14 minutes | May 29, 2023
A Motivating Way to Measure Progress
What makes us give up when we want to learn something new? We start out really motivated. We envision ourselves mastering the skill - dancing, budgeting, whatever it is. And then we start applying it... And we realize we have a long way to go to master this skill. We see how far off we are - how it seems almost impossible to become a great singer or delegator or whatever. And so we give up. Of course we give up! We are looking at how far we have to go. Rather than how far we have already come. A simple reframing, and yet focusing on how far we have already come will be way more motivating, and fun. And that means you are more likely to continue. Learn more about how to measure progress in a way that helps you achieve, rather than burnout and give up, in this episode. Resources mentioned: The Gap and The Gain, by Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy
15 minutes | May 22, 2023
Being Before Doing: The Key to True Behavior Change
If knowledge was the only thing preventing us from taking action, we would all be a lot healthier and manage our time better. But that's not the way it works. We know many things - like that we need to get more sleep. But knowing doesn't mean we will get more sleep. Before we are able to take action, we need to better understand the being part. That is, how is my identity helping me or hindering me from sustainable behavior change? Once we identify ourselves as someone who does not work on weekends, the doing becomes obvious: we don't work on weekends. But it requires a true BEING shift. Learn more about how to shift your BEING so that you can DOING becomes easier and longer lasting in this episode.
15 minutes | May 15, 2023
The True Humanitarian Leader
We say we are humanitarians. That we help people. But would a true humanitarian prioritize results over their team? This is unfortunately what many of us do. We say we are too busy to coach or work with developing our teams. Too busy on proposals or attending meetings that lead nowhere. We have lost sight of our priorities, and rather than being rewarded for prioritizing our teams and their development, we are focused on growth and reaching more, doing more. The result? Our teams (and ourselves) are in burnout, and we look for some external change to make it all better. A change that might not happen - or take a long time to happen. So why not BE that change yourself? In this episode I share how you can be the change - how you can be an example of a true humanitarian leader - and inspire those around you to do the same.
14 minutes | May 8, 2023
What Do YOU Want?
We are told by a lot of external sources what we SHOULD want in life and work. For example, social media tells us what we should be doing, how we should be thinking. Advertisements tell us what cars we need or food to be fulfilled. Society also tells us what we should want - children, a house, a college degree, etc. And many of us follow this without questioning it. And yet - have you ever reflected on what YOU want? Not by looking externally - but by seeking internally? And what about as a leader - what do you want to achieve? In this episode I reflect on the power of understanding what YOU want, and how much purpose, motivation and direction it can give to your everyday work.
16 minutes | May 1, 2023
A Simple Way to Stop Procrastinating
We all have times where we procrastinate and put off doing something. Have you ever thought about why? At a simple level it has to do with avoiding a feeling we are having. For example, we feel overwhelm, or anxious or afraid when we think about doing something, and so we choose to do something else. Recently I found a simple thing you can do when planning your week that will reduce the chances you procrastinate. In this episode you'll learn what it is and how you can immediately start using to reduce the likelihood you will procrastinate and even feel more motivated to get things done.
12 minutes | Apr 24, 2023
Undervalued Skills That Make a Big Impact
When you think of skills that are important to list in your CV or resume, you probably think of hard skills. That is, quantifiable or measurable accomplishments. Hard skills are important when it comes to tasks where we do not rely on others. But in team environments and as leaders, soft skills may even prove more important. You can do all the budgeting you want or data analysis, but if you do not have the communication skills to relay that information so others can understand and accept it, then it becomes almost pointless. In this episode I share why soft skills are so powerful and the importance on focusing on them if you are going to succeed as a leader. Resources mentioned: Doing It Right to Do It Wrong The Coach Approach Leadership Style
15 minutes | Apr 17, 2023
What Do They REALLY Want?
