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Nadine Powrie

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Latest 8 Jan 2022 | Updated Daily

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Exceptional leadership and having difficult conversations, with Nadine Powrie

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Transcript:Transcript:Jenny  So I'm thrilled today to welcome Nadine. Nadine is a friend of mine. And she also happens to be an expert in leadership skills, and also managing difficult conversations. And I first met Nadine, a few years ago now, where we were in a masterclass together. And I was really, really impressed by first of all her public profile, how much she gives of herself online and how much value she provides. And she's a podcaster herself. She's got a very, very high quality programme, all about managing difficult conversations. And she's written white papers, and she's got a very impressive background. And I thought, who else would I invite on my programme today? Because I think she can provide tonnes of value to us, particularly around leadership and also managing difficult conversations. So Nadine, welcome.Nadine   Hello. Hello, Jenny. And well, thank you so much for this amazing introduction. I feel like saying okay, the end now. I've done everything you said, thank you so much for that.Jenny  You're welcome. But um, I know I've left loads of gaps. So just as to kick us off. Would you mind spending a few minutes just talking about your background? And also, now, who you help.Nadine   Who am I helping? And who am I? Okay, well, the first thing to say probably, you'll understand, and you'll hear through my terrible accent.  I'm French, but I am here in the UK. And very proud to be in the UK actually, I've got my settled status. And so no matter what Brexit is decided for me, I will stay in the UK. And so I've been in the UK since 1989. I have done all my career in the UK in education, about 25 years in education. I did two headships, secondary. And I have four children. And at the moment, when I was thinking about, oh, how should I introduce myself, when Jenny's going to ask me that question. I sort of, you know, usually I would say, Well, I'm an executive and leadership coach, and I'm a workplace mediator, and, but at the moment, I feel that I've got different hats that I am wearing at the same time. I have four children, three of them are in the world of work, and one of them is still at uni, shes at Kings, in her final year. So at the moment, I am a mother. And every day, my children are contacting me since COVID. And I'm a wife of an amazing person he is writing on French cinema. He's a professor, and I'm a I'm a daughter, my mum is in France, and suddenly I've not been able to see her. And so I'm having to juggle that. And I have my own company. So I'm a businesswoman. And I've had my own company for the past five years now. I left my headship in 2016 so I'll start my fifth year, and I'm an executive and leadership coach. I'm a workplace mediator. I'm an a learning designer, because I do a lot of training, leadership training. And I have a podcast, you mentioned it, leading to coaching change. And I do LinkedIn live every Thursday, at four o'clock GMT. And when I was speaking to a client this week, she said to me, so when do you have all the time to do that, and to work full time as well. And I think that when you have passion, you can do it all. And because you do it every day, it's and because you have consistency, it's easy to do. And you get better at it as well, because habits, so I'm getting better at, you know, editing my podcasts or preparing my LinkedIn live. And so so yeah, so it's, um, you know, it's, it's, it's me, really.Jenny   you could certainly see the passion that comes through with everything you do online. I mean, when you do those LinkedIn lives, which I think are super valuable, by the way, and anyone that's listening, I would really recommend tuning in, because I learned so much, but you can you can see the energy coming from you, Nadine, it just speaks volumes that actually it's very, very attractive.  I'm also glad that you introduced yourself in that in that way in, you know, giving all the context of how many hats you wear, because particularly right now, many of us, you know we're recording this in January, and many people that we know are locked down, and we're kind of fed up and you know, we've got a lot of the pressures, some people are managing small children having to homeschool others are managing family members. And, you know, if you're not ill, it's the boredom and there's lots of different so thank you for introducing yourself in such a humanist way, I really enjoyed that. I think the one thing that with people listening into this what I, what I was thinking before when I was preparing these questions is because you are an expert in leadership skills, I'd love you to sort of talk talk to us a little bit about that, because you've met so many very, very senior leaders and you've worked so closely with them. What for you, in your experience makes a really great leaders?Nadine   Ok, I was reflecting on that, actually. And I was thinking about the people I worked with when I was working in education wise to work in education, but in in a different way. And I've had the privilege to work with two amazing heads that and they have totally shaped who I am today. So the first one was called Derek Wise. He was the head teacher at Cramlington, it's now Cramlington Learning Village in Northumberland. And the reason why I think he's, he is not alive anymore. He died a couple of years ago. But he was an amazing head. And he was amazing, because he had a very clear vision, very clear vision. And he had a very clear strategic plan. But most importantly, he had the right people in the