Monday, 25 May 2020

Is There A Space for Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Today?

Emotional Intelligence: 

here's my understanding of what it is:

"Understanding one's own feelings and those of others and how these are expressed as behaviours"


This piece sets out to both inform, support and challenge people in Leadership, Management and Supervisory roles. Its history is  based on the findings of research and its practical applications by Daniel Goldman, Cary Cherniss and Reuven Bar-On. It has informed my professional practice (and beyond!) for the best part of twenty years.
Some years ago Cary Cherniss asked employers to list their greatest concerns their organisations face. Here's what they came up with.
  1. People need to cope with massive, rapid change
  2. People need to be more creative in order to drive innovation
  3. People need to manage huge amounts of information
  4. The organisation needs to increase customer loyalty
  5. People need to be more motivated and committed
  6. People need to work together better
  7. The organisation needs to make better use for the the special talents available in a diverse workforce
  8. The organisation needs to identify potential leaders in its ranks and prepare them to move up
  9. The organisation needs to identify and recruit top talent
  10. The organisation needs to make good decisions about new markets, products and strategic alliances
  11. The organisation needs to prepare people for overseas assignments
A couple of things occurred as I mentally adapted the above to today's challenges
  1. Let's use "We" instead of "People"
  2. Let's use "Our" instead of "The" (organisation)
  3. Some of the above have a much sharper focus as we come to grips with our rapidly changing, challenging and uncertain futures and leaders need to think about which ones matter most right now and then act.

For A While It Felt Like This

We hit the buffers and some fast footwork was required just to keep things going and it feels that we have, since late March been growing our coping mechanisms whilst trying to best guess our way into an uncertain future and very different work patterns.

I've Heard About and Discussed

How some fantastic people have reached out to their teams and offered the above and more, providing continuity, purpose and care in so doing. As we move forward our organisations be they:

  • Large corporates
  • SMEs
  • Education providers
  • Community & Charitable
Will need to visit items 1-12 above and decide for themselves

  • What to prioritise
  • How to communicate their priorities
  • How to use existing knowledge and wisdom
  • How to capture and communicate new knowledge and learning
  • How to support, motivate and up-skill people

It is my belief that we are better able to equip ourselves for this journey if those in leadership roles are aware of the styles of leadership that will take us towards an increased sense of the possible together with how they might be blended as contexts changes.

Here's an introduction to our thinking:

Our next post will look at Six Leadership Styles and the context in which they might be applied.

Sunday, 24 May 2020


They Seem Here To Stay But Where & How Should We Deploy Them?

My meetings on line follow a pretty standard pattern: there are the always welcome, personal ones. I then have professional ones where I'm talking with clients and others about either current issues or how things are looking going forward: these are the subject of today's blog

I also do some on-line learning support-about 4 hours worth a week and I'm able to access some fantastic personal/professional development.

I have other professional connectivity too, where ideas are exchanged, challenged and developed and it's in this environment where, by and large I feel that I'm pretty much in control of things or perhaps more accurately, I don't need control because there's a feeling of mutual acceptance of role and relationship(s).

That's not the case everywhere and I'm increasingly having conversations with colleagues who are "Zoomed Out" (Other platforms are available!). So, this piece isn't one that's aiming its criticism of the meeting platform itself. Rather it's a warning regarding the intensity and frequency of usage.

Recognise This?

There are important messages for companies to produce some interim guidance so that workers are not asked to move from one on-line-meeting to another without some "downtime". This process can create its own stresses discussed in this excellent overview

For self employed/home workers, I'm going to advise you to think about how you are scheduling your days and in doing so, try to build in some time that takes you away from the screen. This is something you are going to have to take on for yourself: if you do, I think I can promise you that you will feel the benefit. It's something I've failed to do on a couple of occasions when I've had a series of "back to back" on line meetings and please believe me, I can tell the difference!

Something a little more concerning: I've had some conversations about how badly some people appear to engage in or react to on-line platforms. I've also spoken to a couple of people who find this medium very uncomfortable. 

Was a necessary response to a terrifyingly new situation and it has affected every aspect of our lives. The on-line meeting platform is a constant reminder that things may never return to their collective, predictable past and that changes to our work patterns serve as an ongoing and significant reinforcer of trauma we are living through. So, be easy on yourself and if you manage, supervise or are responsible for the workplace well-being of others, please give some thought to what it is we are not only asking people to do but also who and what we are asking them to be: it can be very new and very frightening-we discuss it here in a 59 second clip

Your comments and observations are welcome and we are here to listen and help!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Uncertainty & Limiting Beliefs

A Recipe for "Freezing in The Spotlights?"

I hear then term "Uncertain (ty) used more often than ever before, it's barely surprising as we look forward to an insecure future: here are a few synonyms of "uncertainty"

...unpredictability,precariousnessstate of suspense, unreliability, inconclusivenesschanciness, changeableness

And when we put them together we can form the sentence from the depths of the well of doubt as we look forward to:

A precarious, unpredictable future that will have us all in an ongoing state of suspense wherein information is unreliable, inconclusive and changeable!

Cheers you up doesn't it?

