kindness

How we can teach Courage and Kindness?

Last week I posted a story around experience I had at my local Coles and the lack of leadership and kindness I was seeing from Australians. Then my associate told me at work that someone working at her local Woolworths had spent the day crying and I had experienced something very similar at Woolworths myself. After she told me this, we thought we need to do something to help them with their courage and leadership.

Today I went back to my local Coles and spoke with the manager and told her that if she or any of her team need any coaching or development, they are welcomed to reach out to me, my team or they can even have access to my online courageous leadership program for free. I gave her my card and she gave me a hug.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

I have had a number of calls, conversations and yes meetings around what is happening across the world and the lack of kindness and courage we are seeing. Instead of the empathy and kindness on display during the bushfires, we have selfishness and greed as people hoard ridiculous amounts of toilet paper and other essential grocery items. Pensioners, low-income earners and others in similar positions who cannot afford to stockpile are finding themselves going without the basics. Those who couldn’t stockpile to the extent of the hoarders (for whatever reason) are having to venture to many different grocery stores just to find a loaf of bread or roll of toilet paper.

There have been altercations over toilet rolls, due to the desperation people are feeling. When someone has a trolley packed high (before supermarkets had to place limits on items) with more toilet paper than they or their family needs, it’s understandable that tensions would boil over.

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The thing that saddens me the most about all this is the incredible contrast between the selflessness during the bushfires and the utter lack of empathy on display now while coronavirus runs rampant. We were so kind and courageous then – and look at us now.

We seem to be looking at this situation and seeing it being about “me” when we are all in this together. We seem to be looking at this situation through a panic lens rather than we can do things differently, how can we be more courageous, how can we help each other, how can stay strong and brave and focus on how we can get through this.

Have we lost our leadership and our ability to be courageous and kind?

This is what we need to do, today and moving forward. Show leadership, courage, and kindness. I reflected on our encounters at Coles and Woolworths and thought we need to do something. We have been delivering our online leadership and courageous leadership programs and coaching for several years. We need to give them the courage and leadership tools and skills and everyone for that matter to be kinder and more courageous.

You can learn leadership, kindness and courage.

If you need any coaching or development for your people and teams during this time, please reach out to us as we are offering one of our self-paced and online programs at cost for everyone. You can find out more below or email us. We truly want to help everyone we can during this time.

Below is an overview of what one of our self-paced programs for only $197 covers –

  • Digital Course access (17 modules, note, workbooks, handpicked resource library).
  • Access online from anywhere in the world.
  • One-to-one support with McDonald Inc. if needed.
  • Great Articles and Blogs.
  • Program includes Global Community Moderated Discussion Forum.
  • Automatic enrolment into the next program intake for free.
  • Amazing Leadership Planner.
  • Inspiration, Motivation and Guidance.
  • Plus more.

In turn, these programs and course will help but it takes each and every one of us to practice kindness and courage. Here are some of my blogs on the 12 Laws of Kindness and Courage.

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous. x

About McDonald Inc.

Our Online Programs and Modules

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching, workshops and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

Best Bosses Do These 5 Things Differently

Last week I delivered a leadership workshop with 30 leaders. Probably a little larger than I would normally work with however the Human Resources Director really wanted as many senior leaders in the room. The day encompassed our key themes around Leadership being an attitude, action and choice, the importance of kindness, courage and inclusiveness in leadership which we explored at length, leadership styles and how leadership is about making a difference and impact. We also explored what makes a leader and why great and poor leadership can impact us. During the day I had several emotional people in the room truly get the importance of this action and attitude of Leadership. I really want to explore in this article other things leaders or “bosses” do differently other than being kind, courageous and inclusive.

In turn, when you ask someone who’s unhappy at work what’s causing their dissatisfaction, the answer is often their boss. The way our bosses interact with us has a massive influence on our work ethic, our mood, and even other aspects of our lives. Bad bosses and leaders can really impact your business and organisation.

The vast majority of managers don’t set out to intentionally make their staffs’ lives miserable, of course – but that doesn’t excuse it. Poor leadership is poor leadership, no matter what end of the scale. Even if you’re not shouting and being mean, you’re still doing a disservice to your team (yourself) if you’re not actively working to be a better leader.

