Nicci’s Blog

Present or Panic?

Now if you are anything like one of clients, making a presentation to a fairly small group – known or unknown can be a terrifying experience.

I’ve been through this myself when I first started training and facilitating nearly 10 years ago. I remember the first time I stood in front of a group of people all looking at me to lead and guide them. I was terrified, so uptight at times that I couldn’t think clearly.

How do you truly connect with people and take them on a journey that will end up with them being engaged with you and your topic?

I’ve been to a few presentations this week that were great, informative and clear – however the presenters didn’t always connect with their audience. They didn’t check-in with them to see how they are doing or notice people yawning, shifting in their seats.

Questions during the presentation were sometimes met with dismissal – it seemed as if the presenter was more focused on ‘getting through’ the slides and finishing on time than engaging with their audience.

Well for some of my clients, even those who have jumped in through sheer determination, the experience of presenting is not always an enjoyable one.

Some of the most common fearful scenarios I have come across are:

  • Presenting to a potential client (particularly if unsure of the client or content
  • Presenting a topic that is not your area of knowledge or expertise
  • Presenting a session about something outside of work (i.e. sharing about yourself)
  • Presenting to staff (particularly to motivate, engage or share information), peers or indeed others in your profession

And some of the common concerns are…

  • I have to know my topic inside out
  • I have to know what to say and when, be prepared
  • I have to get through all the content on time
  • I’ll make a mistake, miss something, forget something
  • I’ll look silly, unprofessional, incompetent, stupid
  • I’ll be ask questions I can’t or don’t want to answer

Result = stress, tension, disconnection, panic, insomnia, time consuming checking/research to prepare

Here’s my 4 top tips for you:

  • BREATHE – take 3 conscious breaths and remember you will, most likely, do your best and that’ll be enough
  • Check-In with yourself – with those expectations you have in yourself…often we make judgements or assumptions about what’s expected of us or others. Is it true, generally speaking, that you are unprofessional or incompetent?
  • Check-in with your audience – are they yawning, shifting in their seats, distracted? Check-in with them, ask them how you are doing. Ask if they have ideas or examples to discuss – this is essential to bring the topic to life and make it real. They are there for a purpose right? Because they want to get something from your presentation – so check in with them to make sure this is happening
  • Learn to love the Don’t Know – you can say ‘I don’t know’ when asked a question. It is allowed! You don’t know what you don’t know and that’s ok. Nobody knows everything. The important thing here, as a leader and presenter, is to respond – acknowledge the question and offer a solution or follow up

And…One More Thing…

Be yourself! Speak from the heart…show your passion…enthusiasm…

Present or panic is part of a FREE audio download I have created and recorded called ‘the 3 most common challenges in leadership for legal & finance professionals’. This includes another 2 common challenges:

  • Delegating and/or Sharing Responsibility – overcoming letting go of control so teams can be freed up to be proactive and use their initiative
  • Networking Events – overcoming fears of striking up conversations and connecting with others

Download your FREE copy here: FREE Audio – 3 Most Common Challenges in Leadership

I can’t wait to hear from you…

The Most Common Leadership Challenge for Legal and Finance Leaders

I am very experienced with personality/communication styles – and I work regularly with finance, property and legal professionals.  One of the key themes I started noticing was that there was a range of common challenges.  Essentially there seemed to be a predisposition that those in these professions were more likely to be systematic, methodical, goal orientated thinkers (a huge asset of course) and this meant that they had a preference for guidelines, rules, frameworks, planning.  Then you know where you are, right?

This preference however doesn’t always translate well when one is building genuine connecting relationship with clients, staff and peers.  And, as I am sure you know, communication and the ability to connect is vital in a leadership role.  In this context we are dealing with a completely different skill set which sometimes not only required, but hugely advantageous.  This advantage translates into the willingness and ability to be successful at (and more importantly at ease with)  wining new clients, adding value, managing conflict, motivating employees, developing innovation, taking responsibility and ownership…and much more.

Actually in the bigger picture as a director or partner: if you want teams/peers that think for themselves – those who are proactive, passionate, creative, take the initiative, highly engaged with clients  – then the attitude and behaviour more likely to create this is one of empowerment, openness, honesty and trust.   This results in significantly more productive and engaged people, mainly because they know that they and their contribution matters.

