THE FIRST WORD….
It’s the end of June already and it definitely feels like the lazy days of summer are upon us and quite frankly I’m too hot to do very much more than eat ice cream and scroll through LinkedIn. But, the paddling pool is filled, the strawberries (that I’ve managed to save from my dog) are growing, poppies are flowering, roses are blooming and every single window and door of the house is open to encourage the breeze. I have a nice through-draught between the back door and the patio on which to tap away on my laptop, an Alexa regaling me with the latest Podcast releases in the corner and a sleeping dog at my feet. I hope your June was chilled and pleasant with easy Sunday mornings and warm barbecue inducing evenings. Here’s a reflection of the month…
THE KNOWING SELF KNOWING OTHERS PODCAST
I really enjoyed talking to Dr. Gerrit Pelzer in episode 22. Gerrit has a scientific background and has moved to leadership coaching, bringing those technical and relational skills together to create a fascinating approach. Gerrit talked to me about the brain/self-awareness connection and how the self is an illusion we create. We also talked about how emotions are still viewed as fuzzy in the corporate world, that we sense our world through the 5 traditional senses and a 6th sense, interoception. We also talked about having to be aware of what we want to change to be able to change it, the benefit of coaching and the importance of perception management. Gerrit also set out 4 ways to develop self-awareness: self reflection and introspection, awareness in the moment, understanding your perception by others, and regulating behaviours.
Here are some of the things Chad Costa, CFO, BA, approaching the discussion from a Fire Service perspective, and I discussed in episode 23.
You can’t hold others accountable for things you don’t hold yourself accountable for
Informal leadership might be more important than formal leadership, the challenge is to develop a balance of the two.
Ignorance, ego and a lack of self reflection could lead to significant detrimental impacts on others.
The higher you go in an organisation the more you need to develop your self-awareness skills to understand your impact and the consequences on others: the weight of your badge doesn’t absolve you of having and developing self-awareness.
Don’t behave as if you want feedback and want to grow and then make no change when you get it: your credibility will take a serious hit and your reputation may never recover!
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIC
I had a brilliant conversation with Lisa Evans on the Soft Skills for Leaders podcast. We talked about so many things, such as the importance of self-awareness in leadership, tips and activities to help people reflect and grow in this area, inclusive decision-making, managing stress and emotions through meditation, the importance of conscious leadership, seeking unfiltered feedback, and developing both hard and soft skills in order to become a self-aware leader. If you’re looking to improve your leadership skills and gain some practical tips and insights, this episode is a must-listen!!
JUNE BOOK REVIEW
I’ve picked up and put down a few different books in June. You know that feeling when you just can’t settle? It took me until around the middle of the month to find the right one. This month I began reading The Attributes by Rich Diviney. It’s an excellent book not least because the attributes, as Rich describes them, align with the behaviours and relational skills necessary for effective Self-Aware Leadership. I’ll definitely be quoting Rich in my book!! Full review to come in July.
SELF-CARE IN A SOUNDBATH
I took the plunge and jumped into a south bath this month. It was a charity event and my husband wanted to go, so I said why not! It started with a little yoga and then we all laid back on our mats whilst beautiful sounds were played on Tibetan bowls (see pic). Other instruments were also played too. It was such a chilled out session. You were able to settle into some mindful meditation and the gentleness of the sounds kept you just alert enough without jolting you like a voice would. If you’ve ever followed a voice-led meditation you’ve probably jumped when the voice has come back in after a period of quiet! Because the bowls were constantly generating sound but not in a pattern you didn’t feel like you were going to accidentally fall asleep, so were able to benefit from the calmness, meditation and gentle alertness all at the same time. I slept incredibly well that night! If you haven’t tried a sound bath, give it a go. You could also ask Spotify or Alexa to find you some Tibetan bowl sounds and do a bit of meditation to try it out. Give it a go! Let me know what you think!
THE BOOK WITH NO NAME
My writing days are Saturday and Sunday. You’ll have probably already spotted that Knowing Self Knowing Others is my side hustle so blogging, podcasting and writing has to fit around cooking, shopping and working! Saturday 10th June was an excellent writing day when things started to fall into place. I’ve suspected all along that through writing my book, patterns and ideas would emerge. I was so ‘write’! The life-long journey of self-awareness will be the central theme of the book guided by a 9 pointed self-awareness compass that you can use to help you chart your own map of self-aware leadership. It is of course still a work in progress, but this is what you can expect to read about when the book is launched in 2024. The book is yet to claim its name, but I suspect that too will appear when all of the chapters have been written, so watch this space! And remember, if you’re thinking about writing a book, getting yourself a writing coach to think with is a very good idea. Drop a line to Steph Caswell and pick up a copy of her book, Dare to Write
I’m hoping for a July as warm and strawberry filled as June. There may be some days off and maybe a few photographs at my niece’s graduation where she’ll be celebrating getting a first (a FIRST!!) in her BSc – very proud Auntie moment! I have a few podcast interviews to record and going live will be my conversations with Ira Wolfe, Ketan Kulkarni and Katryn (Katrijn van Oudheusden). Looking forward to sharing those with you!! Have a great July and I’ll see you for a few more words of reflection in a few weeks’ time.