Looking back…. over my shoulder?

This time of year we tend to look back. Appreciating the year that passed, the people we spent time with, the achievements we created. Looking back is wonderful, and it’s also a really important part of our personal journey, looking at who we were yesterday (yesteryear, yester decade) compared to who we are today. Cherish looking back and then give some thought to looking ahead. With the words of the futurist we had guest speaking recently: let’s plan the future based on the future! Unfortunately, most often we as leaders and business owners – and in our private lives – plan and predict the future based on the past. And even if that shows what we were capable of, it risks holding us tied to the choices of the past. With a new decade in sight: what about taking a fresh view on yourself and your capabilities? Of your team, your business, your life? Planning who and where you want to be in the future – and creating the strategy and focus based on THAT instead of the past?! Looking back is valuable. Let’s now look ahead – and still use our own shoulder (not what everyone else is doing) … More Looking back…. over my shoulder? »

Over-committing myself…. who me??!!

On the radio today, I got the opportunity to have a conversation with a good colleague around over-committing ourselves and what to do about it. Do you recognise it? Especially this time of year. So many of us stressing out about all the events we have committed to. Here’s the truth: it’s never about how much is in the calendar. It’s how we tackle it. We all have 24 hrs in a day, and this time of year gives us the opportunity to become even better at tackling busyness. Tip #1: you have committed, accept that it is what it is Tip #2: plan for respectful and smooth arrivals and departures Tip #3: be present Let’s unpack each one of them. First of all, when you have committed – that’s it. Stop running stories in your head or out loud about how you have over-committed or how busy it is or how full-on this weekend will be. Advance coaching: stop it! You say yes or no upfront, and when you have committed, no need to waste brain and air-time creating dramas around it. Secondly, if you have been slightly over-optimistic with how much you can fit in a day, be … More Over-committing myself…. who me??!! »

Hello….hello…..I know you’re in there!!

What do we do when we’re not OK? When we’re not 100%? Most of the time we keep pushing through – or fall into a puddle of self-blame. Would you be curious if I say there is another way? Be kind. What??? Be kind to yourself. That’s it??? You’re kidding me??? Not really. This is where change starts. When you feel un-wellness creeping in or feel stuck it is a gentle reminder from your inner voice (or sometimes not so gentle if we keep turning the deaf ear for too long…) for you to check back in. When we feel off-kilter, when the body is telling us it needs a break or when our emotions tell us that something is not quite right, step one of turning it around is to be kind to ourselves. It’s a reminder to listen to that inner voice (hello….hello…..I know you’re in there….even if I haven’t paid attention to you for a while….). You may have gotten off track in some way and it’s OK, you will get back on track if you give yourself a chance. This comes in two ways, so stay with me: Either you’re coming from the NARCISSIST side of … More Hello….hello…..I know you’re in there!! »

The power of connection

We all need connection. To feel we belong. Somehow, somewhere. Whether it’s taking 20 minutes to go and chat with the older man down the street – or putting your phone away and being fully present while you talk with your family. Whether it’s playing 100% in a workshop room and truly connect with the others – or having that one-on-one conversation that goes one step deeper. We see it in their faces, feel it in our hearts when a connection is created. The energy in a big room goes up dramatically when you as a facilitator allow the participants to share insights with the person next to them. It’s very seldom about the content. It’s very often about the connection. Because that’s what we really long for: connecting, somehow, somewhere. This week, do your best to be fully present in all your interactions. Listen to understand, enter with resourceful intentions. Be part of creating true connection. And enjoy witnessing the outcomes. That’s the power of connection.

Ready for a new decade?

We have a few weeks left of this month. A few months left of this year – wait, what? It’s not just a year coming to an end, it’s a decade! Which means we’re about to enter a brand new decade. That’s exciting – or scary if you’re not sure how to go about it. What do you want to make happen in the 20s? WHO do you want to be? What do you ABSOLUTELY want to leave behind and close the door on in this decade? Let’s use the next few months wisely. To get clear on the answers to these questions for you, your teams and your business. Let’s make this new decade matter. Make YOU matter. Let’s create the best decade ever. P.S.: I saw the Aretha Franklin movie Amazing Grace yesterday with a friend from our choir and absolutely loved it. She is so effortless when she sings. So true to herself. She keeps it so simple and yet moves so many people. The lyrics from one of the songs hit me (and stuck with me because I know myself well enough to grab my phone to capture it): “If I could I surely would”. And … More Ready for a new decade? »

På med hørebrillen!!

