Over the past year I worked a lot with personal development goals and therefore published a lot of interesting articles to further help my clients.
2020 will be more focussed on professional development and I will share snippets of good interesting stuff.
I am starting with a focus on leaderships skills, key areas to look at if you are a line manager, a first time leader, a supervisor, a people leader and even an aspiring leader. Over the next 8 articles I will explore some fundamentals skills to develop and give you some pointers to help you put them in practice.
A lot of my former clients were line managers, first time leaders and supervisors and they would often comment on feeling invisible, under-consulted and powerless.
In an organization, this comes mostly from having to ‘manage’ a very diverse and growing in number line of direct reports, taking on projects and/or acting on decisions and directions inherited without being consulted and feeling consistently stretched between the needs of their staff and those of their hierarchy.
In any organization, these managers/leaders are a key driver in creating a positive healthy workplace. It is important to provide them with sound knowledge, practical strategies, tactics and tools to effectively manage themselves first and then manage, influence, inspire and support their team members.
This population represents one of the most critical factors in developing organizational commitment. Altogether, they play the most important role in influencing employee’s attitude towards their job and the company as a whole. Their own behavior comes first when explaining the variation in both job satisfaction and job discretion, i.e. the choice people have over how they do their jobs.
They tend to believe that they are not given enough power to run the business, however, what they do not often realize is that their own behavior and their employees are the key features to their power in their organisation. They can make or break a business according to their mindset, skills and talent.
So how do you become an awesome manager/leader?
Over the next few articles I will share 8 key leadership skills I found extremely useful to develop to become that well rounded leader. Owning these skills will most definitely help you grow in your role and help you get that promotion.
I deliver MBTI workshops, often as a team activity to get people out of the grip and build better ways of working.
Noticing changes in body language,
eye movements, skin tonality and reflecting this back to the person you are listening to, without interpretation, is also a good way to enhance communication to a deeper lever.
Comments such as: ‘I notice that when you talk about this your grasp your hands quite firmly,
I wonder what your body is trying to say to you? It’s not simply judging what they are doing, it’s bringing it to their conscious attention, paying attention to the
Paying attention to these non-verbal signals, will give you clues and additional meaning that goes way beyond the explicit meaning of words, or verbal communication. Just being aware of non-verbal signals will help you with identifying deliberate or unintentional implicit messages.
The way you look, listen, move, and react to another person tells them more about how you are feeling than words alone ever can.
Non-verbal communication really helps you connect with people, so next time you listen, remember, it’s not about you!
Do you know what the most common mental health conditions are? I found some shocking statistics when I looked at reports form NAMI, WHO, MIND and MHFA England.
On average 1 in 5 adults experiences mental health issues each year (47.6 million people in the US, 16 million people in the UK and 676 worldwide). These numbers are only the top of the iceberg as fear of stigma and discrimination prevent many people from reporting or discussing their mental health.
The most common mental health conditions are depression and anxiety disorders.
I am always wondering what discussions individuals and managers are having with their work colleagues and teams to break the stigma around mental health.
I wrote an interesting article on LinkedIn looking at Mental Health Awareness, highlighting why it’s important to understand mental health issues and offering a simple solution to have an interactive team discussion. Check it out.
So, what are you planning to do on October, 10th, Mental Health Awareness Day?
Being a #mentor is a fantastic opportunity to grow and share.
With the current L&D function developing into a performance and capability function working in partnership with the business, a mentoring program is a sure, proven and efficient way to ensure employees’ continuous development.
If you want to set up a mentoring program for your organization and don’t know where to start, get in touch. If you live in London or surrounding areas and are CIPD qualified you can become a mentor with their Steps Ahead Mentoring Programme. When I worked in London I volunteered and I benefited and learnt a great deal from it!
#business #gettingthingsdone #culture #productivity #executivesandmanagement #future #startups #learning #development #engagement #collaboration #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #learninganddevelopment #coaching #leader #leadershipdevelopment #growth #success #motivation #managementconsulting #strategy #tips #HR
Effective communication is also a two-way street. It’s not only how you send a message so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, it is also how you listen to gain the full understanding of what’s being conveyed, to make the person you are talking to feel understood and fully heard.
