Self Leadership Blog
by Andrew Bryant

Unconscious Bias, Diversity & Decision Making – A Self-Leadership Approach

culture self-leadership Jan 15, 2020

Unconscious Bias

You are smart, really smart, your amazing brain can make judgments and decisions in milliseconds – unfortunately, you and the rest of us, are often WRONG!

What’s worse, is we don’t know we are wrong, and if it’s pointed out to us we are quick to ‘justify’ our decisions.

Your ability to achieve ‘lightning-fast’ decisions is achieved by your brain taking short-cuts and using pattern recognition. For our ancestors to survive, in a hostile environment, they needed to make quick judgments about friend or foe, food source or fatal, predator or pet. They made these judgments using, what Daniel Kahneman, author of the book Thinking Fast and Slow, calls System 1 Thinking. System 1 Thinking is fast, instinctive and emotional as opposed to System 2 Thinking which is slower, more deliberative, analytical and more logical.

Our brain has not had a ‘firmware upgrade’ to help it operate in a modern, multicultural and...

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Tribal Psychology and Self-leadership

Are we part of the same tribe? If we are, you are likely to agree with what I'm about to say, but if you consider me an 'other' or one of 'them' then anything I put forward will feel wrong to you, regardless of the logic.
 
Tribal Psychology & the magnification effect of socialmedia is at the root of the rise of political divisiveness according to Psychologists, Lilliana Mason and Dan Kahan.
 
From an evolutionary standpoint, being able to spot someone different or outside 'the tribe' had distinct safety advantages. So much so that our brain can be tricked into inclusion or exclusion with the smallest and most illogical of differences.
 
In the 1970's, a psychologist named Henri Tajfel developed social identity theory which say that when we define ourselves, we do so in large part by asserting our loyalty to the groups to which we belong. Tajfel developed this theory when in his research he discovered it didn’t take very much for humans to...
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Confidence for Managers and Leaders

Confidence is 'the' key success factor for modern managers and leaders and yet many lack confidence in the following areas:

  1. Managing downwards when subordinates have higher qualifications or are qualified in a different discipline
  2. Influencing peers when there is no direct authority
  3. Managing upwards because you need to influence your boss
  4. Influencing outwards to clients and vendors

With all these scenarios the keys to confidence are, 1) accepting that you are valuable and have contributions to make (Self-esteem), 2) taking ownership of your thought and feelings (Personal Power), and 3) communicating what you want (Executive Presence). In short, the application of Self-leadership.

Confidence for Managers and Leaders

When managing downwards, managers need to remember Henry Ford who said, “The generalist will always employ the specialist.” The manager doesn’t need to know everything about everyone’s discipline they need to know how to engage smart people to get...

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Influence - upwards, laterally, downwards and in circles

career coaching influence Jan 09, 2020

in a previous post, "How to Influence Your Boss", I explored how to influence upwards, but just as important is how to influence laterally.

When I teach programs on influence or influence without authority, I ask participants to create a circle of influence like this diagram:

I then ask them to put ticks or crosses, representing ability or inability to influence, against each circle.  Obviously some circles will need sub-circles to represent individual key people. This is a useful exercise to map out where you need to develop or strengthen your influence.

In a modern matrix style organisation, your success will be determined not just by what you do, but by what you can influence others to do. The effective manager/leader learns to find out what is important to the people in their circle of influence and communicates to them in terms of what matters them rather than directly stating their own needs.

The "How to Influence Your Boss" post expands on finding needs and...

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6-Strategies for Performance and Development Conversations

As a people manager, your most important and impactful activities are the conversations you have with your staff about how they are doing and how they can develop themselves. With this level of importance, it is therefore surprising that so many of these conversations can end up leaving both parties unsatisfied.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance, is a maxim I’m sure you've heard; well in the case of scheduled performance and development conversations this is very true. So how and what to plan?

1. Behaviors Matter

When a human mind has a clear goal and feels motivated to achieve that goal, it rewards behaviors that move it towards that goal with little hits of the ‘feel good’ chemical, dopamine. In addition, when behaviors that move us towards a goal are recognized and acknowledged, we feel more motivated and are likely to increase our efforts.

