Tag Archive: Personal Effectiveness

  1. We get knocked down… But we get up again – the England edition

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    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:

    Essential Traits

    • 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.

    Desirable Traits

    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:

    • Defers decisions
    • Inconclusive
    • Skeptical
    • Unresourceful
    • Avoids decisions
    • Blindly optimistic
    • Defensive
    • Rebellious autonomy
    • Avoids communication
    • Dogmatic

    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.

     

     

  2. We get knocked down… But we get up again

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    These insightful Tubthumping lyrics will have been heard a fair few times over recent weeks and years as we have seen the England team move closer to a European trophy than we’ve seen in over 50 years (fingers crossed – touch wood!). 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:

    Essential Traits

    • 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.

    Desirable Traits

    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:

    • Defers decisions
    • Inconclusive
    • Skeptical
    • Unresourceful
    • Avoids decisions
    • Blindly optimistic
    • Defensive
    • Rebellious autonomy
    • Avoids communication
    • Dogmatic

    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.

    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.

     


     

     

    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.

     

     

  3. How to develop great leaders

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    46Some managers make excellent leaders, but many never really make the grade. Managers may be brilliant planners and organisers, or good with budgets and resources. They may be great tacticians, but if they lack the basic ability to engage their employees none of these attributes will make them a great leader. We want leaders that inspire and encourage us, give us stretch challenges and above all set a clear direction, and this requires plenty of eye contact and engaging conversation. One fundamental reason why some managers don’t make the grade can be traced back to their development path and is to do with a deep foundational strength found in effective leaders – courage.

    I’m not talking about the courage to parachute out of a plane, or to pitch up in the C suite, rather a more subtle courage to display humility, and to accept they still have plenty to learn. Also the courage to ask for and assimilate feedback about their own behaviour from the whole 360 spectrum, and of course the courage to act upon that feedback.

    I met a CEO of a tech firm some years back who was an extreme skier. No lack of courage there, but he confided in me that walking into a room full of people he didn’t know would strike in him a fear so strong it took away his ability to speak coherently.

    There are a number of irrational fears that managers need to overcome if they are to become great leaders, the first being the fear of socialising, a second is the fear of presenting. All great leaders need to be able to speak with passion and conviction, to any audience, at any time, without preparation, otherwise it’s an obligation and no leader ever became great through merely fulfilling an obligation.

    Why is courage important?

    I spoke with someone recently who told me he went to a 3-day leadership seminar and sat at the back so he wouldn’t be volunteered for anything. What’s that about? Not enough courage to get involved? I wonder sometimes whether some managers know what being a leader means in terms of their own behaviour.

    Unless you want employees who never ask questions, are afraid to ask for help, and bludgeon on independently rarely thinking about team working, then a leader needs to role model positive behaviours. People copy what they see their leaders doing; this is how cultures are created. This is why courage is important. If a manager has neglected this aspect of their personal development it is the first place to begin the journey to becoming an effective leader.

    Feedback for champions

    The future of executive coaching, it can be argued, lies with the new stakeholder centered coaching (SCC) approach created by Marshall Goldsmith. Whilst there are 360 tools available, many are ineffective and easily misinterpreted. SCC uses real face-to-face 360 feedback, plus an objective leader assessment to provide the leader with priceless information he or she needs to develop into an all-round effective leader. Taking this feedback on board, and acting upon it requires a great deal of courage and humility. This is in fact one of the pre-requisites for enrolling a manager onto the coaching programme.

    Perception becomes reality

    We all know that perceptions differ widely among people, even their perceptions about a shared experience. This phenomenon can act to cap a person’s potential and limit their capability, especially in organisations that tend to judge people quickly and easily, and where promotions are made via closed room discussions about the potential of individuals based on observed and expected behaviour.

    It needn’t be this way. Imagine knowing exactly what your key stakeholders know about you and what you can do to be a better leader. Imagine how this might progress your development, your career aspirations, and your value to your organisation. Imagine also, the people who have formed their perceptions about you and your potential, about how far you can go in the organisation, and what you can be trusted with, these people are your stakeholders, and they are watching you as you shape yourself into the leader they all have said they want you to become. How empowering is this?

  4. 5 tips for running and attending great meetings!

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    MeetingAre your meetings productive?

    Whether or not you are chairing a meeting or attending as a pro-active contributor you have a responsibility for the proceedings to ensure a productive outcome. All too often meetings take place through a sense of duty and those attending often feel they have no choice in whether to attend or feel unable to influence the content let alone the outcome. So whether you are in meeting together in a room or using technology to get together make sure you are exercising some control –

    Is the meeting really necessary?

