Shocking Customer Service and Your Leadership Style!

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration

$1.6 trillion. This is the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service. 
(Accenture 2017)     

Having had two weeks of travel to Australia and around the UK, I have had plenty of chances to experience ‘customer service’. And some of it has been shocking!
As I went from flight to flight, taxi and restaurant, I observed a clear pattern. Those who delivered great customer service did so based on one core approach, which those who lacked in service clearly ignored.
They didn’t make it about themselves.
Instead, they put their ideas, thoughts, moans, attitudes and needs aside and focused totally on the other person, and making them happy. The result – specialness.
Making people feel special disarms them and opens up realness!  Our walls seem to come down and the real us shines through.
People often say to me that they feel really connected to me, that I stand out, what is this?
It’s simple. 
When I meet you, whether for a meeting, a 1:1, a workshop or in day to day life. I put myself to one side and focus totally on you.
At work, this approach builds strong relationships by making people feel happy.
When the focus is on others rather than yourself, you do a number of things naturally:

  1. You ask the questions.
    So the other person feels valued and can talk about themselves and where they work. You are appreciating them and their presence.
  2. You become genuine.
    Your sincerity shows that you care. Your gates open and so their guards come down, and you show that you’re interested. This connects you both. You step into the moment together. 

Perfecting customer experience, according to research by McKinsey, can grow business revenue by 5 – 10% and cost 15 – 20% less, over a span of 3 years.
It’s also good for us!  Psychology Today quotes research from a US study  (The Neurobiology of Giving Versus Receiving Support: The Role of Stress-Related and Social Reward-Related Neural Activity) in which fMRI neuroimaging tests were used to explore how specific brain areas were affected by giving versus receiving social support.  The research found that giving ultimately had greater brain benefits than receiving – that our brains are wired to feel rewarded more for magnanimity and selflessness than for meanness and selfishness. 
In this moment, when it is all about them, specialness through these two points is experienced.

Our tips to make it about others at work and in life: 

  • Practice giving people your full attention and remain focused in their conversation and not yours.
  • Remember that where you work is actually a group of human beings that service others in some way – all wanting to do their best.   
  • As a leader or manager – connect regularly with your team, and show your human side; admit mistakes and show vulnerability.
  • Choose to be positive, good, kind and caring every single day.
  • Smile, enjoy what you are doing, and do it in a way that reflects the very best of what you are good at, and truly reflects you at heart.
  • Consider: what is my personal impact on others? What am I radiating to others?
    Create a personal mantra for your way of being, and then express it to make others feel special.
 Helpfulness and focussing on others shows others that you like them, driving acceptance, motivation and engagement – and ultimately not only a happier workplace but also a more productive one. 

It’s Not All About You!

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

Developing, growing and ‘improving’ ourselves is important but it’s not all about you!

What is also important is what you think of other people, especially in your relationships at work. Thinking positively about others and building relationships and trust is important, it makes us feel connected and ourselves. Research shows there is also a clear link between putting you aside, building positive relationships with trust and business performance.

Paul J Zak has spent years researching this link and has found, (as reported in HBR): ’’Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.’’

His research has also found that when we start to trust someone, oxytocin is released in the brain. So called a ‘sociable’ chemical, it increases empathy, a useful trait when trying to work with others. It has an impact on motivation, energy and positive culture.

Instead of asking ourselves ‘how can I improve?’
Maybe we should ask ourselves: ‘how can I see the best in others, show people I like them and build trust?’

From our own research we know that 80% of our clients have a personal value around kindness, so building trust amongst co-workers should be easy? Experiments around the world have shown that humans are naturally inclined to trust others, but don’t always.

What stops us?

Our habitual ways of experiencing and processing information can really get in the way:
Malcom Gladwell in his book ‘Blink’, talks about how we ‘thin slice’ and make judgements and decisions on small amounts of data and experience. We filter the world based on our point of view – does it fit with my beliefs and values or not?  If the answer is not – we can dismiss it – making us judgemental of others stopping us being truly open.

Then there is how we communicate, now more often than not, by email. Without all of the nuances of verbal and non-verbal communication, we can interpret the tone of emails differently to how they were intended and according to Psychology Today, we tend towards the negative.


”If the message is ambiguous, many people will automatically read the most negative emotions and intentions into it.”  

