Do All Things Happen For A Reason?

Do all things really happen for a reason? If one of your CliftonStrengths® is CONNECTEDNESS® then you probably believe that they do!

People with this theme believe that there are no real coincidences. While logically we are responsible for our own actions, thoughts and words, the linkage of those to our outcomes are connected to something much broader, a bigger picture.

Connectedness® is a talent that works based on acceptance. Acceptance that there are more people in humanity that have better intentions than bad, that there are bridges to be built around diversity, cultures and the sadness, gladness and madness of the world around us. It is about having a passion and purpose, a true “WHY” to believe in, to drive your motivation to take action and to feel a sense of contribution and growth.

In times of change it brings a calmness, in a team it helps bring unity. Sometimes you may not realize it until after it has shown itself. These are the ah ha! moments when you bring meaning to uncertainty, find a path to connect the pieces of the puzzle that provides perspective and hope to others.

On a personal note my 7 year old asked for a Rabbit for his birthday. Responsibly he said, “Mum, I’m going to be a Dad to this bunny, he is my son. Which of course makes you a Grandma! (insert unimpressed look here)” So we got the Bunny, its called Fluffy McFluff-face! Max has fallen so in love with this rabbit if anything untoward should happen, it would be considered disastrous.

Fast-forward to two months later: time to really settle in with our new family members. Imagine this: I am working from home on a video conference. I received a call from one of the school parents, who had loaned me a jump starter kit for my motorcycle (that’s another whole story)! Anyway, he says “I’m driving past your place and thought I would pick it up”. Then he says, “Oh my gosh there is a rabbit out on the road being chased by a large cat! (pause) %$#$ Kel, I think its Fluffy!”

“Surely not”, I said as I walked out to check my rabbit who I left safely in his hutch! Uh-oh! Houdini! Fluffy has escaped!

I ran outside to be met by Con, a parent, and a few neighbors who heard the commotion and my calling out loud for Fluffy! The cat next door is sauntering back to his house looking delighted with himself and Fluffy is no where to be seen. I’m running up and down the street in my news reader slippers and headphones still around my neck connected to the video conference!

Then a neighbor across the road spots Fluffy under a car. Time for the treats negotiation to bring him out from hiding and woo “the Fluffster” back into my arms! Phew. With him now safe and sound back in his hutch I considered the concept of connectedness.

Imagine if that parent hadn’t come along at that moment. Saw the rabbit being chased down the street by the neighbors cat at that time? Where would Fluffy be now? Imagine If I had not been interrupted and realized 4 hours later that Fluffy was missing? Imagine telling my 7 year old son that Grandma lost his child! And BOOM! from connectedness comes immediate gratitude. Thank you Con for calling me at that moment, seeing what you saw and being there to help. I’m sure now that all things happen for a reason! Only when we accept our circumstances can we learn to do: Act on them!

What do you need to accept in your current situation, what do you need to learn and how do your own talents relate to your results?

Do you ever wonder how your talents impact your outcomes? Interested in Finding out? https://www.corporatemagic.com.au/online-coaching/

Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

Corporate Magic Pty Ltd
Mobile +61 405523507 | Email:Kelley@corporatemagic.com.au | Web: www.corporatemagic.com.au | Behavioural Coach & Facilitator, Gallup Clifton Strengths| Extended DISC |Leadership Development

Do You Need To Reinvent Yourself In A New Industry?

Are you struggling to use the right words to express your transferable skills in a new industry on job applications? Would you like to be able to explain and demonstrate your talents moving from one industry to another? 

When we work in one industry for a long time we find ourselves speaking in that “lingo” because that is where we are recognised and understood. I have a partner who I once heard had a full conversation in a lift using three letter codes and acronyms!

Covid19 has put many of us in a position of having to apply for new roles and explain “why you should employee me!”

It’s so important to understand and recognise all your transferable skills, put your strengths in action, and, be able to express them in a way that others recognise them too.

I have recently been working with people on both discovering their strengths and more importantly, how to communicate their value so it can be understood and recognised by any employer.

Right now, you may be in an industry that has been crippled by the current environment. You need to know there is hope!

Many of you have extraordinary skills and now, the motivation to be open to new possibilities, let me show you how awareness of your incredible talents can manifest in to people taking notice of your applications for work or recognise your value in the current workplace.

I was recently mentoring a leader in the travel industry, one that we know has suffered significant losses during this pandemic.  She came to me with a long history in Travel, an industry she is very passionate about. One aspect of service driven industries like hospitality, travel, and tourism is the loyalty and passion of the people working in those areas.

Having had 22 years in that industry myself, I am very aware of the “blood, sweat and tears” that go into servicing guests, as well as the opportunities it can offer like no other. You get to experience people from all walks of life: kids, teens, young adults, middle-aged people, even grey nomads! All kinds of temperaments and egos, those of gratitude and attitude, those who ask you “do you know who I am?” and those you assist, counsel, mentor and relate to. You also get those who complain and those who compliment. You negotiate, placate, laugh and cry.

To me these are industries that provide us with growth, learning, and skills that are valuable in any field. These are the industries that remind us what it is to experience being human! 

So, when my client came to me she had exceptional loyalty. As the business crumbled around her she continued her consistent work ethic, ensuring every email was responded to and every client assisted with negotiations for refunds, insurance claims and administration work – no job was too big or too small, above or beneath her, she continued to do what it takes, grateful for the job until the shop fronts became untenable and were closed.

Having not applied for a job or had a job interview for over ten years she was at a point of disillusionment. As many have asked “What now? This is all I know.”

BOOM! there it is, the limiting belief that need to be busted! 

We went through a strengths-discovery process. Traditionally people focus on weakness fixing. Imagine what could happen if we shifted our focus to what we do well and did more of that?

Well, that is exactly what we did. We defined her talents and strengths and learned to understand how the awareness of her talents drove her motivation and desires in any given role. We uncovered the indicators of her talents and what they look like in action.

We identified her unique offerings as an individual and the barriers of her thinking, feeling, behaviour and expression that got in the way of her success. Finally, we became aware of her lesser talents and recognised her approach to managing those as needed.

With her permission, I am sharing the before-and-after impact:

Expression of Value to perspective employer pre-strengths coaching;

I am a focused, committed, and professional Manager within a travel agency consisting of two branches. Presently, I manage the xxx branch with a team of five consultants, with a mix of full time and part-time staff. My current focus is to achieve results & revenue growth, through motivating my team to reach individual & team targets.

The travel industry is so diverse & forever changing, and my role requires me to continue to stay up to date with industry trends & keeping our staff up to date with the latest offers, updates, training, sales techniques & policy changes. I thrive on the thrill of planning the perfect & seamless holiday for a large database of repeat & referred clients.

Versus

Expression of Value to perspective employer post strengths coaching;

I have reviewed your requirements for success in the role and believe I would be an excellent candidate with my background in service excellence and team leadership. This includes over 10 years leading multiple teams in a competitive and highly sales driven environment: the Hospitality and Tourism industry. As a leader I bring a consistency and strong team focus in my style. I create a culture of strong team empowerment and development through my natural mentoring style. I build trust quickly with others and develop focused teams that work towards a common goal. I am engaging and am known for my resilience and emotional agility in matters great and small. In a leadership role I offer a clear process of connection, effective action-based team meetings, professionalism and interpersonal skills for communication both face to face and with remote workers and customers alike... 

My question to you is which version peaks your interest as a perspective employer?

She recently sent me a testimonial based on her outcome.

I could have never imagined how valuable a coach/mentor could be to my career.  After 16 years in the same industry, I had become stagnate, restless and ready for change. Kelley focused on identifying my top five strengths and developing these through active learning sessions. The process proved invaluable, as it has given me such confidence to trust in my strengths, whilst reinventing myself and my career. Her tips for thinking outside the normal avenues challenged me and proved successful.  The result was a new role, plus calls for further interviews!  Having the guidance of an expert coach/mentor is the most beneficial decision you can make for yourself and your career. Kelley’s knowledge, commitment and passion are unwavering, and her drive to achieve results for her clients is commendable.

If you are looking for help to discover reinvention at work, please connect with me directly.

Corporate Magic Pty Ltd
Mobile +61 405523507 | Email:Kelley@corporatemagic.com.au | Web: www.corporatemagic.com.au | Behavioural Coach & Facilitator, Gallup Clifton Strengths| Extended DISC |Leadership Development

4 Behavioural Strategies to Being Open to New Opportunities

Are you looking up wondering where your next job is coming from?
You’re right! There is no such thing as actual “Pennies From Heaven”.

The term “pennies from heaven” is used to describe unanticipated gifts or surprises that bring good luck. Luck has been described to me as the moment when opportunity meets good preparation. So, how are you preparing for opportunities that may come your way.

These are my four strategies to being open to new opportunities.

  1. Say yes, then figure out how

    Recognise what you are good at. Think about a time where you felt at your best, where you really felt like you were contributing. What were you doing? Whatever that is for you, is likely the beginning of understanding your natural talents. Now consider industries or roles that require those talents.

    One of my mentees has particular talents in contract negotiation, attention to detail, customer service and a need to work in a culture where respect and ethical behaviour was not only valued but acted upon. Having spent her career in the travel industry she found herself redundant at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. She searched for months for a new role where she could leverage her skills and natural talents, first focussing on what she knew, but with the ever-shrinking travel industry, opportunities were scarce. She reflected on her talents, and in what industries they could be leveraged, and then broadened her search, landing a job with one of the big 4 banks. She learned to say yes and figure out how!

  2. Have a growth mindset

    As a child I was often asked by my grandfather “What do you know?”. My learned response was “A little bit more than I knew yesterday, and a little bit less than I’ll know tomorrow.”
    A growth mindset it critical to allowing openness to opportunity and success. It allows a continuous pathway for learning and development and embraces the concept of “there is no failure, only feedback”. This allows us to learn and develop from both success and failure. A growth mindset gives us the willingness to adapt and build resilience for the future. One of the statements you will hear me say often is “If what you are doing is not working, then do something else” I truly believe this and practice it in all I do.

    Sometimes we need to un-learn and re-learn as is the case in our environment at the moment where we are learning new social practices, new ways of living in our home environments, new ways of working and un-learning the old “norms” of the workplace, average sanitisation, assumed practice of “touch” greetings and social gatherings. There is truly an opportunity to learn something new every-day if you look for it you will see!

  3. Feel the Fear and do it anyway

    Susan Jeffers author of the book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” discusses how we handle fear in two ways through Pain or Power. When we are in the pain process we stall, find ourselves in helplessness or depression. On the other hand, in power we are motivated to action, excitement and choice.

    In these uncertain times, people who feel powerless may find themselves in a constant state of fear. We can change the way we manage fear through our words, our self-talk and self-care. The truth is that the only things you can control, is what you say, what you think and feel and how you behave. If you choose to do or do not, the outcome is your accountability.

    I want to share my personal experience in relation to this concept;
    Those who know me know that I am super optimistic, I say yes and figure out how (with the exception of complicated analytics or excel spreadsheets), I like to think, I feel the fear and do it anyway despite potential stinking thinking. Today I felt full of fear. It’s been five months since the pandemic began and all of my face to face business disappeared, so I am rebuilding. Reinvention takes time and I am not used to the waiting! I feel like my contribution is wasted, my motivation has taken a beating, and my working future is looking dim. Without self-direction I find myself procrastinating, emotionally eating and feeling tired and restless all at once. My creativity is simmering, and my self-talk has slipped into the pain category. Today, I didn’t “manage” myself well. I was cranky at the dog for being so needy and frustrated with my child for the same reason. Today life feels a bit dark.

    I spend a few hours in this space, it’s not good for me and I know how to get out of it, so why am I choosing to sit here?

    Then I remember I am BEING HUMAN. I take a time out. I let myself know that its ok, to not be ok, just for a little while. Instead of berating myself for being a bad parent, making bad food choices, and procrastinating, I decide to take myself off to a massage. I need to get into a better state of mind to continue and I need to start by being kind to myself. (I am reminded, my dog doesn’t come when I yell at her, she comes when I give her a treat!) I understand kindness has to begin with self so I can then contribute to others. I speak with my partner about how I’m feeling, and I am so grateful for the support and love I have around me.

    So, it has taken me three days to write this article, today I am finishing it, I am ok with being vulnerable and share my story with hope that it will contribute to someone else. Today, I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway!

  4. Regular self-check in – what are you prioritising or procrastinating

    In times of uncertainty we can be easily distracted by “stuff” all sorts of things from eating to grocery lists, to self-talk, to what I must to do to what I must avoid doing. Are you taking on the easy tasks and leaving the big ones? It’s time to check in, regroup and ask yourself. “What is the best use of my time right now?”.

    Make a decision on that and then take action no matter the response! If it is to go for a walk, write an article, watch an episode of your favourite show, chunk down that overwhelming “A” project and start one task, then just do it! Take one action today. Now, I have got my list, my five things to today. There are only five. Sometimes less depending on the size of the task and the meetings in between. At the end of today I will feel a sense of achievement, a sense of contribution. Take 5 minutes and check in with yourself. Where are you at today?

Moving from Surviving to Thriving. What Does That Mean?

As a veteran small businesswoman (I’ve survived 11 years!), I regularly reflect on the difference between making ends meet and creating a thriving business. Financial security has always been one of my greatest fears in running my own business. So, what happens when your fears are realised? 

I started my behavioural leadership and coaching practice, 11 years ago after I had experienced the last of several incidents of discrimination in the workplace. I received a three thousand dollar tax refund and began my journey into entrepreneurship, smack, bang in the middle of the 2009 global financial crisis  (not quite surviving!).  11 years later, and I have a sense of dejavu.  In March this year, my clients in hospitality and aged care postponed all my bookings as a ‘precaution’…  Within a fortnight everything was cancelled indefinitely and no tax cheque in sight. (O.M.G! how will I survive?) 

I see and hear stories of colleagues and friends in small to medium businesses who are devastated by this pandemic. Some because of their loyalty to their teams and their unwavering efforts to keep all “their people “employed, with the hope that things will return ‘back to normal’ (precovid).  I have watched leaders and owners generous to a fault, stretching themselves financially through the assistance of banks, friends, and family to continue paying wages, rent, and keep the “lights on” in their business. 

Undoubtedly, people are integral to the success of any business, particularly small business.  That barista who remembers you – always smiles and gets your order right or the salesperson, who takes the time to explain features and benefits to you, or your favourite travel agent, the one you trust to make sure you get the best value, the best service and an experience to remember, as well as safe passage home.  These people create the incredible brand of their business, they make me want to go back to and engage them again and again.  These people deserve, and get paid, commensurate with their experience and expertise, they bring value, and are, rightfully so, a significant expense.  Recognising this, the government created “Job Keeper”, to help small businesses, but, does it cover the wages of someone who wants to work for your business but can’t?  What happens when you have outgoings and no commensurate income to cover them?

What’s between Survive and Thrive? 

What do I mean by surviving?  To me, surviving is mince ten ways, eggs for dinner and not with a side of halloumi and beans! As well as instant coffee,  no Uber Eats and the weekly outing is a trip to the local park with the dog or a coffee at the neighbours, hopefully the one who doesn’t have International Roast!. (First world problem I know!)  It means austerity measures including; cancellation of subscriptions and direct debits to entertainment channels,  coffees at home, and ‘Freezer Surprise’ for dinner replacing Uber Eats! Finally explaining to a six year old why he can’t have a class birthday party this year!

This also comes with dread and uncertainty about how to get through each day; financially, mentally and physically, as well as unwavering gratitude to my partner, friends and family for prepared meals and dinner invitations. Sounds like a mixed bunch of emotions and priorities. Well it is!

To thrive in my small business is to be secure financially, stable mentally, able to meet my commitments easily (and for the foreseeable future).  To have my work calendar filled with bookings.  The ability to take a holiday once or twice a year with my family, cafe coffee and Uber eats once a week alongside adventure outings with my six year old.

Right now, I don’t feel like I’m in either place, though my motivation and outlook is always to see myself moving away from survival and toward thriving. 

Recently I took a four day road trip with the family to Byron Bay, with  this in mind. During this time, I had a discussion with a friend and business owner who said, “I have been working so hard for twenty-two years only to end up with a business that is worthless!” I was devastated for her as a super talented leader, mentor and inspiring and influential leader, I really felt for her at that moment. I though this pandemic does not discriminate it gets to the best of us! 

Anyway, as I was driving in the car we passed the burnt trees from the recent bushfires that devastated the country both north and south.  Whilst the trunks of the trees were black, the burnt leaves and strips of bark had fallen to the ground and returned to the soil acting as a natural fertiliser, part of the story of new growth. The new buds were formed and sprouting, and the air was fresh and crisp. The renewal had begun! 

I thought about this as I considered the daunting options and decisions for small business owners to continue to function. In particular the travel, tourism hospitality and entertainment industries. An industry I too, have been a part of for over 30 years and am still involved with today.  

On one hand leaders and owners want to be loyal to their followers and do everything to keep them engaged, even if it means the business is running at an unrecoverable loss. So, the inevitable crisis point comes regardless of your efforts.

On the other hand, the employees believe that their leader will do everything to keep them on and so sit in a waiting pattern to “see what happens” and take no action waiting for someone else to have the courage to decide their fate.

There is a way for us to help each other and ourselves. Let’s face it, we all want to be able to pay our mortgages or rent and to earn a living. It seems to me it’s time to  be on the lookout for opportunities yourselves and not be dependent on the good heartedness of the people you work for.  It takes an honest conversation about the state of the business, pride and ego aside to create true awareness of where one is at.

If there is an opportunity to strip back in your business to provide you time to revive down the track, take it now!

I am aware of at least one path to take, to prepare for your future, grasp opportunities and the offering that they may bring. We still don’t know what life after a pandemic will look like as this is a lifetime event that we haven’t seen since the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic

I want share that idea with you. Over the last three months I have discovered that four ways to revive my small business.

1. Self Awareness
      Business considerations 
  • Will my business be viable post covid?
  • Will people still require my services now and post covid?
  • Can I afford to continue my business without  govt financial assistance?
  • Can I meet my ongoing commitments?
      Personal considerations 
  • How do I personally need to change and adapt now?
  • What am I willing to do differently now?
  • What are my strengths and talents?
  • Do I have transferable skills?
2. Knowing Your Strengths
  • When am I at my best?
  • How can I use my talents to create new opportunities?
  • How do my talents help and hinder my behaviour and mindset now? 
  • What talents do I not have but need to help me revive my business? 
3. Health Mindset
  • You can choose to act out the victim, persecutor or rescuer behaviour, none of them may serve you. How do you look from the outside in to gain new perspective? 
4. Willingness to Act and Adapt
  • How do you strip back to start your renewal or reinvention?
  • When you have a new perspective and ideas, are you willing to act, to pivot and adapt so you have greater opportunity for a sustainable business in the future? 

I have personally had to reinvent myself three times in my 3 careers! Each time required new ways of thinking, new connections and a willingness to understand that if what I’m doing does not work, then it’s time to do something else!

It has required fresh perspectives, great mentors and new learnings. The opportunity to strip back and begin over. This has been the same in Covid19. Having lost all my business in lockdown I took the time to:

1. Home school my son (6)

2. Reinvent myself online

3. Build online courses 

4. Coach via zoom

5. Review finances and manage subscriptions

6. Investigate the ongoing need for my business offerings

7. Get a low interest loan to invest in the technical and online revamp of my business and products. 

8. Create awareness of timeframes for re-engaging clients and budget accordingly. 

In this last week I have confirmed  two new online clients, reconnected with past clients and created opportunities to do some face to face facilitation from the end of August! 

To my colleagues in SME business, there is hope. Part of leadership is being able to make the tough decisions as well as celebrate success and be able to live with both outcomes. 

To employees of small business, keep your eyes wide open, be aware of what’s happening in your environment. If there are no sales, consider your options to upskill, look at your transferable talents and opportunities to move into a financially stable business even for a short term. Allow the SME business time to recover and rebuild.

My hope for you is renewed resilience, self awareness and the ability to claim your strengths and put them to work for the best results you can achieve, mentally, physically and emotionally. Best of luck to you all!

Responsibility to Bury, Blame, Burden or Broaden. What are you choosing?

I asked my 6-year-old son this morning what he thought might be important to talk to people about today. He said; “Responsibility, Mum. I think it’s very important!”.  So I asked him “Do you know what it is?” He replied, “Yesssss, it’s when you look after stuff”.  I then asked, “Why is it so important?”

He rolled eyes at me and told me this story.“Well mum, say for example you have a dog as we do. You have to give her pats and cuddles so she knows you want her, then you have to feed her, give her a bed to sleep in, and sometimes give her treats. Oh, and she needs to go for walks and have toys to keep her busy so she doesn’t eat our socks!

Oh, and if you have cats as well like us, you need a scratching pole and a place high up for them to be safe from the possums! Do you get it now mum?”

I then asked him “Where did you learn that?” he replied, “From you, silly!”

I stopped to think about what he said, and how it relates to adults taking responsibility.

Sometimes we take on too much responsibility and go into overwhelm.  It’s at this point we can blame others for not meeting expectations or burden others though autocratic leadership and urgent unplanned meetings. We forget how to ask for help or to say no or not right now and bury our head in the sand!

To take leadership to the next level we must remember some of the key areas of responsibility.

This is how I have understood his analogies in relation to a professional setting.

Taking ownership:  “Well mum, say for example you have a dog as we do” 

Be accountable for your own outcomes and actions

Value your team: “You have to give her pats and cuddles, so she knows you want her!”

Understand the strengths and value your teams bring individually and in collaboration and appreciate the value they bring

Resources:  “then you have to feed her, give her a bed to sleep in”

Make sure your teams have the tools and resources they need to do their roles and tasks

Reward & recognition: “and sometimes give her treats when she does good things”

Celebrate individual & team results, remembering that people are unique and require a unique response to reward and recognition. 

Clear expectations and guidelines: “she needs to go for walks and have toys to keep her busy so she doesn’t eat our socks!”

Make sure you are clear on expectation and delivery timelines, otherwise people may not respond the way you want them to.

Safe & motivating environment: “if you have cats as well like us, you need a scratching pole and a place high up for them to be safe from the possums!”

• You have a responsibility to ensure you create a psychologically safe environment, one that engages people to want to be part of the team. This also requires a high level of observation.

Clear Communication: “Do you get it now mum?”

Check-in and ensure there is clarity around communication. Ensure lines of communication are understood.

Modeling leadership behaviour: “Where did you learn that?” he replied, “From you silly!”

Be observant of others behaviour and build your own self-awareness to ensure your impact is that of broadening your people and developing their potential

When you consider your own responsibilities, don’t bury your head in the sand, look up and observe what is going on around you, what opportunities are there. What can you do differently?

Remember, when you are blaming, pointing your finger at someone. Three of your fingers are pointing back at you. Ask yourself, what’s your part in this

When you want to relieve your own pressure by burdening someone else, make sure you are not just dumping from your own bucket into theirs. Considering the rules of delegation. Is this the right person? Or just the right-now person?

Do they have the talent, opportunity, and willingness to take this on? Remember you get what you plan for!

Finally, remember you learn through teaching and you teach through learning.

Engage a growth mindset. As a leader, your top responsibilities are going to be to deliver a result for your business and to do that you need to deliver results through maximizing the potential of your people.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it gives you something to think about or something to act upon.

Corporate Magic Pty Ltd
+61 405523507 | Kelley@corporatemagic.com.au www.corporatemagic.com.au

Behavioural Coach & Facilitator | NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer | Gallup Strengths Coaching| Extended DISC behavioural Profiling Leadership Mastery | Executive Coaching

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