Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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August 2015

Welcome to the August edition of the Discovery in Action monthly leadership tips!

You may notice we have changed the title of this publication from 'newsletter' to 'Monthly leadership tips' - as we received some feedback that the new name was a better description of what we are providing each month - 'bite-sized chunks' of practical leadership wisdom!

This month, we share :
  • a blog that shows how you can have a quick coaching conversation using GROW with just 5 questions,
  • some information and tips on overcoming imposter syndrome and simple things you can do to help build confidence,
  • an info-graphic on the wellbeing model PERMA and how to use it to help you consider the impact you are having on your team, and
  • share some information and a link to a video by Marshall Goldsmith that provides some insight into the annoying habits of leaders.
This monthly leadership tips publication is also shared on Linked In. Please feel free to forward this link or any information you think might be useful to people in your network who you think may find it helpful...

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.

Paul and Melanie Eyres

GROW - with 5 questions?

One of the important things for a leader to notice is the coachable moment. At the water cooler, in the lift, at a person’s desk, in a one on one…

We don’t always have the opportunity to get into a detailed coaching conversation. Sometimes, we just don’t have the time, or it is not appropriate to spend a long time exploring the issue we see as a coachable moment. But how can we resist the ‘tell’ and still use the GROW model to help people with their thinking, and facilitate greater accountability, confidence and self belief within the person we are working with?

One of the wonderful things about GROW is that is can be used in a detailed one on one, or it can be used in a 5 minute conversation.

Click here to see an example of using GROW with 5 questions...

Wellbeing and the PERMA model

One of the most popular areas of research at the moment relates to wellbeing. With an increasing prevalence of stress in the workplace, higher levels of burnout, and higher instances of people suffering anxiety and depression, there are many experts sharing their thinking on wellbeing, and what people can do to help themselves to ‘flourish’.

Positive psychologist Professor Martin Seligman has spent many years researching ‘happiness’. Positive Psychology suggests that happiness is the natural result of building up our well-being and satisfaction with life. His studies have helped him identify 5 building blocks of well-being. Each of these elements is essential to our well-being and satisfaction with life. Together, they form the solid foundation upon which we can build a happy and flourishing life.

He calls his model the PERMA model :

  • P – positive emotion
  • E – engagement
  • R – relationships
  • M – meaning
  • A – achievement



We have drawn an info graphic with simple reminders about the PERMA model, and have also identified a range of questions to help leaders use the PERMA model as a lens to assess the contribution they are having to the wellbeing of their team.

Click here  to access this blog post.

Overcoming 'Imposter syndrome' and building confidence

The words ‘imposter syndrome’ have been in the media a great deal this month. Many famous people – like Tina Fey, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet and Emma Watson have all said how they worry they are a ‘fraud’ and one day ‘everyone will find out’! This feeling of being a ‘fraud’ – or thinking we are less than we are – is sometimes called ‘imposter syndrome’. It is actually a psychological condition – that seems to be a common partner to the ‘high achiever’. It is very common amongst women – but men can suffer from it too – and it stems from our thinking processes. And it doesn’t just happen to people who have a performance element to their roles. Take Dr. Margaret Chan, Chief of the World Health Organization, for example.  In an article published by Forbes, Dr Chan is quoted as having once said: ”There are an awful lot of people out there who think I’m an expert. How do these people believe all this about me? I’m so much aware of all the things I don’t know.”

Does this sound like you? Do you suffer anxiety and self doubt about what you do (when you shouldn’t!!)? Do you over-prepare or procrastinate because of this fear? Do you have trouble taking compliments and think luck or good timing played a part in where you are now? Do you set the bar too high and beat yourself up when you just make it? Do you feel relief rather than pride when you finish? Do you focus more on what you should do better than recognise what you have achieved? Do you worry people think you know more than you think you do or worry you know less than you should?



Click here to access our blog with practical tips to help overcome 'imposter syndrome' and 'build confidence'.

Annoying habits of Leaders...'adding value'!

Many people leaders started out their careers as ‘technical’ or ‘professional experts’, ie we were paid for being really good at something or for knowing a great deal about something of value. Our core purpose was as an individual contributor.

When we become leaders of others, the skills and capabilities that helped us to be successful in the roles as an individual contributor are different to those needed be a successful leader. It takes a mindset shift, and may require letting go of some of the things that made us successful in the past – and were key to our ‘identity’. We must shift from ‘doing the work’ to getting the work done through others.

So…there is a chance that some of our old habits will still be around. Does this sound like you? When someone comes with an idea or a report, do you feel the need to ‘add value’? ‘Yeah – that is great, but it would be even better if…?’

Click here to access this blog and see a video by Marshall Goldsmith, describing this - and other - 'annoying habits' of leaders.


Some recent assignments

  • Interviewed a CEO for participants in our DiA Leadership program
  • Designed a simple internal stakeholder feedback survey
  • Ran another 'Coaching Skills' program
  • About to finish a Discovery in Action program with a 'co-ordinator / team leader' cohort
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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