Managing Yourself


Outline

How we present ourselves to the world makes an immediate, and often lasting, impression on others. Authenticity is your best bet in doing this. However, for many people, being themselves is difficult in situations where they do not feel completely safe.

The way we appear, the ways we dress and act, our manners, our attitudes, the way our experience and values inform our behaviour: all combine to give other people an impression of who we are. These impressions may be accurate, or not, but once made it is difficult to change them. People read us through our behaviour: the person who is always complaining, the one who never laughs, the one who always gets people to think, the person who offers support; people are noticed and assessed on their personal attributes and the ways they express them in their behaviour.

Personal attributes underpin everything else: all our skills, learning and experience has as its foundation our presentation of ourselves to the world. For people in positions of authority this is crucial and is one of the reasons why so much emphasis these days is put on spin and PR: some of it a valid attempt to place the subject in the best possible light, some of it a blatant attempt to deceive. You have a great degree of control over your personal attributes and approach. Manners, tact, grace under pressure, courage, cheerfulness, directness, honesty, humour, thoughtfulness, risk-taking and so on are all completely within your control.

It is important that people in authority over others have self-knowledge and understand what their presentation of themselves says. Their credibility, and ability to work effectively with others, rests in large part on this.

aim

To understand how you present yourself to the world

objectives

  • To be more aware of the personal attributes you possess
  • To be able to present yourself in the best possible light
  • To understand what attributes are seen as important by others
  • To be able to modify your approach if and when it is not effective
  • To be able to be authentic i.e. yourself

outcomes

  • Awareness of your personal attributes and becoming better at expressing them in your behaviour
  • Understand the practical relevance of this to your performance
  • You will stop wasting energy trying to fake it

outline

Ego is defined, in the Oxford English Dictionary, as:

1 •n. a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. 2 psychoanalysis the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. Compare with ID and SUPER-EGO. 3 philosophy (in metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject.

How your ego drives you to behave and express yourself can impact well or not on others. Many people are unaware of how their ego affects, informs and drives their minute-to-minute behaviour. An increased understanding of this can help in how effective you are in your career, in your personal life and in your life as a whole.

People are social animals, they notice and comment on behaviour. Your behaviour stems directly from, and is affected by, your ego. You service your car, you know when something is wrong with the engine, you sense and hear it. Similarly with ego, service it occasionally, pay attention to the effect your behaviour is having on yourself and others.

Having a better understanding of your ego and how it drives particular aspects of your behaviour can have a profound beneficial effect on your relationships, your effectiveness and on the quality of your whole life.

aim

To reach a better understanding of your ego and the behaviour it is driving.

objectives

  •           To understand what ego is and how it works.

 

  •           To understand the intimate link between your ego and your behaviour.
  •           To identify ways in which you could better manage your ego.

 

  •           To understand how to strengthen specific behaviours and edit others, for better personal performance.
  •           To examine how your ego might drive, hinder or block your  performance and career progression.

 

outcomes

  •           A better understanding of your ego.

 

  •           Clarity on when it works for you, when it works against you.
  •           An understanding of how your ego drives effective behaviour.

 

  •           An understanding of how your ego drives ineffective behaviour.
  •           A personal development plan to change your behaviour.

Outline

The ability to manage pressure, stress and conflict is becoming more important by the day as we face increasing pressures in the working environment and results become ever more important. Inner conflict and inappropriate external demands cause stress, eroding our ability to deal effectively with other people and with difficult situations.

The management of pressure, stress and conflict is something that can, and should, be done minute-to-minute through our lives. It does not require specialist knowledge, simply self-awareness, some training, a strategy, some tactics for emergencies and the willingness to invest a little time on an on-going basis. The results yielded can be out of all proportion to the time invested.

Much pressure, stress and conflict at work is hidden but the results are visible and appear on the balance sheet.

aim

To develop your ability to manage pressure and stress and understand and manage conflict productively

objectives

  • To understand how conflict leads to stress and how stress leads to conflict
  • To understand how unresolved inner conflict causes external conflict and other problems
  • To analyse what your optimum levels of stress are
  • To explore what your personal style is with regard to conflict and its resolution
  • To identify tactics to use when you are under stress
  • To understand the links to assertiveness and influencing

outcomes

  • Understand the equation for stress and be able to use it appropriately
  • Recognise and break the vicious cycle of stress - conflict - stress - conflict . . .
  • Understand what causes you inner conflict
  • Be able to resolve inner conflict and express confusion, difficulties or concerns appropriately
  • Develop tactics to release your stress and stop it building up to the point where you become ineffective
  • Identify those people and situations which cause you stress and be better able to anticipate them
  • Plan rationally what to do when experiencing stress before you become emotionally ineffective or helpless

