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
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
While reading the Melbourne Age online this morning, I see a Liberal National Party Staffer has been put on “indefinite leave” for texting an expletive-laden tirade to a female journalist who recently criticised a federal MP Senator Barry O’Sullivan. In responding the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack stated it was sent “accidentally and inadvertently” to the reporter when it was actually intended for a friend. While the staffer has apologised, what has been said cannot be erased.
How often do we see this today? Angry, overwrought, stressed and highly emotional people resorting on the spur of the moment to vent their feelings, generally apologising sometime later. But what has been said in haste cannot be taken back.
We constantly hear stories like the one above. People in organisations brawling back and forth by email. Again too often in their highly emotional, non-rational state, accidentally sending it to the wrong person, then it circulating around the building, becoming the latest reality show in the building.
We can change this. We can learn to respond in professional ways. The recent research into the brain and how it manages our emotions tells us how.
It was Richard Branson who said that for every hour of exercise he does, he gets an extra 4 hours of productivity. Who wouldn’t want to be as productive, have as much energy, achieve as much and be as successful as he is? He does know what he is talking about.
Any of us who exercise on a regular basis would agree with him.
Exercise gets our hearts pumping. It sends fresh oxygen streaming through our bodies. It enlivens us. Rather than making us tired, it energises us. It clears our heads and brings clarity of mind. It focuses us. It keeps our bodies young and strong. There is increasing evidence that it protects us from a whole range of diseases.
So why, when we know exercise brings increased energy and productivity, do so few of us do it?Read More
Why are some people more successful than others with seemingly the same opportunities – because they make commitments, not merely decisions. How many decisions have you made this year and not followed through with them? We make a start, but we don’t carry through past a few weeks with the exercise, or losing weight or stopping smoking.
We start the report but after the first distraction we don’t return to it.
We have a raft of reasons why we can’t do all the other things we decided we were going to do. Decisions are nothing more than ideas in our heads unless we take action on them. Commitment is the Energy that fuels our action. Self-discipline is the energy that fuels commitment.Read More
This is not just a quirky question. It determines whether people want to work WITH your organisation or just FOR it. There is a big difference. It also draws people to you or makes them run in the opposite direction when they see you coming. No one wants to be around the person who always sees the negative in everything, the person who always focuses on the difficulty in everything, never on the opportunity.
Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, called this our “explanatory style”, the way we explain what is happening in our lives. It’s very much about our mindset. Our explanatory style, he says, determines whether we are happy in our lives or depressed, whether we are a pessimist or an optimist. People who have a positive explanatory style can explain even the most devastating experiences in a glass half full way, in a positive explanatory style.Read More
Last week I conducted a group mentoring session on Self-Care for leaders in a human service organisation. While this is a most important leadership skill for all leaders in these unpredictable and changing times, the motivations that lead people to work in the human service field make it all the more challenging. I have quite a number of people on my mailing list who work in the human service sector so this blog is being written for them. Its content, however, is very relevant to all professional leaders.
As human service professionals, you do the work you do because you are motivated and inspired to care for others, to make a difference in peoples’ lives, to bring empathy and compassion to them. Yet while you are busy taking care of others, you too often fail to take care of yourself. You feel self-care is an indulgence, or it is selfishness.Read More