How to be an effective nonprofit leader? Continue to grow and develop yourself!
Do you love to learn? Perhaps not. I know that not everyone is a lover of learning like me. But what I also know is that learning is part of leadership. It's necessary if you want to be an effective leader to continue to grow and develop yourself.
But if you struggle with the learning component, it's hard to make it happen on an ongoing and effective basis. Yet when you do, the results are astounding.
Is your learning too shallow?
Learning in a way that helps you apply it and get value from it requires some effort. So often, when we learn, we're just going shallow. We read a book, listen to a podcast or attend a session at a conference and get some good ideas. And that's as far as it goes. Perhaps you apply one of them, but more often than not, it's a fleeting thought.
What if you spent 3 weeks diving deep into how to develop your employees?
Mark These Leadership Training Suggestions
Consider taking a topic like learning how to develop your employees. For example, perhaps you listened to Strengths-Based Leadership on your commute to work. Then you listened to 10 Ways to have better conversations with your team leads and discussed it. Additionally, you completed the course Staff Supervision That Transforms.
Do you do this as you learn?
As you read the book, listened to the video, and completed the training, you wrote down what you were learning. You also had a couple of discussions with a peer who read the same book. On those calls, you added any new learnings or deeper understandings of how to apply the concepts to your notes. Then over the 3 weeks, you went back to your notes regularly. You added to your notes what you continued to learn as it related to your day-to-day world. You also became intentional in identifying where you could practice or apply the concepts.
What would you expect would be different in your leadership abilities?
Can you even imagine the change you might experience? I bet you would feel way more confident! Think about it. It's only a 3-week commitment. That's it. And it wouldn't require much time, just intentional scheduling of your time.
Will you make a 3-week commitment that allows you to go deep on a subject?
To be a stronger leader, you must go deep on one subject rather than bounce from book to podcast blog, but never really dive deep. Are you ready to dive in?
Keep reading as we break it down more as you learn to create your 3-week learning plan.
How to deepen your learning into a leadership topic in 3 weeks
If you want to dive deep into a topic, here are three strategies. Once you've picked the topic:
1️⃣ Identify 3 places you will learn about that topic
There are a ton of places to learn from. Pick 3 that will give you various insights, perspectives and strategies.
2️⃣ Identify 3 ways you will integrate that learning
3️⃣ Identify a time to review your learning
Set aside 15 minutes and answer these questions
When you set aside three weeks to deepen your learning about a topic, integrate your knowledge by implementing strategies, and practice it, you'll find that a quick dive into learning something has benefited you exponentially.
Do you wonder how to be the best leader you can be? One who makes a difference, has a great team and finds some balance in life?
Unfortunately, it's not the easiest thing to do. One of the reasons we struggle is that we don't see a lot of other women doing it, so part of us doesn't believe it's even possible. We need more women mentors. I keep looking for them and sharing them with you so we both have more inspiration.
Let me introduce you to Yvette Vargas.
I was listening to an interview with Yvette, Head of Development at Citizen's Bank in the states. Yvette was part of a Women in Leadership conversation series for LHH, an organization that focuses on recruitment, assessments, coaching, and career transitions.
I found Yvette's story, persistence and intentional personal and professional growth as a woman leader inspiring. So many of the suggestions she made for women in leadership had me thinking of the four fundamentals I teach leaders.
Let's dive into them together.
The four fundamentals of leadership:
Lead with Authenticity - Be yourself
On Citizen's Bank website, Yvette is quoted as saying, "I used to have separate selves — mother to my children, wife to my husband, caretaker to my parents, employee and friend. I thought that compartmentalizing my 'different selves' would help me manage each relationship better," she said. However, it's only by working to integrate her selves — and finding a job that allows her to bring every aspect of herself to work — that she's found true meaning in her career.
This quote speaks to the authentic nature that we need to lead with. We are not separate people in different aspects of our lives. We are one person doing various things. The more authentic you are, the more confident and comfortable you will feel, and you'll make a more considerable contribution.
To help you lead your best, I encourage you to identify your strengths, gifts, and personality traits. Then, do the work to figure out who you are and authentically be who you are daily.
Continue to grow yourself personally and professionally - Develop yourself
Intentionally developing yourself is critical to becoming the leader you want to be. Yvette spoke in the interview about being very intentional about this. She indicated you need to develop your growth plant and intentionally spend time working on yourself.
