Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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September 2015

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

Thanks to those of you have been sharing our 'Monthly leadership tips' with your colleagues and those in your network. We have received some nice feedback this month from some new people receiving our 'bite-sized chunks' of practical leadership wisdom. It is good to see our regular readers also being able to provide some extra value to other people in their networks.

This month, we share :
  • simple practical ideas to help you fuel positive emotions at home and at work,
  • an updated info graphic on the feedforward technique,
  • a new DiA 'tips and hints' to help with practical ways to empower staff, and
  • a blog sharing some ideas leaders could try to encourage more positive attitudes in the workplace.
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

Ideas to help fuel positive emotions

It is so easy to fall into the spiral of negative emotions. Before you know it, you find yourself in a place where you are regularly cursing under your breath, getting annoyed and disappointed in people, thinking like a ‘victim’ (it is just not fair, why me?) or only seeing what is wrong (not what might be right – or even just ok!)

People often baulk at the ‘touchy feely stuff’ like emotions – but they have SUCH a critical impact on your ability to think, the choices you make, your ability to work well with others, to make effective decisions, to perform well – to be your best! (See previous posts on ‘Inner work life’ & ‘The Power of Small wins’).

The thing is the ways to help ‘feel better’ are not rocket science – and most of them we already know. But as we explore in Discovery in Action – there is a big difference between knowing and doing!

Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder…

Feel free to print out this info graphic – and make sure you are doing at least one of these things each day – so you can help to fuel your own positive emotions.

Click here to access this post in a larger size.

DiA Tips and Hints on Empowerment

Empowerment is the release of the full potential of every individual; it can make the difference between mere competence and excellence.

Empowerment has the word power in it for a reason. To give power to others you need to let go of some of your power. But you don't lose - you are collectively creating more power!

Do the people you lead feel empowered?

Yes? No? How do you know?

You are on track if you:

  • Create principles that guide decision making and let people operate freely within them
  • Clarify objectives that are in line with business unit goals
  • Provide the required resources (people, budget and responsibility) to do a great job
  • Allow people to take responsibility for their decisions
  • Back people to make decisions that could involve some risk
  • Trust in people’s abilities and link work to their interests and aspirations.

Warning signs are if you:

  • Want things done as you would do them, not appreciating different styles or ways of presenting things
  • Provide team members with solutions to all problems
  • Seek to find who is responsible for mistakes instead of looking at learning from them...

...to be continued.

This DiA tips and hints guide provides more 'warning signs' to be mindful off, and a range of additional practical suggestions to increase empowerment in your team. Click here to access it.

Using the 'feedforward' technique to improve performance

Last year, we wrote a blog summarising Marshall Goldsmith's very popular Feedforward technique.

Marshall Goldsmith writes ‘providing feedback has long been considered to be an essential skill for leaders. As they strive to achieve the goals of the organization, employees need to know how they are doing. They need to know if their performance is in line with what their leaders expect. They need to learn what they have done well and what they need to change.’

Marshall suggests an alternative way to cover the same points that may be discovered through feedback – but by focusing on the future. He uses the term Feedforward.

We have shared this simple technique with clients recently, and created a new info graphic to support it.

We thought we'd share the link to this blog with the updated info graphic now embedded in the post.

Click here to access our blog on the feedforward technique.

Encouraging positive attitudes in the workplace

In a leadership role you can often feel the onus on you to build a positive work environment.  While this is a core role of leaders the danger is that leaders solely take on this responsibility.  What about the staff themselves?  Shouldn't they take some responsibility themselves to bring positive attitudes to their work and interactions with others?  The challenge, however, is how to do you encourage them to bring these positive attitudes.

We've recently stumbled across a couple of techniques, which we have used in our role of facilitators, that might also be useful to leaders generally.

The first is not so much a technique, but more of a question that can be posed to individuals or groups of people.  Recently at a seminar on the science of intuition, the presenter Grant Soosalu (the developer of multiple Brain Integration Techniques) spoke about the role of the head, heart and gut in decision-making.  Whilst this was a fascinating subject, the most powerful element of the seminar was a question that Grant posed to us in his closing comments that he uses everyday for himself:

What is the most compassionate, creative and courageous 'me' that I can be and do today?  [you can see the link between head (creative), heart (compassion) and gut (courageous)]. Click here to read more...

The second technique is also a series of questions.  This approach has been developed by Marshall Goldsmith and is outlined in the attached short video.  In essence he challenges people to think about how they participate in meetings - if you knew you were going to be tested on these 4 questions at the end of a meeting, how might you want to behave:

Did I do my best to:

  1. Be happy?
  2. Find meaning?
  3. Build positive relationships?
  4. Be fully engaged?

Click here to access this blog.

Some recent assignments

  • Helped a client develop an improvement program based on stakeholder feedback
  • Ran a values workshop for a division
  • Completed another EI program with a client
  • Assisted a client with conceptual design of a leadership development program
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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