Are You Too Self Critical?

Are you too self-critical? Many of my clients bring it up in our Time To Think™ coaching sessions.  I’m talking about that critical voice in your head that says ‘idiot!’ or ruminating over something you might have done wrong? Or could it be that you find it difficult to say ‘well done’ to yourself for fear that somehow your motivation and drive might falter if you do anything less than perfect?  In fact, the reverse is true.  

Research shows that learning to be your own ‘best friend’ (I mean, really, would you really talk to a friend in the same way as you talk to yourself!) and actively having self-compassion, will boost your work performance, improve your leadership, reduce your stress and enhance your relationships.   

If you’ve just sucked in your teeth hard at this idea, you need to keep reading. When I found a great, practical book on this, I wanted to pass it on.  I’m using it for myself and I’ll be recommending it to my Time To Think™ coaching clients.  It’s called Kindfulness by the Irishman Padraig O’Morain.  Don’t’ be put off by the mindfulness part of it – 3 minutes is all you need!  And the rewards are worth it. You are worth it.

Here are three gems which rang true for me from the book: 

  1. You practice accepting the person you already are without making yourself jump through rings of fire to become ‘acceptable’ to your internal critic
  2. Your starting- and-also finishing point – is to take a friendly attitude towards yourself and know that you have your own friendship no matter
  3. If you need to make changes in your behaviour, you will do so from a standpoint of friendship towards yourself and not hostility. 

If you would like coaching for your leadership, your leadership presence or communications do ping me and we can have a chat. I lead my 1-2-1 work with a coaching approach called Time To Think™. Its singular purpose is to create space and a thinking environment where you can do your own best and newest thinking. It’s exciting, different and liberating. You’ll amaze yourself with your own thinking. Your brain is extraordinary.

Worst Presentation Disaster.

Every leader has presentation disasters in their careers.  The key to confidence and presenting with ease is to learn to 1) recover in the moment (the fire bell will not save you!) and 2) know how to reboot your confidence to come out brilliant for the next one.   

We coach leaders who want to be brilliant for their next presentation and also leaders who’ve been scarred by a bad experience and want to get past it.  Call us to find out how we do this 121 and with  groups. 

To make us all feel much better, I’ve captured a few of the presentation disasters that still make me smile because the people involved survived and thrived. Please do share yours too! All in confidence.

  • Steve Jobs, launching the i phone when all the technology went down (gosh I was glad I wasn’t his event team!)
  • Tony Blair being slow hand clapped by the WI conference because he tried to use it as a party political broadcast
  • The chap who threw up in the waste basket during the actual presentation (but carried on)
  • Calling the key decision-maker by the wrong name throughout the whole presentation (we still won the business by some miracle!)
  • All the slides reversing, so the team had to give the presentation back to front for an hour (they won the business)

The key to success in these situations is not to panic, stay relaxed and just talk to the audience rather relying on the technology.  It takes a confident mindset, flexibility and, dare I say it, a sense of humour to do this, but that’s what you’ll learn with us as part of your coaching. You’ll also learn how to overcome your blocks sometimes causes by bad experiences  – mindset and physical,  how to structure and tell your story with power and deliver it with oomph so you make a strong connection with your audience that delivers the outcome. Give it a try.  See www.kineticfuture to find out more

Hot Questions for your Personal Growth, man looking at plan.

Hot Questions for your Personal Growth

Now is the time of year when you get to work out your 2020 personal development plan – for work and for home. To kick off your thinking, I have two very powerful questions to help you on your way.

And if part of your plan is to have 1-2-1 executive coaching, please do ask me about Time to Think™ Coaching. It’s different, highly effective and enjoyable.

Every decision you make, every evolution, every new breakthrough idea depends on the quality of your own independent thinking. Yet, how often are we invited to think for ourselves, to the edge of our thinking?

We interrupt each other every 11 seconds. We follow the crowd. We are drowned out in meetings. We are told what to think and do. We’re not even sure we can think this well. What a waste.

Last week, I had a fantastic couple of PD days with my fellow Time To Think™ coaches and received some great coaching myself. I was invited to think, with a promise of no interruption, about two questions.

  1. What is a challenging step you want to take in your life right now that you’re not taking?

  2. What do you assume about yourself most of the time that is most stopping you from having a better life? (or for better life substitute health/relationship/promotion/activity or anything else you want to think about)

I hope this gets you thinking and building your plan.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to Think™ coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.

presentation training, ski person

Tackle Your Presentation Nerves

When I learned to ski as an adult I felt physically sick even getting in the lift to the slopes. I also had my one and only cigarette on a ski slope when I just couldn’t move for fear.  And this all happened on my honeymoon!

So, when it comes to presentation nerves, I totally get it and I have constantly hunted down strategies that can make a big difference.   For many people, presenting is not as bad as my skiing experience. In fact, very often, they are great presenters with tremendous executive presence.   But the impact nerves make on their energy and time is just not acceptable.  Life really is too short and work too busy.

If you’d like to be coached on how to take back control of those nerves and save time and angst, do give me a ring.  There will be a solution that suits you.  (And by the way, I now tackle off-piste ski runs using many of these same strategies!)

See below for some quick tips to try now. Coaching will help you create a routine and a mindset that you can use every time to get you through. 

  1. Divert the pain – put small pieces of grit in the front of your shoes and squeeze your toes when you walk up to present.  This will divert your attention and keep your weight moving forward.
  2. Divert the thinking – how else could you see this? Is your CEO more under pressure than you are?  Are you really there to help – so get over yourself, it’s not about you? (my personal favourite).  Are you even sure what is really winding you up – write it down and ask if that is  really true or how true it is and what is your evidence?
  3. Bore yourself senseless – practice in a boring voice out loud on a bed in front of the mirror, talking to objects around the room.  Do it a few times.  
  4. Make it easy and just a bit boring – ask yourself what is easy for you, before the nerves kick in, then practice in situations which are easy or just a tad more difficult. 
  5. Don’t Give A ****!   Just make a decision to do it and not care.  Go in pretending to yourself that you’ve already got a top new job or won a million dollars.  You’ve nothing to lose.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to Think™ coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.

innovation starts with great thinking

Innovation Starts With Great Thinking

Innovation is the life-blood of organisational survival. We need the big break-throughs and we need the small brilliant solutions to day to day problems. Innovation comes from surprising places.

So why don’t we take the time to think brilliantly and independently? Why do quiet experts find it hard to be heard in meetings? Why do people listen to interrupt rather than to understand? Why are meetings a competitive sport? Why do managers rush to give solutions rather than encourage us to think for ourselves? All these common behaviours waste talent, potential and money.

If you can create & use a Thinking Environment™ and encourage independent thinking you will save time and dramatically improve both your innovation potential and levels of team engagement. It will also help you talk to your loved ones!

We are running our first open programme in January teaching leaders & managers how to build these skills. If you’d like to know more about this, give me a ring on karen@kineticfuture.com .
You can also read the seminal book on this topic by Nancy Kline called More Time To Think.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to Think™ coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.