24th May

5 Ways To Sustain Yourself and Others

When you get startled or a crisis kicks in do you hold your breath, gasp, or gulp in some air? I know I gasp. And while it’s reactionary and¬†challenging¬†to change such a habit it’s the very next step that I see as critical. The next step is to breathe, take calming, brain oxygenating, deep breaths.

Two months ago when lock downs,¬†WFH and drastic work arounds in workplaces were being worked out and implemented on the go, it’d be fair to say many people would be in a state of¬†amygdala hijack. In simplest terms, a lot of gasping! Or, more specifically,¬†immediate, overwhelming emotions in response to the situation. I tend to put it simply as: Emotion high = Logic low. I’m sure we’ve all had those moments at some point in our life.¬†

With uncertainty of how long we’ll be dealing with the current situation and facing ambiguity of what this¬†situation means for you and your team and family¬†now and in the near and long term future, being able to lead yourself and others requires sustenance. It¬†requires¬†continual breathing: metaphorically and really. When you feel overwhelmed, breathe!¬†

Looking at William Bridge’s Transition Model, this applies to how people move through change. However it’d be fair to say that the phase we as a collective are¬†in is the neutral phase (neutral might not be an apt name but that’s what it is called). It’s characterised by¬†feelings, such as:

  • Unsure
  • Excited
  • Curious
  • Worried
  • Interested
  • Acceptance

It’s the phase of letting go of the past (or wishing things didn’t change) to accepting the opportunities that change is presenting. As indicated in the¬†model, the neutral zone can span some time (time on the model is the x axis along the bottom.)¬†

Five ways to support yourself and others through sustained uncertainty:

LINK:

Reach out to people and check in on them. who could you make a connection or link with to strengthen your relationships and networks?
We created a private Facebook group for our street and we check in on each other regularly.

LEND:

Do something for someone. Lend a hand. When we can focus on others or on a purpose we tend to ‘get out of our own heads’ and feel good about ourselves. Who can you lend a hand to. Even do something as small as¬†making¬†someone a cup of tea!
In our street’s¬†private¬†Facebook¬†group we shout out when we’re going to Costco,¬†farmers markets, etc., asking if anyone needs anything.¬†

LIMBER:

Find ways to maintain your physical wellbeing.
You may know I’m planning to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in January 2021, I’m still training as if I’m going.

LOOK:

Take time (even just a few minutes) to pay attention to the world around you. Aside from the news of the day, what’s happening in your local area, can you hear birds singing, neighbourhood noises. Be a little more observant to the environment.
I’ve loved watching the kids in our street write letters to each other: riding their bikes up and down the street¬†popping notes into letter boxes!

LEARN:

Leaders are learners! Keep learning. Now, more than ever, there will be skills worth learning to prepare you for how the world of work will look in our future. The World Economic Forum puts: complex problem solving, critical thinking and people management amongst the top 10 skills for 2020 and beyond. 
I run an online book club for professional development and our current situation has made this program even more valuable for me to focus on learning.

What are your five? I’d love to know.

Humour is healthy…

Take care

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

19th May

Same Storm, Different Boats

How are your family and friends getting along?

One of my neighbours posted this in our neighbourhood Facebook group:

WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT …

I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.

For some that live alone they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.

With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.

Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.

Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.

Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.

We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.

Realize that and be kind.

Unknown author

I love this piece as a reminder that we are all experiencing COVID-19 differently. And this is a great reminder that as a leader and people manager you won’t be experiencing COVID-19, changed work conditions, homeschooling, shift working (either at work or handling the home front), all differently to your team. And amongst your team members their experiences will also be different.

That’s why I firmly believe your power right now lies in four areas:

Trust

Help your team to plan and prioritise. Acknowledge that past priorities have shifted and it’s okay to let go of some things while other work needs addressing. You can ask what people are working on, encourage them to review their workload through a lens of planning and preparation for post-COVID. Your people are smart, clever and want to do a good job, show trust in them by asking them what would be valuable to focus on going forward.

Compassion

By law you cannot interfere with an employees personal life, however you can remind your people to look after themselves through the lens of compassion and care. Asking your people how they are getting on and listening to their responses is an act of compassion. It’s not time wasting socialising, it’s being present and caring.¬†

Stability

Keeping the team up to date on how the organisation is progressing helps the team have a sense of stability. If you’re not sure what to say to help keep a sense of stability, ask the team what their questions are as a means to working out what information people feel they need. When there’s no new news, let your team know there’s no new news. A vacuum of silence often gets filled with speculation, distortion, guessing and gossip. You maintaining a regular check in about how the organisation is moving through COVID-19 will help minimise the potentially negative impact of silence.

Hope

Hope alone is no strategy, as Epictetus said, A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope. So in conjunction with trust, compassion, stability and action, you also instilling hope will give your people inspiration to carry on. 

Messages about how you believe in the team to keep working the plan, can achieve great results in spite of all that’s going on will spur the team along. You demonstrating your belief in them gives hope. Make it concrete, link it to the work. As the author Maria Edgeworth said,¬†Those who¬†are animated by hope can perform¬†what would seem impossibilities to those who are under the depressing influence of fear.¬†

If you need some help with these let’s jump on a call and have a chat.

Humour is healthy:

12th May

Dragging your feet?

Chatting to quite a few people these past two weeks I’m hearing:

“I just can’t be bothered. I’ve got work to do but it’s a struggle. I’m dragging my feet and I’m can’t seem to work it out.”

Pre-COVID-19 life at work was full of busy! Multiple priorities pulling you in multiple directions keeps you and your team close and in action. The challenge pre-COVID-19 was to fine tune prioritising and nailing down the distinctions between someone else’s urgent request and you getting on with your important work.

In COVID-19, priorities well and truly changed! Right? That report, that project, thatmeeting, that campaign,¬†that task, you were working on is now not your highest priority, it’s still important, but other more pressing matters instantly took over:

  • do I still have a job?
  • will my hours be reduced?
  • how am I going to work during lock down?
  • how do I do ‘life’ in lock down?
  • how do I keep serving my clients, customers, patients, stakeholders?¬†

In some regard, it may have felt like you were starting from scratch. Maya Angelou’s quote, I believe, says it all:

“The need for change bulldozed a road down the centre of my mind.”

The ease with which you could get most of your work done has be thwarted by access, time¬†and priority. Layer on top of this your changes to your¬†personal life. Change from every direction. The shock of what’s happened is now passed and it’s time to revive and find your focus.

Here are three tips to help you revive your focus and energy so you can boost your productivity:

1. PLAN

Review your plans and revive projects that you can work on. If your team is also feeling sluggish, help them, through facilitation, to plan their work so that can also revive their productivity.

2. PLAY

Remember to switch off, step away, have some fun. Disconnect so that you can recharge your own batteries. When you are working, when you’re in a¬†team meeting, have a little more social, lighthearted banter or fun activity. Here are three ideas I’ve found:

 a. Have a birthday cake delivered to whomever is having a birthday and then the team can sing happy birthday.
¬†b. Have someone collect baby photos of everyone and let the team guess who’s who.
c. Have a brainteaser, ‘bad dad’ joke, or funny hack¬†segment

3. PATTERN 

Linked to planning, have a look at your habits and routines. What good habits have slipped? Audit yourself and look for patterns you’ve slid into that are not all that helpful or healthy. Add what you do want to do to your daily plan. Scheduling these into your calendar will give you back a greater sense of control and help re-create a positive pattern.

