April 29, 2014

The Power of Belief

Faith is a tough subject to bring up. Mainly because people who believe don't need to hear the message. Those who need to learn about the power of faith most likely will struggle with their own lack of belief in something intangible.

But I think I have a way to counter scepticism.

While there is the intangible aspects of the power of faith, there is also the simple truth that people who believe take actions that they might otherwise not consider. Often, these actions are unconscious small steps towards our goal that we take for granted. Or dismiss as unimportant.

But, it is the small steps and the belief in ourself and others that invite confidence to take bigger steps and keep in action. Many journeys include challenges and triumphs - times when the goal seems too far away or the actions too hard to take. It is in our belief, our faith, despite the lack of tangible validation, that keeps us moving forward.

As leaders, that faith in others is critical for them to push past their own concerns or lack of confidence. It's critical for you to notice their small accomplishments and actions, help bring it to their conscious awareness and coach them to build on those steps.

There is nothing woo woo in that.

One last piece of the faith puzzle is that your actions need to be congruent to your values, talents and interests. That's where you'll find success and be able to express your unique genius. Then faith will help you keep going until it is fully expressed.

Enjoy the journey.

April 9, 2014

The trouble with black holes

In January we ran an AXIS initiative with the senior management team of a global manufacturing company in India. The results were surprising and inspiring. But there were also critical lessons learned in the importance of balancing tolerance with corporate wellness.

One of the executive leadership team members was quietly thought of as a "black hole". Everyone avoided him as much as possible because he was so negative that it was, at best, difficult to work with him and, at worst, exhausting and debilitating.

When we conducted his AXIS debrief, there was this pivotal moment when he realised the impact he was having on others. That wake up call sparked such a deep insight that he became a positive, contributing member of the executive team. Three months later and he's still great.

So many organisations tolerate bad behaviours without realising the impact on others. Often this is because interventions seem just too hard. People hate those difficult conversations. 

But bad behaviours are like Leprosy - contagious, but treatable. Those difficult conversations can actually be tremendously productive, when conducted within the right framework. That's where AXIS has been proven to offer invaluable assistance...taking the difficult out of conversations and facilitating an unbiased examination of behaviours and perfomance that enables people to reflect, learn and change.

Just like people with Leprosy, our human black holes are often isolated, tolerated, managed or criticised. Some actually do need to be moved out because they just aren't willing to make a change and their actions are too destructive for the culture to tolerate.

Most though just need a non-judgemental, unbiased conversation to initiate reflection and learning. 

Companies need to keep a watch on the wellness of the culture and be aware that one or a few can have a fundamental effect on a large group of people. But any conversation needs to come from a neutral place. That's how you initiate powerful change.