right seat. So we always go back to Jim Collins, you know, 'from good to great'. And he knew exactly where to put people in which position in which roles in the school, he was extremely consistent with his communication. So his communication was clear, consistent. And we all knew our roles. And there was no debate around that. And we all knew what to achieve. And the school got a third Ofsted Oustanding. And he came in and he said, Well, you know, we've we've got the Outstanding for a third time, and he cried. And, and, and it felt very moving. Because actually, we'd all built that together, there was a real spirit of we were all in it together kind of, you know, approach. And it was a risk taker, don't take me wrong, even if there was a strategic plan, you would take calculated risks. And the best gift he did, he did, he had a research group. And I was part of it. So every Thursday, I would stay until about six o'clock at school. And we would talk between four and six, we would talk about research and education and what was working best around, you know, around the world in terms of education, in terms of learning and in terms of leadership. And at one point, he said, you know, if any of you want to go and study something specific around the world, just write a business proposal, and give it to me. So I thought, wow, you know, there's lots of things I'm interested in. But I had four children. And at that point, my youngest one was a baby. So I thought, well, it's going to be a bit difficult for me to travel. But you know, I just took my chance. And I'd always been interested in gifted and talented children. And it was actually it was quite a passion for me, probably because when I was at school when I was young, I jumped a year group. And so I was always fascinated as to you know, what, why is it that some children learn quicker than others and are more curious. And so I wrote a proposal, and I gave it to him thinking there is no way he is going to send me to Australia and New Zealand for four weeks during term time. So I had done my cost and everything. You know, he could not ask me any questions. I had thought of every possible question. But it had to be on two A4 pages. And then one morning, he would always do that he would have his hand in his pocket and look through his windows in his office. And he called me in and I said, Well, it's probably to tell me that, you know, no, thank you, but no thanks. And he said to me, Well, you'd better pack up. And I will never forget that. And so off I went, so my parents flew to the UK to look after my children. And off I went and my husband could could travel with me because he's an academic. So he was able to do his research as well in Australia and in New Zealand. So off we went to Australia and New Zealand, and I toured many schools to look at best practice in terms of leadership and gifted and talented children. I mean, saw some amazing practice, met some amazing people. One of them was called Barbara Prashnig. She did a lot of work on learning style analysis and teaching style analysis and that's made me reflect quite a lot. And, you know, he totally shaped who I became then as a head myself and he died when I took up my first headship. He died two days before we were meant to have lunch, but he died of an illness. But I still have his email congratulating me to say that he was very proud. And I did say to him, you know, I am where I am, because you made me who I am. So that's, that's the one guy. And the other guy was another head when I was living in Sheffield, and his name is David Conway. And I was the deputy head there. And he was the head teacher, he had a very interesting background is he was an ex military guy. So very process and systems driven, but also very flexible. And me at that point in my career, I was quite not stubborn, but I wanted to go one way, you know, I always said, well, A will take me there. So it will be B and he taught me a good lesson. He said to me, you can get there taking different routes. It doesn't matter which one you take, you know, and we had some really big discussions on this one, because I know I can be I could be quite stubborn. And I wanted to do it my own way at that point. But actually, he he kind of proved to me in a very gentle way that a, it's okay to choose a different road, at some point on the journey, that providing you get to where you want to be, it's okay to yeah, to take a different road. And that stayed with me forever. Because that was about the strategy. And he was absolutely right. And the school did very well. And he's an amazing guy, I have to say he's retired now. But he's amazing. I hope he's listening, I will tell him to listen, because you know, credit to him. And I have used what he taught me when I was ahead. And, and I've also used it as a business woman. And for example, if I really want to work with a client, I will try different way to get to work with that client. So yeah, so that's how I am inspired by, by people.Jenny There's loads of lessons in there. Those two stories. I love it. Because I think everyone, I was listening intently. And I just thought there's so many kind of takeaways there. The people that maybe are in leadership positions themselves. So going back to this story about Derek, which I actually had a tear in my eye at the end. You said that he he had a clear vision, he had a clear strategy. And he chose the right people. And I think, tell me a bit more about choosing the right people. How do you make sure that you choose the right people for your team?Nadine  That's a very good question. And I think it's not always about it's not about qualification, always. And it's not always about experience. And sometimes it can be about intuition. Let me share something with you. I was in my first headship and the school that I had taken