Connecting with candour

What? Am I going soft on you?

Actually quite the opposite! One thing I know to be true is that LEADERSHIP requires hard core authenticity. No place to hide.

Are you struggling to empower and build capacity in your team, give and receive real feedback, motivate and delegate and share leadership …. this COULD be a useful ponder ..

How candid are you with your team members or those you are engaging with? How candid are you with yourself?

A story … yesterday I met with a client who committed to very tangible goals in our last coaching session. He seemed highly committed to meeting with his team to renegotiate the way they work – frank conversations around how to spread the work. We did loads of prep. He was taking on way too much work. When he did allocate projects or tasks to team members, he was dissatisfied with the outcome and had to redo them … his way.

Back to our session – he did not have the meeting.

He was frustrated with himself and we became curious about this tendency to not fulfil tasks that he set for himself, even though important. Why? How was he getting in his own way?

After some exploration, it turned out that doing other people’s work was:

  1. Tension relieving – it took time, but he did it well
  2. It kept him from the stress of dealing with his own strategic work which was less urgent but inordinately important. This was an area where he risked failure
  3. He persuaded himself he was being a good ‘role model’

So, some good intention, a blind spot and an adverse impact – the team were disgruntled – they felt he didn’t trust them to do good work. So they tried less, let him do it anyway and everyone became less empowered and less trusting of each other. Lose lose

His Coaching task, an open meeting, meant that he would have to expose himself by owning his role in the dysfunction and commit to change. It required HEART and courage. The HEART of Leadership takes us face to face with ALL of us, even the tough stuff. It turns out it is the TOUGH stuff that drives change – NOT the soft stuff.

So now what? Dealing with ourselves, our own inner stuff, is not an easy journey, but it is a worthwhile one. We are only as good a leader as we are authentic, as we are in touch with the HEART of ourselves.

TO DO – Spend the next few days noticing how you get in your own way, asking the following questions:

  1. How are my team members, or those around me, reflecting my own stuff back to me?
  2. What is my role in the disconnects?

Observe yourself with interest – next time I will share a tool to respond and grow TRUST

If this was useful, please share and invite others to sign up for more here

Chat in a few days.

Meanwhile, continue to be AMAZING,


That Big Mouth Will Get You Into Trouble!







The Power of Words

This phrase was a regular reprise throughout my childhood. I grew up instinctively knowing the power of words. I recited jumbled up versions of nursery rhymes from age one.. ‘Baa baa black sheep’ ended with ‘all the little ducks said quack quack quack’. The third of four children, my words set me ahead of the pack. I often seemed like the oldest child.

Maverick, disrupting the norm

I was the one to break the mould, name the unspoken, raise the taboo subject, challenge the norm, ask questions that no one could answer, debate that which was seemingly cast in stone. My curiosity spilled over, pushing boundaries, creating a fair bit of chaos in a conservative home. And yet I was also the one to say the moving prayer at meal times, encourage my siblings, negotiate with the strict granny, calm the suicidal cousin, negotiate new boundaries, break the news of a teenage pregnancy.

Words Build and Break

My words have indeed got me into lots of trouble; but they have also forged deep relationships – they have healed,  hurt, grown, expanded, created and generated, shaped and built. Words took me from a teenage mom to an international CEO. They helped me raise four awesome, highly capable children. Words enabled me to build power teams, navigate significant company restructures, rebrandings, revisionings, turn arounds.  They helped me reimagine my career and life – over and over.

Leading into the Future with words

My global work today connects me with leaders across 26 countries. At the heart of all leadership – and ALL relationships are words, or conversations.

Join us to harness C-IQ Online

I will be collating learnings from a life rich in wordsmithing and a deep understanding of neuroscience, sharing how to harness Conversational Intelligence, aka as C-IQ.  into an online ‘Change your life through WOW Conversations’

Sign up here  to be first in line for updates – and get a FREE PDF on Transforming Difficult conversations into vital ones.  


28th February 2017