Inspiring People – Doreen Lawrence
Have you been inspired by the achievements of a famous person, particularly in the face of adversity?
On Mothering Sunday I was moved as I listened to Clare Balding interview Doreen Lawrence on Radio 2. Having lost her son 20 years ago in a violent racial attack, Doreen Lawrence spoke about how the event has changed her life. She described how, despite it taking several years to arrive at this point, she now views Stephen’s death as having given her an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives in two main areas.
Firstly, by setting up the Stephen Lawrence Trust, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into a career in architecture. To mark the 20th anniversary of Stephen’s death and celebrate his life, the SL20 campaign aims to promote the future ambitions of the Trust and to raise funds.
Secondly, Doreen explained her changing attitude and behaviour over the years. Instead of being angry now with those who took her son’s life and the system that took so long to bring them to justice, she now challenges others’ behaviour, and tries to see the positive rather than the negative in people and situations.
On top of that her quest is to eradicate racism for the benefit of both victims and perpetrators.
An inspirational woman indeed! The interview got me thinking about what I am doing to make a difference; how I can re-frame situations I see in the negative in a more positive light and how I manage my work-life balance to spend quality time with my family, as she does (a grand-mother of three, she is still very family-focused).
I am really interested to know who has inspired you and why. As we continue our series on inspiring people, please let us know your stories including those we can share with other Juniper friends.
Link to the interview:
BBC Radio 2 - Good Morning Sunday, 10/03/2013, Doreen Lawrence speaks to Clare Balding
2013 has finally got off the ground!
Well, 2013 has finally got off the ground! People are back from holiday and are ready for some exciting challenges over the coming months.
Yesterday we experienced the buzz of Learning Technologies at Kensington Olympia. We met some very interesting people, listened to some key industry players talk on current trends and even had time for a bit of fun on the Redware Bleeper game!
Next week it’s The Juniper Co’s turn to host our Personal Brand event. I’ll be focusing on personal brand, including how to raise your profile and influence others.
Does that sound relevant to you? If yes, then please come along and join the discussion over a glass of wine and some nibbles.
To register for this free event, please click on the link or email us for more information.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
How many of us have made resolutions this year and broken them already? From both personal and professional experience, I know that a resolution such as “Must eat healthier” or “Must do more exercise” is often very difficult to keep up, especially when the weather is cold like it is now. How about focusing on an area that can have just as much impact – personal brand? Small changes we can make in our approach, attitudes, and behaviour can bring positive outcomes (and don’t involve 6am runs or eating fewer biscuits at work).
Think about the opinions people make of you when they meet you and what you do to influence those opinions – what you say, how you say it, how you dress etc. When Mary Spillane asks us to consider our personal brand, she refers to assets (skills, abilities and experiences), values (the things that matter as well as our passions) and image (what we project to others), in everything we do. Why not consider these three simple steps :
- Step 1: Define your desired brand (how would you like people to perceive you?)
- Step 2: Evaluate your current brand (what are people’s opinions of you now?)
- Step 3: Close the gap between your desired and current brand (decide how you are going to achieve your desired brand and then do it!)
Think about what Mahatma Ghandi said “we have to become the change we wish to see in the world”. What results do you think you could see in your professional and personal life by spending some time working on your personal brand this year?
We’ve got a great first impressions quiz to try as a starter for ten. To have a go, click here.
If you want to know more about how changes in your personal brand can affect your levels of influence, why not come to our event in February? Please click here for more details.
We Are Moving!
Always up for a change and a challenge, the Juniper birds will be migrating to their new office in Weybourne, Surrey next month – and we are very excited about it!
We will be embarking on the next chapter of our story in a place that has been the home to innovation, creativity and sporting excellence for many years. From John Henry Knight (pictured here driving the first petroleum carriage for two people made in England), a founder member of the AA, pioneer and inventor; to Dame Vera Lynn, famous World War 2 singer, who spent summer holidays there with her aunt; to Jonny Wilkinson OBE, former England rugby player, who was educated there in his early years, Weybourne has certainly witnessed the birth and life of extraordinary success.
So let’s see what is in store for us. Watch this space for more updates!
From Monday 3 December, our new office details will be :
4 Hillside Road
Please bear with us over the next couple of days while we move!
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” (Roosevelt)
Part 2 (continued from last week)
Having identified the roles, let’s look at how we can change our behaviour.
In their book, Leadership Presence, Halpern and Lubar say: “Much of leadership is about finding balance between two often-conflicting activities: asserting authority and responding to others’ needs.” I use an adaptation of the DESC approach to giving feedback to provide the recipe for assertive communication and building adult-adult relationships.
- State – your observation using ‘I’ statements – do not judge – find out how the other person views the situation: I have observed that… How do you see…
- Express – share your feelings and describe the effect that the situation has had: I feel that …
- Ask – for suggestions to improve the situation - How do you suggest…
- Request – very specifically what YOU would like to see happening and state the benefits – I would like to ask that …
When I’m running a skills workshop to help people get along better with their colleagues, I ask them to give examples of statements in the child, parent and adult mode. Here is an example statement for each mode :
Parent : “Don’t worry about the business planning meeting, I will work something out to make the numbers add up”.
Child : “We are never given any notice for business planning meetings. There is no way I am going to get this done on time.”
Adult : “Right, the business planning meeting is next week. Let’s have a pre-meeting at the end of this week to understand what’s left to do.”
It is also important to remember that in transactional analysis, behaviour accompanying the words contributes largely to the sense of the comment.
