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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – 5 Questions to Turn a Performance Review Into a Proactive Preview

As 2020 is almost at a close, what better time than now to take stock of the year that has been, and look forward to what is ahead.

With so much talk of performance reviews being obsolete, I think there is still a place for them but with a different focus. Many clients we work with have annual or six-monthly check-ins, and I liken these to getting your car serviced. It’s what happens in between the services that determine how much work is done on the car.

If you regularly coach your team, the process of the actual performance review or preview (as we call them), should be effortless and there shouldn’t be any surprises. Coaching ensures there is ongoing and consistent feedback, and this results in real-time dialogue on what is working and what needs to change before it’s too late.

Ongoing feedback helps individuals and teams understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to manage them. Within the workplace, one of the best ways to promote self-awareness among employees is to foster a culture of peer feedback in conjunction with input from management. I am passionate about encouraging and educating others to share feedback, have open conversations, and bring in coaching to foster empowerment, awareness and ongoing growth to maximise performance.

Feedback is a great vehicle to promote self-awareness in and out of work. Be open to giving and receiving it so you can expand your self-awareness, as well as the self-awareness of those around you.

People are either internally or externally motivated.

Internally Motivated – When making a decision, internally motivated people will listen to feedback, but have usually already decided for themselves and will go with their original decision.

Externally Motivated – Those who are externally motivated will view feedback almost like an instruction, taking it entirely on board when making their decision.

Externally motivated people tend to like and need feedback.

Many senior leaders I come across tend to be internally focused, especially if they have been in a role for a long time. They rely on their intuition rather than seeking feedback from others. The danger of this is that they can become blinded to opportunity and miss out on feedback that could be helpful.

Ensure you give people feedback the way they like it. Some people like a lot of feedback, and some want less; some even prefer to receive feedback publicly.

When conducting performance reviews or appraisals, I believe, there should be a focus on “previewing” what’s next as opposed to spending time doing a total review on what has already occurred. You need to learn from the past; I believe 20% of the time should have a focus on the review. And 80% as a preview on what can be proactively planned and implemented.

The past is about learning, and the future is about progress.

5 simple questions to look at what’s next:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. What’s available to you?
  3. Where do you want to be?
  4. How will you get there?
  5. How will you know you are getting there?

I’m a huge advocate of learning from the past. 2020 has provided a forum for us to learn so much about ourselves and those around us. Take the lessons and meld them into what you want to happen next and who you want to become.

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé


PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – Your Energy Is A Mirror Of Your Mindset

‘We all have the choice of thought.
Think about what you think about.’

The mindset you adopt, foster and nourish will either assist you to flourish or expire as a leader. You choose your thoughts. Your creed, gender, age, intellect or experience doesn’t matter; we all have one thing in common—the choice of thought.

Your mind is your own. Yes, it can be tainted or lifted by others but you have to own it and accept you have total freedom of what you think is true, false, hindering or empowering, especially when leading others with your purpose, direction and energy.

Energy is shown through your actions. Ultimately, it comes from your mindset. If you run a meeting and have little or no belief or commitment in the message you are communicating: how do you think you will be perceived? You can't fake energy. You can try but it will become exhausting and people will see through it. When you do things incongruent to whom you are and what you believe in, you play the game of conflict. It’s an ugly game to play.

Your actions reflect your mindset

Every action has a thought and feeling attached to it. By simply reading that last sentence, you will have produced an action or thought. Maybe you frowned, maybe you had an answer and maybe you went blank. These thoughts and feelings trigger the actions or behaviours you demonstrate to your team and yourself.

Agility is a mindset, not a process. To adapt and upgrade to agile thinking you need to be able to ‘renew your mind‘. To get to a point where you doubt things and where you openly say, ‘I don't know’, can assist you in developing yourself and the team you are leading.

Having a clear mindset, one that is open to change and new ways of thinking and doing, will serve the greater good.

A few things you can focus on:

Responsibility: This is the ability to respond and be fully accountable for all outcomes. This means you need to be ‘at cause’ and decide—no matter the circumstances— that you will be accountable and take responsibility for the outcomes. Making the choice to self-lead and take responsibility can be a real game changer.

