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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Creating a Gift Mindset Culture

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Creating a Gift Mindset culture photo

Many organisational cultures do not encourage or condone the sharing of challenges or failures and even sometimes the sharing of successes. Culture is about the shared beliefs, values, customs and social behaviour of a community. Therefore, if the culture you work within is against sharing lessons it may be something that never enters your mind, especially if that organisation is all you have ever known.

In our home life, this is the same. If you are bought up not to share failures and to just suck it up and get on with it then chances are this same behaviour will play in your life. If you are encouraged to share successes and challenges at home, at school and amongst your social network, you will be more likely to be open to The Gift Mindset®.

Not everyone works in an organisation that is open to the idea of being reflective – something which can be particularly difficult to do in the workplace. When there is a lack of support from management who don’t see the reflective practice is important, then being open and sharing your lessons can go by the wayside and be challenging to navigate. I come across companies like this, not too many which is a great thing, but enough to know the challenges people face within them who want an open, self-reflective and sharing culture.

As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Sharing is caring

Think about the return on investment and start small. Maybe initiate small activities at team catch ups to share wins and/or challenges. Maximise online platforms such as Zoom, Yammer and Teams to create space for sharing. Cultural change takes time as it starts with the people.

Comfort and fear are the enemies of progress. Click To Tweet

Shadowing and sharing the best practice of success and lessons learnt from challenges is one way to promote gradual cultural change to adopt The Gift Mindset®. This can also be done by not just talking and/or observing someone but instead really encouraging interactive conversation and questioning. What this does is allow the learner to understand the underlying reasons behind someone else’s actions, making it easier to adapt what’s learned to a new situation or task.

Involve and discuss

There was a study done in May 2012 that found that pharmaceutical development teams were better able to translate and learn from another team’s past experience when they invited members of the other team — the “sharers” of knowledge — to actively participate in their discussion and problem-solving (vs. a “learner” team simply identifying the “sharer” team’s knowledge and then trying to replicate it on their own).

Expectations create reality

Remember that our expectations can create our reality and the stereotypes we hold can directly impact our behaviour and therefore impacts culture. Psychologist call this process “stereotype threat”.

Imagine you are running a session at an SLT (Senior Leadership Team) meeting for the first time. Your manager has stressed the importance to get it right and the impact on your leadership brand, team and so on if you don’t. You are aware of the stereotype “new kid on the block” so anxiety arises about potentially making a mistake. Your manager even introduces you by reinforcing this is the first time you have presented at this level. You get distracted from your focus to present an effective presentation and instead focus on the technology not working, not coming across clearly or having your message diluted by nerves.

This is a basic demonstration of how stereotypes have the power to impact our behaviour. This means that if we place concern on a situation such as a culture that doesn’t encourage sharing of success and/or challenges we are confirming a negative stereotype. This will disrupt the ability to focus on a particular task that will lead to adopting a Gift Mindset and sharing best practice across the business.

How can you instil The Gift Mindset® in your organisational culture today?

Lead to 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.

 

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: Stop awfulising and own your thoughts!

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Stop awfulising and own your thoughts! blog

“The thoughts you think today will determine the results you see tomorrow.” – Robin Sharma

Having a deep awareness of our thoughts is the one thing we can control, no matter who we are or where we are from.

Our thoughts dictate how we feel and therefore, where we do or do not take action. We need to be consciously aware of our thoughts and our inner dialogue. We also need to be aware of our minds chatter that can escalate to fear when we go through uncertainty or face something we don't understand.

Negative self-talk can include awfulising (not a real word) where you may assume the worst, and it can lead to a downward spiral of negative thinking. Another common one is filtering; this may be when you face a challenge and can only see the negative aspects, although positive ones exist in parallel.

For example, if you are thinking “I don't like working from home” this will naturally cause you to focus on the negatives of the situation, which may include loneliness, disconnection, demotivation, uncertainty and so on.

Our inner voice allows us to narrate our own lives; it is an internal monologue almost like a conversation with oneself that has so much power over us. Click To Tweet

4 key tips to eliminate that awfulising voice

Catch your critic and name it:

Stop and name the thought, and refer to it by that name going forward. I once had a client say that negative talk was about being not good enough or to “needy Ned”. This made her laugh whenever she referred to these thoughts with this name. This alone can change your current state of thought and the direction of further conversation.

Flip your beliefs:

Usually, whatever we think or tell ourselves are framed as beliefs, things we believe to be true that either do or do not serve us. Inviting a negative belief into your head for instance; “I will never get through this challenge” could be flipped to “What can help me get through this challenge?

Talk to yourself like a friend:

It's amazing how harsh we can be to ourselves, often harsher than we would ever dream of being with those we love. Talk to yourself as you would a friend; be light, be kind and above all, be respectful and come from a place of love.

