What is the thing you want most to accomplish as a leader? I mean most...not get through your ToDo list, clean out your inbox or have people just do what they are supposed to do. I mean, why are you in this job? Beyond the paycheque, why do you do what you do?
Keep reading and find out how you can do that 👆️ more!
Do you want to make a difference?
My guess is that it is to make a difference; To change lives; To do purposeful work. I bet that you work in your organization, deal with the politics, handle the immense responsibility, and put out all of the fires that you do because you want to know that somehow, the work you are doing will make the world a better place.
I certainly know that's why I am here today emailing you and why I worked so hard with my teams over the years. It's because I know that together we can make the world a better place to live in for the next generation.
How would you rate yourself?
If that is your "Why" too, how are you doing? On a scale of 1-10 rate, how well you did that yesterday?
How do you feel about your score? Try these:
Are you unhappy with your score?
If you are unhappy with your score, my guess is that you've been spending a lot of time chasing tasks, meetings, emails and projects. My guess is you've spent less time on relationships, people and in your inner world.
Inner world? Yes, inside of your heart and your head...the part of your head that connects to your heart.
You need to spend more time in your inner world
Our inner world is our meaning-making system. It's what we use to make sense of the world we live in. Our inner world is comprised of our values, beliefs and morals. It's this inner world that creates our mental models, those assumptions, perspectives and opinions, and what we use to make decisions.
Your inner world might be a bit of a mess!
When you rarely visit your inner world, it gets overgrown with weeds! What was once a beautifully clear set of values around how you will treat others in life, has been taken over by the weeds of deadlines, checklists and company policies.
You are hiding your inner beauty!
You, my dear, have a beautiful heart. 💜You are full of love, compassion and fun. But you don't let it shine enough. You hide that part of you in favour of order, control and fear.
God forbid you let your guard down, or you will lose control of your day, your people and your world.
But in truth, you've already lost control. 😞
When you chase the task part of your world and neglect your people and your relationships with them, you'll never make the difference you want to make. Your ability to control your impact in the world will be lost.
Connect to your inner world and to your people and your score will go up!
The way to come back to finding a balance between the tasks you are responsible for and the people you are growing is to slow down and connect to your inner world a bit more. When you do, you'll find you naturally find more time to connect to your people and together talk about your united purpose and find more creative, fun and powerful ways to achieve your organizational mission and purpose together.
3 Ways to Connect to Your Inner World
So you can make a BIG difference in your outer world.
When you connect more frequently with your inner world, you'll find your outer world more balanced. The tasks you are responsible for are essential. But please don't forget to balance them with the people in your life!
If you want even more help to connect to your inner world, so you can make a more significant difference in your outer world, but are looking for a guide in that process? Check out The Training Library for a ton of mini-courses and training sessions to guide you to deeper understand your values, beliefs, emotions, and how to use those to more effectively lead.
Ongoing training to grow women leaders in 🇨🇦 Canada's Nonprofit Organizations.
Not a member of The Training Library yet?
Join for $19.97 and enjoy a monthly webinar plus a library of courses to support your ongoing personal and professional development that is affordable and easily accessible!
Discover the details here
Emotionally Intelligent women leaders are more effective, stronger and more impactful than their less emotionally intelligent counterparts. How did they develop their emotional intelligence? By increasing their emotional vocabulary. The more accurately you can name your emotion, the quicker you can move through it. You get control of your emotions by getting clear on your emotions. Clarity is the ticket.
In this blog, you'll begin to understand how to gain that emotional clarity thus giving you back emotional control and increasing your emotional intelligence.
Here are some trivia questions to get you started...Do you know...
Do you know what French, musical notes and emotion words have in common?
Here is what they have in common. They are all ways of communicating.
How often are you miscommunicating your feelings?
Miscommunication is one of the biggest challenges in relationships, at home and at work.
Given there may be 30,000 feeling words, here's the problem...most of us only use a select few...Brene Brown suggests we can only name 3 emotions. Click here to hear which 3. When we stick to those basic emotions, we are missing a big part of our own understanding of what is going on inside of us. That leads to us simply trying to shut our emotions off, minimize them or push them down. When that happens, we lose control.
Emotional Intelligence requires emotional literacy
Emotional Intelligence is being able to both recognize and manage our emotions. To do that, you need to increase your emotional literacy.
Practice Expanding your Emotional Vocabulary: Do this:
Thank about a particular situation today. It could have been "good" or not so "good.? Then take a moment to write down a few emotions you felt then. Try to get to at least 10.
