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5 Ways To Build Your Team’s Inner Leadership

How do we keep our teams motivated? I believe that the answer to that is inner leadership.

Photo by Vadim Sadovski on Unsplash

You know what it is like to work in a highly motivated team. When your team is firing on all cylinders, the energy that creates and the work that gets done is phenomenal. And you also know the drag of trying to get this happening with a team that is listless and has no heart or skin in what they are doing. And that leads us to the golden question… How do we keep our teams motivated? I believe that the answer to that is inner leadership.

Ok, I have just thrown that term out there. If this article had a soundtrack, there would be a dramatic crescendo at the point. Now cue the curious tickling tunes while I tell you what I mean by inner leadership.  

Inner Leadership is the way that you lead yourself first and others second.

Inner Leadership is the way that you lead yourself first and others second. It is having a clear internal compass on how to move forward and having self-mastery over your thoughts and disruptive emotions. It is the ability to speak up for yourself and others, and it is knowing what you are responsible for and what you are aren’t. And Inner leaders take all of this into how they connect with others. 

Now, what has this got to do with motivation? Not much if you are a carrot or stick motivator but everything if you are looking to have a team lit up from within. Let’s explore how it works (Cue dramatic music)

Aligning the Inner Compass

One of the biggest challenges you face when motivating your team is getting them to buy into your team’s vision and purpose and align it with their own. For some team members, this is as easy as making a cup of tea, for others you may have the feeling that you will never get on the same page. To create this alignment, you need 3 ingredients. Firstly you need to know what the purpose and the vision is of your team. On the flip side, you need for your team members to discover what their vision is for being in the team. Then knowing how to communicate through this in a way that allows for everyone to feel like a valuable part of what you are trying to get done.

Self Mastery

What has self-mastery got to do with motivation? Well, we all know what it is like to want to change a habit from stopping yourself from eating that 4 pm chocolate bar to pressing the snooze bar when we had promised ourselves to get up and go for a run before work. We also see it in the workplace. The extra trips to the photocopier to procrastinate, the endless working through emails that aren’t the high priority task that we need to be doing. Self-mastery doesn’t create motivation, it supports and facilitates it.  

So how do you build this within your team? I believe in a two-fold approach. Training to develop self-mastery and then integration time. Give your team pockets of time with the resources that they need to continue to grow this. It is a practice, not an aha moment that will build this capacity.

Speaking Up

Nothing is more motivating than having skin in the game, and a great way to get your team to have that is to include their ideas. I know that I will work much much harder to see an idea that I have had come into being than following the idea of someone else. Now I know that this isn’t always practical yet I still challenge you to keep looking for ways to open up communication, so your team has a forum to share their thoughts and ideas. 

The other side of this is friction and conflict. Whether it is out in the open conflict, or you have a couple of elephants in the room with your team, and no one is talking about it. Both scenarios leave people not wanting to speak up. This is when creating a platform for discussion is even more crucial. 

As well as creating the platform for discussions, also providing training to support your staff to build the confidence and the skill to speak up with integrity is crucial to inner leadership.

Inner Leadership – It isn’t an instant solution; it is a powerful and long-lasting one.

5 ways to build your whole team's inner leadership
Photo by Alessio Tecleme on Unsplash

Responsible – Yes or No

One of the biggest things that kill motivation is a culture of blame and even worse, a culture of shaming. This happens when there is no understanding of self-responsibility. Blame occurs when someone has a big surge of negative emotions and dumps them on someone else. If each person on your team is responsible for their feelings, their thoughts and their own words, there is no blame. 

Providing training to your team on building self-responsibly will grow motivation like spring rain for your lawn. 

Connect and connect again

If self-responsibility is like rain, connection is the sunshine. Feeling like you are all in this together, part of something more significant than yourselves creates a high-performance environment. Supporting your team to build connections with you and with each other will see motivation souring. 

Next steps

Now the closing music starts up as I encourage you to think about supporting the inner leadership of your team. It isn’t an instant solution; it is a powerful and long-lasting one. What small step can you make to day?

