Leadership

Triggering Genius to Flourish

The conversation is changing...

It has started to dawn on us that we have been overly wedded to the science of productivity rather than a grounded knowledge of how to release uniqueness sand wellbeing.  Collaboration with the original, quirky, and unconventional is an unfamiliar leap for Neurotypicals. And inspired future leaders will be the bridge-builders who guide the vital human connections of their teams and organisations.

What is your learning edge?

We hear the call to action to bring our whole selves to work, cultivating our strengths in how we choose to engage in life and work.  We seek practical solutions with longevity and an enduring positive legacy.  Can you create the momentum for positive change? What is your learning edge?

Leadership Psychology for Turbulent Times

Your personal growth as a leader and the future of the organisations you lead will depend on how you consciously engage in your unique adventure.
Leadership Psychology

In current times, it’s only natural to go into overdrive.  It can be exhilarating to experience an “I am in control” ‘sub-personality’ we have worked hard to cultivate.  Our organisation no doubt appreciates this quality and commitment.  The tricky bit comes when things don’t go our way and deeper insight into how we are thinking, feeling, and building our resilience is necessary.  Times are turbulent, and the complexities and stress of dealing with the unknown can break or make us.  We all ned a good sounding board from time to time.  Maybe it’s time for you to work with someone who is qualified to have your back.

 It it’s hard to stay focused on our agenda as chances are your idea of what being collaborative means in practice is like no one else’s. Collaboration lies at the core of emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence enables collaboration in your team. Sometimes we need a sounding board to work through our thinking.

For many leaders who operate from the cognitive, logical brain and are adept at leveraging their expert knowledge, understanding confusing emotions can be a derailer. Leadership Coaching can help l leaders grow emotional understanding and behavioural versatility.  

Managing Emotions

Managing Emotions Tips for thinking through emotions to gaining insight and resourcefulness.

2. The Power of The Pen – Emotional Perspective

(This is one of my favourite tools especially if there is a hint of red mist in the air.)

Putting some distance between our emotions to follow through on the best of intentions when we are ‘triggered’ can be easier said than done.  My Spanish temperament makes this more of a necessity than I would like!  At other times, the complex nature of what might be coming at us, all at the same time, can bring mental gridlock or overwhelm preventing ud from knowing the best  course of action.  Try the following:

STEP ONE

Write down and freely express what’s on your mind.

 If you really let yourself go, this is a powerful technique that allows you to release your pent up energy …

NEXT STEP

Read and reflect on what you have written.  Allow yourself some mental space to gain perspective.

There is no need to show your out-pouring to anyone but seeing it on a page allows you to slow down your reeling mind, breathe, and observe what’s happening.

For some clients it can feel like their soul is pouring out on the page!

2. Contemplation – Activating Your Self Awareness

Knowing what our emotions are is key to understanding them.  The trouble is that many of us aren’t used to recognising our emotions until it’s too late!

Find a quiet time when you know you won’t be disturbed

  • Spend a few minutes just focusing on your breath. If your mind wanders, gently bring It back to your breath.
  • Bring your awareness to your body. Where are you feeling the emotion?
  • Go to the feeling in your body and sit with it, examine it.
  • Dwell in the awareness of the feeling and using one or two words describe the feeling.
  • If you are creatively attuned, what image or idea does your mind conjure up for you?

What insight do you gain from paying attention to these emotions?

How do you want to transform these emotions?

This will be valuable self-reflection to take to a coaching session.

3. Reflection – Creating Space for Vulnerability Builds Psychologically Safe Environments

Once three is some understanding and mastery of emotions, being vulnerable can help instil trust and engage others in what you are trying to do. 

Empathy and compassion are probably ideas or feelings you associate more with close loved ones than work colleagues.  However, at work, many of our toughest challenges are ultimately human problems that require thoughtful human solutions.  Exceptional leaders know that compassion is far more than being “touchy-feely” or “soft”. They seek to understand people’s pain points and are willing to address them.  There is strength in helping others understand we are all vulnerable human beings and wisdom in enabling connection to find creative solutions to our problems even when we are out of our comfort zone.

