I had a “thinking session” arranged with a friend and fellow business owner this afternoon. However an emergency arose in her life so she had to pull out. On checking my inbox I found two emails requiring my “soon as possible” signature on some documents. So I was able to attend to that. I then realised my newsletter was late so I am using the unexpected opening in my calendar to write it.
How often do you notice that when things seemingly “go wrong” they actually help something else to fall into place? I just love it.
Who’s being strangled?
A few years ago a friend recommended her hairdresser in Illovo. So the next time I needed a haircut off I went. Grant did a great job and I’ve continued to see him regularly since. I love how my hair just feels different after a good cut and how it comes alive. However after the last two visits I didn’t really get that feeling.
I was wondering if I needed to change hairdressers but I thought let’s just see how it goes this time. Off I went feeling very bored with my hair. I sat down and Grant asked me what I wanted done this time. I replied “I don’t know. What would you like to do?” He straight away picked up that I was ready for a change and asked a couple of questions to ascertain the parameters of that change! And off he went.
The result was great. Both of us were happy.
The next day as I was brushing my hair I was musing over what had made the difference. Even though on previous visits I hadn’t been too directive as to what he should do, I think Grant had been feeling restricted, or he’d got into a rut. My open invitation to him to do what he pleased (within reason) released his creativity and his talent all over again.
It was a reminder to me of how easy it is to stifle a person. And how wonderful when the person is free to show how good they are.
One of the recruitment companies has been running a radio advert that says something like “you don’t want slackers, recruit the right people”. When I hear it I want to add on “and then give them the freedom to show you how good they are.”
What aspects of your work environment – structures, systems, processes, people (managers) – maybe stifling instead of enabling? How much more ability do people have that isn’t being revealed at work? Just think what releasing it could mean to the growth of the company. It could be like having a 50% greater workforce with no increase in cost.
Alison Gitelson, Management Growth Enabler, enabling you to do business better.
© copyright 2015 – All Rights Reserved
Quote of the Day
“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” – John Kenneth Galbraith
My Little Black Book
A past client of mine has started a business which I think is an excellent idea.
She is a very experienced financial/commercial officer, and a really smart, dynamic young woman. Through her business an SME can have access to all the knowledge and benefits of a corporate CFO for a few days per month. Which is all most SME’s require.
Enid says “we offer a solution that helps you balance the cost of quality. High level financial executives can bring meaningful and reliable business insight in a fraction of the time of a mid-level resource. As such an SME may only require a few days per month of an experienced world-class CFO in order for you to access these insights.”
To read more look for Enid Smith, founder YourCFO, on LinkedIn or contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Here in South Africa April is the month the school children love and the business owners rue.
It is a month of public holidays, school holidays and mild, sunny autumnal days. Very challenging if you want to get a lot of work finished. However there is plenty of research to show that we are much more productive when we take regular breaks so perhaps we can make this a month of revitalising long weekends and still complete the work?
Later in the month we are off to south east Botswana returning via Herman Charles Bosman country. I have never been to Gaberone nor Groot Marico before, so any advice for what not to miss will be appreciated.
Trust & Respect – Golden keys
One day my daughter commented that she was lucky that I trusted her. My response was that I trusted her because she had never given me a reason not to do so. So it was she who had created her “luck”!
Being respected and trusted are golden keys for leader-managers to be able to help their people to achieve extraordinary results. But I think they are just as important in all our relationships.
One of the most robust discussions I have facilitated in a Conversation that Matters was between around 25 employees of a business unit discussing whether respect was automatically given or had to be earned. There were strong proponents for both extremes and then some who felt it should initially be given by default but the subsequent behaviour would determine whether or not it continued.
It is almost impossible for me to trust someone without respecting them, and vice versa, so I prefer to keep the two terms together.
On a recent programme I was facilitating with a great group of leader-managers, the talented Nikesh made some clever illustrations of the points his small group discussed as well as those from the feedback to the larger group. He was happy for me to share them with you. It is quite fun to work out the meaning of each. Like one of those puzzles in the Sunday paper.
This first one was whilst answering the question “What actions/ behaviours breakdown respect &/or trust?” Which others can you think of?
No matter how well respected or trusted you are it takes very few “poor behaviours” to shatter it. It is a gift we need to treasure.
These next two illustrate suggestions made in answer to the question “What can you as a leader-manager do to earn the respect &/or trust of your team?” Have some fun seeing if you can work them out. And which others can you think of? Then test yourself as to how personally aligned you are to these actions or behaviours.
To what degree do others at work and home respect you? And trust you? If that is already high, well done! I hope you are using that wonderful foundation to build some really effective collaboration.
If it isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, no problem. Think about what behaviours you need to change in yourself and start work on them – one at a time. Bit by bit you’ll get there. At the same time look for people you can respect and trust. It’s a two way street.