So one of the most common challenges is:  Delegating and/or Sharing Responsibility – this may be played out in one or more of the following scenarios:

  • Workload overload, too much on your plate and too little time
  • Staff/peers constantly coming to you with questions
  • People only completing what they are asked (and sometimes not even that!), lack of initiative or stepping up for teams/peers

Common concerns

  • It’ll be quicker to do it myself
  • Staff or peers don’t have the knowledge or aptitude to do it right
  • Their mistakes will reflect badly on me
  • I won’t get the credit when things are done
  • I have to get everything done or else I’ll be a failure

Result = stress, overwrought, insomnia, poor work/life balance, little time to spend strategy or business development, making mistakes.  Distracted and/or working when at home with loved ones…

Here’s my 3 Tips on practising overcoming this challenge:

  • Purpose – now this may be a humdinger, consider what your purpose may be for holding out on delegating or asking for help? Do you like to be a martyr?  Like to be useful, wanted even?  These are all perfectly understandable; however does your behaviour really serve you in your life, your team or the growth of your company?  Check-in with yourself and be honest with yourself about what is holding your resistance in place
  • You’re Human – we are all human, fallible – including you. IF you delegate there is of course the possibility that things won’t be completed as you would have done them yourself.  This may be a reality.  There is also, I suggest, the possibility that things may be done better, differently or even in a way that adds value.  There is much to be gained from an attitude of ‘we are in this together’ as opposed to ‘lone ranger’.  This encourages you to stretch and let go – and encourages your staff/peers to grow their skills.  Question is: are you willing to trust, never knowing the outcome?
  • Worst Case Scenario – consider what the worst case scenario is and identify how you would handle it (if it did). Now you have a plan!  You can of course have as many worst case scenario’s as you like – at least until you get used to letting go (and trusting that) ,whatever happens, it can and will be resolved

So there you are!

As ever I encourage you to get in touch if you have any comments or feedback – I am always glad to hear them.

One More Thing…

This most common challenge is part of a 30 minute audio class I have recorded.  This includes another 2 common challenges for legal and finance professionals:

  • Presenting to a Group – overcoming stress, tension, over-preparing
  • Networking Events – overcoming fears of striking up conversations

Download your FREE copy here: FREE Audio – 3 Most Common Challenges in Leadership

Go ahead and jump in.  I can’t wait to hear from you…

3 Transformative Steps to Leadership Growth

I’ve been working on (for some time now) a new ‘edge’ for me – by this I mean stepping out into new ways of being and behaving that in the past have been a significant challenge for me and my leadership.

I realised a few months ago how much more determined I am and, of course, my results are remarkably different. I had a tendency to be impatient, getting agitated and/or extremely frustrated when things didn’t go my way. I’d spend copious amounts of time over thinking, generally trying to work out what had happened, moaning, ranting, getting frustrated and then ultimately blaming and beating myself up.

The last few months have been an amazing (and also challenging!) roller-coaster at times and I now am starting to see how different my world is when I trust myself and whatever is or isn’t happening. There is an ebb and flow when I trust and keep getting back to aligning myself with the reality that I do not, (nor do I want to these days), control anything. I can ask questions, reach out, be open hearted, open minded – however ultimately I don’t know what the future holds. There’s an openness, an allowing and powerful synergy in play when I surrender to what IS. So I have been learning a different level of patience, trust, openness and in some ways vulnerability.

I am truly grateful for this very forward looking perception of growth. The knowing that whatever I find challenging, even the little things, is an opportunity for me to grow. It’s never negative in the long term, even if the events or moments seem so at the time. I now see this as a spring board to access MORE of me or to take a stand on what’s important. There’s always an opportunity to develop a new or existing quality or to remind myself that my current frame…my current beliefs or state can be changed. All it takes is willingness to step into the unknown and practise.

As I type this I feel a building excitement in my chest and stomach because of the possibilities for myself and others when this part of ourselves is accessed. The part that is willing to loosen our grip, willing to risk, willing to be creative, willing to trust. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? I feel an awe and solidity in my backbone that is hard to describe but is putting a big smile on my face.