During turbulent times we all look to our leaders for trust, compassion, stability and hope. The three tips above help you show trust and compassion; through planning and creating patterns you instil hope for the future and stability to carry on.

Let me know how you get on.

I appreciate you 

Humour is healthy…

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

5th May

Shift happens

How many times has Madonna reinvented herself?

Whether you like her music or style, you can’t deny she is the queen of reinvention.¬†

With restrictions loosening (and¬†we’re still being vigilant), you¬†are in the best place and time to revive, to shift. Like Madonna,

  • who do you want to be on the other side of COVID-19?
  • what does your team want to look, feel, even smell, like post COVID-19?
  • what do you want your product or service to be like post COVID-19?

By focusing on shifting yourself and team this will also help you and your team stay positive and on purpose, which helps productivity. 

From the collective experience of COVID-19 you and your team are perfectly poised to discuss what opportunities you can leverage. Consider discussing this with the team, these questions might help facilitate the discussion:

1. What have you stopped doing which you now realise doesn’t impact the quality or quantity of¬†your work (what can you let go of, what’s redundant)?

2. What has not worked well and needs addressing if:
– we continue to work this way?
– we go back to the old way of working?

3. What lessons have you learned?
– work processes
– internal communication
– delivery of products
– delivery of services
Рthe way you market and sell
– learning and development

4. Who do you need to acknowledge and recognise?

5. What ideas can we explore so we can drive forward?

You and your team are most likely in the Neutral Zone right now so that means you can start taking small risks, exploring possibilities, looking for quick wins, and focusing on the future and any ‘rearview mirror glances’ are for lessons rather than dwelling.

William’s Bridges Transition Model:

Let me know how you get on, and remember…

Humour is healthy…

Take care

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

28th April

It’s time to revive!

Where’s your team at now?

In 2004, when we moved to Abu Dhabi, for the first few weeks I felt completely disoriented. I would wake up each day and I couldn’t work out which way I was facing, I simply couldn’t get my bearings. After a few weeks,¬†what seemed like all of a sudden,¬†I had found my way and felt more settled with orientation. (I knew exactly where the gold souk was ūüėČ )

We’re at over 4 weeks of living and working and schooling and exercising and physical distancing,¬†and, and, end… all because of COVID-19. In conversations I’m having, it seems that¬†many teams and leaders have taken all the necessary¬†measures to ensure we survive this situation; for example:

  • physically shift our work spaces;
  • schools have taken a variety of measures;¬†
  • our governments have advised us how to stay safe;
  • rules are in place and are adjusted as we learn more about the disease and the steepness or flatness of the curve;
  • grocery stores have implemented anti-hoarding measures; etc.

It’s time to help you and your team shift into revive so you can then drive performance and productivity.

Organisational consultant, William Bridges, developed a change management model, called the Transition Model. It was devised to help understand and manage people, or the human side, of change. There are three zones (or stages) to change, according to the Bridges Transition Model:

ENDINGS:

Change is happening and things will no longer be how they were. There’s a sense of losing, letting go which can trigger a feelings of:

  • helplessness
  • frustration
  • loss of control
  • district
  • sadness
  • scepticism¬†
  • stress
  • anger

I see this very much being aligned to the SURVIVE and into REVIVE phases of how leading productively in turbulent times:

NEUTRAL ZONE:

Letting go of the past and accepting opportunities the change presents. In this zone people may feel unsure, curious, worried, interest, even excited about what’s unfolding.

This zone, I see, is aligned to the REVIVE and into the DRIVE phases of leading productively.

And, it’s here where managers and leaders may want to put some attention so they are sure the team is best placed to then thrive.

Along with the feelings your team members (and you) might be feeling in the transition zone, some behaviours you might pick up on are:

  • exploring possibility and opportunity
  • some fluctuation with acceptance
  • some doubts about some things and not others
  • talking about the future more

To help the team move forward you can:

  • help the team set their own short term goals and aim for quick wins;
  • encourage them to focus on what can be controlled and influenced;
  • encourage the exploration of new ways of doing things;
  • discourage negative influencers through checking accuracy of comments, asking what the upside of their point might be, discussing with them (privately) that negative comments has an unhelpful impact on others.

If you know me you know I am a stickler for managers and leaders to have great questions rather than to have all the answers so here are a few questions you might like to play with:

1. What have we learned from this situation that could help us:

  • let go of redundant activities?
  • improve processes?
  • adopt better ways of working or new opportunities?

2.  What do we need to prepare now so that we can reduce set up time for:

  • staying in lockdown longer?
  • getting back to the office faster?

3. What information do we need to capture now so we can ensure our crisis management manuals, processes, policies are up to date and super easy to implement should we need to again?

Let me know how you get on.

Humour is healthy…

Thanks Anna W for sending me this one to share…

Need more help…

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

ONLINE MANAGER’S MUSTER: A¬†90 day online group coaching program which will give you skills and confidence to achieve more, reduce stress and take back 2 hours per day – click here. You can join anytime, as the program will keep rotating through the topics.

BOOK CLUB FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:¬†BCforPD‚ĄĘ for managers has three objectives:¬†1.¬†accountability,¬†2.¬†professional and professional development and¬†3.¬†networking and connection. Learn more here.

QUICK CHAT:¬†If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.¬†Call me: 0401 442 464¬†or book a time here.¬†

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

28th April

It’s time to revive!

Where’s your team at now?

In 2004, when we moved to Abu Dhabi, for the first few weeks I felt completely disoriented. I would wake up each day and I couldn’t work out which way I was facing, I simply couldn’t get my bearings. After a few weeks,¬†what seemed like all of a sudden,¬†I had found my way and felt more settled with orientation. (I knew exactly where the gold souk was ūüėČ )

We’re at over 4 weeks of living and working and schooling and exercising and physical distancing,¬†and, and, end… all because of COVID-19. In conversations I’m having, it seems that¬†many teams and leaders have taken all the necessary¬†measures to ensure we survive this situation; for example:

  • physically shift our work spaces;
  • schools have taken a variety of measures;¬†
  • our governments have advised us how to stay safe;
  • rules are in place and are adjusted as we learn more about the disease and the steepness or flatness of the curve;
  • grocery stores have implemented anti-hoarding measures; etc.

It’s time to help you and your team shift into revive so you can then drive performance and productivity.

Organisational consultant, William Bridges, developed a change management model, called the Transition Model. It was devised to help understand and manage people, or the human side, of change. There are three zones (or stages) to change, according to the Bridges Transition Model:

ENDINGS:

Change is happening and things will no longer be how they were. There’s a sense of losing, letting go which can trigger a feelings of:

  • helplessness
  • frustration
  • loss of control
  • district
  • sadness
  • scepticism¬†
  • stress
  • anger

I see this very much being aligned to the SURVIVE and into REVIVE phases of how leading productively in turbulent times:

NEUTRAL ZONE:

Letting go of the past and accepting opportunities the change presents. In this zone people may feel unsure, curious, worried, interest, even excited about what’s unfolding.

This zone, I see, is aligned to the REVIVE and into the DRIVE phases of leading productively.

