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Embrace Unknown Change – Focus on what isn’t changing

Change is one of the few constants of life. Many people detest change while some embrace it, it all comes down to how you are wired to deal with it and the reference and experience you associate with it. Change makes us feel uneasy as it takes us into the unknown and moves us away from things we may be certain of. Change is needed and imperative in life as I really believe change equates to growth, new learnings and possibilities. 

“If there wasn’t supposed to be change there wouldn’t’ be butterflies”

Change can come in the form of innovation, creation and new ways and affects us at both a professional and personal level. The most successful leaders and business owners I work with embrace unknown change and take risks to grow.

They don't stay with what is comfortable, a trap that is easy to fall into. My gauge of being out of my comfort zone is this:

Do I feel excited and slightly stressed (in a good way)?

Is my why to change exceeding my why to stay the same?

Am I sure of the desired outcome and why I want this?

I reckon we fall into one of these 4 change patterns:

  • Defiant: this is where we resist known change
  • Fearful: this is where we resist unknown change and usually don't understand the motivation behind it
  • Comfortable: this is where we embrace known change, it’s safe and don't really have or know a reason to embrace what is unknown
  • Brave: Embracing unknown change and taking a risk to do so

I personally love change and embracing the unknown.

A few key things that help me deal with constant business, market, client and personal changes I face daily are:

Knowing the reason and the why for change

  • Make sure change is for the right reason especially when it is influenced by you
  • Don’t do “change’ in overdrive for the sake of it. It’s easy to sometimes create change if things seem to plateau out

Focus on what isn’t changing

  • Sometimes too much change can seem overwhelming
  • When dealing with change it helps to focus on a few things that aren’t changing so you have a measure of stability around certain things to help you deal with what is changing
  • Look at things that are stable in you life such as certain people in, your health routine and so on

Know what lights you up

  • Tap into the things that motivate you and make you feel alive

Be excited by change and what could be

  • Change can generate infinite possibilities and growth

Don't be nervous or anxious and “awfulise” what could go wrong

  • Reframe the situation by being excited, lose the words nervous/anxious
  • Think about what could go right
  • Reference back to a positive change you have experienced

“When dealing with change it helps to focus on a few things that aren’t changing so you have a measure of stability around certain things to help you deal with what is changing”

Embracing the unknown is a game changer. As someone who left the corporate world after 12 years to pursue a business 11 years ago, if I had doubted myself, lost direction or given up I wouldn't be writing this article right now and living a life that I love.

I’d love to hear your tips on embracing unknown change and what works for you!

To change and beyond!


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Are You a Giver or Taker?

It has been a massive year for RG Dynamics with a diverse array of clients coming on board, the creation of new programs, keynotes and workshops and the lovely Laura starting with us in October as our Client Services Manager! A big thank you and so much gratitude to all of our amazing clients and we look forward to continuing to collaborate on your success in 2018!

Before we all head into Christmas festivities I felt a real need to download these thoughts and share these with you as we close off 2017.

When I look back to the year that has been, I feel proud and blessed to do the work I love with people I like. Everything I’ve done and the choices I have made have led me to where I am now. From 12 years in senior sales and leadership roles in the corporate world to assisting the long term unemployed when I first started my practice and then building sales capability across numerous organisations. Coaching and mentoring and running hundreds of workshop programs around leadership, communication and motivational mapping to publishing a book and speaking at over 40 events in 2017 alone. All of these things have taken sacrifice, time and commitment and I wouldn't change a thing except for the fact I could of valued my time more.

Something I have been guilty of that I have to consciously control is giving too much. What I mean by this is I love to give and make a difference and in the last 3 years in particular I have had to be mindful of my time even more in order to look after myself and my clients. This is something that takes constant work and focus and the cost of the result far outweighs this.

We all like to make a difference in some way, whether it be through our profession, role in the family, in society or simply by just being you?

Let’s look at where you sit as far as giving and taking and what this means for you…..

We are coming into the Christmas season where for many of life’s givers, this can be a challenging time. We all give and take but I am sure you can think of someone, maybe even yourself who leans more to one side of this equation.

