You’ve just completed a great project, met the deadlines and brought it in on budget. You are feeling good but nobody says a word? As days go by nothing comes back and you start to doubt your success. The internal dialogue ramps up to a point where you become totally focused on whether or not you did indeed complete a successful project. You venture to ask a couple of questions of the people from whom you may have expected some positive feedback but the bemused looks set you back even further so what’s going on?
Unconscious behaviour patterns are playing out here. You may have a high need for recognition and appreciation because your external reference system means you value other peoples opinions, external qualifications etc in order to measure your own success. Internally referenced people, on the other hand, measure their success against their own internal measures. They include the word ‘I’ to a large degree in their conversation and don’t need others to tell them they have done a good job. They will be bemused when externally referenced people ask for feedback and unconsciously view it as ‘needy’.
No feedback needed, thanks
Internally referenced people don’t take kindly to feedback because unconsciously they have a high degree of certainty that they are right (they are not always of course!). The unconscious thinking is that ‘if I don’t need feedback then nor does anyone else’. Consequently they don’t give it out and if they do it can sounds contrived and awkward. This type of behaviour can often come across as ‘confidence’ and will invariably help the internally reference person up the promotion ladder. They can also be very hard to give feedback to so here is a tip for you –
If you want to give feedback to an internally referenced person start with ‘Of course you probably already know this ……..’
Life is a paradox! Nothing is ever absolute as Yin Yang tells us. Flexibility is the name of the game and those who demonstrate it are generally more able to succeed in the world. Living by rules alone creates barriers and structures and limited thinking. Rules are often maintained long after they are obsolete. Living with constant choice, on the other hand, can create chaos for those involved not knowing what is likely to happen next and often paralysed into inaction because of it.
In an ideal world ‘All Procedure Should Increase Choice’. In other words the rules are there to create a platform of understanding from which to launch new, creative ideas. Take the rules of the road for example – without them chaos would reign and travelling from A to B or even C, D or E would become chaotic and traumatic.
Are your rules helping or hindering?
So next time you have a minute take a note of the rules (written and unwritten) that you abide by within your working environment. Are they helping or hindering creativity and progress. Equally are there some areas where rules might give people the confidence to break out of their comfort zones and make progress? Food for thought. Enjoy!
If you would like to know more about paradoxical success please get in touch with us
Communication is one of the most important skills a successful leader can develop. Effective communication is the tool to inspire, align a team around common goals, build trust and negotiate delicate situations.
Ineffective communication can leave teams feeling out of the loop and lacking in confidence and motivation. It can even result in a complete breakdown in trust between leader and employee/team. This in turn has a huge impact on productivity and can result in absenteeism, raised levels of sickness and staff churn. If you happen to work for a visionary company who recognize the importance of effective communication you will have been on the receiving end as well as seen the benefits of training in such skills.
Here are 5 areas you could consider if you want to do a bit of work on your own communication skills and style.
What do you feel you do well? Where could you do a bit better? And what could you put in place to help with that?
5 tips to improve your communication skills
How our communication is received will depend on the perception and viewpoint of the person receiving it. This means that it can be open to interpretation. However, the intention and the interpretation can often be miles apart. It is important to remember that it is the interpretation and not the intention that triggers action. So, if we want that action to be positive and progressive, we must take the utmost care with our communication.
You can read more on what effective communication can look like in this blog.
Are you interested in how we can help with developing this and other leadership skills for yourself or your team? Please get in touch at [email protected] or on 07768 922244
All too often at the end of a working day/shift arrives we close the laptop or do whatever else signifies the end of the day and embark immediately on something new.
But have we really left the day behind or are we still mulling over the unsolved issues/problems? Are we taking them to share with friends or family or maybe just to stew on until the next working period begins? Do they keep us awake, create stress and generally affect our mood? Do we ‘take it out’ on the family and then do they take it to school or work the next day?
This process often happens at an unconscious level creating stress and anxiety for those around us without us even realising it.
A simple habit changer
When you finish a period of work instead of mentally carrying all the issues with you – they will still be there the next day when you can approach them with a fresh and clear mind – take a couple of minutes to list all the things you have achieved during the working period just come to an end.
Mentally link this with the action that signifies the end of the working period e.g., closing the laptop or maybe picking up car keys.
Get into the habit for congratulating yourself for things achieved and free yourself to start the next activity with a clear mind.
