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Reflection is Critical for Leaders - Issue No. 2

Julie Gillespie Transforming the way we Connect Newlsetter

Julie's One-Degree Shift

Transforming the way we Connect Newsletter

February 2024, Issue No. 2

OVERVIEW: Julie's "One-Degree Shift" newsletters are a guide for leaders to make subtle yet impactful changes which foster well-being and connection in the workplace.

Issue 1 had us looking ‘up’ from where we were at, potentially in a state of disconnection. This is a situation where a chasm has been created that hinders understanding, collaboration, engagement, and connection.

For this issue, we are here to shift our focus, to understand our role in bridging the gap.

Are you ready? Let’s shift!

Incremental Shifts

The concept of a one-degree shift is akin to widening a lens, allowing more awareness to enter your sphere. My vision is for you to fully open your lenses, effortlessly connecting with those in your organisation, community, and personal life without consuming more time or energy than you already invest.

Acknowledging that these connected conversations are not always second nature is important. In my own journey, I have become better at having uncomfortable conversations; I have respect for the impact a genuine offer of support can have, as well as a belief in the power of "showing up".

It’s time to: shift perspective; lean into the discomfort; and, Transform the way we Connect.

~ Julie Gillespie

A compass that speaks to small adjustments to broaden our vision and self awareness
Incremental shifts widen our lens and broadens our vision

One Step at a time

This step is to focus on understanding our role in bridging disconnection. The first-degree shift is internal. No, this isn’t about making it a you problem; however, it is acknowledging that your state of connection or disconnection will affect your interactions with others.

I want to make sure you are resourced for success. This means more than adopting a simple action like “actively listening” to your people. If that was all that it was, if that was all it took, you would have solved this all by now.

No, we are going to work on the layers of reflections, actions, and behaviours that influence how we feel connected. We will do this by using research, science and some tried and true practices that I've developed through training and coaching leaders over the past 20 years.

As we widen our lens, we will involve your team; which will move this into an ‘us’ solution. By intentionally making a commitment to shift together, you can build trust and safety within your team.

Step 1: Reflection is critical for leaders

I invite you to reflect for a moment and ask yourself:

  • How do you believe your actions and communication style may influence the motivation and well-being of your team members?

  • When was the last time you truly listened to a team member's perspective without interrupting or forming an immediate response?

These aren’t easy to answer. If you have a colleague you trust, ask for their opinion and some examples of instances that demonstrate their answer.

Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside of you is only a reflection of the world inside you ~ The Minds Journal

A monkey looking at its reflection in a small mirror - gaining self awareness

Transforming the way we Connect with Julie's One-Degree Shift

Let‘s get clear about self-awareness

Ever wondered what separates effective leaders from mere managers?

LEADER DEFINED: Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximises the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. ~ Forbes

Our definition of the difference between leading and managing:

A Leader inspires people, a Manager drives tasks

The difference lies within: self-awareness. This critical, yet often undervalued, quality forms the bedrock of exceptional leadership, allowing you to navigate challenges, inspire teams, and achieve remarkable results.

Why is self-awareness so crucial? Imagine steering a ship without understanding its capabilities and limitations, or even the direction you want to go in. Similarly, leading without self-awareness can cause missed opportunities, teams to grow frustrated, and may even lead to the development of blind spots, placing everyone at a disadvantage.

What does self-awareness entail?

It's a multi-faceted lens through which you:

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses: Recognise your own skills, talents, and growth ideas. This allows you to delegate effectively and capitalise on your strengths, while also tackling your weaknesses head-on.

  • Understand your values: What drives you? What core principles guide your decisions? Aligning your leadership with your values creates authenticity and fosters trust with your team.

  • Recognise your emotions: Acknowledge your feelings and the impact they have on your behaviour. Regulating your emotions (breathing!) gives you the strength and the clarity to respond thoughtfully, not react impulsively.

  • See yourself through others' eyes: Seek feedback from trusted colleagues and team members that share differences from you. Understand how your actions and decisions are perceived. This helps foster effective communication and build strong relationships.

  • Take a look at what you're avoiding, or the things you are avoiding: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Recognise situations that cause you to react negatively, provoking a biased reaction in you. This practice of self-awareness allows you to manage yourself better during challenging situations.

Remember, self-awareness is not a destination, but a journey (yes I said the “J” word!). It takes courage, exploration, and an openness to learn from mistakes. Embrace playful experimentation, engage in honest self-reflection, and actively seek feedback.

Investing in self-awareness is an investment in your effectiveness as a leader. You'll make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and guide your team towards collective success. So, embark on this journey of self-discovery – your leadership and your team will thank you for it.

What now?

If you’re interested in deepening your understanding of this topic, here are some great resources to help you take action: (these are my go to, not paid for endorsements!!)

  • Calm: Calm your mind. Change your life. Mental health is hard. Getting support doesn't need to be.

  • A Reflection Journal is a must. The power of writing your thoughts onto paper cannot be underestimated. You will need inspiring for this, and great stationery will help. I can't go past Kiki K for just that. Check out their guided journals here.

  • Books and articles: Numerous books and articles delve into self-awareness and leadership.

    • Here's Why You Must Have Self-Awareness as a Leader: Forbes

    • "Dare to Lead" by Brené Brown - check out the Hub where you can dive in DEEP!

    • Explore Daniel Goleman's new book 'Optimal' through this review by Psychology Today.

Let’s get started: I’m here for you.

I coach leaders in one-on-one sessions. We build self-awareness, play with ideas, define leadership values, and develop a language of connection to use in your organisation. Book your sessions here:

To find out more about how we can help build your self-awareness, click here.

My hope is that this newsletter will be your support throughout the year. Effective practices will be laid out within it, designed to meet you where you are. Each month, we are going to widen your lens, one degree at a time.

Until next month's shift!

Julie Gillespie Transforming the way we Connect

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