AND the other great thing is I get to work on this with clients too: how can their current challenges be an opportunity to learn, to grow rather than a fault to be fixed or to condemn themselves with. Those opportunities can be powerful stepping stones to propel them forward in their leadership. Frequently the very things that they find challenging are offering a golden opportunity to be MORE of the leader that they want to be – and that they are truly capable of. Then it’s all about practise, practise, practise – and self compassion of course when things don’t go as planned.

There is always a ‘tipping point’ – those little changes that over time will make a big difference.

Today’s big question is…where do you demand that you know how things ought to be in your leadership, your team and your life?

So next time you are challenged, reflect and focus on these 3 transformative steps to propel your growth:

  • The Demand – check-in with yourself. How are you insisting that you, others or the situation ought to be? Get off your own omnipotence and take the blinkers off
  • The Openness – open your eyes to how you, others or the situation actually IS rather than how you think it should be. Therein lies a realm of other possibilities…
  • The Offer – what is on offer to you in your leadership growth with this challenge, at this time. What quality can you develop that will propel you forward?

Learn how to release demands those on yourself and others, trust more and change your behaviour – for the long term. Step into the unknown and commit to finding out how those little changes can make a big difference in your leadership.

Join me in a FREE 1hr one to one coaching session to discover how your greatest challenges can be your greatest opportunity for growth.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

Breaking the Mould – Technically Savvy to Relationship Builder

I’ve had many conversations over the last few weeks with many people, including existing clients, who want to develop their people leadership skills.  The discussions were around how to focus on the crossover from being very technically good in your field to becoming a leader – managing, motivating people and building relationships.  I work with many clients who have this challenge…solicitors, accountants, finance experts, IT or digital consultants.

I have a huge empathy for this journey!  I started out as an accountant years ago and the skills I developed were predominantly technical, back office, in the background completing the technical stuff or writing systems reports.  And the outputs in many ways were clear cut…there were set formats, ‘right’ answers, clear frameworks, regulations to check or follow.

These days the skills and, more importantly, ways of being I lead with are completely at the opposite end of the spectrum.  I have much compassion for clients who are making this transition in skills (and the accompanying confidence) to operate successfully at a higher level in their businesses.  This can be immensely daunting – and terrifying.

If you are a leader or manager in a company or indeed a partner or owner…a large part of what is required now as you move to the next level is relationship building, generating connections and new business, leading and motivating people, handling staff challenges or conflicts.

What’s required is completely different, and for some, way out of their comfort zone!  Now you’re no longer dealing with rules, regulations, research, data, optimisation, frameworks, plans, sets of accounts…now there’s a great deal of letting go required…less doing, less direction, more empowerment.

Now your realm is a huge set of unknowns…in the mix with all those different personalities and reactions, and of course, the unpredictability of humanity.

So as well as getting yourself out there to connect and build relationships with existing or potential clients, you now need to grow you as a leader WITH your team.

Skills and qualities you may not have exercised much before such as trust, intuition, clarity, vision, purpose, being visible, openness, having honest conversations, saying no, delegating, patience, emotional resilience, compassion…are calling you out on a daily basis.

So let’s say for instance you’re in a meeting or an event and you’re way out of your comfort zone.  Here are 3 tips to support you to bridge the transition:

  • Listen In – to your thoughts…how are you telling yourself you need to be?  And what are you expecting the outcome to be?
  • Check-In – with those expectations…and assumptions…often we make judgements or assumptions about what’s expected of us or others.  Or we can hold a ideal expectation of ourselves based on what we see as the ‘perfect’ person or solution.  How do you know that these assumptions or expectations are true?
  • Be Yourself…Be Curious! – be courageous and be yourself, let go of expectations. Interact as you normally would, ask questions, be openly curious about others or the situation.  This is especially important if you have a team.  What’s their take, what do they want? What do they think the solution(s) are?

Let me know how it goes!

Learn how to transform your willingness to be courageous, get past those expectations about yourself and others.  Step into the unknown and step up to the next level in your leadership.  And learn how to develop skills that will transform you from uncomfortableness to curious excitement.