And, it’s here where managers and leaders may want to put some attention so they are sure the team is best placed to then thrive.

Along with the feelings your team members (and you) might be feeling in the transition zone, some behaviours you might pick up on are:

  • exploring possibility and opportunity
  • some fluctuation with acceptance
  • some doubts about some things and not others
  • talking about the future more

To help the team move forward you can:

  • help the team set their own short term goals and aim for quick wins;
  • encourage them to focus on what can be controlled and influenced;
  • encourage the exploration of new ways of doing things;
  • discourage negative influencers through checking accuracy of comments, asking what the upside of their point might be, discussing with them (privately) that negative comments has an unhelpful impact on others.

If you know me you know I am a stickler for managers and leaders to have great questions rather than to have all the answers so here are a few questions you might like to play with:

1. What have we learned from this situation that could help us:

  • let go of redundant activities?
  • improve processes?
  • adopt better ways of working or new opportunities?

2.  What do we need to prepare now so that we can reduce set up time for:

  • staying in lockdown longer?
  • getting back to the office faster?

3. What information do we need to capture now so we can ensure our crisis management manuals, processes, policies are up to date and super easy to implement should we need to again?

Let me know how you get on.

Humour is healthy…

Thanks Anna W for sending me this one to share…

Need more help…

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

ONLINE MANAGER’S MUSTER: A¬†90 day online group coaching program which will give you skills and confidence to achieve more, reduce stress and take back 2 hours per day – click here. You can join anytime, as the program will keep rotating through the topics.

BOOK CLUB FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:¬†BCforPD‚ĄĘ for managers has three objectives:¬†1.¬†accountability,¬†2.¬†professional and professional development and¬†3.¬†networking and connection. Learn more here.

QUICK CHAT:¬†If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.¬†Call me: 0401 442 464¬†or book a time here.¬†

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

23rd April

A JOYFUL team challenge for you.

How’s your joy right now?

Do you like fireworks: I find myself instantly calling out for blue fireworks. I don’t even care what the fireworks are for I’m just captivated and feel joy.

I recall one day stuck in traffic and just as I came to a complete stop, truly stick, a butterfly flew right in front of my car and my focus totally shifted. I felt lighter and was caught up in watching it flitter and flutter by me. It shifted my mood.

And who doesn’t like a rainbow – and how cool is it when you see a double rainbow?!?

Right now amidst the struggle to lead yourself and others from survive to thrive it can be exhausting, and it may feel inappropriate to seek out happiness and joy. Additionally, Buffer studied 1900 remote workers and a fifth of them said they struggled with loneliness.

I’d say that right now, is the perfect time to reconnect with what brings you joy.

Daniel Sgroi, an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Warwick University, found happy employees are 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.

Shawn Achor , in The Happiness Advantage shares that:

A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements. Yet even those companies that do take leadership training seriously still ignore the role that happiness plays in leadership effectiveness.

I reckon when we stop and contemplate our own deeper search for¬†happiness and how we may help our team members reach happiness, it is a big topic, it’s (potentially) a¬†big ask. And I get that is a generalisation.¬†Joy, however, seems easier, in the moment, and achievable as a part of the search for happiness.

I truly recommend you check out this TED2018 talk (13min38sec) by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Grab a cuppa and take it in:

So here’s your team challenge:

I’ve downloaded Ingrid’s joyspotter guide for you to share with your team. You have plenty of options on how to implement it, here are three:

1. You could roll this out as a treasure hunt 
2. You could complete a single step each day
3. You could create a photo-board of everyone’s findings

(Remind people their joy spotting needs to happen while maintaining safe physical distancing.)

Please do share with me how you get on.

Humour is healthy…

Need more help…

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people.

ONLINE MANAGER’S MUSTER: Starts Tuesday 28th April – 90 day online group coaching program which will give you skills and confidence to achieve more, reduce stress and take back 2 hours per day – click here.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here.

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

22nd April

Peas or Carrots?

Do you like peas or carrots (both or neither)?

When my brother and I were kids, we were told that we had to eat everything on the plate, nothing could be left: we didn’t tolerate¬†wastage in our house. And that was a bit of a challenge for us, because there was always (it seemed) peas and carrots.

I hate carrots, and my brother hates peas! What do we do about this when we weren’t allowed to leave the table until those plates were cleared of all the food…

Check out this video:

Right now, like never before, you cannot see who’s doing what, when and in which way. This can be daunting, this¬†shift from being physically present amongst the team to being remote.

One of Two Things Could Be At Play Here:

TRUST
The strength of your relationships with each team member will directly align to the depth of trust that exits. If you haven’t taken the time to understand what makes each person tick it’ll be that little bit harder to trust. In this instance, effort should be focused on relationship building. I’d be quick to add that this is not about socialising for socialising sake, it’s about truly connecting.

When it came to peas and carrots, over time, my brother and I would just look at each other and know. We had a connection so no words were required. We knew what outcome we wanted, we knew what outcome Mum wanted and why so we had our way of getting the job done.

DEPENDENCE
We all want to be wanted. It may vary in intensity from time to time, but at a core level it’s nice to know that someone wants us in their world. Some managers have shared with me that they do feel good knowing their team needs them. At face value, there’s nothing wrong with this. If these continues for a time, the current fast pivot to WFH or some massive change in working conditions can make adjusting really tough.

Alternatively, when a manager has an ‘open door policy’ they often find they inadvertently create a dependence where the team incrementally increase their dependence on the manager to answer questions that they probably should already know the answer to.

I needed my brother and my brother needed me! We were dependent on each other to ensure all the food was eaten. 

In this instance the focus could be on empowering the team to take back responsibility, to trust their own judgement given they probably do know what to do and what the answer to their question may be. The adjusting will include the manager pushing back when a team member asks a question they should already be equipped to know: as an example: In response to a question/request for help:

“That’s something I think you’ve done before, what did you do last time?”
or
“This is something where I’d like for you to come up with a solution for yourself. What have you tried so far?”
or
“What do you think would make sense?”
 

A few productive leadership tips:

ūü•ē Spend time ensuring your people are clear about WHAT and WHY
ūü•ē Spend less time dictating HOW but being available to support and guide
ūü•ē Micromanaging can stifle creativity and efficiency

Extra lesson:

  • Get to know your people so you can ensure you are matching the right tasks to the right people ‚Äststop giving me carrots ūüėČ

 

And because we need to keep our sense of humour…

Need more help…

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people.

ONLINE MANAGER’S MUSTER: Starts Tuesday 28th April – 90 day online group coaching program which will give you skills and confidence to achieve more, reduce stress and take back 2 hours per day – click here.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here.

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

21st April

Uniforms can help you get through this.

How’s your mojo?

If you know me, you’ll know that my favourite colours are red and blue. I wear red and blue as a brand and I wear red and blue as a huge way to save time and energy. If I can find ways to minimise decision fatigue I’ll do it.

I also use clothes as an incentive. I’m currently training to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. It’s a long term goal so as incentives along the way, if I hit certain milestones I’ll reward myself with a new outfit! (Any excuse, right ūüėČ )

In all seriousness though, what you wear can impact how you feel. As a child, during school holidays, if I was allowed to go into the city with my grandparents then mum had to make sure I was wearing my best outfit. for some reason, going into the city meant getting dressed up. I felt special and it felt as though going into the city centre was a special event.