 

 

We also make inferences about people and their intentions when our emails don’t get a response.
Stress can inhibit that sociable chemical oxytocin, this explains why often when we are stressed we can avoid interaction with others.

So – how can we be more open to others and build trust?
  • Practise being open, remove your gates and guards, and let people in.
  • Be less defensive about your own ideas and opinions; ask others how to make them even better.
  • Share information about yourself. A google study found that managers who “express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being” outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.
  • Embrace difference.  Remember that we are all unique and others are not like you so stop expecting them to be!
  • Be curious, what can I learn from this situation or others’ ideas?
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Try new things, maybe one per week e.g. listen to a different style of music, read a different source of news, broaden your experience.
  • Manage your emotional response and take accountability for your mood – don’t give your power away.

Be yourself.
The minute you are the heart-based, real you, you’ll automatically be less self-conscious and will naturally maximise your focus on others.

 

Your Performance Appraisal – Love or Dread?

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration

What if, tomorrow all competency frameworks, all appraisal processes, all talent grids and profiles went up in smoke?
Would people stop doing their jobs?

We don’t think so. The appraisal is dead. This is also the view of many commentators today. What real value do they add? How do they help people to be the best of themselves when all we are really doing is placing restrictions on them by comparing them to others, putting them in boxes, scoring them like they’re in a gymnastics or dancing competition?

How many people in employment look forward to their appraisal or talent review? 

In recent months many high-profile organisations have been reported as having abandoned their annual appraisal processes. According to The Harvard Business Review, by some estimates, more than one-third of U.S. companies are doing just that, including Microsoft, Adobe, and IBM and GE systems.

It appears business is coming round to the view that the traditional annual appraisal system doesn’t work.  Gallup research from 550 organizations and 2.2 million employees found that only 50% of employees knew what was expected of them at work.
According to CEB, a corporate research and advisory firm, only 4% of HR managers think their system of assessing employees is effective at measuring performance — and 83% say their systems need an overhaul.

The reason?  Basically, we hold up our job description as ‘our perfect employee’, then once a year measure people against it, often scoring, basically telling people that they are not good enough. Many appraisal systems fail because we’re all human and giving and getting grades can seem threatening. We all want to fit in, be liked and succeed, so being ‘scored’ can feed our limiting beliefs and make us focus on the negative, feel anxious, defensive and take things personally – focusing on fear and ‘prove myself’, rather than performance.

Does your process allow managers to hide behind it?  So, avoid regular feedback, or having difficult conversations, as we know, most of us don’t like doing this.
Performance reviews often become something to be endured for both the manager and the employee. something to report, rather than being inspiring, useful and productive development or celebration of achievement.

Companies that have seen the light have replaced the annual appraisal with more regular feedback conversations.

Are you being accountable?
How many of us actively seek out feedback – or self-appraise, what did I do well in that situation and what could I have done better?  If we all did it more, it would become part of a normal conversation, rather than a forced, formal and weird one.

Tips for Humanising Feedback

Make it a normal part of your company or team culture, start by self-appraising and talk about this positively.

Focus on listening, don’t worry about what to say next.

Curb your emotional response, this is not about you.

Use questions when giving feedback.  E.g: How do you feel it went?  What would you change?  What could make it more powerful?

Avoid using the word ‘why?’ It carries judgement.

Respond to others’ work with warmth, energy and enthusiasm. Show people you like them.

Be clear in your expectations, let people know what you want, how and by when.

Embrace the energy of growing and developing yourself and others.

Watch your tone, don’t be condescending.  Really care about each other and you will grow as a team.

Feedback is about clarity and sharing.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing what you’d encourage someone to do even better – how else can we learn from each other?  Be ready and open to others’ having an opinion too.

How positive and motivating is your performance review process?  If the answer is low – come and talk to us, we’d love to help.

How’s Your Bulls**t Detector?

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

Authentic leadership is often talked about as the holy grail and gold standard of being a successful leader or manager– but do we know what being an authentic leader is?

Googling the term ‘what is authentic leadership’ brings back 22 million results with lots of articles and debate from all over the world. This week the topic has been spotted featured as follows:

  • The Australian Financial Review reporting from their Bosses’ Summit that ‘Leadership has to be authentic, big bosses say’.
  • The author Monica Ali in a BBC article shared “the cult of authenticity is flourishing”, and explored what does it mean to be “authentic”?
  • Professor Rosie Campbell in her BBC radio programme described authenticity as the ”yardstick by which we now measure many things in our society.’’