Are you the one over the festive season who is forever cooking, entertaining, loading the dishwasher, shopping and basically facilitating other people’s pleasures throughout this time? You may take pride in doing this but at this time or other times in the year there can be a huge personal cost of being drained physically, emotionally and sometimes even financially.

Compulsive givers console themselves with the belief that this selfless behavior is a positive trait. Takers, on the other hand are usually unlikely to notice the effort –they view standout meals and so on as a natural part of the festive season. Don't get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t give or receive for that matter, but it should all be about balance.

The giving and taking relationship is present in all relationships and the exchange can be emotional or material.

Extreme givers offer up their time and energy and also their emotional support as well. Takers on the other hand tend to focus on their own needs and enjoy each “gift” meanwhile the giver is always on the look-out to improve and add value to the lives of others.

Often, I see that people who like to give will gravitate towards those people who are very comfortable with receiving. It is not a surprise that giving-not always-is a female trait and this can come from early in life where we are taught and see things that we instill into our behavior as we grow older.

Giving is a good thing and as long as you are not an extreme giver, it obviously has a positive side. It has been researched, on a biological level, giving to others has stimulates rewards in the pleasure centers of the brains. This has even been linked to prolong life expectancy.

When you give to your family you are ultimately protecting your own genes, this is known as “Kin altruism”.

When you give to friends this is known as reciprocal altruism. It’s like a sort of social karma “whereby you do something for another on the understanding that one day they’ll do something back for you”.

Emotional reasons and your personal beliefs and values can also be linked to how you act.

So, are you more of a giver or taker?

When in balance you will be doing this in a way that is resourceful and you will feel empowered as you will be on both ends of the spectrum.

If you feel unbalanced in this area here are a few techniques to balance your giver or taker role:

Awareness of your reflex actions

  • Be aware: if you are an overly giving or receiving person this will present itself a number of times of a day. The trick is to be aware of it.
  • A simple way to check this out is to pass around a plate of food or a box of tissues and see what happens. Some people will offer this on to others, some will thrust it upon the next person and others will grab what they want themselves. I’ve seen this in meetings when sharing the load, interesting to observe.
  • Watch your behavior over 12 hrs and be aware of your actions!

Understand your emotions

  • How do you feel when giving & receiving? Keep a record of this for a few days
  • Write down when you gave or received something emotionally or materially –this could be a your time, a present or even a compliment.
  • Each day summarise how you felt, how intense it was and how often you felt that way.

Identify the root of your behavior

  • Giving or taking – ask yourself why?
  • Was there something lacking in your past, were you given too much? Do you feel that “you” isn’t enough and you need to add to this?
  • Spend a full day giving and receiving at every opportunity, think about how this makes you feel.

All you then need to do is introduce some of your new actions and emotions into your life. This will give you a more balanced approach to things and will allow you to be an even better person, for you. It all starts with you and a great way to enter into 2018!

Have a brilliant and safe festive season and we look forward to collaborating with you in the New Year!

To being limitless!


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Create Future Leaders Series #8 Does your team have UM? Unidentified Motivation…

Recently I was working with a team going through major structural and systematic changes within the organisation. As human beings, we are wired to resist change, but of all the constants in life, change is one of them in a personal and professional sense.

People have a preference to change, some like things to stay the same. Some like things to evolve and some people like high change and difference. There is no wrong or right but a good idea to understand your preference to change and where others in your team sit.

This team I was working with was challenged with dealing with the changes they were facing; morale was low, productivity flailing and no one was focussed on the right things. You see, people if comfortable with change usually embrace “known” change and think they have accepted what is needed. In fact, I believe more people need to embrace “unknown” change where things aren’t comfortable but where they are required to be brave. How one does this requires a focus on two things: reason and motivation.

The reason is all about knowing the why of the change. People need to know what’s in it for them, how they fit into the big picture, not just the “why” of the organisation. Too often I see leaders so entrenched and involved in the change that they get used to the idea and then when announcing changes to their team wonder why people are resistant and baffled.

