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

Renovate or Resist?

Life is an echo2

I’m teaching one of favourite courses at the moment – The Power of Purpose.  This is a course I am extremely passionate about, the tools have the propensity to completely shift one’s state from limiting fear to open possibility.  This is transforming, both for life and in terms of what each of us creates in the world.

Whenever I am teaching this course my learning is always rich and evoking.  This week I am almost seeing a beauty in how the very thing I am teaching about is being played out in parallel before me in other projects I am working on.

All this has reminded me of a big project I passionately wanted to create a while back – my hope (or as it turned out expectation) was that I would be met with open arms, trust, support, encouragement, acknowledgement – the reality was fear, limits, scarcity, bullying, exclusion.  What a difference!  I’m not suggesting questions or concerns weren’t hugely valuable (or indeed that ultimate outcome wasn’t what was exactly required),however it was the approach and attitude made a huge difference to me.  There was a lot of fear, a lot of focus on what wasn’t enough and how things were had been done in the past.  And there is a ripple effect – that ongoing attitude makes a huge difference to the results for myself and others.

And this difference has an impact on the bigger picture, the longer term results and ultimately sustainability for organisations.

When we operate out of fear our attention will likely be focused on one or more of the following:

  • Holding on tightly – maintaining, protecting something or an ideal which we think will be lost if we let go or embrace something different, especially something more radical
  • Resistance – to the new, different ideas, different paths, anything opposing our ‘ideal’ or current belief about how something should be or look like
  • Saying NO – pushing back, holding onto our ideal at all costs and picking holes in anything outside of this

There is a BIG cost to operating from such a fearful place, such as:

  • Impossibility – through the sheer focusing on what isn’t, openness is narrowed and ultimately willingness to see what is possible outside of what we know
  • Innovation – this requires openness, curiosity, willingness to take risks. How likely is this if we are focused on holding onto an ideal?  How likely are we to get creative and resourceful?
  • Alignment with reality – when we focus on what isn’t and holding onto an ideal we are not aligned with the reality of what IS. Something may not be working, particularly if we are not getting the results we want. We are missing the opportunity to get on with correcting this as our attention is on what
  • Engagement – from others, customers, partners, stakeholders, communities, supporters. How likely is it that others are going to want to be on board with such a fearful (negative) attitude?

I see a parallel … or some call it ‘you reap what you sow’.  I’m not suggesting in any way that there is a perfect approach, just that the approach we take and attitude we give out is reflected back.  Again and again.

So next time your results aren’t what you like them to be, take a moment to think about what you are resisting, saying no to or holding onto tightly.

Check out these 3 reflective questions:

  • Payoff – what do I get from holding onto how I think something should be? Or resisting being open to different ways forward?
  • Truth – what’s my worst case scenario? It is true (100%) that my fear will actually happen?
  • Cost – what is the cost to me and my organisation of holding onto what was? What opportunity may we be missing in the present?

Be curious, be open…see what happens…

Come and explore how to release move your state from fear to creative possibility, in a warm and welcoming environment, in my FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Join me for an FREE online taster session on Wednesday 23rd March 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

FOMO – Have to or Want to?

wayne dyer...you choose limits

Ding!  An email pops into your inbox – a request, an enquiry – it might be from your colleague, the boss or a potential customer.  Its 6:30pm, you’re just about to have dinner together with your loved ones.  Do you open that email?  Of course you do!  You can’t resist!

Then, dinner is ready so off you go downstairs.  What’s happened though?  Suddenly you’re feeling a little uptight, agitated even and your mind is racing.  The email?!  You’re thinking ‘I have to answer it quickly’, ‘I have to respond’, ‘I have to get this info to them’, ‘I have to…   And then you’re eating you dinner but you’re not really there.  Your loved ones are speaking to you, you can hear yourself making the appropriate noises but you’re not really listening – really you want to get back to respond to that email.  So there you are missing the precious moments of your life with your loved ones because of FOMO – and this happens frequently doesn’t it?

Fear of Missing Out – a very common phenomenon.  Thing is, this is it folks.  That time with your loved ones, you don’t get that back.

A few years ago, I used to almost panic when an email or request arrived in my inbox.  Straight away I’d be thinking…I have to answer it now, I have to give them the right answer or else… I’ll look incompetent, I won’t get the assignment, my boss will think I’m lazy, I won’t be working hard enough, fast enough, I’ll lose my job….the list goes on.

After I took The Power of Purpose in 2010, I realised that actually I don’t have to do anything!!!  I might want to, this however is not the same thing.  This is a very subtle but important difference.  One is a choice, the other is a demand.  The other thing I noticed was that it was me adding on the ‘now’ deadline, not the person who’d sent the email.  AND I could ask for a deadline or indeed offer one.

