DiscoverThe Game of Teams
The Game of Teams
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The Game of Teams

Author: Tara Nolan

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Teams are the new unit of currency in business. Harnessing the wisdom and brilliance of teams is not easy. It can be messy, confusing, non linear and complicated. Learn from your peers and thought leaders about what it takes. Listen to their stories, pains, and pride when it works. This show is about the magic of mining work and relations for high performance, satisfaction and fulfilment on teams
94 Episodes
Introduction:  Author, Thought leader and Entrepreneur in the world of performance, learning and coaching  Myles Downey is a thought-leader and entrepreneur in the world of performance, learning and coaching. He was the founder of The School of Coaching, for many years a much- respected provider of coach training and executive coaching in the UK and Europe. Myles is the author of ‘Effective Modern Coaching’, ‘Effective Coaching’ and ‘Enabling Genius – a mindset for success in the 21st Century’.  Myles is one of the leading business performance coaches in Europe with extensive, global experience spanning thirty years. He has worked with CEO’s, COO’s and MD’s in the most prestigious organisations from Banking and Financial Services, to Manufacturing and Oil and Gas to Professional Services and in the Public Sector.  Podcast episode Summary:  In this episode Myles Downey shares his passion for his work, his writing work, and the work he does to support leaders and organisations express themselves fruitfully and joyously for the benefit of the organisation and each other. There is a focus on his new book, The enabling Manager where Myles decodes the distinctions between Lead, Manage and Coach.  Points made throughout the Episode:    How did you get into this domain called Coaching? Myles started back in the days when the word “coaching” as we know it today was barely understood. Myles was a good tennis player and enjoying playing and competing and he came upon a book called “The inner game of Tennis” Myles was a professional architect at the time and after reading this book within 6 months began to explore the ideas housed in the Inner Game  The book title effectively divides the world into two, the inner world and the outer world where most of the focus for coaching was applied -such as how you placed your foot etc as opposed to the inner world the stuff between our ears. That was the start of Myles journey into coaching.  Myles set up his practice first in Dublin and then in London where he set up probably the first Coaching School called The Alexander Corporation in 1987 Was the world of sport ahead of The world of Coaching by way of that book The inner Game of Tennis? No like Coaching it was very mechanistic and focused on knowledge and how to rather than what was happening interiorly for a person or player.  What did you appreciate when you first heard about the Inner Game? Gallwey the author made a critical distinction between what he called Self One and Self Two.  Self-One is that part of you that is in fear, in doubt, in worry and Self-Two is that part of you that is in flow. Teaching tends to put people into self-one. They start to emulate the teacher and they “try” and trying cripples people. Operating from Self Two comes self-reliance and autonomy.   Timothy Gallwey used to employ a formula which Myles calls out and explains. Performance = Potential – Interference where interference is about doubt, fear, thinking about winning or not losing instead of being present. If you can reduce the interference for people then they can perform.  How did Sir John Whitmore and Graham Alexander influence your work? These two gentlemen had the rights to the Inner Game in Europe. Myles joined them as they both moved into the world of Coaching in Business.  What made the work of Sir John Whitmore so impactful in the World of Business? Time & Place provided a rich landscape from which John’s work took hold. There was an openness in the mid 80s to alternatives. Sir John Whitmore was the first person to write a book on Coaching devoid of content such as tennis for example. His book was very simple and very readable. Sir John Whitmore was a man of humility and that meant his ego did not get in the way in his communication with others.  Myles does not subscribe to the Leader as Hero model. He shares his work with the English Rugby team and their take on Leadership housed in three capacities, Lead, Manage, Coach.  We often make the erroneous assumption that Leaders need to be omnipotent and be skilled in all three capacities. “Leaders are not perfect” and Myles loves that quote from Graham Alexander.  As an Author what motivated you to write? One of Myles greatest strengths is his ability to make intellectual distinctions that he can communicate.  Because Myles set up the school of Coaching he had to teach a lot and that motivated him to write too. Orian Publishing asked Myles to write a book and he felt he got “permission” to go ahead and write the book. Myles first book, a book on Coaching has been in publication since 1999.  What are the compelling messages you would like to share with the Listeners from your latest book?  Command & Control a model of Leadership that has been around for a long time does not work. Think engagement surveys, performance levels and a study that shared the 10 things people do not like about work. No. 10 was their manager.  Myles scanned the world to find what did work. The Military was one such place. Start-ups was the other place. In both there is an emerging practice that you could call an entrepreneurial mindset.  The US Army are exponents of what they call Mission Command. The thing they talk about most is Trust. 2 things prevail. People have to trust and they have to understand their mission. Entrepreneurial mindset is similar because everyone should know the primary objective of the new business.  Both places allowed for and encouraged people to be liberated to perform.  When Myles extrapolates these practices into his work he get to three doing words-nouns Lead-Manage-Coach.  Lead is about the Why. That is back to Mission Command-understanding the future direction and where the company is going.  Manage: describes the part a person will play in the game. Role, Goals, Projects, Tasks, Standards, Protocols etc.  Coach: once the person understands why something is important and their role in achieving it then you get into a conversation about “how” they might do it.  The authority shifts between the first two and the third. In the Coaching part the authority shifts to the person who is going to do the work. “Tell me how you are going to go about it?”  This shift in authority is one of the greatest difficulties for Leaders and managers alike. A lot of the time it is because they do not have the distinctions as described above.  The Leadership model moves from Command and Control to Align and Enable.  What inspired you Myles to encapsulate your model with the Noun Relate. A robust relationship based on trust will allow for these kinds of conversations to happen.  Relationships before results is a Mantra I use and Myles agrees it is so fundamental to work and for him before he does any team work he will indulge some time to build relations between members.  When people build relations and build trust they have the difficult conversations so quickly.  What eludes managers and leaders to apply these four nouns? A lack of understanding. So many companies try to build a coaching culture for example. Myles says “stop” stop right now. You do not want a coaching culture you want a performance culture. You have to be able to hold people to account.  Psycho Synthesis is a body of work built up by Roberto Assagioli in the last century. One of his ideas concerned Love and Will. There are two fundamental drives, one is love the other is will. Love is a feminine energy based on trust, based on nurturing, about letting things happen and is somewhat non-judgemental. Will is a more masculine energy, is founded in control, rigid and structured. Assagioli made the point that whilst love sounds like a good thing it has its shadow. If you are overly nurturing as a parent you rob the child of their opportunity to grow. Similarly Will might not seem appealing but if a child does not have boundaries that is not useful. Myles equates the love piece with Coaching and the good Will with managing and you have to have both.  Assagioli shared his idea that that any time you have two ideas, such as  Will and Love that naturally form a spectrum you need to get above both to see what is going on and for him that formed a tringle and the word he chose was Presence.  Presence, Will and Love underpin Myles model Lead, Manage and Coach. His model is underpinned by Relation.  Relationship and Intent or the fundamental understanding of intent allow for the application of Will and direct communication.  What does it take to be able to adeptly move between these domain, Lead, Manage and Coach? Myles answers by referring to some research that supported his book enabling genius. The research was looking at answer the question; Across those people who have displayed “Greatness” what did they have in common? The research unearthed a few things. 1. Identity was important- people understand who they are in a particular domain and how they uniquely express themselves. 2. Will was another and 3. Mindset was the third and 4. The importance of continuing to learn and grow Most people when given a new job to lead people are giving no training. In the UK 71% of people who are given responsibility for people are not given any training.  Most people when they get into a leadership position do not know who shows up. It’s a potpourri of the things they have had done to them, the expectations of the company etch. Rarely it is about that persons own authority what comes from within.  Myles works with Leaders to help them understand who they are as leaders. Myles has developed over time a process that starts by asking a few set questions followed by a visualisation exercise and then a few more questions to pull the analysis together. Some of the questions sound like the following; As a Leader what are you great at? What do people come to you for?  What are you becoming? The visualisation exercise produces a symbol that represents a Leaders presence/essence a
Introduction:  Alan McFarlane is a Scotsman now living in Barcelona. A native of Paisley, near Glasgow, he studied law in Edinburgh before becoming a commercial litigation partner of a Top-10 Scottish law firm. His interest in business development took him in 1991 to Barcelona where he gained his bi-lingual MBA from IESE Business School before embarking on a long, global multinational career which saw him lead the design and implementation of major strategic initiatives, living and working around the world in places like France, Brazil (where he served on the Latam regional exec.) and Hungary.  Alan is a published author of two books, a book on Egypt post-revolution and the seven moments of coaching published by IESE. Alan collaborates with IESE, Timoney Leadership Institute in Ireland and Human Content, the cutting edge of understanding personality in the workplace. This is the focus of our conversation today.    Podcast episode Summary:  Human Content is at the cutting edge of understanding personality in the workplace. Alan McFarlane works with Human Content and over the course of our conversation across this podcast he brings to life the potential, the human potential, housed in this body of work, a potential that often goes untapped. Alan illuminates what the instrument, B5+ aims to measure, why it is different from other more commonly known instruments and what can be achieved when this human potential is activated.  Points made throughout the Episode:    The fundamental drivers for Alan include Freedom & exploration for creativity.  As part of his journey into this work Alan shares a story from his past. As a then 16 year old in Paisley Grammar School, Alan won a competition, having come from “the back of the field”, for writing, The Reed Prize for English. Alan explains that because there was a large element of creative writing in the challenge he won over the more scholarly classmates.  It was well known at the time that Alan was going to study law but after winning this prize no one reflected or guided Alan differently.  Studying Law in Edinburgh University proved to be a complete mismatch. He shares that by his second year of study he was down or depressed and the saving grace for him was a membership to the film society at University. This membership allowed him to consume 8/9 films a week and that was his creative escape.  He graduated after 5 years and went on to pursue his apprenticeship and again there was no guidance or self-reflection to wonder if that was the right thing to do.  Another “saving grace” for Alan, in an ill-fitting career,  proved to be his involvement with the marketing committee at his then law firm. KPMG were brought in to help the firm with a reorganisation and strategy and they challenged Alan on his personal goals and he realised he did not want to be a practicing lawyer anymore.  That decision back in 1991,took Alan to Spain where he applied to IESE Business school to undertake an MBA- his best subjects proving to be organisational behaviour, Leadership Communication and Business Strategy. Alan self-confesses to have been blind to the activation in him by of his strength in these subjects and joined an Insurance Company in Spain after his MBA.  Alan is not ordered structured or planful notwithstanding the career choices he made in his career  Tomas Lovenskiold, the CEO of Human Content advised Alan to leave his employ when his role was being redirected. He told him to “get out” take the check this is not you. Despite this advice Alan stayed.  A terminal disease for Alan’s father in law proved to be the lucky break Alan needed. The silver lining from this episode in Alan’s life proved to be liberation. Alan used the back In Scotland to write his first book and to get in touch with his fundamental drivers.  Various collaborations later and a meeting with bureau chief of Africa, based in Cairo, of the NYT, Declan Walsh meant that for Alan he finally got in touch with his own fundamental drivers Meeting Declan meant that Alan met someone who probably held his ideal role, creative writing exploration and freedom to live and write in many countries. Alan recognised this role could have been for him if he had known or if he had been guided differently. It took 35 years before Alan was matched to his ideal career. Alan is now passionate to expand the knowledge of the Body of Knowledge that is Human Content so that people can be activated to pursue their true potential.  Alan would like to see a way where people, at 18 or earlier could be given a way to understand their fundamental drivers. The problem is that these drivers, consider them rocks on the ocean floor, are often masked by the expectations of others, situations, social norms, peer  groups or job approximations. You need some way to clear the waves and see the fundamental drivers.  Human Content is a complete fit with Alan’s drivers. Human Content is the evolution of the Big Five Factor Model. Alan describes the evolution from the Big Five Factor Analysis  Alan names the modern labels for the Five Factors, two which relate to People factors 1 & 2, one where people draw energy from either their inner world or outer world and the other which measures how much people are naturally more compassionate and caring for people or more fact focused & outcome focused, making sure stuff is done at the right time. The next two factors, 3 & 5, style of work area, these include preferences on how we do things and preferences on how we think about things. The final factor measures factor number four measures emotional energy, where people are more present or absent.  Human Content is strident to say both side of any factor need to be regarded in equal light. There is no right or wrong way to be. The earlier use of the Big Five Factor model was biased in terms of the right hand side of the factor scales and  measures.  To be fully activated means a person’s needs to find a role or career which aligns with the picture created the B5-PLUS  instrument (Given the context in which a person sits)  Knowing your fundamental drivers opens up the possibility for a person to tactically manage themselves at work.  The scientific approach adopted by Human Content makes it significantly different from other better known instruments such as MYERS BRIGGS, DiSC and Insights. This scientific analysis recognises the uniqueness of each human being. Other instruments are too simple. People are extraordinarily complex and Human Content endeavours to recognise the difference.  Personality Research is a largely underdeveloped area and the legacy instruments served a genuine purpose to raise awareness about the differences between people. They did not go far enough in Alan’s opinion and he explains why.  Human Content is a well-kept secret because the legacy tools are well established and well publicised.  The precision of the outcome that is possible with B5-PLUS makes it attractive for organisational performance. It can drive employee engagement, You can clearly see the fundamental drivers for an individual. The fully explored factor analysis against a normed grouping gives much more exactness for role matching etc.  Growth Potential, Employee Engagement, Motivation and Understanding are some of the benefits that come from using B5+ as an instrument of choice.  The B5+-PLUS Instrument can be used to support team ambitions, understanding the needed fundamental drivers to succeed.  By taking the B5+-PLUS instrument a team discovers not only their individual fundamental drivers but also the nuances between them and the combination effects which means that they will have certain implications for how they are in the work place. This will have implications for what they enjoy doing and what they do well together and how they will interact together, smoothly or roughly.  Alan illustrates the impact of the B5-PLUS  instrument by way of a case study. B5-PLUS was used for 450 employees after a CEO decided to do a comprehensive role analysis and reformation. The employees were allowed to self-select their roles as a consequence of the rewrite using the analysis from the B5+ instrument. Customer Satisfaction as a key indicator for this firm went from 53% to 86% In another example this time from Norway, Alan shares a story about a hospital where the sickness rate was at 26%- 26% of all levels of the employee base at any one time were not available. The B5-PLUS  was deployed. People were allowed to be re-matched, where jobs or at a minimum tasks were readjusted or where people were reallocated to different departments. In four months after this work was completed the sickness rate fell to 2% Societal prejudice can blind us to the potential as expressed in certain kinds of personality or expressions of them. There is bias to seeing certain aspects of the personality spectrum as favourable.  Alan advocates that we take the B5-PLUS instrument and then acknowledge what is found. He asks that people acknowledge their fundamental drivers, embrace them and then exploit them for greater satisfaction in life.  Alan adeptly answers my question regarding the need often for people to wear multiple hats, say for example in a gig economy.  He also helped me be curious about a particular client of mine using the terminology of the B5-PLUS instrument and asked a couple of very pertinent questions that I can now explore with her at a future date.  The B5-PLUS is distinctive because of its precision as a instrument. It measures 5 personality factors and the facets that accompanies them in a manner that no other instrument does. There is a fully explored factorial analysis of the factors and facets, an order of analysis on personality that has never been done before.  The factor analysis, the design and process involved in B5+ makes it an instrument that is unique and helps others see their uniqueness too.  Alan uses hi
