Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Communicating with Impact

Communicating with Impact is about listening and expressing yourself and in a way that creates insight and understanding, builds trust and inspires people to take action.

Communicating with Impact is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry!

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Praise!… Welcome to the revolution!

We are living in difficult times.  A lot of reflection on what is right and what is wrong is happening at the moment.  We have started questioning ourselves about our ways and what we can do better.  During my high school years, I was a very enthusiastic basketball player.  By enthusiastic I mean that I played every day but was never a good player.  I struggled most of the time, so I spent most of my basketball ‘career’ in fixing mode.  My coach constantly told me “when things are not going well, go back to the basics and you will find the solution”.  A couple of months ago, I decided to go back to the basics and reflect on how I could add value to the people around me.

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Knowing me, knowing you (part 2)

In part 1 of this blog, I raised some questions about the need to change our approach to leadership during and beyond this coronavirus crisis to nurture and sustain the quality of organisations’ climates. In so doing, I revisited some of organisational psychology’s foundational theories, notably the work of Kurt Lewin. In this second part, focusing on Lewin’s seminal environment formula that avers behaviour to be a function of personality and situation, I explore why understanding one’s own and your employees’ personality is so important to creating a healthy climate.

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Leadership Interview: Susan Hunter my Leadership Transition Coaching Journey

Susan Hunter from APM Terminals Bahrain shares her leadership transition experience and the role that coaching played.

A leadership transition may at first seem like an onerous prospect. Especially if it involves a complete change of role, a relocation – or both. However in reality, with the right planning and coaching support, it can turn into an extremely rewarding and satisfying experience.

Over recent years the majority of my one-to-one work has been coaching for leadership transition. In 2018/19 I had the privilege of working with Susan Hunter. I was supporting her in her transition from Senior Global Director Operational Excellence to Managing Director at APM Terminals Bahrain. From a senior job at the centre of the business to a key P&L leadership role in the Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Bahrain. Quite a transformation in many ways. Most of our coaching sessions were conduction via Skype. The exception being an initial face-to-face session in London and my visit to Bahrain to meet Susan’s senior leadership team.

In this article I ask Susan to share her leadership transition coaching experience. I am most grateful to Susan for the taking the time in her busy schedule to answer my interview questions.

This is the third article in the series. Last year I wrote similar articles about Peter Drake’s and James Wroe’s leadership transition experiences, and the role that coaching played. In his article Active Leadership Onboarding James shared the six key factors that ensure a new colleague’s successful leadership transition.

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Knowing me, knowing you (part 1)

Are you relying on the “scientific evidence”?

Social media displays countless articles about managing teams dislocated from their normal, intact work location to working from home. Many offer novel suggestions to deal with the novel virus. However, do they fall into one of three less effective categories of “science” (or research), namely popularist, puerile or pedantic, see Figure (1) below[1].

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Adventures with the Marmoset of Mischief

An extroverts guide to surviving COVID-19.

As a card-carrying member of the extrovert club, I’m not really loving the lockdown.

I’m not suggesting that many of us are but I’m guessing that my more introverted colleagues are having a little less of a challenge coming to terms with the new normal…

When this began there was distraction in the challenge of decamping a function to a multitude of homes, ensuring the tech worked and overcoming all the initial problems COVID19 was throwing at us.

This very quickly gave way to an overindulgence in Doritos – apparently, they aren’t one of my five a day – and a propensity for a little too much alcohol despite the mantra/justification of “well it’s five o’clock somewhere”.

By about week three my motivation was all over the place, as were my moods, and I wasn’t breaking any productivity records either. I’d put on weight, so the self-loathing had begun, and we were facing the prospect of another two months of virus inflicted groundhog days. I can’t say I fancied my chances…

So, what to do? Well, there’s an old Buddhist maxim that “the path to true enlightenment begins by returning to the place you never left”. So, that’s what I did. I sat, with me, and tried to figure out what I needed to get through this and how that might look.

Here’s what I found when I got there…

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What if… we all decide to change at the same time?

I grew up in a big family of 5 brothers. My mother, our commander in chief, was the one in charge of keeping us in line.  She was the one who took the social risk of taking the hard and unpopular decisions that we would only understand once we became adults and were able to look back and see the benefits of these decisions.  There was no democracy in my house and we did not vote for her to lead us.  She was not taking decisions to get more votes in the next election or to raise acceptance ratings either!

In a democratic government, before most decisions are taken, the impact of the acceptance ratings is considered.  This is in normal situations.  Right now though, our world is enduring the COVID19 pandemic and the preservation of human life has taken preference over government popularity for the first time in history.  We are living in a unique time where we have the opportunity to see our world leaders show leadership, some of them for the first time in their lives.  We still do not know how this crisis will end but when it ends, what if we all decide to change our ways at the same time and we start taking the social risk of proposing hard and unpopular decisions?

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COVID-19: the sequel

The curse of the virus

“May you live in interesting times,” states the Chinese curse.  Courtesy of a global pandemic that arose in Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hubei, we certainly are.  (Conspiracy theorists may counter that America introduced the virus covertly into China, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/conspiracy-theory-that-coronavirus-originated-in-us-gaining-traction-in-china.)  The world is in lockdown.  Even President Trump has had to backtrack from saying it was a non-event and all would be sorted by Easter to saying things are going to get far worse.  The picture of the huge US navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, entering New York harbour is deeply dispiriting.

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Quick Coaching Tools – Remote Coaching

Don’t stop coaching because you are working from home. Remote Coaching will be more important than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Remote Coaching is one of my Quick Coaching Tools. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of coaching tips, tools and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your coaching practice and professionalism. You could call it coaching in a hurry!

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Tell your story, we want to hear it…

A recipe for understanding people’s stories.

I have been fortunate enough to be part of a company that keeps transforming constantly at a pace that keeps everyone embracing change as a normal part of evolution.  During this evolution I have been surrounded at all levels by brilliant and energetic colleagues who have contributed to my growth in so many ways.   

I have never been good at embracing my story, but when I lost my mother, I started reflecting on my time with her and how she influenced me.  By looking back at these memories, I encountered a feeling of passion for what I do and how relevant I can be for the stories of those around me.

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