Permission to Speak Freely (WT535)

Permission to Speak Freely (WT535)


WT535 Permission to Speak Freely

This week Ross and I hired a room at the local library to create some training videos for a 9 Day Business Freedom Challenge I’m about to launch (for just $9 if you’re interested).

Following my Blueprint for Business Freedom, the very first step is to Know Yourself.

As part of the challenge, participants are encouraged to raise their self awareness by asking team members and family and friends to give them some feedback about how they show up in the world.

I referenced the military term “Permission to Speak Freely”.

All too often I find that people at work will not speak freely. This distresses me because I have the belief that there isn’t anything that can’t be cleared up in conversation. (Yes you can reword that to be in the positive, however I like it expressed that way.)

Time after time I attend meetings for clients and team members speak freely to me and yet when they have the opportunity to address their colleagues or managers, they fall silent.

As leaders it is our responsibility to create a safe space.

If we don’t encourage our people to speak up, we lose the opportunity to understand what’s really going on and to be able to resolve any issues.

It’s too late after people have left. I remember when Ross resigned from one of his positions, his immediate supervisor actively avoided conducting an exit interview, even though Ross requested one. The supervisor was not open to hearing the feedback. Of course Ross has completed our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience so he was able to assert himself without being inflammatory, however he wasn’t afforded the opportunity.

What’s happening in your organisation?

Are you actively encouraging people to speak freely or are you unconsciously telling them that you don’t want to hear the feedback.

My best clients are those who are open to the feedback. They don’t always like it however they listen and then take action. I’m the same. I don’t necessarily enjoy receiving negative feedback, however I do appreciate it because it gives me the opportunity to improve and to fix things.

So you have permission to speak freely to me.

Are you up for the challenge? Will you give your team the same permission?

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I Don’t Even Know What to Ask (WT534)

I Don’t Even Know What to Ask (WT534)


WT534 I Don't Even Know What to Ask

During the week one of my friends rang me out of the blue.

She lives in Queensland and it was lovely to hear from her.

She’s normally jetsetting around the globe running events, which have all been put on hold, of course, until we can travel again.

“Shirley, it’s the school holidays in a few weeks and we just need to get away, so I’m looking at hiring a motorhome”, she said.

“Wonderful! Where are you planning to go?”

“We want to go to Airlie Beach and up and down the coast. The thing is I’ve never done this before so I thought I would ask you for some advice. I don’t even know what to ask”, Sandra replied.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of the conversation and the questions she didn’t have or the advice we gave. That’s not the point of the thought.

The point is, I am always so impressed with Sandra’s openness to ask for help. She is a very smart woman and understands the power of having people in her network.

She doesn’t have any limiting beliefs about having to do it all herself. She doesn’t have any limiting beliefs about asking questions or what people might think of her when she does ask. She simply calls and asks.

How about you?

Do you understand the power of your network?

Are you open to asking for help, even when you don’t know what you don’t know?

More importantly, do you take the advice and act on it?

In fact, I had another conversation with a colleague today who also mentioned how supported she felt these past few weeks, as she realised the power of her network and the willingness of the people in her network to help her as she and her family navigated the purchase of a house in a different state to her home state.

When you’re doing something new or going somewhere you’ve never been before, it’s okay to ask for help and advice. This is something that Ross and I have learned over the past 18 months as we’ve travelled around.

We’d never driven or camped in a motorhome before. Heck, we left the tap fittings on the tap at the first caravan park we stayed at and didn’t realise until we got to Canberra and had no pipe fittings. Luckily for us, the chap in the van next to us had a spare and loaned us one until we purchased one and a spare the following day.

It’s okay to ask, even when you don’t know what to ask. Go ahead and ask anyway. You might be surprised at how much joy your network actually gets from helping you.

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I Wish I Hadn’t Said Anything  (WT533)

I Wish I Hadn’t Said Anything (WT533)


WT533 I Wished I Hadn't Said Anything

How many times have you said that to yourself?

“I wish I hadn’t said anything.”

The other night Ross was watching some teenage boys who kept looking around to see if anyone was watching.

You know the look people get on their face when they know they are doing something wrong and they don’t want anyone to see.

I watched for a few minutes too. They were doing their best to break a pipe on the side of a community building opposite from where we were staying.