Focus: The old adage, what you choose to focus on, you will find, rings true here. Think about an unusual baby’s name; until you heard it, it wasn't in your focus or sphere of thought on a subconscious level—now it pops up everywhere. What do you want from your team and for your team? If you look for issues, you will find them; if you look for competency and have a strengths-focus, you will also find this.

Perspective: Use perspective when faced with limited options that may be preventing you from moving forward. A limitless leader likes exploring unknown territory, like standing at a cliff face, they aren't led towards certainty. They prefer clarity over certainty and have a clear sense of what is next to achieve their overall mission and purpose.

Mindset: This is about being able to discipline your imagination. When you get to a place of, I don't know, you are perfectly placed to install upgraded software in your mindset— a new way of thinking. This takes you to a place of curiosity. Ask yourself, What if I did know? This simple reframe can open up your thinking to a world of possibility and new ways.

In a nutshell, the actions and behaviours we currently display come from what we are thinking. Take a moment to reflect on the current results you and your team are experiencing. What you are experiencing right now comes from actions resulting from your mindset and the mindset of your team.

I’d love to hear your thoughts

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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5 Questions to ask yourself to end your year with a bang!

RG Blog post image - 5 questions

It’s been a big year and one I’m sure all of us will never forget. We’ve been pulled up and down, left and right with so much uncertainty, it’s become the next normal of the way we live and work.

With the year-end fast approaching, it’s a great time to stop and reflect on a few thought-provoking questions that will help ensure you make the most of what is left of this year and set yourself, and your team up ready and re-energised for 2021.

There are a million questions we could ask ourselves, however, I’ve found these 5 questions are simple, impactive and help you get out of your own head. I’ve been using these during mentoring and coaching programs to regularly check-in and help leaders and their teams recalibrate.

Make the space to reflect and respond on the 5 questions below:

  1. What are you most proud of this year?
  2. What is one goal that must be achieved by the end of the year?
  3. What is one change you need to make by the end of 2020?
  4. What is one relationship you feel you need to forge, strengthen or grow?
  5. What is one habit you need to let go of and what is one new habit you need to create?

When you have answered these questions, it’s a great idea to share them with a peer or run this as a team exercise. Like anything, knowing is one thing but the action is where the magic is. Make sure you commit and take ownership of whatever you decide to do.

‘Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Accountability has many parts. A bit like ingredients in a recipe, only when combined with true ownership can the cake rise and be a success. In any role, especially as a leader, it all starts with self-accountability and I reckon these questions need to be answered, owned and ideally actioned.

Accountability and ownership are two different things. When fused together, I call it ‘Ownerbility’. It’s the ability to take full responsibility and ownership. Accountability is external and is usually the means to an end. Accountability is something that is assigned to you or something you have been asked to do. When this happens, whoever assigned the accountability is still the owner of it—a reason delegation has to be thoroughly considered.

‘Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Renee Giarrusso 5 Questions ModelSome of the guiding principles of accountability include:

  • How we make a commitment to each other
  • How we measure and monitor progress
  • How we respond when things don't go as planned
  • How much ownership we actually take to get things done

Ownership is more around possessing or the state of being an owner―taking ownership of something. Ownership cannot be taught, but, as a leader, you can portray ownership that will cascade, and in essence, become part of your team’s culture. When compared to accountability, ownership is not given to you or assigned to you; it is, in most cases, taken. When your manager gives you something, he or she cannot assign ownership. In the same way, you cannot assign ownership to those in your team.

  • The guiding principles of ownership include:
  • How we are going to make something happen
  • The success measures that can be put in place
  • Ensure full internal commitment and attachment to completing
  • Embrace a feeling of care and responsibility.

Accountability and ownership are intertwined and ensuring both are ignited, will provide clarity, focus and results. Answering these questions is one dimensional unless you take ownership and action your plan nothing will change.

Take some time to reflect and reset, you deserve it!

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas for future articles.

Lead to be limitless

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – Building mental fitness through a culture of gratitude

Limitless Leaders Connection Building mental fitness through a culture of gratitude

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Over the last few months with many leadership teams, we have explored the topic of gratitude and how this is being expressed in the workplace. Call it recognition, praise or appreciation; what stood out is that we need to take the time to show gratitude within and across the teams, we work with.

