Someone recently asked me to evaluate a piece of advice they were given - was it good advice or bad advice? The thing about advice is that it always comes from the point of view of the person giving the advice. When I give advice, I am giving a piece of my experience, my assumptions, my beliefs, my expectations, my wants and my projections to the person receiving that advice. So, even in the best of intentions, advice always comes from the wisdom of the giver.
Is there such a thing as good or bad advice? Advice just is!
It is up to the recipient to assess the advice, and use their own inner wisdom to determine how they want to act - heed the advice or discard it. There is nothing wrong in soliciting for advice, in fact, for me, advice has a place in my growth. It can open up perspectives I may not readily see. However, it is my responsibility as the recipient, to decide! That decision starts with knowing, truly knowing myself and using my internal compass to navigate through the advice I just received.
What is it for you when it comes to advice?
Over the past two years, I've had the privilege of organizing eight team offsites, for my team and C-level leadership teams I've supported. An offsite is a great way to bring the team together for team bonding, development, planning or brainstorming. Some teams may choose to hold an offsite quarterly, semi-annually or annually. It all depends on the purpose and your team/business needs.
People have often asked me what makes a team offsite effective. Here are ten ingredients I have noticed makes a difference:
Those are my thoughts. What are your favorite ingredients for an effective team offsite?
I recently rewatched Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk on “The danger of a single story”, and found it to still ring true and relevant. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
Here is a brief summary of Adichie's talk: We tell one story of a person or people repeatedly until “that is what they become”. The issue with this is that we “rob people of their dignity” and ignore the several other facets of this person or group of people so that it becomes impossible to think of them as anything else. It’s a clear expression of power used to “dispossess and malign” rather than to “empower and humanize”.
It occurred to me that there are four specific roles we play in a single story - storyteller, lead character, bystander and audience.
At any point, we may occupy one of these roles, whether in a story about ourselves or in a story about others. Each of these roles come with responsibilities that I highlight below. I use a single story about a person to illustrate this, however, these roles and responsibilities also apply to single stories about groups of people.
Regardless of the role we are in, we have a responsibility to act consciously as it relates to the dignity of ourselves and others! Start by reflecting on what role(s) you play in single stories, what actions (or inactions) you take, and what the impact of those actions are. In your reflection, observe without judgement, then act consciously towards your goal. I'll be rooting for you as I embark on the same journey!
A few weeks ago, I had lunch with Ryan, a VP of Design in Tech, and we chatted about leadership over a nice bowl of pho soup. Ryan asked for my thoughts on modulating between coaching and other leadership tools. Here is what we discussed:
The basic toolkit of leadership includes coaching, mentoring, giving/receiving feedback, setting a vision, holding accountability with self/others.
Coaching, as a core tool of leadership is a reflective inquiry method that allows others to unfold in their own creativity. It can be a very powerful tool when used by leaders in developing and growing other leaders. However, it is not always the right tool to use.
How do you know when to use coaching versus a different tool?
Here are a couple tips on when to modulate your coaching as a leader:
Happy New Year!
For many, the new year represents a marker or milestone that brings about self-reflection. We often lead such busy lives, that it is important to pause, breathe and reflect on who we have become and who we are becoming. Here is a tip: You don't have to wait for an annual marker like the new year or a birthday to do this. In fact, you stand a better chance of reaching your goals if you check-in with yourself more regularly - quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily!
Whatever interval you pick, here are some questions you may use to kickstart your self-reflection:
This blog represents my experiences and convictions as at when I wrote them. As I grow, my perspectives may expand. Take and share only what resonates with you, and leave the rest. Happy reading!