Then grab a thesaurus and look for other words that might more clearly describe your emotions. Voila, you are on the road to expanding your emotional vocabulary!
Continue to grow your emotional vocabulary, and you will become more emotionally literate. That will increase your emotional control and your emotional intelligence! One last thing: Emotions are not bad, wrong or a problem for women leaders. We just need to learn to harness the power of our emotions!!! You will do that when you expand your emotional vocabulary!
Do you work with a bunch of women? Do they sometimes drive you nuts?
I walked into an all-female meeting a while back and immediately knew it was going to be an hour full of sarcasm, snide comments and passive aggressiveness. And I was right! OMG! They cut each other off, spewed darts at each other as they spoke and refused to "play nice." I just wanted to shake them all and say stop! Can't you be nice to each other?
We work in a predominantly female sector
The majority of people that are employed in the non-profit sector are women, so my guess is you work with a lot of them. I'm also going to venture a guess that you find them "emotional" and that those displays of emotions get on your nerves. I'm curious who's driving you crazy today? Your administrative support, your boss or the team lead? Maybe it's the whole dang team!
Your mood today plays a big role!
Here's the thing, how you are feeling, your mood, affects how tolerable you are of their behaviour.
Your mood impacts how their attitude affects you!
This is what it can look like instead
Coming from a place of compassion and feeling a bit more patience may allow you to address the issue, rather than the person. I am NOT suggesting you let things slide and allow people to be rude, ignorant and disrespectful.
Don't take their comment personally
This is what you can do to deal with moody women on your team
One sure way to find the patience for dealing with other women: Choose your mood. Tune into this Ted Talk to hear the science behind this idea. But here's the thing, you can change your mood. You can lift yourself up, and, it doesn't take much time.
🎶 Mambo # 5 🎶
🎶 Pump up the Jam 🎶
🎶 Rock around the Clock 🎶
Are you smiling?
You didn't even need to HEAR the music, and I know already I've changed your mood! You are hearing the songs in your head...the beat..the tune..the energy. Makes you want to dance, doesn't it? Are you humming?
Boost your mood!
If that's not enough
I get it. This is in some ways only a temporary fix. The reality is that ongoing negativity and moods in the office can turn things toxic pretty darn quickly. Here are a couple of more resources for you.
But always, start with you! Take responsibility for YOUR mood! Trust me that will have a ripple effect!
Here is a quick quiz for you to rank how well you are doing in contributing to your wellbeing.
Do work to do these 5 core elements of well-being?
If you wish for more wellbeing and happiness, you might want to increase your focus on these components.
I'll give you some ideas of how to do that below! It starts with Positive Psychology.
What's Positive Psychology got to do with wellbeing? Lots!
Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, says that when you practice these 5 things, (The PERMA model of well-being), you bring order to the chaos of your life. While these 5 components don't define well-being he says, they contribute to it.
3 steps to help you impact your wellbeing!
When you focus on these 5 components, you'll be doing both. Here are the steps for doing that.
.......... √ Be intentional
Other factors that contribute to your well-being
Tom Rath, whom I mentioned above, wrote not only the Strength's Finder, but also a book called Eat, Move Sleep: How small choices lead to big changes. Tom knows that these are the foundations for being able to do the others: Feel positive emotions, be engaged in what you are doing, have strong relationships, contribute something meaningful in your life and accomplish good things.
Don't forget to take care of yourself!
This time of year can be tough on your sense of well-being!
This can be an incredibly stressful time for many of us. I've fallen apart many times in December; physically, emotionally, spiritually and in my relationships. Each year I work to add new habits, routines and practices to ensure I enjoy December more and more. And do you know what? It's working!
Work on the 5 components of PERMA, and you'll be contributing to your well-being!
Do you need some help with the self-care components?
This month's training is coming up on Dec 19th, 2018. If you want to learn some quick self-care strategies for you and your team, that you can implement quickly, join me here: The 5-Minute Self-Care Strategy for the Swamped Gal!
Do you have a meeting coming up that is worrying you? Maybe you are not exactly worried about the meeting, but more about your ability to handle the meeting?
Perhaps you are worried you'll be anything BUT calm, cool and collected in that meeting later today. What you really want is to learn how to stay composed during that meeting.
In this blog, you'll learn a 3 step strategy for staying composed!
Once upon a time
Once upon a time, I had a meeting with my administrative support. We were meeting to clarify roles: What was her job and what was mine. Things had gotten a little murky around who was making what decisions. I felt like I was losing control.
She had started making more and more decisions that were, in my mind, not hers to make. Being young and new to the role, I was feeling threatened. So, I decided to meet with her, put my foot down and set some clear distinctions about who did what.
