The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

38 Creating an Ally Mindset with Morag Barrett

November 06, 2023 Dr Nia D Thomas Episode 38
The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
38 Creating an Ally Mindset with Morag Barrett
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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome, listeners, to another exciting episode of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast! In today's episode, we have the pleasure of hosting the incredible Morag Barrett. Together, we delve into the crucial conversation surrounding allyship and ally-mindset.  We also discuss bullying, exploring its complex nature and the impact it has on individuals and organisations.  Morag shares insights from her Ally Mindset profile, providing valuable strategies for leaders to navigate challenging dynamics and foster positive change.

Morag believes in the importance of self-awareness and the impact it has on others. She encourages people to look up and consider how they want others to feel in their presence. She emphasises the need to create a positive and welcoming environment. Morag also focuses on personal fulfillment and asks individuals to assess if they are thriving or merely surviving. This self-awareness is the foundation for showing up and stepping up in life.

We explore the power of self-awareness, the role of empathy and vulnerability, and the significance of taking action to create a more inclusive and respectful work environment.

Whether you're a leader or an individual keen on personal growth, this episode is packed with invaluable guidance and thought-provoking perspectives. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to expand your understanding on the topic of bullying and harassment with Morag Barrett on The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast!

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Nia Thomas [00:00:00]:

Hi, listeners. Welcome to year two of the Knowing selfknowing Others podcast, where we discuss selfaware leadership with thinkers from around the globe. Remember that in year two, we're going to be doing things a little differently. Our conversations are going to be more fluid and we're going to be exploring more topics to help us understand selfaware leadership in practice. Our conversations are going to be a little bit longer with episodes running for around minutes, short enough to listen over lunch, and long enough to keep you company on your commute. Our conversations are going to be weekly so that all of the inspiring discussions I'm having with thinkers from around the globe can be shared with you more frequently. Join me on my learning journey as we talk to today's guest.

Morag [00:00:44]:

Listeners.

Nia Thomas [00:00:45]:

I'm delighted to be joined by Morag Barrett today. Morag, it is so nice to have you here.

Morag [00:00:50]:

NIA. I feel like we've been best friends forever and I'm excited for the conversation.

Nia Thomas [00:00:56]:

Listeners. Morag has experiences across senior executive coaching. She develops high impact teams through leadership development programs across Europe, America and Asia. She's a speaker, trainer and founder of SkyTeam. With 25 years experience in industries right around the globe, morag really understands the challenges of running a business and managing people. Morags established herself very happily in Broomfield, Colorado, originally from the UK, and she's an author of two books, Cultivate and You, Me, we, which she co authored with Eric Spencer and Ruby Vessely. Morag, it's amazing to have you here. Tell us all of the things that I have missed.

Morag [00:01:37]:

Well, in between that, I am the mother of now three six foot sons. Or is it no, I'm the mother of three now six foot sons. So you can get an idea in the life cycle and an empty nester of two months. Whoop. And for fun, let's see. I enjoy the ocean. We don't get a lot of that in Colorado. So I like sailing.

Morag [00:01:59]:

I like looking at it, but not sitting in the sun. I'm not a beach person and I'm a ballroom dancer and a classical musician, but not at the same oh, yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:02:09]:

An oberwist. Am I right in saying?

Morag [00:02:11]:

Oh, a little bigger. Bassoon.

Nia Thomas [00:02:13]:

Bassoon.

Morag [00:02:15]:

Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:02:16]:

Amazing. Tell us, why is your company called SkyTeam?

Morag [00:02:21]:

Oh, SkyTeam. What's the origin there? It's because it's what we do and who we are. So, firstly, the sky bit for the Isle of sky off the west coast of Scotland. I spend all my time here in America going sky. S-K-Y-E. But I'm Morag McLeod by birth. That's where the Clan McLeod comes from. And when you're trying to name your band, your business, your baby, they all sound daft.

Morag [00:02:45]:

But sky became part of it. And then team, because we are a team. You mentioned my best friends at work, Eric Spencer and Ruby Vessely, and the three of us make up sky team, and we work with leaders around the world to build high performing teams and organizations.

Nia Thomas [00:03:03]:

Amazing. So let's talk a little bit about self aware leadership and how your thoughts in the world fit with that. So, self aware leadership, I mean, it's pretty crucial in fostering a positive work environment. But how do you define self awareness if you think about it from an Allyship context? And why is it important for allyship?

