There are a lot of nonprofit personal and professional development courses out there. But are you taking advantage of them?
Many nonprofit leaders put courses, webinars and training on the back burner and never get back to them.
In this article, you'll learn how to shift your mindset and get you back on track with your professional development.
Here's the thing, how many of these or similar comments have you made lately?
If those comments sound familiar or all too true, you aren't alone! AND, they are not just signs of living in survival mode, but warning signs of burnout!
Do you know the signs of impending burnout?
Feeling run down and drained physically and emotionally, irritated with life, a sense that you aren't getting anywhere are all indicators of burnout. But before burnout is often long periods of survival mode. The majority of women leaders that work with me say they've been in survival mode for much of their career. Ugh! That is NOT how we want to live and lead!
How are you doing?
Start by looking back at yesterday. Were you thriving throughout your day, or did you spend much of your day in survival mode? Grab this worksheet and then consider over the last week, how much of your time were you just getting by, going through the motions, grinding away at your days., thus in survival mode?
Now, if I asked you where you want to be by mid-November, what would you say?
Do you have hope that it can be different?
Do you believe that you can get to thriving? I then asked you these three questions, how would you answer?
Here's why those questions are important ⬇️
Understanding how hope works
Research has shown that those that are thriving feel hopeful. Hope is made up of three components:
First, hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today.
Second, hope is an expectation that it's possible that you can reach that goal.
You need to have the confidence that you can get there. Remember, confidence starts with competence.
Third, do you have a plan of how you're going to do that?
Having hope will change your daily experience!
When you have all of those three components of hope, belief, expectancy, and pathways, there's a better chance you're going to be regularly thriving by mid-November.
At the end of the day, what you need is to create your plan!
How will you get there?
Learn the steps to create your plan
In this week's podcast, I break down planning for your personal, professional development this fall. That's not what sector-related skill you're going to learn this fall, necessarily. But how are you going to grow and develop as an individual and as a leader?
What will you do to do that, and when will you put that into your calendar.
The next question is how you're going to create that plan, and my guess is you might need a little bit of help with that.
Get help to create your plan!
In The Training Library, my membership site, I have a course to help you create your plan. When you join, you'll get immediate access to the Webinar Create Your Quarterly Goal Setting & Planning Strategy as well as every single other webinar and course to help you thrive in leadership.
This is what your peers created:
Below you'll find components of two of my student's plans that they have created after completing the webinar Create Your Quarterly Goal Setting & Planning Strategy.
Sasha's plan for thriving included:
Becca got serious on her plan, with lots of details!
It's your turn!
If you want to really create your sense of hope that things will be different by the end of the year for you, start with envisioning it, then cultivating the confidence to get there by developing your competency and finally creating a plan to do that.
You want to excel in leadership and make a big difference, but you feel like you spend more time chasing fires than moving to excellence. Therefore, you need a plan to ditch survival mode and move in the direction of confident, composed and impactful leadership.
Let me tell you a story to help you create your plan!
Eva came to a coaching call wanting support to be a better leader. She wanted to know where to begin. Eva knew that to be an excellent leader, it was important to her to be making a difference. She wondered if she should start with building her team?
Eva was also a bit worried as she was aware that an excellent leader leads with integrity, and she'd received some feedback lately that suggested her team didn't trust her.
On top of all of this, Eva's board was pushing her to grow in the sector. The lay of the land was changing rapidly, and the board was worried about the program's long-term sustainability. Eva needed to shore up her understanding of the political scope, new research and changes in reporting.
Where do I start? Eva asked. It's so overwhelming!
After acknowledging many leaders feel very overwhelmed (maybe you do too!) I encouraged Eva to pause and acknowledge her courage to ask for help and take steps to develop her leadership.
It's tough to look hard at yourself and then do the work to develop areas. It takes courage, vulnerability, grit and time! Reaching out and asking for help is something many leaders resist. They think it implies weakness. So instead, I explained to Eva that it's a sign of incredible strength and confidence!
Completing the Assessment
Next, I explained to Eva that we would start by assessing leadership competencies to get a clearer sense of where to begin. When everything is muddled together, and we are in reactionary mode, we keep putting out fires. Slowing down and intentionally assessing skills and developmental areas helps clarify the underlying challenges, what strengths we need to shine a light on more and thus, and where to begin.