Can you guess how that meeting went?
Well, let's put it this way. I still vividly remember it today.
Within a few minutes, she'd questioned my authority. Or at least I felt like she did. I got defensive. (You know where this is going, don't you?) The conversation became heated. I got angry. And yes, it ended in me yelling at her. The whole office heard, not just the sound of angry voices, but every word I said to her. I totally lost my composure.
I wish I could say that was the only time I've lost control of my emotions and my behavior. Sadly, that's not the case. In truth, we all struggle to stay composed at times.
Loss of composure = Shame
Here's the thing. When we lose our composure, do you know what we feel? Shame. Think of times when you might have felt shame:
Do you feel ashamed when you lose your composure?
Shame is not a feel-good word. But shame is what we often feel when we lose our composure.
A trick to getting out of the shame
Shame storms, as Brene Brown calls them, can send us spiralling out of control! One of Brene's recommendations to deal with shame is to identify your triggers. Knowing what might set you off, can help you play offence instead of defence!
DO THIS: Think about your meeting today. What might trigger you?
For me, in that conversation with my administrative support, the trigger was incompetence. At that point in my career, I was new to leadership. I had a serious case of imposter syndrome.
Here's what I believed:
√ If I had known that was my trigger, I could have prepared for it and been able to stay composed!
The 3 step strategy for staying composed!
If you want to learn a system for identifying triggers and learning how to manage your emotions when you get triggered, you can take training on this in my membership site: The Training Library. There is a specific training called: Staying Composed During Meetings, Conversations & Challenging Times. Find out more here.
You have a job to do. A job I know you love. Don't let your emotions get the better of you and keep you from making your difference in the world!
You want to feel capable, credible and in control Confident & Competent! Yet some days you find yourself feeling fearful, flawed and foolish!
It’s time to get you going down the right path! This week’s training will plant you firmly in front of the path to confidence and competent leadership!
LINKS FROM TODAY’S SESSION
Grab this week’s Guide sheets:
Join the CONFIDENT WOMEN LEADERS COMMUNITY here:
Find MY BOOK - Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system
Do you want to learn to see possibilities where others don't? You become that type of leader when you cultivate the character traits associated with the virtue of transcendence.
LINKS FROM TODAY’S SESSION
Temperance is a virtue. It's one of the 7 virtues listed on the VIA Signature strengths list. Leader's who are temperate leaders conduct them selves in a calm and composed manner. Do you?
LINKS FROM TODAY’S SESSION
NOTE: This is an exerpt from my upcoming book. The working title is Leading with Strength of Character. As you read this blog, you'll begin to understand my passion with character development. But I'd love your feedback. What do you think? About the blog? About your character? About how to develop your character. I welcome questions and feedback! Thanks in advance.
Do you often wonder what you have to DO to be a better leader?
Be? Yes, “BE.”
Who do I need to BE to be a good leader?
Consider the HOW of what you DO
Take a moment to consider who are you BEING when you do your job?
Have you ever considered your character?
Who are you being when you do your job, is a description of your character. It’s the essence of who you are. But when was the last time you had a conversation about developing your character? Or when did you last consider why it might be important to develop your character? And have you ever wondered how to develop your character? For most of us, the answer is…never! Perhaps it’s time to.
How you are BEING is a description of your character
Your character is your unique combination of who you are: personality traits, values etc. No two of us are the same. The problem is, we don’t think about who we are being, or our character. Instead, we follow the model of leadership, passed down for generations. And honestly, most of us don’t fit into that model. So what happens, is we don’t feel ourselves when we are trying to lead. We are so often unaligned with our authentic selves. There is this wide chasm between who we think we should be and who we truly are. That leaves us floundering someone in the middle and not very happy.
When you develop your character, you’ll be happier!
If you take the time to develop your character, you will feel happier, more fulfilled and content. It’s because, instead of stepping into the role and trying to lead how you should lead, you will learn to lead from your character strengths. Instead of feeling like you put on a mask or persona when you lead, it will feel genuine and be effective. Leading with your character strengths lets you feel more authentically you from the time you get up, till you fall asleep at night.
Why don’t we lead with our character strengths?
Most of us truly are not aware of who we are at our core. In the hustle and bustle of growing up, raising a family and advancing in our career, we’ve lost sight of ourselves. Many of us don’t really know what makes us tick. We are not sure what drives us. We don’t know how to use our best gifts and talents to lead, because quite frankly, we don’t know what our best gifts and talents are! We’ve never done the work to uncover, discover or awaken them.
