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.

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

Why Corporate Australia Needs More Kind and Courageous Leaders

Global consulting firm Korn Ferry released a research report with some interesting findings about corporate leadership in Australia. The research included almost 800 investors around the world, with 50 of them being here in Australia. The research showed that Australian investors hold the belief that not even 15% of our corporate leaders are capable of keeping up with the ever-changing world of business or helping their companies to do the same.

66% of those investors also said that leaders need to take more initiative to drive change in their companies. To be able to continuously move a corporate business forward and to keep pace with the changes they face, it’s necessary to be courageous so that you can stay agile and roll with the punches.

Korn Ferry also conducted an analysis of over 150,000 leaders globally, which found that the traditional style of leadership is lacking when it comes to dealing with the challenges and disruptions of today’s world. The changes in consumer behaviours, globalisation and technology show the need to hastily meet the demand for identifying and developing corporate leaders who can handle leading their people and organisations through the changing corporate landscape.

Korn Ferry’s former senior client partner Nick Avery (now APAC Head of HR, BlackRock) has said of the results that the current crop of corporate leaders are lacking the crucial quality of acceleration. Acceleration refers to how quickly a leader can organise their people and get them to put new ideas into place to deal with any roadblocks that occur.

McDonald Inc. are championing Kind & Courageous Leaders and Leadership in 2020 – find out more

The Outstanding Leadership Awards!

Avery has said in the past that many corporations here in Australia have not had the courage to seek out those leaders who do not embody the traditional leader stereotype. He also noted that leaders themselves have lacked the courage to push for change within their company. What we are seeing now is that it has become crucial for corporations to identify and encourage those with the potential to develop into the courageous leaders that’s corporate Australia needs.

There is also a need for this new generation of leaders to break free from the traditional boss and employee relationship and put more trust in their people through collaboration and encouraging them to use their specific skills. The workplace culture in many Australian corporations is bordering on toxic, and that’s where kindness comes into play. Diversity, equality, inclusivity and kindness are what is needed to reform corporate cultures across Australia and throughout the world.

Leaders who treat their teams like people, not just staff there to do their bidding are the ones who will continue to challenge and change the idea of traditional leadership. Showing kindness (and having the courage to break the mould by doing so) is what corporations need from their leaders to improve workplace cultures and raise employee satisfaction. This then has the follow-on effect of increasing productivity and greatly reducing staff turnover.

On the subject of turnover, it is a trend that corporate Australia needs to stem in order to create stability in their workforce. In the past 3 years, 67% of businesses had markedly increased turnover of staff. Industry analysts have said that they expect this trend to carry on unless more companies and leaders start showing kindness to their people. Showing staff that they are valued, that their work is appreciated and that their organisation cares about them as people is something that is easy to do when you are consciously practising kindness. Many employees are now seeking workplaces that offer a better balance between work and life. This is especially crucial to note for those in corporate Australia, where workloads and expectations are higher and therefore there is more pressure to focus on work above all else.

Whether you are a current leader or an aspiring leader in the corporate sector, it’s time to invest in yourself and grow your confidence. You need to have the courage to shake things up and change them for the better. You also need to start practising kindness in a more conscious way, if you aren’t already doing so. Doing nice things for your employees, no matter how small, shows how much you care about them and that they are valued by you and the organisation. Have the courage to do things differently and be a kinder leader – you’ll see performances improve, staff retention increases and contribute to the reinvention of your workplace’s culture into something far more positive.