Reframe your words:

Words are more powerful than we think, and we need to be conscious of what and how we frame what we tell ourselves. Reframing “I'm nervous and challenged” to “I'm excited about this opportunity” can change your energy, mindset and above all your awareness from what can be opposed to what can't.

  • This is too hard vs this may take some effort
  • I can't do this vs I'm on track to doing this
  • Being alone is hard vs who can I connect with
  • Working at home vs working from home

As always, I'd love to hear what is working for you.

Lead to 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: Supercharge Working Remotely

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Supercharge Working Remotely Photo

In today's workforce, managers can often be seen as the unsung heroes. Pivotal to an employees performance, motivation and happiness at work, they have the power to influence how engaged employees are. In essence, they drive how people may think, feel and act, therefore impacting the culture of the organisation they work within.

Whether managing teams on site or remotely, leadership can be learnt and built upon. Limitless Leadership™ is based on the premise of learning, unlearning, forever evolving and having an infinite mindset of what could be.

As I write this the global pandemic of COVID-19 continues to force many workplaces into lockdown yet again with employees continuing to work remotely from home in shifts or on a full time basis.

Many of my clients are working remotely, my brother has lost his job, my sister is in isolation as having cancer treatment and my Mum has just had her business shut their doors. Many of those around us are in a state of flux, fear and anxiety. The familiar smiles from the coffee shops are fading, the roads are quiet and there is a strange energy in the air as we remain uncertain of our future, our health, our work and all that we had planned.

In these times of uncertainty, change and disruption, as leaders I believe this is an opportunity to shine and level up in our leadership through new ways of working, thinking and collaborating. With a major pivot, we can all get through this. Personally, we have had the majority of our work postponed and we have been working feverishly around the clock to change HOW we deliver what we do.

Going from chaos to calm is important as we navigate a landscape we have never seen before in our lifetime. Click To Tweet

Supercharging your leadership is needed now more than ever.

Leading remote teams has fast become the new normal while working during COVID-19 and the accessibility of technology, better working practices has seen a downturn in the need to invest in expensive offices. Some businesses access all they need from a backpack. Whoever would have thought this was even possible?

A report from the UN International Labour organisation found that while many employees are more productive when they work outside of the conventional office, they're also more vulnerable to working longer hours, a more intense work pace, work-home interference, and, in some cases, greater stress.

The challenges are real

Recent research from Soapbox indicated that remote managers experience retention challenges six times higher than on-site managers. They also discovered that remote managers struggle two times more than on-site managers when getting their teams to collaborate. This is due to distance, time zones and other factors.

Another finding was that managers leading remotely found hitting team goals almost twice as hard as when leading onsite. It was also discovered that managers with more than 50% of their team working remotely struggle with providing value to employees in one-on-one catch ups. Another key finding was that 56% of employees surveyed believe that managers need to adapt their skills to lead a remote workforce.

As leaders, we need to step up!

Having worked and led teams remotely for over 20 years I’m highly aware of the challenges above. In conjunction with these challenges, many other barriers block our way to successfully lead teams and businesses remotely.

Here are a few key tips on leading teams and businesses remotely:

Lead with empathy

Empathy requires us to lean in and really feel what other people are going through.

Don’t assume everyone is seeing the world the same way as you. Take the time to be present and have deep and meaningful interactions with your team and peers.

Examples of simple questions you could ask are; How can I support you right now? Would you like me to talk or just listen? Is there anything else I can help you with?

Mindset

A change of mindset can be a barrier. An adaptive mindset around creating new norms is crucial when we go from an office environment to working in isolation. When we shift from what know there is uncertainty and as humans we aren’t good at dealing with the unknown so reframing expectations is vital here.

Remember thoughts and what we tell ourselves lead to how we feel and therefore what we action. Be conscious of what you are thinking and the story you are creating. Talk to yourself as a friend would.

Sole or group environment

In the workplace, there are those that lean towards working in a sole environment and most probably will usually adapt more easily to working remotely than someone who is motivated by people around them. Many people struggle to stay motivated working alone, even with access to online collaborative tools and new ways of working.

Ensure you tap into each person and amplify technology as a conduit to collaboration and don’t assume that everyone has adjusted to working remotely in the same way.

Set new expectations

A change in working conditions can lead to unclear expectations, boundaries and ways of working. For an employee having no direction or leadership is like driving somewhere using Google Maps without inputting a destination. There is nowhere to aim for or reach which can stifle action, motivation and overall morale.

Unclear purpose, objectives and expectations of the business, team and roles are widespread especially when new norms aren’t in place and accepted.

Ensure expectations are discussed as a team and everyone set boundaries for what they will and won’t stand for (such as working hours and breaks).

