Observing my children interact with each other teaches me so much. Recently I sat back and listened to my 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son have a ‘discussion’ at the kitchen table. They were each telling each other, very clearly, what they wanted the other one to do. Some would say they were talking AT each other. Ironically neither was listening to the other’s needs. My daughter refused to give in to her brother’s requests and gracefully accepted that he didn’t want to go along with what she wanted. But she remained resolute to what she wanted to do. He on the other hand, was relentless and unaccepting of her lack of flexibility, even though he too wasn’t being flexible at all. His closing remarks to her were, “You’re sooo bossy!”
It was interesting to hear that his perspective of her asserting herself, was that she was ‘bossy’. This situation is not dissimilar to what many assertive women experience in the workplace…
Women have shared with me their feelings about assertiveness and how they are sometimes perceived. They often feel that if they act assertively and confidently they will be perceived as aggressive and bossy. Some women say they lack the confidence regardless of the type of environment they work in, and others explain that the environment exacerbates their confidence issues. Regardless, a common theme for my female clients is their desire to be more assertive. I’ve heard them say that they have trouble saying no, expressing their opinions, establishing realistic boundaries or being clear on their needs. One of the levers to being more assertive is to build confidence.
It may take longer, but the payoff is so much greater.
My experience of focusing on wellbeing has traditionally been about weight loss and fitness. Because of this I have engaged in various challenges and transformations. Over the years I have signed up for F45’s 8-week challenge, Michelle Bridges 12-week body transformation and various others. Wow, have I spent some money to get short term and speedy results! And, I have achieved just that. Short term results that I haven’t been able to sustain or create long term habit change. So this year I took a different approach, and not surprisingly, I’m getting different results.
Close up of feet of a runner running in autumn leaves training exercise
This year I set my goal to create a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family as a whole. Once this goal was set I knew there wasn’t going to be a short term fix. I needed a program that would support my…. No…. our family transformation over time. A program that would help us all create a new lifestyle, not a quick fix diet and exercise regime.
One of the biggest blessings in my life is that I get to be a part of people’s stories of success and failure. When I first started working with Carolyn, I was impressed by her kindness, generosity and genuine interest in having positive relationships with others. Our conversations soon turned to feelings of helplessness.
She had been a solid achiever over many years and even progressed to senior leadership. She was the mother of 2 young children and her husband was the main carer for their little ones. She had the responsibility of financially providing for the family.
One morning she met with her Manager for what she thought was a routine meeting. “The organisation is restructuring, your role is being made redundant ………………and there are no redeployment opportunities”.
Have you ever wanted to make a big life change, but you didn’t because you felt afraid? Maybe you were afraid you would fail. Or afraid that you weren’t perfect for that, just yet. Or maybe you were afraid you weren’t good enough, smart enough, or experienced enough.
I had landed at a cross road in my career where I was considering two different paths. One really excited me and the other not so much. I was head down, bum up working diligently in my office one day when a familiar face walked in of a leader who I really admired. His style, his coaching, his authenticity. He sat down at my desk, looking at me very intently.
It doesn’t matter whether you have an abundance of knowledge, skills, experience or anything else…if you use excuses, they will hold you back from achieving your potential. Excuses are limiting and they’re also destructive. They’re like handcuffs holding us in mediocrity. And we’re the only ones who hold the keys to our freedom.
You may often hear yourself say some of the following:
I’m not ready
It’s not the right time
I’m not good enough
I’m too old/young
I don’t have enough time
I don’t have enough experience
Maybe I’m not meant to do it
It’s too hard
It will take too long
I may do it wrong
People will talk about me
Let me share with you the 7 most common excuses I hear from women that hold them back from achieving their career ambitions.
Following are some highlights from a white paper I recently wrote to bring awareness to the new expectations of leaders in a constantly changing business world….and how HR and CEO’s needs to get involved…
Building an Organisation that adapts to a persistently changing environment
It’s ironic that the understanding of change in the workplace is in greatest need of changing. Today’s leaders face more challenges than ever. Technology, globalisation and competition have all given rise to conditions that are inherently difficult to navigate. Many use the acronym VUCA to describe the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business climate.
Well it only took two days into the new year before the #resolutionfail hashtag began trending in social media. While hundreds of millions of people around the world have made new year’s resolutions, 30% of people who made them have already given up on them! [StatisticBrain.com]
Many will stick to theirs for a while longer. Two-thirds won’t make it past the first month. Less than half will still be going at it after six months. But only 9% of people who set new year’s resolutions will actually be successful.
On the school holidays I love having the chance to be playful with the kids. We decided one morning to have an outing to Strike to play bowling. I was having flash backs of my own teenage years going to the local bowling alley with my friends and smiled at the memories of Rock n’ Roll bowling.
My little girl struggles to pick up the ball, which feels about the same weight as her, and then the ball rolls at a snails pace down the lane and topples the pins over. My strong teenage son power shoots the ball down like a bullet from a shot gun. My youngest son, who loves any sport, smiles at the chance to have a ball in his hand and spend his days playing.
And then there was me. For seven frames in succession I knocked down nine pins and left one remaining.
How do you feel about your end of year report card?
It’s that time of the year when you might be wrapping up your projects, clearing out those small tasks left on the to-do-list, trying to squeeze in some Christmas shopping and hopefully planning for a holiday. So it is a great opportunity to also take the time to recognise what you’re proud of and possibly not so happy about for 2016.
Last week our children brought home their report cards from school. As we were reading through them, at times they were cringing and then they would be smiling and laughing. On the whole it was a great way to gain insight on the year that was.
During a recent group coaching conversation some of the Leaders on the call were sharing with me that their people were being negative and resistant to change.
What they had identified was that certain situations were triggering them to think in a way that was stopping them from transitioning to the new way of operating.
I shared with the group my Red Thoughts Worksheetso that they could use this tool to help their people gain awareness of the thoughts that they are experiencing which are causing them to behave in a way that is resistant to change.
If you would like gain awareness of the thoughts that are holding you back or coach someone in your team to do this, then download my Red Thoughts Worksheet.