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AdvantEdge Joy@Work Podcast:
15 minutes | Feb 19, 2022
Are you In Control or Controlling? Part 2: Digging the Roots of Controlling, Stress and Performance Anxiety
This is Part 2 of a four part series asking the question: Are you In Control or Controlling? In this guide, we are digging into the roots and what is happening in our brain when we enter the Controlling Cycle. We'll learn what happens inside our brain when we face a challenge and how your unconscious mind immediately reacts to this challenge as a threat - triggering your freeze, flight or fight response. We'll learn how our brain then shifts the challenge into worrying and anxiety UNLESS your frontal lobes put the brakes on and you choose to be In Control rather than attempt to fruitlessly control others or the outside world. We'll learn that EVERYONE on the planet faces the same choices every single day and we'll learn how worrying gives us the illusion of control making us feel good about worrying - as if it ever did us any good. We'll learn why the Pre Frontal Cortex struggles to intervene and shout down the worrying cycle. See the previous episode for Part 1 if you have yet to do so. And remember to subscribe on your preferred platfrom and please rate this episode, it helps others find it and learn too.
16 minutes | Jan 31, 2022
Are you In Control or Controlling? Part 1 - Finding the Roots of Everyday Stress and Performance Anxiety
This is the first of a four part series asking the question: Are you In Control or Controlling? Listen or watch or read now to understand what triggers your stress and anxiety so that you can then learn how to be In Control and a master of your emotions. Everyone experiences stress and performance anxiety. Nobody likes it, and some people suffer terribly from it. Some stress is necessary for our survival. As cave dwellers, stress and anxiety caused by external threats were excellent drivers of survival behaviours. The trouble is, in the modern world, from your brain's perspective, there are many more perceived threats and the pace of life doesn't allow sufficient downtime between "threats" to recover perspective and get yourself back to a place of choice: whether you are going to remain in control, or be controlling of people or things in the world outside. In this four part guide we're discussing that fundamental question: Are you In Control or Controlling? This First Part we are finding the roots of everyday stress and performance anxiety according to behavioural Neuroscience. We begin with an important understanding of Locus of Control and its implications for your brain. We'll discuss why choosing to be In Control or Controlling is critical and how you respond to the many and varied challenges and obstacles you face every day
16 minutes | Jan 1, 2022
How to Enjoy a Happy and Successful Year Ahead
Double Blessings to you this new year. Ask what they want from the coming new year and most people are seeking to be happy and successful in the year ahead. We see the new year as a fresh start where we can put the past behind us and move ahead. Sadly, most people never achieve happiness or success and, in large part, that’s down to the way we set goals and commit to new year’s “resolutions”. The problem is a lack of motivation and a lack of balanced prioritisation. Resolutions tend to be negative shifts of behaviour that we “should” do for our own good. Things like: get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, be kind to everyone, stop complaining. All things that our flesh just screams to keep on doing because we don’t like change - or at least our brain does not like change - and your brain was getting something it liked from the “bad habits” of last year. Your brain would rather “do nothing” than “do something, anything, taxing”. And those new goals, we try but they tend to throw us even more off balance than we were already. What we need is to re-consider goals across all key aspects of our life. And those goals need to have an embedded, motivational purpose - our reason for achieving them, our “why” I should put in all this effort. Without which, our brain quickly defaults back to its preference of “do nothing”! We need a crystal clear, compelling picture of our future and what success looks like in each of the key areas of life. What is called a “Command Intent” and we need one or more for each of our five key life engines. Listen, watch or read the podcast now - it’s in a new format which we hope you like. It’ll be 15 minutes very well spent. I hope that you enjoyed a joyful festive season and you are ready for the excellent challenges that 2022 may bring. Be blessed - and remember - let us know what you think of the new podcast format.