Morag [00:03:24]:

Well, in our book, you, Me, we, we end each chapter with the prompts. What have you learned? How can you apply it? How do you move it forward? And we summarize that as look up, show up, and step up. And so when you talk about self aware, that is what came to mind. First off, look up. How do I want others to feel in my presence? I was just reading a McKinsey article about how 75% of workers in a recent survey said that interacting with their boss was the most stressful part of their day. So look up. How do you want others to feel in your presence? Stressed or looking forward to your phone number, your email, or that meeting with you? And then also, how do you feel in your own presence? Are you enjoying what you're doing? Are you thriving or are you just surviving? Because that's the start of self awareness. That pulse check of knowing how you feel and how you make others feel, then leads into the show up and step up.

Morag [00:04:24]:

That can come later.

Nia Thomas [00:04:26]:

I really like that. Some lookup show up, step up listeners. If you want to print that out and put it on your office wall, I suggest you do so. In your book, Yumi Wee, and I've read it and I really loved it. You talk about five groups of behaviors abundance and generosity, connection and compassion, courage and vulnerability, candor and debate and action and accountability. But how did you get to these five groupings? What did you do? What was your research? Or how did you pin them down?

Morag [00:04:56]:

All right, so I'll go back to the beginning. So Yumi We is the sister book, the companion book to my first book, Cultivate. And in Cultivate, I introduced this whole concept of the world of work being a team sport, that we're not victims, that our success is dependent on others. Whether you're a solopreneur or part of 100,000 person organization, it is a team sport. And so in the book, I introduce the relationship ecosystem and four dynamics. Ally the person who has your back, not just on the good days, but the tough days. Supporter, fair weather friends, you know, those you ring them for help and you don't hear anything. Back rivals where there might be a little bit of elbow jockeying and you're a little uncertain as to who's going to show up in this meeting.

Morag [00:05:43]:

Jekyll and Hyde and then adversaries where it's just tough and it feels like you're butting heads. And it was great. It helped transform team dynamics organizations, but we were consistently asked, yeah, but how do I show up as an ally? What does it mean to be a friend at work? And so we continued our research. We designed the Ally Mindset profile so near anybody listening, you're welcome to take the Ally Mindset profile, you'll get your free profile and help us continue our research. But we've had more than 1000 leaders from around the world complete that profile. And you can get that at SkyTeam, SkyTeam cloud. Ume, and as we looked at the data, as we conducted our interviews with leaders, as we looked back at our research from cultivate, that's where those five practices came from. And we call them practices because even though Eric, Ruby and I wrote the book, we're still practicing every single day.

Morag [00:06:48]:

There are days that we do well, and there are days where, let's face it, I fluff the landing. And there are also elements of those five practices that come easily to me and others where I have to be thoughtful and diligent and consistent in how I show up.

Nia Thomas [00:07:04]:

Listeners, we will make sure that there is a link to that assessment in the show notes so that you can have a look at it and really get to know yourself a little bit. Being a friend at work can really boost employee morale and productivity. But how can leaders really strike that balance between being friendly and approachable, but still maintaining that business and professional boundaries? Because you introduced Ruby and Eric as your best friends at work, how do you make sure that you've still got those professional boundaries and that you're in a position where if you've got to have difficult conversations about performance, you can.

Morag [00:07:37]:

So that's where abundance and generosity and even all of the practices come into play. Candor and debate courage and vulnerability, determining how much we share. But as you pointed out in the introduction, I'm originally from the UK. I moved to America in 2000 and my first career was banking. I was part of Nat West, I was bank manager at Melton Mowbray in Oakham and a pillar of the community. And I remember being told, it's not personal, it's just business. And living for the first part of my life very much in a there's the professional, buttoned up version of morag, and then there's the at home, relaxed, chillaxed morag. There actually wasn't a lot different.

Morag [00:08:20]:

It was all stiff upper lip and buttoned up. And I think we put up false barriers and we misunderstand that whole concept of boundaries. Because this isn't about tell everybody your deepest, darkest secrets at all, but on this team, on this project, you and I need to know, not just assume, but know that we have each other's back. That we both define success in the same way that we understand how and where the work is going to get done. And the latest phrase is psychological safety. And you don't get to that when you are all buttoned up and acting as an autonomaton. We are all humans and we need to bring a little bit more of our human to work. When we do, the relationships get stronger, the trust increases and our ability to navigate the mistakes in life and the difficult days becomes easier.