Years on, and Mr FL and I decided to ride a motorcycle around Italy for 20 days. It was a big touring bike … think comfy arm chair on the back of a huge motorbike.


I joke that this was the full extent of my holiday…


As we only had two 20 litre panniers on the bike you can imagine we had very little in the way of wardrobe choices. We did a lot of bath basin laundry and only when we were in a city for a little longer did we get our gear properly laundered. By the end of the 20 days I didn’t want to see those trousers or those t-shirts ever again … and I didn’t, I was a bit rash and threw them out!

As a strategy to focus, be motivated and switch into work mode, I have already suggested that you ‘get dressed’ for work (click here and scroll down to 31st March).

Maybe you could take it to another level, determine a few garments as uniforms for yourself. This would help with not having to think about ‘what to wear’ each morning; it’ll contribute to a sense of purpose for the day; and your clothes will get worn more (a real ROI on your wardrobe, as such). Once this wonkiness is over you could reward yourself a new outfit! Just an idea.

Do you already have a WFH uniform? 

Humour is healthy…

Need more help…

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people.

ONLINE MANAGER’S MUSTER: Starts Tuesday 28th April – 90 day online group coaching program which will give you skills and confidence to achieve more, reduce stress and take back 2 hours per day – click here.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here.

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

20th April

Choices

How’s your team getting on at the moment,¬†Sally?

Have you looked at a menu board in a local take-away store and felt quite literally spoilt for choice: way too many options that you can’t pick one?

And on the flip side, when someone orders a meal for you, you’re tempted to see what they chose for themselves so you can compare (or, if you’re like me: check to see if there’s is better ūüėČ )

Options! We want them but there’s a tipping point to how many.

Productivity during these wonky times is going to be affected. It is affected. There’s no two-ways about that. A 2015 experiment conducted by a Chinese travel company showed that working from home could actually increase productivity by 13% and decreased employee quit rates by 50%.¬†

BUT

The experiment had so many conditions that it was destined to show an increase in productivity:

  • there had to be a home office, not a spare bedroom,
  • no one but the employee could enter the home office during work hours,
  • people would work from home 4 days and go to the office 1 day per week, and
  • people chose to enter the experiment!

COVID-19 isn’t allowing us choice and not everyone has a dedicated home office. So many people are sharing a space with partners and children. With children also learning online, parents are adding the role of full time teacher’s aid to their current work demands.

One day a week in the office allows for collaboration, creativity and innovation through face to face meetings. As much as we may have hated the meetings we all used to attend, we needed them (maybe not all of them) for motivation and focus. Half the people in the experiment chose to return to the office to work 5 days per week, despite productivity increases and many of them having a daily commute of over 40 minutes. 

We are social creatures! We are choice creatures!

All that being said, there are silver linings to this lack of choice. Here’s a few:

1. The flexible working arrangements that were so hard to fathom and implement are now a distant memory.

2. The potential to have, as Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom calls, “a bonfire of unnecessary regulations“. What may have been impossible due to regulations, politics, complex policies and procedures may now be redundant. The example Bloom sites is US based but you’ll get the picture:

‚ÄúA friend of mine was telling me how her startup was pivoting to online healthcare,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúUntil recently, this was impossible due to regulations over cross-state doctor-patient care, privacy regulations and requirements for in-person first visits to the doctors. But a lot of that has now gone out the window because some things just need to get done.‚ÄĚ

Right now, as we adjust to this new norm, productivity may be down, it is after all an adjustment. Once a new rhythm or cadence has been established it might be time to review some of the old policies and procedures that have held you and the team back. 

Bloom predicts a slump in innovation due to not being able to meet face to face but I reckon you and team could get innovative and creative with reviewing redundant polices. Yes, we’ll likely return to work but what policies and procedures are in your filing cabinet that now need adjusting? ¬†

3. Parking and commuting are either non-existent or much easier right now. Even if you have to go to a workplace now, with less travellers the roads are clearer and there’s greater parking availability. If you’re WFH then your commute time is now yours to use as you wish.

I’d love to know what has been a rule in your workplace that instantly became redundant because of COVID-19 or WFH?

Humour is Healthy…

Need more help…

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

ONLINE MANAGER’S MUSTER: Starts Tuesday 28th April – 90 day online group coaching program which will give you skills and confidence to achieve more, reduce stress and take back 2 hours per day – click here.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here. 

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

17th April

Is leading while WFH more like Worst Flaming Headache?

For leaders leading remotely it doesn’t have to be so exhausting, lonely and frustrating. Even though COVID-19 has sent us all indoors with pivoting, evolving and almost daily changing the way work is handled, it doesn’t have to be hard nor lonely. This could be an opportunity to invest in how you lead and in how your team can re-focus and boost productivity.

Right now teams all around the world are in survival mode and will need to start preparing for a revival: getting back to normal or finding a new normal. Helping your team shift from survive mode to thrive mode needs to transition through phases that focus on you; the space in which you and your team work; how you and your team work; to engaging and empowering your remote team; to reviewing and realigning strategy so that you can thrive in how you serve your team, and your team can once again thrive in how they serve your customers, clients and stakeholders.

Vincent Van Gogh is quoted as saying, “As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties, the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”

I firmly believe that building strength and overcoming difficulties is easier when done with expert help, support and accountability. Working remotely can easily put some leaders into a tailspin that may create tension, errors, mis-communications and excessive stress. Overwhelm is stressful and that causes procrastination or faffing. Right now, COVID-19 is stressful, there’s no denying it, and when overwhelm hits, either nothing¬†gets done or a scatter gun approach to work and team management is applied. Does this resonate with you in any way?

Despite the stress that we are all experiencing¬†I don’t want you to suffer the overwhelm or get caught up in feeling like you are on your own and the weight of the world in on your shoulders.

There are some very clear and productive actions you can take. Over the next 90 days you could:

1. Space and Schedule: create the right environment and increase your scheduling to take back time, calm and control.

2. Energy and Expectations: find ways to sustain yourself and your team through WFH and/or a significantly reduced team.

3. Leading others through change and turbulence: Learn how others handle change and implement strategies that help shift people through change and remove resistance. 

4. Resilience, Self-Leadership and Personal Productivity: find ways that ensure you put your own oxygen mask on first so that you operate from a full tank.

5. Communicating:¬†be¬†the voice of calm¬†when there’s nothing to say or answers to give.

6. Energising and engaging your team: be across what your team are doing and help the team to focus and stay on track.

7. Meetings: run online short, effective and energising meetings that make work work.

8. Values-led leadership: use your values to effectively and successfully lead your team. 

9. The hardest soft skills: FEEDBACK: give feedback (praise and corrective) remotely. 

10. The hardest soft skills: DELEGATING: halve your effort and double your results by effectively delegating remotely.

11. Silver linings: get inspired and inspire the team to find opportunities to innovate, collaborate and create.

12. The hardest soft skills: LEADER AS COACH: help the team take more responsibility, lead through remote coaching.

If you think 90 days to do all these is not enough time, it it. It’s when you have structure, expert help, support and accountability along with you that you can boost productivity, reduce stress and lead your team with ease. The Manager’s Muster¬†has been put together based on the emails and calls I’ve been fielding from managers, leaders and employers over the last three weeks and because when I asked what else was needed these are the exact skills, focus points and help that was needed and wanted. The Manager’s Muster provides the structure, guidance, support and accountability to get through these turbulent times and beyond.