Professor Campbell’s programme examined authenticity within politics and shared how Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn are seen as being authentic with Theresa May and Hilary Clinton being less so. Interesting!
Of course people in the public eye are subject to far more scrutiny than us ordinary folk, but how do we gauge if someone is being authentic or not?  Is it a rational response to someone or more of a sub-conscious emotional reaction?  I think we all get a feeling of whether someone is being authentic or not – we all have great in-built bulls**t detectors!
There are many definitions of what authenticity in management and leadership is. According to research featured in the Harvard Business Review, authentic leaders are ‘genuine and honest, admit errors and stay true to what they believe in.’

Do we need to be told what authenticity is?  It is as simple as knowing who we are at heart- our iAM Values – the real us – and then being that person wherever we are? Bringing who we are outside of work, into work.

The benefits of authenticity at work, reported by HBR, is significantly higher job satisfaction and engagement, greater happiness at work, stronger sense of community, more inspiration and lower job stress.   So it works.  We gravitate to, and tend to like people who are authentic.  We all want to work for and be with people we like.

Here are some tips for bringing the real you into work:

  • Be the same person at work as at home, you’ll feel and come across as more real and natural.
  • Don’t conform, we often think of work as having to be professional and formal. None of us have ‘professional’ written on our hearts!  Be informal and normal.
  • Bring friendship and care into your relationships at work.  Listen, with openness and approachability.
  • Be encouraging and build self-belief in others – always see the best.
  • If you need to have a difficult conversation, think about how you’d approach this out of work, with either friends or your kids, and then do the same with your team.
  • Admit mistakes and ask for help , and encourage this in others. Create a normal and real environment, where help can be given and mistakes made without it being seen as failure.
  • When you need to achieve something, think about how you might ask your best friend – and take that approach.

 

Enjoy it!
Love the connections and time together.

Small, wide-eyed animals at work!

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

”…there is a small, wide-eyed animal within each of us that doesn’t understand why we keep kicking it.”
William Sieghart talking about his new book: The Poetry Pharmacy

If the animal inside you represents the joy of being you, your confident self, your wide-eyed innocence & excitement about the world, and you are regularly kicking it, what is the impact?

If you keep kicking, will the wide-eyed animal shrink, wither, be scared, vulnerable, disengage and hide from the world – become broken? Does this small animal represent your self-belief?

 

Are you in touch with the animal inside you?

Do you know how it’s feeling?

Do you nurture it, feed it and really look after it?

 

 

 

We have a courageous counter that we use with clients to measure how much you need us.  One of the questions looks at your relationship with yourself, how much do you know yourself, are you in-tune with yourself and do you have useful internal conversations? If you were to score how positive your relationship is with yourself, would your score be high or low?

There isn’t one human being that we’ve met that doesn’t give their inner animal a regular kick. 

Courageous Success global leadership research shows that 88% of leaders agree that: I have times when I doubt myself, 79% agree that they’d use words like worrier, doubter, overthinking and lacking confidence when describing themselves.  But over 90% of us don’t look within ourselves for the answers. 

Do we let our life journey keep our inner animal down?  Do we start conforming at an early age: to what’s required at school, higher education and work – becoming what we think we should be? During this journey, does our childlike enthusiasm and joy dim over time without us even realising? When did your inner animal feel the most alive? How does it feel now?  Want it back – healthy and alive?

You can reignite your inner wide-eyed animal.  Think about how you’d feel if: 

  • I invited you to pass the parcel, would you feel the anticipation of excitement?
  • What about that interview for your first dream job, imagine you could be there right now and it was tomorrow.
  • You had that first kiss with the love of your life.
  • The moment you first stepped off a plane into the warm summer sunshine.
  • You opened the envelope to see that great grade or they said yes.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s great about being me?
  • Do I love me for who I am?

Start to have those inner conversations, the ones you want to have with your kids, your nieces and nephews, your friends and work colleagues.

What’s this got to do with work? Well, you are the worker. You are not a transactional, logical, robotic machine, you are that excited child waiting for the parcel to be passed to you.

You are not a number or a colour or a profile, you are you, and if you nurture your inner, small, wide-eyed animal, you and all those around you will experience the best of you.  

