (Am I right?)

I grew up believing that Ego wasn’t a dirty word however in recent reads, ‘ego’ has raised its head as the culprit and the demise of so many known identifies. Ego caught my eye while book browsing and this week I read Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday, a New York media columnist, reformed workaholic and historian.

To be told that ego is the enemy, the reason for so much sadness, failures, and unfulfilled dreams, proved a challenging read. However, as I flicked through the pages, it proved to be an interesting, informative and I must say, influential read. If a book can change your view on a matter then it’s been a worthy read. I was really challenged by this book’s content– more so than any other book I’ve read during my self-imposed reading ‘challenge’. Ryan’s style is sophisticated, yet soothing with so many stories and his blatantly biased beliefs.

With his rich source of historical stories and fact, I found the read a most educative read – it’s saved me reading 20+ historical books – learning about his choice of individuals who have either suffered their own demise of egotism or mastered a humble life. I feel most informed about; Aristotle, Churchill, Machiavelli, General Marshall, Howard Hughes, Genghis Khan, Benjamin Franklin, Katharine Graham, Angela Merkel, Malcolm X, Steve Jobs and Adam Smith.  

Chancellor Angela Merkel is sober, when far too many leaders are intoxicated - with ego, with power, with position.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is sober, when far too many leaders are intoxicated - with ego, with power, with position.

The ego we see most commonly goes by a more casual definition: an unhealthy belief in your own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition.

The book is organised into three sections: Aspire, Success, and Failure. Purposely designed to heighten your awareness when ego will plague you, encouraging you to start your training to suppress ego and to replace the temptations and cultivate strength. In other words: be humble in our aspirations, gracious in our success and resilient in our failures.

I would expect that my many extroverted mates will be intimidated with the views scattered through the book and suspect that 51% of the population, the introverts in our world, will agree with the populated world of extroverts who are overly noisy about their passion for sharing in their egotistical manner!

WHEREVER YOU ARE, WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING, YOUR WORST ENEMY ALREADY LIVES INSIDE YOU: YOUR EGO.

I found myself sinking into thoughts of the past, using this new Ego lens to view people’s performance, behaviours and management of matters. Ego has taken the paramount place in guiding their choices and humility has been left behind.

I suspect that this book would be a great gift for that person who’s Ego needs taming or needs some training.

I’ve been following Ryan on Twitter for the past week and he shares an abundance of historical quotes.  This is evidently his style as the book is saturated with wisdom and challenging thoughts. To master our greatest opponent, our ego, let’s contemplete these thoughts:

·        Passion typically masks a weakness – it is a poor substitute for discipline, master, strength, purpose and perseverance.

·        We tend to think that ego equals confidence, which is what we need to be in charge. In fact, it can have the opposite effect.

·        Pride blunts the very instrument we need to own in order to succeed: our mind.

·        Passion is form over function. Purpose is function, function, function.

·        What is rare is not raw talent, skill or even confidence but humility, diligence and self-awareness

·        The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.

·        Talk depletes us – while goal visualisation is important, after a certain point our mind begins to confuse it with actual progress – the same goes for verbalization.

·        The only relationship between work and chatter is that one kills the other.

·        If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity.

·        Only when free of ego and baggage can anyone perform to their utmost.

·        When we remove ego, we’re left with what is real.

·        It is poise, not pose.

·        One might say that the ability to evaluate one’s own ability is the most important skill of all. Without it, improvement is impossible.

·        Don’t allow your ego’s noise to indulge in games – ignore the noise, don’t allow it to distract you. Restraint is a critical skill.

·        Man is pushed by drives but he is pulled by values.

·        Disease of Me – after a team starts to win, the simple bonds that joined the individuals begin to fray – people calculate their importance.

·        Silence the noise around you; ‘go into the wilderness and return with inspiration, a plan, perspective and an understanding of the larger picture.

·        Creativity is a matter of receptiveness and recognition. This cannot happen if you’re convinced the world revolves around you.

·        Power doesn’t so much corrupt: that’s too simple. It fragments, closes options, mesmerizes – clouds the mind precisely when it needs to be clear. Sobriety is a counterbalance, a hangover cure – or better, a prevention method.

·        Ego can’t see both sides of the issue. It can’t get better because it only sees the validation.

·        Vain men never hear anything but praise.

·        Not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.

A great metaphor is shared regarding training to master your ego. Training is like sweeping the floor. Just because we’ve done it once, doesn’t mean the floor is clean forever. Every day dust comes back. Every day we must sweep. (Every minute of the day and then sweep again.)

If you struggle with the discipline of changing your behaviour, it's worth considering asking for guidance. Get in contact with me to help you with your ego.

I’m looking forward to my 20th book which I found in my library – it’s by Donald Trump! 

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

Linkedin's Holy Grail

Linkedin's Holy Grail

I’ll admit that I’ve never been a fan of LinkedIn. I’ve found it clunky, awkward to navigate and discussion is limited.  However, knowing that Linkedin has had a dramatic impact on the way business is done and has been a game changer for us professionals I have persisted.