Growing up, we had a Danish saying that you would throw at someone who didn’t get what you were trying to say: ‘på med hørebrillen’ – meaning put on your hearing glasses, step it up, tune into what I’m telling you. Technically, it is a pair of glasses with built-in microphones that help hearing-impaired pick up more of a conversation. I thought of the saying this week, as I realised how differently we are all equipped to listen to each other’s messages and pick up what is intended. Or (as it happens most often) not listening for the intent but cross-wiring the message unintendedly based on our own filters and triggers. In most everyday conversations – privately and work-related – the delivery of a message is not picked up by the receiver, either because we are not tuned in to the same channel – or because too many external factors take our attention away from focusing on the intended message. And it made me smile realising how a trifecta has developed my superior hearing over the years – not literally if tested – but applied: 1) growing up speaking a minority language, 2) being brought up by loving parents encouraging … More På med hørebrillen!! »

The Good News Channel

I don’t watch the news. Not because I don’t care. But because I want to focus my energy and mind on things I can impact. Good thoughts foster good action and worried thoughts more worry and despair. I always said that one day I was going to start a ‘Happy News Channel’. Where journalists would go out in the world to capture the good stories, bring them back and edit them into news clips that would bring hope, inspiration and action. A former Reuters journalist I talked with on the plane years ago understood my urge but concluded that some students had tried it once… It doesn’t sell as many tickets, it doesn’t get viewers. I get it: our brains are wired to look for danger and you get more reactions from people around you if you bring a big drama compared to sharing a story around what a smooth, easy day you had because everything worked out exactly as you wanted it to. It’s encouraging that so many of us are passionate about creating a better world, but when we frame it ‘war against waste’ or ‘war against…’ we bring more attention to the unwanted state – and make … More The Good News Channel »

Dead wood?

As I ran down the bush on a recent windy day, I noticed this eerie sound and stopped to figure out where it was coming from. It was a special group of trees, standing very close, moving in the wind. I realised it was the dead branches making this creaking noise as they hit against each other whenever a forceful gust of wind passed by. It reminded me of the thin pick-up-sticks from the Mikado game – when they fall on each other as your fist lets go at the start of the game. Only in this case, the dead branches were still on the trees. Trees naturally shed dead branches. Gum trees are known as “widow-makers” because they do it randomly and unexpected. Yet here was a kind of tree holding on to these dead sticks. When the wind hurls, fresh and vibrant branches don’t make a sound, they move with the wind, sway and circle with flexibility and ease. Whereas the dead branches creak, they are not able to move with the same flexibility. Which leads me to the point of getting rid of dead wood. Where in your life, business or own mindset is it time to … More Dead wood? »

One step up the feeling-good ladder

You know what it feels like when you have a shitty day. And you so wish it would get better, but most often you’re waiting for something outside of you to shift. Don’t. Wherever you are on the feeling-shit to feeling-awesome ladder right now, YOU are the one in control of shifting it. And here’s the thing: don’t be unrealistic by wanting shit to become shine in a second – take one step at a time. That’s also why it can be annoying with a well-meaning friend on a much more positive radio channel wanting you to ‘think positive’. Just because they are able to reach that frequency right now doesn’t mean you can reach it – this is where the positive psychology movement can be misunderstood. Take the step that’s available to YOU right now – and it will make a difference. Here are the simple steps: 1) Reach for the best-feeling thought you can come up with right now. This will switch the radio channel you’re currently listening to one step up. 2) Notice the shift and relief as you allow a better-feeling-thought and let go of what you were feeling just a moment ago. 3) Do this … More One step up the feeling-good ladder »

Work comes first – always

How many of you leaders and business owners have kids? Small or leaving home or adults. The age doesn’t matter, it impacts us. It impacts our businesses. And so it should! As we dare coming to work as humans, as all who we are, it IS part of how well we perform and the level of results we get. Family life gets in the way – or IS it maybe the way? For pushing all our buttons, exposing out sore spots and as we dare to deal with it, we become better human beings, better leaders, better business owners. I’m NOT saying all you leaders without kids aren’t amazing. I’m just appreciating that those of us with kids have an extra challenge – and an extra practice field to learn from. With the recent holiday season, I thought it pertinent to share these thoughts as we all push back into the routines again. Because it hurts realising that our work always comes first. Because that’s what happens – even if we say the opposite. “I’ll just take this call”. “I just need to check a few emails”. “I’m just on a webinar (as you leave the dinner table)”. Do you … More Work comes first – always »