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Entries from December 2015

The secret to creating new habits

17th December 2015
Practice new habits
As humans it’s very easy for us all to stick with our normal pattern of
behaviour and forget to do something new.
The way we respond to situations is often habitual.
The patterns we all have of reacting to the external
world have become ingrained and automatic to us.
It’s only through conscious practice we can change
Through conscious practice we’re aiming to create a new habit. We’re
training our mind and body to do something different, so you’re undoing 20/30
or 40 years of an old habits.
How many times have you been on a training course or
leadership programme and walked away with lots of new ‘stuff’ to put into
How many times have you actually followed through with this?
In my experience many people go back into the workplace with
great intentions only to find these good intentions fall by the wayside.
I have been coaching now for over 15 years and one of the
many things I have learned is that you can’t bring about new ways of being with
out practice.
It takes time.
Think about how you learned to ride a bike, drive a car, learned to swim
or any other activity that requires your co-ordination. It took practice, and
I’m sure you made some mistakes along the way AND you still learned. You made
adjustments and kept practicing.
Changing anything you do is no different. This may be the way you
respond to a situation, a way of thinking, or trying out something new, it
takes practice and adjustments.
To build mastery as a leader, you need to be more than
just our automatic self.
So now is the time for you to consider what you want to
practice on a regular basis in the New Year.
I’ve put together some simple steps to help you develop
this. I hope you find them useful.
There are six steps in total, so let me talk you through
  1. Focus on
    one thing
    : Consider one thing, and only one thing that you want to change.
  2. Make it
    Break it down into bite size chunks. What will be enough to
    take you out of your comfort zone and not stress you out?
  3. Practice:
    Determine how often you are going to practice. Do you want to practice several
    times a day, or once a day? Whatever you decide do it as regularly as you can.
  4. Review:
    After each practice reflect. How is it going? What worked and what still needs
  5. Adapt:
    What do you need to adjust? What will help you get a better result? Do you need
    to change the frequency of your practice?
  6. Celebrate:
    Acknowledge the progress you have made. If you forget to practice be kind to
    yourself. Your aiming to do something you haven’t done before so take it one
    step at a time. Imperfect action is better than no action at all.


We all work better when we have someone who will support us
and hold us accountable to do what we have committed to.
If you know someone who will play this role ask them to
check in with you regularly and celebrate with them.
If you know you want to create some change in 2016 and you
are ready to move to the next level email me at Dawn I
would be more than happy to explore with you how you can become and even better
version of yourself.
Let me be the one to hold you accountable for your
In the meantime good luck and have fun becoming the leader
you were born to be.
Have lots of success.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act,
but a habit.” 


What are you paying attention to as a leader?

3rd December 2015

Being present - leadership presence

My latest posts have been built around my model Stepping up and Standing out –
how to harness the invisible power behind leadership presence and impact. There
are 4 principles and so far I’ve covered how you show up as a leader and your
intentions – what outcomes do you want in a given situation.
The third principle feels particularly pertinent as we ‘run’ into
Christmas and this is about being present.
How present you are in any interaction you have?
Think of being present as where you put your attention.
I am sure you have been with someone and thought that they were not
really with you their mind was somewhere else. When someone seems distracted in
a meeting, I’m sure you notice that too.
So here’s the question:
How often are you really
present with the person in front of you?
How often are you waiting to speak rather than actually listening with
an intention to understand what the other person is saying?
How often do you find you are thinking about something else rather than
what someone is actually saying in a meeting?
If leadership presence is what others’ sense and feel when they are with
and reflected in the quality of the relationships you build, then you have to be attentive. That means that
you are here right now, in this
It is NOT about:
  1. Thinking about the next meeting, or what you are
    going to have for supper tonight.
  2. Thinking about the meeting you’ve just had and how
    it went, or that email that’s just landed in your in box, or your ‘to do list’
  3. Wondering who has just called you as your phone
    goes off in the middle of the conversation.
  4. Figuring out when will be the best time to get your
    point of view across.

Leadership is about connection and the people around you know AND
remember when you are paying attention to them.
So as we move into the season where we’re usually aiming to finish
things off for the Christmas break and prepare to spend time with the family
and socialise I’m going to ask you to experiment with this principle.
Experiment - Resist the device - being presentExperiment
I thought we’d have a little bit of fun with this, so we’re going to
play a game called resisting temptation, and you’ll be pleased to know that
this is not about resisting food.
Technology invades our space and we’re always reaching for the phone, the
i-pad, the laptop, to check emails, texts, Facebook or whatever else you have
as a distraction on your ‘device’. Paying attention to these stops us being
present with the people around us.
You get to choose where you play this game. You may choose to play it at
home rather than at work, or you may choose to play it in every meeting you
have. It’s entirely up to you. My only request is that you play it at least
once a day. So here’s how to play; 
  • You put all of your attention on the person
    or task you are working on at that time and be fully present in the moment.
  • If it’s a task that is on your laptop/computer, turn off your email and
  • If it’s a meeting you do the same, and focus on every person as they
  • If you are playing this at home do exactly the same.
  • If you are having a conversation with someone put all of your attention
    on that person and the conversation. Close your laptop or move away from your
    computer, phone, ipad…

The essence of this game is to remove all distractions and put all of your
attention on the person or task in hand.
I can’t wait to hear how you get on with this. Email me
to let me know what you discover.
Remember, this is a game so have some fun with it.
“You don’t build a bond without being present.”
James Earl Jones

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