You don’t have to go through this alone!

Life is full of opportunity. Leadership is about taking those opportunities. Imagine in 12 months from now, reflecting back on how you led yourself and team through this time of turbulence. Now is the time to gather, plan and focus to make sure you and your team are in a healthy position once COVID-19 is behind us. This will also give you a competitive advantage.¬†I know I¬†am my best when I have¬†support and accountability; when I put a plan in action, I’m unstoppable. I want that for you too.

If you need help join the Manager’s Muster.

If you need help I’m kicking off the 90 Days Manager’s Muster where you will shift from survive to thrive. It starts on Tuesday 28th April.

Even though this is a 90 day program, I’ve added a 12-month payment plan to help with current budgeting constraints.

Helping You to Lead Yourself and Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

For years I’ve delivered online workshops, these have been a range of short (90min – 2hr) to mutli-week (1 session per week for x weeks)¬†for different companies. If you can see a need for some development or maybe you’re not sure what is needed, let’s chat.¬†I’d love to work with you and your team when you’re ready.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here. 

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

16th April

What are your real office hours now?

How long are your days at the moment?

As you know at the end of all my emails to you right now, you can reach out and we can have a chat about what you might need or can do to be in your best state or how you can help your team be in their best state. The emails I’ve received and the conversations I’ve had have been deep, raw and very real. I’m so humbled and grateful that I can be a trusted adviser.

We’ve also had a few laughs. If you know me well, if you’ve seen me speak, you know I love to laugh … So some of the conversations have also looked at the lighter, more fun ways to hack WFH productivity.¬†

Just as an aside and a heads up, tomorrow’s email will be a little different, I’m launching a special program.¬†I’ve created it based on all the feedback and the conversations I’ve been having.¬†

Now back to office hours, you’ll recall this email discussing the importance of getting dressed, even if you’re WFH, even if no one else at the office will see you.¬†

My nephew and niece have been instructed to wear something from their school uniform range, e.g. their sports polo shirt (I assume also some sort of pants as well ūüėČ but they didn’t say).

Creating a space at home that can be dedicated to work¬†will help you switch from being at work and being at home a little easier for your mindset.¬†If you can set up and then pack up your ‘work’ quickly – if all you use is a laptop, for example – then that would definitely give you a demarcation in your day between work and home.¬†

If you have a house full of school-at-home and work-from-home then creating stations may be a great way the whole household can work with each other to understand when someone is in work mode or home mode. I saw a post on LinkedIn that really made sense:

“You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” It’s a neat distinction. What do you think?

Managing other’s expectations will be critical to helping everyone get along and get stuff done.

In one zoom conversation with a leader we explored his spare room set up. He mentioned that he wants to only use that room as a work space so I encouraged him to make a list of all the items that could be removed from the room. That quickly became quite a cathartic de-cluttering experience … move over Maree Kondo and your joy of tidying up!¬†

He also wanted to have some visual queues to help him focus. As he can shut his spare room door,¬†I sent him these …

Now ask your team…

During your next team meeting, ask everyone to count up how many house moves they’ve had and then ask the questions I asked you:

  1. What do you dislike about moving?
  2. What is involved in moving?
  3. What are the nice aspects of moving?

Then ask the team to consider how moving house helps them cope with change. It’s not about falling in love with change but rather understanding they’re far more equipped for change than they might realise.

Share the video with the team, but I recommend you do the house move activity first.

Let me know how you get on.

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Scroll to download.
Printed double sided and with a bit of blu-tac his new office signage was all set. He sent me this photo:

If you want to take it a step further, you can add office hours or give clear timing of when you want to be left undisturbed. Simply print and laminate so you can reuse. Here’s a set you can use:

Of course you could use this sign …

What are your fun hacks?

I’ve been sharing a lot of ideas with people who are wanting some ways to stay focused, productive and to keep their team on track. I’d love to know what fun ways you and your team are doing to stay on the ball.¬†

Still going to work!

With far fewer people in the office or around the place generally I know for some it’s been heaven to get work done undisturbed. For others it’s been eerie and actually a challenge to focus. Chunking your work in bursts of time might help.

These two videos might help you:

Time Chunking (1m05sec)

How To Time Chunk (4m45sec)

What visual cues will work for you to stay on track and stay productive?

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Helping You to Lead Yourself and Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

For years I’ve delivered online workshops, these have been a range of short (90min – 2hr) to mutli-week (1 session per week for x weeks)¬†for different companies. If you can see a need for some development or maybe you’re not sure what is needed, let’s chat.¬†I’d love to work with you and your team when you’re ready.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here. 

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

15th April

How many times have you moved?

How are you getting on?

Chermside, Qld
Kedron, Qld
Boondal, Qld
Clayfield, Qld
Grange, Qld
Kelvin Grove, Qld
Wavell Heights, Qld
Coorparoo, Qld
Mount Gravatt, Qld
Bad Harzberg, Germany
Cologne, Germany
Chelmer, Qld
Rockhampton, Qld
Longreach, Qld
Warwick, Qld
Kedron, Qld
Clayfield, Qld
Mango Hill, Qld
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Khalifa C, UAE
Abu Dhabi, UAE
St Ives, NSW
Dolls Point, NSW
East Lindfield, NSW
Eatons Hill, Qld
Zillmere, Qld
Camp Mountain, Qld

… phew! I’ve moved house a fair bit! (and I think I’ve¬†forgotten a few.)

How many times have you moved house in your lifetime? And why does that even matter right now as we adjust to WFH, physical distancing, flattening the curve and surviving and thriving in turbulent times?

I’m going to assume you’ve moved house at least a couple of times in your lifetime. So with that in mind, consider your responses to these questions:

  1. What do you dislike about moving?
  2. What is involved in moving?
  3. What are the nice aspects of moving?

Moving house is all about change.

There are elements that are difficult, frustrating or simply not fun: e.g. packing, cleaning, changing utilities, mail redirection…

There are elements that are more enjoyable: e.g. de-cluttering, unpack and set up like new, a sense of a fresh start, making a house your home…

When you think about all the house moves you’ve had in your lifetime it shows you that you are far more change-fit, and resilient to the challenges of change, than you might give yourself credit for.

Talking about change, check out this brilliant video by Sasha Jovanovic talking about Da Vinci: (5m17sec)

Now ask your team…

During your next team meeting, ask everyone to count up how many house moves they’ve had and then ask the questions I asked you:

  1. What do you dislike about moving?
  2. What is involved in moving?
  3. What are the nice aspects of moving?

Then ask the team to consider how moving house helps them cope with change. It’s not about falling in love with change but rather understanding they’re far more equipped for change than they might realise.

Share the video with the team, but I recommend you do the house move activity first.

Let me know how you get on.

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Helping You to Lead Yourself and Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

For years I’ve delivered online workshops, these have been a range of short (90min – 2hr) to mutli-week (1 session per week for x weeks)¬†for different companies. If you can see a need for some development or maybe you’re not sure what is needed, let’s chat.¬†I’d love to work with you and your team when you’re ready.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here. 