Thankfully upon a friend’s recommendation (hearing me whinge too often) Connect arrived in the mail.  I was pleasantly surprised flicking through the pages how quickly I found a handful of useful tips which I could immediately implement to improve my profile. I’ve now read the whole book (only takes a few hours) and realised with 40 post-it notes tagging pages to action, that I had found Linkedin’s Holy Grail!

 

 

Authors Jane Anderson, a personal branding expert and Kylie Chown, a LinkedIn Branding expert, have produced an old fashioned paper manual. Yep, Connect contains screen shots, steps and cross dressed it with client case studies, stories, activities, reflections and actions. I scored 78 out of a potential 160 points on my Linkedin Self-Assessment which determined quite clearly that my LinkedIn profile wasn’t working for me. And I was hooked!

I’m looking forward to taming this social media monster by spending seven minutes a day once I’m implemented the ‘Holy Grail’s advice.

My immediate attention was drawn to:

Complete a google search on yourself – where do you turn up? I hope it’s not the second page. This relates to SEO – search engine optimisation – and the tip is to use key words which help you be found and be marketable. I immediately changed my headline which was missing a crucial word in my business – development.

Don’t talk about the past, tell people about your vision and future plans. This stopped me in my tracks. So many folk, including myself, use LinkedIn as their on-line Bio/CV/Resume. The tip is to decide, what you want to achieve with LinkedIn. And, you only have four seconds to grab their attention.

If 19% of the time is spent looking at your photo, is it portraying what you want to achieve? My current photo is a professional photo, however, taken four years ago and it wasn’t planned for social media usage. I’ve decided it’s time to update my headshot. (I’ve actually suggested to a group of women that we do this at the same time.)

Be active and connect in Groups. There is likely to be a group of people who are interested in what you’re passionate about, or share your expertise. I found myself reconnecting with a group of consultants from around the world who share in the use of a common personality profile tool. Again, an immediate outcome of learning what others are doing in their business practice.

Personalise your connection messages and acknowledge people who ask to connect with you e.g. ask them if you can be of any help. How many times have you connected and not said “Hello?” And, here’s the icing on the cake – take notes and add reminders about your connection in the ‘relationships’ section. Who would have known?!

Whilst I’m yet to implement these many changes, I’m now confident I know how to make Linkedin work for me, and appreciate its features. I’m particularly enjoying being proactive connecting with people whose profile clearly identifies with my latest project. I’m saving time connecting with people and meeting them. Tick!

What’s your profile saying? Are you being found for what you want to be found for?

If you are yet to conquer the quest of taming Linkedin, then I highly recommend grabbing Connect. Or, if you’re time poor, I suppose you could ask Jane and Kylie to do it for you!

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

All eyes are on you

Our society is becoming increasingly under video surveillance; we have cameras on all city corners, YouTube is the most watched global channel which is made up of 'home made videos' and our life is being captured on on all forms of social media and devices 24/7. 

Our life is one long play button!

Our life is one long play button!

So, it's disappointing when you observe a leader in action and they are sending all the wrong messages ... even before they open their mouth!

We have devices in our hands (almost attached) which provide the functionality to record these behaviours - whether that be action or sound. However, we don't proactively catch ourselves, let alone ask others to assist in collecting data for a factual conversation.

I was providing feedback to a client recently about the benefit of their need to show some emotion when they're experiencing conflict. Bottling it inside doesn't aid their health and keeping a poker face doesn't allow others to understand their thoughts and feelings about the change.

We have never been so visible - we are 'on stage' in a leadership position. ALL EYES ARE ON YOU - whether that's from admiration, respect or waiting for you to slip up.

Rolling your eyes, taking calls in the middle of a meeting, being sarcastic, making derogatory comments about team mates/colleagues/clients/managers and making deflective comments (which my 8 year old would use - " they made me do it") are totally unacceptable.

If this has touched a nerve, do yourself and in particular, your people a favor - ask for feedback from someone who will be honest or use the video app on your device to capture your body language - there really are no excuses in today's tech savvy world.

You are accountable for your leadership performance and it's possible to make small changes which will make dramatic changes to your business and importantly the people you influence. 

 

 

 

 

No news is good news!

No news is good news!

In today's tech savvy world there is no excuse for no news. If you have no news, there is an appetite to still hear or understand that there is no news, no change or no update!

Most of us are attached to our devices and reading or hearing nothing is excruciating!

Whilst I type this in jest, how many times do you look at your device to check for expected messages?

I stood quietly for 150 minutes in a NZ airport queue with not one announcement. Asking 'airport' staff politely for an update didn't provide any satisfaction so I wasn't surprised when I heard later (whilst still at the airport) that things got 'ugly'.

How easy would it be for all us to be advised to tune into a channel on our device (in our preferred language) and advised with a prerecorded or live update. Or encourage passengers to use twitter and follow the airline/airport for 5 min updates. These are two simple solutions to share any news - even 'no news'!

If leadership is about influencing, then consider yourself accountable for keeping people informed. And, give people the option on how they want to receive the news: social media, email, website or face-to-face are options.

When I ask people "how frequently does your organisation keep you updated with news?" the response is varied. One statement I've not yet heard is: I wish they would slow down, they keep us up-to-date too regularly.