Many organisations focus on a ‘performance culture' and not a culture built around gratitude. This can affect the level and deepness of gratitude that employees practice. I call this ‘grey gratitude‘, it may not be intentionally stifled but it’s not hitting the mark as part of what makes up the culture.

If you are looking for employees to go beyond the contractual obligation of their roles and build mental fitness, then expressing gratitude should be part of your leadership. Acknowledging the thoughts and efforts of people with gratitude shows that those people matter and this can build a culture around gratitude which I believe is vital.

Research shows that taking the time to develop an attitude of gratitude can:

  • Build a psychological immune system, making us more resilient to stressful situations
  • Accelerate positive emotions
  • Create a greater sense of achievement of goals
  • Fewer sick days and less stress
  • Greater collaboration and connection
  • Higher job satisfaction overall

What gets in the way?

Many times, people feel awkward practising gratitude and may see it as fluffy and esoteric. The leadership team may not be on board and therefore don’t foster openness and space to build this practice into the culture. Another key blocker is people may see gratitude as a weakness and may feel left out if they don't receive gratitude in return. Many simply don’t adopt the mindset. 

We spend one-third of our life at work, that's over 90,000 hours so it makes sense to incorporate the gift of gratitude into your workplace. Click To Tweet

Gratitude can connect people. It can create collaboration and anchor positive behaviour and it’s also one of the collective skills that make up resilience.

Feelings, actions and our mindset flow from the way we look at the world and how we think about the situation – to change our feelings, we can start by thinking about what we are grateful for. Often, we find our feelings scary and confusing, so we keep them at a distance. However, shutting off our feelings not only backfires, but it drains us of the psychological energy that is needed to build resilience. We need our feelings in order to find satisfaction, meaning and pleasure in life, both in and out of the workplace.

Gratitude can maximise happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their negative emotional impact and lets in optimism. We can let challenges deepen the way in which we are grateful – it can show us not to take things for granted.

Looking back is about learning and looking forward is about progressing. Click To Tweet

Accessing and sustaining positive emotion is key to building resilience in organisations, needed now more than ever. Focusing our attention on how far we have come can provide positive reinforcement and fuel with our thoughts to overcome challenges and setbacks. It’s like looking in the rear-vision mirror of a car – what you pass goes by quickly, but it’s easy to miss a beautiful landmark or a life lesson that you could share. 

Think about how you could flip what I call “Grey Gratitude” in your workplace to a clearer vibrant practice?

We have workshopped this question in a few companies and I’d love to share a few ideas and tips:

Share 1 situation or person you are grateful for.

  • Kick off a meeting/workshop/project review with each person sharing who or what they are grateful for in the workplace
  • An option is to capture these on Yammer/Teams

3 positives to 1 negative

  • For every negative, you or the team discuss, workshop 3 positives 
  • This reinforces the face we often focus on what isn’t working instead of the things we could be grateful for

Create a Gratitude wall-virtually or in the office

  • People can leave notes of appreciation for anyone
  • Name can be shared, or this can be anonymous

Ask a question

  • What capabilities, qualities and skills have got me to where I am today? 
  • Individually of self or share as a team

Be specific

  • When we aren’t specific when expressing gratitude this dilutes the impact and intention
  • Imagine replacing “I’m grateful for that” to ‘I’m grateful for the support you have given the team and I this month”.

It is ideal to have structured forums to share as well as spontaneous recognition and ways to show appreciation. Some subtle ways of sharing gratitude every day could be as simple as sending surprise emails to others expressing appreciation or creating a forum to share internal updates and encourage people to share.

Be mindful not to do ‘gratitude’ in overdrive – this can seem false and dilute the effects of authentically being grateful.

I would love to hear how you are incorporating gratitude in your workplace!

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on Facebook, Instagram, IGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – Curiosity to fuel adaptation, innovation and collaboration – The future of leadership

To lead an organisation and create a culture open to change, innovation and creativity, curiosity is key. The future of leadership requires us now, more than ever, to adapt, innovate and collaborate, and I reckon curiosity deserves some attention.