Join me in a FREE 1hr 1:1 coaching session to discover how to make this powerful and empowering transition.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

Bye for now…

Nicci

3 Courageous Steps to Reducing Your Negative Voice

I’ve been reminded in the last few weeks how much I really don’t know.  I’ve been reminded how important it is not to make assumptions or indeed let my ‘negative voice’ dictate my behaviour.  I truly do not know what someone is going to say or how they are going to react.  I mean it makes sense, how could I?  I who I am and they are who they are – I cannot read other’s minds.

I have had many conversations over the past 6-8 weeks about courses I’m teaching and about coaching.  Many conversations, not about what I’m offering per se but about individuals lives, roles and what they are wanting to change or develop in their leadership.  I’m grateful as I sit typing this that these are the conversations I get to have most of the time – transforming, empowering conversations that sometimes in themselves have many insights for me and others.

I realised after three conversations this week (where I was extremely doubtful of getting the outcome I wanted) how massively important it is not to listen to my ‘negative voice’.  I was fearful enough that I seriously considered not even asking the question that I really wanted to ask.  This was because of course my negative voice’s commentary had already started:  ‘They won’t be interested’, ‘They will say no or not now, ‘They will say I can’t afford it or I can’t do the dates’…and I will be left disappointed, de-motivated and resigned to the fact I have to do more to engage more people.

Well what I actually did was I decided that I can connect, listen, ask the questions I want to ask and see what happens.  And then my friends I was shocked!  All 3 people just said yes!  And now I am thrilled – for them, for me and for the difference this will make to leadership in the world.

So my question to you is…where do you hold back, avoid asking the question you really want to ask?

Have a go at these 3 Courageous Steps:

  • Listen In – to your negative voice…what assumptions are you making about what may or may not happen? About how someone may respond?
  • Check-In – with those assumptions…how do you really know what that person will say or what the future holds? When in the past has someone said something you didn’t expect?
  • Be Curious – and courageous, take a deep breath and ask that question! You never know…none of us do…trust, be open…see what happens.  And if you get a response you don’t want… is it likely you will handle it?

Learn how to increase your willingness to be courageous, get past your ‘negative voice’ and put yourself forward.  Step In, Step Up in your Leadership.  And learn the tools to keep this going for yourself, for the rest of your life.

Come and join me in a warm and empowering environment, in my online taster session for The Power of Self Esteem course.

Taster sessions are on Wednesday’s 28th September or 5th or 12th October 6-7:30pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Self Esteem

Nicci Statham is an executive coach who specialises in changing behaviour, she is passionate about empowering clients to transform their results through changing their attitude and behaviour.  Follow her on Twitter @awareleadership.

 

3 Ways to Abundance not Scarcity

It’s a fine line isn’t it?  Having faith I mean that there will be abundance…rather than crossing over into the fear of scarcity.   Or indeed FOMO, the ‘fear of missing out’ another common phenomenon.

I have many conversations with clients about this pretty big mindset dilemma.  This can manifest in many ways too.  Scarcity can be a general perception of the future which is not enough’ness in some way…insufficient…in short supply…or that fear of missing out on something…there’ll never be another opportunity.  Or at least that’s what our inner voice (or negative voice) likes to threaten us with.

The general perception is one thing and then added on top is the castrophizing our minds like to do.  This has shown up with many clients in comments such as:

  • My staff will never improve or change, what’s the point
  • It won’t get done unless I make it happen
  • I have to get this done or else I’ll look bad, lose my job, look incompetent
  • If we share our talent, knowledge, experience with other organisations…I’ll lose my edge and customers

I wonder in a way if this is part of the human condition…half empty or half full.  I know in my own business and leadership I’ve fluctuated between both, depending on what life is throwing my way and my level of emotional resilience at the time.

What I’ve realised is that when I allow my inner voice to run riot this is the cause of the stress, anxiety, glass half emptiness – not the situation I am dealing with.

Scarcity can be a very stressful, uncreative, limiting and demanding place to be.  This is a completely different energy and focus compared to abundance – or my preference Trust.  What would that look like?  Trusting in you, trusting in life, trusting that whatever you do or don’t do – all will work itself out and all will be well.  Whatever happens you can adjust and will be able to handle it.