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

14th April

It is about the time and it’s not about the time.

How was your Easter?

In our little street¬†community there’s an Easter egg hunt that starts at the beginning of the street (a big roundabout) and then goes all the way down to the end (a no through road) where we gather for a party. UNnaturally this year it was very different¬†…

Easter 2019….

Easter 2020…

No hunt for Easter eggs but the kids did find ways to stay connected. They wrote letters to each other and put them in mailboxes. I love how they overcome a barrier to stay connected.

Even though we didn’t hunt nor gather the roundabout was decorated and, as always, lifted our spirits:‚Äč

Before Easter I sent this email mentioning the need to switch on our marathon skills in order to shift from survive to thrive in these wonky times. Over Easter I remembered a piece from Franklin Covey that helps reflect on the value of time.

Marathon’s take time, getting through this wonkiness will take time.¬†

Pre-COVID, some tasks would take no time at all however they now take longer or need to be actioned differently to achieve the same, or a new acceptable, outcome.

As a leader you need to work with your team to agree the new way of working. I’m talking beyond simply setting up the hardware for WFH. I’m talking about the small things that you haven’t realised or are done so quickly and easily because they are a habit but now they might create more friction because the ease no longer exists.

Be patient but press on.

If you feel frustrated that tasks are taking longer, discuss the process first rather than the outcome or the delayed outcome. 

On the flip side, start thinking about how this massive shift in the way you work may provide you and your team time and space to create and innovate. Building hope amongst the team through sharing what is possible will help them stay the course.

I love the Value of Time piece as it reminds me to value each day and what I want to achieve. Do share this with your team.

 

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Helping You to Lead Yourself and Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

For years I’ve delivered online workshops, these have been a range of short (90min – 2hr) to mutli-week (1 session per week for x weeks)¬†for different companies. If you can see a need for some development or maybe you’re not sure what is needed, let’s chat.¬†I’d love to work with you and your team when you’re ready.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here. 

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

7th April

Trust will help you through this.

How is this remote work situation working out for you so far?

I’d love to know how you’re getting on. I’ve been receiving some lovely replies to my emails and I’m so grateful for them.

You could ask this question – How is this remote work situation working out for you so far? –¬†to your team members as well. Shift the focus from how do we get this work done to how is the situation working out will help give you insight into what is and isn’t working well. Your presence and interest in their answer will show you care.

This builds trust.

Even if you and your team still go to work the same intent applies, “How is this situation working out for you?‚ÄĚ

Acknowledge the pressure everyone is under. Be mindful that even the toughest exterior might be feeling the stress and strain. By acknowledging and listening you show empathy and presence.

Share how you are feeling and what you are doing to stay a healthy course through this. 

As Brene Brown says, 

It turns out that trust is in fact earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.

Brene Brown

Researcher and Best Selling Author

Does being present and listening take time, time I should be getting on with work? I would suggest that being present and listening to your team is a major component of your work, COVID-19 or no COVID-19. Be mindful that your people might just need someone to speak with rather than wanting a solution. Be a caring ear.

When the team not only see, hear and feel you have their back they’ll be in better spirits, in a better state to get on with work.

It builds trust. And right now we need more trust than ever before!

You need to trust that your team members are doing their best. It might not be the best they’ve ever been and it might not be up to your level of best, but if they feel as though you understand life is real wonky right now and they are giving all they’ve got, it will right itself quicker and easier than if they feel like no one understands them.

Your team need to trust that you have their back. You might think that you’ve always had their back. I bet there are numerous ways you’ve supported your team that they wouldn’t know about because you’ve had their back. Right now in our wonky world it will help improve trust and productivity if you be more explicit to the team and show them through asking about how they are, listening and paying attention.

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Helping You to Lead Yourself and Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. 

For years I’ve delivered online workshops, these have been a range of short (90min – 2hr) to mutli-week (1 session per week for x weeks)¬†for different companies. If you can see a need for some development or maybe you’re not sure what is needed, let’s chat.¬†I’d love to work with you and your team when you’re ready.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464 or book a time here. 

Together we’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

6th April

Did you unplug?

How are you?

I’m aware that you might not always have Saturday and Sunday as your weekend. Mr FL is a shift worker and so there are long stretches of mid-week weekends for us.

In Friday’s email I shared how I was getting ‘square eyes’ with the significant increase in screen time. So I took my own advice and spent¬†hours offline. I zoned out and just stitched for hours. It was perfectly aligned to Mihaly¬†Csikszentmihalyi’s¬†best-known¬†theory¬†of flow:¬†the state of concentration and engagement that can be achieved when completing a task that challenges one’s skills. I was¬†performing an activity in which I was¬†fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process.

I managed to complete a cross-stitch project, here’s a quick photo from when I had just finished it!

Before MrFL went to work, we went for a walk. This time we decided to walk in a different direction and discover a different path.

We even got a little lost along the way. As we were walking I noticed my mood shift and my sense of adventure sneak back in. We could have easily used the ‘no time’ excuse to simply do our usual block walk but we seemed to both be up for doing something different. And in reality we that time, it’s really a matter of priorities. Right then, minimising ‘cabin fever’, training for My Kilimanjaro and walking the dogs were our priorities.¬†

With gyms, yoga and pilates studios, etc. all closed and shifting online to continue to support their clients and members to stay fit and healthy, how have you shifted yourself to also maintain your usual health / fitness regime?

A friend of mine has plotted three different blocks around his house and is alternating the dog walks. While another friend of mine is sticking to his usual route because he knows it and doesn’t want to have to think about it. I reckon both are valid and both work for their purpose.

Here are three questions to ask yourself and share with your team to ensure they are, as best possible, sticking to their health and wellness practices:

  1. Which one are you, same routine or mix it up?
  2. What can we do as a team to support each other to stay well and healthy?
  3. What hobbies do you have and how do you feel when you are working (playing) on your hobby?

If you’re super practical, you may want to walk’n’talk: i.e. check in with your team on the phone while you take a stroll around the block! I have been doing this with people who have booked a time to chat with me, see below if you’d like to chat about how you’re leading yourself and team through this. I now need to state upfront though that as I walk’n’talk with you, if I see a snake I will scream and be momentarily distracted! Ask me how I know that ūüėĪūü§¶‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ

As we go through this challenge together I’d love to know what hobby you’ve re-engaged with or even send me a photo, I love to see …

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

I found this one on a friend’s Facebook feed…

Helping You to Help Others

 

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464.

or

Book a time here.

We’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

3rd April

Square eyes!

How are you?

My grandparents had a big (for the time) box TV. It was set in a big wooden box on legs. Back then to me, it was huge.

This was before remote controls; actually when I stayed over, I was the remote control! “Darling, can you please turn it to channel X please?”

I often sat on the floor and would sneak closer to the TV as, in my little world then, I felt like I was at the movies right there at Gran’s and Gramp’s place!

Not much would slip past my Gran and she’d wait until after I had snuck forward, settled down and see that I thought I had gotten away with it. And then she’d say, “Move back, if you sit too close you’ll get square eyes.”

Working from home,¬†home schooling and staying connected to family and friends remotely means a lot … A LOT … more screen time for us all.

My screen time has gone up significantly. Thursday afternoon I started getting a headache and¬†I quickly realised the connection. My Gran’s words came back to me … I’m getting square eyes maybe not from the distance but definitely from the amount of time!

