Watch & Read - For Leaders Who Dare To Be Human&Real
The end of the year is always a good possibility to reflect & review. I went a bit further back - not just one year, which in all fairness also has to do with the fact that I put together a course about this immensely important topic.
Communication is complex and I keep learning, understanding and feeling what holds us together as human beings, what creates the glue and which is the basis for connection and collaboration.
So here's what I found in the last decades, condensed in 29 points. I hope that serves you.
Recently one of my new clients confessed to me (feeling rather shameful about it) that often he finds himself in important meetings when this particular colleague, a level above him who permanently wipes off his suggestions and arguments.
“Yeah, but….” is the standard reaction and on top of that, he keeps interrupting him rudely in front of the whole board or sometimes business partners.
Immediately his brain is running hot & is overloaded, thoughts bouncing back and forth. Despite being a brilliant person, these witty answers he would love to say right there and then don’t seem to come through.
“I’m always stuck in my head, analyse & overthink things, which makes my head almost explode then. I even catch myself holding my breath when I think & think & think. Some of the thoughts even haunt me at night afterwards! Leaving me mentally rather exhausted, and I have to hold back to not explode in someone’s...
Last Sunday morning I watched a little video on FB. Having just had enjoyed an episode of one my favourite (actually a bit of a love/hate thing going on there) TV shows before (lots of human drama - don't we all know that one), this made me very thoughtful.
I went into the kitchen and prepared my breakfast. My son was still fast asleep – so I was on my own (well, with the dog).
And decided to leave my pad and my phone out of the kitchen. No radio or Alexa either. So, it was quiet. And when I started eating, I enjoyed the crispy edges of the rye bread which I had toasted before putting butter on it. It had melted into the bread and I could taste it now with every bite. I noticed the slightly sweet and coolish taste of the ripe tomato (from my October harvest) in my mouth. I saw the irregular pattern of red flakes of chili in the guacamole I had prepared earlier and the considerable difference in texture of all I ate. Creamy, fresh, crunchy. My brain wandered off…well,...
Right – buckle up….this is going to be a very open and honest article on something that’s been on my mind for a while.
The coaching industry is booming. And for good reasons.
NEVER before there were so many people lost, confused, overworked and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work (or the opposite…and they are bored….yep – have seen that indeed), never was life so exhausting as it is now.
In my corporate life I personally loathed coaches and consultants (who are clearly not the same – so don’t confuse them), as I had the impression that they were simply overpaid so-called experts telling us what we know already, just packaging it in a plethora of fluffy words and terms.
Admittedly I only worked with a coach once during that time – and that was when I lost a job and the employer paid for some outplacement coaching. In a way that was helpful, still it could not really heal the wounds the situation had created.
We have all heard that words are powerful, right? Who has not listened to famous people in history triggering spontaneous outbursts in tears (or at least creating watery eyes for the tough ones amongst you) or touching us in whatever kind of format when coming out with sentences like “I have a dream” like Martin Luther King did in 1963.
There are many more modern examples of touching and motivational speeches – one of them was from Sheryl Sandberg in a Harvard Business School Class speech from 2012 where she said:
"If you want to win hearts and minds, you have to lead with your heart as well as your mind. I don’t believe we have a professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real self for the rest of the time ... It is all professional and it is all personal, all at the very same time."
Does that resonate? Well, it does with me (in fact I LOVE this one, I could not agree more with her, which I’ve expressed clearly in this article)
So I guess we...
...so the title of a podcast I was listening to recently from a 20-something young chap from New Zealand who put this claim out very self-confidently and noisily.
For some reason, the headline really rubbed me the wrong way, so I was getting curious to hear what he had to say. Particularly as so many people nowadays (and probably even before that) have been asking themselves EXACTLY that question:
Who am I, really?
So I listened in to understand what this young, very successful gentleman really meant.
He was talking about how we can be we’d like to be and that – just because we grew up with believing that we are shy, introvert or boisterous or crazy or whatever label we (or someone else) put on us does not mean that this is we HAVE to be.
Contrary to some people who argue that “I’ve always been like that” or “That’s just how I am”.
This is when I got it.
He was clearly talking about our PERCEPTION of ourselves. Which can be something...
I loathe administrative and boring work. Still, I spent a couple of hours with the administration of my business yesterday: paying bills, filling in those tedious reports for various insurances and authorities which are required at the beginning of the year.
Not particularly exciting work for me. But “must” be done.
Maybe your “must be done” topics are different. Replace it with other activities you don’t love: "I need to do the tax return. Or: I must get this weekly report for my boss done. I have to walk the dog. I need to get up earlier.
You get the gist: Whatever it is, it tends to be a burden, things we don’t enjoy doing (or the prospect of it) or even hate – this could be the admin as in my case or the tax return, the report, the diet, the visit of the in-laws...you name it.
Sometimes the “have tos” are hard, as we might not know how to deal with them or are afraid of doing them: "I have to get...
I am pretty sure I know what the answer to that question is.
But let me start with my last week: I definitely DID struggle last week. I had it all planned and laid out, all my tasks were nicely put into my calendar (after all I tell everybody that what’s not in your calendar, does not happen, so I better walk my own talk).
Monday worked out fine. On Tuesday I started struggling and felt that while I was working on one thing my brain decided to ask many critical questions: “Does that really make sense what you’re working on here? Is that really what you want or should focus on? Why does this not produce the results that I thought it would?”. That resulted in my concentration going and the pressure increasing. I should add that I am pretty good in terms of putting pressure on myself – might have to do with my impatience.
The following night I did not sleep well. Do you know the feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and...