On Today’s Menu — Seven Simple Dos and Don’ts to Antidote the Fast-Food Learning Culture

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Picture created with images from unsplash.com

In recent months, the incumbent shift for almost all learning to go online has been a somewhat mixed blessing, for both learners and educators alike.

Having spent the last 25 years as a learning junkie, with considerable experience on both sides of the learning equation, I have subjected myself to a vast array of educational offerings. I’ve travelled round the world to attend life-changing seminars, have hung on every word uttered by well-known experts, devoured the latest best-selling books and fully immersed myself in the enticing world of personal change. However, my experience of online learning has been consistently unremarkable.

My perception is that our appetite for online learning has quickly out-paced the creators’ ability to do it well and our appetites are waning. We’re now getting wise to the pattern of being enticed to attend free webinars with jazzy, attention grabbing titles only to find that underneath the pizazz, the presentation is dull and leads to the inevitable upselling. …

The eight essential roles that connect two apparently disparate worlds

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Photo courtesy of Standsome Worklifestyle (via unsplash.com)

For mothers, elbow deep in sterilizing fluid or going demented in front of endless repeats of Peppa Pig, business leadership may seem to exist in a different universe. At a time when we are typically at our least glamourous, if someone told us mothers that we had something valuable to offer in the boardroom, chances are we would shake our heads in bemused disbelief.

However, over time I’ve come to acknowledge that the rigours of motherhood can lay the foundations for exceptional leadership.

I started researching leadership when my only daughter was 7 years old. For most of the first few years of her life, grappling with sleep deprivation, a sense of isolation and low self-esteem, I felt like I had nothing more to give. By the time she was 3, I was managing around 6 hours of employment a week teaching classes in a leisure centre with a crèche. Frazzled, frustrated and intellectually inept, it was unimaginable that I could cope with any other demands on my time and energy. I wondered how on earth it was possible for other mothers to get into work and function effectively in a professional environment. …

Why motivation is not enough when you want to make change

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Photo by Jessica Da Rosa courtesy of Unsplash

Dry January, pre-breakfast jogs, spin classes, gluten-free diets… who hasn’t tried one of the ‘must-do’ life-style changes, only to find them fall by the wayside much sooner than we’d care to admit? In the wake of multiple frustrated ventures, perhaps you have accrued a drawer-full of optimistic lycra, a juicer (possibly now tucked into the back of an inaccessible cupboard) and a couple of packets of out-of-date ‘Free-From’ cardboard crackers that will probably only be eaten in the next ice-age.

Of course, this is all fertile ground for the hungry marketeers, who fully understand the fallibilities of our efforts to change and who prowl around the edges of our fickle aspirations. So, why is human behaviour around change so predictably ineffective? And what can we learn about these well-worn human pathways that can help us, finally, to either follow through or at least to know enough not to get hooked into a doomed scheme in the first place? …

A nail-biting tale of using Spiritual Intelligence in a very sticky situation

05:45 It’s a chilly, pitch-black Friday morning. My eyes are still feeling the uncomfortable heaviness of having been wakened too early and my body’s not quite caught up with the idea that I’m up and about. The familiar yet slightly intrusive discomfort is just beginning to dissipate as I put the key in the ignition and set off on the road to the airport. I’m booked on the 09:05 from Edinburgh to New York. I’ve been back and forth to the airport hundreds of times. I know how long it takes and I know how to plan around the inevitable jams during peak hours. Given that this trip is a bigger deal than usual, I’ve applied an extra level of diligence and checked the internet for any traffic issues before I set off. …

What It Looks Like, Why It Matters And Where To Begin

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Photo by Michael Romanov courtesy of unsplash.com

The word ‘humility’ (from the Latin humilis) originally means ‘low’ or ‘small’. I’m guessing this isn’t what you might immediately associate with a leadership strength, so what is it about this curiously controversial commodity that brings tangible benefits to today’s leaders?

The value of leading with humility largely depends on how a leader handles three ‘make or break’ factors — power, responsibility and respect. Getting to a place of ease with these, undoubtedly serves to help anyone glide more smoothly over the minefield of workplace relationships and lay a stronger foundation for effective leadership.

Whether we like it or not, any leadership position comes with a certain degree of power but, unfortunately, what is less clear is the delicate dynamic that exists between positional power and personal power. All too often the two are messily entangled and our psychological antennae have become sensitive to who is telling who what to do, who always has the last word, whose opinion counts most and who ultimately makes the decisions. Subtly we are all wired to monitor our place in the hierarchy and our Egos are alerted if our position comes under threat. This means that in very hierarchical and/or competitive environment, our stress responses are being triggered continually. …

Discover how the softest of soft skills could give you the edge

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St Fiachra’s Garden, Co Kildare, Ireland (Photo by E J Oliver)

There’s nothing like a confession to get the words rolling out… despite having had an utter disdain for all things remotely spiritual for decades, I’ve had a complete change of heart and am now ready to ‘come out’ on this. I’m finally prepared to offer a well-percolated perspective, to bust the myth that spirituality is the domain of worshippers, poets and philosophers and offer the view that spiritual intelligence is a much-needed commodity for any business leader.

Having looked through the eyes of a rationally-oriented pragmatist, I now have a greater understanding of the practical benefits of spiritual intelligence (SQ) and firmly believe it needs to play an integral role in the life of any thriving business. High SQ leads to greater awareness, wisdom, insight, compassion, sensitivity and integrity. …


Liz Oliver

Liz specialises in facilitating the human side of change and aims to integrate spiritual intelligence into business solutions www.rethinkingchange.co.uk

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