Set up your environment

The environment we work from can be a barrier. Lack of room, light, interaction, systems and processes can stifle our productivity, motivation and overall performance. Communication can become fragmented when a team is split up. Many people experience a lack of training in new systems and tools needed to do their job from home and this can impact confidence and productivity.

Ensure workspaces are set up for success and the technology and systems are assessed, understood and utilised.

Self management

Managing time and prioritising is another common challenge and distractions from visitors, loved ones and even the family pet can get in the way.

Many people find loneliness creeps in, we are wired to connect so this can be a natural and common occurrence. Speaking to a client recently who has relocated to a home office from a fast paced open plan office said she feels like she has FOMO, fear of missing out and being out of the loop as not in her normal environment.

Manage self to manage time and ensure everyone has a work plan and boundaries around this.

Use physical disconnection to drive connection

Human beings are wired for connection, it’s an innate need to belong and be part of a community. Ensure as a leader you are jealously protecting time for 1:1s (often first to be forgotten), team catch ups and quick check in calls to keep the lines of communication open. Be innovative and have virtual lunches, themes of the day and different times you catch up.

Use a variety of tools to connect and leverage the technology available.

Coach and grow team members to facilitate team catch ups so you aren’t always in the driver's chair.

I really believe there is a gift in every situation and now is your time to shine as a leader, collaborate more deeply with your team and look at new ways of working to lift performance.

The world needs you, now is the time to step up and supercharge your leadership.

Lead top 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: Ramp up your remote work with visuals

Limitless Leaders Ramp up your remote work with visuals

When working remotely, the first thing that we miss is the physicality of working with other people.

As much as remote work can increase productivity, connection and collaboration can be hindered if we don’t regularly review and renew what is working as far as communication is concerned.

Technology will never fully replace human interaction, but it is a resource we need to understand and leverage, or we will be left behind. Never have we been so connected and if we use the right systems in the right way, the sky is the limit as to where we can work and what we can achieve.

Technology will never fully replace human interaction, but it is a resource we need to understand and leverage, or we will be left behind. Click To Tweet

The evidence

One of the most collaborative and visually connecting technologies is video conferencing. Think Zoom, Skype and Webex, to name a few. More engaging and true-to-life video solutions are replacing audio-only conference calls. There are many articles published attributing video communication to an increase in productivity, better connected teams, it is more straightforward, and a more engaging way to meet.

To continue to develop your team, tap into online courses, internal learning platforms and virtually run programs and webinars.

Utilising technology, when working remotely, helps alleviate the challenges of working alone. Although you aren’t ‘pressing the flesh’ so to speak, it's the second best thing to bridge the gap many face working in remote teams.

A 2019 Impact of video conferencing report found:

  • 94% of businesses say video conferencing increases productivity
  • 90% of respondents say video makes it easier to get their point across
  • 89% of respondents agree that video conferencing reduces time to complete projects or tasks
  • 89% of users say video conferencing helps them feel connected
  • 99% of respondents think that improving communication and collaboration can impact productivity positively
  • 87% of employees not physically present for a meeting report feeling better engaged with colleagues through video

 

Tap into what your team needs

Mix up your interactions and tap into the preferences of what your team needs.

  • Supercharge video conferencing tips
  • Dress for work not for Netflix
  • Our physiology creates our psychology
  • Ensure the frame behind you represents you professionally
  • Create rules around cameras on/off, muting and question time
  • Dial up your energy by 20%
  • Actively listen
  • Match pace, pitch and words
  • Give the speaker undivided attention and acknowledge them
  • Defer judgement until all have spoken
  • Provide feedback
  • Match sitting or standing posture
  • Stand up to increase your energy on longer calls
  • Make sure your hands are in screen view

As always, I’d love to hear what is working for you.

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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Effective leadership in business-My interview with ANZIIF

After speaking on “Motivation for Collaboration” at two ANZIIF events I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Rita Loiacono, ANZIIF writer.

The reality all but a few industries face today is the constant threat of change —usually in the form of ever-evolving protocols, practices, tastes or technology. In such a reality, it’s no coincidence that those businesses that invest time and resources into maximising the potential of their employees through high-calibre leadership are the same businesses that are at the forefront of innovation and are enjoying the most consistent success.

While good leadership is not an insurance policy against failure, bad leadership is almost certainly an insurance policy against success. More and more businesses are realising this and, to their credit, are taking steps to help their leaders evolve. Such growth can often be an integral factor in whether or not businesses take that constant threat of change and instead see it as a constant opportunity.

In her own words, Renée Giarrusso is “obsessed with seeing people grow”. That obsession was the impetus for her decision to step away from the corporate world following 12 years in senior sales, marketing and leadership roles, and instead start her own business, Metamorphose Consulting.

