It’s not that unusual for people to cry when they work with me. Stopping the daily busy-ness and task-focused activities to pause, reflect and to think well can often bring things to the surface that people hadn’t noticed were there. Our always-on and busy lives lead us to sweep things under the carpet and carry on with an “it’s all fine” and “I’m fine” face on. Sometimes a client’s upset is “normal level” upset, sometimes it’s a symptom of medically-recognisable anxiety for which they need different help than I can provide. And when I say anxiety, don’t picture “jibbering mess, barely able to function”. Instead picture the reality which is genuinely what’s in front of me – capable, confident leaders who are very skilled at what they do and who are able to hide their anxious turmoil REALLY well.
In a couple of months, on 10th and 11th May, the Olympia in London will become home to the CIPD Learning & Development Show.
It’s a fantastic learning event – whether you go to the Conference sessions, spend your time on the Exhibition floor and in the taster sessions, or talking to fellow delegates – there’s something for everyone!
As I write this I feel like David D’Souza who’s an expert at these analogies with life (as an example, you can read about Chicken and Business Plans here). I hope mine hits the mark. It’s not rocket science, or brand new information (HT Phoebe), but it’s something I re-noticed while working with a leadership team this week – and I don’t think I’d ever previously made the broader connections of this effect in other activities. Plus I love Chinese food!!
“I feel like a washing machine – everything’s churning round and yet it’s going nowhere.”
“I feel like I’m sinking in it all.”
“This isn’t sustainable.”
These things I’ve heard from leaders I’ve worked with. Men and women who feel swamped. It could be they’ve stepped up into an MD or CEO role where they’re suddenly in the most exposed position they’ve ever known, without development through their transition. Or budgets are cut in in the “reduce costs to maximise profits” race, removing more people from the structure than there are systems or processes to compensate for. Or businesses that have grown so fast, piling the work on those who are there, without stopping to review what’s actually needed to grow sustainably. And sometimes it’s not even any of that. It’s just that sometimes life throws a load of stuff at us all at once – from home, from work, from relationships… and it can be overwhelming.
BREAKING NEWS! Ian Ellison now also speaking at Learn > Connect > Do!! Read on….
On 1st December it’s Learn > Connect > Do, the event for people professionals who care about making work better.
This quarter we’re talking about our workplaces and spaces and stimulating the debate from the position of “Do we need offices?”. It’s fantastic to have Dan Pilling and now, not just Dan, but Ian Ellison too! They’ll be joining us to bring us their deign and workplace insights and get the discussion going. As the Chair and Deputy Chair of the BIFM Special Interest Group they know their stuff!
Karen Meager of Monkey Puzzle is speaking about work and leadership. In business we see ‘unhelpful behaviours; and in work we try and address them, often through instruction / process / policy, by changing behaviour. Karen helps business see what’s behind the behavioural ‘issues’ so she’ll be showing us some of these things, some of the science about why and how you can do something about that. And talking about how to know better when you’ve done enough.
For this post I’m delighted to be hosting a piece from Andrew Page. I worked with Andrew and a number of his fellow leaders alongside Lane 4 as part of their leadership development programme at Loughborough Uni, and I subsequently went on to work with more of the Anglian team at one of their main UK locations.
Next for me a case study from GSK with Sally Bonneywell, VP Coaching.
GSK – pharma, vaccines, consumer healthcare – large, complex and with a long history of M&A activity over the years. recently sold oncology to Avartis and bought their vaccines business. It felt like we were “taking out our heart” and that had to be allowed to be heard because that was people’s reality.
Here at the Coaching at work Conference 2016 and the opening keynote is with Hetty Einzig about green trees and VUCA.
Hetty’s starting by acknowledging that coaching is still a young profession and in an ever-moving environment we need to maintain a good capacity to think to help others make meaning. And an explanation of VUCA. Volatile. Uncertain – Even so-called stable institutions can feel woobly in the recent changes – long-standing businesses, government, religion – what do we believe in now? What are our reference points? Where are our rocks?. Complex – entangled and entwined, or intertwangled. Ambiguous – what we first see might not be the whole picture, there’s ambiguity in orgs that stops us seeing the whole or being connected. If we don’t feel part of something, connected, it can trigger our threat response.
At the start of May I attended a course in Team Coaching, taking coaching from one-to-one to a team brings a whole different set of challenges and opportunities to improve organisational performance…
One of the topics we had some debate around was that of power in work. Power so often has negative connotations. In the same way the word conflict does. If I’d used that word instead of “debate”, what image would have come to mind about our conversation? How would you have felt about it? And what about “power”? What do you think and feel when you hear that word?