"The amount of time you spend on something is a manifestation of what you value."
If you value your growth and development, you'll put time into growing and developing yourself.
Be a balanced leader - Take care of yourself
4️⃣As I listened to Yvette, I could tell she has drive. That's different than being driven. When the work drives you, it becomes a problem. When you drive the work, you do that with intentionality. You also need the energy to do that! That means you need to take care of yourself.
But Yvette wasn't always that way. She tells the story of needing to shift from being driven by her career to intentionally creating her life and career simultaneously—that required intentionality and self-care.
Taking care of yourself it's not something you do just outside of work. It is something you do all day long. Start by adding teach micro-moments of wellness into your workday.
Be a leader, teacher, mentor and coach - Teach others to do the same
I love Yvette's story of supporting other women to grow and pulling them up as you advance. She learned this early on from her mother and sisters. She's been clear about continuing to do it throughout her career. She sees a large part of her role is developing others.
When we teach others to be themselves, develop themselves and take care of themselves, we do this through mentoring, guidance, coaching and leadership. Our job as a leader is not always correct and fix employees. Our job as leaders is to help our employees reach their full potential.
The four fundamentals of leadership:
What strategy, suggestion, or idea will you begin with today? Hit reply and tell me where you are starting and what you are inspired to awaken in yourself after listening to Yvettes' story.
"Can I interrupt you for a second – do you have a minute?"
This is the sound of productivity being shot through the roof. However, every day, we need to decide how much time we want to spend focusing on our work and how much time we want to give to our nonprofit staff.
The other morning I had an interruption just as I started my workday. I bet you've had that happen to you. Just as you begin something, there's a knock at the door or a text or phone call.
How do you know when to deal with or ignore the interruption?
Consciously deciding when to let interruptions in and when not helps you focus on what you need to focus on when you need to, set clear boundaries, and be there for people when they need them. Learning to balance your people and your projects is a balancing act for most leaders.
We need to get stuff done. We have reports to write, emails to send, applications to fill out, preparation for meetings, and all the other stuff that goes along with achieving our mission-driven work.
Effective leaders learn to balance the "task work" with being in relationship with (aka being there for) the people who do our organization's client and community work.
The question is:
How do you know when to let the people side of your work interrupt the task side of your work and, conversely, when to stay focused on the task?
My interruption this morning was from my granddaughter. School is out now. When I see my granddaughter's name pop up on my phone, I know that she's likely looking for some attention or that something is wrong. She's ten years old and home alone in the morning for a couple of hours. I answered my phone to discover she wanted to borrow some eggs so she could make herself French toast.
For you, it may be a staff that needs to look over their work, a crisis that has blown up, or somebody who wants to pick your brain. You may have a good idea of who the interruption is from and be able to use that information to help you make a decision.
How I dealt with my interruption
In addition to wanting to borrow eggs, my granddaughter wanted to know when I was going for a walk, and I could tell she was bored. So I told her to come over and get the eggs, and I would look and let her know when my break was later in the day so we could go on a walk together.
How you can deal with your interruptions
Learning how to deal with interruptions in a way that feels good to you starts when you build a framework around decisions making. Here are 3 steps to consider to help you make decisions about interruptions you can feel good about.
STEP # 1 - Start by being clear with what's on your agenda
While I didn't have calls scheduled for that early in the morning, I did have a project I was working on slotted into that time frame. Awareness of your agenda items is one of the critical factors in deciding whether to allow yourself to be interrupted. Scheduling in non-meeting tasks creates a meeting with yourself, a commitment and a tool for determining if you will let the interruption in.
🤔 Ask yourself these questions:
STEP # 2 - Set clear boundaries
I told my granddaughter she could come over and get the eggs, but I didn't have time for a long chitchat. However, even though I set that boundary, she lingered when she showed up, and I had to nudge her out the door after about nine hugs!
You've been there, right? You answer the question or deal with the issue, and then you do the typical nonverbals to suggest that the conversation is over. You even may say something like, ok, I better get back at it and yet they still stand there, ask more questions, hem and haw etc. Here's the tricky part about allowing interruptions. It's creating a time frame boundary around the interruption.
🗣 Try using these phrasesYou will need to be extremely clear on the timelines upfront and continue to communicate those timelines throughout
Here's an example
The clearer you can be with your boundaries, the easier it is to hang up the phone, end the chat, or shut the door at the end of the interruption.