It all comes down to leadership; we know that the ‘best’ bosses get the most out of their staff and make them happier, but how do they do it?

Well, you’re in luck! I’m going to share with you five things that great bosses do that keeps their staff happy and enjoying their work.

Are you a leader? If so, are you doing these five things?

Treat your staff like the individuals they are

While older styles of leadership look at managing people as a group, this does nothing for keeping employees satisfied.

When you don’t get to know those on your team individually, discovering their learning styles, skills, goals, abilities and interests, you can’t customise the way you interact with them. This personalisation is key to helping your team members achieve their goals and feel more valued and respected.

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Push the purpose

If your people don’t know what they’re working towards, or what the end goal is, their enthusiasm is quickly going to wane. Your organisation should have a clearly defined mission and purpose – and as a manager, it is your job to convey this to your team, and inspire them to achieve it.

A clearly defined purpose, giving their work meaning, is what drives engagement in a workplace. It also shows your team that you believe they’re capable of achieving the mission, empowering to do just that.

Regularly give personalised feedback

When you’re only giving your team annual performance reviews, you’re not allowing them enough opportunities to actually better themselves.

Feedback doesn’t have to be as formal as the traditional yearly performance review; even organising a weekly ‘catch-up’ with each team member will be incredibly valuable to their development.

Regular coaching is crucial to demonstrating to your staff that you’re invested in their growth, making them feel valued. Feedback should always be constructive and honest, and presented in a way that shows the opportunity rather than the negative.

Encourage collaboration and discussion by listening

When team members feel that they can’t contribute their thoughts and ideas, they tend to shut down and lose enthusiasm for their role. As a boss, you need to provide direction – but that doesn’t mean imposing your own ideas and views without allowing for input.

Listening is one of the best ways to make your team feel happy and valued. Encourage them to discuss and collaborate, and be sure to really listen to what they have to say.

Be consistent in your leadership style

Would you be happy if your manager was unpredictable in their leadership style? If you didn’t know how they were going to act on any given day? Probably not! That’s why it’s important that above all, you’re consistent in your leadership.

Change is inevitable, of course, but as long as you quickly embrace it and acknowledge it, you can make it your new ‘normal’.

Satisfaction is never guaranteed, but you have the best chance when you do the above

Sometimes, no matter what you do, a person isn’t the right fit for your organisation, or there may be another reason why they aren’t satisfied in their position. The things I outlined in this blog are practices that will drive your employees to be happier, more productive and more engaged. When you break them down, they all come from a base of being attentive to each team member individually.

Be consistent, champion your organisation’s purpose, give regular feedback and really listen to your staff. None of this is easy, but it’s what the best bosses do!

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

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 realise 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 recognised 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 humour 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

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au 

Literally How to Show Kindness at Work (or Anywhere)

“BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE” Dalai Lama

Why do we find Kindness so challenging when it is so easy. Are we so wrapped up in our own bubble or world that we forget that we are all connected and leadership is about others?

It takes courage to be kind and kindness is not a weakness; it is a super power. It’s a super power in business, teams, children, life, leadership and so forth – especially for yourself.

I want you to try at least one of the below each act of kindness and everyday and see the difference it makes at work (and anywhere and everywhere for the matter). In turn, I know you will see a difference in trust, engagement, motivation, connection and performance too – which I know is important in business and life.

  1. Inclusiveness. Workplaces can be ground for unkindness and being excluded but they are also places for life changing and acts of leadership where you take notice of of people and help them feel included and welcomed. We need to embrace everyone as we are all different and unique. Being non-judgemental and inclusiveness is the keys to kindness.
  2. Praise. Notice the good in your workmates and colleagues and go the extra mile to acknowledge and praise them. Take joy in the happiness and achievements of others as you would like for yourself.
  3. Respect. Be kind and respectful to your co-workers and colleagues. Everyone matters and everyone’s time and feeling matter.