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about how you can reframe your thinking
These insightful Tubthumping lyrics will have been heard a fair few times over recent weeks and years as we saw the England team move closer to a European trophy than we’ve seen in over 50 years. And granted, this song is more about the singers bragging about their drinking prowess than leadership success, but the sentiment still rings true…
It’s not necessarily the leader or the team who never fail that are the most successful, but those who fail, learn, and come back again and incorporate those learnings that can reap even greater benefits than ever. As Nelson Mandela says,
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
One of the most important qualities of a leader is resilience. Developing resilience, combined with perseverance, will help us and our teams not only to succeed in the good times, but to learn, grow and succeed through the crises, set-backs and ever-changing landscape we navigate.
Resilience and Perseverance – what is it?
Someone who demonstrates resilience and perseverance is someone who persists in the face of adversity, obstacles or setbacks including effectively managing a crisis and quickly adapting to change. There are a number of supporting behavioural traits, preferences and motivations identified and benchmarked which we can consider as essential in contributing to this:
Authoritative: The desire for decision-making authority and the willingness to accept decision-making responsibility.
Optimistic: The tendency to believe the future will be positive.
Persistent: The tendency to be tenacious despite encountering significant obstacles.
Pressure Tolerance: The level of comfort related to working under deadlines and busy
Self-Improvement: The tendency to attempt to develop or better oneself.
Stress Management: The tendency to be relaxed and manage stress well when it occurs.
Wants Challenge: The willingness to attempt difficult tasks or goals.
Other traits that could be considered helpful though perhaps not as essential in building resilience include; analytical, collaborative, frank, influencing, relaxed, truth exploring, assertive, flexible and open/ reflective.
Traits to avoid
As with the philosophy of Ying / Yang – in that most things tend to work best when in balance – there are also a number of behavioural traits which need to be avoided that could seriously hinder developing and demonstrating resilience and perseverance such as:
3 reasons resilience and perseverance are important for a leader
The world of work is filled with challenges and what currently feels like a constant need to be adapting to operational challenges, financial challenges and cultural challenges.
1 – As a leader, it’s our responsibility to lead through the good and bad. Our team needs to know that, whatever else is going on, we are there to support them and to help them learn and grow from the challenges they face too.
2 – Times of challenge can also be viewed as times of opportunity. Adapting to situations will require creative thinking and problem-solving. Facing and dealing with a crisis can offer a chance to show compassion and integrity. Getting through a struggle can give us a chance to develop and expand our leadership skill set and also to be a good role model for those around us.
3 – Facing difficulties and helping our teams to develop and grow not just in spite of, but because of those difficulties will help to strengthen our relationships with our teams, and help to build engagement and trust.
Throughout the Euro 2020 campaign Southgate demonstrated excellent leadership qualities, generating respect and admiration across the board. Southgate’s comments on last night’s loss epitomise these qualities:
It’s down to me… Nobody is on their own. That’s my call and it totally rests on me… We win and lose together.
Now he, captain Harry Kane and the team will be adding resilience and perseverance to the mix, ready to accept the disappointment of their loss, take pride in what they have achieved together, learn lessons from every match played and every shot taken and move forwards with their eyes firmly set on next year’s World Cup.
As Harry Kane has said:
We will look back and look at things we could have done better. That is what we have to learn from … that’s football and we have to get over it and move on. We have to build belief from this, we have a great young squad. We have to dust ourselves down, hold our heads high and get ready for that tournament.
It’s often said that we don’t know what we are capable of until we have to dig deep, pick ourselves up and overcome a set-back, and that we often surprise ourselves with what we can handle.
By objectively measuring our resilience and perseverance, we can explore our strengths and identify and consciously work on the areas that can help us improve it, so it will no longer come as a surprise that we can get through the challenges we face and come out the other side even stronger.
Well done to the England Team and see you at the World Cup next year… we’ll be cheering for you.
The traits, preferences and motivations listed above have been identified and benchmarked by Dr Dan Harrison and the Harrison Assessment. Resilience and Perseverance is one of the 10 Harrison Assessment Leadership Behavioural Competencies. This framework measures people’s individual skills and areas for development against 10 essential Leadership Competencies in an objective way.
Each competency is made up of a series of essential traits, desirable traits and traits to avoid. Development candidates complete a short, online SmartQuestionnaireTM. Responses are then mapped against each of the Harrison Leadership Competencies which can then highlight areas of strength and areas for development both for an individual and for a team.
You can download a sample Behavioural Competency report here.
If you would like to find out more about the Harrison Leadership Behavioural Competencies, other pre-defined competencies, or indeed about creating a bespoke competency, please call us on 07768 922244, email [email protected] or leave us your details and we will contact you.