As much as my granddaughter wanted to linger, I knew it was time for her to go as I walked her to the door. I followed up, ensuring she knew what time I had a break later and that I would message her to go for a walk with her then. I didn't brush her off. Instead, I scheduled time to connect with her when I could give her my undivided attention.
STEP # 3 - Know what's important to you
I had to know what's important to me, what I value
Finally, it's essential to know and understand your values. Family is incredibly important to me. My granddaughters mean the world to me, but I'm also committed very deeply to the work I do for you. Balancing connection to family and deep, meaningful work has been a lifelong challenge. It's not something that comes easily, there is no quick formula, and the parameters will continually change.
You, too, need to be clear on what you value
My advice to you here is to be as transparent in your mind as possible. Try these two questions.
❤️ Start with verifying your values
Through the Values Verification course exercises, I recognized that my top value is not family. Instead, my top value is excellence. That clarity around what is ultimately important to me helps me make these decisions more clearly.
How can I provide excellent quality to you and, at the same time, be an excellent grandma? The answer is by giving quality time and attention to the project that I had scheduled for that morning and quality time and attention to my granddaughter.
I had to be "excellent" in both areas
If I had let my granddaughter interrupt my morning for any longer than I did, I would not have been an excellent grandma; I would've been a distracted grandma. Letting her interrupt the time I had scheduled for the project would have made me feel edgy. I would have been thinking about what I "should" be doing. I would have been trying to end the little visit multiple times, but discreetly, so she didn't feel like I was finishing it. It would have come across as icky for both of us.
I honoured my value of excellence in two areas of my life by setting and communicating clear boundaries and scheduling time for both areas.
3 questions to help you feel good about the decisions you make
Making decisions about interruptions like this doesn't come easily or quickly.
It takes time to understand how to make these decisions more quickly. That time often comes through after-the-fact self-reflection.
✏️ Take a moment to think about your decisions in the last 24 hours.
Engaging in ongoing self-reflection helps you prepare for future decisions, communicate boundaries, and apologize when you get it wrong because we likely will more than once.
Sometimes it is worth letting someone interrupt you, and sometimes it isn't
Time, or lack thereof, is the biggest bottleneck for most nonprofit leaders because there are so many other demands on your time and attention beyond your core mission. There are always more things that you need to do. However, we also learn to balance what time we give time to our people and when to use it for projects.
Being clear with what's on your agenda, knowing what's important to you and communicating clear boundaries will help you be both productive and create engagement with your nonprofit team!
READ THIS NEXT:
3 Decision-making mistakes you may be making and quick the fixes
Episode # 58 - Learn a decisive decision-making hack and how to use it - For women leaders
Nonprofit Leaders | 10 important questions you must ask before your next decision
Summer is kicking off; for many of us, this means extra reading time. If your reading list and maybe it's lacking in the leadership department. Here are a few suggestions I have for you to add to your summer reading list:
Summer Reading Book Suggestions
📚 Digital Body Language by Erica Dhawan
Some of us are still virtual, some hybrid. However, even if you're in the office full time, my guess is many of the meetings you have are virtual. On top of that, much of our communication is often via email, messenger or text. This book helps you understand the body language of digital communication. It's fascinating and beneficial.
p.s. the PDF file that comes with the audio version is phenomenal!
Find the book here
📚 Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
This book is not a book to read from front to back. Instead, it's a reference book you'll hopefully return to regularly. So take some time to skim through it and dig deeper into the parts that pull you in. This book helps you understand emotions and feelings and expands your emotional vocabulary. Developing your emotional vocabulary is extremely helpful if you want to increase your emotional intelligence and be a more composed and emotionally in control leader.
Find the book here
📚 The Five Levels of Attachment by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr
You'll recognize the author if you've read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. However, this book is by Don Miguel's son. He goes through how we attach to ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Recognizing how tightly you've grasped your view helps to loosen your grip so that you can see others' points of view, develop new awarenesses and grow yourself.
Find the book here
📚 The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Oh my goodness! No, this is not a leadership book. Today it is rated #1 in Literary Graphic Novels, #4 in Happiness, and #5 in Ethics & Morality
But so many life lessons and reminders help put our lives into perspective. I listened to the audio version, which is less than an hour long and beautifully read by the author. I have replayed segments of it when I need those little reminders.
Find the book here
I thought about doing a book club on this book. So if you read it, let me know if you'd be interested in that.
