Snippet – No.12: Resilience

Snippet – No.12: Resilience

“Nana korobi ya oki 七転び八起き”
Fall seven times, rise eight” – Japanese Proverb

I was exhausted this weekend. People commenting that I looked pale and I really did feel tired. I’ve been wondering ‘why?’

Lockdown has been a long slog – a mentally and physically demanding ride, which has taken its toll, even on those of us, like me, who have had it pretty easy.

10 years ago, I worked briefly with a lovely man who was returning to Japan after three years working in the UK. He told me they have a saying about the number 3: 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months and even 3 years – all of these are turning points where we have to decide whether to stay or move on, and at each turning point we will wobble and have our doubts. My children know that when they wobble about work or relationships, they have to check – is it 3 weeks, 3 months or even 3 years!

And we are 3 months into this strange world, where we have to decide if we keep going or break out of lockdown, with a totally uncertain future ahead of us. It’s like running a marathon where we don’t know the finish line. So, I am not surprised that I am wobbling: at least my Japanese friend could return to a world he knew!

Arabella Ellis
Founder & Director CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
Resilience is key to running this marathon. Not soldiering on, or pushing through pain, but rather paying attention to ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings and our relationships, and taking actions that will help and protect us now and for the future.   Making the focus sustainable.
 
Reflect
Are you looking after yourself in a way that makes you proud? Looking after your emotions, your health, your sleep, and your relationships?
 
Fix
Do you know which activities help you recalibrate and regain perspective? Are there ones that you have let slip in this lockdown world, which you would benefit from turning the dial up on again?

Snippet – No.8: Resilience

Snippet – No.8: Resilience

When I think about my next development goal, I am torn between choosing ‘Resilience’ (my anxieties are not about death, but rather about job losses and poverty – my family after all were Jewish war refugees) and ‘Influential’ (can I use this time to find my influencer voice?).

Choosing Resilience is driven by a desire to understand and change the anxiety inside myself about money, because I know it is not based on fact.

Choosing Influential is for the future, an opportunity to add something specific to my repertoire, to project my voice outward.

I realised as I was out for a walk at the weekend (walking works really well for me as a way of getting perspective) that this choice reflects something I’ve been writing about and working with my coaching clients: what is the source of our impulse to want to develop? Does it come from within or from without?  

Arabella Ellis 
Founder & Director CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
We can think of our development goals as falling into 2 categories:

a) learning to thrive in a changing environment (new job, new role, new boss, new city, new relationship etc). These are all external change factors, things that happen to us that require a change of us or present us with an opportunity to change.

b) a desire to change myself because I am not thriving, whether it’s in my life, my work or my relationships. These are internally driven changes based on noticing personal discomfort or having this pointed out by someone else, even when it’s hard to hear.

Reflect
What information do you pay attention to that indicates you need to change? What signs do you miss or avoid? How open are you to the idea that change is an opportunity?

Fix
Learn to identify goals from both categories. Pick a goal that you’ve already set yourself or one that you’d like to set. Identify whether it’s driven from the inside or the outside. Now choose an additional goal that is driven by the opposite. Which goal are you more likely to achieve?

Snippet – No.2: Grip

Snippet – No.2: Grip

I am head of Consulting for CharacterScope, and in these unprecedented times I am struck by the difference between clients who are ‘too busy’ to have coaching sessions, and those who are desperate for time to reflect, make sense and plan how to help their teams to survive and thrive.  I know who I would rather be led by!

And that shocked me because, being action-oriented myself, I too cancelled my own supervision sessions at the start of this lockdown.  They are back in the diary now and are invaluable.

Arabella Ellis
Founder & Director CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
The business world values (or perhaps overvalues) decisive action. In CharacterScope we call this Grip: goal-driven behaviours which turn plans into progress. But Grip when not backed by Judgement leads to wasted effort and frantic behaviour.

Judgement is more than just making a decision.  It has 3 parts: what do I ‘think’ about this, and what does that imply? What do I ‘feel’ about this, and what does that imply, and what therefore should I ‘do’ and when?