When we first start a conversation with our team member, they may say they want to solve a certain problem. But if we allow them the ability to think things through, sometimes the original problem is not the REAL problem. In other words, what they say they want is not what they REALLY want. This is a powerful realization, and can mean the difference between having a conversation which results in no action because the root problem has not been addressed, versus one that allows forward movement. This is a common occurence in coaching, and an important thing to catch. If when you are coaching you detect what your coachee or team member said in the beginning is not what they really want, you can ask to change the focus of the session, and make it a lot more productive. In this episode I provide some examples of what this looks like, how to detect it and what to do when you do. Resources mentioned: The Coach Approach Leadership Style The Power and Impact of Coaching in the Humanitarian and Development Sector - Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Weeks
12 minutes | Apr 10, 2023
Humility Is Empowerment
Are you humble? And if you say you're humble---does that make you not humble? We may think we are being humble with our teams. But many aid worker leaders (myself included) have come to define our validity as leaders with the ability to tell our teams what to do. Our ego is tied to our ability to provide the answers. We are not being humble enough to admit our way is not the only way. And that although telling others what to do makes us feel important, it doesn't help our team in the long run. This doesn't make you a bad person or a bad leader. But you can be an even more effective leader - if your goal is to strengthen your team and have them less reliant on you for answers. In this episode I explore how to know if you are truly a humble leader - and the impact being humble can have for you and your team. Resources mentioned: Humility in Service to Life - "The Way Out Is In" podcast
13 minutes | Apr 3, 2023
Doing It Wrong to Do It Right
Have you ever learned a new skill and did it perfectly the first time? Probably not... at least if it's a skill like learning a language, riding a bike or delegating to your team. Even though it is almost impossible to do something perfectly the first time, many of us still think we can do so. I see it in my coaching students - the desire to do coaching perfectly the first time they try it. To skip the hard steps of learning. To simply "know how" without any practice. The thing is, when we skip the hard part, the part where we get it wrong, then we are skipping the part that benefits us the most ---- the part where we grow. Getting it wrong allows us to grow and build resiliency. It builds our self-confidence. It is the key to achieving more goals in our life. So it's actually quite important. Maybe even more so than achieving the goal itself. In this episode I share how embracing the difficult parts of learning allows us to benefit most from it, and how you can start doing so even today.
17 minutes | Mar 27, 2023
How to Gain Control Over Your Time - Part Two
Last week we looked at how to become aware of how we are using our time through conducting a Time Audit 2.0 (looking at both activities and energy level). Now that you know how you currently use your time, we can start to decide if that is how we want to use our time. The series of questions in this episode will help you decide how much control you have over your time, where your current actions are leading you and then how you want to intentionally use your time. Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to make decisions that allow you to be in control over your time and where it is leading you, instead of being a victim of it.
15 minutes | Mar 20, 2023
How to Gain Control Over Your Time - Part One
"Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become." - James Clear, Atomic Habits This quote captures the topic of today perfectly. That is, if you compound your actions on a daily or weekly basis, where will they lead you in a year, or even three? Are you going in the direction you hope to go, or are you going in a direction someone else wants you to go? Will you achieve your goals as a leader, or even the impact you hope to make? Part of being able to answer this question is first becoming aware of how we are currently spending our time. We can go through our day and by the end of it not recall how we used our time. This is why building awareness is the first step to gaining control over our time. In this episode I review how you can build awareness through a Time Audit 2.0, which also includes how your energy levels are impacted by the tasks you do. After you become aware of how you spend your time, then next week we will look at how you WANT to use it. It's the difference between achieving your goals - or someone else's.
24 minutes | Mar 13, 2023
How to Become a Better Problem Solver
Our entire career as a leader - and in fact, our entire personal life as well - is a measure of how well we solve problems. The better we are at solving problems, the more we advance. The more we are able to learn and overcome. And through the failure along the way, we also grow stronger. So it's not hard to imagine why learning how to solve problems better is a very valuable skill. Today I am sharing with you my four step process to solving problems better. And it is probably not what you think. Link to the episode: https://www.aidforaidworkers.com/blog/problem-solving-236
20 minutes | Mar 6, 2023
When to Ask "How Can I Help You?"