📚 Think Again by Adam Grant
Much of our thinking is unconscious. I'm often encouraging you to be more conscious with your thinking. In this book, you learn ways that thinking can help us and some of how it can get in the way. The ideas open your eyes to how you may want to engage in conversations with different people differently, explore other people's thoughts, get their input and work together.
Find the book here
📚 Mastering Confidence by Kathy Archer
Yes, I am also recommending my book. In in, I provide you with a framework for managing your thoughts. When your doubt, hesitation, and fear of imposter syndrome get in the way of leading, presenting, engaging in difficult conversations or running a staff meeting, it doesn't feel very good! This framework helps you rein in those thoughts and gives you structure you can return to when your thoughts begin to get the better of you again.
Find the book here
What books would you add to the list? Comment below so the rest of us can add to our reading list too!
There are plenty of ways to brush up on your leadership skills this summer. Picking up one of these six books is a good start and see how a new perspective, idea or strategy can boost your confidence as a leader.
As you go about your day as a nonprofit leader, something may happen, and you may feel your body tighten. For example, your stomach knots up, your chest feels heavy, or your throat tightens or feels dry. Perhaps you overreact or shut down. This physical response may be a sign you may have just got triggered.
We often get triggered when something threatens our values. This response results when we feel something important to us is at risk.
Here's how I got triggered this weekend...
Let me give you an example. I value order. I like things to be in their place, and I like to have things tidy. However, this weekend I was triggered multiple times by mud on the floor and the result from when someone in my house who didn't think it was a problem not to clean their feet before they came in. (Can you guess who?)
We're in the middle of backyard renovations. Unfortunately, with this weekend's rain, my backyard was a mud hole. Each time my husband, the dog, or I came in, a pile of mud and dirt came with us. Because a sense of order is important to me, I would take my shoes off outside, ensure the dog's feet were clean before he came in and immediately sweep up any chunks of mud.
This is what triggered me...
On the other hand, my husband sees the mess as part of the process, so the mess doesn't bother him. So it's not a problem for him to walk around barefoot outside and come into the house. He values freedom, ease and relaxation. He likes to be barefoot, and walking around in the grass and mud doesn't bother him. The house will get cleaned eventually, so what's the big deal?
Which camp are you in?
This is how knowing my trigger helped me
Knowing that I'm triggered by disarray helps me manage my emotions and be somewhat humourous about my incessant need to clean. Aware that the tightness in my chest is building, I can manage my frustration with my husband by managing my self-talk, taking some deep breaths or distracting myself with something I enjoy.
During a coaching call the other day, my client Jenessa became aware that when others aren't accountable for their actions or in-actions, or their responsibilities etc., she is triggered. Jenessa feels her chest tighten, purses her lips, and sometimes clenches her hands. She laughed at the memory of pounding out a response to a chat message when she was annoyed with someone shirking their responsibility.
Does either of these feel familiar to you?
This is why identifying your triggers is important
Identifying triggers is part of working with and understanding our values to help us be more emotionally intelligent and confident in our abilities. When you know what's important to you and what it feels like when that thing (i.e. order, accountability) is being threatened, it's easier to choose a response than react in a way you may regret later.
Below you'll find steps to help you find the clarity around your value to help you be more intentional instead of reactionary.
5 steps to use your VALUES to be more emotionally intelligent
Here is the process to help you find the clarity around your value to help you be more intentional instead of reactionary.
1 - Identify your values
2- Get an understanding of what your values mean to you
3 - Determine how your values show up in your life
4 - Pinpoint what's going on when you are aligned with your values or not
5- Get clear on what triggers show up when things in your life aren't in line with your values
This deeper understanding of your values helps you to manage your emotions, navigate tough conversations and focus on what matters most when it matters most!
One more example...
If you are trying to wind down a conversation at a meeting, you may value timeliness or efficiency. Your annoyance with those who are dragging the conversation out is triggering that value.
That's why you are:
Conversely, your peer may be
See how that all works together?
Need some help?
This month inside my membership, I added a worksheet to the Values Verification course, helping members identify their triggers. If this is part of what you need, or the five steps listed above, check out the course here and if you think it would be helpful, join the membership here.
When you join The Training Library membership, you'll become confident in your leadership abilities, learn to bounce back when adversity hits, discover how to be your best self and find a place to belong!