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Employee Loyalty

Weak Company Culture is Behind the Decline in Employee Loyalty

A new report released by TINY pulse, The 2019 Employee Engagement Report: The End of Employee Loyalty, shares the results of a poll of 25,000 employees from 20 different industries – there’s been a 20% increase in the number of workers who said they would leave their current job for a small pay increase, and that poor company culture is to blame. From only 23% in 2015 to 43% in 2019, this is a shocking number of people who are unhappy at work, with a marked decline in their loyalty as a result. The report said that the three biggest factors that influenced the happiness of employees were: ●     Doing work that is engaging. ●     The relationships between employees and managers. ●     Their first impressions of a company. Taking a look at the first point, it’s when employees are not being challenged regularly that they become bored, and this has a large effect on how happy they feel at work. Giving employees challenging and engaging work also gives them a sense of purpose, as well as the opportunity to feel pride and boost their self-esteem when they conquer these tasks. When you show your employees trust in their abilities by giving them harder work, you’re making them feel valued and, in turn, much happier with their position. Managers who provide challenging work and foster the positive feelings that come from such work are also more likely to build positive employee-manager relationships, another big factor in whether an employee is happy or not. As leaders, managers must be open, honest, vulnerable (to a point), approachable and know how to effectively communicate with their staff is they wish to keep them happy and loyal. When a team member feels comfortable talking to their manager about things that are bothering them instead of staying silent, they’re going to feel more comfortable and therefore, happier. The last point is also very important; company culture has a major influence on the first impression an employee has of their new company, which affects how happy they are in the long-term as well. New employees must have a positive and effective experience during the onboarding process, which comes from strong company culture.
With the right people, culture, and values, you can accomplish great things. Tricia Griffith
A Robert Half survey conducted last year showed that, if a company’s culture was negative and didn’t fit with their own, a third of the employee respondents said they would turn down their ideal job. Company culture changes won’t occur overnight, but by analysing where your culture is currently, and where you want it to be, you will already be making a vast improvement to the culture of your company. Employees who see management working to make the necessary changes to improve the workplace atmosphere and provide them with opportunities to challenge themselves will be happier with their positions and stay with the company for years to come. LeadershipHQ is the Leaders in Cultural Transformation. We partner with Businesses and Organisations big or small to create and build high impact and meaningful Cultural Strategies. Reach out to us today at https://leadershiphq.com.au/

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 recognized 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
Resilience in Business

10 Ways to Build Your Resilience in Business

The greatest learnings for me in business has been the importance of leadership and resilience. Don’t you agree? The world of small business presents many challenges to the owners of these businesses, that they wouldn’t necessarily encounter as part of a larger company – such as isolation, high amounts of stress, and trying to keep up with the ‘big boys’ while on a much smaller budget. Owning a business isn’t for the faint of heart, but the good news is that there are steps business owners can take to improve their resilience so that they can better handle the many ups and downs that are part and parcel of running a small to medium-sized business. Here are 10 ways to build your resilience as a business owner. Find a space to reflect, away from work Whether it’s at your kitchen table in the morning with a cup of coffee, or while you’re at the gym, it’s easier to reflect on challenges and issues you’re facing and find solutions when you’re in a different environment. Set achievable goals Goals have to be realistic; you’re never going to achieve all your goals in one day, so make sure you’re setting tasks that are actually achievable within the timeframes you’ve given. Practice mindfulness This is fantastic for anyone, but small business owners really benefit from daily mindfulness exercises as they help you change your reactions to things and make more appropriate choices. Something as simple as a daily breathing exercise can make a big difference. Find your tribe When you have a great support group to fall back on, it becomes a lot easier to deal with difficult situations. There are many great groups on Facebook, for example, for small business owners, where you can get support from other owners. Finding your ‘tribe’ means you have a group of people who you trust, admire, respect and can be open with – you know you’ll get the feedback you need, as well as incredible support too. Being able to bounce ideas off people is also another huge benefit of becoming part of a community of small business owners like you. Take responsibility When something goes wrong, as a small business owner you have to get on with it and fix the situation – you can’t just sit in the corner and wait for somebody else to solve the problem. The more you do this, the stronger you’ll feel. Reflect Whether you prefer after every project, or at the end of the day or week, reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and what lessons you’ve learned gives you perspective and helps you find what you can take away to apply to a future project. Feeling prepared is key to being more resilient. Acknowledge when you’ve done a good job It’s easier to reduce stress and silence the doubting voice in your head that says “you can’t do this” when you’ve taken the time to appreciate your successes and find the good in each day.
“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” — Charles F Kettering
Look after your health When you make the time to nourish your body with good food and move it with exercise, you’re giving yourself the best chance at remaining positive, even in the face of tough situations. It’s hard to feel like you can tackle a problem when you’ve slept poorly, haven’t exercised and have been eating too much junk – so improve your resilience simply by looking after your health. Be realistic, not negative Negativity breeds failure, which is the last thing a small business owner wants. Being realistic about things doesn’t mean being negative – acknowledge what’s happening, no matter how bad it may be, then start making a realistic plan on how to overcome the issue. If you’re negative about a situation, you’ll miss solutions and not try hard enough – or at all – because you’ve already decided it’s hopeless. It’s important to practice looking at things realistically to help you realize that while you may have limitations, there’s almost always a way to overcome things. Do what needs to be done If you never try, you’ll never fail – sounds nice in theory, but in practice, your business will never be successful, and you will fold under pressure that an owner with resilience would be able to handle. Do what’s necessary, even if it’s uncomfortable; back yourself and take risks, and be ready to get back up and try again when things go wrong. Mistakes and failures are learning opportunities – don’t be scared of them, learn to embrace them! You’ll feel more courageous as you conquer more fears and negative situations. Small business owners don’t have the same resources as their larger counterparts, and at times it can be overwhelming navigating the world of small business, but if you work hard on building up your resilience as a small business owner, you’ll find yourself rising to the top of the heap. It’s all about taking responsibility and being accountable, looking after your body and mind, being realistic, reflecting, acknowledging your efforts, setting achievable goals and being prepared to do what it takes. Practice these and you’ll quickly find your resilience growing – you’ll be ready to handle whatever comes your way. Contact the team at LeadershipHQ to find out about our Leadership Coaching and Programs for SME’s and Family Businesses at info@leadershiphq.com.au
Laws of Leadership