Outline

Change surrounds us and permeates our lives. We choose whether it just happens to us or we manage it when it does. Many fear or dislike change, rather than managing it they expend energy in, usually futile, resistance. Some change is imposed, some we choose. Just because we choose it does not mean that accepting it and dealing with it is easy. Much change is unstoppable, that does not mean that it cannot be slowed, understood and harnessed.

An interesting facet of change is that it never, ever, has the results predicted. The gurus of the future are always proved wrong in significant ways. This is because people, complex and unpredictable as they are, change change itself.

It is also because: MTBD > MTBS - The Mean Time Between Decisions is greater than the Mean Time Between Surprises. In most organisations it takes longer to make a decision than it does for the assumption on which the decision is based to change in some unforeseen way. All change brings opportunity as well as threat. What makes the difference is how you look at it, how you think about it and what you decide to do. Ask yourself: is this an opportunity or a predicament. If it's an opportunity, what can I do to benefit from it. If it's a predicament, what can I do to change it, or not be harmed by it.

Change often has people reacting emotionally, becoming trapped in their feelings. Your feelings about change are a signal that you could use your thinking skills to plan a route through the change.

aim

To be able to anticipate and plan for change

objectives

  • To understand the mental processes which occur when change is imminent
  • To analyse what causes anxiety, worry or fear and what can be done about it
  • To develop the ability to look ahead and anticipate change
  • To be better able to use the thinking, rational part of the brain when dealing with change
  • To improve in making practical plans to manage effects of change in a constructive way
  • To work on how to be an initiator rather than a victim when change occurs

outcomes

  • Improvement in your thinking processes, and your confidence to act, in situations of change
  • Better ability to gather and analyse information and plan and deploy resources when change is present
  • Understanding how to analyse risk in a realistic way
  • Be able to do all

Outline

Being able to manage your time is a more crucial skill than it has ever been. Demands and pressures on individuals, teams and organisations are heavy and increasing. This causes increasewing pressure, strain, sickness, stress and dysfunction. As a direct consequence the amount of time wasted is staggering. If this time lost, wasted, stolen and frittered could be computed and entered on organisations' balance sheets it would quickly become apparent how huge amounts of money are being thrown away. But, as everyone is exhorted to work faster, smarter and with fewer resources, the problem will increase.

Individuals fail to manage their time effectively for a number of reasons: they lack the skills, they think they do not have the time, they are not set good examples by their peers and superiors, they are not motivated to do it, there are no sanctions or discipline when they fail to do it, we live in cultures where lack of punctuality and mismanagement of time is expected and accepted, they don't notice how bad they are at it, they don't care.

Effective individuals manage their time. Full stop.

aim

To enable you to manage your time efficiently

objectives

  • To understand how important time management is
  • To acknowledge how poor time management erodes your personal and your professional credibility
  • To identify where you are losing and wasting time and where you can save it
  • To outline practical steps you can take to improve your time management

outcomes

  • Make realistic and achievable agreements with regard to time
  • Be noticeably and consistently punctual
  • You will refuse to be coerced, encouraged or pushed into agreeing to do things you are not 100% committed to doing
  • You will plan ahead how to use your time and allow enough time for achievement
  • You will actively support and challenge your colleagues in their time management

Outline

Many of the world's success stories, both in business and elsewhere, are the products of minds which their owners allowed to think and imagine beyond the usual boundaries. Unfortunately, the perception of the many is that what organisations reward above all else is conformity in all its forms. Lateral thinking and creativity are usually recognised, rewarded, envied and held up as good examples in hindsight.

In a business world which is increasingly-competitive and increasingly-controlled it is difficult to find the time or encouragement to use lateral thinking and creativity as part of a day-to-day approach. These skills can thrive under pressure but often do not. Lateral thinking and creativity require time. Time is what most people at work are short of. So they don't do it.