© copyright 2014 – All Rights Reserved
Quote of the Day
“Trust is the emotional glue that binds followers & leaders together. ~ Warren Bennis & Bert Nanus
My Little Black Book
This is for those of you near to Centurion. With all my family’s sport participation we have spent a lot of time at physios.
As each of the children moved away to study they reluctantly separated from our long time physio Wendy Viviers and found practitioners near to their place of study.
My daughter took ages to find anyone who could meet her high standards. Eventually she found Kobus Maree in Southdowns, Irene. www.kobusmaree.com She appreciated his knowledge and expertise as a physiotherapist as well as his genuine concern for his client’s well being.
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Last week my husband and I spent a lovely weekday together. We went out for breakfast, shopped leisurely, stopped for a cappuccino and generally felt as though we were bunking school!
The occasion was his birthday. Last year we began a new tradition of both taking the day off to spend his whole birthday together. As his love language is Quality Time he really enjoys and appreciates this. And I have the bonus of enjoying it as well!
I was wondering who else does something on their birthday that makes it a definitely different day from the rest of the week?
To Solve or not to Solve?
The other day my daughter described something in her life that sounded like a problem. When she finished I remained quiet, processing what she’d said. She then went on to say, “You don’t need to solve it, I just needed to say it.” I was quite relieved! I had been thinking, “I don’t know what to suggest. What should I say?”
Her talking through the issue, and me hearing her, was far more important than her getting a solution at that point in time. For many of us that is a strange way of thinking. We are accustomed to going straight into solution mode.
Very often better solutions would be found if we first allowed more time for people to express their needs and feelings. We could be more helpful by asking some questions which focussed their thoughts. And, in giving them the time to think out loud, they may find their own solution, or just the acceptance of what is. This applies both at home and at work.
During a workshop I was facilitating for managers we practised Fierce Conversations. These are structured conversations that allow us to confront tough issues with courage, compassion and skill. (If you are interested in the model see below.)
In this ten step method we name the issue in step one but we only talk about any sort of solution in step nine!
The delegates really struggled with this. They kept jumping to the solution before clarifying how they felt about it, or what was at stake, or eliciting the other person’s viewpoint. They also wanted to present the other person with the solution instead of allowing them to make suggestions.
If the problem is ‘solved’ in this manner the opportunity to be aware of alternative perspectives is missed. The other person hasn’t developed any of their own problem solving skills. And very often they are unwilling to change their behaviour to adopt your chosen solution.
I myself am a solution oriented person. I have had to work very hard at listening, asking appropriate questions and allowing others to find answers for themselves. However the results when I get it right are so exciting. The other person feels so much better about their own abilities, they often come up with amazing ideas and they are far more likely to go ahead and implement those ideas with enthusiasm.
There are of course times when you are in fact responsible for finding a solution, especially in a work environment. Even then the results maybe better if you involve a group of people in the discussion to find a solution. Letting go of the need to always have the solutions can be a big relief.
A possible new approach is:
Wishing you a happy and safe festive season. I will catch up with you later in January.
© copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved
News – new offerings coming in January
In April I wrote that I was reading a book called “Happiness at Work. Maximising your psychological capital for success” The content of this resonated so well with me as I often describe my vision as “productive, effective businesses with happy, engaged, fulfilled people working in them”. Since then I have accredited as a Science of Happiness at WorkTM expert.
This means that I have some great new, practical, diagnostic tools to help identify the most important areas for us to work on within your company as well as to be able to track the ROI on the chosen interventions.
For individuals I now have a great tool for identifying what is or isn’t bringing you happiness (satisfaction) at work. This helps us to be very focussed during our development session(s).
Watch out in the New Year for some introductory specials.
Fierce Conversations Model
OPENING STATEMENT (60s or less):
Your opening statement should:
- Name the issue.
- Select a specific example that illustrates the behaviour or situation you want to change.
- Describe your emotions about this issue.
- Clarify what is at stake.
- Identify your contribution to this problem.
- Indicate your wish to resolve the issue.
- Invite the other person to respond.
- Inquire into the other person’s views. Make sure the other person knows that you fully understand and acknowledge his or her position and interests.
- What have we learned? Where are we now? How can we move forward from here, given our new understanding?
- Make a new agreement and determine how you will hold each other responsible for keeping it.
From Fierce Conversations – Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott
Quote of the Day
“I’ve come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way. The challenges we face in life are always lessons that serve our soul’s growth.” Marianne Williamson
My Little Black Book
Recently I arranged to meet a friend for afternoon coffee. I was craving a really good cappuccino so she suggested we meet at Tasha’s in the Nicolway Centre. It really was good and a welcome change after some very so, so ones. Where else can one get good ones? I want to make a “Good Cappuccino Venues” list!
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