Archive for November, 2015

With Right Comes Responsibility And This Relies On a Lost Skill

Posted on November 24, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

There is one message that I am getting from media recently – social media and so called mainstream media – and that is that there is something seriously awry with our communication right now.  People are protesting all over the world, becoming violent, allegations of workplace bullying and harassment are increasing (although formal complaints remain steady the informal complaints are growing) and it feels like there are a lot of angry people around.

Recently I read that anger is the shield of fear. Meaning that when we feel afraid of something, the way that we express that is often through anger. If you think about it, showing fear makes us feel even more vulnerable and fearful, and many of us learned in school and at work that to show vulnerability is weakness and weakness is unwelcome. Or uncool.

For me, these two concepts come together to say that when we witness a lot of anger it is perhaps more indicative that there is a lot of fear.

Our human response to fear is far different to the way we respond to anger. Isn’t it?

On the news this week I watched in horror as two groups of people, obviously passionate about their beliefs, sought to lash out at each other with kicks and punches and objects being thrown. Pushing at police officers and police horses who were attempting to keep the warring factions apart.

Now I’m not saying that a hug will fix things. What I am saying is that we might benefit from thinking of other, productive and less harmful ways to express our opinions.

It is true that western countries in particular espouse and protect the right of free speech. The right to hold and express an opinion.

What is also true is that when opinions are expressed, especially on line, they are often responded to with vicious and personal attacks. I read one blog recently where the writer is seriously considering only offering an opinion on “safe” topics such as favorite book or  family day out because some recent comments had received personal attacks as responses. What is happening people?

What happened to the skill of being able to express a different opinion in an agreeable way?

What happened to holding respect for another human being, even when you disagree with their view?

This is happening in schools and workplaces right now. Individuals who express an opinion receive responses that include personal attacks, derogatory and insulting comments and frequently abuse and allegations of a lack of intellect.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could return to the days of vigorous yet respectful debate and discussion?

It disappoints me when I hear someone “win” a difference of opinion by resorting to insult or aggression. Don’t get me wrong, I hold some strong opinions and am not afraid of voicing them – however I also believe in the adage that to learn one must listen. When I speak I only hear what I know, yet when I listen to someone else I may learn something new. A new perspective. It does not mean that I have to change my view or agree, yet it is an opportunity to learn.

I encourage each of you reading this to become conscious of a couple of things:

  • how you behave and what you say when speaking with someone who holds a different opinion
  • what you teach your team members or children in terms of how to handle different points of view
  • how you feel when you engage in dialogue (online or in person)  with certain people (a tip – there are some people online who I choose not to engage with because their first response at the sign of a difference is to insult others. i may attempt to gently highlight this to them and encourage them to discuss not distress)

In many cases being able to be conscious of these skills and behaviours comes from a combination of self awareness and insight (possibly gained from completing a good quality personality profiling tool) and coaching or training in the art of communication and resolving tensions.

 

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Redefining Career Success

Posted on November 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Traditionally we are told that “moving up the ladder” is the goal in a career.

Told that promotion equals success.

Encouraged to seek out leadership positions because that is where the power and influence lies within companies.

And yet looking around many organisations today and coaching many individuals the message is very different – more people than ever seem to be dissatisfied, disgruntled and disengaged from their work.

I believe it is because we need to redefine what career success is – what it feels like, looks like and what it involves.

In a conversation with a colleague earlier this week we started talking about our careers and job satisfaction. Having run my own consulting practice since 2008 I am pretty happy in what I do and understand what success means to me. My colleague has worked for the same company for 12 years and was expressing how she felt about her role.

Her last promotion took her away from the type of work that she loves and excels at and put her into a different area – think about the great sales person who always makes targets and has great rapport with customers only to be promoted to sales manager where the targets are about what other people earn and not facing clients.

She commented that being in a senior role was “not all that she expected” in terms of how much influence and authority she really has – think about the company that has a range of policies and frameworks that define who can do what and where, not the manager of the area but the manager acting within the authority laid out elsewhere.

Let’s redefine it!

Career progression ought to include three key factors: satisfaction, proficiency and contribution.

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Satisfaction is how you feel about your role and relies on a good level of self awareness – hence why many organisations conduct personality preference assessments, and why career coaches like me ask questions about the things that you value and feel proud of as an employee (or business owner)

Proficiency relates to your expertise level and is often closely associated with satisfaction (as has been said elsewhere – we practice what we prefer and that practice creates proficiency – therefore the more we like to do something the more likely it is

that we will do it often and then become very good at it) This factor also relates to your level of experience and growth. It can be highly challenging to continually improve and enhance your proficiency in a skill or industry area without needing to be “promoted” into a leadership role.

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Contribution is the most important factor in my view as this is about the value you deliver to your company whether through excellence in technical ability or role modelling and coaching others. It also relates to the contribution we make to society and our families when we are enjoying our work and feeling the desired level of progress, challenge and recognition.

Traditional models of career trajectory are only about going UP the ladder.

A new way of career growth is to consider ourselves part of a network of connections – home, work, self, community, family.

Satisfaction in our work helps us to bring home not only money for the family but a better version of ourselves – a contented, calm and successful self.

Connections notice how we behave as this is linked to our emotional state which is heavily influenced by our work and our career.

Try assessing your career goals in terms of a broad and organic career rather than purely upwards and feel free to let me know what that brings for you.

If you would like to work more with me in regard to your career and coaching you can email me at pam@broadspring.com.au

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