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Compassionate Leadership

Cultivating compassionate leadership that opens doors to new opportunities.

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Shorts // Is the Glass Full or Empty Enough?

We think of a ‘glass being empty’ as something to avoid at all cost. Yet when it comes to our learning and development as leaders, this could be the wisest philosophy of all. Our glasses get filled with all kinds of learning, experiences and wisdom as we make our way. And when the glass gets full, or our learning really matures in a particular area, we can take one of two primary paths. We can celebrate the fullness and decree our delight that we are experts and there is nothing more to learn, while keeping on drawing on what’s in that glass. Or, we can walk the path less travelled, and empty that glass out. The humility required for this step is great. As a leader it takes us out of knowing it all on a topic and into receptivity to learn even more, a willingness to be a child again and to become filled with the wonder and energy of fresh insight and new waves of learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing. And so do the people around us. When we assume we understand everything, we develop deep blind spots and biases that impact those we lead. As we reflect on the empty glass, let’s take a moment this week to unpack some areas where we feel we know it all. And let’s embrace the idea that the more we know, the less we know. So what’s in your glass that you are now willing to let go of? If you need some support in a blind spot, or two, our complimentary We-Scan journey includes your executive team to survey the Leadership Landscape and see things differently. If you are a founder or executive responsible for your executive team, this might shed light into new areas of learning and growth. Check out our website for more information. The post Shorts // Is the Glass Full or Empty Enough? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


24 Oct 2022

Rank #1

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Shorts // What Flows Are You Resisting?

Life is a river. And our businesses flow like rivers. Sometimes everything speeds up and it gets a bit crazy. At other times, everything slows down and we get a chance to take in the view. So when the river is pumping, and driving us to act, our resistance to change and holding onto our deeply-held fears can be our undoing. At this time then, let us reflect on the rivers upon which we flow. In some aspect of your business right now, there are new beginnings and an overwhelming onslaught of decisions, actions and challenges. We put together this list of reflection questions that might just support you this week in taking a plunge in the right direction: What is your biggest fear that is pushing itself into your awareness, demanding attention and action? With the moment holding so much risk, where is the opportunity of this risk calling to you to seize the day? What are the repeated patterns that keep on trapping you, your team and your business, in dead ends and sticky corners? What is your foundation or core that you should really double down on augmenting and getting into shape before the frilly nice to haves come into play? We are with you in thought this week as we all plunge forward, sometimes into the vast unknown. Keep reminding yourself that not plunging when the time is upon us, is far worse than clinging onto the perceived safety of the comfort zone. If you feel stuck and uncertain, consider doing a free Me-Scan self-assessment to give you some idea where to focus on shifting the stuckness. Visit our website for details. The post Shorts // What Flows Are You Resisting? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


26 Jul 2022

Rank #2

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Shorts // Are You Stuck in Indecision?

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong’s famous line, as he stepped onto the moon for the first time, illustrate how our small steps can have significant impact. And when we realise that the next step in our business can be hugely significant, we can easily become frozen, our foot paused and hovering in midair. Where in your business or team do you face this potentially debilitating indecision? Why is it so hard to know what to do next with any clarity or certainty? What’s at stake if you pushed ahead or pulled back? Our experience in working with strategy and teams is that this all comes down to clarity of purpose and what’s is really essential to deliver on that purpose. While many executive teams may hold up their strategy documents and claim ‘here’s our strategy’, unless it can help you decide what to do next, it is not an effective navigation system. While there should always be respect for the unknown and forces beyond our control, our strategic plan should make it clear whether the decision in front of us is aligned to that plan or at least to our deeper purpose. Strategy is a living thing, that evolves as we do. And it should support us to become better leaders as we deepen our understanding of when to take the leap and when not to. If you feel stuck and uncertain, consider doing a free Me-Scan self-assessment to give you some idea where to focus on shifting the stuckness. Visit our website for details. The post Shorts // Are You Stuck in Indecision? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


12 Jul 2022

Rank #3

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Shorts // What’s Your Big Team Pressure?

It might be safe to say, that right now, we are all dealing with a bit of pressure and water is dribbling (or bursting) through a few cracks. Most of that pressure is likely to be too much flow, and too much to do, with too few able people. In the midst of all that intensity, sitting down to calmly consider your next hire might seem like the last straw. And, of course, the knee jerk thing to do would be to take whomever (slightly) fits the bill and deal with the fallout later, or to do the opposite and keep the status quo in play. That means you, the founder and leader, work harder and longer. We cannot simply do nothing. It changes nothing and it gets us nowhere, fast. We have also seen many of our recommendations not to hire go unheeded, only to land back at the same place with only pain and suffering to show for it, and less budget too. So what do we do? The answer lies in two approaches. Firstly, have a mindset that’s bigger picture focused AND patient, holding the long-term vision and appreciating the incremental steps to get there. Secondly, use a methodology that looks beyond the CV and skills list, one that delves deeply into alignment, values and long-term potential. When you probe and explore the real person in the process, unexpected insights could save you a world of hurt AND deliver into your hands a wonderful gem. Now doesn’t that sound better? The post Shorts // What’s Your Big Team Pressure? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


