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

The Power of Style Awareness

mastering yourself

About a year ago I was working and interacting fairly frequently with a lady who coordinated a project I was working on (let’s call her Cheryl).  It was a really important project, not just because it was something I was delivering but also because it was a topic I was really passionate about and therefore cared about.

I found Cheryl to be rude, abrupt and inconsiderate.  She’d send me one word replies to emails, never say please or thank you – and worst of all have little compassion or empathy to my challenges.  And Cheryl would have virtually no response to any kindness or even worse my humour!  I found interacting with Cheryl, particularly speaking with her an arduous task and I’d avoid doing so – this had a big impact on the development of my project.  This affected the project results and the quality of my experience during the process.

This went on with Cheryl until I was aware of how different people’s styles manifest and how hugely this affected communication, leadership and most importantly results.  Prior to this I’d taken Cheryl responses personally, I’d assumed she was behaving and communicating in this way either to irritate me or just because she was rude and inconsiderate.

You see Cheryl had a very direct style, nothing to do with me – this was her way of communicating, leading and responding.  Once I realised this, and that my style is less direct and more considerate, I understood that the way we communicate is very different.  I love a please, thank you, people making time to say hello etc…this wasn’t Cheryl’s thing at all.  It made total sense!  In some ways we were at opposite ends of the spectrum in this regard.  I then allowed myself to let go of the expectation that she ought to be any different.  This transformed my interaction with Cheryl, not that I still didn’t find her abrupt, but I knew it wasn’t about me and this allowed me to make the best of our interactions.  In a way I  felt relieved because I could dispense with some niceties with her and that was very refreshing!

It’s interesting isn’t it how something so simple can make such a huge difference?!  I see this challenge regularly with clients.  One person is in uproar about how the other is responding or not responding and this leads to conflicts, communication breakdowns and disconnection with teams.

Are you making assumptions about someone you are clashing with?   Is your enthusiasm and energy not being encouraged?  Is your need for detail not being met?  Are others being extremely rude?  Do you wish everyone else would just hurry up and get on with it?

Come and find out how to be aware about your style and others.  Find out about your style’s leadership and communication needs and how you can use this information to maximise team working.  Revolutionise your communication and leadership results!

What’s My Leadership Style?  This fun and interactive session is running in Hertfordshire on Wednesday 10th February 9:30am-1pm (includes a style profile assessment).

Tickets here: Book Here: What’s My Leadership Style?

Are you a Fighter or a Flighter?

fight-or-flight

How often do we as leaders, as soon as we don’t achieve the results we want, look for someone or something to blame?

Blame is all about expressing your ‘No’ to how reality actual is.  Finding the “Who or what did it?” question removes us from the problem, the reality of actually handling it and sometimes even learning from it.

We need only turn on the television to see how blame functions in today’s culture. Each week, millions of viewers tune in to watch many reality TV programmes whose whole premise is to provide a platform for various forms of blame to play out.

In a work context, a culture of blame can put teams in a continuous state of fight-or-flight mode.  In this environment, some might say the Darwinian survival of the fittest takes on new meaning.  The culture is to avoid the being a target rather than focusing of what is possible.  All that precious time that is spent on dodging blame is time that could have been spent really learning something that could transform the end results.

Once we are in the blame game the purpose can become to survive at all costs and sadly this eclipses other possibilities from a leader’s outlook.  They can become so intent on being right or justifying their behaviour that the result they actually wanted in the first place is significantly less likely to be created.  In this scenario they may employ some survival tactics or personas such as:

  • Protection of one’s ‘position’– this could include documenting every conversation, copying oneself on every email, and keeping large files as evidence of one’s actions. Also tactically engaging in communication only if it supports said ‘position’
  • Avoiding reality – not engaging in the actual problem itself.  The reality of what’s not working takes a significant back seat to identifying who is at fault. As a result, chronic problems persist even after “the guilty” have been ‘punished’
  • Fight! – similar to defending one’s ‘position’, this could include engaging sabotage, rumour-spreading, and various other political tactics, all aimed at self-preservation rather than the results the company was actually going for
  • Be in the ‘background’– insulating from blame by withdrawing, and withholding contribution. When something goes wrong, they cover their tracks, and find the nearest foxhole
  • Withholding creativity – not being open to taking the risks necessary to achieve outstanding performance, playing it safe, putting forth minimal effort as not to lose (or be blamed)

The sad news is that these tactics require huge amounts of time, energy, and resources.  The tragic news is these tactics significantly reduce innovation, creativity and motivation.

The fantastic news is that as leaders we can dramatically shift this dynamic by focusing on reality and improvement rather than fault-finding.

The first step to achieving this is simply to change the questions that are employed when things do not go as planned:

A blaming leader/approach might ask…

Who’s in charge of that?

What happened, who missed it?

How can I prove it was not anything to do with me?

How do I shield my department?

How can I avoid embarrassment or not be a target?

 

A learning leader might ask…  

What is the data?

What’s working and what isn’t?

What can we learn to improve/reduce the risk of this reoccurring?

What is the bigger picture here?

What can I take responsibility for?

How would any adjustments fit with our purpose?

 

Leaders who choose to ask the second set of questions create high performing companies in which teams learn from experience, put themselves forward and take personal courage in their contribution.

Those questions empower teams to be accountable in the truest sense of the word – taking responsibility for their part and being part of creating the next steps, giving the best of themselves in the process.

Stepping out of blame does not mean tolerating poor performance, turning one’s back to hard challenges, or avoiding difficult conversations — just the opposite.  It means fearlessly confronting disappointing results and handling the challenges head-on with openness, calm and curiosity.