The 7 Laws of Leadership

I have put together these laws (when I say ‘laws’, I mean more like guidelines) for any leader who is looking for some direction – however, these are also great for making the most of life in general. I will expand on each one to explain why I believe they’re so important, and what they mean to me.

Without further ado, here are my 7 Laws of Leadership:

  1. Be brave. Be kind.

You’ll hear me speak (and write!) about this a lot, and with good reason; the best leaders are those who blaze trails and are willing to do the things nobody else will. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can accomplish when you take that leap! Always practice kindness and bravery.

  1. Follow your instincts, but don’t discount others’ opinions

If you can’t trust your gut feelings, why should anyone else trust in you and your actions? This doesn’t mean that you should ignore what everyone else thinks; it’s important to seriously consider all options and outcomes before making a decision, but great leaders become known for their instincts when they steer people and companies in the right direction and out of trouble. Trusting yourself can be hard, but it’s what you need to do to become a better leader.

  1. Be respectful, always

A leader who doesn’t treat others with respect will never be respected – and won’t be getting the best from their team. Relationships are built on respect, and you’ll need to forge relationships often in the workplace to be truly successful.

  1. Be empowering

When you give those around you the encouragement and tools to succeed, you’re instilling a sense of pride in their work and improving their self-esteem, while pushing them to get the best results possible. Making people feel good will make you feel good too, and will bring a great atmosphere to the workplace. You’ll also improve the culture of the business, which will have positive ripple effects throughout the whole company.

Contact the team at LeadershipHQ for a FREE Leadership or Business Culture Coaching Session 

  1. Be the model of what you expect from others

“Do as I say, not as I do” leaders are not respected, and will quickly sink a positive atmosphere in the workplace. If you want your team to be hard-working, honest, passionate – you need to model this for them and live it yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious; spread it to your team and see the great results.

  1. Be willing to do what is right, even when others don’t agree

Having integrity and doing what you believe is the right thing to do is an important characteristic of any great leader. No real change was ever made without someone taking that risk, standing up and saying “No more. This is what is right!” While others may not like it, you will more often than not gain their respect for sticking to your guns and doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is.

  1. Never stop learning

You’ll never know everything – that’s just a fact of life. But things are always changing; new research comes out, or new technology, and to continue staying on top of the competition, you need to be constantly learning and seeking out new information. Improving your skills and knowledge is never a bad thing

I go by these guidelines every day, and I hope they help inspire you to take the next step and ramp up your leadership. These laws also apply to life in general – who doesn’t want to be the best they can be, whether they’re a leader or not?

I’d love to hear what you think of my 7 Laws of Leadership! Let me know what you think of them, and if you think I should include any other laws. 

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

resilience

Top Tips for Managing Resilience

As technology and the world advance, workplaces find themselves up against an almost constant stream of challenges, whether in the form of workplace bullying, the restructuring of organisations, micro-managing, ridiculously large workloads and having no support from leaders or the rest of the team. Workplaces also liaise and work more with companies in other countries, which means different time zones have put an end to the ‘traditional’ working hours of 9-5 (or similar), leaving less downtime. Technological advancements can also be overwhelming, trying to keep up with the expertise and skills needed to take advantage of it. So what is the answer to dealing with these issues, and just how do they affect your company’s bottom line right, with managing resilience.