The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  1. Integrity. Lead by example always and live by your values. Show courage and kindness by dismissing gossip and small talk. See yourself above such unkindness and be courageous to pursue higher conversation, thoughts and ideas.
  2. Initiative. Take initiative by offering your help and support to others without being asked. Everyone benefits from receiving support yet few of us feel comfortable asking for it. Be attentive and you will spot many valuable opportunities to offer kindness. In turn, you will find others are more readily available to support you.
  3. Connection. We can all past each other and one another in the corridor or lift without saying hello or knowing each other. We enrich our own and each other’s lives when we can enough to greet each other and ask how are going. Also get off your device! I am not perfect at this however I am getting better everyday and I am seeing a massive shift in my mindset and connections. In turn, acknowledging the efforts of others, offering genuine compliments (I do this all the time) and providing positive feedback are other ways to connect and show kindness. A more connected workplace is a happier workplace which is a more high performing workplace!
  4. Commitment. When we bring our passion and dedication to our work, we do kindness unto ourselves and others. Half-hearted work or an unmotivated attitude and effort will never change the world or our lives for the better. When you use your leadership, focus and kindness to make positive change you spread joy, no matter what you do. You will soon find and see more fulfilment, excitement and potential in your life and work.

What are your thoughts on the above? What can you start doing? How else can we show kindness at work or anywhere?

If you would LOVE to know more about our work, awards, keynote speaking, coaching, workshops and programs please see below. I know we offer SO much for your clients and organisations as we know courageous and kind leadership has the greatest impact today for our businesses and lives.

What We Can Learn the World’s Youngest PM

*image credit Wikimedia Commons

We follow Leadership in politics across the globe and we love that Sanna Marin is not only the world’s youngest government leader; last year, at 34 years old, she was also elected as Finland’s Prime Minister. So, what can we learn from her?

She leads Finland’s biggest party, the Social Democrats. Finland has a five-party system, and four out of five parties have women leaders who are under 35 years old. Women are well-represented in politics in Finland and other Nordic regions and have been for years.

In contrast, women are woefully underrepresented in Australian politics, as are young people. This is common around the world – and in many areas, not just the political arena. Any sort of decision-making in public tends to lean towards sexism and ageism, marginalising both younger generations and women in particular.

This is why we are hosting the Outstanding Leadership Awards so we can change the face of Leadership in Australia. We are seeing too many examples of poor leadership in our politics and we want our future leaders, young people, women and everyone for that matter see that there are great leaders.

In turn, that’s not to say that we don’t have women involved in our government here in Australia, but the fact is that older males are the overwhelming majority. There’s an inherent bias against younger people, with the idea that you aren’t wiser until you’re older. What this attitude does is exclude young people from important conversations and takes away their ability to contribute to decisions that directly affect them and their future.

Older generations believe that due to their age they know what is best for everyone – which just isn’t possible. Government bodies are making decisions and policies that don’t take into account the actual experiences, views and voices of young people, especially women.

Younger people are starting to push through this barrier and become the leaders of causes that matter to their generation. Whether it’s protesting governments for various types of reform, climate marches or for women’s rights, young women are becoming the face of movements around the world.

Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai are two of the most prominent young women leaders in recent history, but that’s not to discount the myriad of other women stepping up and fighting for change.

The important point to note about this, however, is that the common link between these young women is that they are leaders in an ‘informal’ way. They are not noticed by the more formal hiring systems, which value traditionally male traits, favouring older men in particular. This system sees the tradition of mainly older men hiring and promoting those who closely resemble them. The cycle continues, and diversity remains underrepresented in formal systems.

If our governing bodies and other influential agencies aren’t made up of a diverse range of people, how can they be expected to truly represent their people and act in their best interests? After all, how can policies reflect a community when that community isn’t reflected?

Young women, and the younger generation in general, don’t know everything, of course. Nobody does. But that’s also the answer – by coming together, sharing our knowledge and skills, and recognising the value that each generation has, particularly as leaders.

Young people, especially young women, face discrimination on two fronts: their sex and their age. They make up a large section of our society, but have to fight to be seen and heard even in a civil setting.

Let’s shake up these traditional views and get rid of them once and for all. This is why we are incredibly passionate about our Emerging Leaders and Women in Leadership Programs at McDonald Inc. Let’s allow diversity to improve things for us all. Let’s really start embracing our young people as the leaders they can be – and that some already are.

The Author – Sonia McDonald

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 human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective 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 recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and 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.