Always look at the change from your teams perspective

Think about how you felt when you first decided on or were told of a certain change. You have had time to process this change, what are means for you and the business as a whole. When announcing the change share how you felt, the journey you have been on and your involvement. Bring the “human” piece into the equation, be empathetic and real. Explain the “why” of the change as we all see things from different perspectives based on where we are at, experience, references and so much more. Remember the way you see something is not the same as the next person.

“I gave you $10

He gave you $20

You felt that he was better just because

He gave you more

But he had $200

And all I had was $10.”

UM-Unidentified Motivation

With motivation contributing up to 65% of your predictability of success in a role it baffles me as to how many people don’t know what really motivates them and those around them.

I call this UM, unidentified motivation. In any role imagine how powerful it would be to know what really lights you up and those you lead. By identifying motivation, you can assist in driving and satisfy this opposed to guessing what motivates others and simply managing this.

We use a brilliant tool that maps motivation but outside of this simply gets your team together and brainstorm what really lights them up. I always ask “If there was one part of your role you had the freedom to do all week what would that be?” Maybe it’s the customer interface, or perhaps you love reporting? By knowing what lights, you up, the things that give you a spring in your step you can tap into this and leverage the strengths of those around you. Unidentified motivation can cost your organisation a lot. The statistic shows that motivation is one of the keys to a high performing team, a super team as I call it. Take a step back and really get to know and grow your people.


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Lead Future Leaders Series #5 Does your why to create future leaders exceed your why to stay the same?

Working with hundreds of leaders over the last decade has given me amazing insights into how leaders deal or not deal with change. A topic that comes up a lot lately is around why should leaders create future leaders? In my last blog, we looked at ways to ensure you maintain and grow your leadership mojo which will assist in breaking down the obstacles that get in the way to spend time in creating leaders of the future. This isn’t always enough, as we all know, people, including ourselves, need a good why and a compelling reason to change.

Most people in a management position like to be known as a strong and effective leader and always ask me “How do I get there?” or “What do I need to do?” The answer to this is different for everyone, no magic pill or solution, more a coaching discussion around what is working and what needs to change for them as an individual and the team as a whole. This has a flow on effect.

As human beings, for many of us, making a change does not come easily and there are many reasons for this such as the fear of rejection, failure and uncertainty. I’ve even heard people say “What if the future leader I am working with takes my job?” Things that you may want to change such as the way you lead your team or taking on coaching conversations with your team may cause noise within your mind as to what could go wrong? What will happen if I look incompetent? What if it doesn’t work? This noise will continue until you know your “why” for making the change and this needs to exceed your “why” for not making the change.

For instance, many organisations are becoming more coach centric and for good reasons.  When leaders encourage and lead coaching conversations with their staff this not only empowers people to think for themselves, it also saves time in managing behaviour, ensures less “surprises” as feedback is ongoing and also creates an open and trusting environment for development. The “why” for this is strong I’m sure you would agree. Conversely, if a leader is not open to focusing on what the change will bring and learning a new skill then this won’t occur and maybe conversations with staff will be more “telling” type conversations, which addresses none of the above.

Three points to consider when making a change to lead and create future leaders: 

  • Know your why
  • Why has this idea come up?
  • What are the benefits of addressing this?
  • What will the change look like?
  • What do I want to achieve for myself, the team and organisation?
  • What is pulling you to make the change (this needs to exceed what is holding you, below)What will you see, hear and feel once the change is in place?
  • What won’t you see, feel and hear?
  • What are the key things pulling you towards this change?
  • What energy do you have to make this change?
  • What is holding you not to change?If nothing changes, how will this look?
  • How will you feel if nothing changes?
  • What will it cost you and others to not make this change?
  • What will be the outcome if nothing changes?

When what is pulling you to change has more energy around it and this exceeds what is holding you not to change, then its’ time to act. Remember, if your energy isn’t directed towards the change reevaluate this and what you need to do to make it happen!


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The disconnect-Living in our heads and not in our emotions?