Becoming emotionally intelligent and confident in our leadership abilities takes time and requires skill development and increased awareness of what makes us tick! To do this, take responsibility for where you are and where you are going by creating your own personal and professional development plan. Intentional development is your path to success in both your leadership and life.
Read this next:
The 8 most overlooked definitions in leadership and why they matter
I bet there are times you wish you could be involved in an engaging leadership experience? Not a one-off course, webinar or conference session, but an experience, over time, that deepens your learning!
In 2012 I did that. For 10 months, about 20 other leaders from around the world and I learned together, online and in person. Four times we met for a week at a time in California. Between those sessions, we met online and had partner projects that required us to meet in person with our partners. It was an incredible experience. It was also one of the most transformative things I've ever done.
Not everyone can do something like that, but we can create learning experiences for our teams. Not training per se, but an experience where you learn, grow and develop over time.
I am blessed to be working with a large group of nonprofit leaders for nine months to help them become inspiring leaders. Inspiring leaders motivate and engage their teams, so they enjoy their jobs and do meaningful work together.
One of the first things I covered with the participants of the Inspiring Leadership group was the four fundamentals of leadership. They are the base for the future of the work we do together.
Even though you may not be involved in a group program, you can benefit from these fundamentals and use them over the next several months of your leadership journey. I'll give you a brief overview and share some suggestions that you can do to work on yourself! Then you can create your strategy and plan for growth.
The 4 fundamentals of leaders
As teenagers, we spent a lot of time figuring out our identity, answering the question, who am I? But as we mature, we have spent more time conforming to what's expected of us than who we are and are more focused on; how do I fit in? As such, we've often lost touch with who we are.
The first thing I do with individuals or teams is help them identify their strengths, values and morals. Understanding what makes you tick, thrive, and the triggers that make you react is fundamental to inspiring, motivating and engaging others.
Suggestion: Take time to consider:
Extra Resources for The Training Library membership members:
Ongoing personal and professional development is critical. For example, when I was in the ten-month leadership program, we had a list of required reading, each had a coach, and we learned A LOT about leadership and ourselves. At the end of the course, I committed to continue learning to be a better speaker and joined Toastmasters. I'm still involved!
Suggestion: Create your learning plan
Extra Resources for The Training Library membership members:
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is critical for effective leadership.
Suggestion: Commit to wellness
Extra Resources for The Training Library membership members:
Teach others to do the same
If you want the best for and out of the people you work with, they need to be themselves, develop themselves and take care of themselves. Teach, role model and mentor these habits to them.
Suggestion: Coach your people
Extra Resources for The Training Library membership members:
Starting the journey of mastering these fundamentals is critical for you to BECOME confident in your abilities, BOUNCE BACK when adversity hits and BE your best self!
As I walked into my office, my administrative support, Wendy, asked me a question. I turned and glared at her. Then, as I turned back and kept on walking, I answered Wendy through my teeth! I certainly didn't have the patience for her BS right now.
But....why didn't I have the patience for Wendy at this moment?
Was it because she had done something wrong?
** Possibly, but the way I handled it was all on me.
Ok, let me start by saying I do not like that word at all! If you can give me another word that we all know and understand to describe what I mean, please message me and tell me a better word. It's not merely being rude or being cranky it's more than that. And we've all been there.
I've had my fair share of staff challenges, and I bet you have too. We have staff that don't get along, stir the pot on the team, mess up with clients, neglect their paperwork, or in general, are somewhat incompetent at their job. And we need to address those issues.
How are you addressing the issues?
Instead, you probably want them to say something like, "That was a tough conversation, but I feel like she's supporting me and wants to help me out."
What gets in the way?
We are women leaders. There is a lot that can get in the way that has nothing to do with the work, the person we are dealing with, the sector or the issue at hand.
▶︎ It might, however, have to do with that time of the month.
▶︎ It might have to do with that time in our life cycle.
▶︎ It could also be that our hormones are off due to our diabetes or thyroid issues.
▶︎It might result from a lack of sleep because our toddler kept us up, we fought with our partner or dealt with night sweats half the night.
Hormones, emotions, burnout
How you respond to a challenge with your employee is less about the words you use and more about how you deliver that message. Hormones, emotions and burnout all factor in. They are all things you need to be aware of, manage and, yes, at times, workaround.
3 strategies to help you manage your reputation
1) Be mindful of your body, mind and soul
2) Be in control of your schedule so you can adjust when needed based on mood and energy levels.
