Change One Thing, Change Everything

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

 

BUCKMINSTER FULLER 

 

Conversations are not what we think they are. We mostly tell people what’s on our mind or what to do, share a story or information. Conversations are interactive and dynamic, they evolve and impact the way we connect to one another. Conversations help us influence and shape reality and mindsets in a collaborative way. Conversational Intelligence is what separates those who are successful from those who are not – in business, relationships and in marriages – one conversation at a time.

My passion for conversations started at a very early age.  I came to this country at age five and learnt to speak English at school. My parents were not schooled in English, our language at home was always Italian, our parents spoke in Italian and I responded in English -translation was never easy.

It wasn’t until I started running my own business at the age of twenty-one that I learnt my greatest lessons. Conversations were an integral part of my business, and my clients and team were my teachers. To this day, I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned and am still learning.

Over the many years of working in the business world, I have discovered that conversations are essential to an organisation. The ability to created shared meaning about what needs to be done and why, so that employees get excited and are clear about the future they are helping to create together.

Words create our worlds and Judith E. Glaser in her work with many organisations discovered that when we change just one or two words in a conversation we change everything. Paying close attention to our non-verbal cues and we become more sensitive to the impact they are having. What happens at the moment of contact defines the relationship.   Putting our relationships before task means we don’t only partner with our people, we build high levels of TRUST which Judith called the Neuroscience of  WE.

 

The Neuroscience of WE – Building Skills That Achieve Results

 

To help teams get to the root of an issue Judith developed a program that taught people the skills to Achieve Results – which I have often used in my work with clients.

 

STAR SKILLS

Skills That Achieve Results

  1. Build Rapport – focuses on getting on the same wavelength with the person you are talking with. We create rapport instinctively, it is our natural defence from conflict. Our body language plays a big part in building rapport, how we show up, others will show up. Watch how people communicate and build rapport in the work place when having a conversation – are they relaxed, open and welcoming or guarded and closed?
  1. Listening without judgement – paying full attention to the other person while they are speaking and resisting the need to judge or reject, formulate your response in your mind. Research confirms that we go in and out of listening every 18 seconds. Make yourself available to what the other person is really saying. 
  1. Asking discovery questions – open your mind to the power of curiosity, as well as the possibility of changing our views as we listen and learn. Be open and receptive to understanding the other persons point of view.
  1. Dramatise your message – this creates a healthy trusting relationship. Try different ways to communicate. Telling a story or using a metaphor. When you fully understand the other person, you are more likely to get back what you give.
  1. Celebrate success – focuses us on seeing and validating “What success looks like” and a commitment to celebrate when this is achieved. Appreciate one another’s point of view.

 

The words we use in conversations are rarely neutral. Words have histories formed by years of use. These words get activated during conversations and by understanding how words trigger different parts of the brain and stimulate behaviours and habits, you can develop and grow your Conversational Intelligence to build a healthier, more resilient organisation.

 

 

Create a Safe Workplace

“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationship, which depends on the quality of the conversations,

Everything happens through conversation!!!”

Judith E. Glaser

If I asked you who the best Boss, you have had was – could you name him or her?

If I asked you who the worst Boss, you ever had was – I know you could name him or her.

 

Judith E. Glaser whom I worked with for 3 years taught me the importance of “changing the conversation in the workplace” In my work I see too many broken people, who have been undermined, unsupported and not recognised for the work that they do. In world where we are so fixated on our technology – real conversations are not taking place.

We are asked to do more, be more and know more. We feel we are connected and yet we don’t speak to the people sitting around us.

Human beings thrive on being appreciated, valued and supported. When the work environment feels threatening, it brings out fears that will be experienced as rejection. While we may not see the impact, a negative work environment dampens down people’s “voices” and they don’t speak up easily. Environments, certain words and lack of transparency trigger old memories. By changing the environment to a safe and supportive one, we activate TRUST networks in the Brain.

People feel safe, act more confident and engage with one another in an innovative and collaborative way. They are more engaged and productivity is increased.

I recently read an article in HBR by Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., is Author of The Happiness Track, and Kim Cameron, Ph.D., Business Author of Positive Leadership and Practicing Positive Leadership.

I have gently edited this for the purpose of sharing the 5 tips from their article “Proof that a Positive Culture is more productive.”

