Just another blog…

Leadership

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How many times have you been in a discussion when you’re asked a question after your mind has drifted off? This is a “deer in headlights” moment, you’ve been caught out not paying attention. I’m certainly guilty of this – listening can be hard work! You could even say it’s an art, as it takes practice to not only continue paying attention but also reacting to what you’re hearing in the best way.

The HBR post What Great Listeners Actually Do saying listening skills are much more than simply not taking while others are speaking, nodding regularly, and being able to repeat what someone has just said.

There are difference levels of listening, as the post says, and to fully committing to every conversation isn’t realistic, but for me one-on-ones are were we need to be be engaged with the person we’re speaking with. I believe that all the levels… Continue reading

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This Fast Company article – 4 Habits Of Employees You Should Promote Immediately – contains signs that every leader should be aware of and looking out for. Keeping team members engaged and supporting them with suitable challenges is all part of keeping both individuals and the team energized. To do this leaders have to be closely observing the team in order to recognise when to act.

The article covers 4 signs to look out for:

  1. They don’t always say what you want to hear
  2. They already lead
  3. They’re fully invested
  4. They’re self-aware

It’s the fourth point I wanted to cover more as I believe self-awareness is such an important habit to have. But the challenge comes when someone isn’t self-aware, how do you promote/improve self-awareness in them?

self-awareness – conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires

This is often be perceived as a spiritual journey to enlightenment,… Continue reading

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It doesn’t take long before I come across another Manager vs Leader blog. I actually enjoy reading them, other people’s experiences can help me challenge myself. Being a manager isn’t easy, but then there seems to be a different mindset to being a leader! It is a personal decision what we want to make out of our role/career, but if someone wants to become a leader, is that a goal anyone can achieve?

You could say no one chooses to be a leader and that it’s a function someone steps up to over others. It’s not something that happens overnight, it comes from years of experience and learning to improve certain skills. It takes a certain mindset to be people focus over task focus, proactive over reactive, and influential over giving orders.

Working this way is how to bring the best out of the team member, it… Continue reading

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We’re all trying to improve ourselves…right? Our grand plans that the beginning of the year may already be a distant memory, but there is always time to re-focus and improve one or more areas. Harvard Business Review wrote – The 8 Self-Assessments You Need to Improve at Work This Year – that covers all different areas of work life. The assessments are in:

  1. Productivity
  2. Work/life balance
  3. Cultural skills
  4. Emotional Intelligence (2 assessments)
  5. Communication skills
  6. Finance skills
  7. Managing your boss

If you’re looking to improve an area here I’d recommend taking the time to complete some of the self-assessments, the ones I tried were fairly quick to do. You may discover areas you never thought you needed to improve on! With the results more links are given for further reading to take you to that next level!

Here’s some of my feedback…

Five important EI competencies
My scores were:
– Emotional… Continue reading

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I do see myself as a perfectionist, I’ve always seen that as a good thing. Constantly having targets that I work hard at hitting in both personal and work life, but I’ve never believed I can be truly perfect because there’s always the next thing to improve. So this makes me wonder if a hardened mindset like this is really good for me and those around me?!

The mindset basically means my focus is constantly looking for ways to change, sometimes even setting the bar too high that it’s not achievable. It took me a while to realize but looking back I can see I was never satisfied and seldom gave myself the rest that we all need. What I also noticed is this can mean that I would rarely appreciate what is around me and recognize achievements already made. This is not just important but it’s vital! Not only… Continue reading

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Settings goals for the year always seems like a painful experience! “How do I know what I’ll be doing in 6 months time!!” “What’s the point…I have work I need to get on with…writing this pointless list is distracting me!” And that’s usually myself! Only kidding…but I did think like that and I know many people still do. It is time consuming and sometimes a painful process, but there is much to be gained from setting goals which make it a rewarding progress. If we are personally trying to better ourselves then evaluating what we want to achieve in a year can help to set the focus.

As a leader, you have to sets goals for yourself while also guiding the team with theirs. It can be daunting…there is no easy road to do this properly, it takes time and thought. Each company has their own performance process, but… Continue reading

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It’s that time of year when keep-fit DVDs and weight-loss programs are everywhere we look! There is no hiding from adverts showing us how we can have a healthier lifestyle. It has been many years since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution, I cannot remember how I got on; probably not too successfully! I think making changes, or promises even, are a good idea, it’s only that this should happen throughout the year not just at the beginning.

It’s true that there’s more motivation with New Year’s as it’s seen as a new beginning for many, but rarely do we keep our resolutions. What could it be this year, get fit, read more, study a new topic, make more time for friends? Starting something is easy, it’s the continuing that is difficult. The amount of motivational blogs posted during this time is excessive, they can be de-motivational themselves, but it’s… Continue reading