It is sometimes easy to slip into habits and behaviours we have used for many years. However, a change in our own behaviour can only produce a change in others’. I tell clients, who are struggling with this : “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” So why not give it a go yourself?
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” (Roosevelt)
How can we all learn to get along better with the people we work with? And how can a company empower its people to build strong, effective and fruitful relationships?
One way of doing this is to ensure that your people are capable of maintaining adult-adult relationships. When people have an adult-adult relationship, they are able to communicate assertively. This means they can stand up for themselves, while acknowledging others; they can effectively express needs, feelings and preferences – and empathise with others. And both parties feel they are gaining from the relationship.
When we are aggressive, we often slip into the parent role and when we are submissive or manipulative, we slip into the child mode. Neither of these two behaviours help people to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes from the interactions.
If you interact as the parent, you will always have to take responsibility for other people’s problems (mopping up after others). You will also fall into a pattern of chiding, reminding, threatening and getting frustrated. If you act as the child, you will not be taken seriously by others. You will find others making decisions for you, underestimating your competence, checking up on you, second-guessing your decisions and trying to control you.
When an organisation is going through change, the project leader or team leader can often fall into the role of the parent and the people they are relying on to implement change take on the position of a child. Change managers often have a paternalistic approach but adult-adult conversations help everyone in the business to feel they could contribute and take responsibility for making the change successfully. An adult-adult relationship maximises the chances of getting the kind of relationships, jobs, friends and life we want. It raises our level of confidence and self-worth and makes us feel more capable, optimistic and in control.
As a manager, do you tend to go to extraordinary lengths to protect your team or do you try to take control of certain situations instead of giving team members responsibility? If this is the case, then perhaps now is the right time to start thinking about regaining the adult-adult equilibrium in your working relationships.
Revisit our blog next week to find out how!
Congratulations to Teresa Kotlicka and Louise Nash who have won our survey competition. They have each won £25 of Amazon vouchers to spend on their learning and development.
Keeping in touch with our delegates and contacts is important to us to ensure we understand your training needs in today’s market. We believe strong client relationships help us to keep savvy and stay on top of the ever changing business environment. If you have some feedback for us please let us know. If you missed the opportunity and would like to complete our survey, just follow this link.
Thank you to all of those who have filled out the survey to date.
The harder you work, the luckier you get – Gary Player
Those of you who read my “Olympic” blog might have asked yourselves the same question one of my clients asked me : “Surely more sweets hit the bowl second time round because they have practised?” A very good question indeed!
It’s true to say that even without instruction, more sweets probably would have hit the bowl (although I must insist, more would have done with coaching and instruction!), and that is down to practice. Malcolm Gladwell writes in his book “Outliers” that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field - that is about 4 hours a day of practice 6 days a week for 10 years. Gary Player, professional golfer, sums this up quite neatly: “The harder you work, the luckier you get”.
But is there such a thing as luck? What differentiates the day a risk we have taken at work pays off from the day our flight is delayed and we arrive late at an important client meeting? Surely that is the result of luck and not hard work?
Going back to the Olympians, I think it would be true to say that they worked very hard to reach the standards we saw over the summer – and that had very little to do with luck!
Do you also find that the harder you work the luckier you get? I do!
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Karen Kaiser Clark
In a recent blog I talked about how resourceful organisations are responding creatively to cuts in learning and development by balancing out formal programmes with more informal development, such as coaching. Even in the absence of training programmes or workshops, ongoing coaching is useful because it provides the opportunity to speak to people about personal growth and development.
There are different types of coaching beyond the traditional one-to-one method. Peer-to-peer coaching is really valuable since it provides a really honest view about an individual, because peer coaches see what their colleagues do, how they work and how they interact with others on a day-to-day basis. Team coaching is also used at all levels across an organisation to build relationships and equip leaders and teams with the skills needed to work together. This can involve group work, as well as individual coaching of team members. Interestingly, reverse coaching is also being used in some organisations – where junior employees coach senior leaders in topics like using social media or new technology. Whilst facilitating a leadership programme recently, I sought feedback from managers who had started to experience reverse coaching with their team members. One manager explained that through reverse coaching she had learnt that her team all had differing needs (in terms of development, communication, and learning style) and that she should no longer try to meet one individual’s needs in the same way as another’s by trying to follow a prescribed formula. It was a breakthrough for her!
Coaching has many benefits and having good coaching skills is now viewed as being important in building an engaged team. However, research shows that many managers don’t have the requisite coaching skills with only 52% of employees rating their manager as a good coach and just 34% feeling motivated or engaged by their manager. The research also suggests a strong link between good coaching skills in managers and staff retention levels.
I regularly show leaders and managers how to use the GROW model to improve their coaching skills – adapted from Whitmore’s ‘Coaching for Performance’. The model is useful when helping others to achieve their performance goals. It helps by posing a series of questions around the topics of Goal, Reality, Options and Will.
- What do you want to achieve?
- What performance is required?
- What outputs are required?
- When do you want to achieve it by?
- What is happening now? (what, when, where, how much)
- Who is involved?
- What’s been done so far?
- What results have been produced?
- What are the constraints to success?
- What options do you have?
- What else could you do?
- What if …?
- Would you like another suggestion?
- What will you do?
- When are you going to do it?
- What obstacles could you face?
- How will you overcome them?
- What support do you need?
In May, I shared some insight into giving constructive feedback using the DESC model (Describe, Explain, Specify, Consequence). I often use GROW and DESC together, enabling me to give constructive feedback, and have a coaching conversation around potential solutions. Have you tried that?