Nia Thomas [00:09:18]:

Do you think COVID changed all of that? Do you think what we went through together as humans changed how we viewed ourselves in work and viewed others in work?

Morag [00:09:31]:

I do. I think it turned us upside down and gave us all a damn good shake. And I think about SkyTeam. I mean we were a virtual company anyway, although we're all living here in Colorado and we would meet to travel to clients. But choosing to work from home and having to work from home were two different mindsets. And I remember those first few weeks of just awe and overwhelm and just couldn't get the energy, but having to refocus and redefine how we did work and what did team mean. But here's what I learned. Some of my bestest friends now I met through the camera and prior to the pandemic.

Morag [00:10:10]:

If you told me you can build deep, meaningful relationships through a lens, I would have gone no way. But again, when we choose to lean in, it makes all the difference you think about you and I, we would not have met but for social media, et cetera. We would not be talking now but for this. And I know if we ever meet three dimensions, it is going to be one hell of a conversation and so much fun. But in the meantime, I'm here for know you ask for help. I did. It photographs in New York City for your podcast, et cetera. And that is the power of connection and it's a choice.

Morag [00:10:49]:

And when we choose to lean into the humanness, when we're curious about other people, then anything is possible.

Nia Thomas [00:10:56]:

Listeners, you may not have picked up that reference, but Greg was very kind and she has one of my QR codes, one of my little business cards and she took it over to New York for me. And I have a photograph to prove it. And if you want to see it, you can find me on LinkedIn or you can go and have a look at the newsletter for it was either June or July, but take a look at them both. Something that was highlighted in my research was the challenge that people have in line managing others when there's a social or familial relationship outside of work. I spent a lot of my working time within the South Wales Valleys and they are very strong communities and people know people and you're related to different people. And when you're working in organizations that are 8000 people, 10,000 people, you're going to know people who know people. Is that something that you've come across? And what kind of solutions are organizations putting in place to manage that, to deal with that.

Morag [00:11:54]:

So it goes back to making the implicit explicit. I mean, I had a personal experience where I was friends with a colleague. She became a dance instructor, and the studio said, well, you can't be friends anymore. And I was going, but that's ridiculous. Friendships are going to happen. Family relationships are going to happen. And it goes back to the how do we work together because of and in spite of those deep connections. And for example, if you and I are on a team and you get promoted to be my boss, there is already a connection.

Morag [00:12:31]:

So having a conversation that says, okay, near now that you're my boss, here's my expectations of what a great boss is. And by the know, you making it clear at some point maybe you've got to give me tough feedback and even just something as symbolic as I'm putting my work hat on right now. Near and here's what a message you need to hear. Or I'm taking my work hat off now. Let's go out and have a cup of tea or let's go hang out after work. But doing our best to be very clear and set up for the inevitable of when we are going to be in disagreement and how are we going to navigate it.

Nia Thomas [00:13:07]:

So I guess there is something about and colleagues who may be listening to this will often hear me say this. It's about how we talk about how we talk about things.

Morag [00:13:16]:

Yes. And doing it before it becomes an issue. And things like know people who know people and hey, did you hear but did you see Morag on that show? Did you hear what she said? Gossip's going to happen. But if gossip is, hey, did you hear Morag? And did you hear what she and NIA discuss? Wow. Versus, hey, did you listen in? Did you hear what Morag and NIA go, oh, my goodness, I can't believe it. If it's designed to knock people down or undermine, then don't be part of it, whether it's at the proverbial water cooler or the virtual gossip or the chat or the slack channel. And that's where we all own individually. And that's why our books, you, me, we, why we all need a friend at work, but how to show up as one? Because when we see those sort of insidious, toxic behaviors starting, we need to have the courage and vulnerability to step up and say, no, not on this team.

Morag [00:14:08]:

Or I hear you. And have you had that conversation with Morag? No. Would you like me to help role play with you? What are your first steps? But don't BMW bitchmone and wine to me unless you are also willing to BMW bitchmone and wine or give constructive feedback to Morag?

Nia Thomas [00:14:26]:

Definitely. So integrity, doing the right thing and doing the right thing when nobody's watching.

