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

LEADERSHIP RESULTS

Your essential leadership manual for 2018 - Leadership Results guides you to take your organisation to one known for showing leadership and comprising of high performing teams.

Read More

Successful Morning Practices

Book Review: What the most successful people do before breakfast

Do books need to be two, three, four or five hundred pages long? Is there a prerequisite?

I know that the ‘thud factor’ gives credibility – lots of pages equates to lots of knowledge printed on lots of pages. However, I fear that a big book scares off potential readers. As I near my halfway mark of reading 52 books in 52 weeks, I’ve identified how to read quickly and how to create the time and space to read.

So, I was totally surprised to find that my choice of reading this week was completed in one night. A quick purchase on my Kindle based on the title was only 50 swipes. Complete with a few key lessons – enough to reflect on for the week.

Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People do before Breakfast presents her findings of what others do to make the most of their day.

My daughter Jennifer was perplexed with the cover of the book, a cup of coffee. She doesn’t like the smell of coffee and concerned that she’ll be unable to be successful! So, let's get beyond the cover and I’ll share what I learnt … very quickly!

Depending on what time you rise, and the time you have breakfast, there is a space to fill with activities which some say enables them to be successful.

We all have our own routines, rituals, quirky habits and a mindful of thoughts in the morning, so here’s your opportunity to TICK off if you’re aiding or hindering your successfulness:

·        Wake at 5am – or at a time which gives you an extra 60 to 90 minutes to use wisely

·        Reflect and or Pray on a daily basis

·        Prioritise items to tackle for the day

·        Avoid social media and especially email until you’ve completed a ‘chunk’ of real work

·        Journal your thoughts

·        Exercise - Run, walk, yoga or gym work

How many ticks do you have?

We all have 168 hours in our week and ‘successful’ people use a proportion of these hours a day to nurture their career, relationships and their self.

New research (prior to 2012) identified that self-discipline is in abundance after a good night’s sleep and depletes during the day. I think we’ve already worked that out – I know I can kick off with a healthy breakfast and then arrive at the evening snacking on potato chips while I cook dinner …. 12 hours later! We lapse as the day progresses and whilst some can squeeze in exercise after work or during their lunch break … the research tells us that morning is best; we are fresh and our internal motivation is in abundance to tackle tasks which the outside world isn’t demanding.

The best morning rituals are activities that don’t have to happen and certainly don’t have to happen at a specific hour. These are activities that require internal motivation. These are generally activities which have long term benefits.

So, if you had minimal ticks a few suggestions were offered to change:

·        Tracking your time – identify what you’re doing with your 168 hours a week

·        Picture your perfect morning – visualise what it would look like to be effective in the morning

·        Think through the logistics – what can you change around you to make it work

·        Build the habit – it’s like a muscle … keep practising

·        Tune up as necessary – keep correcting and get your early morning working

This is a seriously short book, however, it’s straight to the point and very implementable. I’ve already adopted the practice of ‘no social media’ in the morning until I’m having a coffee at 10.30am. (Let me tell you, when I do it, it's magic, however, it’s very difficult to change your habits!)

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!

ARE YOU CULTURALLY AWARE?

ARE YOU CULTURALLY AWARE?

I’m a fan of the Netflix production, Suits. A key character, Louis Litt, doesn’t do many things right, however, in an episode, he prepares a tea ceremony and presents a thoughtful meaningful gift to a potential Japanese client.

I think Patti McCarthy, a Melbourne-based cultural adviser would be impressed with Louis’ planning.

Look out for this new great book for leaders and teams who need to be more culturally aware.

In her book, Cultural Chemistry, Patti has captured more than I was expecting to read – it’s a feast to devour (10 chapter courses) – everything you need to do, say and how to behave, no matter which culture you want to digest. Whether it’s about food, feet placement, doing business with the French and Finnish or is flatulence acceptable; every aspect of cultural understanding is expressed in a delicious format to make these global lessons stick.

We’re introduced to smart phrases which you will recall when discussing cultural matters with your team. For example:

Cultural Cruise control – turning the control off is essential if you wish to maximise the opportunity to absorb the new culture. What works for one culture can be detrimental to another. In Australia, we casually invite people to use our Christian names whereas in Malaysia this is taboo if you’re in senior management.

Be a Sherlock - investigating every aspect of the culture to ensure there is no embarrassment, ‘loss of face’ and importantly, no loss of business.

Cultural Wavelength – deepen your relationships by tuning into ‘their’ wavelength. We know in leadership that we better engage others when we adapt to be the leader that the others need us to be.

There are many simple yet useful reminders including communication differences. ESL, English as a Second Language took me back to my five years of studying Japanese and then attempting to act as a translator. There is a politely unspoken difficulty experienced by so many when English is their Second Language; – consider the acronyms and colloquialisms we Australians populate our narrative during meetings.

