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Transformational leadership shifts for the new paradigm

We all know that we can’t go back to the way things were, especially in #leadership.

We need leaders that direct us with vision, a sense of belonging through purpose and inspire us to follow.

What are the critical shifts⁉️

❇️Having the right mindset for success

A mindset that helps us transform, grow each day, develop those around us and helps to guide us.

❇️Focus on leading from the inside out

Increasing our self-awareness, emotional- and social intelligence to react less. Shifting mentally from positional & individual contributor to connected leadership.

❇️Focus on individuals and meaningful relationships

Appreciating the unique talents of the people around us. Using a strengths-based approach to differentiate our teams. Learning to suspend judgement, empower and include everyone.

❇️Consistent, continuous team development

Investing our time and energy to develop as a collective. Shifting from tasks to daily development activities.

❇️Build a culture of trust

A culture where people trust each other, feel safe to be themselves and share views.

❇️Anticipate an unknown future

Become comfortable with an everchanging future. Resilience, staying power and mental toughness permeate “what we do” and “how we are”.

And YES, YES, YES it can all be taught. Where will your focus be today?

© Talita Ferreira, CEO and founder of Authentic Change Solutions

Interested in Leadership and what makes a great leader? Visit The Global Leadership Hypothesis for a range of interviews with Chairman of Boards, finance professionals, influencers, thought leaders, leadership consultants and many more

Remote Leadership: The Five easiest ways to mess up

We all mess up at some stage in our lives. If you are a parent or a leader, that feeling of messing up, might be especially familiar. We might be under the pressure of mastering a specific challenge or meeting a deadline, and some of our unregulated behaviours uncontrollably start to surface.

It is so easy to slip back without noticing in these five areas

  • Forgetting to manage ourselves
  • Thinking we don’t have any time for connecting the team and small talk
  • Expecting that we should have all the answers
  • Suffering from too much negativity and
  • Forgetting to say thank you.

Forgetting to manage ourselves

You might recall from being on an aeroplane that the safety brief is to put on your own oxygen mask first and then to proceed to help other people. If we don’t understand where we are in a crisis and what we are feeling, it will be tough to lead ourselves or others to something different. We might be feeling pressure from dealing with crisis planning and scenario analysis or the prognosis of the business for the future.

Identify and acknowledge where you are and what you are feeling. Is it frustration, fear or anxiety; accept this without judgement? Set an intention to move to a more positive place and exercise choice in doing so. Think about what you would rather be thinking and feeling, open up your mind to the possibility that this could be an opportunity and explore what positive alternatives could emerge.

We will need to bounce back as individuals, organisations and teams. By focusing on ourselves first, we will be in a better position to assist our teams.

Thinking we don’t have any time for bonding the team and small talk

It would be so easy to get stuck in the doing mode and focus all the critical things that need attention, for example, communication to stakeholders, envisioning the new business landscape and cash flow forecasts.

It is just as critical to focus on leading and motivating the team virtually and the emerging team culture, as it is on managing the crisis. Individual team members need to feel that they are considered, heard and have a voice.

Try to consider what each person in the team might be feeling and spend a moment in their shoes. Which fears might they have about the future or what difficulties are they facing at home?

By sharing your vulnerabilities as a leader, you can create psychological safety for the team and unlock a new level of connection and sharing.

Set aside time for virtual team engagement activities. These go beyond the lunch or coffee interactions where non-work related topics are discussed virtually. The conversations must focus on how the team dynamics are developing, for instance, are more siloed behaviours starting to emerge or are old blaming practices the norm. Spend time on the behaviours you would like to see – empathy for others, support and prioritisation, even go as far as defining new rules of virtual engagement for the team.

Ask powerful questions and engage everyone in the answers, drawing out the more quiet voices. Virtual is here to stay, and there is no time like the present to hone virtual leadership to a deeper level.

