Dare to lead – or barely leading?

Leadership is for the brave-hearted. Who hasn’t felt the deflating sense of defeat, as you get the employee survey results back – or some specific disheartening feedback from an exit interview from a team member? Despite all the great efforts and support you give. Again and again. Brene Brown says it clearly in her latest book, Dare to Lead, and if you haven’t read it, do it! Courage is a skill that you can learn. And it doesn’t appear by hiding, it grows through appointment: being the leader, putting ourselves out there, standing our ground, empowering the troops, letting go of the ego and continuing to lead with our vision, our strategy, our being. For most of us, it’s not a hat you take on and off. Most often, we find the same people putting their hand up, stepping up, having the difficult conversations across all areas of life: in their business, in their community, with neighbours, with their kids, their partner and their friends. As we get to the end of the year, some of the leaders out there are feeling the pain. The energy nearly not lasting the last weeks. Barely not coping with needing to have another … More Dare to lead – or barely leading? »

The little BUT…

Read an article the other day, reminding me of the word BUT. It’s one of the first changes you make when you start becoming aware of language – whether as a coach, a parent or a leader. To change BUT in all your sentences with AND. It seems like a tiny thing, and still, it has a profound effect. Try it on: a compliment, a positive comment about the party you were at or the person you’re talking with – and then you add another sentence and link them with BUT: “She is really nice, but she talks a lot”. Immediately, you have diminished, deleted, negated anything positive you have just said – for the person on the receiving end, they conclude that it was just nice wrapping, now comes the real message. With a BUT, talking a lot is not a good thing. You pick up that she’s less nice because of it. Tiny change and positive effect: “She is really nice, and she talks a lot”. Do you see, how the judgment has diminished? It can be positive, or no matter how we perceive it, it’s accepted as who she is. It could mean that she’s good at … More The little BUT… »

Follow yourself

So many things to do. So many people to do things for. So many books to read, podcasts to listen to. We get lost in the “world out there”, all the external things we want and do and must keep up with. What if I said that the biggest journey to be had is the internal one? Of following yourself. Of finding back to that inner compass – in case you’ve lost track. As leaders, business owners and influencers of the communities we’re part of, it’s easy to get so focused on the task at hand that we lose track of ourselves for a moment. To be there for ourselves, to accept ALL that we are – including all the stuff we’re not proud of, the traits we want to hide, the quirks so different to those of everybody else. Shame loves shadows. The things we’re embarrassed about, hiding it makes it grow, hiding it makes it spiral. We are strong as leaders when we have nothing to hide. When we can accept others for what they are – not letting their ways push our buttons. So, what about making it an inner journey? To (re)find that path that supports … More Follow yourself »

Me… butthurt?!? The 4 steps to owning your own stuff.

What’s the worst version of yourself? The moments you’re not proud of, the ones not shared on social media. Is it when you’re bitter, angry, sad, lonely or maybe like me, butthurt? We tend to have a version of ourselves that we present to others. And then we have the other side. The parts of ourselves that we have shame or embarrassment around, because they are not as attractive for others, based on our conclusions from life so far. The trick to emotional intimacy is, like for all other things, practice. Why would we want to practice it? To accept that all emotions are good signals for us – they don’t need to be sorted into a list of good and bad emotions. And they don’t need to be shared with others as we practice. Learning the piano, we do have a go ourselves and the piano for a bit, before we take it to the concert hall, right? As we get more aware of all of our emotions and allow them to show, they don’t scare us anymore – whether coming from ourselves or others. Let’s get clear: getting intimate with our emotions is not about wallowing in them, … More Me… butthurt?!? The 4 steps to owning your own stuff. »

Can Good Hearts create results?

I’ve never commented on politics – I have my views, but have seldom seen constructive outcomes from different sides discussing. But I’m so curious about this, and would love to hear your views: Obama was cherished by the global community at large, but seen by many Americans to not have created the results for their country that they wanted. I know there are always many reasons, but let’s not talk about the small stuff. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people. So, let’s not talk about (or judge?) people, but share a conversation around the idea: Do you create as many tangible results with a good heart and empowering ways? Or are our countries and economies and minds still wired to reacting with better results to a more single-minded, directing way? Because there you have Trump, and even if personally I am not aligned at all with his ways, I am always curious to understand both sides. And I do hear how he is creating results for his country. So please don’t comment on him as a person, instead, ponder about which part of his ways are … More Can Good Hearts create results? »

A trusting matter?