As we know, it's essential to have a strong team. So I asked Eva some questions to help her look at her skills to identify where she may need to grow. Of course, you can do this too!
If any of those made you cringe or a bit anxious, perhaps those are areas to start. Eva knew she needed to look at how she was mentoring her team members. It was an area she felt she lagged in.
As Eva identified her board wanted her to understand the sector better, we looked at the following questions. Again, you can answer these questions too.
To get a deeper understanding of where Eva landed, she and many of my students complete a full assessment from The Leadership Circle, which includes 360 feedback from their team, peers, boss, board and community. It's a very robust tool. You can try the free version where you assess yourself here.
Eva's assessment came back with information that helped her narrow down what she needed to work on and how to do that. Just as she suspected, she needed to build mentoring relationships with her team to help them grow and develop. The assessment also pointed out how Eva's habit of being a perfectionist got in the way of her team feeling supported!
Creating the Plan
After we reviewed her assessment, the next step for Eva was to create a growth and development plan. Eva and again, many of my students develop a curriculum plan to go with their developmental goals.
For example, Eva looked at how she would increase her skills in team building?
With her assessment complete and a plan in hand, Eva already felt more confident that she could not only handle all on her plate but do so with increased competence and composure. She knew that she was ready to build a team that trusted her and could adapt to changes to provide long-term client support.
What's your next step?
So many leaders rely on not so helpful performance appraisals that their organization does. Most of the time, it's really not helpful. It focuses on what the organization needs, not necessarily what you need. And for many leaders, this document is nonexistent! They can't remember the last time they received valuable feedback.
For these reasons, I strongly encourage my students to get their own feedback and create their own plans from now on!
An excellent leader takes into account all areas and continues to grow and develop in them. An excellent leader is self-aware. They take time to reflect, develop their emotional intelligence, do the work to integrate work, life and wellness and commits to ongoing personal and professional development. What are you doing to be that excellent leader?
Which of these do you need to work on?
Just like Eva, you'll increase your confidence and find that you are making a bigger difference when you have a plan and begin working on the plan. Do the inner work. It's worth it!
If you need help to create your personalized curriculum for leadership development, start here.
If you want to lead your nonprofit with integrity, it would benefit you to learn to use your moral compass to make ethical decisions. In this article, I am going to help you do just that! It will require a wee bit of work from you, though!
An exercise for you
We are going to start with an exercise. First, grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Then, on the left-hand side, write down a few things that drive you nuts about people.
It could be political leaders, leaders in your organization, or community leaders.
The second part of the exercise
Next, go to the right-hand side of your page and make a list of all the things that you like that people do or how they act. And once again, think about traits of specific leaders that you appreciate and enjoy.
What do your lists mean?
Look over your lists. The things that you just noted are indications of your beliefs, values, and ethics. For example, if you said that lazy people irritate you, you probably value hard work and appreciate a strong work ethic.
When I look at my list, I see that it drives me nuts when people fake kindness. I am suspicious when someone pretends to be caring and thoughtful, yet I know they are only doing it because they are supposed to do it. As a result, I lose trust in them.
Looking at this example helps me realize I value kindness as well as honest and authentic connections.
If you like these kinds of exercises and want to get a deeper understanding of your values, try the Values Verification course here.
You've started to define your moral compass
This exercise helps you to identify your values, ethics, and morals. Your values, ethics, and morals are what guide your moral compass.
How does this apply to your leadership?
First, consider the strategy we are told as leaders regarding giving recognition. If I comment to someone, and that comment does not feel genuine and authentic, it makes me feel icky. That's because it is activating my moral compass and telling me that I'm not sincere.
This is why you need to activate your moral compass
Think of your moral compass as your conscience. It is what guides your words, actions, and decisions. It helps you determine what is right and wrong for you as a leader (and a person). Each of us has a different set of guidelines. I may be ok with fudging numbers (I'm not!), and you may be a by-the-book kind of person! But, we each have to tune into our moral compass to know what's right for us.
It's when we do what's right for us that we lead with integrity. Integrity is walking your talk and leading with authenticity. It's when your actions align with what you believe in.