So my friends, 3 Ways to combat a scarcity mindset:

  • Check-in with Reality – ask yourself do you know what the future holds?  How many times have you expected one thing and something else has happened?  None of us know the future.  Consider the worst case scenario and how you would handle it if this were it to happen…
  • Focus on Possibility – focus on what you do want, what is working and what you can put in place to move towards where you want to be.  Get aligned with reality and focusing on the next step, even a small one, will move you forward into possibility
  • Trust – let go, release your grasp, loosen your grip on the demand that things be different to how they actually are.  Creating this space allows other creative possibilities to emerge which you are much more likely to see and say YES to.  Remember nothing is for life, we are only ever in the ‘right here, right now’ so in the next ‘right here, right now’ you can always course correct

Trust, be open…see what comes your way…see what happens…see what is evoked in you

Learn how to release your state from fear to creative possibility and learn the tools to keep this going for yourself, for the rest of your life.  Come and join me in a warm and welcoming environment, in my online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Taster sessions are on Wednesday 24th August or 14 September 6-7:30pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose
Bye for now…

Nicci

Should Others Communicate Differently?

 

So…are you willing to accepting others just as they are?

Come and explore how to get aligned with reality.  Find out how you can be in conversations 100% and create the results you want in your leadership.

Join me in a FREE 1:1 45minute discovery session!  I can’t wait to hear from you…

Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

Bye for now…

Nicci

Are you in 100%

We all like to have a good rant don’t we?  Especially at work – sometimes there can be a whole sub-culture which bonds people in the workplace or in a network.  How we love complaining about the process, how others shouldn’t have behaved, how different things should be.

My question is – who knows how anything or anyone should be?

In leadership, as a business leader or owner, complaining can have a serious impact on you and your team’s engagement.  Focusing on complaining and largely having a big fat NO to how things and others are, can seriously affect your time and alignment with your purpose – and ultimately this affects your results.

Of course sharing your thoughts and feelings is essential and this is an important part of connecting, discerning and collaborating; especially for the purpose of improving or developing.  However there is a big difference between stepping forward to assertively be heard and passively complaining or colluding.

I realised this week that as I wanted to create a big difference in my results – naturally this will require a big difference in what it is going to take to get there.  Change behaviour, change the result right?

I have had a tendency in the past to agree to a new commitment and then spend a time complaining because it isn’t how I want it to be.  This attitude and behaviour can seriously affect my results.  Whilst I’m using my vital energy and time complaining I’m not engaging 100%.  I’m focused on my complaints, not my goal.

This challenge is a topic that frequently comes up with clients in their leadership.  Which one are you focused on?

  • Alignment with Reality – it is how it is. We can get aligned with this, be present to what is and go for creating our desired result.  Be in 100%.  Or indeed choose a different path;

Or

  • Disengagement in Leadership – we are focused on what isn’t, what should be different and what we don’t like. Our result = dissatisfaction, resentment, valuable time and attention is away from our desired result.

This reminds me of the music industry years ago.  I remember a large amount of complaining about illegal downloading and how online companies shouldn’t be doing what they were doing.  This went on for some considerable time.  The cost was huge amounts of time and energy was spent on complaining – rather than realigning with the reality that the way people accessed music was significantly changing.  The industry was seriously on the back foot in bringing about new ways of marketing and selling music and lost a lot of profit as a result.

So…are you in 100%?

Come and explore how to identify and get aligned with reality.  Find out how you can be in 100% and create the results you want in your leadership.

Join me in a FREE 1:1 45minute discovery session!  I can’t wait to hear from you…

Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

3 Ways to a Bigger Purpose

dont play small

I’ve been working on a project for the last few months and a lot has happened in that time – especially the last few weeks.  I have been learning a massive amount for myself in my own leadership and what it takes to create energy, motivation and ultimately results.

I had somewhat of an epiphany yesterday about my own purpose with this project.  This was HUGE to for me!!  I’d been noticing that there was a ‘stuckness’ of some kind in me, there was something about this project that I was missing, that I didn’t feel connected to.  I realised after some coaching that I didn’t have a bigger purpose for myself – and this may be affecting my and my team’s engagement.  How could create more engagement in my team if they didn’t know what they were getting on board with?