Curiosity is a skill and also a characteristic – a motivating desire for more information. It’s the engine that drives learning, innovation and achievement. Being curious requires us to ask questions of ourselves, situations and others. This helps us grow and be what I call ‘in flow’.

Ask to know

Know to grow

Grow to be in flow

– Renee Giarrusso

 

Curiosity is a skill and also a characteristic – a motivating desire for more information. Click To Tweet

 

Dr Daniel Berlyne was a pioneer in curiosity research in the ’60s. His work in the field of experimental and exploratory psychology has served as the foundational research for many scientists who have followed. He stated that curiosity is innate to our being, not unlike food and water. 

He also concluded that it is instigated by three key sources:

  • novelty – that which is new or unknown to us
  • ambiguity – that which is confusing to us
  • complexity – partially known to us and where we seek to know more

All these sources of curiosity surround us – it’s up to us to raise our emotional intelligence, be aware of these, and decide on what to do next. 

Four keys to curiosity 

One – Have an open mind

This takes discipline, and the more open you are, the more likely you will be to receive new information and ideas that can help you to continue to be curious.

Avoid closing yourself or others off and stretch out of your safe zone – anything outside of your comfort zone is growth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and stay present when listening. I ask myself ‘What can I learn from this person?’ – this opens up my mind to receive and not discount the ideas or opinions of others.

Two – Ask questions

Asking questions helps you become a more effective communicator, as well as build stronger relationships and leadership capabilities. Asking questions with intention is a great way to understand, seek information and explore your curiosity in the process. 

Why do we often forget to question ourselves and the things we do and think? 

Whether you are questioning another person, yourself or a situation, asking open questions is key. This is where the answer can’t be yes or no, and it is a great way to elicit information and get the other person talking. After choosing open questions, drill down with closed questions, which can be answered with yes or no.

A key tip to asking open questions is to add ‘tell me about’ to the start of your questions – this will turn them into an open question. 

When we ask curious, open questions, we need to be open to not knowing the answer, and not assume or judge. Our intention should be to focus on learning and understanding more.

Curious questions 

  • What do I/you think of this idea?
  • How could this work?
  • Why do I/you think this idea could work?
  • What could go right and wrong?
  • What would I/you do if there were no limitations and unlimited time and resources?
  • What is a great question I could ask you right now?

Flipping statements into questions

When we think about something, we articulate it in our minds as either a statement or a question. For example, flipping a statement such as ‘What that team did was great’ to ‘I wonder how that team achieved that?’ will change your energy and provoke questioning and conversations. It changes a one-dimensional thought to a two-dimensional question. Take the time to observe the statements you think or write, such as in an email, and flip these into questions.

Three – Listen and be present

Listening is one of the most challenging skills to master – communication isn’t just about what you say; it is 50% speaking and 50% listening. The research found that only 2% of leaders have ever received any training on how to listen, and most people struggle to listen and not just ‘hear’.

As human beings, we aren’t wired to listen, although it is one of the first things we learn in our mother’s womb. We think at more than 400 words a minute and speak at 150, so it’s no wonder our minds wander when we should be listening.

To be truly curious, we need to listen to:

  • ourselves both logically and intuitively
  • the responses of others, without bias or judgement
  • situations that present themselves
  • thoughts, feedback and feelings through all our senses

Four – Be interested

Reframe ‘boring’ situations and people to ‘interesting’. A simple reframe can change your energy, attitude and ability to be curious. We can learn much from others if we have an open mind and question things.

Sometimes the simple tasks and decisions are carried out in autopilot. Often, we become time-poor and miss opportunities.

When the stakes are high, and the pressure is on, it can be difficult for leaders, to pause before acting, take a step back and reflect on why they are doing what they are doing.

Sometimes questioning our actions on the bigger things can be hampered by our inaction on questioning the smaller things.

Take the time to build your curiosity muscle and create the space to make it part of your team and organisational culture.

I’d love to hear what you do to instil curiosity?

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't working with her clients? She's doing this.

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on Facebook, Instagram, IGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.