Contact Sonia or her team at McDonald Inc. at https://mcdonaldinc.com.au/ or https://soniamcdonald.com.au/

Would You Trust a Robot Over Your Manager?

64% per cent say yes, according to a new study

Oracle and Future Workplace’s recent study shows that AI (artificial intelligence) isn’t as ‘scary’ as it used to be. Employees are keen to continue embracing technological advancements in the workplace. 36% of those surveyed said that new AI will help with gaining more free time and learning new skills, and 28% were excited to be able to make their roles more strategy-based.

Perhaps the most startling response of all, however, is that 64% said that they would trust a robot over their manager.

What does all this tell us? That AI is going to continue making our working lives more efficient, and that there is a massive lack of trust in many of our managers.

How can managers win back the trust of their employees? And just how are robots and other forms of AI making workplaces more productive?

From robots to AI – what technology can do in the workplace

Robots aren’t just used in warehouses for picking and packing; there are a whole host of tasks that robots can be programmed to do. They are favoured over their human counterparts for menial and repetitive actions, as they work quickly, effortlessly and impeccably.

AI isn’t just robots, however, and not all robots come under the AI umbrella either. Artificial intelligence has been designed for many workplace-related functions such as filtering job applicants, budgeting, scheduling, solving issues and answering queries.

Being able to automate these tasks that are so time-consuming and need to be as free from error as possible is a boon for businesses. Leaving these applications up to AI frees employees up for more important jobs while ensuring they are still performed accurately and quickly.

For example, customer service is improved when AI is used, as there is more time for employees to focus on stakeholder relationship management. Instead of being bogged down in the administrative details, they can entrust an automated system and go on with other tasks.

This level of trust in technology should be the same as we have in our managers, but, as OaFW’s study showed, it’s not the case.

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What managers can do to earn trust from their employees

AI can already do some incredible things, and who knows what the future holds. So, can managers even keep up, and is it fair to compare the two?

Humans are never going to be infallible. It’s just not in our nature, but we expect to be able to have a certain level of trust in our managers. After all, managers have something that no AI is capable of – the ability to coach, show kindness, be courageous, understand feelings, evaluate the performance of teams, and create and promote a workplace culture.

Managers need to be focusing on developing and practising these skills – and if they say they don’t have time, they need to be taking advantage of the technology available to them. Most time is eaten up trying to solve things or complete tasks that AI could solve almost instantly, and with fewer errors, as shown by a study from Accenture that Harvard Business Review referenced.

They found that managers are wasting hours on work that is of low-value, work that an AI program could be doing instead. Rather than being occupied with these tasks and unintentionally neglecting their customers and employees, managers could be free to develop themselves and those around them. They would be able to dedicate time to coaching, service and building rapport and culture in their workplace.

You can’t escape technological advances – so work on improving your leadership to keep up!

There will always need to be humans in the workforce, so it’s important that a manager is able to focus on their people.

Whether it’s pride or a distrust of the technology that their employees embrace, managers need to get with the times and learn to work with the AI that is there to make their jobs easier. By letting AI take care of the low-value tasks, relationships, collaboration and creativity flourish – and that’s what this world needs more of!

The Author – Sonia McDonald

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 human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective 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 recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and 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.

Contact Sonia or her team at McDonald Inc. at https://mcdonaldinc.com.au/ or https://soniamcdonald.com.au/

Courage to Deal with the Jerk at Work

Have you worked with a Jerk? I have! They are real. They are out there. We have worked with them, for them and lead them. For whatever reason provenance has deemed necessary, there will often be that one person in a working environment that no amount of coaching or compassion will breach. These narcissistic jerks cause disruption, anxiety, pressure, and even hostile work environments no matter what others may do to try and alleviate their control issues.

If you have someone in your work arena that fits this description, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to ensure a smoother, though not ideal, working relationship that gets the results you need. It simply is a matter of recognising that not all workmates are created equal, and this one just needs to be handled in a more demanding way. It’s not about YOU, it’s about them, remember this. And only you hold the power over your thoughts and actions. Let’s explore how to be courageous and deal with a jerk at work!

Be aware of your confidence

One tactic workplace jerks take on to forward their own narcissism is to bully other employees into discrediting their own work. You are the expert in the field and recognise your work has great value and substance, so when the workplace jerk starts knocking it down, realise you have more fruitful avenues for peer review. Seek out those around you who you trust and garner their opinion. Often times you will discover the negative critiques were simply that – negative.