26 May 2022

Rank #4

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Case Stories // Digging Deeply in Recruitment

In this case we share a recruitment story about how digging deeper in the recruitment journey, using the right tools, can yield powerful insights and support you to make the right decision. We work with a group of veterinary clinics and shops and support their recruitment and team coaching activities. In South Africa, there is a massive shortage of vets, due in part to their high emigration to New Zealand and Canada. It is also the profession with one of the highest suicide rates, which is also worth bearing in mind. The heart of the contribution At one clinic a position was up for recruitment, and we identified that we needed a Connector Contribution Compass profile to support the balance of natural energy within the team and for the role at hand. We used the Contribution Compass Identifier tool to explore how this role would create value for the team and highlighted that a Connector would likely be the best fit from a natural energy perspective. This free tool is incredibly powerful in getting crystal clear on contribution, rather than getting stuck in a purely skills-based approach. We then crafted the position advertisement with Connector language to inspire Connectors to step forward more so than any other profile. In this case, Liesl (name changed) applied for this position. She had previously applied for another clinic position within the group and had turned the offer down as there was a better career opportunity closer to where she stayed. For this role, she completed her Contribution Compass profile and was identified as a Cultivator, with high Sustaining and Refining natural energy. When values and behaviour don’t add up Next in the process we conducted a Demartini Value Determination, which aims to highlight the core values of the candidate to ensure that there is synergy between the company, candidate and role. In Liesl’s case, her core values were career, family and health. However, even though she said her career was very important to her, her life did not demonstrate this as a priority. In speaking to former colleagues, there was evidence that she did not attend all the CPD opportunities or take advantage of the one-on-one training available to her. In the interview process, her language was different depending on who she was speaking to. When chatting to the vet group team, her language was all about connection and long-term bridge building, which was the language communicated in the recruitment materials. With our Team Dynamics interviewers, it was very focused on finance. The Leadership Landscape perspective After careful reflection, using our Leadership Landscape methodology, we came to the following conclusions: (1) Focus, there was a disconnect between Liesl’s stated values and her lived values, which is a challenge to alignment and highlighted the need for self-awareness; (2) Connection, the difference in language between the vet group conversations and with our team highlighted a concern about integrity, authenticity and transparency; (3) Competency, with the vet group having a very strong culture of learning, the resistance to growth opportunities was a concern; and (4) Flow, she would not be in flow in the position, being a Cultivator and not a Connector, and had not matured her flow as she could not demonstrate experience in developing long-term growth and value accumulation despite having a focus on finance, which is in flow. As such, we recommended that our client not appoint Liesl to the position. Despite our recommendation the client offered Liesl the post, given the shortage and critical business need. Liesl accepted the offer and, 24 hours later, declined as she was counter-offered by her current employer for a higher salary. Her reason for doing so was also contradictory – due to relationships and not finance, which would further be out of her flow. This once again confirmed Liesl’s underlying values of finance, and language to us about finance, despite her stated values of career growth and connection. Cases such as this really serve to reinforce the immense value of using a team methodology, like Contribution Compass, and being willing to dig deeply into values and flow alignment. This, in our view, is the only path to long-lasting, sustainable working partnerships that deliver growth, contribution and engagement. If you need support in making the right recruitment decisions, let’s book a time to chat through your recruitment challenges and explore how our approach could accelerate value for you in this area. The post Case Stories // Digging Deeply in Recruitment appeared first on Team Dynamics.


17 May 2022

Rank #5

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Shorts // Is the Growth Overwhelming?

We are strange creatures indeed. When business is quiet, we complain. And when it starts to get really busy, overwhelmingly so? Sure, we complain. How we lead in those moments when growth pops up everywhere, all at once, tells us an interesting story. There are three strategies we could employ. The first is the ostrich maneuver. Yes, here we face our speed wobbles by digging in to avoidance. There is no end to the types of avoidance activities, from so-called client-related sporting to the ultimate phone-off disappearing act. The second is equally unproductive, where the leader digs in to…you guessed it, working harder and longer. Just like Atlas carried the world on his shoulders, this strategy appears to be a selfless act of carrying the burden for others, but is often a lack of trust in the team in place or not having invested in a team to carry the load equally under pressure. So the third strategy (and there may be more) is to reach out and activate the support of the team, the helpers, the associates, and the network. When there is accelerated flow or the to-do list is just too overwhelming, this is really the only one that makes sense. If this is you this week, firstly take a moment to breath. Then make that list, focusing on those issues that are critical and core. Delegate small, focused tasks that can be completed and reported on daily. Host the daily huddle and hold the space for others to step up. This is what a leader does. And the sense of crisis shall too pass. When things have calmed down a bit, why not consider doing our Me-Scan free self-assessment tool to support reflecting deeply on leadership development. Can you beat the average? It’s at 67% right now so give it a shot by visiting our home page. The post Shorts // Is the Growth Overwhelming? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


29 Mar 2022

Rank #6

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Shorts // Can You Manage Frustration?

