For Leaders Who Don't just Want Success but also Bliss and Balance. Those Who Dare To Be Human & Real and Who Know That Leading Others Starts With Leading Themselves
Phew - it's been a busy few weeks - hence my blog was a bit more quiet than usual.
Work kept me on my toes, the sudden weather changes from hot to cold and back created extra tiredness in my body and taking care of some of my mum's stuff who is in her 80s came just on top of it.
So when I had a little time in between I decided to take a rest and spend time with my horse or on dog walks which always energises me….
But I'm digressing….today I want to share the epiphanies that came out of one of the things I did recently - which was a communication workshop.
The aha moments were so great that I had to share - maybe they will support you too!
Wouldn't it be great if we'd always understood each other if there were no misunderstandings, no hurt feelings, no exasperating conversations where we feel the other person simply doesn't get what we're saying?
An extremely complex topic.
So we went deep.
Didn't waste our time with...
We're all creatures of habit. Thus - if we're really honest with each other - nobody likes change, as it pushes us out of our comfort zone....which we often don't mind if it's in terms of skills - but not so much when it comes to our own behaviour - that is MUCH harder.
It's o.k. though - even if we don't like changing - I don't either - if we can see WHY this makes our life better, it changes the picture and then I'm prepared to pay the price of discomfort and effort.
What's your view?
When I was a leader in the corporate world, most people assumed that I must be very self-confident.
To the outside world, I was always strong, I was assertive & it looked like nothing could faze me, and I had all the answers.
On the inside that looked very different.
I was often insecure, fearful of doing or saying the right thing and often pushed through all of that to not risk appearing "weak".
Meanwhile, I know…and feel tWhen I was a leader in the corporate world, most people assumed that I must be very self-confident.
that being open and vulnerable, risking being hurt and knowing I can deal with it - is true confidence.
Why? Because it feels right - no tension anymore between the outside and the inside world. This is actually so freeing and empowering that it's hard to believe unless you felt it.
Don't believe for a second that I never wobble. Being as human as you, my confidence level varies. The good thing is though that I know how true confidence feels, and I can go back...
When I first heard the term radical responsibility - for ourselves - I squirmed a bit inside.
Does that mean I can’t blame others and the circumstances for how I feel?
Don’t get me wrong…I’m also being influenced by the “good” or “bad” happening around me or in my life. I just don’t let those take my life over!
Be it “difficult” people, things not going my way, unexpected bills, a project failing, not getting the deal, being criticised harshly …you name it.
They don’t ruin whole days or weeks
Because it’s ME in charge for how I feel and how much I let things around me affect me. This is not about closing off and pretending that I’m above everything, it’s rather about being aware of my power over my own life - not people or circumstances but rather how I respond to stuff happening.
And I’m not handing over my personal power over to people or circumstances...
Currently, I'm working with 2 people who are absolute helpers and it shows up with behaviour like that:
Doesn't sound that bad! And many people tell me they like to help.
It could even could be considered "servant leadership".
Well, everything - including servant leadership - taken too far is dangerous.
And the downside is that it easily becomes exhausting as the helpers forget to take care of themselves and worst case, become a martyr and are frustrated that people don't follow their advice.
This morning on my daily dog walk - where I love listening to podcasts - I heard...
The thing I hear from EVERYBODY I talk to is
…you name it - basically, all that shouts busy, busy, busy.
A leader(ess) with kids told me the other day: "Well when I fall on the sofa in the evening, I feel that I've earned my rest."
I used to be like that.
And yes, as a single mother with a full-time job and a household to run, I had TONS of things to do, and the struggle was real.
I also thought that the busier I was, the more important I was.
And on top, I believed that PRODUCTIVITY = MY VALUE.
There is nothing wrong with being productive.
I love it, and I feel accomplished when I've finished a task - done a coaching session, written a blog, cleaned a flower bed in my garden, cleaned my kitchen.
The problem started...
Today I had a session with a client I've seen for the second time.
We delved into her challenge of how she could get where she absolutely wants to be (which is a particular position in academia) - an idea she had for years!
Now - we could have started working on some strategies or tactics of how to get there.
But that's not what I do.
Working on the surface would totally ignore what's at the core of the challenge and simply mean that a similar situation - based upon the pattern at the basis - will pop up again eventually.
I experienced that SOOO often in my own life until I realized I had to tackle what WAS at the bottom.
So - we went deep.
Arghh…that sounds uncomfortable and like a lot of effort and time.
It just required a couple of the right questions, and - totally not modest here - I'm really good at asking those due to my very well-developed intuition and wham - it always leads to the core quickly.
It's Sunday. Should be a rest day - at least for me. Smooth, quiet, enjoyable...BUT "there is always something"!
A little story I just experienced that is representative of - as I believe - daily life And sometimes it sucks ...but it's also a bit funny ;-).
Men and women are equal - but not the same.
Hence it does not make sense to lead in the same way. And only if we lead aligned with who we are we'll create real impact…and fulfilment for ourselves.
Bam - quite a claim!
It took me more than 30 years in business to get to this epiphany. And to have the guts to say it out aloud and to live it at the same time.
After all I spent most of my time and had my career in the male-dominated IT industry and was pretty much "conditioned" to working and behaving in a what was considered "professional" way.
Let me take a step back though. What actually opened my eyes much more to a different way was actually my private life. And I guess we all know by now (even if some still don't acknowledge it yet) that ALL areas of life are connected.
Currently, I'm dating, and when I start talking to men, often the question comes up what's my view on the roles of partners in a relationship.
5 years ago, my answer...
Last Friday, I had a coaching call with a client, and the reason for, and as such the solution for her issue, turned out to be very different than expected.
So here we go….that was her problem:
What's the next step in my career?
How do I find what's right for me?
I asked her: What have you done so far to solve the issue?
Her answer was that tt was mainly activities on a superficial level: She checked out industries/jobs and looked into options in consultancy. All good.
Then she suddenly said: "Somehow, I feel that I procrastinate".
Interesting development. And of course, I was interested in the WHY because I knew that would give her additional insights.
Digging deeper - the underlying fears came out:
* Fear that there is nothing out there for her - resulting in being a failure
* Fear not finding the right thing -and being left behind by her "successful" social circle
* Fear of the next step not being...