Help to activate your moral compass
In this week's podcast, I walk you through the Inner Guidance System to help you activate your moral compass. Then, I give you 3 questions you can ask yourself in the ponder stage to help you ensure you are acting, behaving, and making decisions in alignment with your north star.
The second question is: What are my values, ethics beliefs, and morals current that come into play with this choice. You've already started to get clear on that by doing this exercise!
Tune in here to get the other two questions.
When you lead with authenticity, you'll feel better, enjoy your job more, and be a more confident and impactful leader. People will appreciate you, be motivated and inspired by you and as such, loyally follow you! That all feels pretty dang good!
Are you a decisive decision-maker?
Decisiveness is the ability to make decisions quickly, even when we don't have all the information. However, I've realized that many leaders don't even realize that they're not decisive.
Take Kim. Changes are happening upstream that are impacting her team. The team keeps asking how they should implement this with their clients. Rather than deciding, Kim defers the decision to her director; Let's wait to see what Keaton says.
Jasmine tells me she has two vacant positions. She's got money to hire for those two positions. And... She's been deciding what to do about hiring for them for two months.
Anika has an issue with Sage's performance. However, rather than deciding if or how she should discipline Sage, she asks Sage's peer colleague to "help her out" with this task. In essence, she's passing the buck and deferring the problem to someone else to deal with.
The three clients all have problems with decisive decision-making. Rather than making a decision, they are deferring, delaying or trying to dodge making a decision. Perhaps you do one of those too!
Let's look at each a bit closer and how you can "fix" that decision-making "mistake."
Decisiveness is the ability to make a decision quickly, even when you don't have all the information.
Three decision-making mistakes and the fixes
MISTAKE # 1 - We defer the decision to someone else
Rather than making a decision that is ours to make, we often try and get other people to decide for us.
The mistake here is not taking responsibility for making a decision.
MISTAKE # 2 - We delay making a decision
Rather than making a decision, we keep putting off making that decision. We procrastinate. We hedge. But not just for a little bit... but for a long bit!
The mistake here is that we don't even decide when we will decide!
MISTAKE # 3 - We dodge the decision altogether
Dodging is when we ignore the fact that there is a decision to be made.
One of the ways we dodged decisions is when it's time to hold somebody accountable. Rather than address the issue, have a performance conversation, take disciplinary action or let them go, we dodged the whole thing.
The mistake here is that we don't even acknowledge there is a decision to be made.
Decisiveness is the ability to make a decision in a reasonable amount of time, even when we don't have all the evidence to make the decision the way we'd like to. Decisiveness is not always easy!
To help you out, this week on the podcast, I'm giving you a hack to help you make decisive decisions. Because here's the thing...
Effective leaders make decisions decisively.
Tune into this week's podcast to learn about the decision-making hack that will help you be a decisive leader!
Many of us want to be leaders who lead with integrity, and I bet you do too!
Integrity is walking your talk. It's doing what you say you will do. And it's aligning your actions with your values, ethics and morals.
But do you do all of that?
How do you know you do?
I failed in the ethics category!
You probably already know that when I was leading an organization, my team clearly told me that I didn't measure up in the integrity area! For example:
If you are wondering where you stand, I've included some questions at the bottom to help you identify if you are an ethical leader. But first, let's deepen our understanding of ethics.
Understanding integrity, ethics, morals and values
Integrity means you adhere to a set of moral and ethical standards; Your moral and ethical standards, not someone else. So, in essence, integrity is living what you believe. The people you supervise want to see that you practice what you preach.
When you lack integrity, things are incongruent. There is an inconsistency between what you say and do.
The components of integrity
When you are in integrity, your values, ethics and your morals are aligned.
For many of us, rather than alignment, our ethics and morals become unaligned, and we become out of integrity. That lack of alignment is evident as the chasm grows between what you value and believe and what you actually say and do.
It's time to see where you land!
QUIZ: Am I an Ethical Leader?
CODE OF ETHICS
🔲 I know what the Code of Ethics is for my profession.
🔲 I have looked at it recently.
🔲 I follow it.
🔲 I have my own Code of Ethics.
🔲 I have looked at it recently.
🔲 I follow it.