Asking your team "how can I help?" is a great way to show your support. But knowing when to ask this question can make it more helpful to your team member - and ultimately to you as a leader too. In this episode I explore the best way to ask "how can I help you?" as a supervisor in order to empower your team and not keep them from growing.
24 minutes | Feb 27, 2023
Best Practices When Using Coaching for Development Planning
The more you empower your team to come up with their own Development Plans, the more likely they are to take action. And that is really the whole point, right? In this episode I share four powerful questions you can ask during a Development Plan Coaching conversation to help your direct reports determine what skills to learn, how to learn them, how to plan for unforeseen challenges and also prepare them to take action.
21 minutes | Feb 20, 2023
Finding Time for Developing Your Team
You have a lot on your to do list. Between all the meetings, email and your everyday obligations, things get busy fast! And yet, one of our most important priorities as supervisors can be one of the ones we delay doing the most - that is developing our team. How can you find time to develop your team while also keeping your other priorities? Listen to this episode to find out! Resources mentioned: - How to do a Time Audit (from previous episode How Will You be Remembered as a Leader Part One)
25 minutes | Feb 13, 2023
How a "Coach Approach" Greatly Increased the Impact of Her Work with Inonge Wina-Chinyama
It always amazes me to see how my students incorporate coaching in their work. At the time of this interview guest Inonge Wina-Chinyama was a Senior Advisor for MSI Zambia in the areas of youth and disabilities. The nature of her role as an advisor is the opposite of coaching, that is telling others what to do. And so it was very surprising to Inonge when by stepping away from advice and into asking questions, people appreciated her even more. Learn what happened and how this approach has helped her not only make a greater impact in her work but also free up time to focus on other areas. Resources The Aid Worker's Guide to Successful Coaching 101 - Start date October 4th
11 minutes | Feb 6, 2023
They are Watching You
If you find yourself saying things like "my team knows not to follow my bad example (working long hours, for example)" then this episode is for you. So many humanitarian and development leaders I work with think they are the "exception to the rule". That is that their team does not follow their unhealthy work style. But how true is that really? From my experience, it's not. In this episode I show you how you are influencing your team's behavior more than you think, and what may motivate you to change it.
19 minutes | Jan 30, 2023
Tips to Plan Your Week that Will Help You Take Action
The words you use when planning your week matter. It may not seem like a big thing - but depending on how you are phrasing things in your calendar or to do list, you can end up procrastinating or not wanting to take action. I see many leaders - including myself - sometimes delay doing things because how they are listed in our calendar is not helpful. In this episode I share simple tips to help you plan your week so you are ready to take action and be more productive during your week!
20 minutes | Jan 23, 2023
When and How to Ask for Help
It's not always easy to ask others for help. It can make us feel vulnerable, incompetent or we don't want to burden someone else. And yet, there are times when it is actually our responsibility to ask for help. I am talking about when to ask your supervisor for help. Many of the leaders I work with are reluctant to ask for help, when it is obvious they need it and that doing so would alleviate a lot of worry and anxiety. In this episode I discuss when is it appropriate for you to ask for help from your supervisor, and how can you feel more comfortable doing it? I also share how to make it more comfortable for your team to ask you for help. Related episodes: How Saying No Makes You More of a Team Player
24 minutes | Jan 16, 2023
Your Blindspots: How What You Don't See Might Be Hurting You
It is natural to have blindspots in our thinking and perspectives about things. For example, perhaps you travel to a different country and use your finger to point at someone, which is seen in that country as very offensive. Of course once you become aware of this, you will likely stop doing it (I hope at least). That is why the more we understand about our blindspots - the way we perceive things - and how they might be hurting us, the more ability we have to decide if we want to keep them or change. In this episode I discuss three very common blindspots I encounter when coaching aid worker leaders: Our identity as fixed (This is just the way I am...) Our time as out of our control (I have to respond to other's agendas) Our overtime (If I don't finish it now, I will do it on the weekend) Learn how these different areas may be impacting your decisions as well as keeping you from growing into the leader you hope to become, and what you can do about it. Resources mentioned: Dr Quantum in Flatland - 5 minute video James Clear Atomic Habits website (great weekly newsletter!)