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!
Did you know that practicing mindfulness can make you a better leader?
You bet it can!
Mindfulness helps you to:
AND....Mindfulness helps you to be a compassionate leader:
Instead of being stiff, bristly and focused only on tasks and results, mindfulness helps you be a warm, caring, compassionate, emotionally and socially intelligent leader.
You are a caring person!!!
And let's be honest, that's who you are at your core! You are kind, caring and passionate about your work. Sometimes, we just get caught up in the mess of the day, lose contact with that part of ourselves (unmindful) and lose touch with the human side of our leadership capacity.
Mindfulness doesn't necessarily mean meditation
Now that we've confirmed, it might be a good idea to practice mindfulness; my guess is your thoughts immediately go to meditation. While that may be helpful, and I encourage you to try that, you don't have to meditate to practice mindfulness.
You don't have to live alone to do this!
But you might be saying I can't do that. I have a houseful. True. And when you sit and eat and listen to the sounds in your household, what do you hear?
You might also tune in to what you taste.
Use your senses at any moment to be mindful
Your senses are wonderful ways of bringing you present, being mindful in this moment 👃🏼👂🏻 👋🏻 👀 👅 Even during a meeting, travelling or watching tv, you can practice tuning into your senses.
As I practiced mindfulness this morning, I tasted the cinnamon in my oatmeal, the ground hazelnuts, craisins sprinkled in and the almond milk on top.
Mindfulness is being mindful of this moment...it's that "easy"
Practising mindfulness is simply just that, practising being mindful of whatever is happening around you.
Are you present or in the past or future?
Instead, most of us let our thoughts pull us back to what happened and regurgitate what went wrong. Alternately, we focus on the future and fret and worry about what is to become. To be mindful is to be in this moment, whatever is going on!
Mindfulness helps you build compassion, care and connection in your nonprofit
In this week's episode of the podcast, Elizabeth Bishop and I talk about love in your nonprofit. By love, we mean compassion, connection and caring. The problem is many of us have lost touch with that part of our leadership capacity. And it shows.
More help to build your compassion, kindness and mindfulness
To help, tune in to my conversation with Elizabeth for tons of ideas, insights and the incentive to practice mindfulness.
For more information on how to use mindfulness to maintain your composure during tough meetings, those of you in The Training Library can watch this webinar.
TRY IT: Just for a moment now, tune into your senses. Be present to this moment!
Go make the rest of your day awesome!
Have you lost your passion for your work?
We’ve been told we’ll burn ourselves out. But we are burning ourselves out by not caring, not feeling and numbing out.
In this episode, Elizabeth and I engage in a dialogue about bringing your heart back into your work!
You’ll learn strategies, mindsets and most importantly, you’ll gain the permission to once again feel the love in the workplace!
A leader's job is to stay positive all of the time. WRONG!
A leader's job is to lead a team
Sometimes that means you're positive. But more often than not, it means you're honest.
A leader's job is not to stifle emotions
I coach leaders all the time who want to turn people's moods, perspectives or feelings around.
They want to take a difficult transition or a change that's happening and make everyone see the positive out of it.
You can't ignore your team's emotions!
Let me give you an example
My friend recently lost his wife. He took care of her for months while she battled cancer. In the end, she couldn't talk, and he spoke for her to visitors. They had been together for over 30 years and were soulmates.
That's a difficult situation. I cannot say to him...
I know it's hard, but look at the positive:
Indeed, you can see how heartless that is 😳
Similarly, we try to do this with our teams
We take a difficult situation and try to hop them over the grief, loss and pain and suffering that they are experiencing.
2020 has been hard!!
Grief and loss are what we have experienced this year. Those feelings are not something you can move through quickly, get around or avoid.
What you can do is experience them. You can move your way through the emotions surrounding grief and loss.
Learning to let your team feel the hardness of this year
How do you sit with the icky feelings so that you can move through them?
Note: The opposite is to stuff emotions down, hide them or shove them away.
My guess is you probably already know this may work in the short term, but longterm, it has some serious consequences.
You're becoming an emotionally intelligent leader
The ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and those of others is a sign of an emotionally and socially intelligent leader.
Leaders do set a vision,
but they also help their team get there!
Yes, your job as a leader is to help teams see the other side
A leader is taking a team a direction via a powerful vision. You'll need to be motivating and inspiring to get there. And sometimes getting them to that vision will be hard on them.
What you can do
When it's difficult, we need to sit down beside our team and talk about how hard and difficult it is.
Are they ready to move on?
Sometimes they are ready, and we can then be positive again.
Sometimes they need more time.
If they get stuck, we may need to nudge them along a little bit with hard truths, inspiration, and motivation.
Someone once wisely said:
There is a time and a place for everything!
Practically how do you do this?
👉You slow things down.
👉You'll allow space for frustration and disappointment in conversations about the pain and agony.