over me immediately needed to change. And I was appointing a number of staff, particularly in English, maths and science. And I needed some heads of department. And we  interviewed a number of candidates on that day, and fairly, fairly early on in their career types of candidates. And great, and I just felt that they were the right people to be put in a leadership position. So I had three people where I thought, you know, my little voice inside me standing, it's telling me to offer them the post of head of department, yet they're only NQT, so they've just finished university. They've got no experience, really, of working, you know, full time, no experience of leading a team, but they've just got that tremendous potential. So I appointed them. And I remember my colleagues who were head teachers, and you know, in the region in Hampshire, they said to me, have you gone mad to appoint people with no experience? And I said, No, I appointed them on their potential. And I know that they're amazing. They just got to be given the opportunity to be amazing. And they will shine and I will make them shine. You know, radiance is one of my values very strong, right. So here we were. They were amazing, they delivered. They were totally I think when I got them that they were appointed, and then they were appointed as head of department, I think they have to sit down here. They said, well, we didn't come for that. But actually they were, they were amazing, they're delivered. And, and they took the, to each of them to their own department and their own people to a really nice place in terms of learning and in terms of outcomes in terms of success for the children. And so, so to me, that's, that's how we can we can appoint people. Yeah, I mean, you know, qualifications and experience, is nice, but he's more than that. And, and I've often reflected recently, on your intuition, how do you use your intuition when you know, something's right, but on paper, it doesn't quite look like that, right? Because you have the criteria. And, but there's more to that. And if you feel at times that actually, you know, those people have tremendous potential. And you have to think, you know, the future of the organisation, what they can bring, and how you can shape them and there is all, leadership succession, because you yourself will not be there forever. So when you make an appointment, you have to think, and you have to think about your risk assessment as well, you know, so if this one isn't, isn't staying, who will be in the in his place, and you know, it's a bit like the domino effect. And I was very keen to put that in place. Very, very early on in a school, and I think I think history has proven that I was right to do that. And I'm very proud. I mean, they're, they're still there. And they're, they're amazing, absolutely amazing people.Jenny   I'm really fascinated by this use of intuition. And but part of me thinks in my mind, was it was there a little bit of a factor of Nadine had been working in schools for a number of years, I've met other head teachers, I have a good friend, that's a head teacher, actually. And he seems to have this knack of being able to identify very quickly, what kind of character you're dealing with. And I just thought is it because the exposure to so many people and throughout their lives, you know, this when you're seeing so many people go through their kind of development? Is that why you hone your intuition, and therefore you get to the headship, and you kind of already know, by meeting someone quite quickly, do you think there's a factor there?Nadine   I think it is, but but also, I think it would be fair to say that sometimes you can make mistakes, right? And I have made mistakes, I mean, you know, there might have been one or two appointments where I saw actually, you know, maybe hear it, the person didn't quite deliver for a number of reasons. But I think generally speaking, by, you know, but by having an experience of working with people of knowing what you want, and on discovering what people can bring to the table, and, but also always looking at their potential, because there is the now, and there is the constant, evolving situation of what you will need in the future. So they may have a skill that you don't need now, but actually, you know, because of the strategy plan, you know, that in a few years time, you may need that. And actually, because now we live in a world where what we thought would be five years time is probably now or never, you know, in some instances, the plan hasn't worked, then, you know, some of us have discovered talents that perhaps we didn't know we had. And, and same with the people that you appoint, you know, when you tell them that you've noticed that they've got a particular talent, sometimes they don't know themselves that they have, it's just you, you've noticed that because you've asked them certain questions, you know, they might have done a task as part of the interview, and you're cross referencing everything and triangulating everything. And then it's like drawing a picture, you know, you you get, you get a clear picture of what the person is about. And I've used psychometric tests as well in the past. And I think we've got to be careful with those. I did a LinkedIn post on that, actually. And there were quite a lot of people feeding back saying, you've got to be careful with it. And I agree, actually, because because this is a snapshot at a moment in time, it doesn't mean that you will always be like that. But for me, it was just a little hint of what was possible at a specific time. And did it make a big, did it have a huge impact in my decision, you know, no, but I I took it into consideration as well. So it's about the person and it's about how the person is how the person is interacting. And you know, I think when you