“Employees who are able to bring their whole selves to work are 42% less likely to say they intend to leave their job within a year.’’  HBR

This week I was going to focus on crusading for causes.  I’ve had a brave and inspiring week, beginning with having the guts to board a plane to make #beyourselfatwork a reality for thousands more people, and now carving out time to write the Courageous Success book (yes finally!).  But, having read the statistics this morning about the lack of great content in learning (see below for those of you that are interested), I realised that it wasn’t a mission that I needed to write about this week.  It was strength, realness and resilience.
I see that what I loved about the start of my week was that I was totally being my iAM central wave.  I was making others happy with ‘can do’ positive absorption, crusading and leading the charge.  I was amplifying my natural reputation, the inspiring me, and I was inspiring myself.  I know this may sound odd.  What I am really trying to say is that it felt, and it feels, really great when you are working totally in line with yourself and you experience it.  And to experience you in all of your positive authentic expression, you have to be conscious.  To be conscious you have to have a strong relationship with yourself, and we know that the vast majority of people don’t!!
Here are the L&D stats (drives me nuts) …
“Only 13% of employees would rate the L&D opportunities in their organisation over the past year as very effective, and just 21% said they feel well equipped to do their job to the best possible standard.’’  The report found that employees want to see more engaging (37%), personalised (35%) and better-quality (29%) content”.  (City & Guilds Group Research reported in HR Magazine).
We use our Courageous Counter to assess how strong your relationship is with yourself.  We find that high scores, coupled with positive authenticity and self awareness combine to bring happiness, success and fulfilment to people at work, and people who work with people like this (managers, leaders, yes you!) So, you’ll be thinking how do I do this?

  1. As a first step, it helps to know who you are.  Those of you who have an iAM can tick this box.  If you don’t have an iAM then get in touch :), but as a starting point, sit for a minute in yourself, shine the torch around, discard the self-doubt and imagine that you are nailing your world exactly as you like it.  That is you.  You may be creative, structured, naughty, positive, competitive, all of these.  Whatever you are, this is your iAM. And iAM is always positive.
  2. Let’s dust off that self-doubt.  Over 92% of iAM questionnaires have things like, ‘I worry what people think of me’, ‘I am an overthinker’, ‘I hide my insecurities at work’.  The minute you doubt yourself you will be more susceptible to hiding, restricting or gushing in your expression, conforming, becoming the person that you feel would look impressive.  That work persona comes out.  You have to believe in yourself to really be a success at work.  Have faith in you, do your best and be yourself.
  3. Build a strong relationship with yourself.  In a recent case study, when we helped leaders use their iAM – who they are, and build an open positive conversation with themselves as much as possible, their resilience grew by 42%.  Only you can strengthen your resolve sustainably.  Build in habits of self talk, self thought, meetings with self, turn off the TV, the radio and spend positive productive time getting to know and experiencing you.

Self awareness is about positive self talk and noticing the impact you have on those around you.  Organisational Psychologist Tasha Eurich writing in Harvard Business Review (I’d back this from my experience totally!);
“Even though most people believe that they are self-aware, self awareness is a rare quality.  We estimate that only 10-15% of the people we studied actually fit the criteria”.
Now follow this 10-step plan to nailing your sense of self and transforming this into your strength and persona at work;

  1. Accept you, your iAM. Who you are is not your self-doubt and insecurity.
  2. Challenge who you think you are by checking back in time.  You are not your learnt behaviours, that planned and organised worker for example, you are the person that you feel on Christmas Day or on the way to the airport for your longed for vacation.
  3. Reflect on who you think you should be to look successful and competent.  Then ignore this!
  4. Take note of all the things that you have been told you are, the labels, then, in your mind, blow them into smoke.
  5. If you have an iAM take out your iAM Cards, if you don’t, write down a few words that describe you, bearing in mind the points above.  To really be yourself at work you need to be conscious of not slipping into unhelpful habits and conformity.  So, keep your card or your list close by and in sight as much as possible to remind you.
  6. In the split second that you begin your working day, step into you, feel you, sense the you within and enjoy being yourself.
  7. Turn you inside out.  As you meet each person, start each meeting.  When beginning each task or conversation, amplify yourself in your expression.  Don’t push and stay positive.  Notice the impact in other’s eyes and expressions.
  8. Amplify the things that you are good at.  Where things aren’t your strength, do your best or get someone else to help you.  It’s ok to not be great at everything.  Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect, no-one is.
  9. Be excited to show who you are and expose yourself (not literally!!!!)   This is not arrogance.  It’s called living.
  10. Aim for a high score at the end of every meeting, conversation, day, week on the Courageous Counter question, “I am different to others – I like my uniqueness”. Allow others to be different to you, without blaming them!