This weekend I’ll do a digital detox.

Do you think that would be a healthy choice for you too?
Does your team need a digital break too?

Forward this email to them, and to anyone you know, if you think it will be of value.

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Helping You to Help Others

 

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know. 

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464.

or

Book a time here. 

We’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

2nd April

Here & Now and There & When.

How are you?

As our days are increasingly turning to even more phone calls, emails and online / remote meetings …

  • Skype
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Whatsapp
  • Zoom
  • GoToMeeting

… these platforms sure are getting a good work out. The silver lining is we are using these¬†resources even more, so we are getting our money’s worth from them.

The conspiracy jokes about Zoom starting this current situation are starting to flow across social media.

I’m delivering remote workshops now as clients are shifting from crisis to acceptance. They are wanting to provide development as a means to maintain engagement and performance while their people are working the work from home (WFH) mandate.

I’m also listening to more webinars and yesterday I saw a great model that I have adapted to share with you.

Can you describe where you and your business or organisation are right now? Are you still in shock? Are you somewhere between shock and acceptance or have you moved onto the inevitable? Are you already leading and attaining new success?

Where are you as a leader in this situation and where are your team?

In executive coaching, one of the frameworks we use to set goals includes understanding the current status. When you know clearly where you are, it helps to determine the right course going forward.

We have moved from business as usual (BAU) to being hit with a crisis. From here people have reacted in a variety of ways.

Panic buying toilet paper, pasta and rice is a clear and real example of hoarding and cheating. Cheating in this instance refers to cheating one’s community or society.

Some businesses and organisations have simply cut and run. They have stood down their people and gone, they’ve closed up shop.

Some businesses have gone into hiding while others have conformed to the new laws as they unfold.

All of these are, at some level, understandable. A crisis can trigger fight, flight and freeze and you can see this in hiding, cutting and hoarding.

The most direct way through acceptance, recovery and then leading new successes is to innovate.

To innovate right now might trigger more fear for some, while others embrace the challenge.

The following are great examples/alternatives to help you move quickly through to leading new successes:

Adapt

What do we do that will, with only a few tweaks, can still serve our clients, stakeholders, customers, employees? Your operational staff will no doubt have some great ideas, after all, they are at the coal face. Supermarkets shifting their opening hours so that the more vulnerable of our society can shop when 1) stock is likely to be replenished and 2) the shop is going to be at its cleanest.

Re-position

What do we do well that can serve a different market? Private hospitals are now working with governments to accept more patients under the public health system.

Re-brand

While we are experiencing less demand, how can we engage our team to re-brand so that we come out strong?

As a leader, how do you want to be known, thought of, spoken about 12 months from now?

Implement the next viable option

If we can’t deliver X, then let’s use our resources to deliver Y. Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion powerhouse are now making scrubs for hospitals rather than haute courtier. Bundaberg Rum are making ethanol for use in hand sanitiser. Mercedes are working with a university to make more ventilators.

Ask your people, I bet they might have some great ideas.

Explore the least viable expense

As financial hardship settles in like a distant cousin well and truly overstaying their welcome, what is the least viable cost to help keep employees engaged, loyal and performing. Companies in Asia are looking into this now. They are asking employees to list their household expenses (rent, food, utilities) and offering to cover these in exchange for their normal pay/salary. I love this as it is caring for the employee right when they are worried about how they can survive.

In addition to covering essential living expenses, companies are also looking at online workshops and resources for keeping employees engaged while they are required to stay home.

You may know that I run a book club for professional development. I actually run a few: one is open to the public and two are run in-house. I reckon a book club might be a great way to continue the team’s development at a low cost. To give you some ideas, check out my club here. If this interests you and you’d like some help with this, please do reach out.

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

(I picked a good year to give up alcohol!)

Helping You to Help Others

 

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know. 

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464.

or

Book a time here. 

We’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

31st March

Get dressed for no one but you!

A few years back a speaker buddy and I were online, getting ready to record an interview for his podcast and vlog. As we were making sure the audio, lighting and other logistics were fine, and he asked me to move something that was on a bookcase behind me. The bookcase was about 2 meters from my desk, and that meant I had walk to away from my desk. I had to ask him to close his eyes because while I was professionally attired from the waist up, I still had my summer pyjama bottoms on! Walking away from my desk meant

I got busted!

Being professionally attired from the waist up is way more common than you might realise. 

Thankfully he didn’t record that part! And now not only do I check my surrounds far more thoroughly,¬†I also get fully dressed!

I work from a home office and I’ll admit I’ve had full-on¬†pyjama-no-make-up¬†days! Until now, I allowed myself those days because no two days were the same so the odd pyjama day would never slide into pyjama week, month…

If you are working from home or you are still going to work but the numbers are down and it feels like no one will worry or be bothered by your attire, consider the following.

  1. Getting dressed shifts your mindset from home and cosy to ready for work. You may find that you get more done when you are dressed for work.
  2. Getting dressed means you’re ready for anything. You will feel and be ready to tackle what is thrown at you because you’re dressed physically (and mentally).
  3. Getting dressed is self-care. If you slide into pj days, day after day, it becomes easier for other self-care to slide.

Get dressed for yourself.

I made this quote and tips poster for you. Feel free to share it with your team, employees, family and friends. 

Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.

– Bill Cunningham

We are adjusting to a new (temporary) version of everyday life. You don’t need expensive clothes nor high end fashion. Simply getting dressed will set you up for a more productive day, it will give you the armour to carry on.

Keeping your sense of humour is healthy…

Helping You to Help Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know.

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Call me: 0401 442 464.

or

Book a time here.

We’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14.

30th March

Mental health while physical distancing.

How are you?

I saw my niece and sister-in-law in Woolworths (grocery shop) on Saturday and it was surreal that we couldn’t hug and kiss to say hello. It made me sad even though I know the physical distancing is exactly how I show them I love them right now.

It was a habit awareness moment – and awareness is what we all need to ramp up to get through this. Triggering sadness also took me a bit by surprise.

During my daily 10 minutes of news I noticed that in addition to the COVID-19 updates the conversations are turning to mindfulness, resilience and mental health.

One of my all time favourite apps for mindfulness is Smiling Mind: https://www.smilingmind.com.au

I love this one because it’s:

  • Australian
  • run as a not-for-profit
  • not too woo-woo, if you catch my drift.
I’ve written gratitude journals for years and realised how helpful it’s been for me. With that in mind I thought I’d create some specific journaling excursuses for you.
There are five:
  1. Thoughts, emotions and behaviours
  2. Applying your wisdom
  3. Quote of the day
  4. Defining your brilliance
  5. Discover your safe place
Let me know how you get on with them. Feel free to share it with your team, employees, family and friends.

And because we need to keep our sense of humour going…

Helping You to Help Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know. 

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

Cal me: 0401 442 464.

or

Book a time here. 

We’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14

27th March

Do nothing, thank you! Thank you for doing nothing.

How are you?

I saw this poem on Facebook late yesterday and wanted to share it with you. It wasn’t in any design so I put it into a poster for you to share with your people.

Helping You to Help Others

I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know. 

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE.

You can call anytime over the weekend: 0401 442 464.

Book a time here. 