Expecting that we should have all the answers

Often we want to have all the answers or 90% clarity before we engage and communicate. It stems from not wanting to be wrong or looking stupid. Times are unprecedented, and certainty might be a long way off, don’t be afraid to say – “I don’t know” when communicating.

There are so many tricky communication scenarios ahead of us, who knows what the business landscape will look like or if some of our organisations might survive the long term recession challenges.

Consider sharing possible outcomes. Focus on facts and certainty and also openly share what you don’t know. Be as transparent as possible. The grapevine always has information before official communication channels are engaged. Nothing is more disturbing than knowing something is going on, and leaders are not sharing. At least provide a date for the next update when you are unable to communicate.

A parking lot can be a handy tool for uncertain topics. Make a list of the items with too many variable outcomes, and ‘park’ them to a date in the future. Too much speculation leads to fear and a lack of trust. Sometimes it is best to caveat issues with “this is my personal opinion” and perhaps “not for further discussion”. Trusting our teams in these circumstances is crucial. Always communicate with empathy, consider how other individuals might be feeling and stay true to yourself.

Suffering from too much negativity

Sometimes it takes more effort to focus on positive outcomes, and we easily slip into negativity and spiralling down to low levels. As leaders, we are a contagion for others and how we show up impacts our teams. When we repeatedly talk about negative situations, we can feed a dark mood. We can solve this by being more intentional with our energy, noticing as soon as this happens and actively choosing something different. Instead, think about a beautiful life moment and activate all the related emotions.

We all know those people that sap our energy and manage to help us focus on negativity. Rather surround yourself with energy angels. Seek them out for a virtual coffee or a catch-up and spend time on affirming positive vibes. Focus on how you are feeling and showing up.

Forgetting to say thank you

The brain science is pointing to appreciation as a critical motivator across generational boundaries. When considering the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development statistic that the number one reason for a person leaving a job, is their manager, this all starts to make sense.

Appreciation and the strength of individual relationships lead to more engaged teams and ultimately organisational success. So, forgetting to say thank you virtually is considered to be an epic fail.

Spend time on evaluating how you appreciate your people. How do you thank them? Do you use generic phrases like – a job well done, or do you thank them for their positive attributes and character? Do you do it in front of the team or one to one?

Some people actually hate generic praise and or being recognised in front of other people. Finding out what motivates each individual team member is a great place to start. Comments like ‘Thank you for showing up and supporting me today’ might be preferred to generic praise. Get to know your team better and understand what will bring out the best in them.

In conclusion, it would be so easy to get caught up in the hype of the crisis, getting things done, forgetting to ‘lead’ virtually and reverting to old behaviours that cause real harm to long term relationships. Let’s be vigilant and stay focused on some of the elements that matter most for virtual engagement.

© Talita Ferreira, CEO and founder of Authentic Change Solutions

Interested in Leadership and what makes a great leader? Visit The Global Leadership Hypothesis for a range of interviews with Chairman of Boards, finance professionals, influencers, thought leaders, leadership consultants and many more.

“Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders” #8

“The team dynamic has changed – Leader, did you notice?”

The #teamdynamics in our teams have changed and will never be the same again. The biggest mistake is to think everything will just miraculously go back to how it was. 🙈

A #newnormal will emerge, leaders will need to mould the dynamic like a fine piece of clay. We must unlock the creative brilliance of our teams to take us into #businesssuccess post-COVID. This will be a consistent challenge of redefinition, remotivation, #agility and #resilience.

We should start building #strongfoundations to ensure we are ready for the challenges. 🎯

Virtual team engagement is a must and is not about replicating the coffee lounge, quiz night or drinks at the pub virtually. It is understanding what is going on in the team, how the dynamic has changed and sculpting the ideal for future success.

A couple of elements to brainstorm/facilitate with the team

❇️ How effective are our team interactions in connecting the team?

❇️ Which behaviours are serving us/distracting us? What needs to change?

❇️ Are meetings effective?

❇️Do we live our values?

❇️ How do we give feedback?

❇️ Are we effective with stakeholders?