🔲 I have identified my top three values.
🔲 I have a working definition for my top 3 values.
🔲 I know how my values show up in my day-to-day work.
🔲 I use my deeper understanding of my values and how I defined them to make work-based decisions.
🔲 I regularly take time for self-reflection to clarify where I have aligned my actions with my values, ethics and morals.
🔲 I set regular intentions for my actions and behaviours to realign with my values and ethics.
How did you score?How did you do? Pretty good, or do you have work to do?
I have work to do! The act of preparing this for you has shown me where my gaps are and have been an indication for me to take action.
Help to lead with integrity and be a more ethically and morally strong leader.
If you realize you have some work to do and you are in The Training Library, here are some of the courses and lessons you might want to check out:
The first 3 minutes of your 1-1 time with your employee matters more than you think!
Are you making the most use of it?
Like first impressions, those first few minutes of supervision conversations give your employees clues to how the meeting will go and thus what they are willing to put into it.
They will gauge your level of commitment before they give you theirs. Your staff will be able to tell by your actions and demeanour.
Consider asking, "How are you doing?" while checking your phone, finishing up emails fumbling through papers, or before you even have your camera on a zoom call. All of that can clearly demonstrate that you aren't ready. And if you've shown that you aren't prepared, why should they believe you are then interested in hearing their answer. They won't believe you will be empathetic, understanding, or curious if you aren't all there!
Setting the tone for a meeting in this way loses your opportunity to deepen your relationship with them, create engagement and build trust.
How to make the best use of the first three minutes of your meeting
Start by being prepared
1 - Have an agenda
You are the leader, lead the meeting. Know what you are covering and ensure the employee knows too. That means they should have seen the agenda ahead of time and could add their items.
2 - Show up a few minutes early
Running from one meeting to the next doesn't let you process what happened, make notes of things you need to follow up on or deal with nature's needs.
Try running meetings at intervals that give you a 10 - 15 minute break in between.
3 - Create the "right" energy for the conversation
If you want to motivate, inspire and engage your employee in the discussion, you will need to bring the energy that creates that. Too often, we come to meetings distracted, drained and doubting we'll have the input or outcome we desire.
Next, turn small talk into meaningful talk
If you've heard that you need to engage with your employees and create a relationship with them and think that one of the best ways to do that is to check-in and see how they're doing when you first start a conversation, you're right. But you may also find that it is useless, painful and drives you nuts, and you may even, as my client told me yesterday, think it's a waste of time.
You may be lacking success with the "small talk" tactic because you are asking superficial questions. You've probably heard the adage "garbage in...garbage out" Well, it's the same principle. If you are asking superficial questions, you'll likely get superficial answers.
How are you doing?
Be intentional about the questions you ask. Go back to the point above, and prepare ahead of time. Try preparing and then asking questions that get to their interests, values, their strengths and their passions.
Why would you want to ask these deeper levels of questions? Three reasons...
Need help with what to ask instead?
Below you will find some questions you can ask. Which questions you choose and how you adapt them will depend on your personality, style, and relationships. The context will be important to keep in mind too.
Try these questions to kick-off meetings
What other questions would you add? Post them below.
Trust-building requires regular self-reflection
Last week I talked about 3 reasons why you need to build trust in your team. To help you do that, I suggested spending a few minutes in self-reflection each week answering 3 questions. The third question was: How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, I reminded you that your actions align with your values, ethics, and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
The team lost trust in me when I wasn't in tune with myself!
When my team started losing trust in me, I didn't understand what was causing the quickly dwindling trust. It wasn't until my coach asked me to identify my values, I started to put the puzzle pieces together.
While I said I valued some things, I didn't consistently demonstrate that through my behaviours, which means that I was not trustworthy.
When we say something and do something else, it causes people to step back and question our actions and our motives. When we advocate wholeheartedly for one thing but then turn around and do something completely different, it sends a confusing message to people. Or perhaps it sends a message that is loud and clear: Don't trust her!
Things changed when I began to dig deeper into my values.
Over the years, I have gone back to my values regularly. I identify where they show up, how they show up, and I work to use them to make decisions, guide my behaviour and as measurements to see if I am on track. Let me give you an example.
