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The things we don't like in others are often the things we don't like in ourselves. The things we react to in others can tell us something about ourselves if we take the time to reflect. It is from this perspective that I'm writing this blog. I understand that my reflections and observations are a lot about me – like most people I know, I don't take enough time to reflect and this blog will help.

I'd love to hear from you if any of these reflections resonate with you please do get in touch.

Being a good leader is all about you

At the moment I’m working with a client who’s going through something which parallels a situation I dealt with when I was a manager. She asked what I would have done differently, and without needing to think about it, I said I would have put better support systems in place for myself.  Granted, at the time I did have a right hand person, without whom I would have been have lost, however the support systems ended there.

I took everything else on myself because it didn’t even cross my mind that I should consider anything else!

Now, several years later, this is a topic of conversation that I am repeatedly having with my clients, as well as peers and friends.  How well are we supporting ourselves?  As managers, we are so busy getting things done we lose sight of priorities – the most fundamental of which is our own wellbeing.

If I was to rate myself on how well I supported myself when I was a manager, I’d give myself a 2 or 3 out of 10. Today, I’d give myself an 8.

Some might consider this selfish behaviour– there’s so much to do – quit focusing too much on yourself! This thinking is all wrong.  Let’s think about what organisations are looking for.

When’s the last time you read a job description looking for a manager who was ‘required to bully the team into submission – ideal candidate will be highly stressed and irritable with poor listening skills and ability to make team members feel alienated and unappreciated a distinct advantage”.

Really, who wants a burnt out martyr?

And so back to my original question: how do we get to that elusive 9 or 10?

The answer is quite straightforward.  Ironically the better we support ourselves, the more we can challenge ourselves and the more we can actually achieve. It works along the same lines as the support / challenge matrix I blogged about previously

If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t give my best to others – it’s as simple as that.

I think about wellbeing in terms of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (by spiritual I mean a sense of purpose/meaning).

Some questions to think about: Are you eating well? Do you exercise regularly? Are you getting enough rest? How do you ‘switch off’ from work and clear your head? Do you have a network of people that you trust that you can call on to talk depending on the situation at hand (friend, colleague, mentor, coach)? Do you have a strong right hand person? Do you have or are you developing a team that requires direction and support rather than command and control?

Here’s a nice exercise to try:  In four quadrants (physical etc) list all the things you are currently doing to support your wellbeing. Then rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 in each quadrant (1 is low, 10 is high).  Identify one thing you can change or one activity you can add to each quadrant that would move that rating towards 10. Commit to taking on at least one of these changes and make a plan to make that happen.

Good luck!

 

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Filed under: Business Coaching

The importance of support and challenges in the workplace

What is your leadership style?  Do you challenge and really stretch your teams or is it more a softly-softly supportive approach?

Some kind of feedback mechanism is vital for teams and individuals to flourish in their roles, however the balance between support and challenges is an essential component in this.  As leaders, there are distinctive styles, all of which impact on employee behaviour.  As you can see in the Support vs Challenge matrix below, which is commonly used in performance coaching, there are four approaches, each of which cause varying results within an organisation.

Read the rest of this article »

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Do you Snooze? Are your morning habits impacting on your effectiveness?

Up to a month ago I wouldn’t have even thought of asking that question because I assumed it was the way everyone everywhere started their day. Over the last number of weeks I have discovered, to my absolute amazement I might add, that many people get out of bed as soon as they turn off their alarm. Imagine that! Well not only am I imagining it, I actually doing it. For 3 days straight I have got up as soon as my alarm rings because I want to, not because I have to. Read the rest of this article »

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Filed under: Business Coaching,Change,Goals,Snooze Academy,Workshops

What can the world of sport teach organisations and the people who work for them?

I heard Dr Mickey Whelan speak at an EMCC event on the subject of ‘Coaching High Performance Sport’. He is a former Dublin Football Manager and Selector with a long list of sporting achievements (Bio).

He also has many academic achievements not mentioned in his Wiki bio. He attained his primary sports education degree in the 1970’s. At the age of 68, he returned to education to do a PhD.  Of all his achievements, I think this impressed me the most. It’s a true testament to his drive and passion for sport and his own development.

I know very little about GAA or any other football for that matter. This is not something I’m necessarily proud of given that my grandfather, Ned Murphy, was a founding member and first chairman of Ballyboden St. Enda’s GAA. If he were still alive today I imagine he would be very disappointed by my lack of interest in GAA and he might have hoped that my interest in the event was based on a desire to learn more about Gaelic football.

Alas, this was not my motivation. Sports coaching is one of the many disciplines that organisational coaches draw on. Having seen the German team decimate the English team during the 2010 World Cup through superior team co-ordination, I have no doubt that organisations have a huge amount to learn from the principles of high performance sport.

This was my motivation; I wanted to learn from Mickey’s experience of facilitating high performing individuals and teams, and I certainly was not disappointed.

Here are some of the key areas he covered and my own thoughts on them. Read the rest of this article »

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Filed under: Business Coaching,Business Strategy,Change,Teams

What’s getting in your way?

Why is the diet industry a multi-billion dollar industry and yet obesity is on the rise globally?

These facts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) are sobering:

  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980
  • In 2008, 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese
  • 65% of the world’s population live in countries where being overweight and obesity kills more people than being underweight
  • Nearly 43 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010

(http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/)

WHO state in the same factsheet that at least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

The really shocking fact however is that obesity is preventable!  So why are we racing towards it with open arms?

Read the rest of this article »

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Filed under: Business Coaching,Change,Goals

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