Looking at 4 dimensions it is possible to bring Compassionate Intelligence to all aspects of life:

1.     Attending

 

*  Notice difficulties and problems (suffering for you and others’).

*  Suspend your agenda so you can really observe, being mindful of your bias.

2.     Understanding

 

*  Be curious about ‘What’s happening here?’

*  Withhold blame and controlling your wish to fix others, “What Is the learning?”

 

3.     Empathising

 

*  Develop empathic (unbiases) listening and tune in to feelings of concern 

*  Be aware of continually changing conditions, fears and aspirations in yourself and others 

 

4.     Helping

 

*  Direct your efforts towards what is most helpful in alleviating problems and enabling aspirations that bring innovative solutions to unresolved problems 

*  Create flexible time to enable others to cope with their reality and grow through it.

 

Building Compassionate Intelligence ​

Lotus Wisdom

Compassionate Leadership Spotlight

“91% (of leaders) said compassion is very important for leadership, AND YET 80% would like to enhance their compassion but do not know how.”— Power Can Corrupt Leaders. Compassion Can Save Them, Harvard Business Review PDF below

To support the challenges of the pandemic, UK healthcare think tank, the Kings Fund, clarified practical tips for Compassionate Leadership.  The enduring challenges of current times will require leaders to find ways to live compassionate leadership values that create psychological safety, both healing and engaging their teams to be fit for purpose. Compassionate leadership allows us to release the diverse talents of teams and build connection to be ready to meet the demands of our ever more challenging world.

Compassionate leadership is best lived when it is embedded into our daily work.  Buddha originally taught compassion when mixed with wisdom is best served in every interaction and intention with others, to bring greatest karmic benefits.  The Centre of Compassionate Leaderships runs a range of programmes in partnership with Stamford University.  There is now clear evidence from the field of neuroscience to support leadership that triggering a  more compassionate mindsets brings a number of organisational benefits. and others.

The evidence-based organizational benefits of compassionate leadership offer proven outcomes:

  • Stronger Organizational Resilience
  • Improved Employee Engagement and Retention
  • Richer Creativity and Innovation
  • More Effective Collaboration
  • Accelerated Learning and Agility
  • Improved Financial Performance
  • Clarity of Mission, Purpose and Values
  • Improved Service Quality
  • Improved Clinical Patient Outcomes in Healthcare

The benefits for individual leaders from compassion training are also powerful:

  • Improved self-compassion
  • Improved compassion for others
  • Improved compassion at work
  • Greater connection to others
  • Increased motivation and personal growth
  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and overwhelm
  • Increased resilience
  • Improved self-acceptance and confidence

Fostering interdependence and Connection

Regardless of our role or seniority, a personal focus of family, team, organisation or more universal aspirations, there are four inter-connected mental habits that bring authenticity to Compassionate Leadership.

5 DL

There are five dimensions of leadership:

  • 1DL – The ability to self-reflect, self-awareness.
  • 2DL – Awareness of impact on others, understanding others’ difference & group dynamics.
  • 3DL – The ability to consistently see the whole picture & the dynamics between ‘the part & the whole’. The art of thinking systemically & understanding system forces.
  • 4DL – The individual freedom (Free Will) to make clear decisions & then to drive delivery, even in the face of resistance – ‘to be blown in the wind & to bend, but to stand firm’.
  • 5DL – The ability to ask for appropriate help & support, internally & externally to the organisation. Understand own vulnerability.

The Best Leaders Aren’t Afraid to Be Vulnerable by Janice Omadeke.

July 22, 2022

Summary.   

