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
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
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.
One of the most rewarding thing about the world in which we live today is that we can so easily tap into the experience and expertise of people all over the world. I came across the work of Eddie Kilkelly, the Founder and Managing Director of Insynergi.
Eddie has produced 3 videos that are worth watching and a quick way to enhance your soft skills. The videos are short, all 6-7 minutes long.
Building a High Performing Team.
Soft Skills Matter.
You can access the videos here.Read More
If ever we needed well-developed soft skills it is at this time of the year – the Christmas New Year period. What is it about this time of the year?
Why do we all run around in circles trying to finish things when we don’t do the same at the end of most other months?
Why can’t we fit anything else into our schedules? I am going to suggest that we actually create this stress, overwhelm and sense of urgency for ourselves, that we turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy that we’ve perpetuated over the years.
I’m going to suggest that you just STOP FOR ONE HOUR, find a quiet space for yourself where you are not going to be interrupted and just review what you want and need to do over the next weeks until Christmas. Here are some ways to stay sane, less stressed and even enjoy this lead into Christmas and the New Year.Read More
Some recent research by Accountemps, a Robert Half Global Company, specialising in providing business with skilled finance and accounting professionals, found that sending thank you notes to a HR manager or recruitment professional who did the interview can tip the scale in a job candidates favour.
At a time when hundreds of people are applying for the same job, writing a thank you note is a way to stand out from the crowd. It demonstrates self-awareness, that you are aware of and acknowledge the time that the recruiter or HR manager has given to interviewing you and spending time with you, that you consider others not just yourself. It also shows your attention to detail, your ability to follow through to the end of a process.
Only 24% of applicants send one, however. This is down from 51% in 2007.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, once said: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” It would seem a very obvious statement, wouldn’t it? Yet, it is not at all easy to achieve. But, these are the crucial skills that every organisation is looking for in its employees – that ability to get along with people.
Every day in our workplaces our relationships are challenged by people who see things differently to the way we see them. They come from such diverse backgrounds, different from us in gender, age, sexual orientation, race, language, education and physical ability. They have been socialised in very different ways. They have different values. What’s important to them may not be important to us at all. The outcome of all this is that every personal and professional resource we have is stretched as we endeavour to build meaningful and constructive relationships with these people.
And let’s not forget outside of work – our partners, children, family, relatives, next door neighbours and the members of the clubs and associations we belong to. That’s another challenge!
In these times we also have significant breakdowns in global relationships as countries, religious groups and disaffected people everywhere push their own agendas and fight for their voices to be heard. Every day, we see on our televisions, the struggle of people and nations to get along with other people.
So how do we do it?Read More
Like it or not, emotions are an intrinsic part of our biological make-up,
and every morning they march into the office
with us and influence our behaviour.
– Shari Caudron.
What Shari Caudron says is so true. We all have to understand the emotions we carry with us everywhere. We need to become aware of them. The way we express them brands us in the eyes of everyone looking on.
What do you do with the emotions you have about a poor performance discussion?
A natural reaction for the emotionally unintelligent would be to leave the room and explode to anyone who will listen. You could bad-mouth the manager. You could go on social media and talk about the injustice. You could completely disengage and work to rule for the next 3 weeks. Or you could become completely emotional, crying a lot, taking sick days, becoming quite depressed. All of these responses will do nothing to grow your career or enhance your personal brand, and they will destroy your professional credibility and certainly not encourage your manager to refer you for another job.
So how could you turn this devastating situation around and make it work for you by responding in an emotionally intelligent way?
Emotional intelligence is a career enhancing attribute, a career maker. Equally so, being emotionally unintelligent can be a career breaker. It is for this reason that every leading business school in the world has a course on emotional intelligence. If you can learn to recognise what you are feeling at any given time, can name that feeling for what it is, you can then manage it in a way that will enhance rather than destroy your professional credibility. Once you have learned how to manage your own emotions, you then become very adept at identifying what others are feeling. This means you respond in much more appropriate ways to achieve the response you want from those others. In time you become the highly sought after professional for the way you can manage the people issues in your organisation. You become the CEO of Relationship Management.Read More
Learning how to be resilient and bounce back when things go wrong is one of the most important soft skills for leadership today. If you are a leader today, or aspire to be one, then working on developing resilience will equip you well to manage the change, uncertainty, unpredictability and ambiguity of this new economy in which we are now working and living. Resilience is the psychological inner strength, the mental toughness, we bring to the events and experiences of our life. It is what helps us bounce back from every adversity to move forward again to achieve the goals we have set for our professional and personal life. Resilience is not something that can be learned theoretically in a training course or by following particular strategies meticulously over a few days or a week no matter how committed you are. It can only be learned in practice, by facing setbacks and obstacles and working through them. The old adage – Practice makes perfect – is never more true than in the development of resilience.Read More