👉You acknowledge the emotions rather than trying to push them away.
EXERCISE: Try this with your team
On this week's podcast, I talk about looking back over 2020. If you're looking for an exercise to do with your team to help acknowledge all of the rainbow of emotions that have happened, get them to listen to the podcast.
First, ask them to reflect on the questions I offer in the episode such as:
Next, sit down and discuss the answers together. Remember to allow and acknowledging what you have all been through how you've grown as a team.
Then, when the emotions have been acknowledged...smile and gently bring on the positivity...if the time is right!
Make reading a part of your 2020 leadership plan!
Ongoing growth and development is a critical component of leadership! You should be reading! Maybe you think you don't have time. Make time! Seriously. Create tiny pockets of time that you can read or listen to a book. It will change both your leadership and your life!
YOUR TURN: What made your list of 2019 books?
Comment below and tell me what books I should put on my 2020 reading list!
If you can't remember the last time you read a book, took a course that wasn't required training for the job, or spent a few minutes reflecting on your personal growth lately, then my dear, it's no wonder you feel crappy half the time!
You feel crappy because you keep going around and around
I'll be honest with you. It sucks being a hamster when you are supposed to be a leader. Yet that's where many leaders are.
Far too many leaders focus on the same old stuff every day! Round and round you go.
Sure, you might experience a different flavour of crisis.
The drama today could sound a bit different.
Yet, when you look back over the last year or two, does it look the same?
Are you trapped?
If you keep experiencing basically the same crisis and dramas every day, that might be because you've become trapped in the same spot. It's like swamp water that doesn't move, and it's why you feel icky.
If you feel icky,
perhaps your growth & development has stagnated
Are you living in the past?
Just like those who still have the 80's hair doo, are you approaching problems with the same mindset and skillset that you learned 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Those old ways are not going to keep you at the forefront of leadership or help you to enjoy life.
Do you want to know what else is causing you grief?
Let me explain something that you may not have considered. If you are like many women leaders, at times, you struggle with imposter syndrome. Instead of feeling competent, capable and confident, you feel:
To get out of imposter syndrome, you need the training to feel competent and thus confident! If you aren't getting the training you need, then you keep feeling like you are incapable, insecure and incompetent.
Ongoing personal & professional development
is your path to confidence
Here's how to get moving
Strong, confident and capable leaders are those that are continually learning and growing. And let me tell you a little secret, it's by engaging in ongoing personal and professional development that you will find success in leadership and happiness with life.
But you may be hung up here
Here is the extra challenge. If you are like most women, you are:
Let me tell you a little secret:
THREE FREE PLACES TO LEARN
THREE LOW-COST PLACES TO LEARN
THREE WAYS TO FIT TRAINING IN
Remember, effective leaders,
️️️√ Focus on learning and growth.
√ They are continually developing themselves
√ Keep the knowledge flowing through them and onto the people they serve.
Remember, ongoing personal & professional development is your path to confidence. If you want help to find low-cost ongoing training, learn more about The Training Library below.
Are you a manager or a leader? Here is the simple question to help you see: Are you trying to move things forward, or are you trying to stabilize them?
We need to both manage and lead
Likely you do both but at different times. The challenge is that we get caught in too much managing. We spend most of our time, heads down just trying to survive. More often, and we need to manage less and lead more.
A manager steadies things.
If at that moment, you are trying to stabilize things, keep them in line, and follow procedures, then you are managing.
Here is what managing looks like:
When you wear the manager’s hat, you are;
✔️Setting up work schedules
✔️Ensuring people are following their job descriptions
✔️Reviewing procedures at a staff meeting
✔️Solving the problem of the day
✔️Attending meetings, we are required to attend
?Managers get stuff done
Managers are maintaining order and consistency. They are keeping things status quo. In essence, they are getting the work done.
?Leaders are moving things forward
Shifting into leadership mode means that instead of maintaining the status quo, leaders are looking to challenge the status quo. You are looking to get out of the steady, sure place and find more movement forward. Leaders focus on change, movement, and growth.
Both Managing and Leading are needed!
Leadership looks like this:
Putting on your leadership hat has you do these activities:
Leaders develop others and the company
Leaders motivate, inspire, and energized team members to grow and develop to be all they can be. In doing so, this also creates the space for the company to be all it can be. Leaders help individuals and teams to reach their full potential.
Too often we get stuck in managing and forget to lead
Only leading or managing gets you into trouble
When we sit on one side of the other too long, it creates a void. Yes, we need to stabilize for a moment, but we also need to keep moving.
?️Always racing forward can lead to no foundation with which build on.
️.........Only focusing on the future can create chaos, and essentially you spin out of control.
?️On the other hand, staying still too long makes us stagnant ?