… we’ve learned that leaders who create the space for true vulnerability build psychologically safe work environments in which people feel welcome to be themselves. …. when people are willing to be authentic at work, they’re also more willing to take creative risks, share their perspectives without fear of a consequence, and make valuable contributions that can only be expressed within a culture that values trust and inclusion. ….. it’s up to you to set the tone for your workplace and build environments where vulnerability is celebrated.

Tips

Lead by example: … model what vulnerability looks like for your team, … open the door for people with less formalized power to safely emulate your behavior.

…. be honest about your struggles at work. Personal confessions are powerful tools. You can use them to share vulnerable moments with your team, relate to them in meaningful ways, and … develop trust.

When you’re struggling with a task, be honest When you need help with something, ask for it. When you’re feeling drained due to circumstances at home, let people know you’re not 100% because of things in your personal life.

Secondly, you can model vulnerability by standing up for your values and beliefs in difficult moments, publicly and privately. For some leaders, that might involve speaking up for what you believe is right, like interrupting groupthink in meetings by offering a different perspective.

Taking a real mental health day to recover, turning off your camera when you’re feeling Zoom fatigue and being honest about why, or blocking time on your calendar for a few minutes of personal time.

Future-proofing Inclusion should feel awkward

Do you consciously:

Futureproofing Inclusion

From early beginnings to a more authentic view.

I will never forget the first step to truly becoming myself at work. I was asked to co-chair the Disability Advocacy Group at Merrill Lynch, blending C suite and emerging talent leadership development with  Disability Inclusion.  I was driven and appreciated the value of well-appointed sponsors for gaining visibility and momentum.  It felt exciting and pioneering despite the awkwardness of having uncomfortable conversations. I suspect this visibility enabled my promotion to Senior Vice President.

In future-proofed organisations a more nuanced view of Inclusion is vital. Whilst I have no thirst for the limelight, I appreciated the need to step up and raise awareness through a more edgy change agenda.  Sometimes we know we have to do the right thing, even though we may lack the courage to stand out for being different.

The Innovation Learning Edge: Hit the Mark

Everyone stands to grow in unexpected ways, evolving through the experience of collaborating and opening our minds to different ways of thriving. 

When we are truly inclusive, we become resourceful and strive to learn from each other.

The closely related relationship of Inclusion and Innovation requires us to take care to hit the mark on innovation whilst not missing the point about inclusion (In ‘The Key to Inclusion’, Included 2022, Catherine Wallwork, trailblazer in Innovation and Inclusion at Deloitte UK.

Everyone stands to grow in unexpected ways, evolving through the experience of collaborating and opening our minds to different ways of thriving. 

When we are truly inclusive, we become resourceful and strive to learn from each other.

The closely related relationship of Inclusion and Innovation requires us to take care to hit the mark on innovation whilst not missing the point about inclusion (In ‘The Key to Inclusion’, Included 2022, Catherine Wallwork, trailblazer in Innovation and Inclusion at Deloitte UK.

The Joy of Inclusion

I especially like Peter Harris’s recognition of a feeling of ‘joy’ when everyone in a team can make a contribution:

The Schroeder’s Group Chief Exec approach may resonate with you too?

Key takeaways for your organisation and team may include:

We can start by attending to the QUALITY OF DIVERSE RELATIONSHIPS we are responsible for. All eyes and ears are focused on how you show up.

 A colleague’s journey through adversity, personal challenge, crisis, and renewal may benefit from support and guidance with a trusted pair of hands.  Crisis can create the origins for our personal breakthroughs. The way forward may be tentative as new, unfamiliar ground is covered; you may connect with those who can help you to feel psychologically safe, encouraging your confidence to grow.  Even better, you may already be supporting others in their adventure. 

At an organisational level has to blend the strategic with the tactical.  At a human level, trust needs to be built.

When we use our full range of intelligences, whether conventional or more diverse, cross-fertilization, radical innovation, and new opportunities to thrive are possible. 

Radical change occurs when we choose to follow leaders who
LEAD WITH US.

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