Introduction:  Tracy Bertran, Michele White, Traci Manalini and Larissa Thurlow are all executive coaches, team coaches, individual and group supervisors offering diverse and extensive experience in the fields of learning and adult development.  Podcast episode Summary:  This podcast discusses the often-misunderstood topic of Supervision, how it serves coaches and team coaches and how it is distinctive from Mentoring and Therapy.  To fully appreciate the value of Supervision in the field of professional coaching this episode explores the evocative question: what bothers us about Supervision.  Points made throughout the Episode:    Tracy Bertran PCC, kicked this conversation off by sharing how she came to Supervision. It was an integral part of her Coach Training. She confesses that supervision and its value went off her radar once she finished her Coach training. Larissa Thurlow came to supervision slightly later in her professional career. Larissa was doing lots of training & exposure to team coaching and felt something was missing. She learnt about Supervision, still was not completely sure what she was getting into and then found its value.  Traci Manalini picks up the thread about not really know what you are going into by virtue of Supervision and shares that a colleague found that Supervision made him better as a Coach. Intrigued Traci explored more and found many to be of the same opinion. Supervision supports you to become a better Coach. For Michele White Supervision brings her back to herself and who she wants to be as a Coach. Like Tracy Bertran, Michele came back to supervision after a while and trained to become a trained Supervisor mainly because she wanted to become a better reflective Coach and from there her supervision practice grew.  In addition to becoming a better reflective Coach, Supervision offers more. It provides illumination that extends to the whole of the system. Supervision helps to normalise our practice. It helps to see better and see again.  The title of this podcast is called what bothers us about Supervision and Traci Manalini shares that what bothers her is that people really do not understand what Supervision is as an offering. The word itself, Supervision, has so many preconceptions about what it is. Often people assume it has something to do with a power dynamic, where the Supervisor is “overseeing” someone’s work. This puts an extra emphasise on education to support people unlearn their perceptions about what it is. It ends up that people do not understand what Supervision is and the close their minds to the possibilities it affords.  Tracy Bertran adds that what bothers her is the confusion between Supervision and Mentoring. Some treat the two modalities as interchangeable as if the names are simply semantic preferences. In addition to this confusion what bothers Tracy is the amount of supervision being undertaken by Coaches. Only about 50% are actively engaged in the practice of regular supervision. Professional Rigour is at question.  It makes Tracy sad given the fact that there is so much to be gained by undertaking Supervision. The opportunity to look at behaviours, thoughts feelings, patterns, systems etc is provided. Supervision allow coaches to build mastery as opposed to the acquisition of new knowledge. Supervision can be transformational.  Michele White builds on the feelings of sadness by sharing that she feels sad because Individual or Team Coaches do not experience the joy of Supervision & the depth of Supervision. She queries the ethical nature of the Coaching Profession if supervision is absent. This asks the question about the responsibility of the Professional Bodies to make supervision mandatory. It would appear they are tentative, not mandating supervision or enough supervision. Larissa Thurlow adds that there is an inconsistency at play if we as coaches are asking our clients to be vulnerable and yet we are not doing the same. If we are supposed to be thinking partners with clients who are we partnering with to stretch and expand our capacities, in thinking, seeing and ways of being.  Larissa turns the word “bother” on its head to suggest that increasingly we are bothered about taking up Supervision. She recognises the difference between when she first started out and people thought she had a number of heads talking about Supervision and now where it is being talked about.  What bothers Coaches and Team Coaches about Supervision? We have to appreciate that adopting Supervision is a change. It is a fundamental difference to how Coaches, at least in North America have been practicing. Maybe there is a perception by Coaches that they are being put upon by having to accept Supervision as part of their practice, especially if it is seen as mandatory. If coaches are labouring under the assumption that they have been practicing individual coaching and team coaching for ages and could write the book they might be assuming there is nothing to be learnt by going to Supervision. Without understanding there is every chance the imposition of Supervision could feel heavy handed.  Tracy Bertran adds that Supervision can be exposing. You have to be vulnerable enough to expose things about your practice to allow Supervision to be enacted. You can feel vulnerable amongst your peers and it cannot be forgotten that Supervision allows you space to celebrate as well to share successes and interventions that worked.  We can be brought to the of our thinking, our comfort zone our feelings of safety and right to the edge of where we need to go to invite learning. Supervision can be in equal measure scary and brilliant.  Traci adds that often Team Coaches will deselect themselves from Group Supervision believing they are not yet experienced enough or have enough cases. This can also mean premature judgement by coaches that they will not add enough value.  Judgement about experience, whether you are too experienced or inexperienced can confuse the potential value of Supervision when coaches fixate on the relative exchange they will experience.  The differences in experience could be handled in the set up by Supervisors as Michele explains. We need to be careful not to engineer the set up too much. We too can make erroneous assumptions about what might work. It is both and.  It is very likely that protective defences are being exercised by Individual and Team Coaches in the space of Supervision. This begs the question how can we help as Supervisors?  Traci Manalini offers that when talking about different experiences or levels of coaches and number of cases they can or cannot offer etc might mean we have to accept the differences and not over engineer the set up. As a parallel Teams, very often do not chose their team colleagues.  Having 1:1 Conversations is one step that support the development of care and safety, the next might include the norms we create in a group to ensure reciprocity etc.  There is another parallel going on with respect to group Coaching. Tracy suggests that if you think about Team Coaching, team coaches are looking at the wisdom of the team and the same is true of Group Supervision. The learning in relation you get in group Supervision is similar to the process of surfacing the intelligence that resides on teams.  Michele notices her own resistance the mention of hours and the nominal value of 5 hours to be undertaken by Team Coaches if they chose to become certified. She questions whether 5 hours is enough. 5 hours is simply nothing for a team coach.  Tracy had a similar allergic reaction as Michele to the mention of 5 hours. For Tracy it is another “bother about Supervision” The more team Coaching Tracy engages with the more Team Coaching Supervision she needs. It serves as a restorative place a place where she can get professional reassurance.  If we think about Supervision providing Normative, Formative and Restorative resources this is especially true with Team Coaching.  As Larissa puts herself in the shoes of Coaches and Team Coaches she opines that it is often the case that Supervisors extol the virtues of Supervision. For Larissa naming 5 hours to support certification is serving a purpose and it is getting Supervision recognised.  Supervision is an investment in time and money and that could potentially bother Coaches as well.  Tracy would love the 5 hours to be an introductory taster to Supervision so that people could experience its value and wonder how they could have lived without it in the first place.  It would appear that as Supervisors, guests to the GOT podcast, that a threshold has been crossed to appreciate the value of Supervision. How can coaches and team coaches be communicated to in a way that makes the crossing so much easier? What can be said on this podcast to help people imagine what we are experiencing?  Traci suggests “to try it” to give Supervision a try and maybe not just once. Most of her practice, at least 90% have suggested that Supervision has been transformative.  Michele shares a story to help illuminate the potency of Supervision. What Michele was feeling and brought to Supervision was a belief “am I good enough” What she learnt in Supervision was that she was carrying this belief on the part of the team. It was not hers to own. In fact each of the executives in her case was feeling really challenged and each of them in differing ways were questioning whether they were up to the challenge.  A parallel process was revealed. Tracy is pretty sure that each of us and anyone who has attended group supervision about their team practice will have been asked “what belongs to you and what belongs to the system?’ Larissa further adds to the same theme by describing how two coaches who operated as Co-Coaches both came to the realisation in Group Supervision that what they thought was about them as a dynamic or as a duo and around which they were stuck was actually the s
Introduction:  Agnieszka Wolinska-Skuza is CEO of MasConsulting. She is an experienced strategic consultant with a background in top management consulting in Corporations. Agnieszka from the Warsaw School of Economics & gained her PhD in Economics from the University of Westminster in London, Trinity College London. Agnieszka is the author of the book The ART of Changing Your Mindset. Agnieszka recently moved to Barcelona where she lives with her husband and two children.  Podcast episode Summary:  This podcast discusses the important topic of Quiet Quitting, a phenomenon that is not new but has gained increasing interest and concern post the Pandemic. Agnieszka shares how pervasive Quiet Quitting is and what Leaders need to become to address this pernicious concern and to focus decisively on people. Much has to do with Mindset, the mindset around leadership, growth supporting a robust culture and responsibility.  Points made throughout the Episode:  Agnieszka entered came into this field by observing organisations in the process of change using her background in business consulting. She observed a lot of issues with Productivity, Retention and Mental Health issues post-Pandemic including of course geo-political and social crisis & high inflation together having a profound impact on workforce strategy  Quiet Quitting is a complex topic that Agnieszka has been investigating for a long time. It is not a new phenomenon but before it did not get the attention it is receiving today.  Quiet quitting presents in different ways making it complex to observe and detect. It impacts many elements of the business including a powerful retention strategy.  Quiet Quitting can be defined as a phenomenon where you can observe that people are disengaged at work, where people are losing motivation, losing focus, uneven participation by withholding and detaching psychologically from the job. Employees can refuse more tasks & question why it is important to work hard.  Quiet Quitting can be simply described as a change in Engagement  The critical characteristics of high performing Leaders & their teams and how much mindset influences how they are managed. Mindset is critical for Leaders and in particular having a Growth Mindset.  A Growth Mindset predisposes leaders to create a healthy culture of accountability, that drives business growth. Leaders with a Growth Mindset see opportunities within their teams, they look for possibility, they don’t hide believing all efforts have been wasted and they do not blame others.  Leaders who lead with a Growth Mindset make every effort to accelerate their teams growth even in times of crisis.  So leading with a Growth Mindset is critical if you chose to create a team that is pro-active, creative and solution focused.  Exceptional Leaders know & appreciate they have to consciously grow their skills and the skills of their teams. Strong passion, energy and a vision for growth inspires others to be part of business growth and success.  To adopt a Growth Mindset you have to interrogate your beliefs, thoughts and feelings and in order to assume a growth mindset you have to believe in the possibility for growth, to look opportunistically and to be focused energetically. You won’t be minded to blame the situation but be oriented to search for solutions.  You can always find a way forward if you look for possibility and solutions. If you have a fixed mindset the likelihood is that you will give up and retreat, you will always blame the situation and people and you will likely lose people.  Given how tired and exhausted Leaders and people are after the pandemic the question becomes one of asking how to try to do more with a more positive energy.  People are valuing their time differently and so if they observe that their leaders are not behaving positively they will put distance between them and what they esteem to be toxic leadership.  Focus and being deliberate or intentional about what work means today, giving people a new sense of belonging are ways to help retain people.  After the Pandemic people have come to value their time differently. They are focused on how they spend their time and the quality of that investment.  So quiet quitting is really about changing in engagement -Engagement is a kind of choice. You can chose to engage or to withdraw.  A culture that engages people could look like improvements in the ways flexibility is offered to work, a re-focus on purpose and an acknowledgement that empathy is required.  Leaders also need to look at time, their relationship to time, engagement and their choice of Leadership  Leaders are feeling the pressure of change, of market forces of their work loads and their own mental health. Important for Leaders to mind their mental health to be able to share their energy & empathy with others.  There is an onus on Leaders to monitor their state of mind. If you lose your energy and it impacts your capacity to be empathetic people will feel this and be equally impacted.  State of mind is everything and it is an everyday occupation. If you want to have a strong mindset you need to feed your mind every day. How does Quiet Quitting show up? No one will tell you as a Leader that quiet quitting has become a phenomenon in your organisation but you can begin to observe behaviours and be curious. Isolation, participating less, valuing time differently are the hidden signs that something in the culture is amiss. This amounts to disengagement at work. Others signs include becoming less available for mandatory meetings or less volunteering for social events or even not answering emails promptly or as before.  Gallup has for years now being reporting on engagement at work. Statistics consistently slight poor levels of engagement at work at around 33%. Quiet Quitting is not knew and so how can Leaders be more bothered about their approaches?  It is important to remember the power dynamic at work and Leaders have a disproportionate amount of power available to them and this power can be used to energise the work force.  Wellbeing, retention strategies, upskilling etc are all tools which if employed can make the job of workers more fulfilling. How do Leaders help their teams see this perspective together. They have to re-think how to engage teams in this work as well.  There needs to a recognition that people are valuing their time differently and they have talent that can be deployed. This requires new thinking, new methods of approach and more proactivity on the part of Leaders and teams.  It could be advantageous to start asking and questioning the employee base for their new thinking, to hear their obstacles and concerns and to find solutions together.  It is one thing to conduct exit interviews and hear the missing factors that precipitated a leave and another to engage earlier to understand how an organisations atmosphere could be improved.  Being explicit about the business, business performance, the standard you are respecting, the values you are honouring and the ethics by which you are operating are all features that could make a difference to employees to hear.  If Leaders chose to take a critical look at their culture and to institute change they need to go back to the fundamentals and examine their values. Open and transparent dialogue is required along with perhaps a modicum of vulnerability by the leader- asking for help for example.  As a Leader if you sense there are issues with your culture with Quiet Quitting don’t hide.  Changing Culture requires that the effort be shared,  where joint responsibility for the success is owned collectively. This can happen if the right atmosphere is created and there are no negative consequences for speaking up or sharing ideas.  Quiet Quitting and a lack of psychological safety are probably pretty close cousins which suggests that there is a large gap to address to course correct. It doesn’t mean it is impossible to recover especially if the right attitude is employed and Leaders can admit that they missed information.  The Pandemic has more than likely contributed to Quiet Quitting and the opportunity to catch creeping disillusionment when people were working from home and on screens.  To start adopt a Growth Mindset. Find out what are the limiting beliefs and obstacles on teams. Lack of trust for example is a limiting belief, or the idea that if people work remotely they will not be productive. Leaders might resist, by micro managing etc. this instead of looking for alternative solutions.  Accepting the phenomenon of hybrid working, accepting that people have a changed relationship to time could result in some constructive new norms that everyone can agree.  Leaders often underestimate their success in creating conditions of belonging for example believing they are doing a better job than others judge them to be doing.  Deloitte research has found considerable discrepancies or disconnect between how a Leader perceives their effort and how an employee experiences it. Only 56% of employees believe a company’s executives  cares about their wellbeing whereas the same executives score themselves 91%  Leaders have to be aware of theses gaps in perception as cited by Deloitte and start with manageable strategies to narrow these gaps.  Agnieszka suggests starting by setting clear expectations for teams, asking questions about working hours, and reasonableness in terms of those same expectations. There is often a large gap between expectations and realism.  Role clarity, growth opportunities and expectations are subjects or topics that are often not clear & require conversation. Are we clear about the many limiting beliefs and obstacles that sit on teams? Does the team feel connected to the Organisations Purpose?  Start with a diagnostic and get a base line understanding of where people are, knowing it might be hard to digest but recognisin