mix people you know, like you organise coffee time when you've got an you know, and you call different people to talk and, and you observe people and that's quite fascinating as well. So, I think it's a mixture that is, that is such that you know that that person is probably the best one?Jenny   You said something as well, which I thought again, was very telling is you kept saying, you know, making them shine, you know, helping them, empowering them. And it kind of drew me back to the story you said with Derek, when he called his leadership team together and said, You know, I'm prepared to invest in you, I trust you, I'm, I'm gonna back you if you want to go out and bring something back, which I think was a super smart move, you know, because ultimately, he was going to benefit from those learnings. But he was taking a gamble and also look at look at the the, the effect that's have had, it's almost like you've got more loyalty towards him, you've got more trust, and bonding. So do you think that that's a factor in leadership qualities? Do you see that successful leaders empower, you know, shine the light on and provide that kind of environment?Nadine   I think it's important, I think it's a balance, isn't it, because you, you, you still have to lead and particularly now, you know, in a time where we are, I mean, employees, they want to see their leader, you know, navigating that crisis, so they want to see somebody who is leading, but you're the one to empower your staff, because if you end up micromanaging things, then you're becoming operational yourself, you know, so you need to be in the helicopter, and keeping that view. And if you've put people in the right place, then there is no need to micromanage you know, people can be in power, and, and can deliver. Now, one of the things that I love doing was my one to one meeting with my staff, I just loved that, and I would not miss them. And, and I remember  my senior leadership team telling me, you know, doing the one to one meeting with us kind of worse than Ofsted coming in, because of because of the questions that I that they would ask and, and they will not always question about, you know, the performance. So, but I remember asking questions. So you know, we've got the values for the school. So how are you demonstrating the values every day into your daily job, right? I used to be same as you and I, Jenny, we have values for business. I mean, my values they, they drive my business, you know, I said, I like I like radiance. I mean, radiance is important for me, I like to make people shine, you've been a guest on my podcast, I hope to invite you to my LinkedIn live. And it's important for me to where there is talent to make people shine. And you're the expert in your field, Jenny, I'm not at all I mean, you know, I am, I am watching you, I could never do what you're doing. You're very, very unique, very expert in it. And I think it's nice to recognise people's talent, and to put them on stage and to make them shine. And to applaud, you know, and to say, Well, good for you, because you work very hard. So you deserve to be very successful as you are Jenny. And so that's kind of how I see things.Jenny   And going back to this tip, you've given some sort of such good tips. I think if leaders are taking note of these different things, you mentioned, how important one to ones are. And I believe that they are to, you know, do you have any practical guidance for a leader that perhaps is thinking? Or how often should I be having those one to ones, you know, what should be the nature of the one to ones? How far to the one to ones extend beyond my immediate sort of direct reports? Have you got any thoughts?Nadine   I could talk to you for hours on one to one.  Well, I would say that, I think it depends on the organisation and on the people that you're line managing. I mean, I was seeing my SLT, you know, every week, but that was the context of, you know, when I was working with the clients that I am working with, because they are leaders, they are managing teams, and they tend to have one to one meeting once a month, I think my advice would be, put them in the calendar and make sure that they happen. There should be no excuse, you know, that should never be cancelled. And it's very easy to cancel them, right, because things are happening. So you think, well, I don't need to meet John, you know, he'll be alright. He'll be plodding on. But actually, everybody needs a one to one on a regular basis, to just you know, check what's been you know, what's been achieved and celebrate that and the support that you can you can offer as well, the perspective that you can offer. And I mean, for me, it's all about the conversation. With your team, because it's it's all very well saying, Well, you know, they're all in their role. So everybody is in the right seat. Well, that's okay, up to a point, because life is testing, you know, challenging. And people need support at some point, we all need support at some point, right. But we also need praise. I think that's very important. And it's very difficult at the moment to praise people, because you're on Zoom, you know, is 50 people. And so I think having the one to one and being able to pinpoint where people have done extremely well, and to explain to them, actually, it's not only saying, you know, well done, okay, it's explaining the why, why is it the well done? It's also explaining, okay, so how can we move that further? What can I do to help you? And I think all of that is really important. It's also easy for people sometimes to, to talk and say, yeah, I'm on course, with that, you know, it's fine, I've taken care of that. And, but you, you do want to see, you do want to know, because you have to triangulate and make sure that actually your plan has been delivered, right? The plan