Personal Growth

These 5 Questions will truly help your Personal Growth

Self-reflection is key to personal growth. You won’t ever improve or reach your goals if you don’t look at yourself and your actions in depth. You may not know what to ask yourself, so I’ve put together 5 questions for you to answer. If you’re honest in your answers, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and what makes you who you are.

What faults, flaws and issues do you have, and what can you do to resolve them?

Nobody’s perfect, and the sooner you can embrace that idea the better. Identifying and accepting your faults and flaws enables you to work on them, and eventually overcome them! Don’t hide them and stay in denial; it’s a waste of time and only inhibits your growth. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you’re unsure how to resolve your issues (or flaws or faults). Sometimes we can’t overcome them on our own, and that’s okay!

What is there to love about yourself and your life?

It’s not all about the negatives! You should also know why you deserve your love and what you have to be grateful for in your life. Life isn’t always pleasant; things will go wrong and you’ll find yourself experiencing highs and lows. Dealing with the unavoidable bad times shows your strength and helps your growth. Knowing what you have to love within yourself and your life will help you navigate difficult times with ease. Being secure in your love for yourself is invaluable.

What are you working to achieve, and why?

You need to know what you’re trying to achieve, and why. Tell yourself every day what it is you’re aiming for and the reason for it, to stay motivated. We all work harder to be successful at something when we know why we’re doing it. It has to be a good reason though, or you won’t stay on task as easily during harder times. Persistence and being disciplined enough to finish the work is key to success.

What is stopping you from accomplishing your goals?

You may see a roadblock and try to go around it, or not even notice it at all without reflecting on the path necessary to achieve your goal. When you acknowledge these roadblocks, you turn them into challenges instead. The great thing about challenges? They’re made to be overcome!

Take the opportunity to smash the challenges in your way, and come out the other side a more successful, confident person. Learn from your challenges and apply them to any others that are in your path to continue your growth.

What can you do to make a positive impact on the world?

Do the right thing whenever you can; even the smallest positive act makes a difference! Doing nothing is almost as bad as doing the wrong thing because nothing will change when the good do nothing. Even if it seems like you can’t win, doing the right thing is important and shows the strength of your character. It may not work in every situation, but there are often unseen ripple effects from our good deeds that still make a difference.

For example, if you’re a leader, do more than the minimum and really get invested in improving your company’s culture. Be involved in your team members’ growth and development, and encourage them to work to their full potential.

I hope you were honest in your answers to these questions, and I encourage you to regularly practice self-reflection if you aren’t already! Personal development enriches your life personally, and professionally too. This link is to a simple yet effective self-reflection exercise I posted last year: Focus on What Makes You Rock. And if you’re in need of some motivation, check out the blog of My Top 50 Quotes for Inspiration and Motivation. If you want to share any of your answers with me, I’d love to hear from you!

Looking at stepping up in your career or business, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

These 5 Questions will truly help your Personal Growth

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

 

 

 

ceo

The 10 Things All Top CEO’s Do

One of my favourite sayings (as you’ve probably noticed) is ‘Leadership is an Attitude, not a Title’. This rings true for anyone in a leadership role, especially those in the position of CEO. Just having that title isn’t enough to make you an effective and successful CEO – so what does?

Here’s a list of 10 things that you need to know to become a top CEO:

Clarify what makes you who you are

Clarifying who you are at your core allows you to behave authentically and with integrity. It’s the leaders who demonstrate a strong sense of self that are most respected, so it’s time to define your character. This is the first step to becoming an effective CEO, so it’s crucial that you don’t skip over it or you’ll be left without the necessary foundations to truly succeed.

Serve as the example for your leaders

You cannot expect your team leaders to follow the leadership model you implement if you’re not abiding by it yourself. Don’t leave your leaders to look elsewhere for guidance, or you’ll quickly lose their respect and leave your company’s leadership in shambles.

Remember that you are the representative of your company

This should always be in your mind because what you do and say reflects on your organisation, not just yourself. As a CEO, you’re representing the whole company – so be mindful of the messages you’re sending in your interactions. Whether you’re interacting with a stakeholder, a potential client, or any member of staff, you’re giving them an impression of the company, and must ensure it’s a good one!