Introduction: Anneloes Raes is Professor in the Department of Managing People in Organisations and holder of the PUIG Chair of Global Leadership Development as IESE. She holds a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from Maastricht University and an MA in Psychology at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.  Anneloes’s research has been published in academic journals such as the Academy of Management Review, The Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Relations and Small Group Work. Her research has also featured in press outlets such as the Financial Times and La Vanguardia. Anneloes lives in Barcelona with her Husband and two young boys.    Podcast Episode Summary Teamness at the Top is not as prevalent as one might expect. Only 21-30% of teams across the globe can satisfy the elements that describe a real team.   The world of today and tomorrow asks that organisations can solve complex and wicked problems. That becomes possible if teams are able to mine the collective wisdom of teams, collaborate and share information so the best strategic decisions can be made. Anneloes illuminates what needs to shift to make this phenomenon a reality for top teams.    Points made over the episode Anneloes started this podcast by describing her journey into this field of work. Her interest in this field started by way of her research for her PhD at Maastricht. Her formative studies in Psychology meant she was already interested in the interpersonal dynamics between people. Very early on she got the opportunity as part of her studies to sit in on the discussions of a board.  That experience shaped her thinking about top management teams. The reality of top teams making strategic decisions, sharing information together and collaborating well together is often far from what you might expect. These teams like others comprise human beings with all of their flaws and differing perspectives.  Team Based Leadership at the top is as crucial as it is the requirement for effective teams across the organisation, even when often people wonder if it is feasible or possible. When we look at organisational life we appreciate that so much of its success is dependent on teams and collaboration.  It is true too that we accept that we can achieve more together by way of the diversity and also the complementarity of team members, knowing that and especially where the work is too complex to do by an individual the default is team.  The work at the top is particularly complex with a high volume of task and uncertainty.  It is almost hard to understand that top teams would not work as a team.  We expect our leaders to be role models and we expect everyone in the organisation to be team players, how is it then that a top team can get away with not being a team?  Real opportunity for the top team to exemplify real team work, given the need to solve complex problems and model behaviour for the rest of the organisation.  Why then does it not prevail? There are many different versions of team work that top teams  aspire or desire. It is not as binary as either or dilemma. There are degrees of teamness. There is also the real possibility that members of the team have very different perspectives of the order of teamwork required.  Anneloes work takes an evidence based approach. In her research she found 3 significant reasons why a Top Team might choose better teamness   Strategic Decision Making at the Top; The Executive take better decisions by combining more and diverse perspectives. It is important to have a good process in place to combine these perspectives.  Organisation Stability & Executive Sustainability -Being at the top of an organisation is a very demanding job. Operating in a truly functioning team can provide a lot of support. We say for a reason “its lonely at the top”  sharing the load of responsibility and creating a system of social support can mitigate this felt loneliness. It also makes sense when you consider the current focus on mental health and wellness and the increased openness to expressing vulnerability and concerns by employees in general.  The great man theory of Leadership is the oldest perspective on Leadership and one that is slowly being overturned for greater and greater degrees of peer executives teams. True teamness doesn’t come from scratch it requires effort even with the most benign of Leaders who welcome a strong leadership team around them. Time together & the maintenance of a well-functioning team needs investment.  Setting the Tone at the Top. What are the implications for others in the organisation by way of the behaviours exhibited by the top team? The outcomes, decisions and types of conversation held at the top, how the team interacts their style, the unity they do or do not espouse all has an impact on others in the organisation. Anneloes took a real interest in this area and the relationship between the tone set from the top and the organisational climate. She expanded on this research to wonder about the implications this same tone had on employee wellness.  There is a powerful cascading affect between the behaviour at the top and how it trickles down into the rest of the organisation. Empirical studies show strong connections and can refute the natural scepticism that might prevail to wonder if boardroom conversations behind closed doors can impact individuals who never come into contact with those same leaders. The tide is turning and in favour of this focus, where employees are now considered an incredibly important stakeholder about whom the top team needs to be responsible.  Top Management cannot assume that their conversations behind closed doors remain just that, behind closed doors. The conversation leaks out and has an impact on employees.  Teamness at the top  needs a variety of support and structuring in terms of time , relationship management and task completion as well as external professional help.  8 hours together in terms of relationship equity is a good start and top teams need to be able to manage the distractions that could impose on or collapse the time focused on building relations even when teams do not have the vocabulary, comfort etc..  We could collapses the notion of what it means to work and appreciate the importance of collaboration and relations and it does not have to be so difficult. Teams do not have to get too worked up about how “it should be” and run the risk of being discouraged because they cannot achieve relationship excellence.  Don Hambrick has designed an assessment for Management Teams that can be used to assess the Teamness of Top Teams. This assessment tool has a series of questions in three dimensions; Joint Decision Making, Information Exchange and Collaborative Behaviour. It is a very practical check list that top teams can use for conversation and contracting. It is also a very useful tool by which a team can explore different perspectives held on the team Anneloes refers back to the team she observed while she was researching for her PhD. She recalls how ably the team were to align their calendars and offer support to each other.  Teamness at the top is often stymied or hampered by the mindset that is held by the members of the top team. The idea of a strong one Captain on a ship notion gets in the way of real teamness. The real fear that the people on the team will get into conflict if they try to become a real team. Similarly the fear that the team will take forever to make decisions or does not have the accountability to do so are other reasons why top teams might stay shy of becoming a real team.  These fears are often valid as Team Work is not necessarily easy or even in all cases a good thing. Group think for example is a risk or trap teams fall into when they do not want conflict. On balance these concerns are held in the minds of Leaders but don’t necessarily play out in reality. Good process management for teams can prevent some of these perceived risks.  Being explicit about the teams mindset, their level of awareness, the common goals they want to achieve are ways that invite dialogue and help teams get into action as a team.  Having a common purpose, a why, can put the need for team into perspective and help the Top Team navigate what might initially be awkward conversations, fears etc.  Anneloes’ suggests a team can start by creating a common understanding of where the team is and where it wants to go. She uses the checklist mentioned above with the three dimensions, Joint Decision Marking, Information Exchange and Collaboration to discover with the team where they might against each dimension. It helps to have a common vocabulary. Anneloes is fully aware that of course there are so many more dimensions by which to asses a team for example in terms of interpersonal relations etc. but this check list serves as a starting point. Facilitating discussions, putting in place learning mindsets and creating the conditions for a safe space to express perspectives always in service of the collective goal are some of the processes Anneloes employs with Top Teams.  Having a discussion to really bottom out & understand what is the Tops Teams collective goal and what the strategic priorities is an important & relevant discussion.  Having the “What” we are here to do and the “How” we are going to get there along with a learning mindset, appreciating there will be hurdles along the way and it is a journey,  can advance the Top Team on a good level of Teamness.  The future of work would be better served in Anneloes’s opinion if teams and individuals alike had a better mindset around collaboration. The idea of a One Man Leader is very limiting to address the complexities of our world.     Resources Mentioned Across this Episode   IESE Business School The “Teamness” of Top Teams based on Hambrick, 1994, Simesek et al., 2005 and Raes et al., 2013 “Many Leaders, however are ambivalent about
Introduction: Bernard Desmidt is an accomplished Coach, Facilitator, Speaker and Author. His first book is called; Inside Out Leadership: How to master the 4 Principles of Effective Leadership and become the Leader that others will follow. His second book is called: Team Better Together. Bernard was born in South Africa and he lived there until he was 38 and then he emigrated to Australia where he now lives with his wife and children.    Podcast Episode Summary “Moods are the most contagious phenomenon known to humans. We are biologically, inescapably emotional beings – everything we do, is because of the mood we’re in. Each day we are called to deal with unanticipated interruptions and interferences - breakdowns to our habitual rhythm of life. Breakdowns can be both positive and negative - winning the lotto vs losing one's job. Our resourcefulness to adapt and deal with our breakdowns, is a function of the mood we choose to live and lead from. Moods are ‘spaces of possibility’; they can predispose us to limited or infinite possibilities for action” Bernard Desmidt.  This episode speaks to the domain of learning called Moods.    Points made over the episode Bernard starts this podcast by reminding us of his background and the Mood of life in South Africa that shaped him and then helped him appreciate the gift  & wonder of South Africa.  Bernard began to appreciate the potency of moods through lived experience.  Growing up in South Africa and living through Apartheid, Bernard recalls the moods of despair and anger as a “white child” living a privileged life by contrast to other children around him.  85% of Black South Africans lived in abject poverty, pain & abject cruelty. Bernard remembers his anger at the injustices and his feeling of powerless to do anything about his experience. It took Bernard a while to legitimise his heritage and to come to appreciate the other side of anger & despair to appreciate the wonder of South Africa.  3 African expressions inform his way of being and working today  Sibona -a Zulu word for hello, which means “I see you and by seeing you, I bring you into being. By seeing each other is this way we hold each other with respect, dignity and legitimacy- The mood is deep acceptance of who you are.  Ubuntu- Means we are because you are & because you are definitely I am. This serves to affirm an others humanity, by recognising their uniqueness and their differences. This expression acknowledges our interconnectedness-The Mood of Gratitude embodies this expression.  Hambi Gashi – means “Go well, gently in peace and travel safely- The Mood is of deep care and Compassion.  We exist as Human Beings in 3 domains. Language, Moods & Emotions and The Body. At its essence this trinity distinguishes human beings from any other living form.  Moods are fundamental to our existence yet we are mood illiterate.  Daniel Goldman brought us information about Emotional Intelligence and EI at its core is about mood awareness.  We are never not in mood & all moods serve us until they don’t. Example Frustration. What is frustration taking care of? What is it guiding us towards. Moods are signposts. The mood of frustration is signposting that I am not feeling heard or understood.  The mood of anger is a signpost to feeling taken advantage of. Use the energy housed in frustration or anger to access what is missing.  Emotions are energies that move us.  The mood of anxiety is letting us know that we might come to harm. The mood of curiosity is signposting us to our openness to learn.  Alan Sieler, Fernando Flores, Miriam Greenspan and for me Julio Olalla were all teachers of the distinctions of Moods.  There are six moods of life & Moods manifest in language. The language act of assessments illicit moods that predispose us to action. In resentment I am preoccupied with seeking revenge.  There are two linguistic acts that are fundamental to the understanding of the manifestation of moods. Assessments and Declarations. Generally when we are in assessment there are 3 categories of assessment that we make. Facticity, Possibility and Uncertainty. There are two declarations we generally make. Oppose and Accept. If we plot assessments on the horizontal axis and declarations on the vertical axis we can plot these 6 universal moods. Resentment, Acceptance, Resignation, Ambition, Anxiousness and Wonder.  Bernard goes through each of these moods sharing their predispositions for action  In the first category of assessment is for  facticity; we can either oppose the facticity and live in Resentment or accept the facticity and embrace acceptance.  The mood of acceptance is the gateway to living a fulfilled life. It is the highest order of mood. Grief for example is refusing the facticity of death. When we move into acceptance we meet the mood of sadness for our loss.  The second category of assessment is for possibility. Opposing the possibility for change leads to resignation. This is a toxic organisational mood. We are predisposed to look to whom to blame and or find reasons why things cannot happen. You cannot flourish in resignation you can only flounder. The acceptance of what is possible elicits the mood of ambition.  Bernard shares the example of Pfizer and Astra Zeneca looking for a vaccine in Covid. They had to live a mood of acceptance first that the protocols they usually insisted were not available and then live a mood of ambition that a breakthrough could be found.  The third category of assessment is uncertainty, in otherwards I cannot control or predict, When I do not accept the normality of uncertainty I experience the mood of anxiety. In anxiety we are minded to believe we will come to harm and we will not be able to manager or control this inevitability. The mood of anxiety is bubbling away when it comes to accepting a new cadence for work for example and it requires of us to accept the uncertainty and access the wonder of what could be.  When we give permission to these moods to control us they make us unresourceful. Resentment, Resignation and Anxiety are called “selfish moods” We are preoccupied with seeking revenge, victimhood and or protection.  The Moods of `acceptance, ambition and wonder are called relational moods.  To flourish a team needs to access the gateways of acceptance, ambition and curiosity.  I shared an example of a conversation I had the evening before this podcast where I became very frustrated with a hotel chain who with every person I spoke gave confusing and different information. I did not achieve a satisfactory outcome Bernard offered me the perspective that the mood of frustration was serving me. It was signposting me to the lack of clarity regarding the hotels policy with respect to Vouchers. He suggested the action necessary was an explicit request.  Brene Brown discovered through her research that the male species or at least 80% of men could only name 3 moods-Happy, Sad, Angry. We are collectively mood illiterate.  Working with Teams Bernard will share the first perspective & distinction that as humans we live in 3 domains, Language, Moods & Emotions and the Body.  The second perspective Bernard will share with a team is that teams rise and fall by the quality of their relationships. There are 8 elements of effective working relationships, Respect, Trust, Concerns, Moods, Appreciation, Co-ordination, Conversation and Alignment. Mood is an important constituent part.  From here a team can move into simple observation and identification answering the question “what mood am I in?” Followed by the question for what sake am I in this mood? What is this mood signposting and what is it taking care of? It is important to legitimise the potency of moods and become versed in the variety available to us.  Bernard shares a story with us about a team with whom he has been working for some time where the team was stuck around an issue. The team were invited to look at the issue from the lens of mood. They identified irritation, frustration and anger when this issue was surfaced. Appreciating that the team is responsible for the success of their collective efforts Bernard invited the team through a series of enquiry to be curious about the mood they needed to live to explore this issue productively.  Bernard suggests we stay vigilant in mood, to identify what these moods are signposting. Too often teams want to exorcise moods from the conversation.  Unfortunately for us as humans we cannot not live in mood. What is possible is to design the mood we can commit to live.  When Bernard hears someone declare “I am angry” he asks who is the “I” We are not our moods we only have them. When we can recognise that “I am in a mood of anger” we create the space between ourselves and our mood, to create a subject object distinction.  When we say “I am angry” we are allowing the mood to control us. What we can do instead when we say “I am in a mood of anger” we can manage the energy of that mood and the information it is sharing. Often we over identify with our moods and become fearful of them, leaving no room to manage them.  Bernard shares a story of a client and the many moods that same client moved through in the course of the conversation and how Bernard became acutely aware of his own mood and how he was being “infected” until he wasn’t and allowed himself to accept the choices his client was making in the moment.  Moods are contagious and Bernard had to be mindful not to take on his clients mood but instead “be with him” while he moved from anger to acceptance and through to possibility.  Important to remember when faced with a team communicating multiple moods to not rush to move them. Bernard invites teams to wonder about what is happening for them in body. Moods manifest in body. You can see a mood. You cannot fake a mood. As a coach you can offer a perspective and share what you see. Bernard shares his approach with a team and how he enters the conversation of mood. 
