Make Team While the Sun Shines!

Discovery Centre Growth Inspiration

In the UK & want to play outside today?  Sunshine!  You can play outside this Summer and all whilst boosting your team relationships by an average of 84%!  Make team whilst the sun shines!  email potential@courageoussuccess.com

What could you and your team be achieving in our beautiful woods in this beautiful weather? 

Talk to us about our High Performing Team Days at our Discovery Centre.

Every business needs high performing, powerful teams to drive success – we offer one and two day experiences that unlock amazing team energy.

94% of Courageous Success clients say that our development is different to training that they have had before.

With….

85% impact on improving work performance.

84% impact on improving motivation & engagement at work.

Over 84% impact of improving relationships with others.

 

”All rolled up in a beautiful outdoor setting with buckets of fun and perspective.”

Call us today to book or for more details;
01476 500794
potential@courageoussuccess.com

Did Your Saturday Job Teach a Good Work Ethic?

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration

55% of business decision makers and 60% of corporate recruiters in the US, say they wish grads had developed more soft skills in college (soft skills refer to work philosophy, work style, attitude, and other traits).   Research by Bentley University quoted in Forbes.

What is it that makes fitting into the world of work so challenging?  Is work ethic declining or actually is it all about just being yourself?  Is it about having to work with the likes of you?!
We don’t know a single person with an iAM Values set who wouldn’t have a great work ethic if they were themselves, and then by being themselves: stopped trying to impress by dominating or holding themselves back and adjusting due to a lack of self-confidence.
Also from the Bentley University research, 62% of respondents say that millennials’ lack of preparedness for the workforce is “a real problem.” Among business decision makers and corporate recruiters, 64% say this is a problem for their own company, and 74% say this impairs the larger U.S. economy.’’
But is it all about “learning” a work ethic or do we actually hold the answers within? 
There has been much made recently about the snowflake generation or Millennials not adapting to work as previous generations – having a more ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude.   This research found a discrepancy between what graduates and business stakeholders feel is important;
”…23% of business decision makers and 18% of corporate recruiters identified work ethic as crucial. But only 7% of high school students and 9% of college students did so’’.
Last week the front page story of the UK Telegraph caught my eye. UK Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, shared the fact that teens being employed in part time work has declined, possibly by as much as 60%, resulting in a lack of understanding and preparedness for the world of work.  ”Young people do not have the “soft skills” required for work, she stated, explaining young people were turning up for jobs late or constantly checking their phones, leading employers to look elsewhere.’’

But is it all about being prepared – or about confidence, being engaged and following our own inner compass?

We find that the vast majority of people have an iAM value about achievement, making a difference and/or having a positive impact – we like to get things done – so what is it that gets in the way?
Are we born with a work ethic, or is it something that we can develop?  People often don’t think that they can do things – when they can.  We often don’t control our negative thoughts that stop us achieving or going for things, and it is these negative thoughts that keep us thinking all about ourselves.  We make up excuses for ourselves and act as if these excuses are normal. If we weren’t so self-absorbed, would we be nailing it more naturally?
In our experience work ethic is about attitude and being attuned to others rather than ourselves, serving others or creating a purpose to be useful and helpful.  Moving away from ‘what’s in it for me?’ to asking ‘how can I be most useful?’Here are our tips to make it about others and be more purposeful at work and in life;
  • Ask yourself: “am I winding people up and blaming them or am I taking accountability for the impact that I have?”
  • 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 – they are not there to service just you and your needs.
  • Choose not to coast but be purposeful every day, and ideally in every moment – Courageous Success – the verb!
  • 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. If you are not enjoying it – find a way to and take accountability for your mood.
  • 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, supported, connected, helped.
Harness your inner work ethic, and enjoy it! 

How Much of a Contradiction Are You?

Business From Courageous Success Inspiration

”It’s easier to love humanity than it is to love your neighbour.’’

