At the beginning of this year I joined the program MBS.works – The Year of Living Brilliantly. It is a one year journey, with 52 teachers divided into three seasons. Season one is about grounding – about breathing in awareness, and courage, and insight, and in this article I added my notes for each session and the lessons I discovered during this amazing experience.
1. How to Begin
Setup the context: in “The Coaching Habit” book Michael Bungay Stanier talks about the 3P model, three different areas, you can choose to focus, and I think they get a little deeper each time:
- Projects: writing a book, building a career, etc. The shift from A to B
- People: strengthen your relationships
- Patterns: the way you show up, the way you keep sabotaging yourself
2. How to Arrive
Lead with the energy of positivity and being connected to the environment and to the people. When you meet a new person make sure to have in place a welcoming ceremony.
3. How to Start Fresh
- Leaders who have humility talk less and listen more
- Leaders who have humility see others as more important, they recognize the team contribution
- Leaders who have humility take more advice than they give advice and they recognize they don’t know everything and they seek out wise counsel
The power of humility, the willingness to start again and to know nothing.
4. How to Navigate
Instead of choosing some objectives for the New Year, choose one word that will unveil your intention for the next 12 months and help call you back in line. “Live in present”
Learn more: Dr Jason Fox – The Search For Meaning
5. How to be Consonant
I was fascinated by the idea that success didn’t always equal happiness.
Here’s what Laura came to see from the few people she interviewed who had both success and happiness. They had what she came to know to be consonance, you know, consonance, the opposite of dissonance. It’s harmony. It’s alignment. It’s flow.
Consonance = Calling + Connection + Contribution + Control
What you do = how you are
Action is different than the impact
- Calling – the thing you get out of bed in the morning to do
- Connection – does your work matter?
- Contribution – how does this brand, this paycheck, this company allow you to have the career trajectory that you want?
- Control – how much your work connects to that calling that you want to serve?
She realized that consonance is made up of four particular elements. And each one of us is going to define our consonance differently.
The first element is calling. Calling is this idea, this thing that’s bigger than you, the thing you get out of bed in the morning to do. You can’t do it. It’s a business you want to build. It’s a bottom line that you want to grow. It’s a family you want to nurture. It’s a cause that you want to serve.
The second piece is connection. Connection answers the question, does your work matter? If you didn’t show up to work tomorrow if you called in sick, would anybody notice? Would anybody care? Does the work you’re doing on a daily basis actually connect to the calling that you want to serve?
The third piece is contribution. So if the connection is all about the work, contributions really all about you. How does this brand, this paycheck, this company allow you to have the career trajectory that you want? How does it allow you to live the lifestyle that you seek? And how does it allow you to manifest the values into the world that you love on a daily basis?
The last piece is control. And control really answers how much personal agency you have to affect how much your work connects to that calling that you want to serve and how much it’s contributing to the life that you want to have?
6. How to Tell Your Story
Leadership is about seeing and encouraging the potential. The people need to feel they are seen. Give your people something to contribute to.
A story connects to the reason.
7. How to Lower Your Standards
Our mind relies on shortcuts. Only 40 of the thoughts are done consciously.
“Being a good person can be that we are free of bias. We’re free of mistakes. We’re free of blind spots. Well, the research from my field of psychology says, none of us are free of bias, or mistakes, or blind spots – that in fact, particularly when it comes to perceiving other people, we’re prone to all sorts of unconscious biases that don’t necessarily line up with how we think consciously.”
“Goodish people are actually working harder than good people. It’s a higher standard because they’re constantly learning, we’re constantly paying attention to ways in which our blind spots may be getting in our way. And in that way, being goodish is allowing us to be better people.”
8. How to be a Learning Machine
Framework to become a Learning Machine for what a perfect day looks like
- Be a learner – learn new things, intake engine, consumer of a knowledge
- Be a doer – experiment what you have learned
- Make a retro – what worked well, what worked bad, what should be changed
- Share what you have learned with other people – learning by teaching
9. How to Know What’s Really Going On
Who should I be getting feedback from? Find your loving critics. These are the people who want you to be successful and are willing to tell you the truth even when it’s difficult. Usually, these are the people who are not afraid to speak up in the meetings or conversations and who are willing to address the elephants in the room.
