Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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November 2015

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

This month, we share :
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

Rumination versus Reflection

“I don’t like the word reflection’’

This comment was recently made in one of our Discovery in Action closing workshops.  We had just posed the group the question: What had you learned about the practice of reflection?  This led to a fascinating conversation about the nature of reflection.  For some people they had an image in their minds of something soft, unfocused, meditative or meandering in nature.  It was just a word that some people felt was not purposeful enough.

Well I have a different take on what reflection means...

Of course, in general language it is not unusual for the word reflection to be used to describe someone pondering and musing over something without reaching any conclusions of note.  Someone is simply being reflective.  However I believe there is a real discipline to the practice of reflection that is not always well understood.

Many use reflection as a synonym for rumination.  I believe it is useful to understand the critical differences between the notions that these words – rumination and reflection – are attempting to describe.  In fact, at some level, they are polar opposites of each other.  We all engage in rumination on a regular basis – that is where we allow our thoughts to swirl around in our brain, having the same thought multiple times with numerous variations, thinking about a series of what ifs, wondering about people’s motivations.  It can go on for hours or even days…we all know the feeling, we have all had this experience.  You might have had a run-in with someone; you’ve made a stuff-up or think you might have; or something just didn’t turn out as planned.  It’s not always negative – it can be a great success or win where you happily indulge in private thoughts about your greatness or possibilities of future success – although my guess is that most rumination energy is put into the bad stuff.

We get stuck in superficial exploration, never progressing our thinking and action...  

Click here to read more...

TED Talk - The happy secret to better work

In one of the most popular TED talks in recent years, Shawn Achor shares a belief of many :

If I work harder, I’ll be successful and if I’m more successful, I’ll be happier.

Shawn thinks we have this idea of happiness around the wrong way!

Instead he says ‘if you can raise someone’s level of positivity in the present – their brain experiences a ‘happiness advantage’ which results in increased creativity, increased energy, increased intelligence…and increased success!’

In this TED talk, Shawn explains this thinking further and shares his tips for the ‘happiness advantage’ :

Click here to watch this TED talk and access the info graphic summary.

Keys to making coaching part of your practice

When people are learning the skills of coaching, they can find it difficult incorporating coaching skills and the coaching approach when they return to work. Sometimes we hear people say :

  • Oh, things got too busy so I couldn’t find the time
  • It was difficult to incorporate the skills and approach because my team are not used to seeing me like that…
    • They really just want me to tell them the answer! or
    • It’s not the usual way we interact and I felt strange slowing things down
  • I often missed the opportunities for coaching and was too far in before I realised!
  • It all made sense in the workshop, but when I got back to work, it was difficult to actually make the change on a practical level
Forming new habits and making changes stick can be difficult for everyone! As we wrote in a previous blog, DIA Discoveries – Making personal changes stick, if you want to set yourself up for success in incorporating new habits, it is important to:

1. Be crystal clear in your own mind as to what is driving you to make this change (know your why)

2. Have a plan and set some targets

3. Publicly commit to the change

 

The same goes for enhancing your coaching competence too.

Click here to read more...

 

 

Click here to see more blogs on coaching.

DiA Tips and Hints : More Effective Meetings

"Do or do not ... there is no try.” Yoda

I don't like to spend time in endless meetings talking about stuff that isn't going to get anything done. I have meetings, but they're short, prompt and to the point. Eli Broad, Fortune 500 entrepreneur

Do you run effective meetings?

Yes? No? How do you know?

You are on track if:

  • your meetings achieve their articulated purpose
  • you involve the right people and each fulfil their role
  • you manage time effectively, participants feel a suitable process was followed and there was value in their participation
  • people are clear about decisions that have been made and commit to what needs to be done in the agreed time frame

Warning signs are if:

  • lots of decisions are made in the meeting but nothing actually gets done!
  • people feel the meeting was not of value - 'a waste of time'
  • the right people are not contributing to discussions
  • we think meetings are the primary way to meet a 'need'. Other mechanisms may be more effective and appropriate.

This DiA tips and hints guide identifies 7 critical success factors for effective meetings, as well as tips about what to do before, during and after the meeting. It also offers some tips for remote meetings.

Click here to access this tips and hints guide.


Some recent assignments

  • worked with a branch management team to define their ideal culture
  • facilitated a high performing team workshop for a recently formed team
  • co-facilitated a 'Leader as Coach' program for senior leaders in the Victorian government
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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