3) Be honest
We respect vulnerable leaders
Most of our nonprofits are full of women, all of whom are likely going through similar emotional, hormonal and energy roller coasters. When you acknowledge where you are at, it makes you seem more human and permits others to do the same. Humour is useful in these kinds of situations if that's a strength of yours, but so is self-compassion, kindness, honesty and bravery.
For those of you in The Training Library, here are some resources you might want to check out to help you ditch the bitchiness and lead with confidence!
You are human! Don't forget that
Remember, it's not what you do as a leader that counts. It's how you do it. And you are a human being. You have emotions, hormones and a life outside of work that factor into how you lead. Don't forget to take that into account. When you do, you'll ditch survival mode and learn to thrive in both your leadership and your life!
Learning leadership skills can nix imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is tough on leaders. But as most nonprofit leaders moved up the ranks from front-line positions, it makes sense. Unfortunately, we don't always have the training, support and guidance to learn leadership strategy, techniques and skills. It's time to change that!
I recently watched the movie Hillbilly Elegy and loved it!
There is a scene where the main character goes to a fancy dinner and steps away to phone his girlfriend to get her help. Over the phone, his girlfriend teaches him a quick strategy to know which forks to use and when.
This scene brought back memories from when I first went to business dinners at upper-end restaurants and had no idea how to order wine or speak certain words on the menu and certainly not which utensil to use.
I didn't fit the "leadership" mold
When I recognized how uncultured I was, it always brought the feeling that I didn't fit in. It made me feel that I didn't have what it took to be at that leadership level.
I suffered from Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome happens when we think we don't have the capacity, skills or education to do the job we are in. It leads to self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. We fear that others will discover we aren't knowable, capable, or equipped to do the job, which leads to feeling like a fraud or imposter.
Here's the thing, neither of my parents has a high school education, and we farmed. I know differently now, but back then, I felt like that was two strikes against me. The belief partly stems from my Dad's frequent quip about being "just a dumb farmer." That belief unconsciously stayed with me, and as a result, I was undoubtedly always comparing myself to others who were more cultured and had more educated parents.
I didn't have enough of this:
That unconscious pattern of thinking continued in my career. I never felt I had "enough" to fit in.
Do you have enough to fit the leadership mold?
However, "not-enoughness" strikes us all in various ways and at different times.
Where do you feel "not-enoughness?"
If you aren't careful, that train of thinking will get wreak havoc with your confidence!
On this podcast, I talk to Malory Erickson about "not enoughness" in fundraising. Mallory covers four strategies on how to overcome "not-enoughness." The strategies aren't just about fundraising, though. Listen and see how they fit with your role as well!
Strategy # 1
The first strategy that Mallory talks about is to embrace your emotions, as I am always encouraging you to as well. We need to name our feelings and identify what body sensations and thoughts go with those emotions. It's the second step of The Inner Guidance Cycle called Ponder.
Here's how it looks at work
When I would sit at a contract meeting, I often didn't understand the legal mumbo-jumbo on the page in front of me.
Have the courageous conversations
In the podcast, Mallory suggests it becomes less intimidating when we talk about what we feel with other people at work. She encourages us to create a workplace culture where it's safe to say what we feel, and as the leader, that starts with you.
Here's an example
For example, I could have bravely spoken up at that meeting to say, "Hey, you know what, I feel a little foolish for saying this, but I don't understand what this word means, and I don't get what this implies." I bet that others around the table felt the same way and would have been relieved for someone to speak up.
Strategy # 2
Another strategy Mallory talks about is to get a hold of your thoughts. Self-talk like this wreaks havoc with your confidence:
You need to get a hold of these thoughts and reframe them to ease the doubt, increase your confidence and overcome that imposter syndrome feeling.
When you work through the Inner Guidance Cycle by stopping (pause) to ask yourself what you are thinking and feeling (ponder), you can remind yourself (pivot) that you're not the only one at that moment not understanding the words on the legal document in front of you. That can give you the courage to speak up (proceed) and say what many people in the room are feeling.
To understand and begin using The Inner Guidance Cycle in your leadership and life, grab Mastering Confidence and start working through the self-reflective exercises in it.
For the other two strategies on how to overcome not-enoughness, tune to the podcast with Mallory Erickson here
YOU ARE ENOUGH!
You are enough, my dear! Just the way you are!
What's more, the world, your organization, your team and your clients need you.