Pop this thought on your radar and be more aware of keeping people connected with news. Good news and no news!

 

 

 

What turns you on? People, Performance or Process?

What turns you on?

PEOPLE, PERFORMANCE OR PROCESS?

Do you have a natural inclination to be drawn to one of these three options?

Are you one who is accommodating and generally fueled by the interests of people?

Or, is it the outcome and in particular the performance that draws your attention?

Then there is process, are you more interested in how things work or come together?

I'm a performance person. Today I set me kids a challenge chart and they are busy building a boat at the moment. They've decided to make it a competition which excites me even more!

Whether you are a people, performance or a process driven person, you've got to understand that your communication preference doesn't work for others if you're driven by different motives. Fortunately, my two kids are excited with most challenges, so I talk in the 'performance' language - my native tongue!

With the constant change in our lives, we must be multi-lingual to ensure we maintain our relationships rather than mismanage them. Many folks are bi-lingual, they have two preference e.g. people & performance or process & people. This is more complex to interpret and many play the guessing game rather than get smart with their communications.

If you don't know the motivation language of your team or anyone who you have a vested interest in - then we need to talk ... now!

Which Conversation Is Necessary?

Last week, I was work-shopping 'Coaching' with a small group of leaders and a 'problem' case study was presented by a member of the group to use as an opportunity to practise their understanding of coaching and new found knowledge. We were briefed by the leader and the group/team of coaches commenced using the GROW model to uncover the purpose of the conversation goal.

After five minutes of questioning, the group realised that they were all feeling the same, challenged by the behaviour of the 'coachee' (which was being well acted); they were unable to create a space which created a dialogue . The coachee was a 'closed shop' and their behaviour was appalling and unhelpful. 

The group was stumped.

I then posed this question to the group, "Which type of conversation is necessary in this situation?"  And, is Coaching appropriate?

It was concluded that the conversation required an approach which dictated the expectations of the workplace, one which acknowledged the condoned behaviours and an agreement of the facts and the course of action required. This conversation was at the opposite end of the spectrum where coaching starts. 

We can be ineffective as leaders if we don't use our time wisely, determining the necessary conversation and the appropriate timing - rather than wasting time and that of others. The spectrum of leadership conversations is vast and ranges from:

Dialogue - to understand

Discussion - to agree or disagree based on the understanding

Decision - to chose a course of action from the agreement/disagreement

Direction - to guide movement towards achieving an action

Dictate - to confront with facts and advise the course of action

Once you've decided on the purpose of the conversation, then it's time to consider the questions and commentary to drive it. Practise makes an effective leader!

Communication - it's not about you!

It's OK to admit our mistakes - as much as it might hurt our ego, it's best to seek forgiveness than have the reputation of being a poor communicator.

The mistake made too frequently by most adults, including the person behind these words, is to communicate for our self opposed to our intended audience. Whether that audience be our team, our kids or a potential client.

Communication is a mammoth subject and  given we spend so many hours communicating - do you ever stop and consider, how effective we are at 'selling' our message ?

The specific mistake is 'using the wrong communication approach'. For example, if you get turned on by producing 50 PowerPoint slides with gorgeous diagrams, sound bites and fonts which you cram into 30 minutes and your audience prefer detail and discussion, then you've selected the wrong communication medium and matched the incorrect learning style.

I don't need to tell you how to do it right, you can 'Google that lesson' what I implore you to do is to think, feel and do understand the preference of the audience or at least vary your communication approach.

I attempt to incorporate three approaches whenever I communicate:

Think - provide information visually - screen, paper & audio and where possible send or make available the information which I plan to cover, ahead of time 

Feel -  use stories, incorporate their names & their stories which you've identified when asking them questions, and 

Do - engage their brain & bum - after 10 minutes people disengage.

TED got it right with the rule of  '18 minutes or less' - that's more than enough time to ask someone to listen to you without any interaction. And now we see everyone in the audience happily using their device while listening (partially) because that's their style of learning & listening! You might not like it - but it's not about you!

Many years ago, a Mentor of mine shared a priceless lesson which I wish I practised more often - Communication is a game: the winner talks least and encourages others to talk/do more!

Have you rained on someone's parade?

I was waiting to run the #City2Sea in Melbourne and the conversation in my group was centred on 'who isn't here'. It was cold, pouring rain and puddles were appearing. We were all accounted for in our team however we suspected 2000 people wouldn't arrive because of the rain!

More often than not, it's other people who rain on our parade. The unthoughtful quick comment, the doubting facial expression and the killer rejection body language. I often bite my lip when I hear and see other people fall guilty to these practices and thankful that I can catch myself before I follow suit.

I suggest we're all guilty of raining on other peoples' parades; we believe we know best and that we're helping out by advising against others' ideas and I recommend we impose a fine of $100 every time we hear ourselves say "we've tried that before"!

As we age (gracefully & gentlemanly) let's learn to poker face our way through conversations or better still artfully ask questions to help the poor souls decide for themselves if it's a great or grotesque idea / solution. As we we'll know, the learning is in the doing especially the expensive mistakes.

I decree that I won't rain on anyone's parade today!