Author Archives: Terry Williams - The Brain-Based Boss

The Benefits Of Being A LifeLong Learner

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Workplace learners do earn more. Maybe that is the impact of the learning but research also suggests it might be that managers select people to receive the learning that they believe have potential. It is more that belief held by the managers that results in promotions and wage increases than the learning. I say, that if you decline the learning opportunities, the manager’s belief in you will evaporate quickly.

Beyond better jobs, higher wages, & using that money to eat better and pay for doctors, living the attitude that learning is a lifelong need puts you in situations that generate health benefits:

·              Less frustration-stress reducing inflammation-related illness,

·              Greater resilience to the stresses of change. People do not resist change; People resist being changed.

·              You retain a self-perception of being an active contributor to society. As you age and re-enrol in classes, the comments you make in tutorials are useful to others as well. That sense of involvement and contribution keeps you alive longer and better,

·              In signing up for classes or joining forums on specialist topics of interest, you meet new people. New relationships can be a source of support.

#lifelonglearning #workplacetraining #leadershiptraining

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on maintaining a continuous improvement mindset, a critical element of which is experiential learning. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #personalproductivity #productivity #problemsolving

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Teams: Behaviour-Based Principles For Empowerment

light house work

One of the principles of joke-writing is ‘misdirection and reveal’. You may have varying views of the extent to which my joke above is funny but it is an excellent example of that principle.

Businesses need to be flexible, nimble, & responsive to conditions changing suddenly underfoot. Uncertainty and ambiguity are the economic enemy but, right now, they abound.

Speakers / trainers like me can throw around words like ‘empowerment’, enabling those on frontlines to have discretion to assess, decide, & react but HOW can leaders who aren’t always located in the same place physically develop empowerment in their people?

And it is developed. It’s not a switch you flick then declare, “You’re empowered now”! Consistently stated, modelled, & reinforced principles is one way. Not vague platitudes but behaviour-based principles.

When your people need to rank today’s tasks in priority order, upon what are they basing their choices? Even if you haven’t consciously declared your team’s principles, your past behaviour has communicated them. Sir Peter Blake got his America’s Cup teams to filter their decisions through a principle in question form: does it make the boat go faster? What are your team’s behaviour-based principles? What should they be? principlebasedleadership empoweringpeople

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on influence, a critical element of which is developing and modelling deliberate and consistent values through principled behaviours. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

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#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #personalproductivity #influence #buildingteams

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Repurposing

questions diamond

I’ve got a bit of time before I start running an online leadership workshop this morning. (Thanks time zone disparities!) so, I’m trawling through some of my past whiteboard scribblings as potential content inspirations for an online self-directed course on personal effectiveness I’m putting together.

I’m not the greatest artist in the world, or even the room, but as a giver or seller of abstract ideas, it’s helpful to try and give them a variety of tangible forms. I have sometimes been so enamoured with my own etching that I have taken a photo of a whiteboard to ‘save’. A better word might be ‘hoard’ as they were rarely used or stored logically. I’ve had an iPad Pro and iPencil for a year. My whiteboarded models and lists are now saved and stored.

If ‘pivot’ was April’s word of the month, for this month I nominate ‘repurpose’. I am going to repurpose the stuffing out of these images. I’m presenting a couple of sessions this month on applying a number-8 wire mentality to ideas just lying around waiting for new applications. Kiwis have had a culture of and phrase for repurposing for over a century: number-8 wire mentality. Historically, this meant physically fixing things on the farm without buying new resources by using whatever was lying around, such as number-8 fencing wire. I’m taking that metaphor that’s lying around and fixing a non-physical challenge with it.

There may well be new or radical innovations required for cost-reduction, team-building, productivity improvement, and economic recovery. Go for gold and good luck with looking for, and waiting for, those. But, how reliable is inspiration? Meantime, what idea-repurposing can you apply with the ideas you already have?

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on problem-solving, a critical element of which is practical creativity. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #personalproductivity #productivity #problemsolving

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Social Loafing & Reintegration Anxiety

horses eating

I’m not one for anthropomorphising the facial expressions of animals for mild humour to make a tenuous point for a business audience but these horses in the picture above  look like when you’re on time for the morning tea shout and these dudes got in early and they know THEY just ate the last doughnut that YOU like. Same guys don’t clean the microwave and walk away covertly when the copier flashes ‘replace toner cartridge’.