Allowing your mind to use these natural abilities will enable you to deal with other people in a more relaxed and informed way and to approach difficulties, issues and problems in fresh, imaginative ways. Using your natural creativity will energise you and relax you at the same time. It will help you to find answers and possibilities where others see only blocks and problems. You will deal with difficulties, solve problems and operate at a level of achievement that will baffle others.

aim

To be able to use natural creativity and lateral thinking in everyday behaviour

objectives

  • To understand why and how we stifle our creative abilities
  • To learn, or re-learn, how to think laterally
  • To be able to use both sides of the brain effectively
  • To understand how slowing down can contribute to moving faster
  • To tap some of the unused potential in your brain

outcomes

  • Able to accept that you have the potential and ability to be creative
  • Understand how lateral thinking works and be able to deploy it as a skill
  • Able to use your logic/thinking and intuition/feeling together to inform your decision-making
  • Clearly understand that constant speed and pressure does not make for good practice or best decisions
  • Be able to use more of the potential that you have in practical and useful ways

Outline

In today's world, particularly at work. presentation is an essential skill. If you can present with knowledge and experience, and be interesting and informative, you will stand out.

The ability to communicate your message effectively, and leave favourable impressions with your audience, is a blend of depth of knowledge of, and familiarity with, your subject matter, your experience, the ease with which you put yourself across, how you use seriousness and humour, the way you dress, act and speak and what you don't say, as much as what you do say. Stillness plays a part.

Good presentation is not limited to the content of what you are presenting but includes your tone, pitch, volume, musicality, animation, variation, pauses, gestures, movement, stillness, the media you use and the way you inter-act with your audience. It's a performance.

aim

To develop and improve your presentation skills

objectives

  • To understand the components of effective presentation
  • To raise your awareness of how you come across
  • To enable you to be able to be your relaxed self when exposed to an audience
  • To receive specific, structured feedback on where you are effective and ineffective in your presentation
  • To improve your ability to work an audience
  • To understand how to plan and prepare a presentation

outcomes

  • Ability to use the components of effective presentation in all your presentations
  • Confidence in your ability to present to any audience
  • You will receive information which will enable you to tackle weak areas in your presentation skills
  • You will be more able to think on your feet
  • You will understand the difference between show and substance


Outline

Whether it's a face-to-face meeting, a telephone call, social media or any other medium, communication is a complex process which requires constant attention so that meaning is sent and received as intended.

Inadequate communication is often a source of misunderstanding and conflict. It interferes with productivity and profitability. We have all experienced the frustration of not being able to get through to someone, or of being misunderstood. We all have the ability to be good communicators, we just need to develop the skills and practice them.

Communication is difficult, sometimes because of the situation, sometimes because of the people involved. It is relatively easy to implement a few basic skills to be able to improve noticeably.

aim

To enable effective communication

objectives

  • To understand the principles of effective communication
  • To know how to listen and when it is important
  • To improve questioning and listening skills so that messages received are clearly understood and, where appropriate, passed on
  • To become aware of various communication styles and to learn how to adapt your style when necessary
  • To learn how to build rapport and empathy between you and others
  • To learn how to communicate with clarity and gain commitment

outcomes

  • Ability to use principles of effective communication in daily work
  • Confidence in ability to prioritise issues
  • You will actively seek clarity in information you receive and pass on to others
  • Be able to make different communication styles work for you
  • Knowledge of how to build rapport and empathy with others and ability to do it

Aim

To experience communicating at a high level

Objectives

  •        Understanding the basic principles of Intentional Communicating
  •        Being still and receptive
  •        Learning Active Listening
  •        Turning on and tuning in
  •        Practising switching in and out

 

Communicating

This Ignition Event provides an intense practical experience of deep-level communication and how to achieve it.

It demonstrates, in an experiential way, how to be able to switch in and out of the Intentional Communication state.

It allows you to experience intense focus and deep concentration and you will learn how to be able to access these at will.

You will learn about the Alpha and Beta states of brain activity and how each state affects the quality of your concentration and, therefore, of your communication.

Outcomes

  • This Ignition Event will enable you to: 
  • Translate the principles of Intentional Communicating into action
  • Use Intentional Communicating to develop relationships and performance
  • Listen actively and understand the deep impact it has
  • Tune in to the overt and subliminal messages others send
  • Being able to switch in and out of Intentional Communicating at will

Aim

Become more assertive

Objectives

  •        Pinning down where you are on the Assertiveness Triangle
  •        Knowing your tendencies under pressure
  •        Determining a strategy for those situations
  •        Practising assertiveness techniques
  •        Making a practical plan for people and situations where you currently have difficulty

Assertiveness

Humans are creatures of habit who repeat their problems, often throughout their lives. This Ignition Event shows you how to break the patterns of a lifetime. Through analysis, guidance and creativity you select alternative ways of operating: choosing different behaviours will give you different results.