15 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
Hope and Mirrors
Welcome to the AdvantEdge Joy@Work podcast with me, Dr. John Kenworthy. In this guide to developing your five essential qualities of expert hybrid leadership: we're learning why your attitude to hope and how you communicate it, determines how your days and those for your team will unfold. Welcome to Hope and Mirrors. In this episode of the AdvantEdge Joy@Work podcast, we're looking forward to a future in hope and expectation of something new and exciting in the days ahead. And how you can choose to be the leader who inspires hope for yourself, and for others. Full episode and show transcript here: https://joyatwork.coach/hope-and-mirrors The choice is yours. I stick to my favorite verse to start every day from Psalm 118, Verse 24, in the New King James Version. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet? What kind of reflections do you want to see? To learn more about AdvantEdge Coaching so that you can have Joy@Work and your team becomes United in Trust and Collaboration. Contact us through the link on the show notes and arrange a complimentary, confidential, no obligation Discovery Session. https://joyatwork.coach/apply
22 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
How to Undermine Engagement, Destroy Trust and Wreck Collaboration Before it Can Even Dare Take Root
Collaboration is when an effective team harnesses the best out of individuals working together and appears to be disarmingly simple: “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something” But everyone in the team comes with their own personality, their culture and way of doing things and their own competitiveness, their fears, their concerns and their needs. For successful and fruitful collaboration, the leader needs to help the team be actively engaged in what they are doing, and that they trust one another by setting the groundwork to build a solid foundation and then maintaining it rigorously. Many thousands of leaders have failed to create team unity, trust and engagement through team building courses and enforced jollity of casual Friday or a virtual happy hour. But the buzz from that ropes course wears thin after a few days when your brain recognises that what it wants and needs is still missing. How do we fix that? Well, before we get to that let’s check in on what your brain really wants and needs: What Your Brain Wants and Needs: Fortunately, we know that every human being shares a fundamental need for three things in life: The need to feel safe The need to belong to a group or tribe, and The need to believe that they and what they do, matters Getting a team to be actively engaged, to trust each other and collaborate takes plenty of leadership time and effort - so why would you destroy it before it has a chance? Purpose In this guide we’ll understand how to build and maintain the critical foundation's of Safety, Belonging and Mattering by Listening Deeply so that the team can trust each other and, with clarity of their own purpose and direction, be actively engaged and collaborate to achieve the desired results. Process We'll look Pat Lencioni's famous work on the five dysfunctions of a team and see how further research shows that Safety, Belonging and Mattering are crucial to your brain and thus to your ability to trust and collaborate. We'll then look at how listening deeply is the ONE missing ingredient that all leaders can do and use to help build the foundations and hence, ultimately, get the results they desire. Payoff When you start to listen deeply you will begin to dismantle any climate of fear or the lack of safety felt in too many organisations. Team members will learn that they can speak up and help the leader build and maintain the edifying climate to guide themselves and other team members towards effective trust and collaboration.
9 minutes | May 6, 2021
Understand Me - What do they Need to know?
Have you ever sat in a presentation and successfully listened to everything that the speaker shared, remembered what was essential and acted on the information whilst simultaneously fielding emails, carrying out a chat message and planning lunch and all before a really important client meeting. OK, now in this very short space of time, what do you remember? Not a lot huh? You just experienced cognitive overload. And that was just thinking about those 5 things happening in theory. "That went right over my head! Cognitive overload is more common than you might realise. Cognitive overload occurs when your brain is being tasked with too many things at once or you are trying to process too much information. It happens when you use too much mental effort in your brains working memory to continue effective processing. You may well feel that the words flew over your head. You stopped taking any more information in and tried to clear the backlog. It is also remarkably common. A leader does a data dump of the facts and figures for the quarterly report, a manager relates every little detail of a problem and the presenter rushes through the material either because their time has been reduced or they've taken too long over the early part. Specifically, what does your audience need to know? And I do mean need as an absolute New and Knew One way to help your audience understand is to relate something that they already do know with the new information that you are sharing. New information triggers curiosity, which is something you want to do. But if everything is new, you'll trip over the edge of curiosity into anxiety. And anxiety is something we don't want. Filling your presentation with all things new is like opening photoshop for the first time and being presented with all 300 icons on the taskbar. Or like visiting a strange city for the first time. It's overwhelming. Sure, you'll find your way around eventually, but it takes time. You see what I did there? I related the situation (new knowledge for you) to something that you know already - either you'll know about photoshop and the vast number of icons or you'll have experienced visiting a strange city. And even if not exactly aligned with your knowledge, the two examples provide adequate common experience for you to relate to, or imagine. And that's just what you need to do with new information. Align it with something your audience knows already by using examples, metaphors or analogies. And remember, you only want to include new information if it is something that your audience needs to know. It is not so that you can show how knowledgable and brilliant you are. On top of this, your audience is likely to find 90% of your presentation as forgetable. So what do you really want them to remember? Your 10% Dr Carmen Simon, author of Impossible to Ignore, a neuroscientist and expert in making your content memorable, shares some bad news that your audience typically remembers just 10% of your presentation content. Worse news is the 10% remembered by one person differs from the 10% another person remembers. The 10% that you really want them to remember needs to be identified and then you are going to take control of what they remember. You can do that by noting: - What you want your audience to remember - 3 or 4 points, and - What you want your audience to do (your Product or call to action) Now we are clear what our audience knows already, making certain that we recognise our own curse of knowledge and taking care with our assumptions. We are also clear about what they need to know, avoiding cognitive overload, aligning the new with the knew and identifying the 10% of our content that is essential. But do they care at all? We need to understand the audience's opinion. Let's wrap here for now and prepare you for the next part: Opinion. In the next section we'll talk about Opinion and then get deep into the Who of your audience. We'll consider their power and interest, how they might resist, a
9 minutes | May 5, 2021
Understand Me 2 - What do the Know?