Back to describing character
Once again, I ask you to think about how we describe other people and consider for a moment how others might describe you. Pay attention to the word character in each of these sentences.
Often, we talk about someone’s character in general statements such as, I admire her character.
Now think about specific descriptions of other people’s character traits. Consider again, how people might describe your traits? These are some ways we speak in awe of certain women’s characteristics:
Don’t forget, not all character traits are “good.” Reflect on this list below. These are times we cringe at character traits that some women exude:
I hope you are now seeing how important it is to cultivate and develop your character.
Here’s how your character defined
A little overview: Your character is your unique combination of traits that make you distinct from others. It is how others perceive you, though, not how you describe yourself. Let me say that again, your character is someone else's perspective of you. It’s not how you see yourself and wish others would see you. You certainly can impact or influence what others think about you and you should. Ultimately though, how people describe your character is their perception, which makes character development a bit tricky.
Perhaps you are wondering if character development about getting people to like you. No, that’s not quite it. Your job as a leader is to guide people to a vision by inspiring them to grow and to help them to develop so that together you can reach that vision. It’s your influence and impact on people that can motivate them to be their best selves, which is incredibly helpful to reach team and organizational goals and to serve clients. To achieve that level of impact on others, it certainly is easier if they like you. But still, it’s less about people liking you and more about them respecting you.
Why you should care about how people define your character
Your character is so important because it influences what people think about you, and therefore the impact you have on them. When your character is strong, you have a good reputation. It’s that reputation that garners other’s respect. Note here, someone doesn’t have to like you to respect you. The two do not always go hand in hand. It’s respect though that allows your team to be patient with you, persist for you and to push themselves. They respect you, often because they believe in you and your message, which is inextricably intertwined with your character. They will conduct themselves in the way because you’ve inspired them and motivated them by your actions, your conduct and by the type of person you are.
This is how you influence people’s description of your character
People define your character by your conduct. It’s your interaction with them that impacts what they think of you. But what they think about you is not the endpoint. Their opinion of you is only the catalyst for their behaviour. Your actions, your conduct, in essence, your character in any given moment will influence others in one of two directions. Backwards or forwards. They will either take positive action or negative action.
If you’ve just been short with your team during a staff meeting, your actions, tone, and the message may leave a bad taste in their mouth. Now, they have a couple of options. They can head over to the water cooler and whisper about what time of the month it is for you. If that doesn’t feel like a good idea, they might just head back to their office, keeping out of your way. Back in the safety of their office, they’ll procrastinate and check out their newsfeed. The chance that they are going to take proactive action to get you all back on track is slim to none. They maybe be motivated to get you the report that was late or pull the reins a little tighter on their team, but consider the tone they will now be doing it in. I doubt they’ll be enthusiastic, eager or engaging.
Now, I’m not suggesting we need to be chipper all of the time, but as you’ll see, it’s the sum of your actions and behaviour over time, that creates how others define your character. The problem is, how you conduct yourself in the stressful times tends to outweigh other people’s memory of your conduct during smoother times. Therefore, we need to be even more diligent about our behaviour during crises.
How to cultivate your character
Much of our actions are automatic though. Our behaviour is habitual, reactionary or rote. We don’t think about it, we are not conscious, and often, it’s our unchecked emotions that are running the show.
But that kind of behavior does not create strong followers. It doesn’t develop leadership in our employees. Instead, it creates a toxic work environment. That kind of conduct creates a culture where people are just putting up with things until they can go home at the end of the day or find another job.
How we create the character we desire
While it’s easy to point out another’s characteristics, recognizing our own is sometimes more difficult. Even more challenging than that, is defining and developing the type of characteristics we want to develop in ourselves and lead with. In fact, you may be a little sceptical right now, questioning how you can develop character.
I’ll be honest with you. Character development is not easy work. Developing your character takes time and attention. It requires you to be willing to be vulnerable and explore some of the messy and painful places of your life. Not just once, but again and again.
3 steps to develop your character
Allow me to let you in on a little secret. We try and mould other’s character all the time. It’s easiest to see with children. Parents aim to make their children nice, kind, responsible, caring, disciplined or generous. How do they do that? By teaching them, role modelling for them and correcting them. The same is true for you. If you want to develop your character, you will need to:
What do you need to teach yourself?
You'll be a better leader when you do this quick assessment that I'm going to tell you about in this video.
It's all about identifying the character traits that you are stronger in and then learning to develop them even more.
Do you know what your character strengths are?
3 Steps to being a better leader. Do this:
LINKS FROM TODAY’S SESSION
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.