Invest in your team dynamic, it pays dividends. DM me if you want to brainstorm your virtual engagement or be part of a pilot.

© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

“Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders” #7

“Be authentic and true to yourself – understand when your core values are crossed”

So often we are faced with challenging situations where we are confident with our point of view, know what we want to say, but we don’t say it because of peer pressures, an unsupportive culture,  we don’t feel safe, or we fear for our jobs. 🙊

The current crisis could exacerbate these situations because we might want to do one thing based on our set of #corevalues, but we feel we have to conform to the establishment.

Many times in my career, I found that I would have an emotional reaction 🧡 when my values were being crossed. I used to get very upset when my HR team would want to follow a rule book approach as opposed to a framework where we can flex to what individuals need. Individualisation is one of my core values.

Have you ever made the connection between your values being, having an emotional reaction or being unhappy?

We are creating a #newnormal for our future. It is time to honour our core values and stand up for our #beliefs. When we at least voice our concerns, we make a difference, no matter the outcome. The more we express what we really think, the more significant the change we drive together. 🎯

I recently ran a virtual team engagement session. From the opinion poll, only 50% of the team thought they were more siloed during the crisis. However, when I asked people what behaviours were holding them back from working together collaboratively, there were very descriptive comments from everyone.

Where will you be more real this week? Have you had a values related experience, please share?

#leadership #emotionalintelligence

© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

“Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders” Blog #6

“Appreciation and relationships = engaged team = success”

I am very interested in how our brain works and how we can be motivated as teams and individuals.

No surprise then that I have been watching webinars and courses on this subject during the lockdown. There seems to be a common theme emerging, and I wanted to share.

Crossing generational boundaries, brain science🧠 is pointing to appreciation as a key motivator. This makes sense if we combine it with the CIPD statistic that the number one reason for people leaving a job, is their manager.

How can we practically foster better relationships and appreciate our teams more?

We should first think about how we appreciate our people.

👉How do we thank them? Do we use something generic like – a job well done or do we thank them for their positive attributes and character?

👉Do we do it in front of the team or one to one?

👉Do we write an email or do it as a recognition award when other teams are present?

Some people actually hate generic praise and or being recognised in front of other people. So, finding out what motivates each individual team member is a great place to start. Comments like ‘Thank you for showing up and supporting me today’ might be preferred to ‘Thank you for a job well done’. Get to know your team better and understand what will bring out the best in them.

How do you motivate and inspire your team in #COVID19❓

#leadership #appreciation #

© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

“Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders” #5

“Focus on resilience and our ability to bounce back”

If you have ever been on an aeroplane, the safety brief is to put on your oxygen mask first.

We will need to bounce back as individuals, organisations and teams. Our first focus must be on ourselves.

These are my favourite bounce back strategies🎯 for leaders

Reframe

If I obsess about something, I write it down and create two alternative scenarios. I think of evidence that supports the alternatives. Mostly I find an “aha moment” through the process.

Focus on breathing

Counting to five breathing in, holding the breath and breathing out for longer. Repeat this 5-6 times and the mind clears.  

Celebrating success

When overwhelmed by negativity, I recall a time I was very successful or happy. Recall the feelings and thoughts and re-celebrate the success.

Focusing on a positive vision🔮 of the future. Creating a vision in my mind, on a vision board or on post-it notes and believing & feeling it is already so.

Using positive energy statements – I can do this, I am successful.

It is very easy to let our limiting self-beliefs or dark mood take over in #COVID. We have the power of #choice.

Do you have any tips for resilience❓

#leadership #cfo

© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

“Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders” #4.

“Communication “Don’t be afraid to say – I don’t know”

So often we as leaders want to have all the answers or 90% clarity before we engage and communicate.

I supposed it has to do with not wanting to be wrong or being afraid to look stupid. COVID19 is so unpredictable; waiting for “certainty” might be in 2021.