Assertiveness comprises a set of behaviours which amount to nothing less than the ability to conduct your life well. Assertiveness will bring peace of mind and relaxation. Assertiveness gives you the tools to be able to reduce to a minimum the problems, difficulties, arguments, friction, frustration, pressure and angst which are so much a part of many people’s daily lives.

You will learn simple, practical ways to respond in situations which usually cause you difficulty. You identify the trigger points in yourself and decide whether to avoid certain situations and people or formulate strategies and tactics to be assertive.

People who are able to behave assertively, especially when they are under pressure, are people who are calm, in control and thinking. Assertive people are, in the end, effective people and happy people.

Outcomes

  • This Ignition Event will enable you to:
  • Deal with difficult relationships and uncomfortable situations
  • Develop strategies for times of conflict and creating win-win outcomes
  • Manage your anxieties, fear, panic and inner conflict
  • Deal with anger – your own and others
  • Consciously disengage from the games you and others play and deal with them in a straight way

Outline

A large part of individual effectiveness is the extent to which an individual believes, and has confidence, in him/herself and how this shows in their behaviour.

Assertiveness is getting what you want without affecting other people, or yourself, in a harmful way. Influencing is working effectively with others, using your personal style to best advantage with their personal style.

Being assertive with others, influencing them in constructive ways, you will be able to achieve results beyond anything you could achieve individually. Many people are unable to do this, ignorant to a very large degree of the impact they are having on others, and unwilling to spend the time and energy learning how to be assertive and influence others to better effect.

aim

To understand assertiveness and influencing and how to reflect this in behaviour

objectives

  • To understand assertion, passivity and aggression
  • To analyse how these are reflected in behaviour
  • To examine how this behaviour affects others
  • To become highly-aware of personal style
  • To develop the ability to better influence others by tuning and changing behaviour

outcomes

  • The ability to stop some unconscious, ineffective aspects of your behaviour immediately
  • Decisions about how to behave more effectively, acting on these decisions
  • Understanding the effect of your behaviour on others and how to alter this for better results
  • Ability to moderate your style with different people in different situations to be more effective

Outline

Many people make decisions too early, too late or not at all. They make decisions with too little information, too much or none at all. Effective performance can be severely affected by the ability or inability to make the right decisions quickly and accurately.

How decisions are made, or not made, in organisations leads to poor results but often is not identified as a culprit.

Both logic and emotion have a part to play in decision-making to ensure that more of the right decisions are made with the right information at the right time with the right results.

aim

To make you more able to make the right decision with the right information at the right time at the right speed

objectives

  • To become aware of how you currently make decisions
  • To understand what causes you to delay making a decision, to make a decision too quickly or to make the wrong decision
  • To properly understand how to assess risk
  • To build your confidence in your natural decision-making ability
  • To have a blueprint for improved decision-making in different situations

outcomes

  • Understand why and how you make/fail to make decisions
  • You will stop delaying, you will stop making decisions too quickly
  • You will have an improved ability to avoid making wrong decisions
  • Ability to categorise the risk relating to your decisions
  • The necessary skills to make decisions naturally and without too much effort and difficulty
  • A blueprint to assist you in making difficult, and other, decisions

Outline

In today's high-pressure, fast-moving, competitive world there are huge pressures on us to take decisions more and more quickly. Individuals find themselves agreeing to do all sorts of things which they then either fail to do, fail to do by the agreed deadline or do in a less than adequate way. The corresponding drop in credibility affects their self-confidence, their professional performance and how others regard them.

To be able to be decisive, taking appropriate action with the right amount of information, analysis, risk-analysis, input from others and required urgency, is rare.

Those who consistently take effective action under pressure are unusual. Sometimes it means acting immediately, sometimes it means waiting. Knowing the difference, and using personal judgement to decide, is a valuable skill.

aim

To understand how and when to take effective action

objectives

  • To understand the mental processes you go through prior to taking action
  • To identify situations when you take ineffective, or no, action and what drives this
  • To clearly understand the difference between thinking, feeling and doing
  • To identify situations which require you to take effective action and understand what to do in these situations
  • To improve your thinking processes and your confidence to act

outcomes

  • Better ability to gather and analyse information and plan and deploy resources
  • Understanding how to analyse risk in a realistic way
  • Able to do all of the above in a conscious, rational manner
  • Understand when taking effective action means doing something, when it means not doing anything and when it is a mixture
  • You will have greater understanding of the importance of timing


Outline

Individual management style does not usually develop according to what works best. Managers are not sufficiently flexible, objective and pragmatic to be able to analyse individuals and situations dispassionately enough to make best decisions at the time. Management style is frequently driven by pressure and stress. When these are at high levels managers habitually revert to their usual style, whether it is effective or not.

