Tag Archives: SELFREFLECTION

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 80. Shiny new avenues

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

It’s 6.45am. I’m trying to meditate but my upset head keeps butting in. Normally I tune in to my senses after a yoga stretch and focus for 10 slow breaths. No thoughts. Just observing senses. Today I can’t get beyond 3. My anxious mind keeps trying to solve the discomfort that’s been creeping in over the past few days. Small things that people have said have brought doubts to the surface:

• In discussion about what kind of company will want to buy Mirror Mirror: “But how many companies are prepared to truly empower their people? Not that many.”

• As I look at the new reports coming out of our new software system I recall: “It’s only the very brave line managers who will want to look under the carpet to see what’s actually going on.”

• As I look at the website of someone competing in the same space and see their global footprint, the output of their well-funded marketing machines, a voice in my own head says: “What happens if Mirror Mirror starts getting a lot of business? What makes you think YOU’VE got the abilities to take it forward?”

It’s now 8.30am and the girls have just left for school. I’m feeling insecure and at my desk making a call to a friend who is happy to be a sounding board now and again. He used to work for McKinsey and now works for an investment firm. Very high- quality sounding board… “You need to get data,” he says. “Focus on what the buyers like – they’re your early adopter market. Just like how the lean feedback loops work, you need to ask your customers and facilitators key questions. How did Mirror Mirror help you? What would make it more helpful.” I take the advice. Gratefully of course, it’s fantastic input. I capture and diarise doing that – while knowing the numbers of people we’re talking about is small, that so much has changed about Mirror Mirror that the reference point keeps changing. But it’s still a great, objective reality check – ironically. But I’m still upset NOW, more conscious that the massive elephant on my desk has a big sign on it that reads ‘WHERE ARE ALL THE CLIENTS?’ God, after all this time – where is my faith I the potential of Mirror Mirror coming from. My biggest fear – being deluded – sits red hot by my side.

9.30 am and I call Anja. You know – Femflections founder Anja. She offers balanced, supportive and constructive coaching from a place of real experience. I’m having a coffee while talking with her, hearing the reassuring viewpoint that Mirror Mirror is just going to be a long journey because it’s such a new product. That what I’m experiencing is the journey of an entrepreneur and no, I’m not mad. As usual, she makes a link to more of her contacts. With these two helplines, I’m ok to take my next call.

It’s 10.00 and the call is scheduled with Mr Doe, let’s call him. He’s a long-time communications expert in the public sector, very well connected, exactly my target market. Maybe I should reschedule that call to when I’m on top form, but no. Having had a couple of very good conversations in the past, let’s hear what he has to say. Summarised, this was his response: “I’ve been thinking about Mirror Mirror. It’s exactly the kind of tool we need to plug a gap in the offerings to clients. Let’s pitch this to the executive board and run some trials with our clients. Give me a draft pitch pack and we’ll work on it together beforehand.” We spoke for an hour. What a fan.

And now … what do you think? YES! I’m up again!!! The upset has disappeared. Those doubts are a silly memory and I’m all fired up. Not because I think this guy is a silver bullet – and it may not happen with his agency of course – but his kind of reaction and the other reactions I get like that make sense. Get the offer right and Mirror Mirror has huge potential.

It’s 1.30pm and I’m on the phone to a good friend / business contact in Germany. It’s an advice call I set up in my state of unease the day before – not knowing who would be available to talk and when. Now I’m a bit worried I might be taking up her time unnecessarily. She’s in the US but insists we go ahead. We speak for 30 minutes. She helps me see things in context – ironically. Here’s the context: For the past 4 months I have focused on getting the business ready: software, positioning and strategy. I consciously let go of business development and now that we’re nearly ready to go, I am returning to the pipeline and staring in dismay at the lack of activity. So, of course, there’s no activity! We’re just starting on a revised strategy. I know why the last strategy didn’t get us the sales we were looking for. I’ve adapted the business model and here we are. She also said, “Sit with it. Sit with the doubts. Don’t fear them, they’re telling you something – and in this case it’s that you need to focus back on business development.” Wow – how profound – don’t push away a feeling because you are scared of it. It’s just a feeling. I am so privileged to be able to call up experienced, top class advisors for free at short notice. I spend the afternoon regrouping and getting on with it, ticking stuff off my list. This business model is so much clearer and more focused. The motivation and flow returns.

It’s 3.40 and the girls are back from school. It’s time to take a break see what’s for dinner. While doing that, I can’t help but reflect on all the other avenues I’ve been down that started out looking shiny but only led to brick walls:

• The agency in London right at the beginning that were going to partner up but didn’t want to sell – I don’t blame them now!

• Approaching the BIG Four and other such players, thinking they’d lap up an idea like this – but getting no response

• Targeting agile – only to find Mirror Mirror is a great complimentary offering but isn’t yet something that agile coaches see as being in scope for them and their work

• Seeing Mirror Mirror could be offered as a training programme, and getting on the portfolio of a huge training provider, but not getting much interest (yet) – perhaps because they’ve priced it out of the market?

• Targeting merger and acquisitions – only to learn that the decision makers in these deals don’t care about alignment – they don’t spend on this stuff

• And the countless other clients / consultancies who have promised shiny door openings – I can think of 5 immediately – and you get part way down the path and then they just don’t return calls or mails.

