Reading for Leading #27: Just five minutes…Creating wide open ways in

Just five minutes…Creating wide open ways in

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

There’s a joke I heard recently about meditation where one practitioner turns and asks another how her practice is going. To which she replies,  “Oh, you know how it is: I spent 45 minutes not meditating today.”

And yet it’s always a day away…
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaternity/14975654022/

Continue reading

Advertisements

6 months of Reading for Leading! Top posts so far…

Every Monday morning for around 6 months I’ve been sharing a tip, reflection or short exercise about leadership and team-building. These Reading for Leading posts have covered a range of topics including systems thinking, self-care and networking tips as well as communication skills, time management and how to give good feedback.

Want to be a less robotic, more connected leader?Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/katy_tresedder/4902216441/

If you’ve not been following the series or may have missed some of the 26 posts so far, here are some of the most popular posts:

Continue reading

Reading for Leading #26: The people who give us perspective

The people who give us perspective

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

On a recent day off I enjoyed exploring the Freer Gallery in DC, where there’s a wonderful collection of Buddha statues. One particular exhibit made was a helpful reminder of the value of friends with perspective. 

In Buddhism, a boddhisattva is a compassionate person who works to ease the suffering of all beings and foregoes entering Nirvana until all others have become enlightened too. Quite a task, right?  

Where do you find your perspective?
Image credit: author’s own

Continue reading

Reading for Leading #25: Reactive versus responsive

Reactive versus responsive

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

In our busy, hyper-connected lives a steady stream of notifications, alerts and lengthening to do lists can easily pull us into a reactive state, where each new input takes our focus away from our initial intentions for the day. We may enter into a struggle to deal with the distraction as quickly as possible and then pick up the dropped threads of our previous activity. This can becoming exhausting and unproductive as it disrupts our workflow and may lead to unskillful, quick-fire reactions rather than more considered, appropriate ones.

Chess is a great example of balancing reactive and responsive actions.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamraoof/16767990831/

Continue reading

Reading for Leading #24: A wheel for how you feel

A wheel for how you feel

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

Do you ever struggle to pinpoint exactly what emotion you’re feeling at work? Maybe something that’s happened in a meeting has you feeling a little off, but you can’t put your finger on why. Or maybe a comment in your online community has provoked a reaction in others that you can’t quite explain.

A wheel for how you feel…Plutchik’s 8 core emotions are listed in the 2nd wheel.
Image credit: Machine Elf 1735 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Plutchik#/media/File:Plutchik-wheel.svg

Plutchik’s wheel of emotions describes eight primary emotions, which are grouped into opposites: sadness and joy, trust and disgust, fear and anger and surprise and anticipation. Each arm of the wheel goes from the low intensity form of the emotion at the outside edge of the wheel into the high intensity form in the centre – so acceptance becomes trust and then admiration.

Primary emotions can also be combined to create additional emotional combinations e.g. joy and trust result in love.

In addition to visualising the wheel in 2D, it can also be folded up into a 3D cone, which can help with visualising the inter-relationship and intensities of the emotions.

Continue reading

Reading for Leading #23: Building and strengthening connections through random coffee chats

Building and strengthening connections through random coffee chats

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

How well do you know your colleagues in your organisation? Are you aware of what they’re working on right now, and also future projects they may be starting to think about? How do you learn about new tools, techniques or other interesting ideas in your field – and identify people to collaborate with?

Often at conferences, we get extended opportunities to chat about these topics over a drink or meal together between the programmed activities. And it’s from these human, face-to-face connections that trust is built and somewhat serendipitous sharing of knowledge occurs.

But what do you do for the rest of the year in terms of developing your network and broader awareness about your field? Maybe a cup of coffee could help…

Coffee and communication – why miss out on either when you can schedule them both together!
Image credit: author’s own

Continue reading

Reading for Leading #22: Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

We often mistakenly believe that the leadership style shown by an individual is a result of her personality, rather than a choice that can be strategically changed depending on the project, team or organisation. Daniel Goleman, author of several books on emotional and social intelligence, describes 6 leadership styles revealed by a study of almost 4,000 senior executives.

One of these styles has the clearest overall benefit on organisational climate (defined by a range of factors including how flexible employees feel they are to get work done and how committed they are to doing so) while two of the styles have a negative overall effect.

6 leadership styles discussed by Daniel Goleman
Image credit: unknown (multiple sources)

 

Continue reading