Introduction   Marva Sadler is the COO of Coaching.Com and has a reputation for her extensive expertise in strategy creation, leadership development and executive coaching.  She is an experienced business executive and consultant with over 25 years leading strategic and operational growth programs for small to mid-sized organizations Marva has also served in the nonprofit sector as Program Director for People Helping People, an employment success program for low-income women, and as a Board Member and strategic advisor for No More Homeless Pets of Utah.  Ms. Sadler is a certified Theory of Constraints Jonah. Podcast Episode Summary   This episode shares wisdom about Leading a team and the kinds of principles that help teams be great together. Applying Civil Discourse, being human and kinder with each other in our interconnected world are themes that feature across his conversation.    Points made across the podcast episode    Important to remember that Marva, in addition to the career highlights shared, is also the mother of five adult children  Biggest lesson Marva learnt from her own family is that a Leader is not without honour except in her own family.  Marva recognised that her children saw her as a parent or “just my Mum” and that kept her grounded, maybe humble but with a sense of perspective.   In a previous role, as owner for a small historic woollen blankets manufacturer, reproduction Civil War & Revolutionary War Blankets, Marva was invited to lobby Senators and Congressman. The lobbyist she was with was surprised that Marva could “hold her own” Marva makes the point that they are human too.  Her attitude in communication even in the face of authority is to treat people with respect.  Marva was doing very well in her previous role in a Tech Strategy Consulting firm and one of the main reasons she moved to WBECS to become CEO for a coaching company was because she believed there was a serious deterioration in civil discourse.  She asked the question, “who are the people most likely to change the way we speak to each other”? not politicians because they are part of the problem and not the religious because they have lost influence. Her answer was businesspeople and all of the people they touch.  The people most likely to influence businesspeople are coaches. The vast majority of coaches believe in and practice civil discourse.  The reason Marva got back into coaching was the desire that more/all people speak to each other more kindly.  WBECS firmly believe in the value of Team Coaching. It is a significant trend in the industry and the next step in the evolution for coaches.  Coaches are needed to help Leaders; businesspeople think about how to do things together. We can multiply our impact when we work with teams.  Teams are the building blocks for how organisations get their work done.  There are many approaches to team coaching not all of them coming out of coaching perse, for example agile principles housed in agile development and agile management of teams.  The project management institute or PMI are doing a lot of work around how to make teams more effective.  Important to remember that team coaching is not coaching more people at the same time. It is not about coaching individuals on a team but the team itself, the interactions between team members and the spaces between.  There are skills to be developed in working with interactions on the team and the spaces between that require skill development.  Marva has always been convinced in the efficacy and productivity of teams. She has always worked to help individuals on her teams to work collaboratively, use the collective wisdom on teams to be more creative The process of collaboration on teams gives you answers that were not even visible to individuals on teams.  There are techniques and methods that team coaches teach teams that help teams illuminate how they are showing up as collective.  Marva shares a story from her own history and family system that demonstrates the power of team. She regales a story about her own daughter and how in one year, participating on a soccer team, the team went from success to demise based on the different approaches of two different coaches, one believing in individualism and stardom and the other believing in the wisdom of collective endeavour. The individualist approach meant the girls were pitted against each other and the result was failure.  The question is then what does the team and or team of teams accomplish together by being willing to put their egos aside.  The most important techniques include the systematic view of the ecosystem in which the team resides.  Objectives come from discerning a balanced set of objectives in appreciation of stakeholder needs.  Marva has witnessed a shift in strategic focus from maximising shareholder value, or managing future cash flow, to maximising stakeholder value in a balanced manner.  The former approach was in humane. It did not value the environment or employees for example. Marva goes on to question the value of this former approach and she makes the case for Team Coaches, whom she believes take a broader more balanced and systemic approach to team and team of team value creation in terms of the balanced outcomes they help teams create.  Marva has empathy and sympathy for Leaders who preference 1:1 management of their team members. It is not however the most effective approach a Leader can take such as encouraging interaction among team members, encouraging collaboration and innovation across team divides is critical to team leadership. Getting people not just to row in the same direction but in creating new directions in which they can row together.  Marva is a big believer in rewarding the outcome and the people who contributed to the success of the outcome, she is also a big proponent of letting the group recognise individuals if that is important.  The Team Leaders job is to recognise the group or team and the productive behaviours they display.  Culture is critical to create the conditions where conversations can be had “in the team room” with such psychological safety that team members can disagree, including disagreeing with the team leader. To do this we need to transcend our individual egos.  We can sometimes believe in our own publicity and Marva refers to Marshall Goldsmiths book “What got you there won’t get you here” using behaviours that when overused become weaknesses. Most leaders suffer from ego fragility. Do team leaders really mean it when it comes to disagreeing with them?  One of the best things we can do as Team Leaders is to model the behaviours that support radical candour. How do we admit our mistakes, apologise in front of team members when we have lost our equanimity. etc. It is a hard principle to model vulnerability when often admitting you are wrong can be seen as career limiting.  The construct that you have to be “on” that you are performing, managing everybody’s expectations, is exhausting.  If we can give people permission to put down that holographic image, they are projecting to just being real would be so liberating. This directs energy to the right things instead of reputation management, image management or ego management.  Social media is a place where we curate our images. Marva helps her teams focus on the business outcomes they need to achieve together. It is also important to spend time and energy on working out what are we trying to achieve as human beings with each other.  Marva spends time working on the team by asking questions like “how did we do in this meeting?”  The ROI of establishing relations with team members and between team members, understanding each other, cultivating commonalities and strengths within teams is almost infinite because it gives people the opportunity to navigate the concerns they are dealing with.  WBECS was already remote and had learnt a lot of techniques about operating teams remotely. It believed in the principle of providing support and care for individuals and so it was able to double down on the kinds of supports needed during the pandemic. Marva shares a story of where this principle came to life with a colleague suffering Covid-19 with her daughter at home.  The pandemic taught us many great new norms, caring for each other, considering ourselves as whole persons not just professional suits etc. Some of the threads of these new norms have been loosened. Some people continue to compartmentalise their lives.  Marva believes that some coaches are prone to a form of compartmentalising too. We are taught Civil Discourse in our profession as coaches but sometimes we forget those same principles in other domains of our lives.  Marva shares a story “on herself” to honour the title of this podcast called confessions from the field of Team Leadership, where she was not happy with the way she behaved and how she caught herself and ultimately responded.  Marva shares the labyrinth involved in communication between complaint and solution, pausing & reflecting on experience and evidence, choosing how to respond, managing the space between stimulus and response.  Victor Frankl.  The marriage of WBECS and Coaching.Com means greater access by coaches to technology and the use of a coaching management system and greater access to coaches by enterprises. In the middle hopes to offer a marketplace not just for coaching learning programs but products and services that coaches and companies can use. Principles U is an example of such a product being developed by is building a responsive and dynamic eco-system, with a desire to raise the global standard of coaching by exposing more people to the value of coaching by lifting the quality of coaching and by bringing all things coaching into one space. is coaching methodology agnostic. It is an open platform where all kind of coaching, coach training and affiliations are welcomed.    Resource
Introduction   Aidan James Higgins is the CEO of ADEO Consulting. He is a Leadership Consultant, Emotional intelligence & Teamwork specialist and is passionate about getting people to be at their best. He is the author of the book Lead From You, which launched at the end of 2021 and is now in 7 countries.    Podcast Episode Summary   This episode speaks to three concepts, awareness, authenticity & emotional intelligence. Aidan employs the psychometric The Enneagram to support leaders understand themselves and others better and to Lead from You.  Points made across the podcast episode    Fish Slap story explored and why it resonated with Aidan. He was woken up at a Management Training Program where he realised, he was living from one world view. The training had shocked Aidan that the world he had been inhabiting was only one point of view.   Most of us are asleep. We are working on our programming without interrogating it to improve our self- awareness.  Aidan wrote the book Lead From You because of the appreciation clients & friends held for the work and their interest in learning more.  Feedback from the book suggests readers are appreciating the importance of self-awareness and how it is contributing to clarity of decision making, trust building, empathy & compassion  Aidan points out that we must have self-compassion to appreciate we have grown up to be & do in a particular way and until we come to be aware we think it is the only way.  Aidan has attempted to author a book that helps a person be a more complete person, to be happier and to lead.  Aware, emotionally intelligent & authentic Leadership is what is needed in the 21st century  People & Leaders need to wake up and pull back what is referred to as the veil of illusion.  To become self-aware, to be authentic and emotionally intelligent requires of a leader or team member to wake up. Once people wake up, they generally become curious to learn more.  Resistance is often present in this work, too many of us are trained to avoid emotion, being soft and being empathetic or compassionate.  People do not realise they are unaware. Aidan shares a story from Anthony de Mello to help explain what he means by being self-aware.  Tich Na Han says “people will not change until they are sick of suffering” We are subject to a programming that was brought into us early on in our lives. We make all kinds of assumptions about the way we are to lead or act. Example: Must remain in control.  Benefits of becoming self-aware & other awareness means clearer decisions, clearer emotional awareness and therefore information, access to creativity and innovation.  We evolve a view of the world until we see it from where it has come and how useful it is to remain. For example, the child who learns to please people to get attention or a person who is ignored if they do not win can be programs that thwart successful leadership in the future.  Becoming self-aware is not a thing you do it is about understanding. Knowing what water is doesn’t make you wet.  Aidan helps clients become aware by first creating a safe space to be together and then by sharing how people are likely to have come up through the world. He shares his framework and gives people space to reflect on their beliefs, habits and patterns, ways that have informed up until now.  Aidan shares another example where he asks a client how is feeling when he is not working. The client responded “trapped” and felt the rise of anxiety when he wasn’t doing anything. This client then became aware that underneath is drive to get things done, there was an anxiety driving this way of being.  Understanding changes behaviour not a set of things to do.  Sometimes you ask someone how they feel, and they do not have the words or language to tell you. It can often be about giving clients words.   According to a Harvard Business Review, improved self-awareness on teams doubles decision making capability & doubles the ability of a team to deal with conflict.  The Enneagram is a system that has been around for years. Authored by the Greeks who divined that there were 9 ways to look at the world. These world views begin around the time of a child where object constancy is understood. It is similar but deeper than MYERS BRIGGS type indicator.  The Enneagram employed on teams helps team members understand each other better. Understanding in turn leads to emotional intelligence.  Working with a team, Aidan will start by building the self-awareness of the members of the team, often by using the Enneagram tool. Then he moves to create awareness of the other members of the team, which often brings a team to compassion and fuller sharing.  Team Emotional Intelligence explores nine norms. 3 Team Fundamental Norms: Roles and Responsibilities, Meetings and Goals & Objectives. 3 Individual Norms: Understanding Team Members, Demonstrating Care, Addressing undesirable behaviours, 4 Team Norms, Review the team, Support Expression, Build Productivity Proactively and Build Optimism, 2 External Norms; Build external relationships & Understand Team Context. These nine norms lead to three outcomes: Psychological Safety, Team Identity and Constructive Dialogue.  Aidan is amazed at how often the team fundamentals have not been worked. In an example Aidan shares how a Team Leader confused sending a team memo about the purpose of the team and their roles meant that they had been communicated with and would therefore understand.  Other examples of where teams get stuck include conflict avoidance believing “we are too nice” can mean bringing new ideas is risky.  Addressing team norms early on can mean a team becomes more effective early on and can in many instances take on bigger projects. Team resistance comes from being too quick with the change and not allowing buy-in over time, not explaining the “why” for change & not taking care to identity willing enthusiasts who could tip the team into working with the change.  With some teams all you can expect to get to is professional respect. Personal conflicts can mean enmity for years.  Resistance can also present from a formed organisational culture.  Teams need to remember that changing the composition of a team means that previous shared understanding is temporality lost, requires a period of mourning and then a willingness to induct new members. Teams must move back to Norm and storm where they had originally moved through all the four phases of team development: forming, norming, storming and performing.  Aidan explains that understanding is a holistic phenomenon.  Team Emotional Intelligence requires that a team deals with emotions, and we deal with them as they arise. Some people are terrified of emotions, or some of the 9 types are terrified especially in a high-pressured business that needs to get things done. There is fear that emotional expression will slow the team down. Instead, the team needs to generate appropriate boundaries, self-regulate and self-correct. The evolutionary mind suggests that teams are tribal, require a purpose and a Leader is appointed by way of certain needed tasks.  Notwithstanding that Aidan has already littered this conversation with anecdotes and stories he was asked to share a story of a team that illuminates his work. He chose a large team that was asked to go through extraordinary change, to cut costs while simultaneously improving productivity. This team was not provided all the information available, and they were not allowed to communicate the required change to those on the ground. Luckily the team were already self-aware, were IQ, EQ savvy and had each taken the Enneagram survey. Aidan had been working with the same team for two years. The situation demanded an understanding on the self of ambiguity, the impact of mindsets they needed to influence and the impact of culture.  That project was about teaching the team to focus on Purpose, decision making, trust and resilience but also about their own personal issues with control & trying & failing that needed to be managed.   Organisations today need to think in terms of Teams of Teams to be able to deal with the pressures & demands of today’s business. Complexity and expertise at the edges makes the case for this way of thinking. Teams need to be agile and have a peer structure where everybody contributes and where the Leader is a servant or at a minimum a supporter of the team.  Positive conflict is encouraged along diversity of opinion & an appetite emotional discourse within boundaries.  Finally, teams need time to reflect & improve.    Resources shared:    Books: Aidan James Higgins: Lead from You Website:
Introduction   Gary A. DePaul is an accomplished speaker, with over 100 talks, workshops, and seminars. He is an author, and his books include Nine practices of 21st Leadership, What the heck is Leadership and why should I care & several books on HR and Talent Development. Gary is a performance consultant using analysis, instructional design, knowledge management and performance support interventions. He is also a researcher on subjects such as Leadership, DEIB and allyship, HRBP development and performance improvement. Gary is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina, and he is also a podcast host. His show is called The Unlabelled Leadership Podcast    Podcast Episode Summary   Leadership is misunderstood. Gary is passionate that in the 21st century we get clear on the distinctions between Management and Leadership, and we immerse ourselves in the practices that can yield qualitatively different experiences of Leadership. In this podcast Gary’s latest book, What the heck is Leadership and why should I care is explored and one vignette an audio clip Gary shares illuminates the difference between management and leadership in nano seconds.  Points made across the podcast episode    Leadership started for Gary after being laid off from a company called Lowes and after a meeting with a gentleman by the name of Jim Hill who is a performance consultant. He encouraged Gary to “Think Big”  You never know the impact of your comments to another but in this instance, Gary took to heart the encouragement to think big and he decided to write a book. When you have enough people practising Leadership in an organisation it gives you a clear competitive advantage.  The challenge for 21st Leaders is the often-held belief of traditional leadership thinking. Our thinking about leadership has not evolved  Leadership is not the domain of the person at the top, wisdom or the second version of leadership says anyone can practice leadership  There is a famous definition by Mary Parker Follett, that says management is the art of getting stuff done through people. It is often considered a definition of Leadership Management is a role Leadership is not.  Leadership is not a role, but it is something you apply to a role.  Gary provides a technical definition for Leadership which is to help people mature, mentally and morally  David Marquett says Leadership is not about you but other people it’s about creating a work environment in which people can be at their best and Ron Karr from the Velocity Project says Leadership is about making people succeed beyond their wildest dreams. So Leadership is really about helping others build character that is revolutionary from Traditional views of Leadership  Gary shares an audio clip that illuminates the difference between doing managerial tasks and practicing leadership. Michael Junior is the compare.  The first clip sees a person asked to perform a task and he willingly obliges. The second practices leadership through a managerial task by encouraging the person to sing from his history, context where meaning is infused in the piece. The result is transformational  Gary shares an example of firing someone, where in one instance the manager can slave a script and execute the task perfectly or he can choose leadership and simultaneously give the person a “why” for the termination, help that person learn from the experience and grow.  The important thing to take from Gary’s 7 principles of Leadership is that it is not about you. They appear so simple, like for example the first principle “believe in others”, yet putting that principle into practice is beguiling challenging.  An executive for example believe that a person on joining an organisation must prove themselves before he believes in them. This is counter intuitive and can have the opposite affect that a person doesn’t perform.  It is so easy on a team to have in-groups and out-groups when you have people that might be a little different from you and you inadvertently exclude their opinions etc.  In a workforce reduction project, an executive warns against unwittingly firing minority groups and it turns out that is what happened. Further investigation proved that managers were reluctant to give Black people feedback and so their performance suffered, and they then suffered termination. Another example in Gary’s books showcases making assessments of people without due diligence to see if anything else might have been contributing to the workers seemingly being “lazy” So believing in others might sound simple but it is often much more nuanced. You have to dig deeper to understand what is driving people to behave as they do and your job as a manager is to remove those barriers.  Learning & Leadership go hand in hand. To practice the 7 principles outlined in Gary’s book, What the Heck is Leadership and Why should I Care, involves practice.  The Seven Principles include: Believe in others, Connect, Put Others First & Sacrifice Ego, give up Control, Encourage Change, Collaborate, Practice.  Gary studied 16 books academic books written on Leadership in the 21st century and from his analysis he derived the 7 principles from the patterns he saw repeat. He then wrote a book called the 9 practices of Leadership which showcases how to do Leadership.  Gary illuminates one of the 9 practices called Facing the Lion which incorporates listening and feedback. He shares that we comprehend so much faster than for example what we can read out loud and so when it comes to listening to another person the brain is nearly always focusing on how to respond rather than carefully listening and enquiring into what is being said for meaning.  Giving up or ceding control and sacrificing ego is a tough challenge for Leaders especially those new to Leadership.  Often employees feel they must ask for permission from line managers or leaders and the way to cede control is to ask for example “well how would you do it” very quickly initiative and learning can flourish.  Psychological safety, play and purpose are the wholly trinity on teams. If you as a member on a team believe that the Leader is not allowing for psychological safety to be the outcome necessary for great work, then you can initiate psychological safety by admitting “I wish I could do this better” or “I made a mistake” it is uncanny how quickly people row in behind you.  It be being vulnerable and allowing vulnerability it encourages others to do the same.  In response to phenomenon observed on teams Gary explains the “Fundamental attribution error” You need to study this idea, learn from examples, and not assume you know it.  We get in our own way. We assume as Leaders that we are the authority on so much and we fail to recognise the brilliance of others.  When you can recognise that you need the contribution of others, like those closest to the customer and you can contribute by way of your managerial experience then you can accomplish great things together  Gary explains group thinking and the importance of contribution and different contribution by team members.  Gary quotes Jack Zinger who says that “we take too long to train our leaders” and Gary adds to that by saying when we come into management, we do not express enough interest in Leadership we are all about the doing. Instead of taking more than 10 years to assume a Leadership mindset combine Leadership training with management training in combination.  A good practice for people coming into roles is to assign them a mentor and a better practice is to do that from outside of their discipline  Important to exercise our emotional and social intelligence in addition the exercise we already devote to our intellectual intelligence.  Gary would love to see a de-emphasise on technical functional skills, more emphasis on trying to avoid outgroups, championing ideas and enquiry. He wishes organisations were more attentive to biases, to championing leadership not just with executives but with many more across an organisation.  Gary would like to see organisations model values that are around Leadership to allow for innovation, creativity, and improved performance.  At the end of our conversation, I ask Gary for a Leadership hack and he offers his 4-step process to Leadership -material from Marshall Goldsmith    Foundation: You must read about leadership & acquire knowledge about leadership  Feedback: How am I doing? - what are two ideas to help me be a better listener for you?  Let people know about your blind spots  Follow up. Am I doing what I said I would? Resources shared:    Books written by Gary A. De Paul-  What the Heck is Leadership and Why Should I Care The Nine Practices of 21st Century Leadership
Introduction: Bernard Desmidt is an accomplished Coach, Facilitator, Speaker and Author. His first book is called; Inside Out Leadership: How to master the 4 Principles of Effective Leadership and become the Leader that others will follow. His second book is called: Team Better Together and is the subject of the Podcast. Bernard was born in South Africa and he lived there until he was 38 and then he emigrated to Australia where he now lives with his wife and children.   Podcast Episode Summary To flourish as a team is a choice. It takes discipline and in this episode Bernard Desmidt helps us appreciate the 5 disciplines teams can apply to get at impactful results & meaningful relationships. In addition Bernard litters this episode with nuggets of wisdom and incites to help understand the work of teaming better together.   Points made over the episode Bernard starts this podcast by sharing a story of his background that he has only recently shared publicly. 3 African expressions inform his way of being and working today Sibona -a Zulu word for hello, which means “I see you and by seeing you, I bring you into being. By seeing each other is this way we hold each other with respect, dignity and legitimacy Ubuntu- Means to affirm an others humanity, by recognising their uniqueness and their differences. This expression acknowledges our interconnectedness Hambi Gashi – means “Go well, gently in peace and carefully. Bernard spent 20 years in corporate life with companies like ICI and Goodyear in South Africa where he recognised the considerable waste of time on teams and the inherent dysfunction that often resides with teams After an outburst on an executive team, where Bernard was a member, the team engaged in Team Coaching. That was where Bernard met Peter Stephenson, a pioneer in team coaching in Australia at the time. Bernard recognised that he had found the work he was meant to do in the world and joined Peter’s company. The motivation to write Teams Better Together was born out of Bernard’s experience working with teams. The Paradox -The 80-60-20 heuristic shares that 80% of Leaders spend 60% or their organisational life on teams and only 20% of those teams flourish. High performing teams are elusive because Teams rise and fall by the quality of their relationships and until this is understood it is unlikely teams will co-ordinate wall and relate well together to get impactful results. It is important to invite teams to share their lived experience on teams to assess the quality of lived relationships – do team members hold each other with the same respect as they wish for themselves? Are they open to learning together? Is there sufficient trust and safety to speak concerns openly and honestly? These are some of the questions that can be asked to determine the quality of relations on teams Bernard administers an assessment against 5 disciplines. Two indicators in the fifth discipline score the lowest Team Behaviour & shared ways of working have been identified & consistently upheld Team members are open to receiving & giving feedback to each other on performance and behaviours The practice of observing a team in action whilst sitting in the corner of a room can often be the best form of due diligence of the effectiveness of a team. To flourish as a team is a choice. A High Performing Team is like an elite athlete, they employ rigorous discipline Teams are living systems that need to evolve, learn and adapt. Teams need to be able and willing to open themselves up to new ways of thinking, being and doing Teams need to acknowledge their interdepended nature, to know that relationships matter and have to be cultivated and will impact the impact of their results. 4 Team Types are distinguishable with discernment. Two dysfunctional teams reveal themselves as combative or competitive Two functional teams can be identified as Cohesive and Collaborative or Flourishing. There exists a subtle distinctions worth prising apart for our understanding. Cohesive Teams converge thinking similarly, they enjoy harmony often cordial hypocrisy, they often avoid speaking the truth or sharing their real concerns. Cohesive teams have a dysfunctional relationship with Conflict, Challenge and Critic. A Collaborative Team seeks divergence in thinking They are more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. Collaborative teams dance with conflict. Collaborative teams have a positive relationship with Conflict, Challenge and Criticism. Care underpins their search for the best results and best thinking. The work starts with an inordinate and unashamedly strong focus on the analysis phase. Bernard is keen to establish real commitment for the work of Teaming better together. He will do this in a few ways, by conducting in depth 1:1 conversations with each member of the team and by administering his own questionnaire against the 5 disciplines. The result is a discussion with the team that informs the work. Team Building is about forming. Where a team gets to know each other. Team Development is about informing where a team learns about decision making, processes for team co-ordination etc.. Team Coaching is about transformation where a team shift their mindset, ways of being and doing, the assessments they make & how they show up for each other. Team Coaching, or a typical program of work is about 7-8 months long. The work involves the assessment phase, contracting, 5 day long workshops, peer coaching and individual coaching of the CEO and others on the team The Five Disciplines can be described as follows; Discipline One- The Mandate. Often the mandate is assumed. Here the team discovers how their stakeholders appreciate the team, what they need more from the team and what they find difficult. Discipline Two- A Teams Purpose. Teams exist for a reason, they serve a cause and have a clear, compelling and challenging “WHY” Discipline Three – The team design This is where the team designs its culture, the ways of working, the health of team relations and the bulk of time is spent in this discipline. The work of Gloria Kelly is introduced here. Gloria Kelly is an eminent sociologist and determined 8 elements to support effective relations. Bernard has employed her work and tweaked her model to include 5 elements to support ways of being and 3 elements to support ways of doing together. Trust, Respect, Concerns, Moods & Appreciation comprise the 5 being elements and Co-ordination, Conversations & Alignment comprise the 3 doing elements. Discipline Four- This is the discipline to deliver. What are the collective performance goals that can only be delivered by the team working interpedently? In this discipline the work of Michael Bungay Steiner is employed where a team discerns between Bad Work, Good Work and Great Work Discipline Five- Team Learning & Development. This discipline involves the team giving each other feedback on performance and behaviours, reflecting on work together and developing skills and knowledge to support the teams results. This discipline has the highest predictive validity that the team will flourish. An exercise for Appreciation: Here the team sits in a round and for two minutes each team member is afforded a piece of appreciation from the other team members The Sequence of Learning for a team follows the 5 disciplines over time. Discipline 5 and 3 are being weaved from the beginning. The gift of 1’s and 5’s is offered at the start of the assignment where Bernard encourages team members to be firm giving 1’s for development and 5’s for excellence where 3 is considered cowardly. Bernard concludes the Podcast conversation by sharing a story of a client in retail who by following the rhythm of the 5 disciplines managed to move from floundering to flourishing through Covid. The Podcast ends on a hopeful note & Bernard wishes that teams who chose to flourish can enjoy the results of wonderful relationships and impactful results.   Resources shared Team Better Together by Bernard Desmidt Inside Out Leadership: How to Master the 4 Principles of Effective Leadership and become the Leader others chose to follow Do more Great work by Michael Bungay Stanier  
Introduction: Reiner Lomb is the founder of BoomerangCoach, an executive coaching firm specialising in leadership and career development, innovation & transformational change. Before becoming a coach, Reiner had a 30+ year career in technology, started and developed software businesses and led leadership development. Reiner is the author of the book ASPIRE: Seven Essential Emotions for Leading Positive Change. No Matter Where You Are.  Podcast Episode Summary: Much has been written about Leadership Effectives and the behaviours needed to succeed. What is often missing is the discourse on emotions and how they drive leadership behaviours. Reiner shares through his experience & stories the enormous potential for positive change which he believes is achieved by understanding 7 essential emotions and how they marry with 7 essential leadership behaviours.    Points raised across the podcast conversation:  Reiner is the product of a multi-cultural household and identifies as a next generation post war person.  He grew up in the Western part of a divided Germany through the cold war and felt the heartache over his country’s role in the Holocaust and World War II.  He believes the large challenges we face in the world, climate change, social, economic, political can and need to be figured out collaboratively  Reiner has been living in the USA for over 30 years and believes his adopted country is divided by emotions such as hatred, fear, resentment with mass shootings and a big political divide.  Passion & Purpose motivated Reiner to move into the realm of Leadership Development. He always loved learning for himself and gets great satisfaction seeing others grow.  His mission today is to mobilise leaders to help create a sustainable future for all.  Aspire is one of the Leadership Development models that Reiner employs with his clients  The name of his company Boomerang was a metaphor that captured his wish for people to return to their true passion and purpose  He formulated a neat framework, a pyramid of 7 essential Leadership behaviours that people will readily recognise, behaviours that are driven by 7 essential emotions.  Understanding these 7 emotions in a granular way can help further a Leaders effectiveness.  Emotions are a key domain of learning that are the least understood and developed.  We as humans are always in a mix of emotions and by becoming familiar with our internal states we can self-regulate for the kinds of conversations and actions we want to have in the world.  Emotions then are gateways to effective conversations and equally barriers to the same conversations if held in an emotional field that does not serve.  Empathy, Compassion, and Interest are the foundational emotions that drive Care, Serving and Understanding From this foundational platform a Leader can vision, understanding the needs of his stakeholders and people. To vision a leader needs to be optimistic about the future and the kind of future he wishes to create.  Emotions like resentment, resignation keep us mentally and energetically stuck in the past and do not serve when we are trying to Lead.  Inspiration on the other hand mobilizes people to co-ordinate action and achieve realisable visions.  To co-create a future in the world we live requires collaboration and that is fuelled by the emotion of trust.  Projects and plans to proceed no matter how well co-ordinated meet with obstacles and adversity and to survive both requires resilience. Resilience is supported by the emotion of positivity.  Negativity is counterproductive to resilience. The more negative the leader, the environment, and the culture the less resilience is available to the organisation  Positivity is a palette of emotions including optimism, interest, inspiration, joy, awe, gratitude, and hopefulness.  Leaders are well versed in the Leadership competencies required to lead what is missing is the discourse on emotions.  Reiner shares a powerful story from his client relations where he helped a client recognise through his storytelling that he was living in a mood of resignation. Reiner was able to share the impact of living in resignation. He also shared that there is not a straight line between resignation and optimism, the gateway is acceptance.  To become versed in emotional literacy takes time, patience, and practice. Reiner suggests choosing one of the 7 emotions to start, maybe one that could have the biggest impact to a person’s leadership. As a coach it is important to put language to what a person is experiencing. Similarly, a coach needs to employ interest, empathy, and silence to allow what needs to be spoken.  Part of the learning of emotions involves understanding the distinctions between each. The more granular the understanding and appreciation for the difference between each emotion the greater the possibility for appropriate action. Understanding is often thwarted around a team table by the need to have the right answer and quickest response born out of our educative system.  In organisational life we often do not get rewarded for asking the right questions or for spending the time to have a real and generative conversation between peers on teams.  We need to move from the predominant focus of “me” or self-interest to “we”  We must cultivate a mindset of “we” on teams  To do so we need to appreciate that everyone is responsible for the success of the team, its climate and what is possible  The team leader can do much to encourage dialogue, to mine the aspirations of each member of the team and to make sure they align with the team’s vision  Trust is very complex emotion. We must understand what we mean by trust. What dimension of trust, sincerity, care, reliability, competence is being affected on the team and with & between whom?  A Leader plays a large role in facilitating trust between team members especially in circumstances where teams are short lived, are remote or in a hybrid configuration.  I tried to share an example of a client who in a team meeting expressed guilt and was met with another colleague who expressed anxiety to get on with the work at hand. I clumsily said “Grief” to Reiner instead of Guilt. My apologies  The learning that Reiner shared, however, to decode the emotion of grief in this instance remains.  A formula if you will, is to attend to the emotion, allow it to be heard with the attendant thoughts etc. This can sometimes be enough. Choose the desired emotion to move towards. This may or may not be possible. Sometimes a better strategy might be to simply to attend to emotion expressed and to help the client process that same emotion.  What is not acceptable is to skip the emotional discourse.  Grief for example is an emotion that spells loss, sadness for a person or situation lost. For Reiner it calls for resilience to be able to balance the need to continue living, serving, be in relation with others and managing the emotion of grief. In Reiner’s case he sourced positive emotions  Do not confuse sourcing or resourcing positive emotions like joy, interest, hope etc for toxic positivity where you supress negative emotions  If negative emotions surface, allow them, try to hear the story that accompanies the emotion and try and identify the source and corresponding need.  Reiner shares a story from his work that explores his use of his model Aspire and how he supports leaders become familiar and fluent with the 7 emotions used with the 7 essential leadership competencies.  Reiner’s favourite leadership lesson extols the virtue of care. He encourages listeners to really identify their “why” a passion that will fuel purpose.  Pick what you care about and develop your leadership to support that passion.  Thank you