Morag [00:14:31]:

Yeah. And of course, all of this is easy when we're just talking like this. I know that when I think about the five practices of an Ally mindset, courage and vulnerability and candron debate easy peasy when it comes to making business decisions, when it comes to giving tough feedback to somebody, I am a scaredy cat. I hate conflict. But I've also learned as a leader, if I'm going to be successful, sometimes I need to be that truth speaker and not worry about it being the most elegant. I'll do my best to make sure it is delivered in a way that's respectful and empathetic and compassionate. But the important thing is to deliver the message so that we can resolve it together and that's the skill. And you asked the opening question insight.

Morag [00:15:18]:

Where do you need to turn the dial up? Where do you need to turn the dial down? Where am I being too assertive, too direct? And how is that helping and how is it helping people feel in my presence? Do I feel better for this or worse?

Nia Thomas [00:15:31]:

I've always liked the phrase hard on the facts and soft on the people and having difficult conversations is about being respectful but nevertheless feeling the fear and doing it anyway and had difficult conversations. If we think about antibullying initiatives, and I think they're essential for creating a safe and respectful workplace culture, what steps can organizations take to really proactively prevent bullying behaviors and ensure that, well, employees feel supported? Because if we think about Allyship, there is something that we all think about in terms of, as you've mentioned earlier, you've got my back. What happens when we're talking about bullying and anti bullying and how does Allyship show up for that?

Morag [00:16:13]:

I think it is such an important conversation and such a nuanced conversation. I mean, right now as we're recording this conversation, there are all the headlines about the Spanish FA and the kiss. Well, that's bullying, it's harassment, it's all sorts of things are labels that you could put on it and there are others, including the individual who's saying, well, no, it's nothing, it's just being a spaniard or whatever. So I think the first thing when it comes to bullying is awareness. Your opening question for this show, which is it's in the eye and the experience of the receiver. And so even understanding the different definitions and degrees helps us to understand and anticipate. May this be misinterpreted? Because it doesn't matter if I come in with the best of intent of I'm just going to call it as I see it, I'm just going to tell the team what to do. If that is felt by the team as shutting them down and making them less than.

Morag [00:17:14]:

So I think, again, the more we can talk about what does it look and feel like, the unintended consequences of our words and actions, the better we are able to flex in the moment. What have you seen?

Nia Thomas [00:17:28]:

I was just thinking that my definition of self awareness has three layers it's reflection, recognition and regulation. And I think there is something about bringing that recognition of your impact on others to the conversation. Because again, we don't talk about talking about it. I think once we start that conversation about talking about talking about it, you open the lid on behaviors that are not acceptable and you open that opportunity for people to say, I don't want to behave in this way. I don't want to behave like the group is behaving and I can step into my integrity and I can do what I know is right. And then you can regulate your behavior to come right back to self awareness so that you are constantly moving that cycle forward. But again, bullying is a very difficult subject and it is so linked to the growth and the development and the psychology of an individual. And if listeners want to listen to other podcasts that I've had, I've had experts that have talked about bullying and harassment and it's a very interesting conversation.

Nia Thomas [00:18:32]:

But every time we talk about self awareness, one of the main things that I want is to make sure that we don't make other people's work life suck. And if there is bullying and harassment, that sucks.

Morag [00:18:44]:

Yeah, I think you're right in that we have agency over how we show up. I can express my boundaries, don't curse at me if that's something that I'm experiencing in my workplace, and I've had it in some of my mining companies when I'm out in the field, et cetera, the language might get a little rarer and a little more direct. And my choice is to lean into that culture and approach or to go the other stream and say no thou shalt, or to find a happy medium. And up to that, it's the how do you make yourself feel safe? And if you think about at work, we all want to do a good job, to feel like our opinions matter and that we belong. And bullying, in whatever flavor it appears, undermines at least one or more of those three facets. And so we have to either put up the boundaries that protect, maybe choose to self select out into a different organization, or stand our ground and help affect change. And depending on where we are in the organization, that may be an easier task than others. But don't be a victim, don't feel trapped.

Morag [00:19:58]:

I think that is the key thing is who is your friend at work, who is your ally, your confidant that you can go to, especially if you're feeling like it's being directed to you?