They need what you have, what you offer and what you can help them with!
Have you ever avoided a tough conversation, that you know you should have?
We all have. Unfortunately, when we don't deal with them, they tend to fester and problems get worse.
Keep reading to learn how to create a plan to get you through "that" conversation in a way that feels authentic and confident!
Let me start with a story:
I have a decision to make today…..ok…let me rephrase that. I’ve made a decision, now I need to communicate it to someone, and I’m not looking forward to it.
❓️Can you relate❓️
Do you have a conversation you need to have with someone and are dreading it? 😩
Having tough conversations takes discipline.
You need the self-control to do it, even when your inner self is screaming:
Your inner voice keeps you small!
To shush that nattering voice that keeps you lacking the courage to deal with the thing with integrity you need willpower.
Willpower is that inner will that will tell all that negativity to be quiet so you can awaken that courageous you that is hiding quietly in the background.
Having a tough conversation takes willpower!
And here’s the truth: You need to strengthen your willpower so you can handle that tough conversation and get done what matters most!💪
Here's how willpower & tough conversations fit together
Let look at the components of willpower as they relate to difficult conversations. Willpower is the ability to:
💥manage your thoughts.
💥manage your emotions.
💥resist urges and distractions
💥focus on what matters most!
Imagine being a leader who can keep your thoughts and emotions in check and handle a tough conversation with courage, confidence and integrity!!!🙌
Let's back up a moment
Imagine the next tough talk that you have coming up.
My guess is several things could come into play.
Now, let's look at how your willpower, or lack of willpower may come into play. When you think about how you define it as a tough conversation, consider:
🔹What thoughts come up for you?
🔹What emotions are connected to those thoughts?
🔹Where might you allow yourself to be distracted?
🔹What urges do you have about that meeting?
🔹What will be important about focusing during that talk?
👉️Thoughts, feelings, resisting urges and distraction and focusing, all of the components of willpower are all going to play a role in that tough conversation. It will be your inner discipline or willpower that will help you stay engaged in a conversation when you don’t feel like it;
You need a plan!!!! 👇️Here's how:
The best way to stay authentically and courageously in that uncomfortable conversation is to pre-plan. You need to know ahead of time:
You, my dear, need to have a plan to use your willpower wisely.
✏️Here’s your homework.
Identify the next difficult, tough or challenging conversation you have.
Members of The Training Library can find this WEBINAR: How to prepare for a tough talk so you can handle it with integrity to help you plan your way to confidence!
Hey my dear,
What do these examples have in common with you?
Have you hit a bump?
The truth is, while sometimes things roll along smoothly, we often hit a bump as leaders, and that bump creates a small or a big, mess in our lives.
How are you approaching your bump?
How you get through each of those situations, defines the future of your leadership journey.
✅Your style of communication
✅The resources you reach for
✅The strategies you use to grow
The type of person and leader you become are shaped by how you approach each bump along the way.
Can you learn anything from how we approached our bumps?
Each of us approached our bumps in our own ways.
This is how our approaches shaped us. Do they sound outcomes you want?
How each of us approached our bump, has shaped the type of leader we are today.
The question for you today is: What’s your current bump and what’s your approach to dealing with it?
⚠️Leadership is a hard journey⚠️
I don’t want you to go through it alone, in fact...
You should NOT have to go through leadership
feeling alone and isolated!
❣️You should have friends, mentors, resources and coaches!
❣️You should have a shoulder to cry on and someone to kick your butt into gear when you need to take responsibility for the change.
Don't do this!
I've coached and mentored hundreds of women and what I see often is this:
Struggle and doubt are part of the leadership journey. Leadership will have tough days. Period. There will be many amazing, insightful, exciting and enjoyable days too. But there will be tough days.
It’s how you deal with the tough days, that will shape your leadership character!
Create your pit crew:
Your pit crew is a list of people that, when you hit a bump, will be there on the side of the road for you!
️DO THIS: Make a list of those people that you can call lean on, or ask for help when you need them.
Hint: It doesn’t need to be a real call. I have on my list, people I’ve taken virtual training with. When I hit a block, I’ll say to myself:
What would Simon, Brene, Brian, Joni, Amy, or the Kathy I’m becoming tell me to do?
Leadership is full of difficult meetings, tough conversations and challenging moments. But you’ve got this, my dear. You can do this. It just takes a little help from your friends - AKA your pit crew.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.