  1. Foster social connections. A large number of empirical studies confirm that positive social connections at work produce highly desirable results. For example, people get sick less often, recover twice as fast from surgery, experience less depression, learn faster and remember longer, tolerate pain and discomfort better, display more mental acuity, and perform better on the job.
  1. Show empathy. As a boss, you have a huge impact on how your employees feel. Research found that, when employees recalled a boss that had been unkind or un-empathic, they showed increased activation in areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negative emotion while the opposite was true when they recalled an empathic boss.
  1. Go out of your way to help. Ever had a manager or mentor who took a lot of trouble to help you when he or she did not have to? Chances are you have remained loyal to that person to this day.  When leaders are not just fair but self-sacrificing, their employees are actually moved and inspired to become more loyal and committed themselves. As a consequence, they are more likely to go out of their way to be helpful and friendly to other employees, thus creating a self-reinforcing cycle. Daan Van Knippenberg of Rotterdam School of Management shows that employees of self-sacrificing leaders are more cooperative because they trust their leaders more. They are also more productive and see their leaders as more effective and charismatic.
  1. Encourage people to talk to you – especially about their problems.Not surprisingly, trusting that leader has your best interests at heart improves employee performance. Employees feel safe rather than fearful. Fostering a culture of safety i.e. in which leaders are inclusive, humble, and encourage their staff to speak up or ask for help, leads to better learning and performance outcomes. Rather than creating a culture of fear of negative consequences, feeling safe in the workplace helps encourage the spirit of experimentation so critical for innovation.
  1. When you know a leader is committed to operating from a set of values based on interpersonal kindness, he or she sets the tone for the entire organization. In Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant demonstrates that leader kindness and generosity are strong predictors of team and organizational effectiveness.

A positive work climate also leads to a positive workplace culture which, again, boosts commitment, engagement, and performance. Happier employees make for not only a more congenial workplace but for improved customer service. As a consequence, a happy and caring culture at work not only improves employee well-being and productivity but also improved client health outcomes and satisfaction.

In sum, a positive workplace is more successful over time because it increases positive emotions and well-being. This, in turn, improves people’s relationships with each other and amplifies their abilities and their creativity. It buffers against negative experiences such as stress, thus improving employees’ ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties while bolstering their health. And, it attracts employees, making them more loyal to the leader and to the organization as well as bringing out their best strengths. When organizations develop positive, virtuous cultures they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee engagement.

 

What’s In It For Me For 2019

Ever heard of the Radio Station WIFM? A term used by Personal Development and Sales Training guru’s back in the 90’s – I still hear people say it today.

What’s In It For Me? let’s turn that into What do I want for Me?

After having a wonderful holiday with my family for Christmas and New Year, I have spent this week working from home planning 2019 – let me say that there has been no shortage of suggestion flying through the emails on how to plan for success, how to make it different, along with an enormous amount of planners and diaries on offer – interestingly they are all paper planners and no electronic ones on offer – funny that. It seems that not everyone plans and schedules on their devices.

There really is no excuse – there is so much information out there to help you plan, just ask google..

This year I have chosen to use the Goal Digger Planner – I found it last year and it worked really well for me, I have everything in one place, my goals, my vision board and my bucket list for the year and an easy method to keep track of it all.

The book I chose to read for inspiration is Robin Sharma’s 5am Club I have been following Robin for years and love his work. The first book I read of his was, Leader Who has no title you don’t need a title to be a leader. The 5 am Club offers you the idea that the first hour of your day is magic – it sets up your day for huge productivity and focus. I haven’t quite got to 5am but have managed 5.30 this week. It is a good read, very motivating and I highly recommend it.

What ever you choose to do to start your year on the right trajectory – take the time to get clear about what you want, how you are going to make this year different to last year, how you want to show up, how you will connect with others and how you will contribute. If you find it hard to do on your own – get someone to help you. The hardest question my clients find hard to answer is “What do you want”

If professional and personal development is on your list for 2019 – we have our workshops beginning on 6 March in Canberra and 13 March In Sydney – more information will be following in the next few weeks.

I will leave you with a quote from – Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor

“Do not live as if you have ten thousand years left. Your fate hangs over you. While you are still living, while you still exist on this Earth, strive to become a genuinely great person”

Happy New Year – I wish you prosperity, good health and love

Self Esteem through Self Awareness

Some call it self-esteem, some call it confidence, some believe it comes from Self-Awareness or Self-Control. Self-esteem flows from your self-image, your overall opinion of yourself– how you feel about your abilities and limitations. When your self-esteem is healthy, people feel good when they are around you and you feel more confident around others around others.

Self-esteem plays a significant role in your motivation and success. When your survival needs of Health, Safety and Financial Stability are taken care of and family and friendships are strong, you develop a strong sense of worth – your confident, self reliant and very resourceful.