It’s known as ‘social loafing’. In working from home (wfhlife ) during lockdown some of us haven’t had to deal with these folk for a while. New Zealand’s lockdown shifted down a gear so many workplace teams got physically back together. This sort of thing can create a reaction known as reintegration anxiety. Terry Waite, a famous former hostage held in Iran wrote about it extensively. Normally, reintegration anxiety is expected and experienced by a small number of predictable people at the same time. But, we’re not looking at that sort, we’re looking at the different unexpected ways your entire team might react, and what you can do to mitigate them.

It’s not the big things that make stresses turn into fractures, it’s the straws that break the camel’s back. (Look, I know, ideally, I would’ve used a picture of two camels but I only have horses. In a lockdown, you make do with what you have).

1. Do buy doughnuts partly for their own sake but also as a signal that you’re on the alert that this is a time fraught with potential issues (or doughnut equivalents – your idea of a treat is not everyone’s)

2. Maybe deliver them individually with a personal message?(Checking in on folks privately as you do)

3. Be on the lookout early for social loafing behaviours.(Or other behaviours indicative of people’s anxiety)

4. Provide corrective feedback early and privately, specifying why it’s important.

As leaders, the little things you do now will be disproportionately remembered…

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on conflict management, a critical element of which is early intervention (what I call ‘behavioural physics’). You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #personalproductivity #productivity

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Congratulations & Celebrations

work team congratulations

One of my LinkedIn connections just posted a post starting with the phrase, “I wouldn’t normally post something like this on LinkedIn but…”

They then proceeded to praise their team for their huge efforts in recent times, including a celebratory photo of the team in better times. All the comments were super positive, as they should be. I did too but I had a nagging question – why the #$@% would they think it wasn’t OK?

We’ve probably all got different ideas of what LinkedIn is for. I know I do. It’s broadly a business / professional networking site. So, whatever you think networking is, is what LinkedIn is for, for you.If people don’t like it or don’t agree, they can disconnect. As can you.

I would like to do business with people who are expert, innovative, easy to work with, push me to develop, help me make money. Someone who shouts out and stands up for their team publicly via whatever channel is definitely someone I’d like to work with. If a superstar potential job applicant in that person’s industry saw that post, it could only add to their magnetism as an employer of choice. Not only was their post a good idea now, it’s always been, and always will be, a good idea. You have a go…

What can you do tomorrow to publicly, proportionately, and appropriately shout out for your team?

leadership feedback celebrateyourteam

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on influence, a critical element of which is building and maintaining rapport. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

How Can You Get ‘In The Zone’?

flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi once lamented that society has plenty of one-minute managers and not enough 100-year managers.

Aside from deep witticisms about leadership and a famously difficult-to-pronounce surname (it’s pronounced “Cheeks sent me high”) he is most renowned as the developer of the concept of ‘Flow’.

Flow is a mental state in which a person, in the process of an activity, is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus and full involvement. You’re ‘in the zone’.

It happens sometimes by random chance and it’s a powerfully productive state. What can leaders do to promote it within themselves and their teams?

Flow results from activities in which you’re already highly skilled but you’re on the edge of that competence, experiencing high-challenge. We currently have plenty of the ‘high-challenge’ bit. What organisations have to do, now more than ever, is maintain and develop that ‘high skill’ bit. Training is obviously one path (and as a seller of my own services as a trainer, I agree with me on that). But, with conditions uncertain and changing underfoot, an essential addition to training specific technical and people skills, is upping your people’s ability to learn how to learn. How are you doing that? leadingteams virtualcoaching leadershipdevelopment

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on resilience, a critical element of which is increasing our time when we’re in a state of flow. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

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#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Hidden Talents & Hidden Talent Needs

super squirrel1

As a trainer, at this time, I’m in conversations around what people need to learn now. What does ‘new normal’ and ‘business as unusual’ mean for non-technical people-skill demand?

I’ll listen to my market but they don’t know everything they need because they are so focused on the ‘right now’ (sales, resilience, remote teams) and miss the ‘right next’. And they (and I) need to get an early handle on what is ‘right next’.

I float. I’m not tied to one company or one industry. As an outsider, I observe. I look for clues – partly out of natural curiousity and partly out of self-serving research on what might be needed next and how can I develop that. Trainers conduct needs analyses which are great for assessing gaps between the skills you have and the skills you need but if the need isn’t known, documented, or quantified, imminent needs can fall between the cracks.

One of the clues I look for is a pattern of outlier requests by individuals. This week, I’ve led online training sessions on managing difficult conversations & assertiveness. Productivity can be affected by a nervous workforce. People FEEL they need to step up and stand out in this economy. What needs, like these, do you think are going to be needed ‘right next’?