Do you want to motivate your team but don’t know where to start? I invite you to have a 20-minute team motivation analysis session with me. We will look at the dynamic of your team, the team environment and your leadership style to shine a light on how you can boost motivation  Book a time here.

Trish Everett is a mindset coach and communication geek with a passion for creating workplaces that people love to work at. She is also a lecturer of Wellness Coaching at RMIT uni and is passionate about conversations that bring positive change. 

Four Steps to Make Your Meetings More Engaging and Enjoyable

The email comes in, meeting next Tuesday, 2 pm, Agenda attached. What happens for you?

A, your heart lift with joy and excitement at the magic that you are going to create in that meeting?

B, does it plummet with the thought of sitting through yet another painful meeting where you don’t feel like you have a say and nothing ever seems to come of the hours you spend in never-ending discussion. 

Photo by MapBox on Unsplash

I would love to think that it was option A, your heart soaring at the idea of what you can create, but I know that unfortunately, the option B is a lot more common. Today I would like to share with you four steps to get more heart soaring and less heart plummeting. 

Catching the plummet

So why do you go to the meetings in the first place? Maybe you have to for your job; maybe you have to to get something to happen, perhaps you have to because ‘stupidly’ you signed up to do it. 

First thing I will ask you to do is to go on a mind hunt for all the ‘have to’s that you are thinking. Notice when you say ‘have to’ regarding the meeting when you think have to. Whenever it has that energy, you are going to walk into it feeling like you have to drag yourself. Let’s catch those moments of ‘have to’.

Find the why

Next, I want you to zoom out to the bigger why. What excites you about the potential of the committee/team? What are you collectively trying to get done? What have you got to offer the group? And, what has the group got to provide you with? Now the trickiest part of this is to stay in the positive and the possibility with this. If you feel yourself heading off into the negative/problem, side of things, stop, breathe and got back to the bigger why, bigger possibilities. If you can, come up with a little statement about your why for these meetings like “I really want to see the local business community thrive.”

What excites you about the potential of the committee/team?

Switch the vibe

Now here comes the on-going part, and the part that makes a huge difference. Each time that you have a case of the ‘have to’s, the ‘what is the point’s or the heart plummets, when it comes to thinking about the meeting, switch it with your why statement. It would go something like this. “oh no I have to go to another meeting… YES AND I want to see the local business community thrive” and see how that changes your outlook for the meeting. 

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Share the vision

This one will supercharge the vibe of your meeting. Set an agenda item that explores ‘the why’ of your whole group. Why is each person in the room part of it? Here are the questions to look at again as a group

  • What excites you about the potential of this committee/team? 
  • What are you collectively trying to get done? 
  • What have you got to offer the group? 
  • And, what has the group got to offer you?

In a group, you can have a ‘downer police’. Have a couple of people who call it out when the vision starts to be dragged down by all the things that aren’t working. You can always look at these later. However, we all do love to talk about problems and your why session will quickly regress into a ‘why not’ meeting if you don’t take extra care. 

At the end of the session, summaries everyone’s whys into what will become a vision statement. This summary can be a powerful way to start each meeting and keep you working towards where you want to go.

Next steps

There is a lot more that you can do to improve the effectiveness of your meetings. If you would like to talk to me about what is happening in your meetings specifically, book in for a free 30-minute chat and we can see what is happening and what else you can do to have the hearts of your team or committee’s heart soar. Book a time here to find a time to talk about your meetings.

Trish Everett is a mindset coach and communication geek with a passion for creating workplaces that people love to work at. She is also a lecturer of Wellness Coaching at RMIT uni and is passionate about conversations that bring positive change. 

Six Things You Should Know About Leadership Coaching

I am enamoured by the process of coaching. It is a powerful process that can unlock hidden self-truths, let authentic passion rise up and create the stepping stones to make dreams come alive. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? If you are thinking of engaging a coach, but not sure if coaching is for you, I would like to offer these six things to consider so you can find the right person, coach or not, that can support you in the positive shifts that you are looking for. 

