Watch & Read - For Leaders Who Dare To Be Human&Real
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.
I’m living with my partner. And raised two children. I worked in a number of corporates and have started two businesses. So, I had my fair share (and still going on) of conversations. And quite a lot of them were also difficult.
A gigantic playing field for learning how to have successful conversations. Or to mess them up and miss the mark. I succeeded in both.
According to research done by Stanford University, 9 out of 10 conversations miss the mark.
What do I mean by missing the mark?
Well, that’s fairly simple: when there is no result. Or not the desired one.
When we fall into set patterns instead of using our conversational skills to create trust and healthy connections. When we talk past each other instead of with other, maybe even banging our heads or letting fear and judgement taking over.
Every conversation has some objective: maybe just a simple sharing of information, maybe tasking someone with something, maybe to find solutions for issues,...
"It's easier to deal with processes and technical things than with people" - one of the first things Christian told me in our recent chat (which we happened to record - and hence you can watch it here. Lucky you ;-)).
Christian Delez is Agile Software Leader at RUAG Defence and Co-founder of www.responsive.org - an organisation who is looking into the future of work - hence the perfect person to ask some questions around the topic I've been looking into for a while now.
I asked Christian a number of questions around humans in the digital transformation - something that goes in almost every organisation on this planet right now - after all we're living in the middle of the digital era.
We touched upon topics like fear, creating space for difficult conversations, how to deal with mistakes and conversational intelligence - and what makes a good (digital) leader.
Have you ever had one of those meetings where you basically stayed alert every second so that you could jump in with your answer or comment to what someone else said? I mean, before another colleague was quicker than you.
Or - while you’re having this conversation with a colleague or your spouse (or friend…) you’re so enthusiastic and impatient to bring across what you think that you just talk over the other person or interrupt– hey, after all this shows your engagement, right?
What it does show is that you’re not listening.
I used to do that. Both of the above.
Why (as I supposedly know it better now)?
Because having those meetings in corporates (and also smaller enterprises – this behavior is definitely NOT reserved for big companies) felt like being a fish in a shark tank. If you’re not quick enough you’re going to be eaten.
In other words – if we don’t jump in...
The other day a friend sent me a video from one of those Indian gurus talking about parenting. Well, this ship has sailed for me, so I checked out what this guy had to say on other topics and came across another video, talking about the 3 things we should all do in the morning.
Arghh….another one of those “morning routine” things? Those really start to come out of my ears meanwhile. All those super disciplined people who trigger my bad conscious as I cannot seem to get all those little ducks in a row: 7.30 shower, get ready – tick, 8.00 Yoga - tick, 8.30 drink lemon water - tick, 8.35 plan the day - tick, 9.00 breakfast - tick…. you get my gist.
My days are far more chaotic. Sometimes yoga happens, sometimes not, I don’t shower every day (gasp) and do not do extensive planning every day….
So – this video triggered something completely different when I listened to it, as it was NOT about a...
Last year, I had the idea to start an interview series with experts and executives who'm I intended to ask about "The Human Factor" in the wake of (or better in the middle of) the Digital Transformation.
Everybody talks about the infamous transformation and one thing is for sure: it won't leave us like a flu. It's here to stay. In our daily private life AND in all areas of business.
Dividing lines between "work" and "life" disappear (they were pretty artificial anyway) and the radical and fast changes often trigger deep seated fears. And they don't care if this is business or private.
Alright - back to the topic: I will interview all sorts of people who are responsible for transformation, affected by it, lead it, consult on it, live with it (good or bad) - so that finally we're going to see a more detailed picture: about what's happening, what could happen, where the trends are, what the ideas are, and how those influential people deal with it...I guess that is still...
Well, I'm coming almost to the end of what I decided to tell you - this one is a really long one - AND probably the most important step on the journey.
Get yourself a cup of coffee and come along.
Self-explorative journeys are great - I’ve gone through a few, only one was really effective though - I’ll come back to that later.
So last time I talked about my PERSONAL VISION, which I finally got to grips with.
And the next problem that this resulted in: learning about - or better: re-connecting with parts of me that I had forgotten or ignored for a long time.
The playful me.
The ridiculous me.
The casual me.
The swearing me.
The soft me.
The lazy me.
The big dreamer-me..
The courageous me, who speaks up.
The bubbly and YES, compassionate & spiritual me.
Jeez, these were completely new attributes I would have NEVER described myself with in the last few decades.
More likely I used words like strong, confident, pragmatic,...
No, not a house - how we build our vision ;-) (actually I think that's quite funny for a German...).
In my last post I pondered about WHY a vision is so crucial...the million dollar question is though - how the heck does it work to build OURS?
That was the question I was facing myself.
Just putting together a board with nice pictures out of a magazine and looking at it all day long?
Having a lovely idea in my head where I'll be in "the future" - whenever this might be?
Writing an essay about how my dream looks like?
Well, those might work for some of you - for me it did not do the job.
So, I experimented a while, looking at many aspects, digging in all the stuff I've learned in the last decades and came to a fairly easy 4 step-model.
1. Who do I decide to be?
2. How would I love to feel?
3. What do I chose to do?
4. What’s important for me to have?
Short and sweet really.
Now you might ask: well, THAT does not tell me how my dream looks like, does it?
Are you still with me on this journey - awesome, I really appreciate you. A lot.
The track - that’s where I stopped last time. To keep me on track - well, and you. Eventually. If you decide to that is.
And most importantly WHY.
I’m sitting on the sofa while I’m typing this up. Looking outside into a grey sky from our 7th floor apartment. It’s wet outside and probably cold and I’m wrapped up in a cosy cashmere shawl with some Celtic inspired music in the background and a candle burning.
On my own, with my lovely pug Florentine curled up next to me.
Quite peaceful actually.
(I’m a real sucker for soothing atmospheres. And cuddly dogs next to me)
Well, that is part of my track. Having moments of peacefulness.
That is only one thing - or rather feeling - on a longer list.
Do you know what’s on yours, I.e what is your track?
THAT is what I call track. Moving towards or staying on this track...
ATTENTION - a bit of a longer part - if you’re in a hurry scroll to the end :).
Last week I got a call from someone who’d read my count down posts on Facebook (which is basically the same as this blog) and asked “what the heck are you doing there? You really got me curious!”
Well, that was the idea. Of course.
…alright, alright…yes, I’m working on something epic. For you. And for me.
Because I finally found the magic formula for taking fear and anxieties out of my life and tapping into joy, confidence and power, connected with an overwhelming sense of freedom (took me long enough). The foundation for success in life. Also found that out rather late.
And I’d love to share it with the world - that is you I’m talking about (just in case you haven’t noticed).
AND it was much easier than I thought.
Gasp - another big marketing promise?
No. Because I loathe those. I spent money on empty promises. I fell...