Oh my gosh I felt SO free!  The awareness I learnt quite frankly freed me from the tyranny and grip that my mind had on me.  It’s not that I don’t still react but now I am more aware of what’s happening and this enables me to make more conscious choices, more of the time – rather than be driven by my unconscious mental demands.  Those demands usually end up with me flitting between tasks and reducing my productivity completely.  Sure, I could miss out on something but what’s the worst that could happen?  Once I think about worst case scenario, the truth is I don’t actually know that this is what will happen anyway.  Likely?  I suspect not.

So when that email pops in, consider:

  1. Who put the deadline on you or them?
  2. What’s the worst case scenario if you don’t respond immediately (or indeed until X?)
  3. What’s the truth – do you HAVE to or do you WANT to?

Come and explore how to release the demands you have on yourself, in a warm and welcoming environment, in my FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Join me for an FREE online taster session on Wednesday 3rd or 10th February 2016 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

Are you Judge and Jury?

judge 1

How often do we – as soon as someone says or does something we don’t like – make a fundamental judgement about what sort of person they are and what, in fact, they should have said or done instead?

I sent a text message to a colleague of mine a few weeks ago, a nice friendly message asking what she’d been up to and sharing about some really important events that are happening for me.  I received a reply nearly 10 days later, to which I thought…what?  Why has it taken you nearly 10 days to reply?

I felt aggrieved, irritated and really disappointed.  Right in that moment my assessment was that her behaviour is ignorant, rude, inconsiderate, disconnected, uncaring, selfish even.  I also made a judgement that she should have replied sooner or at the very least provide some explanation of why she did not respond for ages.

Sound familiar?

I challenge you to think about a recent event where you were irritated with someone.  What is your assessment about them and what they should have said or done?

It seems such a natural thing and a way of life in our world to make those assessments and ultimately judgements about others.  We know better!  We know really how someone else should have behaved and what they really should have said or done.

I wonder though is that assessment and those judgements going to cloud our perception of that person?  The next time we see or speak to them, won’t those judgements come alive again – accompanied by irritation and/or a range of other negative emotions.

The thing about those judgements is, are they really true?  I know for me my colleague is definitely not rude, ignorant, inconsiderate, uncaring or selfish – quite the opposite actually.

The sad thing is if I don’t tell the truth about my judgements it is highly likely when I am next in contact with my colleague I will hold those judgements against her.  Then I am likely to hold back, be distant, be closed and unwilling to connect.

So what about you?  What do your assessments and judgements mean for your relationships?

Do you want to hold onto them and disconnect?

Come and explore this in more detail in my Transforming Conflict Taster Session on Wednesday 2nd December 10am-12:30pm.

We will look at how to identify and transform our judgements and bring about a different connection when someone says or does something we don’t like.

Please book early as this will be a small group so places will be limited!

Book a FREE Place

BE the change you want to see in the world…

The Power of My Purpose

PoP-CD-168x165 - small

I started writing this post thinking I should write something interesting, eye-catching – compelling even.  Instead I am choosing to share with you the truth, what teaching The Power of Purpose really means to me and what I think is possible from my own experience.

I took The Power of Purpose myself in early 2011 and I went in thinking YES!  this is the course for me.  I am going to have this one licked.  I am really goal orientated, I am determined and I’m achieving – what can this course possibly offer me that I don’t know already?  I went in believing I knew how to be purposeful and I’d just have a few extra tools to use to my advantage.

What I learned is that being mindful about purpose isn’t about ticking a list (I do like a ‘to do’ list) or how much I’m getting through in a day.  Being on Purpose is about being clear about what I REALLY want, my heartfelt purpose for wanting it and what that really means to me.  This empowers me to make discerning choices to stay on track.  Even if that’s challenging or doesn’t look like I thought it would.  I can always course correct.

My purposes now are mindful, deeper, grounded and held by a strong vision of what difference I want to make in the world – and to myself.

When life throws those (sometimes massive) curve balls, I now have the tools to get off the hamster wheel, stop beating myself up and get back on track.  It’s an ongoing daily purpose in itself to be conscious of my purpose and not get distracted by a number of other things that I could be doing instead or things that come my way (ooh look a shiny object!).

You see I grew up believing there was a certain way to be and a particular path to follow to be successful, and I believed I had to survive by playing along.  Get a good stable job, get good grades, get a pension – be setup for life etc.  The truth is I never wanted that.  I wanted more.  What I wanted was to have the freedom to find my own path, to put my energy into work that I cared deeply about and that for me would make the difference.    And I wanted to empower others to do the same.

So here it is…teaching this course for me is about freedom, reminding myself and teaching others to use the tools that will liberate them from a life of demands.  This is the difference I am committed to making in the world.  I want more people to know that they can motivate themselves by consciously choosing rather than driving themselves through fear of what they will be or look like if they fail.  I want more people to live and go for the life that they are truly capable of and not be limited by their beliefs about themselves, others or life.  I want people to know they always, always have a choice.