 

The ability to listen is fundamental in many Asian cultures.

I really enjoyed learning more about the system of identifying global societies as either Individualist or collective. Consider this: are you one who thinks about yourself e.g. has a phone conversation on speaker on the train for all passengers to hear or do you consider creating harmony as being more important e.g. not singling out one person who’s caused a problem rather asks the team to fix it. Knowing which system you’re fitting into might enable you to quicken the relocation process.

We’re introduced to a model, the Four R’s to create a circuit breaker – enabling a cultural awareness change of personal habits as you embark into relationship building projects no matter where you find yourself in our global economy.

 

Here’s the four R’s model:

Rewards – what’s driving you to learn about this culture – what’s the benefit of increasing your understanding – what will happen if you don’t engage with the culture?

Research – at one level you can learn about the dos & don’t and at another level you can make sense of culture by learning about what is value in these countries.

Reflect – how do you feel about this new cultural information; how different is it to your beliefs, values, and your own culture; and how will you use and adapt this new intelligence to your habits and behaviours?

Reach out – how will you adapt do be able to connect with others in what can be an entirely different culture. What’s your strategy?

Patti, in a virtual capacity, coaches you at the conclusion of each chapter, asking you the 4R model questions enabling you to have a meaningful conversation with your team members, if you use this tool to be a proactive global learning team.

We know that we learn through story-telling and Cultural Chemistry has the concoction measured well with succinct stories occupying most pages – heightening your awareness of how important this information is by identifying the differences and similarities of customs, rituals, beliefs, motivations and values.

Reading Cultural Chemistry will enable you to quickly answer these questions:

Q: Which nationality expect you to have a Plan B in addition to Plan A?
Q: Where are you if you’re expected to put on plastic shoes to visit the lavatory in someone’s home?
Q: Which nationality don’t appreciate receiving clocks for introductory gifts?
Q: Which month is a bad month for Filipinos to make a decision?
Q: Which cultures (in addition to Australia) would you classify as individualistic?
Q: Where is it frowned upon to reheat leftovers and eat lunch at your desk rather than eat lunch with the team in the canteen?

Whilst we might have some idea of the etiquette, protocols and even rituals of other cultures, it’s not enough if we are serious about respectfully, ethically and indeed successfully leading and achieving the goal associated with having a new cultural relationship.

I always think of leadership as setting up staff for success; not failure. Providing guidance, coaching and the opportunity to discuss and explore solutions. This is a delightful delicacy of a read; a recipe for cultural success and a must for your leadership library.

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Leadership Lessons learnt at Yoga

I've practised Yoga for many years. I recall watching Swami Sarasvati on TV in the '70s! 

Swami Sarasvati still practising yoga - if only she knew that I watched her from the age of eight!

Swami Sarasvati still practising yoga - if only she knew that I watched her from the age of eight!

These days, my attendance isn't regular, however when I find a spare 75 min in my calendar I pop along to stretch my body and mind. It's that valuable time to reconnect with what my body is capable of doing and avoiding!

However, when I'm not at Yoga lessons, I always find time to practise my breathing*. Yes, you read correctly, I practise and continually learn how to breath effectively. Did you know that we only use one nostril at a time? (Not that that has anything to do with Leadership!)

Yoga offers many lessons in our quest to increase our performance as a respected and trusted leader. Here are just a few leadership thoughts:

1. Avoid rushing into a conversation with your words: take a deep breath through your noes , deep down to your belly button and slowly choose and deliver your answer, statement or question as you breath out. 

2. Count to five while you're breathing in and then again breathing out - doing this for three minutes prepares your body and mind to make a presentation, lessening your anxiety and need to gasp and grasp for water. (It's only when we breath through our mouth that we dry up the saliva.)

3. Sitting on the floor in the Lotus position guarantees a short meeting - great for decision making meetings. Try it! Yes, it's sounds hilariously crazy but it will encourage more efficiently conducted meetings.

4. Yoga encourages mindfulness - yes that term is trending! By practising yoga, your heart rate slows, your stress diminishes and your mind is clear to be more present with the important stuff going on in your team members' lives (and yours). You tune in more easily to the vibe your people create.

5. Finally, I find that I am more creative when I practise yoga. The blinkers and tunnel vision are removed and I can see the matter from a different perspective to arrive at a very different solution. Take the whole team to yoga and you will have a very creative team ... or at least a great belly laugh.

 I could go on however I suggest you try out or rediscover yoga. It takes patience and discipline - just like leadership.

*I mentor, coach and facilitate programs with leaders on a regular basis and find that I always share basic yoga breathing techniques which I've practised for many years, in particular when I worked the crazy hours in the corporate world. It was the most useful technique to stay calm and emotionally resilient.