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Entries from April 2016

Leadership starts with connecting with you!

29th April 2016

Leadership starts with you

Since Daniel Goleman wrote his landmark book on Emotional Intelligence it’s become well known that EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is more important than IQ when it comes to leadership.

IQ – knowledge and intelligence, gets you so far but it’s EQ that makes the difference. After all leadership is about connecting with others and taking them with you, so this makes perfect sense.

A fundamental part of EQ is the ability to be able to understand and manage yourself and it is my personal belief that you cannot learn to lead and manage others until you first learn to lead and manage yourself.

There are many models on Emotional Intelligence and all include self-awareness, self-management, reading others and social skills.

For the purpose of this blog I want to focus on the first two, self-awareness and self-management. You have to connect with and understand yourself before you can do the same with others.


To keep this simple I’ve listed my summary of the competencies so that you can do a mini self-assessment. Rate your self out of 10 against how consistently you are able to do these where 1 is low and 10 is high.

Emotional Self-Awareness

You understand, respect and accept yourself both your strengths and limitations and you are able to differentiate your feelings and emotions and know what caused them.


You can express your feelings and beliefs and defend yourself in a positive way. You are self-directed in your thinking and actions. You will listen to others input but will not me dependent on them.


You recognise your own capacities and strive to make the best of them and do the work you enjoy. You reflect on your experience and acknowledge what has worked.

So how did you do? Did you score a 10 in any? If you did congratulations and I’d love to hear about the approaches you take.

If you scored less than a 10, then like me there is still some work to do, after all leadership is always work in progress.

Moving things forward

Here are some possible activities you can try out:

Emotional Self-Awareness

  • Avoid comparing yourself to others.
  • Identify all the things you can take pride in.
  • Learn the difference between thoughts and feelings (one is in your head the other is in your body).
  • Thinks of feelings as messages – ask yourself what the message is and pay attention to it.


  • Recognise when unreasonable demands are being made and be say ‘no’ when you have to.
  • Identify the thoughts and feelings that stop you from being independent and what you can do to change this.
  • Decide which emotions you find hard to express and practice expressing them.
  • In a meeting decide in advance what position you are going to take and how you’ll express it.


  • Create a vision for your life.
  • Make a list of your short and long term goals.
  • Identify what really interests you; find out more about it and how you can build it into your life.
  • Identify your strengths and how you can utilise these more.

Self-awareness plus self-management is related to emotional management. These impact on the relationships you have and the results you get.

If you recognise that this is an area of development for you and you’d like some support email me and we can set up a complimentary discovery call and explore in detail the support that would work best for you.

“The first and best victory is to conquer self.”


Be an engaging leader – 10 attributes to master

13th April 2016

Engaging Leader

I’ve been working as a coach with leaders for over 14 years and prior to that I was a leader myself in business.

It’s very easy to sucked into the task and only focus on what needs doing when there is an increasing amount to do. The truth is to be a great leader you have to engage others and take them with you. You can not do it all on your own!

Here’s my top 10 list of those attributes I think will help you be the best leader you can be:

  1. Have Vision – Be clear about how you want to be as a leader as well as where you want to take your function or the organisation. Share this with others. Encourage them to think about the organisations long-term potential and their individual contribution to it.
  2. Empower others – Be a great delegator. Understand your teams individual strengths and capabilities and play to them. Push autonomy and empowerment downward through the organisation and give feedback regularly.
  3. Build Team Spirit – This goes beyond your immediate team. Make everyone feel as though ‘you’re in this together’. Build trust, accountability and responsibility and an environment where team members generously give and receive feedback to each other.
  4. Listen – Really listen! This means switching off your internal dialogue and really paying attention to what others are saying. Be curious to understand their thinking and how they feel. Encouraging others to share their views.
  5. Communicate Proactively – Share information widely with others. There are times when information is confidential and don’t be afraid to tell people this. When there is communication void people make up their own stories that can be more disruptive.
  6. Deal with Ambiguity – Today more than ever we have to cope with ongoing change. Often, it’s a topic we’ve never handled before. Get comfortable in tolerating conditions of uncertainty. Adjusting to change positively and support change initiatives.
  7. Seek and Introduce Change – Question traditional assumptions and generate new ideas, approaches and insights. Encourage others to change in efficient work practices, encouraging a culture of continuous improvement.
  8. Manage Conflict – Facilitate the resolution of conflict between others in an objective and considered way. Be prepared to have courageous conversations in a timely manner.
  9. Learn and Grow – Reflect, refresh, restore. Take time out for your own personal development. Quite often this is simply fine tuning some of your skills and behaviours to be an even better leader than you already are. Strive for personal mastery, understand yourself, seek feedback, be a role model
  1. Have fun – Life is way too short not to enjoy what you’re doing!

‘Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.’
Winston Churchill





What can Goldilocks teach us about personal impact

7th April 2016

personal impact


We’re all familiar with the tale of Goldilocks and the 3 bears where Goldilocks tries out each of the bears beds, chairs and food until she finds the one that’s ‘just right’.

As a leader you are working with many versions of Goldilocks who are assessing the impact you have on them.

Your team and your stakeholders all have different needs so your job is to determine which of the 3 bears you need to be to have the right impact with them to get the results you want. For some papa bear will be the right approach, for others mama bear will be the right one, and for others you may need to be more like baby bear.

At the same time you need to be true to your self and not trying to copy or take on someone else’s’ persona.

In today’s world you are on all the time and the art is learning to adapt in the moment to which ever you are dealing with. This takes practice. So to help you practice and become more masterful I’ve put together some simple steps that will hopefully make their way into your daily routine.

Determining your personal impact

Here are 4 simple steps to take to start to adapt:

  1. Purpose: What is your intention in this moment? What do you want to achieve in this situation? Do you simply want a friendly chat or to present confidently and credibly? Get as clear as you can about this.
  2. Be Present: Where are you putting your attention? This is a bit of a trick question as there is only one place to put your attention and that is on the person or people you are with. If you do this you can read what is happening and make adjustments to achieve the purpose (intention) you set above.
  3. Posture: How are you sitting or standing? Is this in alignment with how you want to be seen as a leader and does it match your intention. For example the posture you have for a friendly chat is vey different to presenting confidently and credibly. People unconsciously read how you are ‘showing up’ so it’s important to be congruent.
  4. Practice: Review how you did. Ask yourself was my impact too much, too little or just enough? Make adjustments to be even better next time. If necessary reinforce the things you do really well and practice outside the situation. We can learn as much from our successes as well as our failures!

I’d love to know how you get on so do let me know and feel free to share you own tips below:

“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.”

Les Brown


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