Introduction: Michelle Brody PhD, is an executive coach & clinical psychologist. She brings 25 years of experience in both corporate and family settings to the challenging problem of interactional conflict. Michelle’s speciality as a coach is to guide teams that have complicated dynamics to help them reach greater levels of collaboration, improve communication and resolve tension. Michelle is the author of two books, Stop the Fight and her latest book Own Your Armour; revolutionary change for workplace culture. Michelle is also a master trainer of psychologists, professional coaches and HR professionals and she is a regular public speaker.  Podcast Episode Summary This podcast conversation explores the mindset shifts team members, or indeed anyone, have to make to resolve interpersonal conflict and the consequences of negative team dynamics at work. Michelle Brody reminds us that when you think about conflict you are up against biology, we have to understand the threats we perceive, the armour we put on and the impact that armour has on others. Michelle’s book could be considered a graphic novel, its illustrations help cut through the complexity inherent in human dynamics and helps illuminate what’s at play in interactional conflict.    Points made over the episode The red thread that weaves throughout this podcast is the idea that conflict is cyclical and unless and until we can recognise our contribution that interactional conflict is not neutral and that armour is a suit and not a characterisation of the person conflict is likely to persist.  Michelle started her career after college as an Investment Banker but she realised she was not interested in numbers or financials but in the interactions between people. She was curious why cultures were built on fear. She then pursued Clinical Psychology Michelle pivoted into Coaching because she wanted to have a bigger impact in terms of helping others figure out what was happening in the dynamics at work.  As a psychologist you learn about the different types of defence mechanisms people employ to keep safe. Michelle became curious about how one person’s defence could trigger another’s and how that then gets locked in as a cycle.  Conflict cycles show up everywhere, in communities, in couples, in families at work  Michelle then conceptualised these patterns as armour, armour a person puts on to protect. She recognised that armour is a form of self-protection but it is also aggressive.   The number one important thing to know about conflict is that it is cyclical and the second thing to know about conflict is that the problem is not difficult people but that armour is put on for a particular reason.  There is always a good person and when they suit up you get an evil twin.  When we think about conflict you have to remember we are up against biology. The automatic response system to threat is our nervous system.  We get ensnared by conflict when we label or judge people. We make attribution errors of others. As soon as we attribute to another we then start to react and put on our own armour and we start the cycle.  There is a natural preservation phenomenon at work too we look to keep ourselves innocent.  We forget to enquire to try to understand what is happening and instead we label.  Often we give feedback erroneously by pointing out a person’s behaviour as a property of them. “Your anger is causing problems on this team” The impact of this feedback is not changed behaviour but more anger.  Begin with a description of the person in two ways, how you see them when things are going well  or as a core self and then as the evil twin. Be curious.  It is important to separate the person from their armour.  A threat can sound like a strong word but threats are what our nervous system respond to.  The kinds of threats that show up at work include; a threat to livelihood, a threat to belonging, a threat to fairness, control, authority and reputation or a threat to success Our family of origin and past life experiences has an incredibly important input into the kind of threats that grab us.  Michelle has an image in her book that encapsulates of Psychology in one page. Our family of origin and all its embedded dynamics create in every human a set of longings and sensitivities which then create our motivations and particular sets of threats.  If we can understand our Psychological Map we can have so much more power over our reactivity and understanding of others and their impacts on us.  Armour comes in many different forms & Michelle’s book invites self-analysis. How do I feel threatened? How do I react to that threat? What kind of armour do I put on? What are the unintended consequences or impact of my armour?  It is easier to work with a team if each person does this analysis first The ideal or best possible world is a team where there is 100% trust and everyone can show up as their core selves. Often teams do not show up this way & negative dynamics are instead at play. A Leader will often try to rescue the situation but it takes psychological understanding to really decode what is happening on the team.  Michelle works 1:1 with each team member to see how they are threatened, the armour they put on and the unintended impact of their armour. It is difficult for people to notice their threats when the intuitive mindset is to believe that the problem is outside of them.  We often do not notice our impact we have to be nudged there.  It is important to remember two things: 1. We all wear armour and 2. There is a difference between a person and their armour.  A person who seems sceptical is often simply wearing thicker armour.  It is wise to give each team member a copy of the book before a team offsite. Self-analysis and a commitment by all to do pre-work lessons the heavy lifting needed on the program.   Teams have a lot of work to sort out between roles, goals, norms, stakeholder expectations etc and the final frontier is team dynamics. A frontier that is often missed  There are intractable situations. Certain circumstances defy change. When the threat system around the team is too intense, when a strong willed Leader refuses to acknowledge his own armour are just a few.  HR is often employed to make a decision between an employee relations investigation or coaching. You cannot employ both simultaneously. The threat is too large to allow for the openness of coaching.  Michelle shares a story between two suits of armour to explain what might be going on if a Leader is demanding more initiative by a team and the Leader is frustrated with the team. Michelle seeks to elicit the “thirst’ by way of  team enquiry.  If you find yourself in conflict some great questions to ask include; what am I missing? What do I know about what is happening here? How are you feeling about this situation?  We all want Psychological Safety in our workplaces and one of the best ways to get at it is to be vulnerable and to be part of the solution, by recognising that in some maybe small way you might be contributing to the unsafety    Resources shared    Own Your Armour: revolutionary change for workplace culture by Michelle Brody PhD.  Stop the Fight: an illustrated guide for couples by Michelle Brody PhD.   
Introduction: Anna Pinkerton is a trauma specialist, therapeutic Coach and founder of My Kinda Life Methodology. She is a leading expert in stress awareness, chronic stress and trauma. She is a clinician, with 28 years’ experience working with Leaders, athletes, organisations and people in the public eye. Anna is an author of two books; The first is called My Kinda Life in Leadership: Live & Lead with Kindness for better relationship, be respected, create impact. The second book is called Smile Again: Your recovery from Burnout, breakdown and overwhelming stress.    Podcast Episode Summary This episode explores the pervasiveness of Inner Brutality, a phenomenon or entity that we have lived as a property of us rather than a narrative we have built to survive. Anna shares how we can employ a Methodology to shift our relationship to self and expand our emotional palette for a fuller and more content life.    Points made over the episode The red thread that weaves throughout this podcast is the idea that we can take back the power of the Inner Bully and expand our emotional competence to live through life’s experiences good and bad with greater kindness and companionability to self and others.  Anna experienced Trauma 11 years ago. Initially she succumbed to her inner bully and found it difficult to forgive herself for choosing an ill-suited partner.  She then saw the experience as a privilege to understand how as humans we can be so out of control of our own neurological system.  It took Anna 3/4 years to recover and in that time she fashioned an alternative methodology called “My Kinda Life”  She describes the ways the inner bully works and how it creates a personal cul-de-sac.  The methodology surfaced from Anna’s personal analysis and questioning to wonder what an alternative could be to the ferocious and pernicious inner bullying.  The idea of Kindness to self and companionability to self-emerged. Kindness was the generic term for compassion and caring that Anna chose. She also wanted something more dynamic than compassion can be and chose the word companionability.  Inner Brutality can best be described as the words used by self to stay stuck in a self-imposed prison or cul-de-sac. A person who refuses to allow themselves to move through their emotions and move on.  The conversations in the minds eye include statements like; you are an idiot, useless person, stupid and much more profane language than can be repeated here.  We have assimilated this kind of inner talking as normal and not as a thing and Anna wanted to surface this practice as a thing, a thing we do not have to live with.  The power source of the Inner Bully is the pain of an emotional experience that has been aligned with lack of safety, so it is thwarted.  We are primed now to show inner strength, to be resilient and that brings with it its own pressure. We tend to demonise certain emotions such as anger, grief and jealousy. Simply put we have aligned pain with being bad.  To expand and accept all of these emotions for their purpose to help us feel as humans means that we get to move through life.  Two reasons in particular help Leaders she the veracity of Anna’s work.  1. There is a sense that something is happening internally that is scuppering someone’s success and 2. On paper someone might have achieved considerable success but they feel empty.  Inner Brutality is so pervasive that people can see themselves reflected in the two reasons above.  Why employ this methodology on Teams is a question that gets answered by way of the loss in understanding, communication and energy consumed by team members who have different emotional palettes and ways of narrating. Conflict often ensues.  Inner Brutality is conveyed and projected onto others.  If every member of a team can take responsibility for dialling down their inner bully and increasing their emotional palette things get easier on teams, conflict melts, communication is easier and the energy made available can be used for productive purposes.  Inner Brutality sits on a spectrum between being very loud and domineering to a whisperer.  Imposter Syndrome, Self-Saboteur, Perfectionism are all manifestations of the Inner Bully at work.  Start by seeing the Inner Bully as an entity and build a relationship with it, it arrived for a very purposeful reason and in all likelihood has out grown its usefulness.  Kindness does not have to be seen as paradoxical to Leadership. Kindness means empathy, means communicating in way that other can understand etc.. Selling Kindness is often made simpler by selling unkindness. The Methodology is exquisitely simple but intoxicatingly difficult because it is being levelled against a complex system that is a human.  Anna’s methodology comprises 8 steps:  Step One: Visualising -The Companionable life.  Can you envisage a time when you will not brutalise you? Find out how it hurts you, how it hinders you and how the inner bully affects you. Can you imagine the fluidity of acknowledging if you have done something, feeling the pain of that and moving on to do differently next time.  Step Two: Your Inner Brutality-how it reveals itself and how it controls your reality. Your inner brutality is pushing you from behind saying come on hurry up be better be faster be something you are not. The Companionable way comes along side you and says “Hey, I do not feel fully ok with me now, but I am going to re-learn how to be”  Step Three: Recognise the power source of the Inner Brutality-The decisions made about yourself based upon your experiences. It is rarely someone’s experience alone that causes long term suffering but a value judgement against self. Ask what are the value judgements made against self that are true and false?   Step Four: Being fully human with a full emotional palette.  10 Main emotions: Fear, Love, Happiness, Sadness, Envy, Pride, Disgust, Surprise, Grief & Anger.  Step Five: Determine your own objections to lifelong companionability- look inside of you, look without judgement. What does your head struggle to accept about living in a kind and companionable manner with self? Look for reasons not blame.  Step Six: The Vow-vowing to yourself from this day forward- you will struggle to make lasting change unless you make a decision to do so.  Step Seven: Your companionable alternative to Inner Brutality of Thought. Your brain has it favourite put down. It is habituated and like any habit it takes commitment until companionability is wired in and brutality is wired out.  Step Eight: Installing your Vow and living companionably forever.  30% more energy is available to a person by working through the methodology.  We are born with 10 globally accepted emotions. Our familial system and societal norms washes many out. We are left with a reduced palette.  We are born to feel and move through our experiences in life. Our inner brutality thwarts this natural phenomena. We create objections that the Inner Brutality convinces us are necessary. It convinces us that by suffering and hurting we are taking responsibility but this only keeps us stuck, in a cul-de-sac The Vow is underpinned by the foundational work of Anna’s methodology.  A companionable alternative looks like someone who appreciates that they have a full emotional palette, gives space and time to process emotions, uses companionable words like “what a shame you did that and you do not feel proud of what you have done” allowing the pain of that realisation and moving on.  Anna is a testament that the methodology works. We have to be able to overcome the stigma of looking after self. Remember Kindness and Companionability is contagious just as Inner Brutality is -you chose for a better leadership    Resources shared  My Kinda Life In Leadership- Anna Pinkerton  Smile Again : Your recovery from burnout, breakdown & overwhelming stress-Anna Pinkerton   
Introduction: Paul Glover is a C-suite Performance Coach with 20 years’ experience as a Federal Court Tral Lawyer. Paul is a passionate story teller who believes in the power of narrative to influence and educate in business, personal life and even in court rooms. He is now a recovering Federal Trial Lawyer having spent 7 years in a United States prison for felony charges. In prison he chose to transform his narcissistic patterns and on release he chose to become a business coach. Paul is a member of Forbes Council and author of the book “WorKQuake” This is a playbook for Leaders, Leaders who want to navigate the future of work beyond traditional command and control models of leadership to a more inclusive, engaging work environment.    Podcast Episode Summary This episode chronicles the professional and personal life of Paul Glover, the mistakes he made and the choices he assumed to transform. He explores his approach, the books he has written and life after prison as well as his contention that everyone needs a fool in their lives.    Points made over the episode Paul is a no bullshit performance coach He starts the podcast by sharing his own story, a different story from the bio that was shared.  Paul was incarcerated in a Federal Prison for 7 years for committing 33 counts of bribery, kickbacks and for tampering with Government witnesses, while he was a practicing attorney in the city of Chicago.  He was sentenced to 7 years but managed to get out in 5 for good behaviour  For the first two years of his sentence Paul spent his time consumed by “revenge fantasies”  For those two years he could not accept responsibility for his crimes  The mere fact of entering Prison was insufficient to activate Pauls desire for personal change. He was a committed narcissist.  The shock of seeing prisoners, white collar prisoners be resentenced was the shock Paul needed to commit to change.  Recidivism or the tendency for a convicted criminal to reoffend is 80% in US prison systems Paul started to self-reflect and quickly appreciated that self-reflection alone was insufficient to help him transform. He needed more. He needed people to tell him the truth about him.  He asked anyone visiting him to be willing to share a difficult truth about him.  By year 3, Paul announced to his wife that he was committed to change Paul admits that the commitment to change is hard-  it has to be necessary The people who respond to the kind of coaching Paul offers are those you have failed and are committed to change.  People fear success as much as they fear failure. Sometimes being successful is a curse as it blocks us & stymies our potential for future growth.  Time in prison afforded Paul the chance to reform. It shocked him to realise how much of an “asshole” he was before prison. He adopted a professional persona, a hard, mean and cruel persona that permeated his personal domain. He believed that rules did not apply to him, there were no boundaries and he would take any short cut he needed to meet his ends.  He transformed from being a committed narcissist to becoming an empathetic listener, more interested in the people around him.  He had a captive audience in the 300 inmates who surrounded him in Prison. They were drawn to Paul because they thought he could help them with their cases and he was able to practice being perpetually curious. He ultimately turned to service and volunteered to be a trainer for a qualification called GED or a General Education Diploma He activated the prisoners interest and attention by developing his own anti-recidivism program & he made sure every class attendee succeeded in getting the GED.  