of the organisation needs to be delivered. It's not that people don't trust people, just it's nice to see things. I was talking to one of my clients recently, and she said to me, I don't doubt what my team is doing. But I quite like to see what they're doing, you know, in their one to a meeting, is that bad? Nadine, does that make me a very operational leader? And I said, No, I think there is nothing wrong with, you know, asking, so what does it look like? You mean, show me, you know, and everybody can bring something to the table. So you can add a little, you know, observation or perspective. And so I think I think those one to one are very, very precious. And they are difficult things at the moment, Jenny, because, you know, I mean, we're now a year into into COVID. And, and I'm coming to the difficult conversations now. Right. And in the first part of COVID, people would would hesitate at having kind of what they called difficult conversations. So where wedisagree on one thing, right? People would, would not speak really about the performance, because it's quite hard to tell somebody that you're not quite happy with the performance. Well, a year into COVID, you have to have those discussions now. And some of my clients have been really struggling, because they said to me, you know, face to face is bad enough, having having those conversations. Now I'm having to do that on Zoom. You know, my colleague is crying. Had she been in my office, I would have known what to do I'm on Zoom. I know that in 10 minutes, I've got a next meeting starting. So I think I think now we're having to navigate even more how to handle those conversations so that we can have them right, we need to have them. And they don't have to be difficult. We make them difficult because of our perception, our mindset. They don't have to be difficult, but they do need to happen. And for the sake of people as well, because, you know, there are many people out there who who need the support. I mean, people are exhausted, right, we're certainly back in January, you've probably have heard, I've heard, you know, my clients are saying, I'm exhausted. And it's week three, and I've got a year in front of me. And I'm not allowed to take holidays until May, and I don't know how I'm going to survive. So we're talking a lot about resilience. I'm doing a LinkedIn live on that this weekend, again. So it's about how you can you can help people have the conversation and how you can, how they can learn to use their strengths more, because we all have strengths, right? But it's just knowing what they are when.Jenny   If someone's listening to this thinking, Oh, my goodness, oh, my goodness, she's she's talking to me because I have got to have a difficult conversation. And perhaps they're thinking, I've been avoiding it just as she said, You know, it's it's something that I don't want to have, and it's awkward on Zoom. Any you said mindset you said using your strengths, any other guidance or tips that you could provide to someone who either to prepare or actually have the conversation?Nadine   Well, I think the first thing is, the first thing is to prepare that conversation and particularly when it's when it's a difficult conversation and it can be a difficult conversation around what, around relationships with people because even on zoom, you know it's quite tricky at times. And personality clashes yeah, can be about performance at the moment. There are a lot of things companies who are doing their, their kind of closing their performance review. It can be  about that. And it can also be Jenny about grief and loss. Because at the moment, there are many companies who have gone through a period of change. And people have gone, right people have taken early retirement, they've gone to other companies, you know, some senior experts have left the companies, there is a vacant seat. And for those who are staying, actually, this is quite hard. So there is a sense of grief and loss. So that's a difficult conversation when you, you know, when you're the new plus two, and you come in, right with all of your ideas, and but you have people who are suffering from from a loss, because actually, they liked their previous plus two, and they don't know you. And so that's another kind of difficult conversation. And there is also the difficult conversation with yourself, as you know, right? And can I can I, can I have that difficult conversation? Or am I starting to doubt myself? And you go, No, no, come on, you can do that. Right? You can do that. So how do you do go about it? So yeah, preparing the conversation, you have to prepare the conversation, there are specific ways in which you can prepare them. Absolutely. But the thing is, don't over prepare, because sometimes people don't respond in the way that you had anticipating. anticipated. So so you have to prepare to an extent, but most importantly, what is it that you want to get out of the conversation? You know, it's a bit like you go to a supermarket, and you think, Okay, so what am I going to put in my trolley? And how much do I want to spend? Right? Well, it is a little bit like that. Because you have to measure that you're going to be doing it online. So it's quite different. You don't have people on a face to face, you're going to have to make sure that you read them properly, you know, you're going to have to think about the language that you're using and what kind of stakeholder it is. The questions that you're going to be asking, and, you know, how do you how do you have that conversation where people can talk to you in a safe environment? So how do you how do you create that safe environment so that people can open up and say, yeah, you know, I'm sorry, but I know I've not met my targets and I've got four kids, I've got to homeschool. It's been a nightmare. And I don't