A diverse team is key

Surrounding yourself with people who have a range of different skills and competencies is key to being a successful CEO. You don’t want a team who just agrees with you and never puts forward their own ideas or suggests, or you’ll never expand your perspective. Learning how to see things from other points of view is vital to success. You’re also demonstrating the value of diversity to your team as well, which is always an important message to get across.

Establish a positive company culture

A CEO can’t be successful without empowering their staff to be successful as well. By fostering an environment that is encouraging, nurturing and healthy, you’ll have everyone in your company working their hardest. A positive culture is essential for success, in the long and short term.

Mastering relationships at every level

A CEO needs to know how to cultivate positive relationships, and not just within their own team. Top CEO’s foster relationships in all directions of an organisation, and learn how to influence and master them for greater success.

Open and honest communication is fundamental

Your team cannot be at their most efficient or productive if they don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing, or what their end goal is. A CEO cannot be a great leader if they don’t understand and practice concise, clear and consistent communication.

Do what’s right, even if it’s not the easy option

CEO’s must be accountable. You’re the leader, so it’s up to you to take ownership and responsibility when necessary. Every choice you make must be for the good of the company, even when facing difficult situations and decisions.

Be flexible and ready to adapt to change

A CEO who refuses to accept new ways of doing things is doing themselves and their company a real disservice in this world of rapidly-changing technology. Businesses who don’t embrace change will be left in the dust, so having a CEO who is flexible and ready to adapt at a moment’s notice is vital to success in this day and age.

Never lose your desire to learn

A great CEO understands that they will never know everything, but doesn’t let that dampen their curiosity. Never stop asking questions or seeking out answers so that you can continue expanding your knowledge. Successful CEOs are those who stay inquisitive and foster a love of learning within their team as well.

A CEO has a wide variety of responsibilities, which means they must be knowledgable in a range of areas and skills. A successful CEO is more than just ‘the boss’; they must have the right attitude and do the above things to ensure not only their own success but the success of the company and all those within it.

For further reading on the importance of learning as a leader, check out my blog Why Learning is Critical to Great Leadership, and find out how a negative company culture can affect your business in the blog Weak Company Culture is Behind the Decline in Employee Loyalty.

Looking at stepping up in your career or business, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

 

 

Symbol of Love Rustic Heart and Self esteem

7 Laws of Self Esteem

This 7 Laws blog is a little different to my previous ones; I’m going to be focusing on YOU and your self-esteem. Learning to love yourself is crucial to being a great leader, because how can you respect others or truly embrace your own leadership potential without loving who you are and what makes you awesome?

These 7 laws make amazing phrases for you to repeat every day, or whenever you need a little boost in your self-esteem. Soon you’ll see how much further treating yourself with kindness can take you.

What others think of you is not what you really are

When others share their opinions (solicited or otherwise) of us, it can be hard not to take these things to heart and get offended or let them become our new reality. What you need to remember is that opinions are not facts, and you don’t have to agree with them.

When you value yourself and treat yourself with kindness, you’re able to take opinions as they are, and have the confidence to know that any negativity doesn’t mean you’ve failed overall. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself.

Stop judging yourself and show kindness instead

Attacking yourself and talking down to yourself all the time ensures you’ll never have great self-esteem. It might feel strange at first, but show yourself love by using positive language and encouraging yourself, and you’ll see how much better you feel about yourself in no time. There’s nothing wrong with being your own cheerleader!

Don’t waste time dreaming of being anyone else – you’re amazing too!

It’s never a bad thing to dream; it feeds our ambitious side and makes us strive for bigger and better things. However, spending too much time on fantasising and comparing yourself with others only brings your self-esteem down.

Focus on what makes you unique to unlock your potential!

You are deserving of love – from yourself and others

No one should have to beg for any little scrap of affection. You are worthy, and you deserve love. Let love nourish you, and you’ll find yourself with a solid foundation that gives you the strength to handle anything life throws at you.

