Archives for April 2020

April 30, 2020 - No Comments!

Emotional Mastery

According to Daniel Pink in his book “Drive”, there are three rules of mastery: 1) it is a mindset; 2) it is a pain; and 3) it is something that is never attained.  It is a journey, rather than a destination.

I embarked on a journey of achieving Emotional Mastery 7 years ago, when my son was diagnosed with autism. A journey of developing a growth mindset, a journey of pain and joy. I have learnt that the best way for my son to learn how to manage his negative emotions is to spend time with a living, breathing model of effective behaviour.  My raison d'etre for becoming a Master of emotions!

And today I delivered the first of 11 monthly webinars to the everywoman network, uncovering the art and the science of Emotional Intelligence.  Talking passionately about the one skill that differentiates a leader from a boss and a struggling parent from one who enjoys a satisfying family life. The one skill that enables you to have relationships with even the most difficult people.    

As Daniel Goleman taught us 25 years ago, it’s about being smart with feelings. And feelings are just data. The art lies in learning to interpret that data accurately. That’s not easy, when only c.30% of us can accurately identify or “label” the emotions, as they occur.

Why is labelling your emotions so important? Because your emotional brain is infinitely more powerful than your rational brain.  And your emotional brain instructs the body to produce chemicals, which you experience as emotions. The first step in mastering your emotions, is to understand the signals that those emotions are sending you. Being unable to identify your own emotions is like making decisions based on the wrong data. This can lead to irrational choices and counterproductive actions, which are more common than not.

All negative emotions are just a signal, a message to the brain that what you are doing right now is not working and you need to change it.  If you ignore the message or emotional signal, that signal does not go away. It intensifies.  You feel even more stressed, even more angry.  It intensifies until you realize you need to change something. Your expectations, the way you look at things, the way you communicate or the way you behave.

Appreciate that message. Respect that emotion. Don’t deny it.

I have learnt to appreciate this again and again, as my son is currently struggling with the stress and pressure of the imminent GCSEs exams. His neuro-diverse brain finds it much more difficult to control the chemical signals, which he experiences as a full cocktail of negative emotions.  Frustration, fear, anger, dis-engagement and the reactions and over-reactions that accompany them.

But he has learnt to label his emotions, as they occur and try to distance himself from them, by finding practical solutions, such as breathing and counting.  It gives him the power to take charge of his emotional brain and drive the very thoughts, feelings and actions that determine results. Learning to go from bad thinking to good thinking and from bad habits to good habits. From knowledge, to experience, to mastery. And that’s not easy. As my dad would say “if it were easy, everybody would do it!”. And that’s why mastery remains a journey and not a destination.

And for that I am very grateful.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

ADA, February 2020

April 30, 2020 - No Comments!

How confident are you?

At our everywomanNetwork EQ webinar in February 2020, we posed a question – Which one of the EQ competencies do you think has the lowest score for you?  The highest proportion of the 150 women in attendance, believed Self-Confidence was their lowest EQ muscle

The results are consistent with my findings from having analysed and interpreted hundreds of EQ ECR reports in the last few years. Confidence is still a strong force holding women back at the beginning of the new decade and as we approach International Women’s Day.

In their 2014 article entitled “The Confidence Gap”, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman argued that in order to succeed, confidence mattered as much as competence. Since then, thousands of articles have been written on the topic. So why do women continue to suffer from an acute lack of confidence?

The elusive nature of confidence has intrigued many.  In RocheMartin’s Emotional Capital Report (ECR) psychometric that I chose to use with all my clients, Self-Confidence is one the 10 x EQ competencies that differentiate a great leader from an average one. And self-competence is one of the 3 emotional components of Confidence. The other 2 are self-liking and self-assurance. And all these 3 components can be flexed up to help you gain confidence.

Confidence is essentially the ability to accept and respect yourself and like the person you are. Most people think confidence is a prerequisite of success. The truth is, confidence is a consequence of success.  It is the consequence of having the courage to try and fail and try again, until you succeed.  

How many times are you willing to fail?  In Project Kairos, my community of extraordinary coaches, we celebrate the power of the “1000s Nos”, as defined by Byron Katie in her books (one of which is “A thousand names for joy”).  Becoming fearless in the face of failure and rejection.  If you are willing to hear 1000s Nos, you will get an extraordinary Yes at the end of it.

And so I ask my clients to substitute Confidence with Courage.  Do you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone?  To stay in the stretching zone where you learn and grow? That’s how you gain confidence along the way.

You will usually act on the outside consistently with the picture you have of yourself on the inside. And the more you like yourself, the higher the standards you set for yourself. The higher the standards, the longer you will persist in achieving them.

It usually starts with recognizing and accepting your feelings. Feelings are the most important way of understanding your emotional experience. Managing your negative self-talk. Do you find yourself saying things like: “People like me can't do that”, “I’ve never been good at...”, “I don’t deserve it”? You need to learn to suspend judgement of yourself. Let go of the idea you need the approval of others to be accepted. And finally, you must develop an attitude of gratitude towards yourself and your unique qualities.

Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday. When I asked her how confident she feels she is, she replied 7/10.  Higher than average. I was proud and curious to find out what’s missing.

If you are curious about your actual score in each of the 10 EQ muscles, including Self-Confidence please get in touch with us at: office@adaptaa.co.uk. Our Self-Confidence webinar is on 7 July 20.

And if you want to build courage, join us at our Courageous Leaders Retreat on 1-4 October 2020: https://www.extramileretreats.com/

ADA, 5 March 2020

April 14, 2020 - No Comments!

Testimonial for 1-2-1 coaching from HEAD OF DEPARTMENT, PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM

"Working with Alina has been extremely impactful for me, both professionally and personally. She has given me the courage I needed in my own convictions, always guiding me with incisive questioning and gentle honesty. Her charisma, energy and kindness shine through in every session, empowering her clients to be the best, most effective versions of themselves. I am extremely grateful to Alina for her help and time." 

NINA, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT, PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM