‘Oh God, she’s off on one, again’ (and other reasons you are being ignored)

It saddens me that so many people with valuable and useful things to say don’t get heard. And yet their colleagues speak up and speak out with no problem at all – sometimes eloquently and succinctly, at other times…. well, you know the rest!

Here are 5 possible reasons your voice is not being heard – and what to do about it:

1. Problem: You’re not speaking in meetings! So many talented people tell me they don’t want to speak up ‘for fear of looking stupid’ or something similar. Solution: Find a way to say something – just one thing to start with. How about: ‘This is new ground for me, so I’d like to understand this a bit more’; or ‘I’ll be able to give a more well-thought-out response when I’ve done xyz’ or ‘I’d love to know a bit more about that’ and so on. Once you’ve opened your mouth once, it’s easier to do it another time.

2. ...

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Kill ‘it’ with kindness

Any of these happening to you on a regular basis?

  • Being talked over in a meeting?
  • Your ideas being dismissed, ridiculed or put to the bottom of the agenda?
  • Your manager cancelling your 1-1s – and re-scheduling – and cancelling……(please tell me you don’t do that… do you?)
  • Requests for information being ignored again and again?

If things like this are making you frustrated, anxious or annoyed then you have two simple choices.

Choice one - Do something about it.

Choice two – Do nothing about it.

For most of us there are ways we can own and retrieve our own power.

And find that power with the other person – not power over them.

That’s the basis of a good working relationship.

Most of us struggle with starting the conversation that helps us to a DO this, though. We’re more likely to get mad, get even or seethe in a corner.

So, here’s what I have found really works.

  1. Decide to Be Kind....
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Why am I even here?

This is not an existential question about the meaning of life.

Not today anyway.

It’s much more about that thing you say to yourself every time you sit in a mind-numbing, tedious, pointless talking shop a.k.a. a meeting.

Wasting. Time.

I recorded this short video in 2019 when a lot of us were meeting face to face as well as virtually.

But every single tip I share with you works whatever format your meeting takes.

‘Meeting Madness’

Feel free to share it with anyone else who might find it useful.

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To people pleasers everywhere

Are you a people pleaser?

Always putting everyone else before yourself?

How’s that working for you?

Resentment, anger, annoyance, teeth-gritting and much more all simmering under the surface?

I have had to work really hard to overcome my people-pleasing tendencies over the years.

Because it was one of the biggest contributors to overwhelm and overwork for way too long.

Once I learned to say ‘no’ to things - and to people - I felt much more powerful and empowered.

Lighter and more energised.

If you’re a people pleaser too, this five minute video will help you.

Feel free to share it with anyone else who might find it useful.

Watch here: Saying ‘no’ is a superpower

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Goal setting for behaviour change

Many of us struggle to agree goals with our team members around ‘behaviour change’ or ‘interpersonal/people skills’.

We might say something like ‘I’d like you to be more proactive’ or ‘more of a team player’ or ‘more assertive’.

But these statements are way too vague and open to interpretation.

So, let’s get rid of the ambiguity with my two-step process. 

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want Sue to improve her communication skills.

Step One 

Ask yourself: What’s the impact of Sue’s communication skills on you or others?
Say it out loud or write it down as if you were telling a story or talking to a friend.

You might say:
‘Sue’s great but she’ll never use two words when twenty will do. She’s unprepared a lot of the time and she waffles so we get confused and lose interest. She seems completely unaware that people are looking at their watches and switching off...

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3 powerful and simple ways to support your team right now

I always say the simple things can be the most powerful. 

Why make life complicated? Especially now.

You can do these three things anyplace, anywhere, anytime.

No rocket science required.

One - Understand human behaviour 

We dedicate a fair amount of time to understanding our customers, clients or service-users and their needs.

But what about our colleagues?

You don’t need to be a behavioural psychologist but you do need to understand how people behave if they’re in ‘survival mode’ 

If they’re feeling threatened, fearful or overwhelmed they’ll be operating in ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode with elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline. 

This may show up as procrastination or avoidance; extreme perfectionism, over-working or disengagement - or aggression; tearfulness or invisibility.

These are often ‘coping’ mechanisms that our reptilian brain is telling us will ‘keep us safe’. 

What you can do


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Be Safe and Care

Before Christmas, I put together some tips and ideas from my Effortless Leader Facebook Community on leading our teams through lockdown. You can read the published article here:

Be Safe and Care

We're continuing the conversation over in the Effortless Leader Community and sharing new ideas all the time, so do join us if you're not there already.

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‘I know what to do but I don’t do it’

Recognise that heading?

Intellectually, we often know what we ‘should’ do, but we procrastinate.

Three things I’ve heard this week:

‘I know I should reach out to more people in other parts of the business, but I don’t’

‘I know I should get this re-structure sorted but I keep putting it on the back burner’

‘I know I should have asked that question in the meeting, but I didn’t’.

That word ‘should’ is very judgemental, isn’t it?

If we know we ‘should’, why don’t we?

Normally it’s fear – of rejection, of humiliation, of not being good enough, of getting it wrong.

The worst thing we can say to ourselves is ‘I’ll do it when I’m feeling more confident’.
Because action leads to confidence, not the other way round.

(And stop kidding yourself that you ‘don’t have time’).

When I work with you, I help you take action.

Yes, it might be...

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You vs. You

Uncategorized Dec 04, 2020

In my very first coach training programme 20 or so years ago I was introduced to Timothy Gallwey’s Inner Game books.

One of the concepts that really struck a chord, from his Inner Game of Tennis is this:

‘The opponent inside your head is more formidable than the one on the other side of the net.’

Ain’t that the truth!

In those days, the opponent inside MY head was the size of a planet!

When you work with me, I’m completely on your case with this because I know how much it can hold you back.

In fact, I’m like a dog with a bone because I hate seeing talented, experienced and compassionate people holding themselves back from their potential, their greatness, their opportunities.

It can be hard to change that voice at first – but you CAN.

We ALWAYS find a way to turn those negative words and phrases around and enable you to act from some new, more empowering beliefs.

Is there a magic wand?

Of course there isn’t.

(Don’t believe anyone...

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