It’s nobody else’s job to ensure your happiness

Happiness comes from within, so you can’t look to anyone else to make you happy. We are responsible for the way we feel, even when a situation seems to call for a particular emotion. When you accept and love yourself for who you are, true happiness quickly follows.

Start valuing yourself and take control of your life

Valuing yourself allows you to prioritise yourself; putting yourself ahead of others and actually making the time for your own growth. We don’t get long in this life, so don’t waste your time on autopilot. Value your time and start living consciously.

If you don’t respect yourself, don’t expect anyone else to either

You get back what you put out into the world. So, if you’re not treating yourself well, you’re sending a message to those around you that it’s okay to do the same to you.

Choose to respect yourself and you’ll show others that you are worthy of their respect too. You’ll also make better decisions and choose actions that impact your life in a much more positive way.

The way you see and treat yourself has an incredible effect on your life. The knock-on effects are almost endless when you choose to start improving your self-esteem: you’ll be happier, more confident and secure, demand respect and put yourself and your needs first. Love yourself, show yourself the respect you deserve, and you’ll soon see those around you treating you the same way.

Loving who you are and choosing to be responsible for yourself and your own happiness will enable you to take criticism and unwanted opinions in your stride.

It may not be easy at the start, but you must nurture your self-esteem in order to make an impact and improve your life!

Want to gain some courage and inspiration, learn more about my online Courageous Leadership Course and Program HERE…

 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

 

courageous leader

It’s the Courageous Leader that will build the Strongest Teams

Courageous Leader is a role that many may take on but have not been armed with the proper tools and resources to lead effectively and in a way that gains the results you need.

If you are struggling with high staff turnover and a demotivated workforce, perhaps a different approach is required. You are finding it challenging to find a leadership program that will give you or your teams the skills, confidence and tools to be a great leader (remember leadership is an attitude and behaviour).

As you know Leadership makes the difference. Leaders drive your culture. Leaders deliver the strategy. Leaders build high performance teams. Leaders are Courageous (read my 7 Laws of Courage).

This is why we built this program. In the Courageous Leader Program you will be personally coached through a 20 week online course. The aim is to develop your leadership skills and be armed with the tools to develop and reinvigorate your team. We have managers, future leaders and team leaders who have already joined this bespoke and high impact program.

In the Courageous Leader Program you will learn to:

  • Understand the motivations of your team, and develop a strong team culture.
  • Discover your own strengths and use them to your advantage.
  • Become a better leader using empathy and kindness.
  • Be ready to take the next step in your leadership journey.

Created for emerging leaders, team leaders and self-aware professionals wanting to take their seat at the leadership table.

The Courageous Leadership Group Coaching Program runs over 20 weeks, including 17 weeks of lessons with three consolidation or rest weeks. Each week you’ll complete a learning module consisting of one lesson as well as you will have access to tools, motivation, coaching. books, resources and much more!

“Sonia has been a highly engaging executive coach helping me to unlock superior levels of performance from my team, working with me on my leadership style and driving a highly engaged and motivated employee culture. She is 100% focused on her client, genuinely and authentically helping them to achieve outstanding results and perform at their best”

Jaime Burnell | Asset Manager Dexus

Students learn to lead from their strengths. To lead and develop strong teams. To be a change agent and empower others to lead.

Implement leadership strategies immediately during the program utilising leadership tools provided.

This program is taught by Sonia McDonald, CEO & founder of LeadershipHQ. WOOHOO! She is so excited as she loves coaching people and leaders across the Globe to see their inner leadership and greatness.

Our next intake is scheduled for July 15 and we are taking enrolments now, however places are limited. Please contact us for Corporate Rates too.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and we are happy to take a call and answer any questions you may have about the Courageous Leader Program. You can email me at sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au, follow this link, or call 1300 719 665.

Sonia x

coach leadership

7 Ways To Coach Others

Coaching in the workplace happens every day; there are many coach leadership opportunities during the daily interaction between leaders and their team members, and being a great leader means identifying and taking advantage of these moments to help improve your employees’ performance and the culture of the company as a whole.

I’ve put together a list of 7 ways to coach others, and while some may seem a little obvious, they are fundamentals that we should always be working on if we want to be the best leaders we can be.