Keep communications open

It is often uncomfortable to discuss just about anything with a demanding jerk in the workplace, but shutting down lines of communication is not the answer. When having to collaborate with such as personality, speak clearly and concisely about your topic. Be aware that a narcissist needs to feel in control, and that they may well try to drive the communication into a light that makes them look better. This is done by introducing red herrings into the conversation – don’t fall prey to dead end roads. Stick to the point at hand and move along.

Watch more here on my Youtube Channel about THE JERK and subscribe to more brilliant videos, tips and inspiration around Leadership, Neuroscience and Mindset!

Don’t just take it

If the office jerk is offensive, bullying, or entering the realm of harassment, you don’t have to take one for the team and excuse the behaviour. Recognise that their actions affect not only your work environment, but also the business image and fluidity as a whole. Report negative behaviour immediately to a supervisor or the human resources leader for resolution, and understand that this has nothing to do with anything you have done. Negative personalities such as the workplace jerk reduce productivity and job satisfaction, and making others aware of the disruption to business will ensure actions are taken immediately to correct the situation. Here are some more great tips from Balance Careers too.

Do you have any tips that you could share?

The Author – Sonia McDonald

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 human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective 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 recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and 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.

Contact Sonia or her team at McDonald Inc. at https://mcdonaldinc.com.au/ or https://soniamcdonald.com.au/

Making Time for Your Leadership Development Even Though You’re ‘Too Busy’

How do we make time to learn leadership when we are too busy? I wrote a blog a while back about being over hearing people talk about being ‘too busy’ – and how I was guilty of it myself for a long time – here is one of my blogs on the topic of ‘being busy!”.. The fact of the matter is that you need to make time for your goals and that nobody is really as busy as they claim they are. We all have time we can utilise if we are serious about making changes.

Leadership development is the same; you can’t be a great leader if you don’t continually develop your leadership skills. No leader is perfect; there is no level you reach as a leader where complacency about your growth becomes acceptable. The great leaders among us are those that recognise that there is always room for improvement within themselves, and that is worth making time for.

When you think you’re too busy to work on your leadership, here’s how you can make the time and further develop yourself as a leader:

Build your confidence

You need to be confident to develop your leadership skills; it’s the same as with any skill. Practice speaking to yourself with kindness, including finding a mantra you can say to yourself every morning – and whenever you need a boost of confidence. When you say something to yourself enough times, you’ll begin to believe it. Do it while you’re brushing your teeth, or before you step out the door – there’s always time for a quick pep talk with yourself!

An example of a mantra I love for confidence-building is: “I am enough. I am worthy. I have achieved great things, and I will continue to do so.”

Look for lessons you can relate to leadership in what you read or watch

No matter how busy we tell ourselves we are, we always seem to find time for the things we like doing. This includes watching our favourite shows or scrolling through our favourite blogs – and there’s a way to make this work for your leadership development!

Many movies, tv shows, blogs and books contain content that, if you approach with a leadership mindset, can be used to teach yourself leadership lessons. By actively looking out for messages in the content you watch or read, you’re making time for your leadership development in a simple way.

Set aside 20 minutes each day for your development

Everybody can find 20 minutes in their day, no matter how ‘busy’ they are. Like looking for lessons in the content you read or watch, this should also become a habit. Making your 20 minute development period a non-negotiable will have a large impact on your growth as a leader.

Whether you commit to waking up 20 minutes earlier in the morning, using 20 minutes of your commute, or carving out the time in any other part of your day, there are many activities you can do to help yourself grow. Listen to leadership-related podcasts or audiobooks, watch TED Talks, browse the resources on LinkedIn – there are many things you can do in as little as 20 minutes each day.

Reflect on learning opportunities from your daily interactions

Leaders who meditate on their communication daily will quickly develop a deeper understanding of effective leadership interaction.

Whether you make notes throughout the day or undertake an overall reflection at the end of each day, you’ll learn what strategies do and don’t work and find opportunities for improvement in your next interactions.

How do you make time for your leadership development?