I used to think that family was my top value. The problem was that having "family" as my guiding Northstar meant it often got in the way of work. Because of that, I made decisions that did not align with me, saying it was #1. As a result, I constantly felt the inner turmoil of being off track. What's more is that others could clearly see both that I was not in integrity and that I felt crappy as a result, regardless of what I said.
Yes, I'm heading to the city again. Yes, I'll miss awards day at school. I know it's a bummer, but this meeting is crucial. I'll call my daughter at night and talk to her about it.
Can you feel the disconnect?
At the same time, I valued good quality work. I was an overachiever with high expectations for myself and others. This value often got blurred with perfectionism. Because I wasn't doing the self-reflective work to see where good turned to perfectionism, I often stretched myself beyond what was reasonable and expected that in others.
Finally, I valued wellness. I had done work to become physically and mentally healthier. I tried to ensure I worked out and ate healthily. But so often, that didn't fit into my schedule as easily as I'd have liked. To do so meant I'd have to give up other things, things that were of value to me.
I had too many top values!
In addition to my family, good quality work and wellness also valued lifelong learning, spirituality, honesty and nature. How on earth could I put all of those at the top, lead well and enjoy life? It certainly wasn't working for me.
Do you know and understand your top values?
How about you? What are your top values? Can you name them, and do you honour them in a way that feels good every day? If not, that may be where you feel much of your inner turmoil.
What's changed for many of my clients and me is getting a clearer picture of our values. It's not just a word, but as I say, it's verifying what that value means, how it shows up and knowing how to use it to guide your life.
I verified my values!
Doing the work in Values Verification, I realized that my top value is excellence. It encompasses being a good wife, mom and grandma. It also means I want to do the work to be in excellent health, do excellent work for you and be an excellent human being making an excellent contribution to the world. That means I can't be perfect at any one of those things, and I need to continually come back to all of them during self-reflection to make sure I am on track.
Clarity of values helps make decisions
I had a message from one of my adult kids the other day. They asked if they could have an hour of my time, during my workday, to talk about something very important to them. After considering things for a minute, my answer was:
However, when my daughter called me when she went into labour a couple of years ago, I was in the middle of a coaching call. The coaching call ended early, and I put excellent mamma at the top of the list quickly.
Those decisions were "easier" because of the work I've done understanding my values.
Verifying values has helped many of my clients
An example from a client is that they realized their top value is "simplicity."
The goal to lead with trust and integrity is to align your values, ethics, morals and how you speak about those with your actions and behaviours. To do that effectively, you need to have a clear understanding of your values.
When I turned things around, I realized three things:
The work I needed to do was to get reacquainted with my values, what they meant to me, and how to use my values to make decisions, drive my behaviour and leave my team. That's why I created the Values Verification course.
Are you ready to get clearer on your values?
This week in The Training Library, I'm encouraging the members to revisit the course Values Verification. Values are our internal compass and help us lead and live with integrity. To learn more about the Values Verification course, click here.
Feedback from students
These clients have completed the Values Verification course inside of The Training Library. Upon completion of the course, this is what other students had to say about what they learned about their values and how they see them differently:
Let me know how it goes!!
p.s. I'll end with a quote from Brene Brown "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it's choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them." Make sure you understand your values so that you can practice them!!
When my staff told me that I lacked integrity in 2009, what they were saying was they couldn't trust me. Comments on the performance appraisal prove that.
Don't just say you are supportive, but actually, be supportive!
My team lost trust in me
While they had been able to trust me in the past, the arrival of a large new contract changed that. Previously, I'd managed everything on my plate and did it with a level of confidence. But increased responsibility, travel, staffing, scope and budget all left me scrambling to hold things together.
Because of that:
I'd moved into survival mode
The one-word response I had on my performance appraisal in 2009 indicated I'd moved into survival mode!
What do you feel were your accomplishments over the past year? Survival!
It was time for me to rebuild trust!I was frustrated, hurt and discouraged by the feedback. Previous performance appraisals indicated I had strong trust with the team. How could things have plummeted so fast?
Here's the thing about trust. It's not static. It ebbs and flows based on relationships. When it drops, leaders need to double down on building it back.