What do they Know? Let's start with asking what do your audience already know about you and your topic? There are two extreme dangers here: 1. Assumptions and 2. The Curse of Knowledge You see I carry a curse. A curse of knowledge. Just as you do: The Curse of Knowledge! I attended a networking event recently where someone was sharing about Bitcoin. "Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used in a blockchain to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank." Yes, but what is it? I don't fully understand Bitcoin. I don't get how you "mine" them and I don't appreciate how they can be worth more than $10,000. And I'm a geek! I feel utterly stupid when someone who does know, speaks down to me as if I really should know and it turns into a crushing sense of hopelessness.And that's not a great place for your audience to be. jill and colleagues peering into empty skull.png When someone assumes that you should know something and you just do not. They look at you as if peering into your emptyheadedness with disdain. Sure, I'm biased and think of Bitcoin as eTulips and a bubble that will hurt a lot of innocent people, but I'll come back to bias when we discuss the audience Opinion. I know quite a lot. But I don't know Bitcoin, Blockchain, Etherium and now I've heard that there's one based on organic bananas. My knowledge may be similar or utterly different to your own. You have your jargon, and I have mine. The only time we have a real problem is when my jargon makes no sense to you. When I assume that something I know is common knowledge. Tappers and Listeners Here's a terrific little experiment that you can do later today with a friend or family member to truly understand the curse of knowledge. Firstly I shall tap out a very well known song - this of course only works well if you are listening to the podcast, if you're reading this, it doesn't work :-) I'll tap out this well known song and you guess what it is. Easy right? Wrong. If you were to ask someone to do this and estimate how quickly people would guess the song title correctly, you might guess at the commonly agreed 20 or 30 seconds. And the real answer is that roughly one person in 20 will guess correctly and that after 3 repeats. - and those are usually "lucky guesses". So, you try this with a friend or colleague. Tap out "Happy Birthday". Oh, well now, of course, you recognise the tapping. It's easy now. Because now, the tune is humming in your head AND you hear the tapping in time. Previously, you only heard tapping. The problem is that I cannot unknow what I know - it is humming along in my head as I share. I cannot remember what it is like to not know what I know. And of course, I think what I know is easy. It would have to be easy if I know it. But maybe, just maybe, it is not as easy or obvious as I think that it is. Just like Happy Birthday ain't so obvious when all you hear are tap tap tap tap tap tap. (Interesting by the way, now that you know that it is Happy Birthday, you heard it immediately!) And when someone does not know something (especially something that colleagues appear to know), they may feel intimidated and that may just shut down their attention and choose the ostrich manoeveur, or worse, they may get defensive and disrupt your presentation by heckling. To avoid making bad assumptions and the curse of knowledge, you must find out what your audience already knows. And a terrific way to do that is to ask questions.