You need to shift between managing and leading
Leaders need to know how to shift back-and-forth
Leaders need to switch back and forth from their manager hat to their leadership hat.
?Your strength may be in seeing the future potential of an employee, and so you focus on that during their performance review. You talk to them about their goals and help them decide what training they need to take over the next year.
?You may also need to have a conversation with them about them being late with paperwork. That conversation manages day-to-day challenges. It also serves to stabilize their work and how that affects the rest of the team.
Don’t get stuck in managing
Add more leadership time
?I CHALLENGE YOU: Work to incorporate more leading in your day-to-day work. When you can set your sights farther down the road, you can look up and gain perspective.
Practice leading more often
When you demonstrate your leadership more often, you will develop your team to be stronger, more independent and more engaged. In doing so, you will find your organization more cohesive and will advance quicker towards the goals set out in your visioning processes.
I'm sending you lots of positive vibes to practice your leadership capabilities, so you can be your best self!?
p.s. Learn more about leading and managing in this video below ?️
I bet you are so done with survival mode, and you want to move to thriving 😀
You are looking for some work-life balance, more success in your career, to be doing fulfilling work and enjoying the people you are working with.
That's not much to ask for, is it?
No, my dear, it's not!
You have every right to have all of those things and what's more…
It is possible!
Keep reading to find out how!!
Let us start with the question: Why haven't you attained all of that yet?
My guess is that you have not found balance, fulfilment and confidence because your THINKING is tanking your success.
It's time to learn how to shift your mindset to the mindset that it is actually going to help you get the success you desire!
Yet, my guess is instead, you doubt yourself!
This kind of THINKING is called a curriculum mindset.
When you have a curriculum mindset, you are always asking yourself:
Curriculum mindset example # 1
GOAL: Create more work-life balance.
PATH: I need to learn how to set boundaries
Great, but how are you going to learn to set better boundaries?
You just can't wish that you're going to be better at setting boundaries. You can't just hope that one day you're just going to magically feel more confident and be able to set better boundaries. That is hope with no action. You need tools to help you.
TOOLS: In my mind, if you don't have a binder or book and a pen to write things down, you are not learning strategically. Your tools are:
Curriculum mindset example # 2
Maybe you want to be able to maintain your composure during tough conversations. But remember, you are not going to become a more emotionally intelligent person by wishing it would happen,
You're certainly not going to become more emotionally intelligent by waiting for your boss to stop being such a jerk. That's not going to change you.
You have to become response-able!
Take responsibility by developing your curriculum mindset:
What do I need to learn, and how will I learn it?
GOAL:: Stay composed during tough conversations.
PATH: Learn more about emotional intelligence and how to control my thoughts and emotions
TOOLS: Watch Kathy's webinar: Saying composed during those tough conversations is to increase your emotional intelligence.
When you create your learning curriculum, things start to change for you.
Your curriculum mindset will get you out of survival mode and moving towards THRIVING!!!
⭐️MY CHALLENGE TO YOU⭐️
🆘 A TOOL TO HELP WITH YOUR LEARNING CURRICULUM
If you need some help with the tools, I've created The Training Library for you!!!! Inside of The Training Library are the courses to help you get out of survival mode. There are courses to build your competence and confidence. I've included webinars for you on emotional intelligence and maintaining your composure.
AND...I'm doing a study group on one of the courses!
For 7 weeks, I'm going to be guiding you through the Willpower Essentials course, week-by-week in the Willpower Essentials Study Group.
Don't forget to watch your THINKING!
Think you can and then take responsibly for making it happen! 🤗
I bet you know what you don't want as a woman leader. But do you know what you DO want?
👉️Do you know clearly?
I think we can agree you know kind of what you DON'T want:
But are you clear on what you DO want?
An example to make it clear 😊
Let's imagine you're going to purchase a new car.
👉️You need to get 💎CRYSTAL CLEAR💎
The same is true if you are buying a house, looking for an outfit for that special occasion or for that matter, picking a life partner.
You need an idea of what you want.
The more specific, the better ✔️
Back to you and getting out of survival mode:
Let's go back to last week's discussion on survival mode. You know what you don't want. But do you know, specifically, with precision and 💎crystal clarity what you do want? I'm going to suggest it's time you did.
Get really clear on what thriving means for you
You need to get clear on what the other end of the spectrum looks like for you. I call this your thriving target. Take time to create a vision for yourself that precisely includes what you want.
DO THIS to create your thriving target:
There is one little ⚠️WARNING ⚠️ I want to share.
Creating that target won't make it happen. It's only the first step.
You've then got to come back and create a plan and do the work to get there.
🆘HERE'S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU
If you've been thinking working on the Willpower Essentials course but haven't had time to register, start or finish the course, now's the time to do that.
For 7 weeks, I'm going to be guiding you through the course, week-by-week in the Willpower Essentials Study Group.
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.
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.