What has been your biggest frustration this week? Where have things not gone to plan? Or where is the pressure building up? And what have you been waiting on? A critical callback, a client saying ‘yes’ or any other signal that it’s time for action? When we hit the doldrums and nothing seems to flow and move, it’s critical that we understand how to manage our own frustrations as leaders. Our teams look to us for a model of how to deal with stuff that does not go to plan or at the pace desired. Finding your ‘zen’ centre and trusting the process gives others permission to not stress and rather get on with other things that need preparation. So this week, if you do feel that inner pressure at the waiting game, redirect your team to the preparation you can do while you wait for the ‘yes’. Assume it’s going to come and think carefully about what you will need to successfully manage the flow. Let go of obsessing over the outcome and trust that what you really need is on its way. While you do that, why not consider doing our Me-Scan free self-assessment tool to support reflecting deeply on leadership development. Can you beat the average? It’s at 67% right now so give it a shot by visiting our web page. The post Shorts // Can You Manage Frustration? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


16 Mar 2022

Rank #7

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Shorts // Are You Thinking Long Term?

We were recently asked to put together a proposal for leadership training. The deliverable was to be a structured course to develop leadership skills for a national company struggling to build its middle management team. So what do you think happened when instead we submitted a leadership coaching proposal? You probably guessed it right. “Thanks but no thanks. As an executive team, we have specifically agreed to training not coaching.” It was a great reminder that there is much work for us all to do to shift how we think about leadership development. Can you fix leadership issues with a short course or is a long-term commitment to transformation the answer. Well, we are bit biased. While short-burst skills programmes can be powerful enablers of change, people tend to do better when they are also given support that evolves as they do, when they develop the capability to see the obstacles and find solutions past those obstacles. Coaching has a powerful role to play in building people and organisational resilience. It’s not just for the problem cases or executives. Chat to us if you would like to learn more about our leadership coaching approach. Perhaps consider our Me-Scan free self-assessment tool to support reflecting deeply on leadership development. Can you beat the average? It’s at 67% right now so give it a shot by visiting our home page. The post Shorts // Are You Thinking Long Term? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


18 Feb 2022

Rank #8

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Shorts // Do You Consider Your Influence?

Every day, we connect with others and influence their thoughts and behaviours through our own. It can be a sobering thought that there we are, bumbling along in our own life or team, and there is an inherent impact on others as we go about our business. In some ways it is easier to see the trail of destruction that someone negative inflicts on others. You can feel the mood of the room change as the team starts to feel sticky and heavy. It’s one of the things we focus on in working with teams…how does the place feel? And how does the team’s flow fluctuate depending on who is speaking or what is being spoken about? Perhaps it is harder to see the influence of positive behaviour and good leading by example. We might never fully appreciate how a kind word or good piece of advice may live with someone forever. People absorb that kind of influence and let it percolate and transform over time. And so there is pressure to do good and inspire others with our business-as-usual. Yet what a gift and opportunity to make a difference and lead from the front. So this week, ask yourself two questions: (1) what one thing do I do that influences others negatively; and (2) what one behaviour lifts and inspires others? Enjoy working with those questions this week. Perhaps consider our Me-Scan free self-assessment tool to support reflecting deeply on our teams. Can you beat the average? It’s at 66% right now so give it a shot by visiting our web page. The post Shorts // Do You Consider Your Influence? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


20 Jan 2022

Rank #9

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Shorts // Are You Stepping at the Right Pace?

Happy New Year to you and your team! As the year kicks off and we all get moving into our flow, we wish that all your goals and wonderful ideas come to life and bring you prosperity in 2022. When we start a new year, we tend to be filled with energy and enthusiasm for all the potential for the year. With so many days yet to come, it can feel that there is so much we can do with all the space left. Yet is that sustainable and realistic? Fast forward to the end of this year…will you be tired and depleted, counting down the days until you can take a break? If yes, and if this is what happens for you every year, then let’s do things differently in 2022. Let’s find a way to set our pace and rhythm so that we make time to rejuvenate along the way. That we sustain our passion and commitment to our purpose with smaller sprints or hops towards our outcomes rather than high-drama pushing the envelope in the final hour. Let’s put one foot in front of the other and get energy from our efforts and not burnout. Consider trying out our Me-Scan free self-assessment tool. It will highlight areas for your team where development can deepen your ability to go the distance. Continue back to our web site for more information. The post Shorts // Are You Stepping at the Right Pace? appeared first on Team Dynamics.


11 Jan 2022

Rank #10