If you aren’t already putting enough time into your growth, don’t stress! As long as you make the commitment today and start creating these new habits, that’s what is most important.

Don’t overload yourself – pick one of these tips and start doing it today, tomorrow, and the next day. Then slowly add more in so that you’re overwhelmed.

I love to listen to podcasts and sit down with great books as simple ways to develop my leadership without hiding behind ‘busy’. Instead of scrolling through my phone before bed, I pick up a leadership-related book. It’s as easy as that to make time for your leadership!

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

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 realise 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 recognised 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 humour 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

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

How to Handle Challenging Co-workers with Kindness

How to Handle Challenging Co-workers with Kindness

It’s only natural that when you spend the majority of your week at work, the people there will get on your nerves. Whether someone is sexist, sucks up to the boss or whinges about everything, there’s bound to be someone who annoys you. There could even be a colleague that reminds you of a childhood bully; aggressive and often causing tense situations.

The way we handle these difficult coworkers has a profound effect on our mental health, and our career as well. I’m all about kindness, and how it’s one of the most powerful weapons we have against the bullies and negative people of the world. Here’s how you can use kindness (and mindfulness) to deal with those colleagues that push our buttons.

Understand your triggers

Everyone has buttons that, when pressed, can provoke a strong reaction. Yours could come from your family, how you were raised, or what you believe in, and may or may not be logical. Whether intentionally or not, these points are bound to be triggered through our day-to-day life.

It’s important to do some self-reflection to identify your trigger points so that you can be more prepared to handle it when someone inevitably triggers you. Instead of snapping instantly, take a pause and consider what has happened and why. Is this person actually pushing your button, or are you just being too sensitive? How can you respond to the situation in a kinder, healthier way?

Anger isn’t an option

Anger is harmful to your health, your career and your judgement. Even if someone at work is purposefully trying to make you angry, returning that anger will do irreparable damage to your reputation.

It might be an instinct to react in anger when you’ve been treated poorly, but you can learn to avoid immediately turning to this reaction when faced with conflict. Mindfulness is key; stopping to take deep breaths before you respond allows you to handle the situation with kindness, calmness and rationality.

If you really cannot control yourself, then the next best thing is to excuse yourself and step away from the confrontation. There’s no shame in choosing the ‘flight’ instead of ‘fight’ reaction.

Put yourself in their shoes

When someone is hurting you, why is it that they’re doing so? More often than not, it’s because they’re hurting inside. Keeping this in mind will help you be more compassionate towards your difficult coworker. You’ll be able to understand just why they’re acting the way they are, and that will help you cope with their antagonistic behaviour. It also allows you to step back and look at the bigger picture, reducing conflict and helping you be less stubborn in your own views.

Reflect on why you feel this way and learn from the opportunity

Sometimes, it’s not actually the other person that is the issue at all. While this can be hard to realise, it will only benefit you and your workplace relationships in the long run. Maybe this coworker bothers you so much because they represent what you don’t like about yourself?

The other thing to do is try and be grateful for the experience, no matter how unpleasant. Each conflict can be turned into a learning opportunity, where you heal and discover more about yourself.

Show kindness to yourself and your challenging coworkers

Remember that holding onto anger and negativity ultimately harms ourselves more than anyone else. Instead of instantly reacting to a tense situation and adding fuel to the fire, take a deep breath, put yourself in their shoes and think about what kindness you’d want someone to show you if you were in that same position. Being the bigger person is rewarding; your well-being is improved and you’re showing your leaders that you can handle conflict with ease. Have the courage to be kind, even to those who hurt you.

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

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 realise 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 recognised 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 humour 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

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Courage under a Bad Boss

We have all worked with that bad boss! Not every boss is a good boss, as just about everyone has experienced in their working life.

Maybe you’ve never been considered for a promotion, because you’re not one of the boss’s ‘favourite’ employees.

Or perhaps they often give you ‘urgent’ work just before the end of the day, insisting that it can’t wait until you get to work tomorrow.

No matter what they do, bosses like these can drive us crazy. They’re often either power-mad with giant egos, or just plain clueless.

Bad bosses make us miserable; dealing with their negative behaviours day in and day out is exhausting. It’s all too common, and its bosses, not companies that people are often actually leaving.