Would You Eat Off a Clean Nappy?!

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration

How our brains construct our emotional responses.

A recent study* on spending habits reports that ‘stress buying’ is costing each of us around £1,250,
US $1,630, AUS $2,100, per year.   * Moneysupermarket.com Oct’17

The study shares that stressed, bored or sad people are more likely to make impulse purchases they later regret.  This sounds like many of us looking for a momentary quick hit to make us feel a lot better.
How much of this stress response is negatively impacting us and those around us at work?
Could this money be saved by being better able to understand and then manage our emotions?
A new book by Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University in Boston, USA, ‘How Emotions Are Made’, challenges the theory, stemming from Darwin, that our emotions are distinctly recognisable, in practise our brains construct our experience of them depending on the circumstances.  In her book, featured in a recent BBC article, Barrett uses the example of serving food, completely out of context at her daughters ‘gross out’ party, including smearing baby food on a clean nappy, many of the children actually gagged when contemplating eating the food.

 

Peanut butter or poo?!

 

 

 

An extreme example but one that shows we can all misinterpret our feelings with profound consequences: ”a rushing heart beat could be interpreted as fun and excitement on a rollercoaster, or acute anxiety if you are giving the speech at a wedding. Or it might simply signal that you’ve drunk too much coffee, but physiologically, there may not be much of difference.’’  Barratt recommends and suggests ways of being more closely in-tune with our emotions to enable better management of them.

HSE research has found that stress accounts for 35% of all work related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health.  Work pressure is not going to go away, it is what we all experience every day at work.   How can we help ourselves manage our emotional response to these pressures?

 

People often think that their response to stress is out of their control, it’s what happens to them: life, work, other people etc, however much of it is in our control.

 

 

As Barratt suggests by being more in-tune with our emotional response – we can better recognise what happens to us and then have the choice of how we respond. 
 
72% of our clients say that CS has changed their life, with 81% saying they have the power to change their workplace – shifting the mind-set of powerlessness. 
 
We underestimate the power that we hold within us to affect how we feel  – to not feel anxious or stressed.

Here are some tips that can really make a difference:
 
Keep your power.  Create a filter around you, not to cut people out, but to ensure that any negative mood or energy from others does not affect you.  You decide how you are affected.  
Avoid creating drama. Drama (making a mountain out of a molehill, over-reacting), is the greatest creator of anxiety and stress in our experience. Drama is addictive, very negative and a complete waste of time and energy! 
Stop being a Martyr (going for the sympathy vote). Not only is this a negative energy to hold, it destroys your confidence too and passes that negative energy to others. Stop making it about you and move your focus to the constructive and positive.

Do You Take Responsibility for Your Sour Face?

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration

In our experience, when asked to score out of 10 (with 10 being high), people generally give their positivity 6 out of 10.  

The vast majority of people that we work with have some degree of negativity. We tend to be unconsciously negative, often in denial of it, and unaware of how much we let the negativity of others affect our mood. 
Last night, I witnessed a whole cabin crew with sour faces, deliver a two hour in-flight service (I won’t mention which airline!).  Their faces looked like death warmed up, pale as a result – even dull looking. They lost out on the opportunity of two hours of happiness.   
None of them seemed to be aware of the impact they were having on each other or their customers.  If just one of them had decided to enjoy those two hours, I know that the rest would have followed suit – and their customers would have had a much more enjoyable and pleasant experience.
What makes it so hard for us to be conscious of generating happiness at work and for others?


1. Most of us forget.
2. We give our power away, take things personally or are resentful.
3. We fall into a rut.
4. We forget that each day, each hour, can be a fresh start in our experience of happiness. 
5. We totally ignore this responsibility. 

 

Happiness is contagious. 
A Harvard and UCSD study of nearly 5000 people over a 20 year period (by Dr. Nicholas Christakis and Dr. James Fowler), found that when a person becomes happy:

  • Next door neighbours have a 34% increased chance of becoming happy.
  • A friend living within one mile has a 25% increased chance of becoming happy.
  • Siblings have a 14% increased chance of becoming happy.

”We found that happiness can spread like a virus through social networks. In fact, if your friends’ friends’ friend becomes happy, it significantly increases the chance that you’ll be happy.”
Dr James Fowler 

My belief is that every one of us has a responsibility not to negatively impact on others – and this includes their happiness.  In fact we should all feel a responsibility to impact positively on those around us – it will make us happier too!