Reflect
What is your personal balance between grip and judgement – both generally and in these unprecedented times? Of the 3 parts of Judgement, which do you use well and value?

Fix
Now is the time to put into place a daily practice to improve your judgement. Take 10mins to reflect on what you think, feel and therefore want to do.

Benefit of the doubt? The Innovator and Self-belief

Benefit of the doubt? The Innovator and Self-belief

I was lucky recently to interview Shaun Pulfrey, the creator and owner of the Tangle Teezer company. I was struck by how important his story about self-belief has been to the creation of the Tangle Teezer products. Having struggled with formal education, along with receiving messages about respecting your elders and betters, it would have been easy for Shaun to doubt himself. But his desire to innovate and create products that wouldn’t damage hair was too strong and, at first single handedly, he set about turning his ideas into reality. 

So, let’s distinguish an Innovator from an Entrepreneur. An Entrepreneur starts by looking out into the market – where is there a gap? Or where is there an existing product I can apply to a parallel market (Netflix is a subscription service that existed for films and TV, which Audible piggy-backed on with its subscription service for audio books)? Or how can I put two products together (Uber Eats uses Uber cabs to deliver food to people’s homes)? Entrepreneurs wouldn’t dream of starting unless they knew where the market opportunity was.

Innovators on the other hand see stuff differently and are prepared to risk challenging the norms. They want to create things that either don’t exist but would just be interesting to design, or that solve a real problem regardless of whether there is a market opportunity for what they design. The idea comes before the sale. 

To be an Innovator you have to have the courage to believe enough in your idea that you will risk following it through, even when it might fail. And certainly, the innovators we talk to describe their relentless desire, or the itch they have to scratch, which means they can’t stop creating wherever they are or whatever is going on around them. 

But they also describe that sense of self-doubt or fragile self-belief that means any criticism from others, or just the feeling that they haven’t done justice to the idea that was in their minds, can often lead them to back off or just give up.

While low self-belief is very common for Innovators, developing much deeper self-belief is key to being able to bring the great ideas to fruition and launch them to the world. Shaun talks about the moment he decided that his product was good enough and his decision that he didn’t need to listen to the voices of his elders who had doubted him. He could believe in himself and make this work.  Our founder, Mark Loftus, at CharacterScope similarly talks about how he has learned and is still learning to trust in himself and his ideas so that even if they are not ‘perfect’ he can believe that they are so much better than not having them out there at all.

What we have come to realise and is personified in Shaun Pulfrey is that when innovators have high self-belief alongside high humility it is a particularly powerful combination. As Shaun says, you have to get close to the people giving you feedback, to really hear what they are saying and to take their feedback into your creations. For feedback not to cause you to give up but to serve as the inspiration to improve and spark the next creation.

Listen to Shaun’s full interview here.

Visit Tangle Teezer.

HR Business Leaders Programme

HR Business Leaders Programme

We are delighted that CharacterScope has been chosen to support the Guild of Human Resources Professionals in its exciting development programme for future HR Business leaders.

The Guild of Human Resource Professionals is a newly formed Guild with the purpose of bringing together individuals from the profession to support their development. Their Leadership Programme is a great career development opportunity, with delegates participating in masterclass sessions delivered by seasoned experts in their fields. They receive mentoring from practitioners who provide career support, as well as their personal insights throughout the programme.

We will be working with 30 high-potential HR Managers to bring them deep insight into the leadership contribution they make now, and how to develop themselves for future HR Director roles.

CharacterScope will be their always-available, digital coach, offering insight and daily development workouts to ensure they build their strengths for the future.

 

Have a look at the brochure here: HR Professionals: HR Leadership Programme 2018

If you would like to learn more about the HR Professionals Guild, visit their website: The Guild of Human Resource Professionals

If you are interested in CharacterScope, why not read about the 9 Leader types: What type of leader do you have the potential to be?