Many managers are largely unaware of their personal management style, unclear about its strengths and weaknesses, ignorant of its impact on others and unable to vary it much according to the requirements of different situations and individuals. A small improvement in any of these areas will have an exponential effect on your ability and results as a manager.

Constant awareness of your management style, the ability to tune it to the situation you are in and to the differing motivation, commitment, skills, attitude, needs, moods, strengths and weaknesses of the individuals you are managing, results in individuals who strive to do their best, teams which are effective and successful performance.

aim

To understand your own Management Style and how to alter this as and when necessary

objectives

  • To understand your own Management Style, when it works well for you and when it doesn't
  • To understand alternative Management Styles
  • To identify what kind of different situations require different management styles
  • To understand how different individuals respond differently at different times to different treatment
  • To be able to deliberately choose an appropriate management style at times of stress and pressure

outcomes

  • A clear understanding of your own management style
  • The ability to use your natural management style, with other styles as appropriate, to achieve results
  • An understanding of the practical relevance of this to your required performance as a manager
  • Ability to use a blend of management styles to get the best possible results in different situations with different individuals
  • Ability to do all of the above in a conscious, rational manner

Aim

A practical insight in to the essentials of leadership

Objectives

  •        Understanding what leaders do
  •        Identifying key behaviours involved in leadership
  •        Understanding which of these behaviours you already have and which you can develop
  •        Practice in accessing these behaviours
  •        Clarifying your next steps

Leadership

Leadership is much misunderstood. In all the debate about whether leaders are born or made the key point, usually missed, is that it is contextual: leadership is what a specific person does at a specific moment in a specific situation. Often it boils down to someone who seizes the moment. The person who seizes the moment may or may not be a formally-designated leader.

‘If you can keep your head . . . ‘ Kipling’s line encapsulates what the person who claims leadership does: they align their energy (feelings) with their rationality (thinking) and they ACT. They may not know exactly what they have to do but they know they have to do something . . . so they do.

Whether leadership is formalised in a title, or not, we can all access leadership within and we can all express this as Leadership Behaviour. When you take ACTION your behaviour will be recognised as such.

This exciting day will enthuse you, invigorate you and make you stimulated and aware of the leader within you and how to let it out to play.

Outcomes

  • This Ignition Event will enable you to:
  • Choose when and how you can seize the moment
  • Understand what practical steps you can take to be a leader
  • Realise which of your behaviours are Leadership behaviours
  • Understand the importance of attracting people’s attention
  • Understand what leaders do which makes them charismatic

Outline

Leadership style develops in an idiosyncratic manner. Individuals are often unaware of the many natural leadership abilities they possess and do not clearly understand what constitutes the main, and visible, features of their own style. Experience of your own, and other, leadership styles, their advantages and disadvantages, knowing when to deploy them, coupled with confidence in your ability, is key to being an effective leader.

Different leadership styles yield different results with different individuals: they require, and will respond positively to, the kind of leadership that suits them. The ability to successfully adapt to individuals and situations does not come naturally or easily to most people.

Awareness of your leadership style, the ability to tune it to the situation you are in and to the differing motivation, commitment, skills, attitude, needs, moods, strengths and weaknesses of the individuals you are leading, such that you get the best possible results, results in success, confidence, sureness and charisma.

aim

To be confident in your own leadership style and be able to tune it and use it to best effect

objectives

  • To understand your own Leadership Style, what works for you and for those you are leading
  • To identify alternative Leadership Styles
  • To analyse what kind of different situations require different Leadership Styles
  • To understand how different individuals will respond differently at different times to different treatment
  • To be able to deliberately choose an appropriate Leadership Style

outcomes

  • A clear understanding of your own Leadership Style and how to use it to best effect
  • The ability to use other Leadership Styles, when necessary, in an effective way
  • The willingness to use the practical relevance of this to improve your performance as a leader
  • Ability and willingness to use your increased understanding to help dvelop others to lead effectively