To develop the art of effective communication you need to be develop emotional intelligence and be highly self-aware and socially aware. The key skills you’ll need to master are amongst others: active listening, self-management (especially ‘in the moment’ stress management) and assertiveness.
Effective communication requires a high level of emotional intelligence from the coach.
1. As a coach, you are stressed or emotionally overwhelmed. It could result in sending out confusing and off-putting non-verbal signals. When stressed you need to recognize that you will not perform at your best. Before a new client comes, make time to clear your mind and perhaps take a few deep breaths or do a little EFT or EMDR onyou to calm yourself in order to be fully present with your client when they arrive. You can also make sure you allow enough time between appointments to disconnect and relax.
2. As a coach, you are lacking focus. You can listen with intentionif you are multitasking (thinking about something else, taking notes etc.) you will miss important cues in the conversation and not be there for your client. You need to practice active listening, a good technique to be fully present and concentrate is to repeat in your head every word the client says to you, this way you won’t think about anything else.
3. As a coach you are inconsistent. If you say one thing and your body language says something else, you are inconsistent and not supportive. If you strongly disagree with someone’s view, you may use negative body language without realizing and make your client defensive. Always pay attention to your body language and keep an open and welcoming posture. Try to sit at an angle as it is a perceived as a non-threatening and indicates collaboration.
Some not so obvious barriers to communication that you need to take into consideration:
4. As a coach, you speak a different language: Spoken language might be a barrier depending on the mother tongue of the person you are coaching and their level of English. Referral might need to be considered in some cases.
5. As a coach, you need to make sure your client has the freedom to speak freely: If working with a person and they insist their partner stays in the room with them. It might be better to ask the partner to sit outside so that they can have the confidence to speak freely in total honesty. The same thing applies with teenagers coming with their parents.
6. As a coach, you might pass judgement based on cultural or social differences. Never make any assumption about someone because of their situation, status or nationality. As a coach, it’s important to be aware of your own biases so that they don’t hinder your relationship with your clients.
I deliver #MBTI workshops, often as a team activity to get people out of the grip and build better ways of working.
With leaders and individuals, I dig deeper, using MBTI coaching (Step 1 &2) to develop capabilities, make career changes or get a little understanding of that mid-life crisis. Throughout the years I've helped many managers, first-time leaders and experienced leaders make sounder decisions and develop their capabilities using this coaching approach.
Yesterday at DFS Houston, I explored personality types and #work environment, a great 2-hour workshop with 20 #professionalwomen
A conscious process is something we are cognitively aware of at the moment it is happening.
An unconscious process is something we are not aware of at the moment it is happening. Unconscious processes are inaccessible to consciousness but influence our judgement, feelings, and behaviour. According to Freud, the unconscious mind is the primary source of human behaviour. Like an iceberg, the most important part of the mind is the part we cannot see. Our feelings, motives and decisions are powerfully influenced by our past experiences, and stored in the unconscious.
The existence of an unconscious mind is something which is quite commonly accepted: after having had a bad dream or making a slip of the tongue, many people assume that their unconscious was trying to tell them something. Whilst much modern psychotherapy accepts this idea, there are other schools of thought which do not, and historically this has not always been the case.
So where does this relationship with our unconscious originate?
In the time of the ancient civilisations, Egyptian pharaohs and high priests believed that their dreams were messages from sacred sources. Many 18thcentury philosophers began to contemplate our actions and their relationship to what was going on in our heads. Most often, the unconscious was seen as a negative and unhelpful ‘substance’, ‘state’, ‘ego’, ‘idea’ or ‘will’.
Influential French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650) believed that the mind was always thinking cognitive thoughts and totally rejected the concept of the unconscious. He was the first of many left-brained rationalist and rigid Cartesian thinkers for whom only conscious reasoning was to be followed and studied.
The English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704), following similar principles, established a notion of ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’ ideas when talking about the unconscious, however he did not see these ‘obscure’ ideas as emanating from the unconscious and in fact did not use the term ‘unconscious’ at all. His philosophy was that we were born without innate ideas, and that all learning comes from experience. Locke spent a great deal of time defining the origins of ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ ideas, and tried, in his own way, to make sense of the mind, saying, ‘We know nothing about the nature of spirit and nature.’
German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716), was referring to the unconscious when he spoke of ‘petites perceptions’ - or minute ideas of such low intensity that consciousness cannot detect them.
The Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677), the ‘philosopher of psychoanalysis’, studied the way we function mentally and talked about the ‘not-conscious’, a place where ‘mere imaginings and mere fantasies may have consequences comparable to those of perceptions of reality’, a place where ‘confused and inadequate ideas’ seem to operate and where ‘passive emotions may be due to processes of associations, and ideas may be determined by other ideas of which the mind is not aware’ (Emotion, thoughts and therapy: a study of Hume and Spinoza, 1977, volume 2, p149).
A summary of the ideas above was proffered by German philosopher Eduard von Hartman (1842–1906) who acknowledged that ‘many philosophers of time past possessed an unconscious idea of the unconscious to which they gave different names’. (The Unconscious in Philosophy and French and European Literature, Fernand Vial, Dan T Valahu, 2009, p33).
By the dawn of the 20thcentury, doctors too were beginning to study the unconscious and starting to treat patients using hypnosis. It was during a visit to Nancy in France that Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), while observing colleagues working with hypnosis, began to realise that another ‘self’ coexists with the ‘conscious self’.
Two major new ways of thinking emerged when Swiss psychiatrist and student of Freud, Carl Jung (1875-1961) took a new path with his views on the unconscious. On the one hand he followed Freudian ways of thinking and psychotherapies, and worked with those early-acquired repressed thoughts to treat patients, and on the other hand, Jung and his followers work with an innate form of the unconscious.
Jungian psychotherapies recognise a natural unconscious that exists before language is acquired, and they also maintain the existence of a collective unconscious.
While Jung was a follower of Freud, he differed in seeing the unconscious existing on two levels: the ‘personal unconscious’ (a person’s repressed, forgotten or ignored experiences), and a deeper level, the ‘collective unconscious’ (a ‘storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from man’s ancestral past’).
Jung followed the evolution of man, a theory which, like Darwin’s theory of evolution (and in common with some ancient mythology) believed that everyone has two levels of unconscious and that all human beings have the ability to tap into this collective unconscious. (http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/jungleg.html).
This Jungian theory has become particularly interesting nowadays because of its links with the study of hypnosis, timeline and regression therapies which all seem to validate the theory of a collective unconscious. Certainly, Jung’s theory is one of the few credible explanations of past life regression.
A SUDs scale is mostly used with anxiety or for instance when working with a fear of flying, phobias, or even with pain management. The individual self-assesses where they are on the scale and the therapist can work from this.
When working with a SUDS it is important to consider what condition you are working with. A therapist should think carefully about what level of SUDs is a suitable level to reach.
Working with pain is a typical one where it should never be brought back down to 0, as the pain is there for a reason and it must not be ignored altogether. Working with pain or any medical conditions should only be done after obtaining a doctor’s letter.
10 = Feeling overwhelmed, agonizingly bad, beside yourself, out of control as if experiencing a nervous breakdown. You may feel so upset and agitated that you don’t even want to explain what you are going through as you feel no one will understand, so you stay quiet.
9 = Feeling distressed, freaking, feeling everything is unbearable and you are getting scared of how you might react. Losing control of your emotions and feeling extremely bad.
Most people are a 9 when they say they are a 10.
8 = Losing it, going crazy, flying of the handle, losing control.
7 = Starting to crack up, on the verge of losing your composure and on the verge of having some really bad emotions and feelings. You are nearly losing control.
6 = Feeling awful, you start to think you need to do something about the way you feel.
5 = Feeling reasonably upset and uncomfortable. You can still manage your unpleasant feelings but it takes a lot more efforts.
4 = Upset and agitated, you can’t ignore what is happening and the associated feelings. You can handle the situation and feelings but it some efforts and it’s affecting you.
3 = A little upset and worried. You start to notice something is not quite right, it’s bothering you.
2 = Only a little upset when you pay attention to the way you behave and your feelings. You only notice there is something bothering you when you analyse your emotions.
1 = Feeling basically good. However, if you really think hard and put your mind to it, you might be able to feel something unpleasant.
0 = Peaceful, nothing is bothering you.
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Marie claude Bouchet
Professional development, Personal development, mental wellbeing, stress management, resilience etc.
I've decided to share useful articles, tools and techniques I came across while working, studying and reading.
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