Since starting that business nine years ago, Giarrusso has worked to help leaders, teams and organisations in over 24 industries to maximise their connection, collaboration and leadership. With a wealth of experience and having just written a book, Limitless Leadership — which looks at leading self before being able to lead a team or a decision-making process — Giarrusso’s work is underpinned by her belief that all industries face the same challenges around leadership, but with self-awareness and commitment to improvement, those challenges are certainly not insurmountable.

“Leadership, if you dissect it, is really around collaboration, motivation and communication,” Giarrusso says, noting that there is often a misconception that leaders and managers are one and the same. “Managers work in their teams day-to-day — I liken it to doing maintenance-type things like cleaning your house. Leaders do progressive things like renovating your house,” she says.

But how can managers move beyond the often overwhelming and seemingly never-ending nature of day-to-day tasks and make the leap to progression and innovation? According to Giarrusso, it’s all about delegating more, empowering more, and identifying the strengths of team members and giving them more tasks that maximise those strengths. “That frees you up a bit to be able to do things such as setting vision, strategising and building a strength-based team,” Giarrusso says.

Asking your team to articulate their strengths and weaknesses, and what they like and what they don’t like, can be a powerful motivator, as it enables leaders to help energise their team members by giving them opportunities to do what they’re good at, as well as what they enjoy. However, such an exercise can be futile if the person asking those questions lacks connection with the people they’re asking. “The manager’s got to build rapport,” Giarrusso says. “If you’re not respected and you sit down and you say to your team, ‘So what are you good at, what do you enjoy?’ you’ll get nothing. I believe rapport equals influence. If you’re in rapport and if you’re deeply connecting, people will be more honest with you and more open.”

While Giarrusso does believe part of being a good leader is innate, she also believes it can be learnt — provided there is a will to learn. Often, though, employees are elevated to managerial positions because they’ve been with the organisation for a significant period of time or because they are technically brilliant. And while these are valid reasons for promoting people, they aren’t necessarily indicative of their leadership potential and can often result in managers being unaware that they’re missing the mark when it comes to truly leading their teams. “I think, too, we are wired to think that if you manage a team, it will help you move up, so everyone thinks they have to manage a team, but not everyone is wired to do that,” Giarrusso says.

Another prohibitive factor to good leadership is a misguided view on what actually constitutes a strong and effective leader. Aside from a belief that a long tenure makes them the best person for a leadership role, bad leaders tend to be ego-focused: They often believe they are the only team member who is genuinely busy, they fail to delegate because they believe no-one will do things as effectively as they can, and they tend to have an overinflated view of how important they are to a team’s function. On the contrary, Giarrusso says, “If the team doesn’t need you and you can go on holidays and come back and things functioned well without you, that’s a good leader.”

Elaborating further on what makes a good leader, Giarrusso says they realise it’s not about them, but rather, it’s about the team. “Good leaders are empowering, they co-create and involve, so when there are decisions to be made, even if they’ve got the answer, they act like they don’t and make the team feel like they’ve come up with it. They’re coach-centric, so they use a lot of questioning to empower people to come up with what they already have in them. They’re not just complying to be a leader, they’re committed. So compliance is you do it, but committed is you have a jump in your step and you want to be there. They have perspective and respect, and they’re trustworthy,” Giarrusso explains.

Where women in leadership are concerned, Giarrusso does concede that, overall, women are underserved in leadership roles, but she notes that there are certain industries that are consciously making efforts to improve the imbalance, and as EQ continues to outweigh IQ in importance, things will continue to change. “IQ isn’t measured as much as EQ now,” Giarrusso says. “So your IQ is how smart you are and your EQ is how well you read people and understand people, and I believe women have a very strong EQ,” she says.

When asked if she has any advice for women who are already in leadership roles or who aspire to them, Giarrusso says it’s important to be strategically agile — that is, be able to understand and work across all business units — and she encourages women to focus on what they’re good at and what invigorates them, rather than becoming preoccupied with fitting in or proving something. “Be brave, be bold and be yourself,” she says. “I think what’s really important is have a voice, be a ‘no’ leader, so to speak, so don’t just agree with everything. If you don’t agree with something, have a voice and explain why you think what you do. Above all, add value, and learn from others, and find out what you’re strengths are and make sure you’re tapping into them, because then you’ll do what you do naturally.”

Giarrusso encourages businesses to recruit for diversity, likening people to colours of the rainbow — with the inclusion of more colours of the rainbow, the picture looks more whole, it offers greater perspective and inspiration, and the less likely it is to become tired or boring. Ultimately, good leadership doesn’t discriminate: “It doesn’t matter who you are — your age, your gender, your ethnicity — it doesn’t matter; it’s about capability and capacity,” Giarrusso says.

Renée Giarrusso presented at ANZIIF’s Lunch and Learn series events in WA and SA during October and November 2016. To find out how she can assist at an individual, team or organisation level and turn your inner potential into outward results she can be contacted via email, website, or LinkedIn.