1.    Never underestimate the power of positivity

You all know how big a believer I am of the power of positivity! When you’re someone who’s truly dedicated to leading and supporting others to bring out their best, you radiate positivity and sincerity.

Coach leadership often involves giving feedback, and we’re all much more receptive when feedback is coming from a positive place rather than a negative one!

Positivity is also infectious, so you’ll be brightening up the whole workplace too! Read more here around having a great mindset.

2. Develop real relationships and build trust

Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean your team automatically trusts you. Trust is something that must be earned, and the best way to do this is by treating your team as more than just numbers – get to know each person individually, and find out their goals and motivators.

By showing a genuine interest in your team as people, you’re demonstrating that you’re a leader who’s focused on others, not just themselves. This will build your teams’ trust in you and allow you all to work together much more effectively.

3. Use SMART goal setting

The SMART goal setting technique is fantastic. It’s one of my favourite coach leadership performance tools, and I recommend any leader worth their salt use it regularly.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based, all of which are pretty self-explanatory. Giving your goals a clear structure and breaking them down into smaller and more achievable goals ensures a higher chance of success – introduce it to your team if you haven’t already, and see the difference it makes!

4. Give (and ask for) feedback

Regular feedback helps keep everyone on track and identifies issues before they turn into bigger problems, as well as providing motivation and encouragement. You’ll also identify any knowledge gaps or training that’s required, and find out if there are any other resources your team feels they may need to better achieve the results you’re after.

It’s important to remember that great leaders don’t just give constructive and helpful feedback, they ask for it as well. How can you improve and get better if you aren’t getting anyone else’s point of view?

5. Use open-ended, not closed, questions

While you can’t always avoid the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, you need to make sure the bulk of your questioning is made up of open-ended questions so that you can encourage others to share their feelings and thoughts in more detail. You’ll be able to identify what needs improving, as well as current attitudes and whether everyone understands what needs to be done.

6. Promote transparency

Transparency is another way to build trust and foster open communication, and to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Transparency helps form and maintain relationships, and encourages consistency. By being open about your own journey, you’re showing your team that you are relatable and not infalable – dismantling the ‘leaders must be perfect and never wrong’ stereotype is vital to building positive employee relationships. Demonstrating openness encourages those around you to do the same and allows you to lead by example, which is a much more effective way to lead than the old ‘do as I say, not as I do’ way of thinking.

7. Use motivation to drive performance and improve results

Find out what drives your team, both as a whole and individually, and you’ll know how to inspire them to perform better and achieve greater results. For example, some team members may be motivated by being given more responsibility, so you might increase the scope of their role to allow them to explore how they fare with the added commitment and demonstrate the trust you have in their abilities. Feeling valued and appreciated inspires your team members to work harder, to repay the trust you’ve put in them.

These 7 ways to coach others will help improve your leadership by allowing you to build stronger workplace relationships and foster the trust, communication and openness necessary for you and your team to be successful.

Looking at stepping up in your career or business, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Jus Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

No alt text provided for this image

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

Courageous Ways of Letting Go

8 Courageous Ways of Letting Go

You are changing.  We are all changing. The world around you is changing.  Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is.  This could be a relationship, a job, a home, a habit, etc. It takes a lot of courage to change and essentially let go of things that don’t serve you anymore.

It happens to you slowly as you grow.  The more self-aware and reflected you are, the more you realise there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you. This can be uncomfortable. I always say leadership is about being uncomfortable.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
– Oprah Winfrey

The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits.  There are people and habits you’ve known forever no longer align with your values.  You cherish all the memories, however you find yourself needing to let go and move on.

If you’re currently dealing with this journey you may feel a bit awkward, and that’s really OK.  This feeling is totally normal. I’ve been right there with you on more occasions than I can count.

Also sign up to my Sunday Sessions and Blogs where each week you will get the greatest articles, blogs and news straight to your inbox every SUNDAY! What a great way to start the week.