have the room to work. And so yeah, I've not met my target. And then people can become quite emotional. Because you see, we don't always know everything of people's life. I mean, you know, people will have luggage, right, we will have a breaking point. And people are tested at the moment. So it's also Well, how do you respond to that? I mean, you know, we've got to be human, there's some people for whom at the moment, it's very testing. And, you know, not everybody has a house and a nice garden. And, you know, not everybody has that, people have to homeschool children, they have to do a full time job, they have to cook. And you know, they probably have parents that are in a home or you know, unwell. And so it's a bit like what I was saying at the beginning, where we're, we're wearing different hats. And so it's also about having empathy. And that doesn't mean that you accept the poor performance or you know, but it means that you change the conversation, and you put some, you show empathy, compassion, and, and you put some support in place, you do whatever you can do to support those people. But I was listening on on LinkedIn, there was a good conversation this week, actually, to a leader. And she said, Well, I'm doing everything for my team, I will do everything I can for my team. And so that's great, right, but I did respond in the post. And I said, that's great, Sarah, it's brilliant. But what are you doing for yourself? You know, because you're typically we all have a breaking point. And we've all been there, right? I mean, if people tell me, I've never had the breaking, you know, I've always been great. And in my career, I don't really believe that. I think there is always a point in your career where things are challenging and tough. I've been through that as well. You know, and how do you look after yourself? And where do you get the strength to keep going? You know, because because it's a bit like a car, you haven't got any petrol can go anywhere. So So, I think finding your strengths and finding what keeps you going is really key to have the courage to have those conversations that are constructive, that are courageous conversations, where at the end, you don't have people who are left emotionally, a wreck or you know, low are in tears, and I think we have a sense duty of care. I think that's really important. And I've always spoken about that, you know, the duty of care for people, no matter what you do. And so this is why I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about Okay, so how are you going to turn that difficult conversation into a courageous conversation, right? And what do you want to achieve? And then let's work backwards. And, you know, what works for one person may not work for the others, I mean, we're all very different, we all have very different DNA. And we'll Yeah, we're all very different. So there is not, there may be a kind of framework, but then you have to use it in the way that it works for you, in the way that you feel confident about it. Because people are opposite you, you know, when they are seeing you on Zoom, they're gonna see that you're not authentic. And, and it's all it's important to be to be yourself, and to be in agreement with what you're saying, you know, to be authentic, I think is really, really important. And to understand that, you know, everybody's trying to do their best at the moment. And the best at the moment may not be, you know, the top performance, but actually, we talk about surviving, you know, and people say, Yeah, but we can thrive as well. Yeah, sure, we can, right, but let's, let's help people, and let's see what we can do. And I see a lot of organisations and leaders trying to do their best, you know, and, and do things that probably they would never have done before. But they go the extra mile, because we're all being challenged to do things differently, and things for which we've not been prepared. We've not studied, I mean, you and I, Jenny, we've not studied at all, you know, leading in a crisis, like the one we are at the moment, despite all the qualifications that we have. So we're not improvising, but we're evolving to navigate the crisis and, and it's challenging for a leader. But you know, there are some amazing people out there who are doing it and credit to them.Jenny  I think there's some great nuggets there. I mean, having a level of self awareness for a start being really prepared for your, your difficult conversation, planning out what the outcome, the ideal outcome would be, but not being too rigid. Having bags of energy, empathy, sorry, asking the right questions, having, you know, considered their circumstances, have that in mind. And also considering their personality and their style and their communication style. And being authentic with how you come across, you know, be be real, don't try to be someone else or conduct the meeting or the conversation in another way other than really yourself. And honesty is coming through there. I think this is, that's great tips. Tell me, do you think having difficult conversations with your employees, like as a leader? Do you think there's anything different if you're having a manager, you're managing a difficult conversation with the client? Do you think the skills are fundamentally the same? Or do you think there's any differences?Nadine   I think you I mean, I think it's a little bit different, because you don't line manage your client, to some extent, right? It's a different relationship on that level, they don't work for the company, they work with the company. So I think it's a different relationship, you also have a lot to lose with your clients. Because if they, if they walk away from a contract, and you know, you, you have a bit of a problem there. So I think it's, I think it's a different relationship. But I think that