    As the chair think carefully about what you want from the meeting particularly if it is a meeting that is held on a regular basis. What is it that you want people to do when they leave? If you are doing it because ‘you’ve always done it’ or because you want to pass on some information think again. Meetings are an expensive use of people’s time and without follow up action they can not only be a waste of valuable resources but can be very de-motivating.
    As a pro-active contributor – make sure you can be just that – pro-active. If you don’t think the meeting has any relevance for you and that you don’t have anything to contribute then speak up beforehand and spend your time being more productive.

    Check Meeting Outcomes

    As the chair of a meeting you may have arrived with your own agenda into which you have put a lot of research and effort. Those attending may not have been party to this and will be coming at it afresh. Pay them the respect of taking account of what would make the meeting really useful for them individually by asking them for their outcomes, eg, I have called this meeting to talk about xyz and in a moment I’d like to give you the background to my thinking and research then I will ask you individually ‘what would make this meeting really meaningful for you?’ Make a note, if appropriate on a flipchart or board and be careful to cover them off during the meeting or if appropriate defer them to another time.

    As a pro-active participant be clear about your expectations and state your outcomes concisely in the positive. No-one likes a winger so even if you don’t fully buy into the ideas being presented use the time to suggest viable alternatives. If you are ambivalent and have no outcomes then have the courage to leave. Don’t waste time.

    Do everything you can to keep the energy flowing

    As the chair respect the fact that people have taken time out to attend. Preframe the meeting with your expectations, eg when it will finish, what will happen, what contributions you are expecting. Make a judgement on the venue for your meeting – people remain more energetic and focused in well ventilated, spacious environments with lots of daylight. If this isn’t feasible then pay attention to breaks and activities if your meeting is likely to last more than 30 minutes. Try to vary locations particularly if the last meeting of this group was a difficult one with some negative energy stagnating the progress. If you can’t vary the venue then vary the seating or table arrangements.

    As a pro-active participant attending a regular meeting make sure you sit in different places, next to different people each time you attend. This way you will be seen as someone who is interested in others and who doesn’t get stuck in their ways. If you are presenting at the meeting find ways to make your presentation interesting and focused on what you’d like attendees to do as a result of attending. See top 10 tips on giving great presentations.

    Stay on Track

    As both chair and pro-active participant use the following ‘frames’ technique to keep the meeting flowing. The frames are designed to control the process of the meeting to achieve clearly defined results whilst also controlling the emotional attachment people feel towards the content of the meeting which, whilst understandable, is sometimes not productive and can be harmful to relationships. The frames can be used at any stage where appropriate.

    Here is a selection of meeting frames –

    Backtrack frame – an opportunity to recap at the beginning on progress so far or at any time during the meeting on progress being made. Stay focused on the outcomes and use wording such as “Can I take you back to what we agreed a few minutes ago …. or “If you remember last time we agreed that ……
    Possibility frame – “let’s spend the next 20 minutes putting some ideas on the table and looking at the possibilities.” (Use whatever creativity technique you find appropriate and agree the ground rules.)
    ‘As if’ frame – an opportunity to play out a decision as if it was going to happen and explore the consequences. “So let’s just assume for a moment that we are going to follow this route ……. This has the effect of opening up creativity even more because no final decision has been made.
    Evidence frame – use this to elegantly challenge someone’s thinking if you believe their viewpoint isn’t based in fact. “I’m really curious about that – can you tell me what you are basing it on …..
    Contrast and Compare frame – use this to make comparisons with other alternatives, ideas, companies, previous activities etc. “How does that compare with what we did last time ……? “How does that compare with what our competitors are doing ….?
    Ecology – Check the consequences of your decisions “How will this impact the team/the environment/the brand/pricing policy/ ………?
    Agreement frame – use this to recap on agreements either at the end of the meeting or at any point during the meeting. “OK so we are agreed that …..

    Check meeting outcomes have been achieved and act!

    As the chair check that everyone has achieved their outcome – if not establish how you can help them and make sure you carry out any actions you have agreed.

    As a pro-active contributor state whether you have achieved your outcome and if not be clear about what has to happen for you to do so. Make sure you carry out any actions you have agreed.

  5. Are you engaging in enough Candid Conversations?

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    effective communicationBy David Klaasen, Harrison Assessments Consultant. 

    There is no getting away from the simple fact that effective management is about effective communication. Survey after survey is also telling us that on average 70% of employees are disengaged from their work. What is going on? What are managers missing? As is often the case, the answer is surprisingly simple.

    This blog includes key pointers for engaging employees including:

    • Common Characteristics of Great Managers
    • Knowing Yourself
    • Knowing Your People
    • Understanding Differences
    • Gaining Objectivity
    • Building Trust and Accountability

    Read the full article….