Megaphone free zone

Sports coaching is where for most of us we first heard the word ‘coaching’. My rowing coach at uni was an excellent example of a sports coach. He would call out to us through a megaphone as we rowed down the Yarra, pointing out all the things each of us was doing wrong and giving us tips to improve. 

But what we are talking about here is the psychology of coaching, and it is a very different approach. It is still about support growth, but it is based on the idea of having a conversation that promotes positive change. It is connected, and it is a judgement free space. 

Help you find your own answers

Leadership Coaching
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One of the premises of coaching psychology is that a coach will help you to find your own answers. This is a very different approach to advisors and mentor that give advice and tell you what to do. If you want someone to tell you what to do, then an advisor or a mentor is probably a better fit for you. If you would like to work with someone who can help you to shine the light on the answers within you, then a coach will be more your speed. 

Now you may be thinking, ‘If I have the answers in me, why do I need a coach?’ And I would say, “great question’.

What I find is that we all do have the answers in us, but they are often a bit like that odd sock, or your keys when you are late. They are there, and a bit hidden. Usually under a pile of other thoughts and concerns. Or in a dark corner or pushed to the back. A coach is like having a finding flashlight at your disposal that will help you to access these answers. 

And why not just get advice? If we are constantly following the advice of others, then we are not only dependant on others for our answers, but we are also not letting our truth and direction come out. I know that for me, when I follow others advice and not listen to my own answers, then I can get utterly off-course from my own vision. 

Respect your readiness to change

Change is a funny old thing. Sometimes it is the most natural thing in the world. You just think ‘I want to make that change’, and Shazam… you do it. At other times you think about it for a while and then work up to it. Some changes you aren’t even thinking about yet. Now a thing that I think is cool about coaching is that it works with where someone is at regarding their readiness to change and see that where they are at right now is just perfect. And working through the layers of readiness is so crucial in bringing about change that will last the distance beyond the pure drive of willpower. 

Leadership coaching - readiness to change
Photo by Alexey Sukhariev on Unsplash

Think about times in your life where you have tried to make changes, but your heart wasn’t really in it. Quite often, they are shoulds, and usually, they are a need to give something up. 

And how did it go? Did you find that you made a change for a little while but couldn’t sustain it? 

If this is your experience, working with a coach to turn your should into an affirmative action that you are excited about could make all the difference. 

Collaborate on solution

Coaches come with a wealth of knowledge and don’t give advice. It sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? In fact, I think it is pretty brilliant. Skilled coaches can share this know-how without messing up your self-efficacy by telling you what to do. And this is done through collaborating.

One way that I love seeing this playing out in a good brainstorm. Your brilliance, your idea and answers can bounce off your coach’s ideas and suggestions. At the end of the brainstorm, you have a list of co-created ideas that you can see what ones ring true to you. I am always blown away by the creative and aligned ideas that come out of these conversations. 

Believe in you

One thing that coaches to really well is to believe in you. They will listen to you, not judge you, see that you are exactly where you need to be right now and believe in you and the change that you want for yourself. Having someone on your ‘team’ who is always there and will see you with unwavering positive regard is invaluable. There are times when your internal frenemies (doubt, worry, negative self-talk, etc..) will try to rock your own self-belief. Having a coach in your corner whose belief in you is unwavering can get your own self-believe back on track quicker.

Personalised approach

We are all different and have different ways that we interact with goals, change growth and well life in general. The beauty of a coach is that it is not a one size fits all approach. It is highly personalised, and what you come out with at the end of each session is built for you. 

Skilled coaches will also help to highlight your own personal styles for how you interact with the world. Whether it is how you learn, make decisions, interact with others, like to work, plan and make things happen and so on. Knowing more about your style will help you to move smarter, and in a way that is more aligned with your personality. 

As you can see, I am all gushy about leadership coaching. I believe in the power of these conversations to help you move out of any stuckness that is happening in your professional life. 