the, the strategy that you use to have a conversation can be can be the same. You know, when you analyse a conversation, I'm doing a lot of work at the moment on that Jenny. On analysing conversations and what they are made of, right. You would still ask questions. So  it's about looking at type, the types of questions that you're asking, looking at the type of language that you are using, and looking at the reciprocity in the conversation. And whether it's a colleague or a client, you do that anyway. Right? If you're a great leader, you do that anyway. And looking at the interaction, so is it me who is talking on me or am I inviting? Is there an invitation or am I just talking over all the time, and you know, the intonation, the pace at which you are talking the choice of words that you're using, you know, the silence because people need time to think and process at the moment. The respect that you are showing, I mean, all of that, whether it's a client or an employee for me, they are kind of the same pointers, right? Just need to use them very, very differently. And this is why I'm spending more time looking at the quality of the conversations. It's not about the lens, right, you can have a 10 minutes. And it's a very powerful conversation, you can have a half an hour conversation, and it totally destroys a relationship. So it comes back to who you are, and how self aware of your own practice you have when you are having a conversation. And I have often wondered if I was in because sometimes people are missing? Well, here we go again, Nadine is going about the conversation analysis, you know. And I'm wondering if it's because I'm bilingual, so I'm kind of navigating two languages at the same time, I'm a linguist. So my favourite tool is you and I have discussed that before as the thesaurus is a very important tool for me. You know, so I've often wondered if I'm putting more emphasis on those than you know, other people, I don't think I am actually because I've done some research on conversation analysis, and it does exist, I'm not the only one to do it. I mean, many people have done it. But it's just that when you're aware of that, and those pointers, then you can, you can do it in a better way. Because you are reflecting on how you're doing it. But somebody needs to show you, this is why having a coach or you know, somebody needs to point that out to you.Jenny   I this is so funny that we're having this conversation, and I'm so glad you steered the conversation in this way. Because when I train account managers, how to grow existing accounts, we talk about conversations, they're completely different conversation. They're not necessarily difficult, they're more expansive. And I often say it's not what you say it's how you say it. Because, you know, you could say or Let's ask for a referral. And a client might say to me, Well, I've asked, but hang on a minute, how did you ask, give me the context? And what was the intonation? How? So I love this? And do you think rehearsal is a an important factor of preparation? But what about rehearsal? Or do you think that makes it too staged?Nadine   I've actually done some work on that, because there is a school of thought that says, rehearsal are never true conversation. Because they are predictable, right? Because you come and you know, it's a rehearsal. It's kind of a roleplay. It's a simulation. I actually disagree with that. And I filmed three conversations recently, that were a simulation for one of the training that I'm doing online. And it was very authentic, you know, the script. There was a, there was a an overall context of the situation. And then the actors went, we just went with the conversation. And I think that that simulation enabled observers to grasp the good points or the strengths of the conversation, but also, what could be improved for the future for them. And so I think simulations has a place where it needs to be the right one, I think it has a place and you know, as a linguist, I would say that I mean, I've learned English doing role plays, right? So without roleplays, I wouldn't be able to speak as a as as I do now. And, you know, and children learn by modelling by repeating, you know, so I think I think they do for me, my school of thinking the Powrie School of thinking will be that simulations are helping, there is no doubt.Jenny   Clearly, you're an expert in this space. And I'm looking at the time I just want to be conscious of time knitting, so know how busy you are no thinking, I would love to kind of for you to tell us a bit more about your programme that you have for managing difficult conversations and also your leadership programme that you have. So can you tell us like typically, what kind of clients go through this programme? And, and who, who would you like most to, to work with?Nadine  Okay, so so if I say to you that my clients are leaders who are working around the world, and they lead teams, multi cultural teams, and  they are all going through a period of change, that they're all having to have some conversations at some points that are what they perceive to be difficult conversations, but what are in effect courageous conversations? So I have 20 different courses, modules that you can choose different topics because what I did,  a year ago is I did a market survey on what were the main conversations that were difficult for people. I did that on LinkedIn. And then they came, people responded to me came up with all kinds of topics, I did some research as well, with CIPD,  Harvard University, so I came up with 17 topics, and then I added three more. And the three more were about leading teams virtually, because actually, that can be quite difficult as well. So I've got 17 on very specific topics like performance management, personality clashes, pay, diversity, you know, you just