This was an audience member contributing to a recent public debate, hosted by the BBC and the Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel, about citizenship and global identity. And it really made me think.
The contributor went on to explain that loving humanity is easy as it’s so big and an unknown – a wonderful ideal, whereas it’s hard to love your neighbour as you know them.  You know the good and bad and some of those bad bits might really annoy you! 
This got me thinking about other ways that we fallible humans say and think the right thing, but often miss the opportunity to do the right thing – either because it’s too hard, we just miss the connection completely or think it’s someone else’s job.  Our actions not matching our thoughts and or words.
In the same week, HR Magazine reported on Matthew Taylor chief executive of the RSA, speaking at the Engage for Success Conference in London about the importance of engaging workforces about how ”the idea that all employees should experience good work, is having a moment right now”.
 “The most innovative organisations in the world are innovative because they have creative communities”.  For leaders, he said, this means creating a community where “people feel in it together” and “a culture where employees are encouraged to take risks rather than a leadership based on bureaucracy”.  
How many of us already know this, understand this, want to change but then for whatever reason get buried in the detail, the task, and normal habits and carry on as we always have? Is this taking the easiest route?  Staying within our comfort zone or in the ‘protection’ of our role or position?


 

Allowing ourselves to become stuck and creating a contradiction in our thoughts and actions at work.

 

From our research we know that, 70% of people use words and phrases like ‘doubting’, ‘worrier’, ‘overthinking’, ‘lacking confidence’, when describing themselves.  How often do we blame these feelings on our surroundings and what happens to us?  How many of us put conditions, (those pesky things outside of us again) to the thought of situations changing or taking any action ourselves;  we could do that but…, I could be nicer to my neighbour but….. , I’ll do that when……
How many of us are stuck in these ways of being, doing and thinking that don’t help us to get the best out of our situation and lives?    
Thinking and doing the same, means that you will always get the same – becoming unconsciously complacent and stagnating – stuck in the hamster wheel.  In the workplace it might mean staying with an old-fashioned style of command and control or master/servant leadership or living with bureaucracy, systems or processes that can stifle engagement and creativity.

We know that we can all look internally to shift our perspective on any situation we find ourselves in.  Concentrating on the good things about our neighbour rather than focusing on the small annoyances, leading changes at work that could create greater engagement.

81% of Courageous Success clients say ‘I now feel I have the power to change my workplace.’
We know it is possible.

Challenge the inconsistencies in your thoughts and actions, be conscious of them and then go further;  what steps can you take to put your best thoughts into actions and make a positive difference?

  • Genuinely see the good in others in all situations – think kindness.
  • Keep your power – others can’t make you feel cross or fed up – only you can with the response you choose, so choose to be optimistic and hopeful instead.
  • Don’t make everything about you, how you feel, the impact on you, and your reality of the situation, take a step back, pause and think: what’s really happening?
  • Swap negative language for positive – problem to challenge, loss to learning, and inconsistency to flexibility.
Commit to make at least one positive change now, in what you say or do at work. to create a better culture.

 

Are You Naked or Covering Yourself Up at Work?

Business Inspiration Liz Villani - Founder


A Deloitte study, reported by Fast Company, has found that people frequently feel a need to “cover” aspects of themselves at work. 

White men felt this way at a rate of 45%.  But, 66% of women felt they needed to hide parts of themselves at work. And, LGBT workers felt this way at a rate of 83%!

What would your % be?

 

We know that putting the real you “out there” at work gets amazing results.  Our research demonstrates an 85% impact on improving relationships at work, as well as an 88% impact on your positivity and happiness.
When you put the real you at the centre of your success, everything changes.  So, what’s making you hide parts of yourself at work? And I’m not talking about those wobbly body parts!  I will never forget starting my first job at 13 (yes 13!), as a chamber maid in a small hotel.  As I look back, I know that I did the job, and I was myself.  I then moved to be a waitress at Pizza Hut (the very first table I served, I managed to spill 4 pints of soft drinks – oops!), but again I was myself.  It was when I was 15, and working as a trainee chef in a restaurant kitchen, that I found being myself, becoming more of a challenge.  The chef would scream at the waiting staff, laugh with me and then throw knives at the commis – honestly!  I then felt pressure to act a certain way, so that the knives wouldn’t come at me!  A new restaurant manager would arrive and be strict and dictatorial and in response, I’d see the team start to whisper in the back kitchen, whilst showing a different face to the new manager.  The less confident or “different” staff would start to retreat and some even left.

So, it’s fear, confidence, conformity, banter and survival that creates this gap in us – or at least that’s a start!  Not a small list.  But one that is easily evaporated when you remember that you are the one creating it.  It’s you that’s choosing to hide aspects of yourself, even if you’re unconscious of it.  Men, women, most of us at some level, will put another layer on.

So how to de-robe? 

The main challenge that we find, especially with women, is confidence.  Most women we work with, when starting their development with us, rate their confidence lower than their male counterparts.  Women have a tendency to be more self-critical than men, who have been conditioned to “man up and get on with it”. 