For me this powerful course is about mindfully raising awareness of what gets in the way of my deepest purposes so I can consciously choose what to do with this information – rather than getting carried along.  When I am on purpose in this way I am ‘at cause’ rather than ‘effect’ of what comes my way.  I see different possibilities, I get much more creative AND discerning.  And very importantly I get to be mindful, improve the quality of my experiences and I’m much more present to enjoy the journey!!!  This is such a different perspective to what can happen when I end up ‘just trying to get through’ or driving myself to do more and more, quicker and quicker.  When I am in that frame of mind whatever I do isn’t enough.

We all have our own story and the truly amazing things is our story can be a powerful basis for our life purpose.  This is what I am learning now.  I am looking forward to hearing some of the stories, wants, challenges and visions for those who will be on the journey with me in the next Power of Purpose course.

Come along to a taster event running in Hertfordshire on Tuesday 10th November 4:30-6:30pm

FREE tickets here: FREE Power of Purpose taster – book!

Changing Leadership Behaviour

change outcomes

I was chatting to someone from a design agency this week and we got into this conversation about behavioural change.  We were discussing how important it is to align executive/senior leadership behaviour with brand core values.  Especially as many companies invest heavily in brand design and development.

I remember at one point he said, well yes it’s hard to ‘get people to change’.  As I said to him ‘getting someone’ to do anything or change is something that rarely works in the long-term.  And it is pretty presumptuous.  Change is a choice, always.

It is so important to ensure that executives and senior teams are actively committed to role modelling brand values.  We copy what we see, right?  However leadership teams behave, that’s what will be played out day-to-day throughout the company culture.

Role modelling isn’t about being perfect or getting something ‘right’.  It’s about a commitment to being conscious of one’s own behaviour and proactively working towards growth (and brand alignment).

The cost of not doing so can be big, particularly with customers.  For example: if one of your core values is integrity, yet the company culture is to not call customers back, not be honest about mistakes or product suitability, not stay in communication when you can’t deliver, not keep your word – the result can be a huge loss of reputation.  Just look what happened to banks with the financial crisis or more recently energy companies.

So how does one change habits, particularly habits and behaviour that may have been around in our lives for 20, 30, 40 + years?

Here are 3 recommendations to start you off:

  1. Willingness – ask do you really want to change your behaviour? It may be a nice idea, aspirational even – but is it something you actual want to do?  Being totally honest with yourself is the crucial first step.  Once you are clear about this you can make a conscious choice to go forward.  Thoughts such as ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’ can indicate a state of obligation not willingness
  2. Definition – what is it that you actually want to change? The important thing is to be extremely specific.  Define your actual step-by-step behaviour in a scenario that is usually challenging for you.  Be honest!  Definitions such as ‘stop procrastinating’ or ‘don’t react aggressively’ are great, however they are too ambiguous for you to be able to pin point when they are happening in the moment
  3. Practise – this is where you get to play! Once you have defined the behaviour you want to change, the game is to practise, practise and practise.  Practise NOTICING when you are doing the behaviour you want to change, this is critical and powerful part.  When you NOTICE, you have the opportunity to make a different choice.  Then keep practising…it may take hours, months, years even and every little bit counts.  Whether you change something or not, the challenge will be to go back in and have another go – one more time.

The wonderful thing about changing behaviour is that you will always have ‘one more time’ – you will always have another opportunity no matter how long it takes.

Now that’s something to be grateful for…

 

If you’d like some insight into your leadership behaviour – or to get clear on what to change and how.  I am offering a limited number of FREE 45min insight sessions during August…

http://behaviourinsight.questionpro.com/

Your Leadership Is YOU

Amercian Ed Letter Be YOU

I saw this letter via one of my facebook friends and reading this really touched my heart.

Just imagine what a world we would have if every child heard and experienced this truth in their school life.

This reminded me of how unique we all are and therefore how uniquely each of us in our leadership.  You bring something to the party that no-one else can.

I read this brilliant quote today ‘the biggest wall to climb is the one you build in your mind. You do not need a hammer to knock it down…just the will to act’.

 

Humanity in Leadership

Forgiveness is an Attitude

During many coaching sessions this week a similar theme started to arise. ‘I should have done X’, ‘I’ll get it wrong’…followed by a range of feared scenarios whereby the leader, the team and others are going to suffer considerably.

I wondered whether there’s a pre-determination in this attitude. If we have already decided we’ve failed, where is there to go? What future is there to commit to? AND what a great excuse to give up, pull back or not confront our own fear of stepping up our game?

Of course then there is the truth. You, I and Everyone Else is a human being. And human being = fallible.  Perfect?  The epitome?  Who knows what or where that is?  I wouldn’t want to know it anyway, where’s the challenge in that? Where’s the leadership growth?

So forgive yourself and get back in. Step up to being the awesome leader you are – one more time….and again…and again…and again…