These pointers have always helped me to navigate tricky communication situations:

·  Be as transparent as possible – if something is going on that we can’t communicate, then provide a date by when we can📆 

·   Focussing on facts and what I do know for certain

·   Sharing openly what I don’t know or am uncertain about

·   Sharing possible outcomes, but only if I know that they are real courses of action

·  Using a parking lot for the uncertain topics where we have no idea about the outcomes. Too much speculation leads to fear. 🅿️           

·   Being true to myself and honest when answering questions – even saying “this is my personal opinion”

·   The next communication date

·   Always communicate with empathy and consideration for how other individuals might be feeling💗

What other tips do you have for leaders to help with communication ❓

#covid19 #turbulenttimes #leadership #cfo


© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders #3

“Focus on leading and managing your team through the crisis”

It would be so easy to get stuck in the doing mode and focus all the critical things that need to be done at the moment, e.g. the cash flow forecast or scenario modelling.

It is just as critical to focus on #leading the team and the #teamculture. Just a few things to think about:

·       Fostering #psychologicalsafety in the team by sharing our own vulnerabilities as a leader

·       Spending a moment in the shoes 👟 of the team collectively and for each individual

·       Uncovering the underlying #fears 😨 that might exist regarding working from home or the #virtualdelivery

Use this process to spend time on critical team activities that bond and connect the team:

·       Set an intention to spend time on #teamengagement

·       Focus by setting aside the time ⌚

·       Prioritise the #teamactivities

·       Follow up with actions🎯

Just a few ideas on engagement activities

·       Lunch or coffee ☕ interactions discussing non-work related topics

·       Discussions on #changinghabits

·       Teams value exercise and #behaviours to support thriving virtually

·       Creating a virtual team charter

Watch the videoblog that goes with this post here

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i42llpuxmk7qo6q/Virtual%20leadership%20Blog%203.mp4?dl=0#

What are you doing to lead virtually and improve team dynamics?


© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders #2

“Share more of yourself with your team to help create psychological safety”

Sharing more of ourselves with our teams can help to build trust. I don’t think there is a single #leader that is absolutely confident in these #turbulenttimes. Some leaders might be used to #virtualworking but they are not used to #lockdown, spending days without going out and all the emotions that go with having our freedom impaired and financial uncertainties.

Sharing some of the #emotions we are feeling with our teams, will give them permission to do the same.

Sharing how we feel and asking our teams to share how they feel, can be a powerful connector. As leaders, we need to engage our #empathy and become more #curious about the #teamdynamics around us.

It is an opportunity to invite everyone to have an opinion and to participate.

Using questions/phrases like:

I would love to hear more about that…

Could you elaborate please?

Are there any other perspectives – I would value hearing them?

The lockdown gives us an opportunity to share where we are, ask more about feelings, listen carefully and provide a safe space to share.

Do you know how your team is feeling today?

Do you have other questions to open up the conversation?


© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training

Virtual leadership in a crisis – support for leaders #1

“Identify what you are feeling and where you are as a leader”

As leaders, we are like a contagion. How we show up will impact our teams.

#Leadingvirtually is no different. We might be #feelingpressure and dealing with the #crisisplanning one moment at a time. It is important to show up as calm and optimistic but also realistic.

If we don’t understand where we are it will be very hard to self-lead ourselves to something different.

Follow this three-step process:

·        Identify and acknowledge where you are

·        Set an intention and exercise your choice to move

·        Identify what you would rather be feeling and thinking

Identify what you are feeling and experiencing. Is it frustration, fear, anxiety, confusion, disbelief about what has happened? Acknowledge the #feelings without judging them.

Decide that you want and intend something different. Write down a few alternatives for instance, this is an #opportunity:

·        for my own and team growth or

·        to experience new connections and

·        I am not alone, I can get advice from others.

Whenever your thoughts and feelings migrate back, acknowledge them, don’t judge and #choosedifferently.

Please share what you have been feeling?


© Talita Ferreira

© Authenticity Change Solutions

Visit FinanceInspired4Success for a free CPD course and other leadership training