If you’re dealing with a bad boss, you can make it a good thing for your career. Here’s how.

Learning not to jump ship straight away

We all face challenges, and running away almost never solves the problem. It might seem like a good idea at the time to just up and quit when you have a bad boss, but you won’t be doing yourself any favours.

If you haven’t been strategic and lined up another position before quitting, you’ll find yourself desperate and taking the first offer you get. And often, you end up even more miserable than you were originally, under an even worse boss.

You need to take the time to make sure that any job changes are for the benefit of your career. Having the self-control and the patience to search for the right opportunity, rather than instantly running away, will serve you well in your career.

Learning how to deal with others’ emotions, and controlling your own reactions

It may not be fun, but every time you have a conflict with your bad boss, you’ve got the opportunity to improve your emotional intelligence skills.

By handling situations where your boss blows up, instead of getting angry right back at them, you’re learning how to manage conflict. This is an incredible skill set for anyone to have, especially those of you who aspire to be leaders. Great leaders can handle tense situations, making the workplace run smoother.

Learning how to be a better boss

What better way to learn what behaviours to avoid as a leader than by experiencing them yourself? Knowing how the actions of a bad boss affects employees like yourself personally gives you an important lesson in leadership.

Use the knowledge of what not to do, so that you can become a better boss than they were.

You can grab a copy of my FREE Leadership Planner here to be a better leader!

Find the positives in any situation

Dealing with a bad boss is never easy, but you need to remember that you can learn a lot from the experience. Using the lessons you’ve learned, you can move forward in your professional development and your career – and that’s worth the misery of a bad boss.

Your time with your bad boss will come to an end, so take the time to make sure your next move is a great one!

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

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 realise 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 recognised 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 humour 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

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Kindness will be your secret weapon in 2020

Kindness will be your secret weapon in 2020

Did you know Kindness will your secret weapon in 2020? If you’ve read any of my previous content, you’ll know that I preach being kind, courageous and authentic. Not just in your leadership, but in your business and life too.

I’m putting the spotlight on kindness for this blog, because it’s such a huge part of my message. You might know that one of my goals is to eradicate bullying and poor leadership in our time, and what is the opposite of being mean or aggressive? Being kind.

Even the smallest act of kindness, however insignificant you think it may be, could make someone’s day that bit brighter. Making others feel good for no reason other than to be kind is such a rewarding feeling.

The trouble is that we seem to have this idea in our society that being kind is being weak. We think to be kind means to let people walk all over us, and not challenge or voice our own ideas. Where do you think the stereotypical ‘horrible boss’ comes from? It comes from this frankly ridiculous notion that to be strong, you can’t be kind.

Kindness is the secret weapon.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Kindness is the Ultimate Strength

People should always come before business, and what better way to foster positive relationships than by simply being nice?

Having compassion and empathy for those who don’t treat you the best shows that you care about the person underneath. If you care in a genuine, selfless way, your reputation is going to soar and you’re going to be opening yourself up to more opportunities.

‘Treat the janitor like you would the CEO’ is one of my favourite sayings when it comes to respect and kindness. Because showing kindness is also showing respect. And you never know who you’re interacting with on any given day – the woman you gave your seat to on the train could be the hiring manager at the company you’re on your way to interview at.

Letting the harried-looking man ahead of you in the coffee line could open up a conversation, and help you make a valuable new connection.

What else does being kind do? It encourages your team to stick with you for the long haul. Being shown kindness and knowing they’re valued is one of the main reasons employees stick with their companies.

The Outstanding Leadership Awards 2020 are COMING!

You might see ‘successful’ people being jerks, and mistakenly think that they’re being ‘strong’. These are the worst people to emulate. Nobody wants to stick around for long when they’re working under a big old meanie, do they?

It actually takes incredible strength to be kind, especially to those who may not seem as if they deserve it. It’s the strongest of us who can be kind without expecting anything in return. Being strong enough to show kindness even in front of those who you know see it as weakness is what we should all aspire to?

Basically, we should all live by these words:

Have courage, and be kind.

–      Cinderella (2015)

Imagine how much nicer the world would be if we all thought and acted this way?

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.

Mission

To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.

Vision

At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

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 realise 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 recognised 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 humour 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

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au