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Archive for the ‘Inspire’ Category

The role of a good facilitator

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Development, Personal Branding, Team, Training on March 20, 2017 at 4:38 am

Have you ever been to the symphony or watched a snippet of an orchestra playing on TV? Can you visualize the conductor at the front of the orchestra? What exactly is the role of the conductor? Do they simply stand at the front waving their batons madly? Or is there a crucial role they play that if there is no conductor, the orchestra falls apart and the music crumbles?

It seems with the baton, the conductor speaks a subtle language to the orchestra to remind them during the performance of how to play the piece. It’s almost hypnotic to watch.

In fact, with the baton, it’s almost as if the conductor gives each instrument a chance to play and each musician an opportunity to speak. As if without the conductor, the audience might overlook the presence of an instrument or musician in the orchestra. And it’s almost as if without the conductor, the audience would miss pivotal moments in the symphonic piece.

So when we think about it, could we compare the role of a facilitator to that of an orchestra conductor? Why not?

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The human side of negotiation

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy on March 6, 2017 at 11:02 pm

How often do you think you use negotiation skills? We may not realize it but negotiation is a big part of our daily life. We negotiate various factors in our roles at work, from project timelines to resources, to parameters for our performance indicators or salaries, and even in our personal lives, with conflicting opinions, or even something as simple as where to dine.

Negotiation is about reaching an agreement where both parties walk away with mutually acceptable terms. The ability to get what we want is only enhanced by our ability to negotiate effectively.

The word ‘negotiation’ has copped a bad reputation. Oftentimes, we associate the act with competition or confrontation or believe that only an all-or-nothing approach can win; the word ‘win’ supporting the act of competing.

But what if we take the notion of competing out of the equation and approach a negotiation in a more fair way?

After all, the reason you’re getting into a negotiation in the first place is either because one party wants something from another, or that both parties want something from each other. Once you each establish what is important and unimportant to each, the negotiations can begin. The questions that each person needs to ask is ‘What do I want from you?’ and ‘What can I give you in return?’

But how to do this? How exactly do you start asking those questions without sounding contentious?

Let’s explore.

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Unconscious bias: Why every leader should avoid it and how

In Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Development, Performance Management, Personal Branding on February 6, 2017 at 12:19 am

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Human beings are extremely judgmental creatures. Harsh but true. We make impressions on people, events and things, often within the first fifteen seconds of coming into contact with them. We form opinions and tell ourselves stories that become reality in our minds.

We often credit this to intuition or a claim to have good judge of character. Sometimes, we are right. Sometimes we are not. Sometimes, the judgment is tainted by our experiences, fixed ideas and unconscious bias.

But it’s the opinions we form and the stories we tell ourselves that can become dangerous. Because sometimes, just sometimes, even after we have become more acquainted with the person, event or thing, these opinions and stories stick in our subconscious, even if they prove to be false. We remain wedged in the bias.

Herein lies one of the fundamental flaws of the human psyche. And the workplace is no exception to this rule.

The thing is, managers and leaders are first and foremost humans and are not exempt from this. But to be an effective and fair manager, we want to separate ourselves from this pitfall and manage, inspire and lead without bias, either conscious or unconscious. So how do we ensure we don’t get sucked into the zone of stereotyping but instead embrace attributes that promote inclusivity and diversity?

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How mindfulness makes you a more effective leader

In culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on December 6, 2016 at 5:17 am

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According to research conducted by Harvard University, about 47 percent of us spend our waking hours thinking about something other than what we’re doing. What this means is that we are not present or conscious in the moment to fully listen, connect and engage with events, opportunity and people around us; all vital elements to being an effective leader.

The Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard University claims that mindfulness enhances the qualities organizations need. Qualities such as increased brain-wave activity, enhanced intuition and better focus. All also vital elements to being an effective leader.

Mindfulness contributes to raising your awareness of self and of those around you. It increases your ability to be mindful of your emotions, reactions and therefore, your behaviors. These are all exemplary qualities to have as a leader.

To be an effective leader, leaders are taught to lead via the three vital pillars of leadership:

  1. Leading from within
  2. Leading by example
  3. Leading others

So what if as a leader, you practice mindfulness? How much more engaging would your leadership presence be? How much more effective and focused would you be as a leader?

