Today, July 31, is my brother Colin’s birthday, but he is not here to celebrate. He died in 2012. Ever since he died I have gone dry in July to raise money for cancer research and the Andrew Love Cancer Centre here in Geelong. My fund-raising page is still open until August 15 so if you haven’t already made a donation to cancer research this year, please consider supporting my cause at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/207577/maree-harris-in-memory-of-colin-rickard
In the new year after Colin’s death, in February 2013, I wrote the following blog post for my Colleagues and clients. I am sharing it with you all here because I learned so much from sharing his journey with him and you might learn something also from reading my reflections.Read More
This is the second of my weekly issue on empowering you for leadership with the two articles that I have found worth reading. This week they are about two soft skills that are important for leadership.
My work is predominantly with leaders and the soft skills they need for leadership, with an emphasis on self-leadership. They are the skills they need to lead in these changing and unpredictable times. I believe they are skills that help them lead from within. The 7 skills I believe they need are – self-awareness, resilience, emotional intelligence, pro-activity, high energy, work/life integration and the ability to build connections and relationships.
The two articles I have chosen this week fit into that – one on the importance of empathy which is part of being emotionally intelligent. The second is about what I call resilience.
Every leader needs to read and stay up to date on what is current and in touch with the Thought Leaders of the moment on leadership. Every week I read a lot of articles, blog posts, reports and books on leadership and I keep most of them to myself. From now on I’m going to share with you some of what I read each week that I believe will inform, educate and enhance your leadership.
This first week, I’ve chosen two – one for you to improve your leadership and management performance, the other for improving the performance of your employees – “6 Leadership Waeknesses and How To Fix Them” and “Self-Assessment : 5 Tips for Writing Your Performance Evaluation.”
Brian Tracy has said: “The greatest challenge you will ever face in life is the conquest of fear and the development of courage.” Are you one of those people riding through life fearful of taking your foot off the brake stopping you being and doing everything you want to be and do?Fear is the greatest obstacle to your success. It is epitomised by the words “I can’t”. “I can’t”, not because I am not able to, but because I fear to. When you contemplate something new or different, fear rises up in you. If you keep thinking about it, the fear consumes you and becomes overwhelming. “I can’t, I can’t” grips every part of your being so you switch off thinking about going into that new space, together with all its possibilities and opportunities. You go back into your comfort zone, as unchallenging as that might be.You probably fear one of two things – or maybe both. You fear failure or you fear rejection. They are the two greatest fears of us all and they often go hand in hand.Read More
So many people from CEOs to receptionists are riding through life with their foot on the brake too frightened to live the life they want, to seize the day and accelerate their career. They, themselves, are the biggest obstacle to their success, not their manager or their organisation, nor their circumstances. If this is you, here are 15 steps to take to create the professional future you really want.Read More
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives today. We all believe it is bad for us and we want to be able to manage it so that it doesn’t create chronic health problems for us. However health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, in her 15 minute TED talk is turning that belief on its head. She wants us to make stress our friend and uses scientific research to prove that mindset plays a big part in how we view stress and its impact on our lives for better or for worse. Watch her TED video here.Read More
I know from talking with many women over many years that much of what I am going to say here is very difficult for them. Some are quite indignant that they have to engage in what they believe is a game. In many ways it is, but as someone else has said, we have to play the game to change the game.Karen Mitchell from Kalmor Consulting, who consults to women about career success, says that many of us as women make the wrong assumption in believing that if we work really hard we will be successful. Rather, she said, the key to success for the corporate woman is knowing the rules of the game. She said that we may not like it, and we don’t have to agree with it, but we need to work out how to play the game without losing our souls. Here are some ideas I’ve put together. It’s not a comprehensive or inclusive list, but rather some ideas and strategies that I, and other women, have found helpful. Wherever you are on the ladder of success, there is something here for you.Read More
It was a privilege last week to be interviewed for this podcast by Joanne Law from the Mediation Institute. Its regular podcast has generally been about specific mediation issues, but Joanne has been engaging with people like myself to provide mediators with a broader perspective of ideas that will further enhance the skills and insights of mediators. In this wide-ranging interview we discussed empowerment and being an empowered and empowering person, soft skills and what they mean, the importance of reflection and self-awareness among ofther issues.Read More
Stress creeps up on us. We often know we are approaching overwhelm, but we are highly competent professionals and we tell ourselves we can work through it. “As soon as I complete this project things will get better”. “I have holidays coming up in 2 months time. I can get through to then.” “I wanted this job so much I can’t let them know that I’m almost at breaking point.” We don’t believe we have any other choice but to keeping working at this level of stress.
But……if we don’t take control of our stress it will take control of us. The least damaging result is that we break down in tears one day at work, or collapse momentarily from exhaustion and have to go home. The worst outcome is we have a heart attack or stroke. That’s the ultimate act of stress taking control of us.Read More
Supervision It has been seen as mandatory for many decades in many human service professions. It is understood and expected that human service organisations will provide it and/or that practitioners will seek it out. In recent years, however, there have been increasing numbers of organisations working in the human service sector, who traditionally didn’t prioritise supervision for their staff, that have begun to recognise its value and now require their staff to engage in it on a regular basis. Most of these people are already highly experienced and while their organisations may want “Professional Supervision” put on the tax invoice, they actually don’t need to be “supervised”. What I have offered these people, over 25+ years is what I call “Consultative Supervision”, a process by which they consult with me about their work. It much more resembles a mentoring process than it does traditional supervision. It is a collegial and collaborative relationship that is highly confidential.Read More