9 minutes | May 4, 2021
Understand Me - Getting to KNOW Your Audience
If there's one complaint I hear about a leader’s skills from their boss or their HR, it's that they don't adjust their communication for their audience. And yet those leaders genuinely believe that they do adjust for their audience. So who is right? Well, they're both correct of course. The presenter thinks they are adjusting but they don't really KNOW their audience. What about the audience themselves? What do they think? Sadly the audience don't have an opinion because they stopped paying attention and moved onto other, more exciting things like thinking about lunch or updating Facebook. To capture their attention and motivate them to act, you have to get to KNOW your audience If you want to capture the attention of your audience and take some sort of action as a result of your Communication , you need to get to KNOW your audience and present to them as if it were tailored exclusively and entirely just for them. Because you will have done just that. Below, I share how you get to KNOW your audience so that you capture their attention and motivate them to do the things that you want them to do. You can take it one step at a time But first, let me introduce you to a oft-practiced technique that is guaranteed to do the opposite of knowing and engaging your audience: The Ostrich Manoeuvre Politicians are especially good at this manoeuvre. Be sure to look down at your notes most of the time and read the speech prepared by some flunky in a monotone. Remember to look up at any random audience member and plaster a fake smile on your face. I am really an introverted person. Maybe you don't believe that because you've seen me run a workshop or speak at a conference. But when I first started out, I was terrified that I was going to look like an idiot, that I would forget my words, lose track and generally do a terrible job. So I adopted what I call the Ostrich Manoeveur, a technique that essentially guaranteed that I would successfully look like an idiot, forget my words, lose track and do a terrible job. The Ostrich Manoeuvre is a favourite of insincere politicians and leaders, frequently seen in after-dinner speeches and boardrooms. It is very easy 2 step process and it is guaranteed to make you look really bad. 1. First, please make sure that you stand behind a podium and place your written script on it. If there is no podium available, then turn your back to the audience and read your slides instead. 2. Step 2 is read your script, preferably in a monotone and rarely, if ever, make eye contact with your audience. This works brilliantly well to show your audience that you do not know your content well enough. That you don't practice because the audience doesn't deserve your effort. And it shows the audience that you could care less who they are, what matters to them or even if you are in the right venue. You will have seen someone using the Ostrich Manoeveur as long ago as yesterday. Perhaps you used it yourself. I understand, I much preferred to read a script than dare look at the audience and witness the devastating effect my appalling presentation was having on them. The better you KNOW your audience the better you can engage them If instead, you would like to engage your audience and make an impact then it will greatly help if you KNOW your audience, that is: be able to fully answer four key questions: 1. What and how much do the Know already? 2. What do they Need to know? 3. What is their Opinion? 4. And, Who are they? You'll notice that the keywords here make up the KNOW acronym: Know, Need, Opinion and Who. Easy to remember.
7 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Coaching is About Change
“There are no such things as wrong turns, Only paths we never knew we were supposed to take.” Proverb AdvantEdge Coaching is about change “Change is the only constant” goes the refrain. There would be little need for coaching, training, mentoring, counselling or any development if people were happy to stay the same as they are now. Being coached by someone is all about being empowered, equipped and enabled to change. Coaching empowers people to find new jobs, work through transitions, enhance performance, build better relationships, make wise decisions, transform organisations and reach new spiritual levels. Coaching is about establishing a vision of the future and reaching goals. When coaching is successful, it’s about bringing and maintaining change. But coaching is more. We also help people determine what needs to stay the same in times of constant flux. We encourage our clients to stake out their core values, established strengths, basic beliefs, ethical principles and lasting relationships that remain firm and provide an anchor to their lives. Coaches are both change agents and constant agents. Coaches help people see what needs to change and what needs to remain constant. Change is difficult! Let’s start by recognising the obvious: change is difficult. Going on a journey with people through change can be challenging and exhausting. Bringing sustainable change is even harder. Most people resist change even when they see the need and believe it can occur. The owner of the first hotel I managed was just 40 when he suffered a heart attack. His lifestyle, booze, food and a lack of regular exercise were contributory factors but prior to the heart attack, there were no significant symptoms. Life was good, then BAM! He was on the floor in agony. He survived. His doctor told him bluntly that he had to change his diet, give up alcohol, smoking and take up regular exercise. Change or die! A stark choice. And one that many people face. Initially, my boss came out of hospital ready and eager to take this advice seriously and changed everything that was harming his health. It wasn’t easy for him, but he stuck with it and now enjoys a slim, healthy life retired and sailing around the Mediterranean. Yet, in the US alone, some 90% of heart bypass patients can’t change their lifestyles, even at the risk of dying. It’s not surprising then that changing people’s behaviour in business is a challenge. How people face change People respond to change typically in four different ways depending on their personalities and past experiences: - Innovators – who value change and often try to make it happen. - Embracers – who thrive on change and accept it with enthusiasm, sometimes without thinking too much about it. - Acceptors – who initially resist change but eventually go along with it because there is no alternative. - Resisters – who may not even notice the change, deliberately ignore it or be so overwhelmed that they push it out of their awareness. Some even deny any need for change and refuse to budge an inch. People usually lean towards one of these responses. There’s some excellent news, though: simply because you are reading this, you are likely to be an innovator or embracer. If you are reading this reluctantly, you’re an acceptor. And those who aren’t reading this well, they’re the resisters (but, of course, they won’t know that because they didn’t read it!). #joyatwork #trivia
19 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
The Paradox of Potential
Potential is much more than just knowledge or the ability to score well in exams. In this guide we’ll consider what are the components of potential so that we can distinguish between them and choose to develop those that will provide you the greatest chance of succeeding in your endeavours.