Trust is all about relationships
Trust is something felt between people. And when you have a strong relationship with someone likely the trust is stronger. Likewise, when your relationship heads to rocky ground, your level of trust is likely to drop. When it's time to rebuild trust, it starts with rebuilding relationships.
Without trust, my team was falling apart!
When my team lost trust in me and felt I was out of integrity, they didn't feel they had a strong leader. Therefore, as trust in our team eroded, I lost followers.
The fact that I was losing followers was one reason I needed to focus on trust. There were others as well. If you are curious about other pitfalls of dwindling trust, tune into this week's podcast, where I share three reasons why you need to keep trust on your radar.
Listen to the episode here.
I had to put trust-building back on my radar!
Through coaching, I learned to build time to build relationships.
I spent time reflecting on the effectiveness of my trust-building activitiesI kept an eye on how I was doing at regaining trust through regular self-reflection. I journaled. I brought issues up in coaching. I planned my time with staff more intentionally.
If you want to build trust in your team, I encourage you to do the same!
If you want to keep trust strong in your team, do this:Put self-reflection time on your to-do list each week. When you take 15 minutes to consider what you've done to build trust, consider your answers to these three questions:
1) Where do you land on the surviving to thriving continuum?
The closer you are to survival mode, it is often that the level of trust in your team drops. In survival mode, we focus on getting things done and hanging on to appointments, tasks, reports etc., before we drop the ball on something. When we are in survival mode, we tend to spend less time building relationships, which is again key to trust.
Check where you land on the Surviving to Thriving continuum here.
2) How do your relationships with your team feel?
When you sense you are avoiding someone on your team or feel as though they are avoiding you, it's a good time to question your level of trust between the two of you.
3) How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, your actions align with your values, ethics and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
When you keep these three things top of mind, you were more likely to create a trusting work culture that thrives.
Tune into this week's podcast to listen for the three reasons why you must keep trust on your radar for you, your team and the clients you serve.
Putting time in to build trust may feel like more work, but TRUST me, in the end, it will help you to feel more on top of all you are responsible for!
P.S. If you want to make sure you are leading with integrity, start with verifying your values, what they mean to you and how you know when you are aligned with them.
We all know we have way too much work to do. However, saying no to that work isn't as easy as it sounds.
Saying no doesn't always involve the word no
There are many things we need to say no to and various ways we could communicate our no. These are all ways you may need to say no more often:
Here's why we struggle to say no
What gets in the way of this is not that we know we want to and probably should say no. Rather, it's our pesky thoughts that get in the way. Those thoughts keep us trapped in the pleasing, perfecting, performing and proving cycles.
How to get better at saying noTo get better at saying no to too much work, we need to uncover what thoughts are getting in the way. To do that, let's go through the Inner Guidance Cycle.
Take a few minutes to pause. Slow down so you can do some self-reflection.
In the Pondering step, we look at:
This moment of self-reflection allows our underlying beliefs, assumptions and values to become more evident. That gives us insight into what might be getting in the way of us saying no. Armed with the new understanding, we can pivot our perspective, create new beliefs, and honour our values more clearly.
The last step of The Inner Guidance Cycle takes us out of pausing and self-reflecting and puts us back into action. It's time to communicate our no!
To get a deeper understanding of The Inner Guidance Cycle, check out these free resources. Then grab Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system to go into a deeper dive of The Inner Guidance Cycle to boost your confidence.
I took Faith through The Inner Guidance Cycle
I talked to Faith the other day. She was frustrated because her staff passed over things for her to review. Reviewing is Faith's job. Doing it for them is not.
Because Faith wants everyone to like her, wants to ensure her program produces good quality work and is a bit of a perfectionist, she does do the work for her team rather than reviewing the document.
As Faith and I worked through The Inner Guidance Cycle, and she became aware of those thoughts and how they created that frustration. That new awareness helped her begin to shift her perspective.
Faith began realizing that, yes, it may take longer in the short term, to turn around and give feedback on what the employee needs to work on in the document; she was actually allowing them to grow. Faith realized that while the expectation was they pass it onto her for review, her team's unwritten rule has become just pass it on to Faith; she'll fix it up.
Without in mind, Faith could go back, proceed, and review documents without doing them. We spent the rest of our coaching session creating a framework for her to say no to doing the work and practicing how she'd communicate.
