Emotion is judged harshly in business.
Some share with me they're told to remove the emotion.
Others think they need to feel more emotion.
So how much emotion is the right amount in business?
Accountability is a mindset leaders look for most in their people. Higher levels of ownership across the organisation so everyone's focused on the right things and resources are utilised efficiently.
But empowering accountability is one of the biggest challenges leaders face. Without the right skills and awareness, it's easy to rely on driving people harder or giving up and overcompensating by doing more themselves.
It can be easier to stay in the small stuff than turn our attention to the big stuff.
Doing the small stuff means we get to put ticks in the boxes, cross things off the list, feel like we've achieved something today.
We know how to do the small stuff. Tasks related to our area of expertise, practical and tangible things our stressed brain gets a kick-along from achieving.
A few months ago, I began working with a manager in a medium-sized organisation. She had been promoted to the role about a year ago and although passionate and committed, had been challenged in bringing the team together and empowering them to consistently achieve their KPI's.
This team fed into all other arms of the business and due to the gaps in performance, other teams had created costly workarounds to overcompensate.
A leader recently shared with me his uncertainty in how to effectively support a member of his senior leadership team, in developing her communication skills and her ability to engage and influence.
He shared that he had tried everything to give her the best opportunity to self-reflect, build self-awareness and perform to the needs of the business. But now he was at a loss to know how to navigate, what felt to him to be a very complex and sensitive situation. And to do it in a way that maintained trust, resolved the challenges and allowed everyone to grow.
When someone is in a communication exchange with you, what's their experience? Do they feel heard, valued, appreciated, inspired and energised?
Or do they sometimes feel protective, confused, unheard, unsure and unmoved?
Communication Intelligence (CI) originally related to the quality of data captured from communication. But, for me, the term speaks directly to our skills and ability in what we bring to communication.
At my Real Women: Bold Leadership breakfast event on Friday a courageous and inspiring woman shared how, in the past, she'd judged other women who had confidently put themselves forward for opportunities, knowing she could've done just as well. It was a vulnerable and powerful share that rippled across the room as women related, knowing they'd silently done the same.
We've all done it, judged another for succeeding, compared ourselves to them, even put them down with our harsh comments, triggered by jealousy.
If you are responsible for managing a middle manager, think back for a moment to when you were in their place.
Likely to have been promoted to the middle manager role due to your performance and technical expertise. You were once part of a team and enjoyed the camaraderie, then you became their boss with little training in people skills. It was now your job to achieve results through others - others who had their own minds, agendas, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.
It was once enough, or so we thought, for leaders to lead from the front, forge ahead, direct people where to go and performance manage them if they didn't follow.
It was once enough for leaders to get in the trenches and work beside their people, helping them do their work, sometimes finishing it for them.
Every person you meet is hiding behind some kind of mask. Hiding pieces of themselves they don't want you to see. A part of their identity they've decided won't be liked, accepted or welcomed by you or the tribe they want to belong to.
We become very skilful at hiding behind our masks, to the point that we almost convince ourselves it's who we are. With our years of dedicated practice in moulding ourselves to fit in, our mask thickens and we lose touch with the woman within.
I was called a bully once. About 13 years ago.
I’d been coaching for 7 years in some form by that time and had gone through the eye of the needle in my personal development, which just means I’d done some serious work on myself.
When that word was directed at me, I was in a support role within the public sector. I was shocked and thought the person must’ve been talking to someone else. I knew myself to be deeply heartfelt on the inside, convinced that if you cracked opened my rib cage and peered in you’d see a cluster of fluffy marshmallows.
Recently I attended a week long retreat with Dr. Joe Dispenza, lecturer in neuroscience, amongst many other fascinating things.
Joe works comprehensively with people around the world in shifting mindset to shift results (simply speaking), and also runs programs for corporations on cultural change.
When I was 14 I dove into synchronised swimming. It was a sport that swam quietly under the radar back then. I wasn't very good at it but I loved it.
A crucial skill to master was the egg-beater kick, a way to tread water that freed your upper body for other important tasks, like making fancy shapes in the air. If you've ever seen the impossibly wide smiles of a synchronised swimmer as she or he madly beats their legs under the surface, you may have concluded they were working hard for a disproportionate return.
Where in your work are you half in, half out? Committed in physical presence but uncommitted in mental and emotional attention? It might be on a project, with a particular person or a chronically missed KPI.
We all do it and if you survey your team on any given day, most of your people (Gallup tells us 76%), at some point will be half way out the back door.
The Success Continuum, by Paul J. Meyer, a pioneer in the personal development industry, tells us that the ultimate driver of our behaviour and results is the input we receive over time (see diagram below).
Unfortunately most leaders and managers have never learned this well-researched fact and so when attempting to influence the behaviour of their people, they focus on trying to change the behaviour itself.
Recently I was speaking to a group of women at a women's leadership summit about how to lead through presence, authentic confidence and self-awareness. In the room of 100 women, there were also 6 men attending. Over a networking drink after the event, I asked the men what brought them here and their responses surprised me, more on this later.
Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, author and speaker calls Emotional Intelligence (EQ) the trade of the next decade. So valuable that businesses won't thrive without it. In his short video, Gary talks about the importance of internal feelings. In other words, understanding our people beyond our own opinions of who they are, what they need and how they
When I first learned about masculine and feminine energy, I was fascinated and found the concept enlightening, the knowledge liberating.
Contrary to what I first thought, to feel feminine I didn’t need to wear flowing purple skirts and flowers in my hair. Nothing against skirts and flowers, but they just weren’t me.