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April 2016

Welcome to our April edition of our Discovery in Action - Monthly leadership tips,  your 'once a month'  'bite-sized' chunks of practical leadership wisdom!

Thanks to those of you have been in touch since the March edition. It is terrific to see which topics are resonating with people, and how you are using the content we profile.

In our April edition of our newsletter we share :
We post the blogs in this monthly leadership tips publication on Linked In. Please feel free to forward this email 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.  Enjoy!

Paul and Melanie Eyres

Using the Wheel of Change to help you become the person you want to be

Right now – are you the best leader? …best manager? …best contributor? … best innovator you can be? Are you the best …wife / husband / mother / son / friend?

We don’t often ask ourselves this question. Usually we focus on getting on with life, be it work life or personal life, until something happens and it causes us to stop…to hit the pause button for a moment – and examine who and where we are. Sometimes we have some element of choice in making the time to stop (like when the new year rolls around and we search for our new year’s resolution) – and other times it seems to creep up on us when we least expect it (like when a conflict blows up out of no where or something that usually goes right suddenly goes horribly wrong and our identity is shaken).

As Marshall Goldsmith writes in his wonderful book ‘Triggers’, there can be many stimuli that can cause us to reshape our thoughts and actions. People, events, circumstances, environment – good or bad, major or minor. The trigger may be a personal realisation or it may be the result of feedback from others. When we reach this point of wanting things to be better, we need to identify specifically what we want to change. But as Marshall writes : “meaningful behavioural change is very hard to do’, and ‘no one can make us change unless we truly want to change’.

Meaningful behaviour change can be hard to do for a number of reasons :

  • it can be hard to admit we need to change
  • it is easier to keep going with what is familiar
  • we often don’t know how to execute a change

Marshall offers a simple model he calls ‘ The Wheel of Change’ that can help people to process the variety of options that are presented when wanting to become a better version of ourselves. It illustrates “the interchange of two dimensions we need to sort out before we become the person we want to be : the Positive to Negative axis tracks the elements that either help us or hold us back. The ‘Change to Keep’ axis tracks the elements that we determine to change or keep in the future. Thus, in pursuing any behavioural change we have four options : change or keep the positive elements, change or keep the negative.

Click here to read the full version of the blog, and to access more research on this topic.

Do you run SMART meetings?

What percentage of your time is spent in meetings? One study suggests middle managers spend 35% of their week in meetings, and upper managers spend even more time – almost 50% of their time in meetings. This same study suggests 15% of an organisation’s collective time is spent in meetings – and the even scarier part is that executives say 67% of meetings are unproductive.

Effective Meetings – How do you know?

A feeling in your gut is often enough to tell you if you were in a good or bad meeting. We have shared a variety of posts over the years on meetings with tips for how to make them more effective. One post included a list of questions to help you determine if your meeting was effective :

Has it achieved the meeting’s objective?

Has it done this in an appropriate amount of time?

Do the participants feel that a suitable process was followed during the meeting?

Were the ‘right’ people involved and were they able to contribute well?

Were the decisions made that needed to be made?

Are people clear about what is to be done next and by when?

Think about the last meeting you were involved in. How would you answer these questions?


Sharing what Treasury Corporation of Victoria is doing to help make their meetings more effective

We were recently working again with one of early DiA client organisations, Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV) and happened to notice a great little laminated card that they have created to help bring about more effective meetings. A group of cross-functional team members worked together to come up with some practices they believe will help make time in meetings more effective. They created a simple SMART meetings laminated ‘mat’ and have shared this with everyone in the business, leaving a copy in all meeting rooms. All staff are encouraged to apply these steps – either in their role as an organiser or a participant in each meeting.

TCV were happy for us to share this with you. Click here to access details about their SMART meetings.

3 tips to boost your confidence

We have written a few posts now about confidence – and it is surprising how many people have told us they struggle with this important competency.

One of the key competencies in the Self Awareness dimension of Emotional Intelligence (EI), I often see people at both ends of the confidence spectrum. In a recent workshop I ran on Emotional Intelligence, someone shared how perplexed they were about why they have a lack of self belief. It was important to let them know that most experts in EI do not believe that confidence (or any of the other EI competencies) is an innate talent, but rather a learned ability. 

This means everyone has the ability to increase their confidence (and their EI), if they work on building their skills and capabilities.

Whilst I believe this to be true, genetics does still play a role in determining where you might ‘naturally’ start on the confidence spectrum. As this TED-ed video shows, the balance of neuro-chemicals in your brain can play a role in confidence, along with the environment you are in, and the part you have control over : ‘the choices you make, the risks you take and how you think about an respond to challenges and set backs.’

As this video shows, it isn’t possible to totally untangle these 3 factors, but the personal choices we make play a role in confidence development.

Targeted at teens – but just as relevant for adults, this 4 minute video shares 3 tips to help cultivate our own confidence :

  1. Try a quick fix – picture yourself succeeding. Practice positive visualisations and affirmations
  2. Believe in your ability to improve – try to develop a growth mindset
  3. Practice failure – those who are prepared to risk failure learn how to try different strategies, ask others for advice and persevere!
Click here to access the link to the video and read the rest of the blog.

More effective team meetings : ‘introversion’ vs ‘extroversion’   

We all know everyone is different, but there are some times when we still secretly wish people were more like us! (People Like Us : the PLUs!).

Yet diversity is really important, and there is value and learning from people who are different to us. We just need help in allowing that value to be revealed!

This topic is often explored by participants in our DiA (Leading people) small group sessions. This post is a snapshot from a previous post on More Effective Meetings, and shares some knowledge from MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) which can help to have more effective team meetings with the non-PLU’s!

Consider which is your preference and think about how you can assist people with the alternate preference…

Click here to see the original blog.

Some recent assignments

  • Launched a new Discovery in Action (Leading People) program
  • Facilitated a workshop to develop role clarity between similar functions in the same organisation
  • Ran some 'Enhancing your Resilience' workshops for staff in 2 organisations
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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