24 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Are you at Cause or Effect? Going Beyond Resilience and Well-being
In this guide we’ll consider how critical it is to make a good choice in response to the many varied challenges we face every day. How easily we can get trapped by “Effect” and the two enemies of our mind into a spiral of anxiety and fear or be at “Cause” for ourselves and our life.
3 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
AdvantEdge Potential to Performance System Model- Explained
I’m going to explain how performance is unleashed using the AdvantEdge Potential to Performance System model. Performance happens when three things are aligned at the same moment: Your Potential, Your Drive and a Trigger. The Model You can visualise this model has two dimensions. The Vertical axis is your level of Drive to perform an action, and it can range anywhere from high drive to no drive. The horizontal axis is your Potential to perform an action. Also a continuum. On the right side is high potential making this action easy to perform. On the left side of this axis is low Potential or hard to do. Consider a simple example. Suppose you want someone to donate money to a Stray Dog Shelter. If they have high drive and it is easy for that person to do, they will be in the upper right corner of the model. When a person is triggered here to donate, they will donate. They are in the productive zone. On the other hand, if someone has low drive to donate to the Stray Dogs, and if it’s hard for them to do, they will be in the lower-left corner. When triggered, that person will not perform the action. They are in the procrastination zone. The Action Line There is a relationship between drive and potential. This curved line is called the Action Line. If someone is anywhere above the action line when triggered, they will perform the action. They are in the Productive zone. In this example, they will donate to the Dog Shelter. However, if they are anywhere below the Action Line when triggered, they will not perform the action. They remain in the Procrastination zone. If someone is below the Action Line, we need to get them above it for the Trigger to initiate action. Either, we need an increase in Drive, or the action needs to be easier to perform, or both. In Summary This models applies to all human performance. When Drive, Potential and a Trigger come together at the same moment, that’s when performance will occur. If any of the three elements is lacking, then the performance will not happen.
20 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Will Your Talent Pass the AI Test?
Organisations want an AI that you feed 100 resumes and it spits out the top 5 candidates, without bias. But what's it like to be rejected by a computer? Current Recruitment AIs are being built on flawed systems and processes that favoured white, male candidates and HR seem surprised when the AI joins the same party.
22 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
What is Talent, Really, Anyway?
This guide will clarify the history and etymology of Talent from its Biblical roots and why this matters in modern business. This will enable you to be crystal clear about talent, skills, strengths and potential and form the basis of how we unlock and leverage talent to unstuck potential and develop the skills you need to thrive.
18 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
The world is filled with fear and trepidation about the future. Staff are concerned for their jobs and what the future holds for them. World leaders have proven themselves to be uninspirational through being indecisive, divisive and destructive. So staff are looking for a leader who will inspire them and lead them forward into the future. This guide aims to help you be that leader.
7 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
The Neuroscience of Trust in Uncertain Times
Trust is about how we deal with uncertainty. Even when I have proven myself trustworthy to you time and time again, over many years, there is always a remnant of uncertainty. Heck you aren't even completely certain that you can trust yourself! Our ability to choose to trust another person is an emotionally driven choice. Paul Zac's neuroscience research into what makes trust in the brain clearly demonstrates that the neurochemical oxytocin is a precursor to trust by the conscious, deliberate actions.
15 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
Wise leaders know to fix these three things before expecting trust and collaboration in their team.
Trust has flat-lined in recent months, thanks largely to the lack of physical interaction. Plus the small detail that this pandemic has massively damaged the global economy threatening jobs and business survival. And without trust, there's no chance of collaboration (in spite of all the wonderful tools to support it) even though we need to do so now more than ever if we are to rebuild our businesses, the economy and lives. In this edition, we'll consider why our brains have decided not to trust others and what leaders can do to rebuild the essential foundations that make trust, and hence collaboration, truly possible.
16 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
Journaling for Success
You only learn when you review and reflect on your failures and successes. Journaling is the single, most powerful, easiest means of ensuring that you develop your leadership daily.
23 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
Pride and Prejudice
Over the past 30 plus years, I've worked with a lot of leaders, and the biases I've seen most in action can undermine your potential career as a leader and sabotage your success. They were all useful for you at some point along the way, but many have outlived that usefulness and could do with an overhaul and a serious upgrade.
61 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Raising Your Virtual Leadership Game with Neuroscience Hacks
How can leaders get better at their Virtual Leadership using Neuroscience hacks? Live interview with Roberto Bendana of Leadership Link
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