Recently I’ve felt slightly disconnected. Disconnected in a way that is so hard to explain. With so much going on, mostly amazing stuff, and a few challenges in my personal life of late, I actually feel like my mind is going a million miles an hour but my feelings are suppressed. Weird I know but I almost feel like the two are separate instead of a result of each other. It's the first time I’ve felt like this and this disconnection has really forced me to look and “feel” into why this is happening. I come across so many leaders, executives and business owners who feel like the outer world is muting the inner world at times and can blur the subtle stuff, the stuff that usually lies outside the focus of our attention.

I watched an amazing documentary a few weeks ago on how we can become disconnected from ourselves. It reinforced that we are complex beings made up of mind, body and spirit. When we are faced with the pressure we tend to default to our rational mind and our focus is on all things logical and analytical. It’s almost like we go all “attention out” and into auto pilot. I see this around me a lot, people always having to measure and quantify everything. Whatever happened to the measure being of how we feel. So how do we tap into our greatest capabilities if we don't see inside ourselves and let our intuition flow? Every day we have to make so many decisions, for ourselves and for others. Every decision or choice we make leads to an outcome, a consequence and a result of what we are experiencing, right now.

Being mindful and still is an obvious practice that can assist us to feel deeply and connect with our emotions but how quickly and easily we can access this depends on the person and timing. With our world changing into one, we have made, we are surrounded by deadlines, milestones to achieve and structure everywhere we look. The possibility is endless and I know personally, with having such a growth mindset, this can be overwhelming as there are infinite possibilities in everything I look at and everywhere I go. Harnessing this passion and overwhelm can be exhausting and can result in what I believe to be overthinking and not letting go which in turn can “clog” the pathway to living in our emotions.

In an amazing documentary called “Innsaei”, which is an Icelandic word meaning “the sea within” or to “see within” they talk about the Polynesian’s who mapped almost the entire Pacific ocean without a tool. No GPS, that’s right, just a stick that they etched their findings on. They mapped the ocean by listening to the ocean and trusting their senses and have passed this knowledge down to eight generations and none have ever forgotten the detail. How amazing is that and what a great lesson we can all learn from this.

In the documentary, they discuss the fact that that the world has become fragmented and that wisdom has been replaced by knowledge and knowledge has been replaced by information and data.

What does it take to have awareness of the world around us? What can we do to tap into our emotions and intuition? I am a huge fan of Mbraining, the latest research in neuroscience that shows you have three brains — Three complex and fully functional brains in your heart, your gut and your head, finally these have been researched together and not

in isolation. The research shows you how to recognise and interpret the different languages of your three brains when they are communicating important messages to you.

A few tips that assist me in sinking into my intuition and emotions when I am over-living in my head include stopping and reflecting on how I actually feel about what I am doing or saying. This forces me to respond and not react to situations and base my decisions on what my intuition is telling me in conjunction with logic. When we run and get caught up being “human doings” not “human beings” it’s easy to default in reacting to situations and people. Responding takes time and meshes logic and intuition into your decision.

Getting out of my comfort zone is another way I stay in tune with who I am and I have always loved delving into the unknown and doing new things both in my personal and professional life. This helps me grow, explore and even fail at times which can enrich me as a person as what I feel, experience and think will help me to evolve.

Getting out in nature always brings things into perspective for me and I believe ignites all the senses we possess. A walk in between seeing my clients, a break when running a workshop or getting out in the bush or on the beach on a weekend refreshes the essence of who I am and keeps me balanced. The cool salty air, the wind on my face, sandy feet and sore calves, it’s all part of being out in the real and raw awesomeness of the world we all have access to.

A strong purpose in all that I do is vitally important too. The purpose is the foundation of our lives and eliminates randomness by providing a deeper meaning to what we are doing and being. Knowing what we want and why we do what we do is imperative. Being open to change the course of action to live your purpose is where the magic is at and being in touch with who you are on all levels will assist you to live and being the “real “ you!

I would love to hear how you tap into your emotions and find balance in your life as a whole?