- Learning to be awesome at anything you do, including being a leader | Tasha Eurich | TEDxMileHigh
- Increase your self-awareness with one simple fix | Tasha Eurich | TEDxMileHigh
- How to Deliver Employee Feedback Effectively by Tasha Eurich
- Keynote Topic: Becoming a Future Ready Leader
- Building Trust as a Leader by Tasha Eurich
10. How to Embrace Failure
“The best thing you can do as a leader is to normalize failure, to make it something comfortable to talk about. As long as we’re learning from it and doing it differently, it’s not a failure, we’re learning”
When failures appear ask yourself:
- What did I learn at this moment? What is the lesson?
- What will I do next time if I’m confronted with a similar situation? How will I handle it?
Create a “Failure Resumé”, add all the failures inside of it to understand what are the recurring mistakes you are doing and work to discover the lesson to not repeat them. This exercise could be done with your team in some specific meetings. It’s an opportunity to accomplish more together and to learn and grow more together.
As a leader, you must find a way or a format to make this kind of conversation comfortable because when you give yourself permission to screw up, you give the people around you permission to screw up. People feel safe, they feel safe to raise their hand and say, “I need help.”
11. How to Stay Out of the Drama
The average person spends two and a half hours a day in drama, so that’s 861 hours per year.
Cy Wakeman discovered that most people came with the same most common issues. Most people had the same most common excuses. And most people had the same issue. They didn’t understand how their mind worked. And they didn’t understand how reality worked.
Leadership is about teaching people how their mind works so they don’t get played by their ego, and how the world works so they stop arguing with reality.
“You don’t need to fix the person. It’s not about your advice. You need to remove from the person anything that’s not part of their high self. You need to remove the drama. You need to remove that which isn’t innovative, collaborative, and accountable, and engaged. And the way you do that is through self-reflection. It is the ultimate drama diffuser.”
- How to Reduce Workplace Drama as a New Leader | Life’s Messy, Live Happy S2E11
- My Favorite Self-Reflection Questions For Getting Out of Drama
Time to integrate the knowledge: Learning = Attention + Active Engagement + Error Feedback + Consolidation
12. How to Be Optimistic
It is possible to learn optimism by showing gratitude. The literature on optimism and how you learn optimism, talks about the importance of showing gratitude on a regular basis and it is not about just doing it, it’s about how you do it.
Find every day, in the morning, three things that you are grateful for. This exercise forces you to take neutral things and make them positive and this behavior allow you to be resilient and get through all the challenges you will face during that day.
13. How to Make it Easier
A tool that could be used in the moments where people aren’t on the same page, to see them in a different light is “Notice what works”. This tool is about forcing yourself to believe that they are coming from a place of positive intent. Work to identify the real intent behind that behavior.
You could start using this tool with yourself and focus to notice one thing about you that works really well, and then set out to use it more this week:
- What’s something that seems to come easy for you?
- What’s something that seems to bring you energy when you do it?
14. How to Pay Attention
Austin encourages to keep a pocket notebook and he highlights 3 main reasons for this decision:
- It’s a good place to have bad ideas – having good ideas involve also first having some bad ones.
- A notebook is a way to pay attention to your life – it helps you to be present, it does not distract you.
- Keeping a notebook helps you pay attention to what you pay attention to – it helps you to identify and note patterns and things that are important for you and from which latter one you could bring them in your work or life.
15. How to Begin Again
Whitney shares a framework that could help you to know when it’s time to start something new. This framework is called “S Curve of Learning” and it involves 3 areas:
- Low end: the launch point when you may feel overwhelmed and growth may feel slow
- Sweet spot: you know enough, but not too much
- High end: you are a master; at this moment if you don’t jump to a different experience your plateau could become a precipice. So it’s time to start something new.
16. How to Give Advice
Jim talks about “dialogical coaching” and he emphasizes that there are 2 different approaches in coaching:
- If the coachee does not have enough experience the directive approach is more appropriate to be used
- If the coachees must make a decision then the dialogical approach is the perfect option
The author recommends 3 books about dialogical coaching
- Peter Senge’s book, “The Fifth Discipline” – when we engage in dialogue, we are smarter together than we are on our own
- Paulo Freire’s book, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” – there are 3 conditions for dialogue which he articulates pretty beautifully: humility, faith, and love
- William Isaac’s book, “Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together” – dialogue is balancing telling with asking. Share ideas more like questions than statements and don’t forget to ask permission: “Would it be okay with you If I shared some things I’m thinking about this?”
17. How to Be Clear
Erica explains how we can communicate clear messages by answering at 4 different questions:
- Am I clear about what I need from my team or the other person?
- Did I include the right people in the message?
- Is this the right channel for this discussion?
- Am I intentional about what I needed and expect in a response?
I hope you will find useful info inside of these notes📝. Happy reading! 🤓😊