Paul could never practice Law again and he decided to use the skills he had as a practicing lawyer and his newly acquired skills in prison to become a no-bullshit performance coach.  He translated his acumen for critical thinking and storytelling from his days as a lawyer to help leaders become more effective.  He has developed a Leadership Coaching Program that requires considerable commitment from his C-Suite clients.  He employs the concept of the “fool” in his approach in that he is willing to share tough feedback and be tough as an accountability buddy for his clients.  Paul uses the arc of Joseph Campbells Heroes’ Journey to explain his approach.  Leaders need to become good story tellers and they need to be authentic. They also need to be willing to be vulnerable and to admit what they do not know. They then need to commit to find out.  The world knows a lot about engagement and still the figures for engagement languish at a miserly 33% with two thirds of the workforce remaining disillusioned. This phenomena has now become the “Big resignation” post the pandemic. Employees are not identifying with the purpose of businesses Leaders need to share adversary. They have to prepare people for adversary.  Little red riding hood would be a story about a walk in the woods if it wasn’t for the Wolf.  As a trial Lawyer Paul developed a finely honed skill for detecting bullshit. Clients do not tell the truth, as much as coaching clients rarely tell the whole truth.  Paul wrote the book “WorkQuake” ten years ago and it is still as relevant today. He calls it a classic. The messages inherent is his book include the following; Apply Self-Care- Leaders need to get the requisite sleep, exercise and work patterns to lead.  Eliminate Command and Control.  Stop paying for hours and instead pay for outcomes. We are assuming an industrial mindset instead of a knowledge centred mindset Believe in the concept of reciprocity  Apply 3 As’-Attraction-Attention and Appreciation -employees crave attention give it.  Stop being a professional & instead be personal    Paul summarises the need for everyone to have a fool in their lives. People create self-images that are often flawed.  The opportunity to recognise the need for a fool in your life is self-awareness. If you believe you are finished or have all the answers you are a narcissist.  People willing to have your back, people whom you respect and trust can apply for the fool role.  Paul surrounded himself with co-conspirators who did not have his back. They used and manipulated his blind spots. His need to belong overrode his need at the time to be discerning. You need a fool to hold you to account. Self-accountability is hard.   Paul shares a story of his own sentencing where he was offered a reduced sentence if he admitted his crimes. He refused.  It is often difficult for fools to rise up within an organization because of the power differential. Paul makes the case for an external objective person such as a coach to assume the role of the fool.    Resources shared across this podcast  WorkQuake by Paul Glover  The Heroes’ Journey; Joseph Campbell   
Introduction: Josh MacKenzie, believes in personal growth, equal opportunity and business as a force for good. He is the founder of Development Beyond Learning (DBL)-an award winning organisation using behavioural science to future proof businesses and careers. Josh also spends time to support the growing 100% Human at Work Initiative; a collective of organisations creating a better future of work for humanity. It is now a movement of more than 500 organisations including Unilever, Accenture and EY. Josh is an Australian raising a family in the UK. He considers himself a global citizen, is a proud father of 3 and a mad U2 fan.    Podcast Episode Summary This episode speaks to the important need to equip young people make the transition,  perhaps the biggest transition they make in life, from education to work through the development of human skills.    Points made over the episode U2 The band inspired Josh MacKenzie in terms of having a purpose and giving meaning to what you do.  Josh first became interested in leadership and development at University in Australia where he was part of a student leadership body. It taught him that as individuals we have a lot more to learn than education alone affords When Josh joined the Corporate world he soon realised that there was a whole world dedicated to leadership & development, personal development and talent development – that prompted Josh to set up Development Beyond Learning. He noticed that the transition from education to the working world was probably the most difficult transition a young person can make. It is often underfunded and unsupported.  The Game of Corporate life is different with different rules.  For many young graduates there is a realisation that everyone around them is as smart as they  are and often with wisdom in years.  DBL is founded on 3 core principles.  Personal Growth: The idea we can learn the skills and beliefs we need to have the careers we want Opportunity: talent is everywhere but opportunity is not.  Career: To use your career as a force for good.  The future is human and it is human skills that make a person effective DBL make it possible to collapse the time it takes to realise that these human skills are important  Most young people will not get exposed to the idea that EQ, SQ are as important as IQ A lot of the problems we see in the world today are solvable with technical skills but require human skills as well in terms of critical thinking, self-awareness, negotiation and communication skills  The Good news is that more and more employers are investing in human development such as pre-boarding, on-boarding, 6-12 month development programs  Context is king. There is a difference between teaching a young person on a trading floor of an investment bank how to relate to his/her manager than a person sitting in a technology centre in India for example  Psychology and behavioural science is baked into the development programs  The DBL approach is comprehensive it involves a blend of virtual training and in person training teaching subjects like self-awareness, growth mindset, critical thinking, social intelligence and personal brand.  Young graduates can be sceptical and it is healthy to be sceptical not arrogant.  Evidence based research is vital, especially to connect with participants left brain  You can engage the right brain with high quality experiences, stories, relationships and engaging exercises but it is also important to have high quality content backed up by research Self-awareness can be perceived as a fluffy topic for investment bankers until they are shown the research that says 1,000 top executives cited self-awareness as the number one skill that helped these leaders become successful.  DBL are confident that 5 key behaviours will set graduates, interns and young people apart from others over the first 3-7years of their careers. Skills like self-awareness, building connections, having resilience & grit, growth mindset and mental wellbeing.  Mental Wellness is a topic that is now being addressed in graduate cohorts  Arguably young people have suffered the most by way of the pandemic & least resourced & supported over the many lockdowns Belonging & wellbeing are now important topics  DBL wrote a white paper, available on their website, which researched the topic of wellbeing  Young people joining organisations today have completed their studies virtually, have been hired virtually and are now often still working virtually.  The Pandemic coupled with the earlier work to attract diverse graduate pools has created the perfect storm. More than ever programs need to address belonging and mental wellness.  Organisations are also seeing the wisdom of putting some of the budgeted spend for graduates into management training for managers who have graduates on their teams.  Josh hopes that organisations do not swing back to how things used to be before the pandemic. Virtual does work. Hybrid working does work and can achieve more by providing a level playing field for all learners. Josh would argue that base line training is delivered virtually and augmented by premium in person training when it is warranted.  Investment in the future work force is going to mean more human development not less. In terms of our ever changing world it is important to bring graduates and interns through the organisation with human skills fit for purpose and value creation The 100% human initiative will support young talent emerge through the workforce with the skills to help navigate complex issues, work together really well, have humility help organisations be human.  Resources shared
Introduction: Kathryn McEwen is the Global Lead at Working with Resilience. She is CEO and Founder of Resilience at Work (R@W) Toolkit and Team APP. The App is the world’s first team resilience App using tech, scient , real time data and powerful questions to help teams better together in pressure, complexity and uncertainty. Kathryn’s background is an organisational psychologist, coach, leader and mediator. She is also author of three books, Building Team Resilience, Building your own Resilience; how to thrive in a challenging job and the Resilience at Work Toolkit.    Podcast Episode Summary This episode features the work of a Team Coach working at the intersection of social justice, common ground and resilience for teams in trouble using a strengths based approach. Kathryn describes how she understands teams in trouble and the approach she adopts to support teams thrive. She also shares what teams can expect to see by employing her R@W model, toolkit and App.    Points made over the episode The red thread that weaves through Kathryn’s life is social justice. This theme shaped Kathryn’s research and approach to work.  Kathryn grew up in Wales on a council estate and can remember petitioning with her Mother on issues she was too young to comprehend.  At 16 years of age she moved to Australia.  She works with teams at the coal face, often teams in trouble, facing very difficult work.  Teams in trouble means “stuff has gone down” there is a history on the team that can include bullying & unresolved issues that make it difficult for the team to do meaningful work together. They cannot find a way out without assistance The referral source will often indicate the health of a team that can include bullying, stress leave, complaints about the Leader etc.. Teams in trouble often require a restorative piece of work in advance of what we might traditionally see as team coaching.  The first step requires the setting up of a Leadership team that will work alongside the Team in Trouble and one that will take up or assume responsibility for organisational themes that surface Education is often required to make clear the multi-faceted and multi-layered plan that needs to be fulfilled. Kathryn is keen to understand all the pieces of work that are taking place to support people such as mediation, stress leave, performance management etc The next step is the discovery piece Kathryn conducts 1:1’s with all members of the team and stakeholders. She is careful not to set out a plan prematurely.  It is important that the Team Coach is positioned as a resource not an assessor.  Buy-In for the Teams work happens when the team believes you are going to work on their concerns and needs and that stuff is happening with the parallel team on some of the process structural pieces.  Team Coaches are holding hope for the team. They are definitely not giving a perception that the team is hopeless. It is important to focus on strengths and the idea that strengths can be over played.  As a Team Coach don’t advice on anything, instead shore up the themes and offer suggestions for approach but allow the team to self-determine what is important  The notion of a Tipping Point is something Kathryn looks out for, that is where people on the fence can be pulled down into a negative space with those that are detractors. Kathryn works to create a space where people who might not normally speak up or who have not been willing to speak up before can call out bad behaviour and begin to help the team course correct.  Holding Trust is a vital component of the team coach’s work-holding confidences can be tricky but it is important to be able to do so to see the whole.  As practitioners we must not over complicate our work with teams. Learn to dance in the moment, don’t worry about content instead learn to work with people Humour is vital especially when life on teams in trouble can be so miserable  Kathryn shares a story about a particular team in trouble. It is memorable by way of the ugly behaviours the team members displayed. Team members wore sunglasses in meetings so they did not have to look at the Leader and some confessed that “we eat our own”  Kathryn shared that it would be so easy to run down the avenue of performance management and codes of conduct, instead she focused on strengths. This particular team were amazing at advocacy and creativity but they used those same skills against their work system. Kathryn helped the members see how they could influence for change and fight battles where they were particularly passionate.  Resilience on Teams looks at the ingredients that enable teams to thrive. Essentially they comprise practices and actions that are a flip of teams in trouble.  There are 3 facets to Kathryn’s model. At the individual level a person is held accountable for the way they show up, adapt and be proactive especially with the challenges they face.  It is a misnomer to consider that working at the individual level with respect to resilience will mean team resilience. Team Resilience is about alignment. Aligned Purpose, Aligned Values, Aligned Work load.  The Leadership facet looks at how a Leader can create a subculture where the team can thrive  This is a systemic approach where the model supports what the individuals are doing, with the team and leader to create a mini microcosm of the entire system to be the bests it can be.  There are many practical actions involved in the use of this resilience model. Team resilience for example includes a sense of connectedness, care and asks questions like “what does it look like when we care for each other?’  Kathryn is very proud of the Network that has been built out of her work, a network that is global.  Kathryn’s parting words included nuggets for team coaches to trust intuition and judgement, to be able to dance in the moment and not overcomplicate things.    Resources shared  Building Resilience at Work by Kathryn McEwen Building Team Resilience by Kathryn McEwen Building Your Resilience: How to thrive in a Challenging Job by Kathryn McEwen Whitepaper: resilience at Work A Framework for Coaching and Interventions         
Introduction:  Margaret Molloy is the Global Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development for Siegel & Gale. Siegel and Gale is a brand, strategy, design and experience firm headquartered in NYC. Siegel and Gale believe in the power of simplicity and essentially believe Simple is Smart.    Podcast Episode Summary This episode explores the Power of Marketing and the Power of Inclusive Story telling for Organisations, Teams and Brands. Margaret eloquently shares her wisdom leading teams, building brands and the journey she has been on to break down and unlearn some of the myths & biases she may have unwittingly absorbed from her background and training. She also shares the values and experiences that have shaped her and have grounded her ability to be open, influential and inclusive. Her last story epitomises her work and her ability to navigate the tensions across two countries, two countries she loves and calls her home.    Points made over the episode Margaret grew up in County Offaly, Ireland on a diary farm. She was the eldest of six siblings. She enjoyed values of hard work, community, respect and dignity for others. She studied Business & Spanish in Coleraine in Northern Ireland and attributes that time as being formative, shaping her appreciation for cultural differences.   Enterprise Ireland sent her to NYC for her first role with them and Margaret has never looked back. She loves the energy and chaos of NYC. Margaret lives in the Middle of Manhattan, NYC with her two teenage boys and her husband. As a lover of two countries USA and Ireland, Margaret recognises that everyone has an identity and it can be multidimensional. Sometimes we are too quick to label people and put them in boxes. Margaret identifies equally as both American and Irish and she use the image of Janus, the God of all beginnings,  to explain her thinking.  Inclusive Story Telling is best explained in a story. Margaret shares receiving feedback from a guest after a Panel Interview she held in Boston, an event she thought went well but to the writer failed to show case inclusivity.  Margaret’s focus had been on gender diversity but she learnt that she was exhibiting colour blindness. The feedback she received turned out to be Margaret’s inclusive awareness moment.  Space for Reflection is an important consideration. Every strength for example has its shadow. Good to think about using time to reflect and to apply questions or frameworks to get at learning. Important too to remember to upgrade our mental models. Margaret has learnt from her own experiences to be colour brave as opposed to colour blind.  Curiosity and Judgement are two phenomena that cannot co-exist. Margaret shares how she unlearnt the supposed criticism that to be nosey was wrong. For Margaret one of the greatest gift you can give someone is to ask a generous question Simple is smart is a principle Siegel and Gale adopt. Being a simplifier pays. The worlds smartest brands understand the power of simplicity, whether that is through visuals, plain language or their promised experience. Research has shown that the customer will pay more for simplicity and will pay brands with loyalty. The Capital markets reward brand simplicity too.  Simplicity is the intersection of Clarity and Surprise. Clarity in the use of plain language, easily understood messages, smart visuals and the surprise component is the antithesis of dull, that ahah moment when a customer appreciates “this is exactly how I would have wanted it”   Siegel and Gale search for simplifiers. The beauty of simplifiers is that they know what to strip away and what to leave behind, such that a customer is clear on a brands intention and has a frictionless experience.  Management is a privilege & a responsibility. Siegel and Gale are extremely thoughtful about the entire employee life cycle and how it carries through on its promises. Onboarding for example comes with robust mentoring.  Psychological Safety is an important construct and Margaret pays attention to the culture she develops by encouraging people to speak in draft form, have constructive input and provide feedback. Margaret creates process, questions and frameworks to encourage psychological safety.  We cannot confuse Psychological safety with group hugs. Group hugs are great and humane but Psychological safety is about business, inspiring people is a precursor to profitability.   Getting at Psychological Safety is a journey. Many of us have been trained in ways that have encouraged command and control and hierarchical structures. We have been taught to value efficiency and much of the language used in corporate life is machine like.  Homogenous teams are a recipe for blind spots, especially for marketeers trying to communicate with audiences that have not had the same experiences as us. Our mental models need to adjust. We need to think in terms of our impact as well as the outputs we are generating.  Margaret shares how she cultivates Psychological Safety on her teams. After a project is completed she will ask what people liked and what they would wish for differently. This thinking framework evokes less defensiveness. She also uses affirmation with her team members-giving affirmation that is sincere, succinct and specific. As humans we are starved of affirmation.   Criticism is an oft used tactic. Our propensity to offer criticism is grounded in our quest for efficiency. We want to fix things. The culprit is often time. We need to prioritise ruthlessly.  In marketing things are changing so rapidly, there are so many new tools and processes for doing things. It is easy to get caught up in shiny new objects as opposed to being curious about what matters and impact.  Simple rules for teams include; Preparing rigorously, contributing wholeheartedly and safeguarding your own trustworthiness.  Important to mind your reputation and be curious to understand what people say about you when you are not in the room.  Margaret shares a few more thoughts on Leadership & Teams- consider the old practice of apprenticeships. Margaret hires for attitude and builds for aptitude.  Infuse Purpose, as leaders we can be quick to tell people how and what to do but sometimes we neglect the why for their work.  The purpose for meetings is a topic that is often overlooked. Consider the meetings purpose, manage the context, type of meeting, how you dress the room and the theatre of meetings. Consider the roles people have in meetings such as facilitator, moderator, scribe, equal colleague etc…We should think about meets as strategic devices not as something you have to show up at. The Pre-read and Post-read should be considered as part of the meeting.  In closing Margaret shares a story, a story that showcases the power of inclusive story telling. She shares how her passion for fashion and aesthetics and her love of her two countries served as an idea to create an event in 2019 to show case 10 Irish (unknown fashion designers) in NYC.     Resources shared    How CMOs Commit Podcast with Margaret Molloy- Future of Branding CMO panel series Twitter: @margaretmolloy @siegelgale Instagram: wearingirish Margaret Molloy
