My Leadership Fails: Team Failure & The Abilene Paradox

TSS Toxic Workplace

“When performance drives relationships business success is inevitable. However, when relationships drive performance, the urge to maintain the status quo will lead to  failure”

“More teams (and businesses) are ultimately destroyed by unhealthy people-pleasing than by overt hostility and aggression”

A boardroom drama I will never forget: “What do you mean ‘we may be insolvent’? How much cash do we need? Why did we all agree to pay a dividend at the last board meeting if cashflow is so poor?” This team of directors was in trouble! Yet they were all highly competent, capable and overtly supportive of each other.

How did they get into such a mess? The answer lies in an insidious strain of conflict avoidance known as ‘people-pleasing’. This form of conflict avoidance has contributed to a range of major disasters including financial catastrophes, major industrial accidents, plane crashes, shipping disasters and company destroying product failures. [Read more…]

My Leadership Fails: Difficult Conversations, Conflict & Feedback

Julius Caeser“Feedback is the breakfast of champions” Ken Blanchard

“Businesses don’t fail for want of intelligent staff, they fail for want of intelligent and courageous feedback” Unknown 

“Feedback is the bridge between strategy and successful execution” Dr Pete

High performance teams thrive on feedback. But sadly, many of us avoid feedback and settle for mediocrity, whilst gossiping to our teammates about what is wrong and backstabbing our managers.

Having difficult conversations and giving staff feedback is tough! [Read more…]

Emotional Awareness (or Not?)

bigstock-Man-Fustrated-and-ashamed-with-27249041

“Like Water That Flows So Are The Tears Of Our Emotions”

“You’re Emotions Are Important Passengers BUT Never Let Them Drive!”

Dr Pete PhD

After all these years working as a psychologist I am still amazed at how difficult it is for bright and capable people who are under pressure to be able to identify and separate their thoughts and emotions.

Most people may think they are emotionally aware but when they are struggling with challenging waves of life they often lack self-awareness. Have a look at these two cases below:

[Read more…]

My Leadership Fails: Soft vs Kind

Courage Sailor“Smooth Seas Do Not Make Skillful Sailors” African Proverb

I have confessed to a life of ‘people pleasing’ at work – giving in to the demands of others – rescuing them from their problems – only to be hated and vilified when eventually I put some boundaries in places and said ‘no’. I felt confused and bewildered by this until recently, when I got to spend the day with Liz Wiseman – HR Guru and author of ‘Multipliers’ and she shared some insights that dramatically changed my approach to leadership at work! [Read more…]

Mindsets: Change The Backstory of Your Life!

Mindset Stones‘The Backstory Hides The Key To Success’ Dr Pete PhD

Let’s explore further why affirmations fail. Have you heard of the (dysfunctional) exercise of looking into the mirror each day to tell yourself you are beautiful to boost your self-esteem? Why is it that sometimes we do not feel beautiful despite the fact we look into the mirror and tell ourselves we are beautiful every day?

In the last blog we discovered that the reason affirmations often fail us is that they don’t engage our thinking patterns at the deeper levels where our unhealthy mindsets are hidden. Whilst our surface thinking may be changed through our affirmations and mantras, the deeper unhealthy mindsets remain unaffected and so our negative views remain intact despite the positive things we say to ourselves in the mirror. We refer to these important layers of thinking as the ‘Story’, which represents our surface thinking and the “Back-Story” which represented our deeper level mindsets.

In order to become more resilient and happy in life we need to be able to (1) quickly and easily uncover the Mindsets that have created a negative back-story to our lives, and (2) genuinely challenge and change these negative Mindsets to re-write this into a more positive and helpful back-story for the future of our lives. [Read more…]

Mythbusting Resiliency & Burnout

Resiliency

“Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle” Plato

“Life is both ‘simple and hard’ but becomes ‘complex’ when we try to make it  ‘easy’” Dr Pete

I am a fool. After all these years of research and clinical practice I still fall into the trap of thinking that people who are fit and healthy, good-looking,  have extraverted personalities, shiny sport cars, happy families and an apparent lack of any personal problems, are role models of what it means to be resilient – but I am completely wrong! The notion that resiliency means you don’t have any personal problems is a myth!

I am also a fool when it comes to the subject of burnout! For years I thought burnout was some disastrous, slow-moving, hidden disease that was unstoppable once it started and only inflicted upon those Mother Teresa selfless type caregivers. I thought there would be no chance of recovery or return to health but rather a gradual slide into self-sacrificial oblivion which was only rewarded in heaven. The notion that burnout is both a complex irreversible phenomenon and only affects the selfless caregiver type is also a myth! [Read more…]

The Tipping Point of Stress: Know Your Score!

TMI Info OverloadEveryone has a tipping point – when it all becomes too much. I had one the other day. After waking up too early with a new baby, followed by a multitude of regular waves and daily hassles, I had to manage a medical emergency with a family member.

I got home late in the evening and tripped over the kid’s toys and snapped! Luckily no-one was watching as I kicked the toys to one side and let out a couple of expletives before collapsing in a heap – exhausted and feeling like I couldn’t cope. [Read more…]

The 3 Myths of Forgiveness

Mythical‘Forgiveness’ is such an important part of being able to recover from psychological problems and live a healthy and successful life. Yet ‘Forgiveness’ is often misunderstood and can lead to a range of unhelpful behaviors and consequences causing unnecessary harm to ourselves and others. In this article I want to share with you what the true meaning of forgiveness is and reveal the 3 most damaging myths of forgiveness and how you can avoid the mistakes and heart ache these myths may cause.

[Read more…]

Stress Management: Are You Amateur or Pro?

Pro SurferMost people know a bit about Stress Management – they have read a few books, watched a few episodes of Oprah or Dr Phil and done some breathing or muscle relaxation. Despite this knowledge, the rates of Depression, Anxiety and Stress are rapidly rising among us with 1 in 2 people on the planet (3.5 billion) likely to have a serious psychological disorder during their lives – WHY?

Surely it can’t be because we don’t have the knowledge needed to manage our stress? Perhaps it’s because, as the saying goes, ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ and knowing about something is very different to being able to expertly apply it to your life when you need it most! [Read more…]