A mindful and focused leader is a leader with a strong leadership presence. Someone who can lead better towards his or her vision via a structured business strategy.

Let’s look at how mindfulness can boost each pillar of leadership.

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How to use mindfulness to stay ninja focused

In culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Learning, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on November 4, 2016 at 4:56 am

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The words busy, dynamic and stress are so rampant in our vocabulary that we forget to stop and focus on the core elements that contribute to each day.

What if there was a way to choose how we describe our perspective simply by using other words or a different thought process? How would that assist us in making the most of our potential skills and talents without exhausting ourselves? Here’s where we could consider practicing mindfulness.

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How to build a positive personal brand

In Branding, Communication, Inspire, Leadership, Personal Branding, Positive Thinking on October 24, 2016 at 2:03 am

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If someone was to ask you to use three words to describe yourself, what would those words be? And if someone was to use three words to describe you, what do you think those three words would be?

What message do those words convey about who you are?

We’re all communicators. At any point of the day, we are sending out messages to the world. Even when we don’t say a word, we are communicating. In the way we dress, the way we carry ourselves, the way we conduct our lives, even the food we eat, the places we hang out, the people we associate with. They’re all sending out a message.

Every message you send out is an extension of your personal branding. Everything is a communication that sends out the data: ‘This is who I am. This is me.’

This is so important, it bears repeating. Everything that you say, do, and think feeds into your personal brand. Think about it.

Therefore, consistency is important. Just like an organization, there needs to be an alignment of your personal branding to your personal goals.  Read the rest of this entry »

The qualities of a good leader

In Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Organizational Development, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy on September 23, 2016 at 6:25 am

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It takes courage to be a leader. To stand up and say: I can lead these people into the future with my vision. I can guide them through change. I can inspire them to want to tap into their passion and give that one hundred percent to a cause every single day.

No one said being a leader is easy. Whether you’re a person or a company, there is a certain sense of gravity and expectation that goes with the job and the title. So grave is the weight, that it caused Joseph Wambaugh to pen the words: ‘fish rots from the head’. Meaning that when an organisation or state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.

So what are the qualities of a good leader? It all starts with how others perceive who you are as a leader.

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Developing talent for the new organization

In culture, Development, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Development, Performance Management, Philosophy, Strategy, Training on September 6, 2016 at 2:52 am

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Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified that:

“The ‘new organization’, as we call it, is built around highly empowered teams, driven by a new model of management, and led by a breed of younger, more globally diverse leaders. To lead this shift toward the new organization, CEOs and HR leaders are focused on understanding and creating a shared culture, designing a work environment that engages people, and constructing a new model of leadership and career development. In competition for skilled people, organizations are vying for top talent in a highly transparent job market and becoming laser-focused on their external employment brand.”

External employment brand is about the people feeding the culture internally. It is about a job being more than just a job. It is about a culture where every person passionately gives the best that they can to a cause they believe in the organization.

This is priceless.

There can be no separation between corporate culture and brand. An organization can have the best marketing and corporate communications aligned with a best practice business strategy to market its brand, but if its people do not believe the brand and what it stands for, they will not live it. And if they do not live it. You will hear it in their voice, see it in their actions, and feel it in their work.

This means that human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) professionals lend a powerful voice to the paradigm shift from the old organization to the new organization. And senior leaders need to listen to them. Because the competition for skilled people is high and organizations need to focus on developing their talent so they stand a chance of survival in the new world.

But how to do this?

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Dysfunctional habits that can damage your communication style and personal brand

In Branding, Communication, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding on July 6, 2016 at 3:06 am

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Have you ever been in a conversation where no matter what you did, you struggled to engage with the other person?

What was it that they did? Or didn’t do? Having a conversation should not be a difficult thing to do. After all, we all do it every day. We have multiple conversations with various people in several settings, using a variety of mediums. The thing is, you could be the most charismatic, articulate speaker or communicator, but there are some common conversational habits that would absolutely kill your chances at engaging with the other party.

So what are they? Let’s consider six habits that can damage your communication style and personal brand, and what you can do to avoid them.

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