So, if you need a little lift, generate some joy and happiness and transform the lives of those around you, transform your experience and your workplace. 

 

Do You Have a Fossil Mentality?

From Courageous Success Inspiration

The number one external confidence strategy at work is recognition (urgh!)  which is closely followed by knowledge and experience.  (Courageous Success Research 2016)
Does this second strategy keep you in the dark ages?

I apologise right now if this blog turns into a rant,  but it’s time to expose and really face up to how engrained in your own knowledge and experience you are!  Nikki in our team relates this to success models.  In a simple form, “I’ve always done it this way so I’ll continue, as it worked before”.
The challenge with relying so heavily on knowledge and experience is that we can be in danger of holding back positive advancement.  I am honestly getting fed up of reading posts on LinkedIn that celebrate theories and approaches to management and leadership that are in the dark ages!  Whilst at the same time, people are openly asking questions about millennials, gender equality, LGBT etc. but not actually facing into the fact that the world of work – and how we develop people at work needs to change.
Do you stick to what you know unintentionally?  Do you unconsciously conform to your own knowledge, so are even just slightly sceptical and closed to something new?  Stubbornness.  Favourites.  Ideas invented here.  All used and potential consequences of relying overly heavily on experience and knowledge for our confidence.
To illustrate my frustration in my world, one recent LinkedIn post celebrated Situational Leadership Theory (launched 1969!).  MBTI investment each year globally?  £747 million (launched in 1943!).  Belbin profiling (1969!).  And yet we are using these to support millennials, diversity etc etc…


 

Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers: the creators of MBTI
Source: https://www.opp.com/en/tools/MBTI/Myers-Briggs-history

 

Thanks to a client, I was lucky enough to see a video last week of Carla Harris (Vice Chair and MD Morgan Stanley) speaking at a US conference about her advice to her 25 year old self.  She shares many great insights (totally aligned to Courageous Success – hurrah!) and one was, “…that it’s easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.”  In other words, take risks, search for the new!  Take action. Try.  Here’s the link.  It’s worth the watch.

So how to move your industry and your thinking forward?
Some challenges for reflection:

  • Do you rely too heavily on old theories or formulas when addressing modern needs?
  • Do you always have the answers already when asking the questions, so that you never really open the door to the new?
  • Do you work alone independently or consult others to gain more breadth and insight into the challenges?
  • When was the last time that you questioned your assumptions?
  • How do you rate your energy and excitement for your industry?  Are you going through the motions or innovating?
  • What could the future of your world look like in the next 3, 5, 10 years?  Are you moving towards solutions to solve and grow in that reality?

Sorry for the rant!  

Are You a Servant to Your Mind?

From Courageous Success Inspiration

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” 
Albert Einstein

Recent insights and discoveries in neuroscience have shared the importance and given credibility to the role of intuition in leadership, especially when it comes to decision making.
What is intuition?  It’s what results when we piece things together, information, experience etc, to come up with something different or new that a single observation or thought may not have identified. 
It’s not being psychic – but so many of us confuse the two.  Fascinating fact – 23% of the adult British population have consulted a psychic (yougov.co.uk).  Psychic insight comes from nowhere – the information just enters your consciousness, and that is very different from intuition. 

 

Are you putting the two together and then discounting the natural powers that are within you?

 

 

 

 

As I had a conversation with a friend recently and they shared, “I feel like you are reading my Tarot cards (I wasn’t, I promise!), it actually happened twice in one week! Our intuition is so powerful, again and again I experience the power of it.  Not just in my relationships, but also when working with clients and in my business decisions too.
I honestly get really frustrated with those in business who don’t use it and rely purely on logic.  They lose a huge power. Our belief at Courageous Success is that intuition is a normal sense and using it humanises interactions.  It also makes the world much richer and more interesting!