Women tend to rely on what others think of them, to feel good.  They’ll look for approval, be a people pleaser and self-sacrifice to put others first or to look more competent.
When we bring more of ourselves to work we take control of our motivation & engagement.  Our clients rate the impact of this as 84% when they apply their Courageous Success learnings.  So, let me share some of our tools as new for you to try or as a reminder to carry on implementing;

  • Be conscious of your strategies.  Most of us are different people at work and at home.  Notice who you are in different environments.  Are you changing or covering up?
  • We tend to fear saying or being the ‘wrong thing’.  How much do you trust yourself out of 10?  Give yourself a score, with 10 being high.  Now think about how frequently you are being the wrong person or you say the wrong thing.  In our experience the imbalance is huge.  Start trusting yourself now.
  • Stop looking for external recognition to create your confidence.  The world is rampant with the need for feedback and recognition at work.  Shift your perception by recognising yourself.
  • Build a stronger relationship with yourself.  Take a moment to enjoy the feeling of being you.  I did this yesterday walking to the Tube.  It felt like tingles of happiness.  Why would people not want to know you, all of you?
  • Stop waiting for others to make you happy.  Make yourself and others happy instead, in equal balance.  If you say yes to everything, what are you going to start saying no to, to make yourself happier and more effective and efficient?
  • Believe in yourself.  Write a list of three or four things that make you great at your job, frame them as iAM.  E.g. iAM great at talking to people, they love sharing their ideas with me.
  • Finally encourage your business to put the following at the centre of their HR & People and Culture Strategies;
    ”Be yourself here, bring your whole self to work, it’s OK to be who you are at company x y or z.”Decide to stop covering yourself up at work.

Do You Make Yourself Heard at Work?

Business From Courageous Success Growth

”78% of UK employees do not feel they are involved in decision making and have a ‘voice’ in the workplace.”

This scary statistic is from new research into productivity by Canada Life Insurance; 76% of respondents felt that their productivity was being negatively impacted at work. The two key issues being blamed were ”a negative working environment’’ (29%) and ”workplace culture including poor management and lack of recognition’’ (22%).

The research has some worrying information about culture:  ”(81%) do not agree that their line manager or boss motivates, empowers or supports them, only 26% respect their senior leadership team and less than a third (29%) understand the values that form their organisation’s culture.’’

Communication is commonly highlighted as a problem in business today and today’s matrixed, international and remote ways of working can make this an on-going challenge.
Effective communication is essential to create a highly productive workplace. Research previously shared in Harvard Business Review showed  ”companies that communicate effectively had a 47% higher return to shareholders over a five-year period.’’

So, what’s getting in the way?

The workplace is the classic place for wanting to fit in and be liked, a natural human need.  Do we wear a mask to work that means we conform and fit in – not wanting to rock the boat by sharing our real opinions or making suggestions, as we’re scared of appearing negative.

Do workplaces and teams get into a habit of doing things the same way over a long period and then forget to question why or whether things can be improved?  The ‘we’ve always done it this way’ culture. Does this give people security?

Many of today’s managers and leaders conform. Thinking that their role means that they need to have all the answers and therefore, either don’t encourage contribution from their teams or feel challenged or threatened by the opinions and feedback of others.  Are you conforming to an old fashioned hierarchical system? 

 

 

We can all choose to include people and encourage contribution – make any feedback welcome.

 

 

 

 

Here are some of our Courageous Success tips for creating effective communication:

  • Most of us are totally unaware of how well we communicate.  So start to notice.  Are you saying what you really think?  Do you hold stuff back?  Watch yourself, not self-consciously, just to notice.
  • Don’t conform, bring the normal you to work and communicate like you would at home.  When we are with people that we know and like, we naturally pitch our communication without too much thought.  We know what will upset and rock the boat and choose whether to share it.
  • Tune in and use your senses.  Not just your insecurity.  Instead of saying what will make you look good, share and pick up the feelings and feedback, the atmosphere around you and others, and react to that.
  • Be aware that others are different to you and the right approach to take won’t necessarily be your way.  Use what you know about others to share how they like to share.  If you are not sure, ask them!
  • Seek input upfront on what feedback and options people want from you.  Clarify what information or ideas people need and give them just that – rather than what you feel like sharing!
  • If it’s tricky, sleep on it or create a pause, even for a moment.  Especially with email communication.
  • Be conscious of your thoughts when interacting with others, silence your judgement and really listen.
  • When you need to achieve something, think about how you might ask your best friend – and take that approach.

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