Introduction:  Tunde Erdos holds a PhD in Business and Organisational Management, A Masters in Executive Coaching, A Masters in Translation & Simultaneous Interpreting and a Bachelor’s degree in Law. She is an author of 3 books, a prolific speaker at conferences and has published articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and professional coaching magazines. Tunde’s latest endeavour is a documentary on the Light and Shadow of Coaching and she produced this to raises funds for a Social Impact Initiative in Kenya.  Podcast Episode Summary This episode explores the many facets of Coaching, our relationship to it and the often and many unexamined shadows that exist for coaches and the coaching profession. The phenomenon of Coaching Presence and our collective understanding on what Presence is and could be for coaching is discussed. The words, curiosity, relationality, power, presence and energy surface several times across this provocative conversation.    Points made over the episode Tunde when asked to share a different story of her than the one I introduced is quick to share that she is joy, playful and full of expansion more than the knowledge perspective I shared with the listeners. There are so many facets to a person, so many selves that we approximate a diamond. Coaching does too.  We are interactional human beings resonating, being stimulated and responding differently to whomever is present and in differently too depending on the contexts we live Tunde was quick enough to notice her own shadow operating her in the moment, where she was walking away from the direct question posed.  Tunde recalls a dark moment, shameful moment in Coaching where her client was more present than she and it prompted her to explore Presence, Movement Synchronicity, and non-verbal communication in coaching through her PhD Some of the results from her research were surprising. Coaches with more education, more advanced training are more reactive and defensive of their practice.  Tunde’s process research, which  looked at the energy between coach and client, the coaches self-regulatory capacity after a coaching session, and the many interviews with coaches and feedback sessions given on various noted observations from video recordings, showcased this phenomenon that was surprising.  Another research finding and a shadow of coaches, Tunde calls the Snow White Phenomenon where she reframed the famous expression the queen uses in the movie, Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all to, Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the most present of them all.   The light of coaching is well documented and researched. We know Coaching is a powerful tool for growth, development, learning, change and transformation. We know and understand this.  We are in love with Coaching, so in love that is too is a shadow.  We have to be willing to be curious about our attachment to coaching in this direction. Some coaches like to think they know the “Ideal Client” but Tunde’s research found that often the energy between coach and client in an “ideal” scenario was asynchronistic.  In terms of our understanding of Presence, it diminishes over time. Coaches put a lot of effort at the beginning of a session to be present but they confuse the relationality of presence.  Curiously the effort we expend in this way to show up creates a lot of energy but also a lack of dissonance.  The ICF Ignite program aims to anchor coaching beyond 1:1 Coaching, beyond Team Coaching to be seen as a social impact tool  Tunde’s documentary’s main purpose is to raise funds for a Social Impact Initiative she is developing to support women in Kenya, through coaching to become entrepreneurial. The documentary also serves another purpose, to shine a light on the shadow side of coaching by way of several hundred interviews,  exploring the contributions made by coaches and leaders in the field.  Interestingly one contributor shared that he thought Coaches were too serious and then he himself refused to have a vignette of him practicing joy and presence be featured on the show. A Shadow, what we espouse we do not live.  We are not very trusting of ourselves in this field. Another Shadow.  We are also very disconnected from our humanity, from ourselves and whilst we are starting to use this wisdom we are very pre-occupied with ourselves as Coaches, trying to understand it from a cognitive space.  We underestimate or we do not understand the power we wield in organisations and the negative consequences of our work.  We do not fully appreciate the dynamic nature of organisations, the living systems we enter despite using several slogans in our literature.  We have to question how responsible we are as Coaches in the way we use our power in systems.  Some examples of this power include team members leaving a team when they discover they don’t fit, or a team dissolving after coaching. Other examples of power include coaches asking clients to “take a deep breath’ or similar when the same understanding around presence and mindfulness is not shared.  There has been a huge growth in the use of internal coaches in organisations and a corresponding growth in the building of coaching cultures. Often these cultures do not protect internal coaches from the very systemic issues they are dealing with in coaching,  parallel process for example.  Supervision by an external supervisor is required.  Tunde shared many wishes she would want for coaching and coaches.  To have conversations and be curious about our shadow side To watch our pre-occupation with the future when the present is not well understood and where our understanding of concepts like presence are burgeoning.  Words create worlds, are we too attracted to the future instead of the present, what drives this preoccupation? We pay attention to language in coaching and the words a client uses but we also need to pay much greater attention to the ways we are with each other.  Tunde left the conversation grateful for the opportunity to share the social impact initiative she is about to launch for women in Kenya for my interest in it and also for the relationship we developed over the conversation.  Resources shared  eBook on Coaching Presence
Introduction:  Daniel Wolf is the President of Dewar Sloan, a consultancy group with expertise in strategy & Governance. Daniel advises executives and governance leaders on the direction, integration, oversight and execution of strategy. He is the author Strategic Teams & Development, a field book for People Making Strategy Happen. He is also the author of several other books including, Prepared & Resolved, The Strategic Agenda for Growth, Performance and Change.    Podcast Episode Summary This episode explores the value of making a clear and practical case for strategy as a team sport, with talent built for the intentions and challenges of the organisation. The raw ingredient or material for Strategic Teams is talent housed in what Daniel terms Talent Blocks and Beams. This podcast takes a deep dive into Daniels book and his wisdom about teams.    Points made over the episode Daniel has always enjoyed a curiosity and craving for different experiences in different companies to see him fashion a Strategic & Governance Consultancy Practice called Dewar Sloan.  He works best as an organiser & designer of teams, as a Coach co-ordinator of teams and as a Provocateur of teams & Individuals  As Provocateur he sees his role as helping others to step up to express their strengths and to engage with others in ways that might seem like conflict but are in fact catalysts for the work.  The Gift/Pain trade-off of working with really difficult people is the value they can provide. The challenge is to sit in the discomfort long enough to appreciate the value this person might bring to a project and or to partition this person from the team is he/she is too destructive without having to “off board” them.  The Rationale for writing this book came from appreciating what Strategy, Talent and Culture means for an organisation and how these three concepts hang together.  Strategy is not something you do once a year or is a form of thinking  Strategy is the whole body of thought and behaviour that surrounds the formation of strategy such as the direction, focus and choices a company wants to make, the integration effort this requires including thinking about all of the processes, systems, resources, capital, networks & people that enables a company deliver on its strategy and then to complete the execution or action and impact necessary to deliver.  The Constraints and Disconnects with Strategy are many Most companies have a strategic plan but it is a rare company where people can explain it. The complexity of all of the moving parts in an integration plan means acceptance of the realisation that there is never being enough. Organisations are dynamic and complex, resources are never complete.  Organisations are remarkably blithe about holding people to account for execution.  Talent blocks and beams are the raw material for Strategic Teams and Development. Many of us can quickly identify the six intelligences/capacities that comprise the talent blocks, technical, analytic, creative, resource, problem and relational.  The beams are, what are often considered the biggest complaints made by organisations of their people, he soft skills they see lacking.  Talent Beams include Individual Talent Beams such as self-awareness, contentment, character, self-governance, confidence, moral compass, resilience, motivation and attention  Team Beam Development alludes to social intelligence, role awareness, maze sense, influence, perspective, engagement, conflict management and context appreciation  These talent blocks and beams ask of an organisation to recognise the details of their talent in the blocks they have available, the significance and context of where the beams need to be developed. Culture is two things. It is the companies foundation and principles that guide everyday thought and behaviour and it is the companies expression of these foundations and principles , where people come together to learn, engage, develop and grow and advance together the principles and foundations of the company to deliver on its strategic agenda.  The book is about three things; The Strategic Agenda that makes sense to people, the talent blocks and beams that fit with the strategic agenda and the culture built on foundations & principles that are routinely and truly acted out in micro expressions of thought and behaviour daily.  This synchronicity is denied by the lack of a leadership mentality. There are four levels of Leadership. Individual, Group or Team, Enterprise and Social or Systemic.  What gets in the way of Group or Team Leadership is the old premise that Leadership is housed in one heroic leader. A new form of thinking about leadership would have leadership taken up in different roles, formal and informal by the team. A collective effort is harnessed when everyone assumes leadership for the well-being of the team.  Mindsets that could be missing to make this symphony work; one where people forget the dynamic and complexity of organisations today. A mindset that is not ready for change, is not anticipating change or accepting the ubiquitous nature of change. An expectant mindset is needed. Similarly while much is said of resilience, a mindset of resilience is the notion that as a principle we are engaged, steadfast and resolute to persevere & be flexible. Organisations have 10 or more needs and two stand out for Daniel in this conversation. One is the need for organisations to have a very active developmental laboratory for talent, individual and collective. The second is the idea that organisations need to think differently about their structure. They should embrace the idea of an eco-system of teams rather than the traditional vertical model of layers and spans of control with white space in between, that is the traditional organisational chart.  This latter need suggests that an organisation would have to dissemble the traditional constructs of organisational life, the innovators dilemma, and prize a system comprising talent housed in teams. It would also have to acknowledge and mine three different Leadership temperaments, Compliance, Integrator and Discoverer.  This thinking unnerves organisations and it is where opportunity lies.        Resources shared  Daniel Wolf; Strategic Teams and Development  Prepared and Resolved as well as The Strategic Agenda for Growth, Performance and Change.  The Innovators Dilemma, by Clayton. M Christensen Mindset by Carol S. Dweck 
Introduction: Petra Velzeboer is a renowned mental health expert, TEDx speaker and CEO of Mental Health Consultancy, PVL. Petra was born and raised in the infamous Children of God cult, conditioned to believe she was born to save the world. Having escaped that world, she now talks to audiences about her ultimate rock bottom and her subsequent transformation leading her to found a flourishing mental health business. Petra is a psychotherapist with an MSc in Psychodynamics of human development and is a qualified ORSC & CTI Certified Coach. Petra lives by her values of lightness, bravery and responsibility    Podcast Episode Summary This episode explores the value of Mental Health at Work. Petra shares what it takes to build an environment where Mental Health is valued and discussed. She shares her vision of a world where every organisation can be the rising tide that lifts and sustains mental health for every employee. Bizarrely the Pandemic has helped shift the awareness & importance of this topic and also helped bust the misconception that by talking about Mental Health the floodgates will be opened and work will suffer. The opposite is true.    Points made over the episode Petra shares her journey starting with her birth in a cult, her escape and demise into addiction and battle with depression and her subsequent transformation leading her to found a flourishing mental health business.  Many people, including this host, held the view that Mental Health was really a misnomer for Mental illness. Petra shares the Mental Health Continuum where Mental Health, thriving and excelling is at one end of the Spectrum and crisis and struggle is at the other with surviving in the middle.  Thriving and excelling is informed by positive psychology.  Sean Achor talks about organisations falling into the trap of providing Mental Health weeks where only illness is discussed. We can however develop a whole other narrative where Mental Wellness, meaning thriving and excelling is discussed.  The environment where mental health can thrive is one which is open, where emotions are acknowledged and welcomed, creating a space where we can talk about our mental health openly.  Leaders need additional training and skills to deal with the whole person, not just the tasks necessary to succeed.  Evidence suggests that paying attention to this topic will support talent retention  Leaders could employ classic skills like empathy and active listening.  They could do well by modelling.  Leaders could be so much more compelling if they talked about how they safeguard their own mental health rather than simply telling others to manage their boundaries.  Can we get comfortable asking leaders how they protect their mental health and how they share this information with others.  This provides a bridge for people where they can feel they have permission to invest in their mental health.  A powerful approach is storytelling. Intent evolves over time. Education, experience and the space for people to be fully themselves helps cultivate an environment of Mental Wellness.  Petra sees a lot of fear on teams. The fight or flight reaction on teams is prevalent especially after the Pandemic. It is hard to be empathetic if we are in survival mode.  Petra also sees conflict and polarisation on teams. There is a nervousness to be open and to share feelings, believing erroneously that a pandoras box will be opened.  It is important to name fears.  The conflict in Ukraine is activating a myriad of emotions and often leaving us feeling bereft and hopeless. Important to check your news intake. Have a conscious relationship with the news.  Remember Victor Frankl and his book Man’s Search for Meaning, that despite the horrendous conditions he endured in the Holocaust and the things that were denied to him he lamented that his captors could not take away his ability to respond and the attitude he adopted with respect to his situation.  This wisdom sounds incredibly simple but it takes practice.  The Pandemic has opened minds about mental health even if some teams are still cynical and believe this discourse is a tick box exercise to complete.  Asia and parts of Europe are now where the UK was 10 years ago in appreciating the value of Mental Health at work.  Petra shares a client story about implementing an integrated approach to Mental Health across an entire global concern.  “Mental Health is everything” and research says so. Thriving at Work report by the UK, Business in the Community and the WHO workplace recommendations all point to the crucial links between mental health and business success.  There is lots of passion at the top for this work. 1/4 people have experiences of this topic -much more work to be done.  Psychological Safety on Teams, research by Google (Project Aristotle in 2014) is one of the top principles supporting success on teams  Petra shares several ways she incorporates Psychological Safety in her teams  Lightness and fun are key elements supporting Mental health We need to normalise Mental Health and our vulnerabilities.  We could consider a few practices to shift our relationship with Mental Health including practices to complete the stress cycle such as a 20 second hug, connecting with our somatic selves instead of only relying on our thinking brains.  Consider for example having a walking meeting.  Remember language creates meaning so be careful the language we use. Instead of pathologizing people recommend brave acts. We can use language that is too intellectual making it elitist and alien to many.  A lot of trauma research shares that trauma sits in our body 3 Tips to conclude  Knowledge is important around mental health and work can be a protective sanctuary. How can we create work environments where people want to show up and thrive. Have conversations on teams about how we work and not just about the work  Create space to connect, use check ins, downtime in chunks of time and walking meetings  Positive Accountability ask “how will you complete your stress cycle”    Resources shared  Viktor Frankl: Man’s search for Meaning  Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers -GOV.UK What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team(published 2016) 
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