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”
– Raymond Lindquist

Here are 8 Courageous Reasons to Let Go and Move On

  1. Someone’s negativity is rubbing off on you.– Did you know you are the average of the people you spend the most time with?  In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you are and the person you become.  If you are around negative people or people pulling you down all the time, you will become negative. Something to think about. Let these people go. Get people out of your rowboat who are putting holes in your rowboat. This takes courage.
  2. You have grown apart from someone you care about.– As we grow we find that sometimes the journey takes us down a path where others don’t want to follow. Sad but true, no matter what you do or how much you explain yourself, some people will gradually evolve away from your core values and that new growth.
  3. You are truly unhappy with your current circumstances.– It’s always better to be struggling at something you love than succeeding diligently at something you don’t like or you struggle with. I will share an example below of how this happened to me. It takes a lot of courage to let it go.
  4. Your goals and needs have changed.– What was right for you then is not necessarily right for you now.  Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather realising that you have changed, and then learning to start over with your new truth. It takes courage to focus on your goals, needs and value yourself.
  5. Fear is holding you back big time.– Part of Courageous letting go and moving on is facing the fears and disappointments of the past that are binding your spirit. Don’t let the illusion of fear control your life and leadership.
  6. You find yourself living in the past.– If all you do is attempt to relive something that has already happened, you’re missing out.  The mental space you create by letting go of things that are already behind you gives you the ability to fill the space with something fresh and new.
  7. An old grudge is still hurting you.– Holding on to the weight of anger, and resentment will not only hold you back, but also block your present blessings and opportunities.  You’ve just got to drop some things to move forward. This takes courage however letting old grudges go is deliberating. Over 14 years, my ex-husband abandoned my daughter and I in China. At the time it sucked (really sucked!) however I used the fire (and anger, hurt, sadness etc.) in my belly to get out there and create a new life for her and I. To this day I don’t hold a grudge and now I am grateful it happened, as I wouldn’t be where I am today. They say the greatest revenge is success (not that I was seeking revenge).
  8. You aren’t learning anything new.– Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other. All positive change is the end result of learning.  Jack Nicholson once said, the day you stop learning, you are dead.

One Small Example of Letting Go

Several months ago I was struggling with the vision and mission of my company LeadershipHQ. I had built over ten years ago from a blog and as much as it is successful, something was missing. The company had great impact around the world and it was making a difference in the world of leadership however the strategy wasn’t working. I was lost and confused. So I worked harder and harder and it didn’t work. I met these two women who said I needed to let go if what I thought LeadershipHQ should be and work on a new strategy and vision. They said I want you to focus on your brand, Sonia McDonald. With tears in my eyes I said I couldn’t let it go and focus on me. It was more challenging than I thought it would be.

They worked with me for weeks and months on creating a new strategy, brand, website, programs, events, workshops and so forth that was more aligned to my values, story and purpose. I still struggled on letting my company go. Then I met someone else who is very successful in my space for a coffee. He asked me where I was at with LeadershipHQ and I told him my story. He smiled and said – YES! I was confused. He said – Sonia, I have been watching your journey for years and you need to be the Simon Sinek of Leadership. I replied – I can’t, I am not Simon Sinek. He said – do you think Simon Sinek thought he was Simon Sinek? You have got this. He was right. I had to let go of LeadershipHQ to become the Sonia McDonald of Leadership. Now I have a wonderful direction and purpose that I love. And stay tuned for a completely new and exciting LeadershipHQ with a new vision, mission and purpose! I hadn’t let go of it entirely however I had to let it go to find it’s new spirit and purpose.

If you want to start becoming a more courageous leader, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Jus Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

 

courage value

Courage is Valuing Yourself

Valuing those around you – appreciating the things they do for you, the things they say, who they are as a person – is often much easier than valuing yourself. Many of us struggle to appreciate the things that make us great, and the things we have, for fear of coming across as too cocky, or as if we’re bragging. It’s time to stop worrying about what others think of us for valuing ourselves; it’s time to have the courage to value yourself.

When I mention bravery, you’re probably thinking of heroic deeds like running into a burning building to save someone, or rescuing someone from drowning. However, courage isn’t just big acts – even something small like saying “no” to your boss when they ask you to add too much extra to your workload is an act of bravery. Valuing yourself enough to look after your best interests is the kind of courage I want to help everyone have!