So the next time you are tempted to go on a fault-finding expedition, take a moment to ask yourself this question:

What behaviours am I role modelling to my team?

The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is for us

I wondered this week how the holding of resentment can get in the way of us being the powerful, amazing leaders that we really are.

If we are resenting and judging others for what they did or didn’t do – what does this do to our willingness to build relationships, collaborate and to keep doing so when the going gets tough?

Even if a relationship or partnership doesn’t work out, what happens if we carry around that resentment into our next venture – because of course we’re not going to let that happen again are we? No way.

What is the cost though? Does our resentful behaviour really get us that pay off of superiority, being the victim or many other things that may boost our pseudo self-esteem?

Do we get to avoid being real, honest or even vulnerable ourselves?

The cost of holding onto this type of resentment in leadership, I suggest, may actually keep us from the very thing that we truly want.  And it may relieve us from stepping up our game – and claiming our true amazing capacity as a leader…

Expectations in Leadership

Difference Hope and Expectation

I was thinking this week, wow what an interesting week – then I realised every week is an interesting week when I am awake to noticing growth in my leadership!

The theme that’s been coming up this week is how in leadership we can get ourselves attached to a particular result or outcome.

Determination, purpose and a strong will is wonderful, however what about when this crosses the line into a demand? How does this affect our relationships and partnerships with others?

I realised yesterday that when I’m going into a coaching session or conversation and expecting a particular result, I’m focused on that and sometimes not the reality of what’s actually happening.

Where’s the partnership in that? Where’s the room for the other person, where’s the room for possibility and creativity?

Whilst I have this demand – particularly one that’s based on my preferences, my desires and my assumptions – how can the other person ever meet that?

So let’s flip it I thought. Thus I discovered the expectation I have is one I’ve placed on myself – derived from my fear of what I will be or look like if I don’t achieve the result.  Of course none of that was true.

Dealing with that first and then going back in was a very different experience…

Leadership – this is it, what are you waiting for?

What Are You Waiting For

The theme of this week has been around the ‘epitome’ of success again – more so this week about how we can get so attached to our result.  So much so that we may hold back in the now, waiting to see if it looks like we are going to hit our target.

I’ve had many conversations about frustration with progress and sense of waiting around for that big win, the golden nugget that moves us further towards the belief that we are getting somewhere.

Will that ever happen? I wondered if this waiting to see ‘enough’ in the future has us holding back in the present.

This is it.  You may never know.  Put yourself forward now, go for it now, be the leader you are and want to be now.

What are you waiting for?

Leadership approach – creativity or fear?

Creativity takes courage

I saw a new client this week and we had a great discussion around openness and stepping into the unknown of non-evidence based projects and policies.

Of course there’s a reality of a framework that needs to be adhered to for governance and strategy, but what if we get into more rigid patterns or indeed positions of stalemate?

What if we believe we need to see evidence all the time before we move forward into the unknown? Leadership and the future is unknown isn’t it? For me the wonder and magic of learning is the very fact that it’s held beautifully in the unknown.

We may hesitate, get scared, hold back or jump in quickly – not from a creative place but from fear of what’s gone before. What if that previous experience we had happens again? How could we forgive ourselves? What sort of leader would that make us?

What may be lost in the fear of before is an authentic openness to the here and now. Creating a new path of possibility rather than a fearful path of prevention.

That sounds exciting!

Are you steering your leadership from creativity or fear?

Leadership growth – resistance or acceptance?

Life No Resistance

I’ve been working with various clients this week around leadership growth – what is it going to take to step from where they are to where they really want to be.  Courage of course and interestingly the theme that’s been emerging this week is Acceptance.

How truly accepting are we of ourselves as leaders? AND how accepting are we of others and things as they are?

We may want a certain outcome or result, however what we may get into is demanding that we ‘should’ have it or things ‘should’ be different to how they actually are.  I mean why doesn’t it just happen exactly how we’d envisaged? We’ve done more than enough haven’t we – worked hard, learned lessons, been patient, changed our approach even.

What I’ve heard this week is a lot of frustration, resentment and sometimes bewilderment that things just aren’t how we would like them to be.  We haven’t got that result yet or had the response we hoped from someone.  And of course we really have no idea of what is going to happen next (unless of course anyone has a crystal ball that I don’t know about!).

For me there a certain magical quality to acceptance, a peacefulness and most importantly an openness to things (and people) just as they are.  I mean what’s the alternative?  Stay in frustration and demand until we have what we want?  That may be a long wait!

I know for me resisting is often a much-needed check-in between what I’d hoped for and reality.  When I hold onto resistance this can mean not seeing the numerous other opportunities that are right here, right now – and of course there’s my own willingness to create new ones.

Are you accepting or resisting?

Leadership vulnerability – are you willing to be seen?

you are a human being

I’ve had lots of evoking client conversations this week about this idea of ‘being strong’ or and not being seen to be vulnerable as a leader. I know this is true for me sometimes too. Because when we are vulnerable as leaders, when it’s not all going how would like – this can be a challenge can’t it? To be seen to be as fallible, human even?

There’s a fantastic TED talk by an amazing lady Brene Brown entitled ‘the power of vulnerability’. For me, this is a powerful talk about connection – and what really makes sense to me is that when we numb or hide our vulnerability, we also numb or hide positive feelings like excitement, joy, gratitude, passion. Who wants to not be having their dose of those positive feelings and experiences? Not me!