So I started to ask myself questions…what was I really going for in leading this project?  Yes I had clarity about the ‘result’ but what was the bigger purpose for me in WHY I chosen to lead it.  This mattered because I was playing small – I’d been ‘going along’ with what others wanted, I’d been filling in gaps rather than stepping up to lead as ME with my vision and leading from the front.  And so my team were doing the same, ticking boxes rather than stepping up and going for what they wanted for themselves – and going for the bigger benefits that the project would deliver.

This made me realise too that I do have a clear bigger purpose with my business, the work I choose to do and how I choose to be when doing it.

So I thought I’d share with you my bigger purpose ‘hot off the press!’ as it were…for myself I am learning and developing my visibility, boldness and my authenticity – to enable me to live the life I want to live and be ALIVE and free while I am living it!!

For the business leaders and owners that I work with: I want them to be empowered, more authentic, open, honest, collaborative and more ‘we are in this together’ with their stakeholders, peers, teams.

And I want this for leaders because I want to see leadership in our world which is less separating…more open, transparent, creative, empowered, authentic.  Because this creates, high performing organisations where individuals and teams are empowered to learn, grow and bring the best of themselves to their organisations.  AND all this matters and contributes to how we experience our lives, how we grow our economy, how we connect in our world every day.

So, step back and take time to consider and reflect on your bigger purpose:

  • What’s Your Purpose – for you in your leadership, your team(s) and your organisation?
  • Communicate – how can you communicate your vision and purpose so others can be alongside you and get on board?
  • Living It – how can you live your purpose? How can you BE and what can you put in place to be living and working towards the projects that are going to create your purpose?   What are you going to commit to?

Don’t play small…open up your platform to play a bigger game…

Come and explore how to define, communicate and live your purpose in your organisation in a FREE 1:1 45 minute discovery session with me.  What are you waiting for?

I can’t wait to hear from you…

FREE 1:1 coaching discovery session…book here: Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

3 Ways to Expand Your Limits

expand your limit1

I had a physiotherapy appointment last week to review my progress and something very unexpected happened!  An epiphany!!

My physiotherapist and I were chatting about the level of pain I was having and how this was better or worse since I’d been doing my physio exercises.  I was explaining that I’d been doing yoga the night before and I’d started to get uncomfortable pain so I’d pulled back and hadn’t completed some of the yoga activities.  My physiotherapist said, ‘so you stop when you get pain?’ and we carried discussing how I normally handle that.

Then my physiotherapist started to explain that some pain was good, and that I woundn’t damage my body by having some pain.  He also explained that going slightly beyond pain that each time would enable my current physical limit to be expanded.

Well…a light bulb went off in my head!!  I thought YES I am limiting myself because when I feel discomfort/pain or what I judge as ‘too much’, I become fearful I will damage my body – so I stop.  Then I pondered a very important question…where else do I do this in my life?  Where else, when I reach my ‘comfortable’ level of discomfort, do I pull back?

This was an extremely exciting observation for me and since then I’ve been intrigued.  As I result I have been actively practising being with my ‘discomfort’.  How often in our work and personal lives do we pull back, disconnect or avoid if we are out of our comfort zone?  Will this ultimately limit personal and leadership development?

In the case of my physio, this is actually really important because to reach improved resilience and strength my body needs to go beyond its current limits.

So consider these 3 things to question and expand your limits:

  • Discomfort – what makes you uncomfortable and what would it take to move beyond this discomfort?
  • Truth – what are you fearful will happen if you move beyond your current comfort level, what’s worse case scenario?  Is this true, really?
  • Next Step – What is 1 thing you could do to practise stepping beyond your current limit?

Come and explore how to get beyond your current limits in a FREE online preview for The Power of Purpose course with me on Wednesday 27th April 6:30-8pm.  You will be encouraged to explore where your current limits are and how this is affecting your results.

Change your behaviour, change your results…Go on, take a risk!

FREE Online Preview…book here: Book FREE Power of Purpose Preview