This realization of human psychology means that before a conversation with a staff member, you must be...

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How to influence your boss

Research has shown that the inability to build a successful relationship with the boss is a significant reason for managers failing or not reaching their full potential.

When I approach this topic, I encounter several mindsets that lead to an inability to effectively influence, these include:

  • My boss is autocratic
  • My boss doesn't listen to me
  • I don't want to jeopardize my career
  • I have no power in the relationship
  • My boss doesn't give me time

Do any of these, sound familiar?

The problem with blaming the boss is that you have created an external locus of control which is the exact opposite of self-leadership. To influence you must ask yourself, “what can I do that will make a difference?” The purpose of this blog is to provide some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create an Ally

Allies have open and honest conversations; they may not always agree but they will listen to what each other wants and assertively communicate what their own needs. "But my boss doesn't...

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Executive Coaching in Singapore and Asia

Executive Coaching has come of age and is now viewed as an effective way of developing leaders. Smart companies are making executive coaching a core element of leadership development; whether that is when grooming a CEO successor or helping managers transition to leaders.

It is therefore not ‘news’ that a recent survey reports 86 percent of US companies hired Executive Coaches to sharpen the skills of individuals who have been identified as future organizational leaders. The numbers are similar in Europe whilst the uptake of executive coaching in Singapore and Asia has been slower but is catching up.

The demand for good Executive Coaches has been driven by organizations demands for immediate results.  Executive Coaching provides feedback and guidance in real time, and lasting transformations can be observed after 3 to 6 months.

As individuals advance to the executive level, developmental feedback becomes increasingly important. Many executives plateau in critical...

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Forget 2020 Resolutions - Apply Self-leadership instead

coaching self-leadership Jan 06, 2020

You may already have broken your 2020 New Year Resolution, but don’t beat yourself up. Self-leadership is about living intentionally NOT perfectly. Each morning get up, set an intention to be a little better today; over time the results will astound you. 

Self-leadership intentions are the rules we set for ourselves. If you want some inspiration, here's a list:

7 Rules for Living

  1. Make peace with your past - so it won't disturb your present
  2. What other people think of you is none of your business
  3. Time heals almost anything - give it time
  4. No one is in charge of your happiness. Except you.
  5. Don't compare your life to others - and don't judge them, you have no idea what their journey is about.
  6. Stop thinking so much. It's OK not to know all the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.
  7. Smile. You don't own all the problems in the world.

So what do you think of this list? 

What intentions or rules will you add?

 

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The 5-Step System to Bring Back Your Motivation

motivation Mar 14, 2019

What happens when your motivation goes missing?

In this post, I’m going to share with you, how to find your motivation and how to get going -even when you don’t feel like it. Everyone has things they should do or things they must do, but don’t feel like doing. But you also have things you like to do and things you look forward to doing. So what’s the difference? What’s the secret?

TO FIND OUT, READ ON, OR WATCH THIS VIDEO:

 

It’s not unusual to struggle with motivation, you’re not alone. Let me share something with you, as well as being a Self-leadership coach, I’m also engaged as a motivational speaker. I have spoken to audiences as large as 12,000 and inspired them to take action. But, I’ve also had those days when I struggle just to get out of bed, days when taking a shower was a major achievement. Just this week the thought of going to the gym, something I usually like doing, seemed like it would be...

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Change your Inner Dialogue

coaching self-leadership Mar 14, 2019

  “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed. Get along with the voices inside of my head”

Great lyrics from Rihanna and Eminem. Great because, they speak to an experience that we can all relate to. The experience of our fears manifesting as voice inside our head.

The voice that can say; “You’re not smart enough”, “Not tall enough”, “Not pretty enough”

A voice that tells you to “Stay safe, Stay Quiet, and “Stay invisible”

The voice inside your head can be your greatest friend or your greatest enemy. This voice is going to cheer you on to success or lock you in a prison of your own making.

In this post I’m going to share with you three Self-leadership strategies, to ensure that you get along with the voices inside of your head and make friends with the monsters that are under your bed!

READ ON, OR WATCH THIS VIDEO

 

I have known the acid taste of self-doubt; the...

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