We’ve got this

If you see or feel a need for mental health first aid for yourself, family, friends, team or employees contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14

26th March

The Challenge of Staying Positive

How are you?

It won’t surprise you to know that I’m an extrovert: I’ve even been labelled a ‘raging extrovert’ … I kinda liked it too! Right now, I can relate to the memes popping up like this one:

Yesterday, I woke up in a funk and was faced with two options:
  1. Do my normal morning ritual, call people, go for a long walk.
  2. Go back to bed and binge Netflix.

I will admit it took a lot of effort to do the first option, but I did it.

Staying positive¬†through sheer willpower can be brutal. Especially when you already need to muster a lot of effort, focus¬†and energy to adapt to the immediate changes put upon us for yourself, your family and your team. With that in mind it’s important to remind yourself that action proceeds motivation. Once you act, choosing a positive, purposeful and productive action, will kick start your motivation and that will positively influence how you feel. Act first, the rest will follow!

“Just stay positive” is, for some, easy, but I reckon for most, it’s easier said than done. That’s why planning, even if you need to plan your day in chunks, is what will help you stay positive. Yesterday, I planned my day in 2 hour chunks and by the time I finished my day I was in much better spirits.

Mahatma Gandhi said, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. In practical terms this can include:

  • Plan¬†and prioritise¬†then work¬†on tasks you can do.
  • Focus on what you can control.¬†
  • Allow yourself to let go of what you currently can’t control.
  • Remind yourself of how you feel when you complete activities that sustain you.
  • Can’t think of what to do, start decluttering, clearing and cleaning – some of my best ideas come when I’m in spring clean mode!
  • Be mindful of your language.

Even working on your own tasks impacts those around you so you can lose yourself in your own work. 

To expand that last point: your language: while well intended, throw away lines like, “just stay positive” may need some practical backing and context¬†in order to achieve the intention. You can ask your team:

  • What are you doing to stay productive and positive?
  • What brings you joy right now?
  • What are you doing to look after yourself?
  • What is like for you to feel positive?
If you find this email helpful, feel free to forward or share this email to your colleagues, friends,
family and team: you can use the buttons below.  

 

Helping You to Help Others

 I am determined to support you in your leadership, to be in your best state so you can continue supporting your people. If you need anything let me know. 

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE. Book a time here.¬†

We’ve got this

25th March

Help Yourself So You Can Help Others

How are you?

Last Friday, the 20th March, was International Day of Happiness. I don’t know about you but I didn’t even notice, remember or felt overly happy. I had a nice day and as it turns out it was the last physical social gathering with some speaker buddies I’ll experience for some time. I was happy but didn’t take stock of my happiness.

Study after study proves what we already know: if you’re happy, your relationships are better, you tend to be more kind and helpful, and more productive.

Do happy people care about what’s going on in society and care about world problems? There is a Pollyanna hypothesis that has been studied. The hypothesis is: happy people are too happy to care enough about important current issues and therefore don’t act on improving society. Three studies found that feeling good – being happy – predicted more, not less, action on current issues. (Source: Kushlev, Drummond, Heintzelman and Diener)

So how do we stay happy in order to help ourselves which then equips us to help others?

Our language right now may be an area of consideration. For example, I saw on Facebook a post suggesting we rephrase ‘social distancing‘ with ‘physical distancing‘ because we can still be social. We have the technology to remain social while we a physically distant.

These questions, adapted from the Greater Good Science Center, may help you shift your self-care and happiness:

1. What am I grateful for today?
2. Who am I checking in on and connecting with today?
3. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
4. How can I get outside today?
5. How am I moving / exercising today?
6. Who will I thank today?
7. What beauty, awe or wonder am I creating, cultivating or inviting in today?

I made these questions into a poster for you to share with your family, team and friends.

Ways to use these questions:

1. Simply print it out for your own use (I strongly recommend this as a given).
2. Email this to your team (simply forward the whole email if you like).
3. Set up a time each day to jump on a group call and everyone runs through the some or all seven questions together.

Implementing number three, will give structure to connecting, especially if most conversations right now are work adjustment and COVID-19 centric. This can redirect attention for some relief and finding happiness. 

Helping You to Help Others

I am determined to support leaders be in their best state so they can continue supporting their people. If you need anything let me know. 

If you want to have a chat, discuss some ideas, want some support for yourself so you can sustain focus, productivity and support for your team, let’s chat. NO CHARGE. Book a time here.

We’ve got this

20th March

Let’s Make Kindness the Next Virus

How are you?

How has your week been?

Yesterday I MC / emceed a conference with a twist. It was originally to be a face to face conference but within a fast 3 day turnaround we delivered the conference virtually. It was a massive effort to transform the event but we had such an amazing team, a really engaged audience and were able to live stream speakers from Silicon Valley, the Sunshine Coast, NASA, Stradbroke Island and all across Australia!  It was epic!

We are living and working in situation where we need to pivot quickly!
Our life will not be the same from now on.

Have you got the support you need? 

If you need someone to chat with, even to vent, please do reach out. You can schedule a call here or simply call me on 0401 442 464. If I don’t answer straight away I will call you back as quickly as I can.

As we head into the weekend my mind turns to my neighbours. We had planned a bbq and catch up this weekend but now we are postponing. Every year we have an Easter egg hunt for the kids, it goes the full length of our street but I suspect that too will not happen.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do something, right?

I found a beautiful way of supporting neighbours, especially if they may be  self-isolating. 

Share this with your team…

If you or your team members have been significantly triggered by this event then do call Lifeline on 13 11 14; and check out their resources: https://www.lifeline.org.au

Remember, “This too shall pass.”

I appreciate you

18th March

Keep Communicating Together

How are you?

Since Sunday I’ve been receiving calls and emails asking for help in leading through our current situation. Yesterday I sent you this email with my ¬†perspective and 3 questions that may help you.

Calm, focus, care and communication are the keys. I want to continue that focus and calm with you. So here are three things you might find useful:

1.¬†If you’d like a live online Action and Accountability program run with your team, let’s jump on a call and plan the roll out together and make it happen. With teams working remotely it can be a challenge to feel like you’re across everything and everyone. This program is a 2 hour session to give you and your team the focus and accountability needed to get their work done, stay positive and supported, and feel connected to their purpose.

2. If you, as a team leader, need some support, let’s jump on a 30 min complimentary call to drill down on what will keep you focused and supported. We all need help at times and right now leaders need to be the beacon of calm, vision and direction. Who’s helping the leader to lead. Book a time here.

3. To help you stay in touch with your team, I’ve created a 2 page poster you can share with your team, you can download it¬†here.

I know that when I focus on others I don’t give myself any time to get swept away in negativity or worry. When I’m in service to others, I’m also doing something helpful for myself.

While so many employees have started remote working, the weekend presents a different dynamic. Some matter of fact conversations will be needed, reminders of the practical self-care and health tips will need to be reinforced. Take the weekend to reconnect…

  • Dig out the board games
  • Sit in your garden
  • Read that trashy novel you’ve had waiting for you
  • Call your friends and family and chat (not just text)
  • Offer to help your neighbours who might be struggling a little more than normal or a little more than others.

If you still have to work, please look after yourself, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Reach out if you need help.
Reach out to offer help.

I appreciate you

Pin It on Pinterest