Knowing the story of Kitty Genovese, who was murdered in 1961 in New York and not one person even rang the Police to get help, even though there were hundreds of people who heard her screams. And knowing the psychology breakthroughs that the investigation inspired which led to what is known as “The Bystander Effect”, where you are better off if you find yourself in trouble to only have one other person around. They will most likely help you, whereas if there a number of people around, they will most likely stand back, thinking that someone else will help (and of course, nobody does).

And knowing the story of Victor Frankl whose family and himself were captured and put into Nazi prison camps and his words “Evil prospers when good men stand by and say nothing”, of course I poked my head out of the van and asked them, “What are you doing?”

They ignored me.

I was about to get on a call so I couldn’t follow it up but Ross did. He walked over to them, asked them what they were doing and was threatened by the older one “What are you coming over here for and getting in my face, do you want a punch in the “bcfing” head?”

They argued for a while. The teenager told Ross “it was public property and therefore he could do anything he liked to it”. The teenager continued working on extracting the pipe. Ross threatened to call the Police at which stage they ran off.

Then the doubt set in. “I wished I hadn’t said anything. What if they come back and slash the tyres? What if they bring their big brothers back? What if…. What if …..?”

For the rest of the night, I was uneasy. I wished I hadn’t said anything. I wished I had handled it differently and yet on a deeper level I knew better than to see something and ignore it.

What would you have done?

The question for all of us is, “Do you do the right thing or do you stand by and do nothing and let evil prosper?”

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Stop Looking For The Wrong Evidence (WT532)

Stop Looking For The Wrong Evidence (WT532)


stop looking for the wrong evidence

You know that your brain is a goal achieving machine. Right! It’s going to go and find you the answers to the questions you give it. It’s also going to go and find you the evidence for whatever it is you are focusing on.

Stop looking for the wrong evidence.

Here’s what I mean:

Say you decide that your work colleague or your partner or your friend or a relative doesn’t like you anymore. You decide that they are upset with you for something that you did or didn’t do. They haven’t said anything to you. (Of course they wouldn’t, nobody likes confrontation.) Your brain starts looking for evidence to back up what you’ve decided. This is how the brain works.

I’m writing about it this week because so many of my legends (clients) and colleagues have been telling me about their woes and sharing with me all the evidence they have backed up to prove they are right.

Stop looking for the wrong evidence.

You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want; not what you don’t want.

In essence you are creating or manifesting the scenarios. You know you are.

Stop looking for the wrong evidence.

Instead start looking for the evidence for the things that you want and are grateful for. This will ensure you get more of that.

And if there really is a problem between you and someone else, go and talk to them about it.

Often times I’ve accused Ross of being in a mood or being cranky with me because I’ve interpreted his facial expression or manner and decided how he’s feeling and what’s going on. When I do confront him he gives it straight back to me with a “That’s your xxit. Deal with it.”

“Ouch!” He is right though. I’m reacting to the story I’ve told myself and then looking for evidence to back it up.

Have I made myself clear for this week?

Stop looking for the wrong evidence.

Go look for the evidence for what you want. It’s there. You’ve just been filtering it out.

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Hi Ho It’s Off to Work We Go (WT531)

Hi Ho It’s Off to Work We Go (WT531)


off to work we go

It’s been miserable in Tasmania the past few days. The weather has been wild. Lots of wind and rain and snow in the mountain areas.

“So what?” you might think.

Well it doesn’t stop the penguins, plovers or pademelons from their daily routine.

I’ve been so impressed watching the wildlife as we travel around. It doesn’t matter what the weather conditions are, they’re out fishing and foraging for food.

They don’t complain. They don’t wake up and moan, “Oh, I don’t feel like it today. I think I’ll have a doona day. I think I’ll stay in bed. I’ll ring in sick.”

Nope! That doesn’t happen.

Hi Ho it’s off to work they go.

David Bayer often references nature when talking about mindset. He’s on a mission to end all suffering. Now that doesn’t mean physical suffering; he’s talking about our psychological suffering, which of course comes from our thinking.

If you look to nature, there is no (psychological) suffering.

Watching the animals has made me aware of how much I look for excuses to not do things. It’s also made me away of how much my “stinking thinking” causes my misery.

As I sit here getting buffeted from side to side in the motorhome, the wind seems to be getting stronger and stronger. I am grateful. I am grateful I have you to write to and I’m grateful to be inside, out of the weather, even though I now have to go out because the motorbike just blew over and hit the motorhome. OMG!

How about you?

Are you causing yourself misery?

What can you be grateful for?

Next time you find yourself in a less than optimal state, how about you remember the animals. Don’t dwell on your thinking and just get yourself into action.

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