Here are some common scenarios where having the courage to value yourself will lead to a better outcome for you:

  • Staying in a job or career you dislike, purely for the money.
  • Keeping relationships (romantic or friendly) even though they are negative and giving you nothing back, only taking.
  • Worrying more about being a people-pleaser and saying “yes” to everything, no matter how overwhelmed you get.
  • Comparing your life to others.

Settling for less than you deserve in any circumstance will leave you unfulfilled and unable to reach your full potential. Stop wondering if there’s something better – you’ll never know if you don’t take that leap!

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
― C.G. Jung

Taking the first step is hard, but as I’ve written about in my blogs 7 Ways to Overcome Fear and The Brain and Overcoming Fear, the most effective way to get over your fear – whether it’s of saying “no”, or of being alone (which is why you prefer bad company over none) – is just doing it. The more you do something, the less intimidating it becomes. I wish I had an easier answer for you, but that old saying is true! Nothing worth having comes easy!

Take a look in the mirror and find the courage to tell yourself these things:

  • I deserve to be happy.
  • I deserve the best.
  • I am a valuable part of many peoples’ lives.
  • I have so much to offer.
  • I am me. Nobody else is me, so why compare myself to others?

I love mantras, and repeating the ones above as often as you can will help you start to see your value. The more you repeat them, the more you believe them – and you’ll find the courage that comes from valuing yourself will flow. True courage is knowing your own value, believing in it, and showing others that you know your value as well. Those who can admit when they can’t take on any more work, need to step back from a toxic relationship, or that something else just isn’t working for them, are the ones who earn the most respect – and they’re much happier, too! What do you value about yourself? I’d love to hear!

If you want to start becoming a more courageous leader, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Also sign up to my Sunday Sessions where each week you will get the greatest articles, blogs and news straight to your inbox every SUNDAY! What a great way to start the week.

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Jus Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

courageous conversations

7 Courageous Conversations You Might Need to Have

Following on from my 7 Laws of Courageous Leadership and Courageous Conversations Make You a Better Leader blogs, I decided to delve deeper into Courageous Conversations and put together some examples of these conversations that you, as a leader, should have at work. I’ve stuck with 7 because my ‘7 Laws of…’ blogs are always a hit!  

Keep in mind that Courageous Conversations don’t mean being blunt or rude; if you are too negative and don’t communicate effectively, then you’re going to make the other person defensive. In turn your time and effort will have been wasted because they won’t be receptive to what you’re saying. 

Performance management  

Many people, leaders and team members alike, don’t use performance reviews to their full effect for performance management. These are valuable tools for improving performance, so you need to be brave enough to discuss and consider all aspects of a team member’s performance with them when planning how to improve it. If you’re too worried about upsetting them and causing conflict, then you’re only scratching the surface and doing the employee and yourself a huge disservice.   

Performance feedback  

Like performance management, having to give negative feedback to a person isn’t something anyone really wants to do, but a great leader understands the necessity of giving performance feedback in order to help a team member (and therefore the team and company as a whole) grow and improve.   I use a technique called Advocacy and Inquiry  – watch here. 

360-Degree Feedback  

This a newer type of feedback opportunity, and differs from ‘regular’ feedback in that feedback is given from more than just one source; instead of just the person’s direct manager or supervisor giving an evaluation, it is from all parts of a company. This gives team members the chance to see how others around them view their work, giving fresh perspective and understanding. That’s why it’s essential that you have the courage to be honest when asked to take part in 360-Degree Feedback at your workplace. 

Positive feedback in general  

Just as it can be hard to give negative feedback, many of us struggle to give positive feedback as well. We might think someone shouldn’t be praised ‘just for doing their job’, or find it difficult to open up and give positive reinforcement without using it in the context of softening negative feedback. We might also think that our team members already know that they are doing a great job, but people can be hard on themselves and may not be able to see their own greatness – so be sure to give positive feedback whenever you can. You’ll build your team up and help them not take negative feedback to heart, as they’ll remember your encouragement and praise and know they’re still successful.  