I don’t regret going after those avenues because of all the learnings they provided. Yet I hope this current track isn’t another false start. Again, I check the logic. Yes, this direction makes sense. I’m still in the game. Then a friend of mine sends me a newsletter from James Clear. He writes weekly with 3 ideas, 2 messages and one question. The first idea is this: To improve, compare little things. -marketing strategies -exercise technique -writing tactics To be miserable, compare big things. -career path -marriage -net worth Comparison is the thief of joy when applied broadly, but the teacher of skills when applied narrowly. Hail all generous advisors! Thank you!

Mirror Mirror is a tool that identifies, measures and addresses the alignment gaps that drag down performance.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

ABOUT LEARNING AND CRITICAL THINKING

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By: Angie Falls

I find myself in the position to attend some introduction days at Universities. After attending 2 and 2 to go I realized I needed to change my behavior concerning knowledge. I felt that I had to put more effort in appreciating knowledge and knowledge sources.

The first step I took was reorganizing my library. While performing that activity I discovered that there were many books that I had to read again. Books that I had collected the past 32 years. The same methodology and core principles are still applied in my life and work. Time to refresh and pour this knowledge in my mind.

In one of the sessions at the University, the topic anthropology was so fascinating that I started taking notes. Notes of theory which I needed to study to apply in my profession.

The skill that stuck with me to investigate is critical thinking. The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato.

Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.

The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposed assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command to their use.

Someone with critical thinking skills can:

  • Understand the links between ideas.
  • Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas.
  • Recognize, build and appraise arguments.
  • Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning.
  • Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way.

It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

Further reading on egocentrism was useful.

Egocentrism is the inability to differentiate between self and other. More specifically, it is the inability to untangle subjective schemas from objective reality and an inability to understand or assume any perspective other than one’s own.

Stretching this to my corporate life there are many situation that I feel are evolved on this very principal.

When there are discussions between employees I often sense a power struggle to emphasize their own view leaving no room for the other person’s perspective. There is always tendency of aggression.

To understand why people would communicate violently I started a training in non-violent communication of Marshall Rosenberg.

What is Nonviolent Communication?

Nonviolent Communication is the integration of 4 things:

  • Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity
  • Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
  • Communication: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move toward solutions that work for all
  • Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others

Now I can start my discovery learning path. There were yet many instances of communication for me to improve and to get better skilled at.

It turned out to be very difficult if you are ego driven.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

STOICISM

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By: Angie Falls

Once in a while my attention is attracted by icons in history. I strongly believe that there is always a lesson to be learned. Currently I am fascinated by Marcus Aurelius.

He was the last of the so-called FiveGoodEmperors.

He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy.

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Does your introduction reinforce your brand?

 

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There are some conflicting views about whether women should minimize the use of weak language; words such as ‘just’.  A few years ago Ellen Petry Leanse, former exec at Google and Apple (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-say-ellen-petry-leanse) noticed that women use the word ‘just’ frequently in emails, conversations and emails.  She felt that this was a ‘permission’ word that put the other party in a position of authority and control.  Shane Ferro, writing in Business Insider (http://tinyurl.com/zkjutoy), disputes Leanses’s claims saying that women should not have to self-regulate everything that they are saying since this in itself undermines their confidence.

Whatever your natural communication style, it is important to ooze confidence, so consider how you introduce yourself. What impression do you want to make? What do you want them to say and think about you?  Do you stand up straight, look people in the eye and shake their hands warmly but firmly?

Learning suggestions:

  • Think about what you want your reputation to be. What behaviours will reinforce this brand?  Make sure that you look and act the part.  For example, if you want to be promoted take actions that demonstrate that you are capable of operating at that level and people will start visualizing you there.
  • Before meeting new people rehearse your introduction. Reflect on both your career and personal life and think about the things that you want to emphasize.  What language conveys what you want to say best? Practise saying this out loud until you feel comfortable and sound fluent.
  • Listen to how other people introduce and present themselves. What words do they use?  How do they sound – confident or shy?  Which people do you take more notice of?  Why?  Try to incorporate these lessons into your own style.
  • Practise introducing other people. What information do you need to know?  What seems important to them and to you?  How can you convey who they are in a succinct way?
  • See meeting new people as an opportunity to build your external network and build valuable connections and relationships with interesting people.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 46: Another mountain range

IMG_0040What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I can NOT believe that just the second you think you’ve scaled the mountain and can relax at the top, you look over the ridge only to see yet ANOTHER, higher mountain top to climb. And you know that the higher you go, the better it will be, so the feelings are a mixed sense of incredulity, exasperation, and energy to take on a fresher challenge.
I’ve just been to London again – it always pays to meet up with experts, people in related fields. I get something out of every meeting and this time I met with people with experience in learning, HR, philosophy, and leadership. Referrals, people I used to work with, people I met at conferences…

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Self-Reflection my greatest asset

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By: Angie Falls

Just the other day I came across an article about Winston Churchill. The part that stuck with me;

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” —Winston Churchill

The focus was on Winston Churchill being stubborn and determined.

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