So, limiting beliefs: 

I see them as deeply held an hard-to-let go of beliefs about ourselves that confine and restrict us. They can get in the way of saying "Yes" to opportunity and encourage us to do and say things that draw attention away from what it is we really, really believe about ourselves

Now, we're at a time of substantial change and uncertainty in lots of significant areas of our lives and these are by themselves, enough to impact on our confidence. Add a few Limiting Beliefs to the equation and we can find ourselves on a downward spiral of self-doubt or over-corrective behaviours

In this clip, we give an example of where a self doubt might have found its way into our belief system and a structured approach that shows how we might begin to counter its impacts

The process is can be a challenging one and we're here to help you on your journey. You can contact us by replying to this article or by emailing/phoning or texting me on the number shown below.

John Dooner

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Health & Well Being Benefits of Working From Home

As Part of Our Approach to Lock Down & Working From Home.....

We've been reaching out and contacting our previous clients and having a conversation wherever possible

...and a conversation held today has spoken to the enormous benefits to one person.
  • Sleep
  • Digestion
  • Exercise
  • Reduction/disappearance of other possible physical manifestation of stress-related conditions/behaviours
  • Contributing to the well being of family members
  • Three hours commuting no-longer takes place
  • Maintaining connectivity with work colleagues
  • Productive and meeting all work-place targets and schedules
I wonder how many other would agree with and add to the above?

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

A Coaching Story

Q:What have broken trust, listening, a car-park and a horizon got in common?

A:They all featured in a piece of coaching delivered to a client and all played their part in enabling the person to move forward.

My client had been let down by people he had trusted. Their "friendship" was in fact the systematic exploitation of a vulnerable person. Their behaviour had destroyed his trust in others and his confidence in himself. He had to all intents and purposes, evolved into a barely employable recluse

It was important to design with him an approach that stood a chance of working for him

We agreed on this
"Words have meaning and power beyond the obvious and we need to develop good communication."

We also agreed

"The actions that had led up to the situation were talked out and that going over them time after time was not going to help-we needed to describe a positive and achievable future"

So, our sessions focused on the achievable and how we might reach inwards to discover the strengths that would make the journey possible.

The following link takes you to a brief clip where I describe how we approached the challenge. It's a great example of what we do here and how prepared we are to reach out to establish some common ground within which we can nurture the beginnings of progress.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Corvid 19 Support Videos

We have been reaching out with a series of blogs that look at some of the challenges we are facing and the opportunities we might create as we move through the Covid 19 period. Some also look forward with a sense of hope and aspiration related to how we might create some changes for ourselves and accept that we no longer and never did by the way, control the bigger picture

I wonder if you agree that things feel very much this way right now? The aggressive spread of the pandemic has damaged our global, national, economic and personal confidence.
Until medicine, science and political will catch up, it feels that we need to take on board the adjacent message; that it is us, our expectations of ourselves and others that needs to change.

From Surviving to Growth & Thriving

These 3 videos talk about our responses to trauma and how we might grow through it. They also acknowledge that we might from time to time, be unable to maintain our progress and that “slipping back is natural and is okay:

Stage 1- The pandemic has had an impact on us all and whereas we have our individual reactions, there are some common threads we can consider. This can help us to understand that what we are experiencing might well be a "normal response to an abnormal situation"

Stage 2- This clip looks at some behaviours that tell you that you are moving in the right direction. You may want to use some of them to set yourself a target that is meaningful to you. Be kind to yourself and if you have the occasional difficult time, remember; it's just that. It doesn't have to stay that way!

Stage 3- This is the 3rd stage of the process that begins with looking at how we behave in Survival mode, moving through to Acceptance and eventually to Growth and Acceptance. It points us in the direction of some improvement criteria, behaviours that tell us we are heading towards a "better place" from where we can function more effectively. We also emphasise the importance of self-acceptance!

Feeling Overwhelmed by the News?

Here’s one of our earliest Corvid19 videos, we were very concerned about the impact 24/7 news coverage was having on individual health and well-being. Our response here is still valid as we move forward.
It’s Okay Not to Feel Okay and Here’s Why
What have unwanted changes got in common? They all put us in a place we don't want to be and they have the capacity to make us angry, sad and depressed before working our way through them. Here's how the model might apply to our current situation and how we need to challenge our thinking about what we expect of ourselves and others
Connecting, Why Bother?
Why reach out to people who aren't in your immediate circle? Why nurture relationships, the value of which isn't immediately clear? Maybe it's time for us to redefine relationships and value!
Connecting Clouds
This is the 3rd in out series "Overwhelmed By The News" and it takes a look at the value of connectivity and the positive impacts it can have on us all. It also asks us to consider what might be different about the way we work with and relate to each other once we are through the current situation.

If you're not coping well and understand that you are feeling sad, anxious and unable to shift these feeling, please talk to your General Practitioner, they will listen without judgement and advise you what to do next. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Lock Down In the Northern Hemisphere

Covid 19 ravages continue and it's hurting people and economies. I wonder what the impact would have been had it begin in October leading into late-afternoon darkness?

Check out this episode! It's a piece of simple understanding!