The Steps for Saying NO
If you want to get better at saying no to too much work, do this:
Step # 1 - Work through The Inner Guidance Cycle, discovering what underlying thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and values might be getting in your way of communicating your No.
Step # 2: Prepare and practice communicating your No
Step # 3 - Confidently and bravely communicate your No
Learning the Framework for Saying No to Too Much Work!
If you're looking for a framework to help you state your no, mean it and stick to it, check out the new course mini-course in The Training Library: Saying No to Too Much Work!
This new course builds ideas from the Willpower Essentials course helping you to learn:
To access Saying No to Too Much Work, join The Training Library as a monthly member. As a member of The Training Library, you will receive fresh, relevant, and new content every month to keep you engaged, excited and expanding your leadership capacity.
My goal is to help you become a competent and confident leader who is also happy, content & balanced. Learn how here.
A final reminder:
Leadership isn't always easy. Sometimes we have to have the short-term pain of having the uncomfortable conversation of saying no for the long-term gain of an amazing team and feeling fulfilled on our leadership journey! You can do it! I'm cheering you on!
Do you get frustrated with your team some days when they don't do what they are supposed to? It's a hazard of leadership for sure!
I was talking to Natasha the other day about a staff issue she brought to coaching. Her frustration was evident when she grumbled, "They know what to do! I don't understand why they are messing up so much."
As we explored Natasha's belief or opinion that the staff did, in fact, know what to do, we realized that perhaps some team members weren't clear on all the steps. Natasha had assumed that they understood what she had told them to do.
The key phrase to note is: Told them to do.
As we reviewed what had happened, Natasha realized she had basically told them what to do. She had not trained them, ensuring they were able to do it.
Told to do is unidirectional. It is information only going one way.
The most effective training is bidirectional. It is a back-and-forth process that takes time.
Natasha left the call understanding more about what she needed to do to support her team and on a mission to grab a book to help her learn how to facilitate her team's learning. I'll tell you about the book I pointed her to in a moment.
Do you wish you could train your team more effectively?
As you learn and grow in your leadership role, you might want to provide more effective training for your team. Bravo for you!
Don't make these 3 training mistakes!
Whether you are thinking about orienting new staff, training people on a particular function or role or more significant team training events, you might be making the following three training errors. As you read them, don't worry, because I'll also tell you how to fix those mistakes.
MISTAKE # 1 - Training people too quickly
We are a time-poor sector, and we're often squeezing training moments in between everything else going on. As a result, we often lack clarity of what we are teaching. We do a high-level overview and missing key points.
THE FIX: Slow down and be clearer.
MISTAKE # 2 - Quickly checking in to see if they got it.
Again this connects to the first point with the keyword - quickly.
Do you say these when you are training?
Here's why questions like those don't work so well. The unspoken assumption is that your employees want to look good. They want to appear capable and know you are busy, so they don't want to bother you too much. Therefore they're going to nod their head and say yes, that makes sense, and no, I don't have any questions.
THE FIX: Slow down and ask better questions.
Try questions like these that will get at what they still need to learn:
Most often, when we learn something, we do not learn thoroughly by knowledge alone. We have to try it and fail and fumble and learn from our mistakes. Too often, we're trying to rush through training, and once again, we need to slow down and ensure that they have it.
THE FIX: Build in time for them to practice and for you to give feedback
Here's how to become a confident trainer or facilitator
Training, orientation and facilitation are all part of a leader's role, but rarely have we've learned how to teach, orientate and facilitate. When that happens, we are doing something and often feeling self-conscious, inapt, and lack the confidence to do it effectively.
Don't do it alone!
Once again, I'm going to remind you you do not have to do leadership alone. It's OK to ask for help! That helped can come from a variety of ways… Including a book.
Get helpThis week on the podcast, I interview Beth Cougler Blom, an expert who creates effective and engaging learning experiences. In our discussion, we review the three C's of designing a great learning experience and touch on her book.
You need to know how to facilitate, train and do good orientation. But that competence doesn't automatically give you confidence. You must then practice using your courage to get out and fail and fumble as you continue to learn and grow. That's when you'll develop the confidence to thrive in your leadership.
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.