How to train your intuition – Ohhh there’s lots of ways!  Here are my tips on where to start…

  1. Firstly, you have to have a decent relationship with yourself.  What does that mean? You have to talk to yourself (not like you are mad – but quietly, silently) you need to converse with you, have inner conversations.  If your mind and inner world is either empty – you are purely focusing on what is outside of you – or your thoughts and inner world are negative, then you have no chance.  Cultivating a contemplative, positive relationship with yourself opens yourself to the power of your intuition.
  2. You have to learn to not purely think!  Oh, you mean I have to feel?  Yes, but not just emotion, sense is vital too.  Emotion and sense are heard in your gut and your heart.  How conscious of these areas are you?  Do you listen to them?  Imagine you were in a dark wood at night with all of the blackness and noises…you wouldn’t just be thinking, you’d be feeling (scared probably!) and sensing (I fear the bogeyman behind that tree!)  Your senses would switch on.  You don’t need the dark scary woods, switch them on now.
  3. Be open minded and curious, broaden your information inputs.  What are the patterns?  What connects?  What doesn’t fit?  How does this situation make you feel?  What are you sensing about this person?  What are you not hearing?  Bring it all together BEFORE you reach any conclusions – there may be many.
  4. Trust – how much do you trust your ability to conjugate and be right?  If you don’t trust in your intuitive abilities you could simply discount them.  The more you practice, share and explore, the greater your trust in yourself will grow.  If it’s someone else’s intuition and you are discounting their conclusions (do you have a rampant “prove it to me” strategy – one of the most annoying to people).  What habits and patterns of logic are you holding that is discounting your powerful use of the human intuitive intelligence.
   “To me, a witch is a woman that is capable of letting her intuition take hold of her actions, that communes with her environment, that isn’t afraid of facing challenges.”  Paulo Coelho

Girls & Boys – Is Machismo Ruling Your Leadership?

From Courageous Success Inspiration

The average score on the Courageous Counter (how we measure how much you need us!) against the question:  “I have one me – I know who I am – I am the same person at work and at home” is 4.5/10. 

So, that’s the vast majority of us, not knowing who we are, and changing between home and work.  We have found a striking pattern of conformity and changing ourselves in this way, and it affects men and women. A recent BBC news article quoted a report from Credit Suisse that found: ”companies where women made up at least 15% of senior management were 50% more profitable than those where fewer than 10% of senior managers were female.” A staggering finding that helps the current call for gender equality in the boardroom.  Other research finds that the argument about ‘more women = greater profits’ is not quite as simple. 

I am 100% in support of gender equality in business, however, would this debate be irrelevant if men felt they were able to bring their real selves into work and not subscribe to playing a perceived masculine role?

 

 

At the same time, we are hearing from many male commentators about the negative and restrictive aspects of traditional masculinity.  Grayson Perry’s book ‘The Descent of Man’ talks about how the rigidity of masculine roles can destroy men’s lives.  Whilst former disciple of ‘Laddishness’, the journalist Chris Hemmings, talks in a new book about the negative impact of his previous life – how he felt pressure to act in a certain way, to show his machismo, to the extent of feeling pride in not crying at his own father’s funeral, where he actively buried his true feelings. Work places and boardrooms can become a hotbed of this male machismo: macho, masculine toughness – the ultimate male mask.  And it affects men and women in different ways.  We see women “manning up”, with some businesses even training them to speak in a more masculine tone.  One contact we have, was even asked to use hand weights to strength and “man up” her handshake! So, we women feel that we must change and leave some of our real self at home, despite the stats above that female energy boost profits!  This message is just as important for women at work as men!

Part of Chris Hemmings advice about ‘How Not to be a Man’ includes fessing up to having flaws, listening to people and being more empathetic.     The true message for boys and girls is to be authentic and genuine.  Men, take the energy that you have when you cuddle your kids, that warm caring, and bring it to work! The fun and playfulness from the rugby club, bring it to the board room. Girls, let’s stay strong in who we are but also bring in our feminine strengths of sensitivity and normalness.  It inspires and drives the bottom line. Here are some challenges to help you bring the real you to work:

  • Do you always try and present the perfect you?  Get over yourself – it’s a façade. Being authentic is accepting the real you – warts and all.   
  • Stop seeking approval – be honest and say what you really think. Stop trying – just be.
  • Find out who you are – which is not your head, story, persona or habits – it’s in your heart (ask us about iAM).
  • Be led by your heart and not just your mind, trust your hunches and go with your intuition.  Think about how you solve problems with those you care about at home, and use the same tactics at work.

If someone really knew the real you – what is it they would know about you?  That part of your personality that you are not currently showing. 

Be brave and share this part of yourself with your co-workers and team.