Coaching for growth 

When you want to provide a team member with coaching, finding the courage to broach the subject can be tough. After all, you don’t want to offend them and make them think that you don’t find their performance acceptable when in actuality you want to help them grow professionally. Phrasing the conversation in a positive way will help your staff member see that you only have their best interests in mind when discussing coaching for their growth.    

Asking for a pay rise 

Sometimes our wages don’t always reflect our skills or level of responsibility within an organisation, especially as we rise through the ranks. If you’ve been researching and comparing salaries of others in similar positions to yours (taken with a grain of salt, of course) and think you’re not being paid what you’re worth, nothing will change if you don’t be brave and speak up. Sometimes we have to directly ask for what we deserve, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about doing so. 

Saying ‘no’ to someone 

There are a lot of people who take on too much work and find themselves overwhelmed because they’re afraid of saying ‘no’ to any requests asked of them. Whether it’s because they don’t want to upset or offend the person asking, they don’t want to appear like they can’t handle things or worry that they’ll be passed over for other requests or opportunities in the future, the fact is that there are ways to say ‘no’ – and you need to say ‘no’ sometimes for your own wellbeing. When you explain your reasons for not accepting a task, be sure to phrase them in a positive way and you’ll often end up getting respected for knowing your limits.  

The easiest way to get over the fear of doing something is to just do it, and you’ll find it gets easier every time from then on. Leaders need to be able to have effective Courageous Conversations to better themselves, their team and their organisation.  

If you want to start becoming a more courageous leader, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Also sign up to my Sunday Sessions where each week you will get the greatest articles, blogs and news straight to your inbox every SUNDAY! What a great way to start the week.

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Jus Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

 

leadership learning

Why Learning is Critical to Great Leadership

As a leader, you are who people in your organisation look to for guidance, and this means you’re also a big influence on the tone and culture of your workplace. With the almost constant changes to technology, business climate and the marketplace, you need to be able to quickly adapt when necessary, or risk the high likelihood of failure. You might think you don’t have any time spare to keep up with all the changes we face in this modern era, but I’m here to tell you that you can’t afford NOT to. And how do you do this? By always leadership learning. 

You can’t have leadership without learning; they’re indispensable of each other and it’s pivotal to have a growth mindset if you want yourself and your team to be successful. A great leader knows that they aren’t always right and that there’s always something new for them to learn or an old skill that needs refreshing. By seeking out new information, you’re making an effort to challenge your beliefs and assumptions, which gives you more knowledge and enables you to handle situations more effectively thanks to broadening your mind. 

You’ve probably encountered leaders in your career who are set in their ways; they believe they always know best and aren’t open to different points of view or new experiences that could challenge their way of thinking. These leaders, who decided at some arbitrary point that they were done with learning, are usually the ones who come to mind when you think of poor leadership and bad bosses, and they more of than not have a detrimental effect on the culture of their workplace as well. A company and its people cannot flourish if they aren’t allowed to grow and explore, and a closed-minded leader ensures that there is no real room for anyone to grow and develop to their true potential. 

A leader who not only makes time for learning but encourages their team to do so as well is setting a fantastic example and fostering a positive workplace environment and culture. By demonstrating the importance of, and a love of, learning, a leader is influencing their team to open their minds and improve themselves professionally and personally. 

Not all learning can be done in the workplace, and so it’s crucial that you take time off the floor to sharpen your leadership saw. A great way to do this is by attending workshops, seminars, etc. – and organising for your team to attend them is another excellent way to foster their development.  

I always say the more seriously you take your self-development, the more seriously others will take you.

Here are some other ways you can improve your leadership by learning:      

Audiobooks and podcasts 

Listening to these on your daily commute is a really simple way to fit in learning without making extra time in your day. A lot of your favourite authors and speakers are creating audiobooks and podcasts, and you’ll discover new favourites too.  Here are some of my favourites

Videos 

TED Talks are one of my favourite examples of visual learning. So many wonderful, inspiring people have given TED Talks, and they’re such a valuable source of information. You can also go to places like YouTube for instructional videos to sharpen your skills.  

Polish up skills and revise what you already know 

It’s not always about learning new things; relearning is also incredibly important. You may not remember everything from a class you took years ago, so take the time to revise and you’ll improve the skills you had nearly forgotten.  

