Snippet – No.6: Thinks ahead

Snippet – No.6: Thinks ahead

I’ve always wanted to be better at ‘Thinks ahead’. Working in a finance role, and constantly involved in cashflow and P&L forecasts, my peers assume I would be great at this. In fact, I am very executional: brilliant at getting things done, but I struggle with more strategic, bigger thinking. With the uncertainty of lockdown, I found it hard to keep focussed on the goals I had set myself. Reading Stockdale’s Paradox made me reflect:

“you must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality” – Admiral Stockdale (from Good to Great, by Jim Collins)

So, I have adjusted my goals. They are smaller, but I feel able to start thinking ahead a little more clearly now… and very much still a work in progress… just like lockdown.

Lisa McFall
Head of Business Operations CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
It is by allowing ourselves to think into the future that we can make the right decisions today that our future self will thank us for.
 
Reflect
What are the habits that you can put into place today that your future self will thank you for? A small step is always the right beginning.

Fix
Pick one small habit to start today that your future self will thank you for.

Snippet – No.5: Bravery

Snippet – No.5: Bravery

Bravery is the thing I have been focusing on for the last few weeks. For me, bravery is not about leaving the house or facing my fears about all the news, its been about the opportunity to take a different approach to my work – being braver about my innovation and creativity.

I ask myself questions like “How can this be better?” or “Are you happy with this outcome?” or “Is it brave enough?”

This has led me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and even confront myself on decisions I had made.

Creating our new ‘playlist’ page is a good example of putting my bravery into practice. After sending my final draft to the developers to implement and seeing the outcome after all that hard work, I felt the need to challenge it despite the time and efforts of others and the potential of losing credibility.

Kaio Burghard
Creative Lead CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
The definition of bravery I like is “having the strength to face fears/demons despite the consequences”.
 
Reflect
What could you be braver about? Relationships? Work? Daily activities?
 
Fix
Ask yourself these questions every day. “How can this be better?” or “Are you happy with this outcome?” or “Is it brave enough?”

Snippet – No.4: Fairness

Snippet – No.4: Fairness

Growing up with 6 siblings has contributed to fairness being really important to me! But it’s not always easy to balance my own needs with the needs of others.

I give so much energy to everyone else: work, children, family, friends – that the intensity of attempting to balance that combination all at once, means the thing that has dropped in this period of lockdown is time for me. I’ve been neglecting myself, not giving myself time to work on my development and reflect on how I’m feeling.

Victoria Harflett
Customer & User Engagement CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
One of our definitions of fairness is “balances own contribution and needs with those of others”. If you don’t look after yourself in this challenging time you will become depleted and won’t be able to give to others. It is also the bringing together of self and other awareness.
 
Reflect
How good is your balance between self and others? Do you value yourself sufficiently to give yourself the time and attention you need? Or do you forget to notice how others are feeling and put yourself ahead of others?
 
Fix
Find one time each day to focus just on yourself e.g. your reflection time – AND one moment each day to ask the people you care most about how they are doing?

Snippet – No.3: Perseverance

Snippet – No.3: Perseverance

I didn’t have whatever skills and behaviours I needed for working from home, and I needed to learn fast. Having struggled with English at school, communicating online was always a struggle, and it’s something I avoided. Lockdown has forced me to accept my fate.
 
Let’s bring in some of my stats: 33% more screen time over the last 7 days, 30-minute daily average on Netflix (50% increase), more facetime calls in the last 2 weeks than in my whole life, 4 new family WhatsApp groups! Having now accepted my fate I’m starting to get used to it, and dare I say good. My screen time is now my quality time, a paradigm shift.
 
If I think about it, returning to working in person may now be the problem. We’ve all adapted, but more than that the practicalities of work have shifted, or at least personally my own hang-ups have evaporated. I’m even having house parties through an app.
 
Angus Hopper
Marketing Lead CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
Changing our habits and developing strengths requires being able to pursue change and growth in the face of obstacles, boredom, fatigue and anxiety. As we hit the point where our actions no longer feel inspiring or fun, most people give up. It is here that the right effort is key.
 
Reflect
If there’s something that you want to change, first imagine how things will look once you’ve reached that goal (vision)?
What could stop you reaching the vision (obstacles)?   
How could you plan to overcome these obstacles (plans)?
 
Fix
You need to persevere if you are going to be successful in changing a habit. Pick one thing that you would like to change and have the courage to see it through (persevere).

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.

Snippet – No.1: Connects

Snippet – No.1: Connects

We all have our own strengths and gaps – aspects of our character that either shine brightly (even when we’re not trying!), or that really don’t come naturally to us. For me, a real gap is staying connected with others.

I love to focus on solving challenges, building, creating, innovating, and planning the future. And of course, I’m not alone in that. 

For many, perhaps yourself, or those you know and work with, connecting is not a strength. And for such a ‘dis-connector’, the current situation feels like the perfect opportunity to go heads down and focus on getting things done… But of course, that may not be best for me, or my team.

Mark de Cates 
CTO CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
Most of us are now at home and communicating with each other via technology. This brilliant technology that allows us to work from home also encourages us to focus almost entirely on tasks.

While one-on-one we might find it easy to catch up and ask about how a colleague is doing, as a group the personal tends to get squeezed out. Person time is the lifeblood of relationships and teams, and is particularly important now that we are separated and at home.

Reflect
Do you and your colleagues have any structure, rituals or rhythm for keeping the personal connections in your team alive and well?

Fix
Open up a discussion with your colleagues about how to stay personally connected as a group (not just as individuals) over the coming weeks and months.