Newsletter for Discovery in Action Alumni and network
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November 2014

Welcome to our November Discovery in Action newsletter! We hope this correspondence finds you well and you are continuing to make progress in your people leadership efforts.

In this edition of our newsletter, we share
  • DiA Discoveries blog that provides 6 key questions that give you the opportunity to reflect on your effectiveness as a people leader
  • tips about a simple but powerful idea every leader should build into their leadership practice that has a huge effect on motivation
  • suggestions about why some teams succeed and some don't - with ideas leaders can implement to improve team performance , and
  • some more insights into EI and how successful people stay calm!
Thanks again for the positive feedback about the newsletter, and for taking the time to read it. If there is a topic you'd like us to feature, please drop us a note. And please feel free to forward this newsletter on to other people in your network...

Paul and Melanie Eyres

DiA Discoveries ... how effective are you as a people leader?

Earlier this year, we published a DiA Discoveries blog that shared our insights into those factors that seem to hinder consistently good leadership practice, or taking a more positive outlook, the key strengths that underpin great leadership practice. Team members often talk of the variation in the effectiveness of their leaders – many are good, few are ‘great’!

When people ask us what we think makes a great leader – we often give this answer.

Great people leaders are those who

a) want to be and own the role of being a people leader, and then

b) want to be a better one!

As Marshall Goldsmith famously said, For most leaders, the great challenge is not understanding the practice of leadership; It is practicing their understanding of leadership. Or as we say, not just knowing but doing.

In this November blog, we ask 6 key questions and share a simple table that gives you the opportunity to reflect again on your effectiveness as a people leader. If you are a people leader – how effective do you think you are? How strong do you think these 6 factors are for you?

Click here for more information...

Are you focusing on the most important motivator?

Many leaders who really ‘own’ the role of being a people leader are regularly looking for ideas that can help them to become a more effective leader. One of the most important messages relates to the ability of a leader to have an impact on the motivation and engagement levels of their team members.

In the HBR article called ‘Inner Work Life’ by Professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer we found that the most powerfully motivating condition people experience at work is making progress at something that is personally meaningful, even if that progress is a small win.

So if your job involves leading others, the implications are clear: the most important thing you can do each day is to help your team members experience progress at meaningful work. How can you help to get the ‘stuff’ out of peoples’ way’ so they can find a sense of achievement, mastery and purpose?

What have you done today to help someone else have a ‘great day’ at work?

Click here to access our blog and a reminder for our DiA Alumini about how 'making progress in their work' can considerably impact a team member's 'inner work life'...

EI - How successful people stay calm

The experts tell us that stress is a necessary emotion. Our brains are wired in a way that makes it difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. The downside however is that prolonged stress can be harmful to your physical and emotional wellbeing. In fact one study, referenced in this link, found prolonged periods of stress (and the associated anxiety) can damage the part of the brain that is responsible for our self control – ie our ability to keep a lid on our emotions, to suspend judgement, to keep focused. Self control is a critical competent of our emotional intelligence. And a strong EI capability is essential for effective leadership. So how can we improve our self control?

This link to a blog by Travis Bradberry, Ph.D, identifies effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress.  Many of these strategies are simple and many may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and being able to actually do so – often in the moment, in spite of your stress.

Click here to learn more...

Why some teams succeed  - and others don't...

Every leader wants the simple answer to this question – what does it take to be a High Performing Team? And once you reach HPT status, how do you stay there?

We have explored the concept of ‘high performance in teams’ on many occasions in our blogs. We have also published a ‘tips and hints’ guide to help provide ideas to help you strengthen the fundamentals of your team.

This blog link shares some recent research about the recipe for ‘high performance’ and highlights just how importance communication is in the most effective teams. This research explains why ‘the way people communicate is by far the most important factor’.

The researchers discovered that there are 3 key elements of communication that have a profound affect on team performance : energy, engagement and exploration.

Click here to access more information and practical ideas to implement these concepts.

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