Leadership Coaching
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What do you think? Which ideas light you up about having a coaching conversation? What doesn’t light you up? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking for a coach? Check out our Inner Leadership Coaching Packages and see if we are a coaching match made in the stars.

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Three Surprising Ways To Work With A Bullying Boss

Dealing with aBullying Boss
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Dealing with bullying bosses, narcissists or bosses who pick on their team members can be really rough. If you are dealing with this you may feel disempowered, like there is no way forward. At the same time as experiencing high levels of stress from keeping afloat in a workplace that is like being in an emotional war zone. The default position here is to blame the boss for their behaviour and look to change them so that this doesn’t continue to happen. While there are steps that you can take to help them to see how their actions affect others, we are going to look at it from a different approach.

I would like to offer you three other ways to work with this kind of situation. 

Empowered ownership

You and your boss have created this situation together. I know that those words may be already sparking resistance, I ask you to bear with me. Each interaction that you have with your boss sparks an emotional response in you. And it is often a heavier one, sadness, anger, fear-based emotions, all rise up from your dealings with them. By putting empowered ownership into play here, you take full responsibility for that feeling. You boss hasn’t caused that emotion, they have simply been the stimulus for it. Let’s put it this way, your emotional reaction to your boss is your internal road map letting you know how, what they have done, sits with you. 

Look at your emotional reaction like you look at a road map.

At the point that you have an emotional reaction to something your boss (or anyone in your life for that matter) does, you have a couple of ways that you could go. The first option is to blame your boss for your reaction. If you go this way, you will find yourself saying things like, ‘he makes me so angry’ or ‘she is so annoying’ or you may find that you start using victim language like ‘he belittles me’ or ‘she attacks me’. While these may seem like very normal things to say, they are giving you a hint that you are in fact putting yourself in a powerless position.

The other option is to own your emotion response fully. Going down this track, you will look at your emotional reaction like you look at a road map. You will use your emotions to figure out how their behaviour sits with you and then use that information to move forward. For example, if your reaction is anger, that may mean that you need better boundaries, or that you have a need to protect something or someone. Owning that you have these requirements and acting from that place is a more powerful approach. 

Powerful and powerless

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So what do I mean by each of these approaches being powerless and powerful? In the first approach, the one of blaming them for how you feel. The moment that you believe that someone else is responsible for how you feel, the moment you do that, you have given away the power to change it. You then walk into the murky water of needing to change them. It is giving them the power of dictate how you are going to feel. That is not an empowered place. 

On the other hand. If you take full responsibility for how you feel, then you have full power to make changes. So instead just needing your boss to change, you look at how your emotions are guiding you. Then you start to ask more questions like what would make this ok with me, what do I need to do to improve this situation. It may mean looking for changes with your boss, but they come into a big picture and blame-free approach. 

Everyone is a Leader

Leadership isn’t a position; it is a mindset and a way of being. If your manager isn’t displaying the leadership qualities that you would hope for, then a powerful approach not to let that stop you from showing and modelling them. So, if you want acknowledgement and appreciation, then show those same qualities to your boss and your peers, if you want communication to improve, make an effort to listen to others and also speak up when you have something to say. And if you don’t want to be criticised, don’t criticise others.  You know the expression, kill them with kindness. Well filling your actions and thoughts with positivity and good deeds have enormous power. 

Leadership isn’t a position; it is a mindset and a way of being.

Now if that just sounds like sugar coating mouldy behaviours, let’s look a little deeper. If your boss is throwing around blame, that means that they are not coming from an empowered place. If they see fault in you, they probably see fault in themselves. The cycle of blame and blah needs to stop somewhere. And why not with you. And whether things change with your boss your not, if you can make your thoughts and actions more empowered, more positive and more aligned with who you want to be, well that sounds better than any change you could make happen in someone else. 

The best thing that you can do for yourself, your team and your future is not to frame yourself in the mindset of the victim. No one can make you feel like a victim except you, and on the other side of that coin, no-one can empower you except you. 

This article was originally publish on Smallville

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