Archives for category: Authenticity

Untitled design (53)

This week we’d like to share a piece by one of our associate coaches – Hannah Massarella CPCC.

‘I’ve been talking to clients and partner organisations a lot lately about resilience. Resilience is about being able to ‘weather the storm’ in difficult times, resilience is about being able to continue with something that is highly challenging, without it impacting your wellbeing.

Resilience is also about walking away from something that doesn’t serve you, and dealing with the fall out from making that choice.

Life throws up a million different situations that require resilience. And sometimes as a response it seems easier to put on some metaphorical armour, to close up, shut down and power through. But in the long run this ‘battle’ perspective shuts you off from life. By armouring up to deal with the challenges you also become cut off from new connections, it becomes more difficult to feel peaceful and compassionate. Judgement and rejection end up ruling.

I advocate an alternative approach to resilience. The work I do with clients and organisations uses self-care as a route to resilience. Self-care to me, is about paying attention to how we feel and the kinds of conversations we have with ourselves. Self-care is about identifying gremlin thoughts, learning how to ‘be with’ every emotion, getting clear on personal purpose and values and acknowledging and owning all of our skills and attributes.

I used to work with a particularly challenging colleague, she brought up a number of emotions in me and my response was to avoid her at all costs. That approach contributed to my burn out. If I’d have known and been practising what I now know, I might have been able to weather that particular storm from a stronger place of self-belief, I would have found it easier to ‘be with’ the difficult emotions that came up every time she spoke to me.

Challenging situations at work and in life, will always come up (unless we decide to live in a hole). Challenging situations come up with an enhanced level of stress when you are pushing boundaries and working against the odds. Armouring up leads to suppression of emotion, which leads to sickness and burn out, so in reality a self-caring approach to resilience is the only answer.

So how do you stay resilient to life’s struggles?’

*Image by Levi Morsy

I am at the very inspiring Emerging Women conference in San Francisco at the moment.  It’s been a huge undertaking to get me here – I was supposed to go last year to the one in New York and felt unable to go at the last minute.  This year I have travelled to California with the whole family for a month of training, work, meet ups and holiday.  It has been AMAZING.

I am feeling so overwhelmed with information, research and inspiration it remains a struggle to try and summarise a story, or a theme to share with you all.  It’s as if there are tectonic plates shifting in my brain.

For the moment, I have the feeling that we are on the edge of something big. That there is a new paradigm that is emerging and that it is reaching critical mass.

San Fransisco image

I am hearing women ask – what if we just did things differently?  We weren’t at the table for the creation of so much of our world.  But what if we could be?  What could the world look like when we catalyse feminine energy in this world? What will the revolutions be when we insist on bringing in the feminine paradigm?

Could we show that there is a place for compassion, for empathy and collaboration in every single institution?

Or, perhaps at a higher level still, what if we could escape the concept of trying to compartmentalise and separate the masculine and feminine?  What could true integration look like? What could this mean for humanity?

I don’t know the answers to these questions at the moment but one thing I am hearing loud and clear is that we need to know ourselves, our wanting and our desires in order to get to this. We need to shut down the voices in our heads that tell us we can’t, or we shouldn’t.  We need to reality check the stories that we are making up in the absence of real data.  We need to take time to get out of our heads and in to our hearts.

It is not necessarily the external world that is stopping us from progressing.  We are just as culpable.  It is our responsibility to work through this and figure out what could happen in our lives and the world if we truly showed up.

Today I want to introduce you to another new associate coach here at The Hobbs Consultancy, Sonia Calvo:-

Sonia 2

Sonia is a challenging, curious, intuitive and versatile coach.  She works with executives in global corporations to develop potential, increase performance, enhance leadership skills and create sustainable change. 

Sonia is fascinated in exploring what makes people tick, bringing out the best in them and discovering what they have to offer. She is passionate about working with people who want to have a bigger impact in their lives and supporting them in finding ways to have that impact.

It is my pleasure to hand over to Sonia to share her wisdom…

We are all leaders in our lives and we all lead in different ways. How we lead at work may be different from how we lead at home. The one true factor, is that in the middle of it all, is US.
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are” – Brené Brown

A powerful quote from Brené Brown and so true. And how are we supposed to embrace who we are? Some of us don’t really know who that person is or allow that person to come alive.

A challenge I often see in the corporate world is when we compare ourselves to others, to our bosses, to our peers and we sometimes forget just because we are different, handle situations differently, think differently, does not mean we do it wrong or are not good enough.

Unfortunately when we compare ourselves, it’s an uphill battle. When we try to be like someone else, we are not being authentic and hide our abilities and ourselves.

I had a client recently who was given the responsibility of leading their quarterly shareholder meetings, a role which their boss had been doing for a long time and did incredibly well. (The ‘incredibly well’ bit, was my clients perspective…)

The internal voices my client was getting were… ‘how can I do as good a job, I am not as experienced, the shareholders wont listen to me, I will freeze, I might not have all the answers, I will look unprofessional’.  And so on.

From this perspective, my client was setting herself up for failure.

What’s the impact you could have if you dropped comparison and quieted the voices? If instead you focused on:

What do I bring which is different?

What are my strengths?

What do I know to be true right now which will serve me?

How do I want to show up at the meeting?

How do I want to be when I don’t have the answer?

By focusing my client’s attention to these questions, she was able to explore and be curious about what she had to offer, what she brought to the table and allow herself to step into this new opportunity.

By exploring who we are and how we want to show up, we make it possible to find our authentic selves and lead from this place.

3 x authentic leadership coaching sessions (2)