Big words: vulnerability, compassion and trust. But as you know, how we do the small things is how we do everything. So, let’s bring the big words into the small things in everyday life and leadership. It’s worth doing a self-study of how much you trust others – which means, how much you trust yourself. The Scandinavian countries are at the top of the list with 68% of the population trusting others – with most other countries being in the 30s or even lower (from Stephen Covey, The Speed of Trust). This high level of trust impacts the quality of relationships and to many people’s surprise also the tangible results of speed and cost: the more trust there is present in a relationship, a team, an organisation or a country, the faster we are able to get things done – with the least trouble and costs, financially and emotionally. So, where are you on the scale of trusting others? Which eventually comes back to trusting yourself. Do you trust yourself enough to share vulnerability and compassion – and trust others to receive it? Do you trust yourself and others enough to delegate and follow up with clear expectations? And in … More A trusting matter? »

Delayed ruminating

We all have around 70,000 thoughts a day. The biggest difference in how we perceive the quality of our day is linked to how we manage all of these thoughts. Metacognitive therapy has had great results dealing with depression simply by limiting the amount of time clients spend ruminating over the things that worry us or what’s called trigger thoughts. Remarkable results through a few steps practised and followed up professionally: 1)    Become aware of the trigger thoughts 2)    Define a certain time a day for ruminating – for example, every night 8-9pm 3)    Every time during the day you catch yourself reacting to a trigger thought, you delay that ruminating: “I’ll come back to that at 8 pm” Limiting the amount of time spent turning, twisting and twirling the negative or worried thoughts is the key. It’s NOT changing negative thoughts into positive, it’s NOT trying to empty your mind and not think at all (how can we possibly with 70,000 thoughts a day?). It’s realising we ourselves have a choice: as the trigger thought pops up, decide to delay ruminating about it until 8 pm in your defined ruminating slot. During the day, we then practice doing two … More Delayed ruminating »

Human doings?

We’re trying so hard getting it right, doing it right. I could go into yr 12 anxiety and pressure, but I won’t. Sitting in the parking lot of our local shopping centre, seeing all the perfect versions of families, couples and individuals coming and going. And realising how we’re all trying to get it right. All the time. Or the opposite: if we fear we can’t, we make it messy, to prove we’re not worth it. Let’s stop pretending. The endless doing to prove we’re good enough. Apply yourself, do lots. But let go of the outcome. You are good enough. Exactly as you are. There’s a reason we’re not called human doings. We’re human beings after all.

What makes YOUR heart sing?

A weekend of singing. With 40 awesome people. Practicing for our upcoming gig. But also creating great conversations: with the newer ones you haven’t had a chance to talk to yet and getting closer to those you already know. Singing, grooving, eating, laughing, dancing, playing games. While getting super ready and pumped for the performance. Do I feel like the luckiest one? What makes YOUR heart sing? What brings you joy and energy? That you can bring into your everyday life, your work, your business, the things that may not be as easy as you would like them to at the moment? Having a hobby is a great thing. Making time for it is YOUR responsibility. If this is stirring your pot, find out what it could be for you, and how to make it happen before the end of the year. Your future self will thank you for it.

The perpetual potential pitfall?

Do you often get excited about something new that’s possible for you, but never get around to doing anything about it? Or take one step (often including buying sporting equipment (!?!), a book or something else to start this new, exciting path), but then don’t do anything more about it? That’s the definition of perpetual potential. The excitement of what’s possible, but never stepping up to the mark. We all do it, and if it’s dreaming, it’s all good. But if it’s something you really want, over time you’ll start blaming yourself for not making it happen. We get excited about this possibility, we buy something to get started – BUT, we never apply it. That’s why the potential is perpetual: it lasts forever, the potential is always there ahead of us, but never cashed in, so to speak. Did you know, that most books bought are never opened? Or if opened, never read start to finish? That’s a perfect example of this (and less costly than sporting equipment!). We humans are walking contradictions. We really WANTED to make this happen, but the second we bought that helping remedy, the mind ticked it off the list: “… now I HAVE done … More The perpetual potential pitfall? »