Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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May 2018

Hello and welcome to May 2018 edition of our Monthly Leadership Tips: your 'once a month'  'bite-sized' chunks of practical leadership wisdom!

This month we share :
We often post the blogs in this publication on Linked In.

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We also use the content we share each month, in the work we do in our consulting practice. Feel free to get in touch to find out more about anything in this newsletter or other blogs on our website.  Enjoy!

Melanie and Paul Eyres

Perfectionists..it is time to start being kinder to yourselves!

I’ll confess it now. I am a perfectionist!

I expect so much of myself, set often ridiculous expectations and standards of performance, and I get cross with myself when I don’t get everything right – all of the time. This tendency does mess with my confidence sometimes and it also sometimes messes with my stress levels. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Fortunately as an adult, I have slowly learned the art of perspective (well, most of the time anyway)!

I make use of the tools I have shared with you in previous posts – I pay attention to different wellbeing strategies, I actively aim to use my strengths and cultivate positive emotions, I keep organised and (try) to set realistic plans, and when the ‘imposter’ feeling pays a visit, I actively work on rebuilding my confidence.

Now don’t get me wrong, perfectionism isn’t all bad. It has helped me to be successful so far and it does help me to continue to strive to be my best. But it can also come with some unhelpful tendencies – and now that we are parents, we can also see that it can be passed on with our DNA!

Paul recently came across a great video with Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesen and shared it with me. We wondered if it would be useful to share with other members of our family. Since watching it, I have found myself thinking about from my own perspective too, and have found myself more regularly thinking or saying the simple phrase used in the video more often. ‘Oh, well’! I am doing this partly for others – to help role model a way to help combat the unhelpful elements of perfectionism and know that it is ok to be an imperfect human, but also for me – that I can also be an imperfect human – we perfectionists need to be kinder to ourselves!

We thought others in our network might find this 13 minute video useful too! It starts by sharing some information for women in business and for organisations to be more inclusive and manage diversity, particularly talking about the behaviours that have got you ‘here’ are not those that will necessarily help to get you ‘there’. Sally shares some behaviours that may hold people back from progressing – 12 that essentially stem from either a person’s feeling that they need to be perfect (and that if you are not it is a disaster, or you are disgraced or have let people down) or a deep need to please…and then Sally and Marshall share a powerful (and amusing) personal story. If you are pressed for time, this starts at approximately 3 minutes. It is worth hearing – it will make you giggle and stick with you!

Click here to access the video.

Are you a supportive or demanding leader?

In our DiA small group sessions we often explore the power of Angela Duckworth's demanding v supportive concept. This is such a simple but thought provoking model - so we thought we'd feature it again in this month's monthly leadership tips!

We do this by sharing a short + punchy video post from Dan Pink, where he shares the 2×2 matrix created by Angela Duckworth – the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ . In this video, he shares how this thinking can be just as relevant to leading as to it is to parenting – the original context for the content.

What type of leader are you?

  • a leader who is supportive but not demanding – a permissive leader?
  • a leader who is unsupportive and undemanding – a neglectful leader?
  • a leader who is demanding and unsupportive – an authoritarian leader?
  • or a leader who is demanding and supportive – a wise choice?

Click here to be taken to the link for the original short but powerful video!


How to fast track the creation of great working relationships

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to create really effective working relationships. We all know the power of really good relationships – and know too well the pain and inefficiencies that are the result of poor ones! As Marion Barraud writes in a recent HBR post, “When your team knows how you like to work and how you plan to manage them, they’re able to produce results faster. When you know how each of your direct reports likes to work and communicate, you’re able to save time when setting direction and following up.”

‘Fast tracking’ good working relationships is not always easy, so in this post we share two great ideas we came across recently that help you to do just that!

Post 1 : Do You Know How Each Person on Your Team Likes to Work?

Consider some of your preferences and how these might show up at work…

  • Do you like detail or the ‘big picture’?
  • Do you like to do your thinking aloud or prefer time to think quietly before sharing your thoughts with others?
  • Do you like to have regular check-ins with team members, or do you prefer them to come to you when they have an issue or a question?
  • How do you like to receive information? In an email, in person, in a meeting?
  • What are the ‘must knows’ as opposed to the ‘nice to knows’?
  • What level of supervision sits most comfortably with you?
  • What ‘hat’ do you tend to wear most often? (Thinking hats : white – objective / facts, black – downsides, blue – process, yellow – benefits, green – creativity, red – feelings)
  • Do you like to be planned and organised, or do you like variety and spontaneity?

There are many facets of our style and preferences that show up at work. Some of them we realise well, some of them we may be blind too. One way to fast track relationships is to think and talk about these styles and preferences, and to learn about the styles and preferences of those we work with.

An HBR article called Do You Know How Each Person on Your Team Likes to Work? shared these suggestions. The first is a sample table that a manager pulled together. The second is a set of possible questions you could explore about yourself and with team members.

Click here to see the remainder of the post...

Tips to help make getting feedback less stressful

All of our DiA program participants are currently in the stage where they seek feedback about their practice. Some time ago, we wrote a post sharing some tips on how to be a better receiver of feedback, and thought it was a good time to share this again.

We are taught about how to provide effective feedback to people, but are not necessarily taught how to deal with the other half of the equation – how to receive feedback more effectively.

'Six of the scariest words in the English language are: 'Can I give you some feedback?'

As Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone wrote in “Find the Coaching in Criticism” in the January-February 2014 issue of HBR, “Even when you know that [feedback is] essential to your development and you trust that the person delivering it wants you to succeed, it can activate psychological triggers. You might feel misjudged, ill-used, and sometimes threatened to your very core.” And this is true even in feedback-friendly organizations, and it’s even worse in environments where feedback is infrequent and surprising.”

This blog post has some of our suggestions, and some of those suggested by Ed Batista (HBR) to help you cope better with feedback.

Click here to read more...and to access our tips and hints guide on being a better receiver of feedback.


Some recent assignments

  • Kicked off a manager support session for a customised leadership development program
  • Ran a second planning workshop for a team building on the work of their first 9 months ago
  • Ran the first of a two part DiA 'mini-refresh' for some of the alumni of a client that has run 7 DiA programs
  • Assisted numerous coaching clients in achieving their goals
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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Visit www.eyresandassociates.com.au to find out more about what we do in our consulting business.
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