Low self-esteem may hold you back from succeeding at work because you don’t believe yourself to be capable of success. you may feel that you don’t have enough for your survival needs or that you are not loved enough which leads to a feeling of not being enough.

When you find your tribe, you stop comparing yourself;  you may aspire to be like others but you have your own unique thumbprint that cannot be changed to be like anyone else’s. The sooner we learn to be our unique selves, build on our own experiences and share our own stories the sooner we start to build our own self-esteem and confidence.

You probably have a good sense of who you are if you exhibit the following signs:       

  • Ability to say no
  • Positive outlook
  • Ability to see overall strengths and weaknesses and accept them
  • Negative experiences don’t impact overall perspective
  • Ability to express your needs
  • Confidence

To increase your awareness around self-esteem, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How much do I really like myself?
  2. How significant do I think my life is?
  3. How worthy do I believe I am of other people’s attention?
  4. How truly confident of my abilities am I?
  5. Are others as important to me as me?
Most of what you need is right there within you, waiting for you to tap into it. The kind of high self-esteem that attracts others to you is pure authenticity – being more of the person you already are, without the mental tricks that get in your way.
Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to recognise and master your feelings, and inner thoughts that affect your behaviour. Learning how to recognise and control these behaviours is a big first step.

Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to keep these impulses and emotions in check during stressful situations, like having difficult conversations or walking through that door to your next meeting or having the ability to control the conversation in your head – yes you know the one….

Emotional Self Awareness

Ever get that uneasy feeling in your gut – not sure what it’s all about? Try and ignore it and it will keep coming back until you pay it some attention.

Understanding these different emotions is being “Emotionally Self–Aware”

Daniel Goleman the Author of Emotional Intelligence – a book he wrote over 20 years ago – says in his new research:

“Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to understand your own emotions and their effects on your performance. You know what you are feeling and why – and how it helps or hurts what you are trying to do. You sense how others see you and so align your self-image with ta larger reality. You have an accurate sense of your strengths and limitations, which gives you a realistic self-confidence. It also gives your clarity on your values and sense of purpose, so you can be more decisive when you set a course of action”.- Read the Article here

You have the best skills to do your job – do you have the skills to manage yourself and your relationships?

Emotional Self Awareness isn’t something you achieve once and then you’re done –  you make a conscious decision to continually strive for self-awareness

Jim Rohn once said:

“the more you work on yourself – the more the world around you changes.”

My next “Power of Self Awareness” workshop is in Canberra on the 27th of September 2018

Personal Power

When I first read Jack Canfield’s book – The Success Principles – the very first principle hit home for me big time – it was that we need to take 100% responsibility for where we are in our lives right now!  This includes your level of achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings – everything!

Doing this exercise, it became very clear to me where I had and had not taken 100% responsibility. When I looked at the results, it wasn’t easy to admit or accept responsibility.Most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like. We blame our parents our bosses, our friends, the media, the government, the economy, the weather, our clients, our spouse – in fact anything we can pin the blame on – not looking at where the real problem is – ourselves.

Dr Robert Resnick has a very simple formula that makes the idea of 100% responsibility even clearer.  Here it is.

E + R = O

(Event + Response = Outcome)

To explain it simply, you can change your responses (R) to the event (E) the way things are, until you get the outcomes (O) that you want – this is the formula to Personal Power. Personal Power is the first on the list – assuming full responsibility for your life and taking control of the things that you have the ability to change. It is about taking responsibility for the way you think, the way that you communicate and how you show up in this world.

Personal Power
 accepts that although we can’t always control everything that happens to us, we have the free will and conscience to control our responses.
Here are three simple questions you can ask yourself to measure your level of Personal Power is:
  1. Can I always choose my response to other peoples behavior or events?
  2. How much control over my life do I really have?
  3. Do I feel that I am the architect of my life or is someone else designing it for me?
  4. Have I created habits that are not in line with my values and principles?
Personal Power is about the power we have over ourselves. It is not about the power that we wish to have over others. The importance of personal power is this – if you can’t take control of yourself, the inner you, then the people  around you will sense that. If your thoughts do not match your values you will never come across as being authentic.
If you take responsibility for your personal power you can increase your freedom, and take control of how you respond to life’s events, which in turn creates higher self esteem and confidence.
If you would like to increase your personal power through high self-awareness, have more control over your thoughts rather than your thoughts having control over you and increase your circle of influence – simply book into our next workshop “The Power of Self-Awareness” 

New dates for 2018 workshops have been added.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how I can help you create your personal power please contact me.