If you’re a leader, you need to take your team’s pulse, not just on potentially hidden training needs but generally on morale, engagement, and so forth. You’re probably already doing it on KPIs and targets. It doesn’t take long to check in on a few other leading indicators at a human level.

trainingcourses learninganddevelopment onlinetraining

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on emotional intelligence, a critical element of which is observation and checking in. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

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#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #emotionalintelligence

Terry Williams: Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Future Nostalgia (Controlling Your Focus)

blondie 1979

I consider 1979, 1985, & 1992 to be great years in pop music. I will fight you on this.

This is due to my age, the evidence I chose to notice (& later to selectively recall), & the evidence I chose to disregard. Logically and objectively, I know there was some dross then but I will cherry-pick music, movies, memories & evidence from the past to make me feel better. (Note: If you’re going to show your kids ‘Top Gun’ as the epitome of cool, have a support dog handy & be prepared to send them to bed & lose them forever. As a possible counter, check out the #1,2,4,10 songs of 2005 in the pic).

2005 chart

The year of woodstock, the summer of love, & general grooviness might still be on your gran’s turntable but there was some heinous music & news going on that year too. By choice, most of us are very able to control our focus on things past. I reckon we can (& should) do it about the present and the future. Our memories of the past aren’t real, complete, or objective. We made them like we made cinnamon scrolls during lockdown & for the same reasons. One way or another, what deliberate & purposeful constructs for your present & future would help you, your team, & your family add meaning right now? Add a soundtrack…

engagingteams motivation inspiringteams

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on maintaining a continuous improvement mindset, a critical element of which is controlling our focus and attention. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Questioning Our Assumptions & Instinctive Reactions

wild-goose

I had to shoo some geese off my garden this morning. I don’t know if they were wild but they were certainly unruly. And, ultimately, I never caught them, nor am I confident that it will disincentify future incursions, so I guess it was both literally and figuratively a wild goose chase.

I tell the story now in my blog because earlier I’d posted it on FaceBook. A comedy buddy of mine commented. He is a fascinating chap, a tad alternative but with multiple degrees, at least one PhD and a penchant for poetry. He knows flora and fauna. Turns out it’s very likely the geese were after bugs and not veges. As my friend described them, “a clean-up crew not a wrecking crew”.

At work or in business, how often do we leap to incorrect assumptions because we are protecting our patch? And, as in this case, how often are we not just off-target but 180 degrees off-target.

I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on critical thinking, a critical element of which is testing our assumptions and instinctive reactions. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #personalproductivity #productivity

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

Dry Times In Your Resilience Reservoir?

low reservoir

Rob Hopkins in his book ‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’ wrote that resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to essentially retain the same function, structure, and feedbacks. I’ve metaphorically called our resilience our ‘Change Muscles’.

change evolution plus terry

Hopkins cites seven principles of resilience:

  1. Diversity (don’t put all your eggs in one basket)
  2. Modularity (one missed domino shouldn’t mess up the whole process)
  3. Social capital
  4. Innovation
  5. Overlap (messy is better than streamlined)
  6. Tight feedback loops (so you know ASAP when there’s a problem)
  7. Ecosystem services (don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs)

Ultimately, resilience is fueled by a belief that we have options – possibilities not probabilities. The best way to believe something is to generate or seek evidence supporting that belief. What evidence do you have right now – before you need it, before that ‘Behavioural Physics’ asteroid of change comes into sight – of the options at your disposal?

BehavioralPhysics2 transparent background

Have your options displayed, shared, and keep them fresh and updated. I use a small whiteboard with sketched flowcharts. Nothing NASA would be jealous of but a constant reminder that you’re not painted into a corner or backing towards a cliff. Choice is control, and control is power, enabling you. And, powerful or empowered people have little problem with change. (They might have a problem with being changed though)…

* An excerpt from my book ‘2 Dangerous Things A Year’, available at www.terrywilliamsbooks.com

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I’m trialling a self-directed course I’ve developed on personal effectiveness. One of the ten lessons within it is on influence, a critical element of which is the above idea of ‘nudging’. You get all five of my books (in eBook format) when you sign up. If that sounds of interest, you can learn more at www.lifesuccesslearning.com .

All 5 3D

#onlinelearning #onlinetraining #personaleffectiveness #influence

Expert trainer / coach / speaker. Interactively online or in-person. Fast-track your personal & professional effectiveness or leadership development with practical business tools and thought leadership.

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