When your team is feeling overwhelmed, stressed or upset when facing the challenges of the modern workplace, you’ll see a decline in productivity and employee morale, and a sharp increase in staff turnover. You might think some people just handle stress better than others, but there are things you can do to help your staff improve their handling of these challenges – to help build their resilience.

Resilience is, essentially, the handling of stressors and problems without folding under the pressure. You’ll find some people do their best work when faced with being stressed, but you can still teach others in the workplace how to build up their resilience, to produce better results and better handle all that their work throws at them.

Here are some tips to help your team manage (and/or build) their resilience:

Improve social interactions at work

When employees have a reliable social network in a workplace that promotes open communication, you’ll see them thrive in no time. When they love coming to work, they’ll be more productive too. Being sympathetic as a leader, providing opportunities for teamwork and holding social events for the workplace will help boost your team’s relationships.

Promote a happy and healthy environment

Along with helping your team build beneficial relationships at work, there are many other ways you can improve your workplace’s psychological environment:

  • Be an approachable and open leader
  • Don’t regularly restructure or change the roles, procedures and expectations of the environment, in turn providing a feeling of job security
  • Watch that workloads don’t get excessive, and provide variety in tasks to keep your team interested
  • Have other leaders or managers trained to be more aware of the team’s wellbeing
  • Show that you trust your team by letting them have a degree of autonomy
  • Be flexible with how your team can work; offer differing hours or to work from home if needed
  • Be sure to recognise and reward great work
  • Invest in training your staff in new skills
  • Be fair

People who feel valued, trusted and supported by their leaders will be empowered to handle the challenges that come their way without crumbling, improving their resilience.

Take challenges as an opportunity for teaching

When you treat problems or failures as learning opportunities, you’ll be demonstrating resilience to your team, and showing them ways to look at challenges in a different light, helping them build their own resilience as well. Be sure to explain how not everything will work, but that’s okay as it’s still an important part of ultimately succeeding. Workplaces face challenges often, and modelling resilience for your team will be a great influence when a problem arises. Grab my books Leadership Attitude or Just Rock It! to get some more tips and tools in this area too.

Be grateful

At the end of each working day (or week), tell your team what you believe was a success that day (or week), and ask them what they believe went well too. Focusing on the positives is a great exercise to help your team realise that there’s always something to be grateful for, which is essential when building resilience.

These tips will help you empower your team and manage their resilience in the workplace, leading to less staff turnover, and an increase in morale and productivity. Take the time to work on your own resilience as well, so that you can effectively model it for your team. Don’t forget that your team looks to you as an example; how you handle workplace challenges directly influences your staff and provides them with ideas on how to react.

About LeadershipHQ

LeadershipHQ have helped 1000’s of small to medium sized organisations (sometimes corporates), teams and leaders. LeadershipHQ partner with businesses and leaders in building & delivering high impact.

Leadership, People, Cultural and Business Strategies and Programs that ultimately improve the bottom line. We work with leaders and organisations across the globe transforming their leadership, culture and organisations with our cutting edge and results-driven strategies, assessments and diagnostics, leadership events, coaching and programs. 

We know Great Leadership means Great Results. We have a team of brilliant people across the Globe who work with organisations and clients to deliver great results and leadership. We are the innovators and thought leaders in Leadership and Strategy through our consulting, events, internal and external programs and online resources. 

Our specialities include Cultural Transformation | Business Strategy | Leadership Development | Facilitation | HR Consulting | Executive Coaching | Keynote Speaking | Online Programs | Licensing Programs | Online Resources | Emerging Leaders | Women in Leadership | Leadership Coaching Program | Masterclasses – Half and Full Day Leadership Workshops | Events | Mentoring Programs

LeadershipHQ is the headquarters of Great Leadership. We have our online resource centre and programs, leadership magazine and we have been named in the TOP 50 & 100 Leadership Blogs across the Globe for CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and Executives. 

Our clients include Thiess, Super Retail Group, Coles, Kane Constructions, McConaghy Properties, ARTC, Aurizon, Qantas, Virgin, Origin, Downer, Genie, CQU, Griffith University, Lend Lease, Vic Racing and SEQ Water.

Phone 1300 719 665  www.leadershiphq.com.au www.soniamcdonald.com.au

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 recognized 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