name it, you just need to go onto my website, Nadinepowrie.com. And you will see where they are. And I've got three on leading teams virtually, where I've got business simulations, where people can actually see a real one to one meeting happening. And they're able to study and observe and learn from it. And, yes, and the leadership and the leadership, executive coaching, this is  more bespoke to some extent, I don't have a programme search, because it's bespoke for whoever comes and say this is what we want. So I tailor it for people, I don't believe that coaching is just looks like this. Right? I think it's very specific to each individual. And, yeah, everybody has their own DNA. So I'll put a DNA on each of them. So that's kind of how I work. And I can do that in English. And I can do that in French.Jenny   Wow. Honestly, that sounds so valuable. Thank you so much for sharing. And we'll include the link in, in the podcast notes. And, Nadine, do you have any final words of wisdom? For anyone listening that thinks  I've got to  manage, I've got to manage a difficult conversation? Or, you know, I feel that I need some help with my leadership, any kind of words of wisdom that you'd like to leave, leave us with?Nadine   I think I would say, think about the opportunity that this conversation could give you. Which is, you know, it doesn't come from me. So let's be clear, right. I had a coach when I was ahead. And and she was actually on my LinkedIn live last Friday. And one of the questions that she kept asking me, when when I was struggling with some challenges, right, and some difficult conversations coming my way. She always asked me that question. So what opportunities is that giving you, and at the time I felt, well, that's not giving me any opportunity, but to be stressed, and really worried. And actually, she was right to ask me that, because it did give me a lot of opportunities. And you know, many of those were very positive. And, you know, one of them is to build relationships with people. And so that would be what I would leave you with Jenny.Jenny  Thank you. That's a fantastic reframe. And a nice, perfect point to leave it there with so Nadine, thank you so much for sharing so much value, and so many stories, and it's been rich with nuggets of wisdom and also tips. So thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it.Nadine  Thank you, Jenny, for having me. Thank you so much.Jenny   It's a pleasure.


21 Jan 2021

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SLS253 Nadine Powrie, Six Figure Success Series with Jessica Lorimer

Smart Leaders Sell Podcast

**I am now over on the Selling To Corporate Podcast: http://bit.ly/Apple-Selling-To-Corporate-Podcast. Head on over if you are interested in adding a corporate revenue stream to your business** Have you ever considered starting a podcast? My podcast producer and I have put together everything you need to know to get your very own podcast off the ground! Check out Podcasting That Pays today: http://bit.ly/Podcasting-That-Pays! I am sure we all have our own ideas on what we think leadership means which is why I’ve brought the lovely Nadine Powrie onto the show today.  As an executive and leadership coach Nadine specialises in helping leaders manage difficult conversations and actually grow themselves as leaders. Nadine is also a client of mine and she’s sharing with us the difficult times and also the breakthrough moments of how she has made her business into the outstanding success it is today. In this episode we are discussing: Being consistent, take time to become a strategic leader rather than a reactive one ‘Courageous‘ conversations, how we perceive and evolve from difficult conversations  The importance of finding the right coach to work with “ It's about trust it's about letting people in your business and trusting that they want the best for your business as well.So it's about finding the right people that can continue who can help me continue to develop my business to where I want to go in the future. “ Remember, reviews help us to let more people know about Smart Leaders Sell, so please take a moment to leave a review on your podcast player! Contact Nadine https://www.nadinepowrie.com/ Nadine on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadine-powrie/ The C Suite https://smartleaderssell.com/thecsuite/ Smart Leaders Sell https://smartleaderssell.com/ Products and Courses https://smartleaderssell.com/products-and-courses/ Join my Facebook Group http://bit.ly/SmartLeadersSellFFE More Jess! www.facebook.com/JessicaLorimerSuccessCoach/ linkedin.com/in/jesslorimer https://www.instagram.com/jess_lorimer/ Content Disclaimer The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Jessica Lorimer disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video or audio. Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creator.


13 Dec 2019

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The Workplace Series - Business Insight with Nadine Powrie

The People Mentor Podcast

This interview gave me such an insight into Nadine and her thinking.In this podcast, Nadine covers Ambition v wellbeing and whether you have to work long hours to get there.Nadine shares her passion for her business and how she wants to move to the next level in coaching.Nadine discusses “how important it is to look after your delegates when running your masterclass and how the learning environment has a big impact on her” We talk about learning experiences and how the right environment makes all the difference.Nadine talks about the diversity of her clients and how much she enjoys that along with the diversity of her role. Nadine also talks about the speed of change and how much of an issue it is becoming for leaders. Nadine shares some really useful tips on handling difficult conversations.


22 Feb 2019