Reading 

Dod you know the world’s greatest CEO’s and Leaders are always reading? This may seem obvious, but it doesn’t just mean reading books. Articles, blogs, opinions on message boards – there are so many things to read that aren’t books, but will still expand your mind.  I love following Harvard Business Review and here is a list of my favourite Leadership Books

Online Programs 

There are many online courses and programs you can take today which are amazing. Most are self-paced or facilitated online by a trainer.  I have launched a Courageous Leadership Courage (Self-Paced) and Group Coaching Program. 

I urge you to make the effort to start learning every day because it’s a habit that will serve you well both personally and professionally. There are many ways to incorporate learning into your day-to-day life, and continuous learning will see you become a great, effective leader who can roll with the punches, come up with fresh ideas, sharpen their skills and gain new perspectives. To be a leader who makes a difference, you must be a learner as well.    

Sign up to my Sunday Sessions where each week you will get the greatest articles, blogs and news straight to your inbox every SUNDAY! What a great way to start the week.

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Jus Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

courageous conversations

Courageous Conversations Makes You a Better Leader

Why improving leadership communication skills for maximum impact during difficult conversations makes you a better a leader.

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Courageous Conversations’ in your business circles, and you may be wondering just what this phrase means, and how Courageous Conversations can help you improve your leadership.

A Courageous Conversation is, essentially, when you take control and carry out a difficult conversation (about poor performance, you’re scared of not being liked for what you say, etc.) with confidence and courage.

Leadership is an attitude, and courage is an extremely important part of that attitude.

Bravery is also how you become more resilient; as you tackle more of your fears and worries, you’re better equipped to handle them.

When business leaders practice courageous conversations, they reap many benefits – and one of the biggest is increasing their resilience. Here is a great article on 10 Ways to Build Resilience in Business.

It’s only natural to fear those tough conversations in the workplace (and in life) and avoid them if possible – and if you can’t avoid them, you run the risk of not communicating clearly because you don’t want to come off as too ‘harsh’.

There’s a difference between being rude and getting across points that may be unpleasant, and leaders must keep this in mind if they’re going to have effective conversations about those tricky subjects.

Like it or not, as a leader you’ll be having many conversations with many different people in the workplace, and being able to handle the difficult ones is essential to be a great leader.

Whether you fear being accused of bullying, unfair dismissal, legal action or even just plain being disliked, it’s imperative that you become proactive in preparing yourself and developing your communication skills so that you’ll be communicating assertively and in a positive manner, to get the positive outcomes necessary.

A Courageous Conversation entails:

  • The delivery of honest feedback
  • Building acceptance
  • Constructive communication
  • Managing emotional and other difficult reactions
  • Using a step-by-step framework for tough conversations
  • Finding the common ground
  • Reaching an agreement and commitment
  • Maintenance of relationships after talking about difficult issues

Working on being able to carry out courageous conversations will empower you to become more resilient; the more you deal with these types of conversations, the better equipped you’ll feel and the easier it will be to focus on achieving the right outcomes, instead of worrying about whether your team member will like you after you discuss their need for performance improvement with them.

Managers must take the lead in a conversation to avoid going off track, as well as miscommunication.

I use a great technique called Balancing Advocacy and Inquiry. Read more here and watch this video to find out some more tips.

Being a manager means that you’re the one who has to have the difficult conversations, and being able to brush things off to ensure you get to the desired outcome is vital – which is where Courageous Conversations come in, as you can find many frameworks to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to structure these discussions effectively.

If leaders don’t articulate the problem, then the team members are left confused and the issue/s won’t get resolved, leading to escalation and unnecessary frustration for all involved.

It’s time to be brave and start having those Courageous Conversations; start being open, transparent and honest, and have the courage to say what needs to be said. You’ll become more resilient for it, and it will have a wonderful effect on your business’s performance as well.

You’ll gain respect from those around you, and not be daunted by the idea of difficult conversations anymore.

Want to be more Courageous? Find out more about my courageous leadership coaching, programs and keynotes today HERE

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au