Nia Thomas [00:20:07]:

When we talk about allyship, people tend to think about race or gender or sexuality, but how does it really play or promote diversity, inclusion in the workplace? Allyship, diversity, inclusion, how does it all fit together?

Morag [00:20:24]:

So I think we have a lot of words that are trying to help us all to describe an end result where we are all better together. And there's a great video that I've been watching. When you think specifically about dei or any of the differences that we are very quick to judge others on and point out, there is a video where a group of people walk into a room, I'll have to find the link, you may have seen it near, and they start calling out, who was bullied at school? And you go and send in the box and you see people of all shapes, sizes, colors, whatever, but there's a common theme. And then, who was the bully? Now, that takes courage. And there were all sorts of these statements that showed I mean, in a room where you might immediately single people out and say, I'm not like in fact, there are a Ven diagram, hence the Ven diagram on our book cover. There are always intersecting realities. And for me, it's the humanness. We are all human beings.

Morag [00:21:23]:

Now, the question is, how do we bring that to bear? What's your definition of success? What's your aspiration for your life and your career? What's me and mine? And again, where's the we? And how do we help each other to both be better together, but to succeed together versus knocking each other down?

Nia Thomas [00:21:42]:

I really like that idea of that Venn diagram. That whatever disagreements we have across countries, across board tables, across the world, that actually we are all breathing, heartbeating humans and we will always be in that centre of that Ven diagram. Whether there are things we disagree on or not. Allyship really requires an active engagement and continuous learning. But how can leaders really educate themselves about those experiences and challenges faced by marginalized people, whoever those people are? And as you said, whether you're talking about neurodiversities, whether you're talking about races, religions, how can we really support leaders, to support others, to become more effective allies?

Morag [00:22:29]:

I think it starts with me, the individual, which is healthy curiosity. I am never going to live your experience, nor are you going to live mine. But I can at least have an awareness. I may not even understand it. I'm reading Trevor Noah's autobiography. In fact, I'm listening to Trevor Noah's autobiography and growing up in South Africa as part of apartheid. And it makes my jaw drop because, of course, I watched apartheid and the news headlines as a child in the UK and it was over there. It was still in my mind wrong and it still didn't make sense, but it was over there.

Morag [00:23:10]:

And I think listening to it, it helps us to understand and then we can start looking at so how am I exacerbating this? What do I feel able to do as a result? Whether it's to listen differently, to speak differently, to lean in differently to your point, to help ensure that perspectives are heard? I don't have an answer. There is no easy answer other than change is needed. But if I wait for everybody else to go first, we'll be waiting another 100 years, 200 years, 500 years. So it's what can I do today? What can I do right now? And it's seeking out different voices, different books than you would normally pick up watching that foreign language film just because and occasionally just peppering those into the usual suspects because that's how you broaden your experience and perspectives and possibilities from others.

Nia Thomas [00:24:12]:

Experiential learning one of the compass points of my self aware leadership campus, so, yeah, experiences and giving yourself that opportunity definitely with you all the way. I'm interested to know about any breakthroughs that maybe you've had with clients or roles that you've had where you've really taken Ally Mindset approach and you've instilled it or have seen an organization really pivot around this idea.

Morag [00:24:38]:

So I've seen it transform. I'm thinking about two leaders that were essentially at all out war. It was an executive coaching relationship and the two of them just could not stand each other. They were both brought in by the senior executive team, so they weren't going to be able to get rid of each other, but they were going to have to find a way to work respectfully together. And I think that can be the biggest misunderstanding when it comes to the Gallup question, do I have a best friend at work? Or even our book title being a Friend at Work. Being a friend at work doesn't mean that I want to hang out with you after hours or take you home to meet my mother, but it means that I can work respectfully with you while we're in the office, while we're on the Zoom call, while we're communicating with our teams about what our roles are in delivering the business goals. As opposed to hanging up and going, yeah, ignore what they want. We'll just keep doing what we want.

Morag [00:25:33]:

That just makes the divisions worse. And so by bringing in the Ally Mindset profile, helping both leaders to look at the culpable negligence that they were bringing in, recognizing that neither was deliberately trying to push the buttons of the other person, but of course, after time all you're doing is looking for evidence of C, I told you they weren't listening. C. I knew they weren't reliable. And we had to break that pattern. And the only way you get to break that pattern is to essentially go back through that storming phase. The courage and vulnerability, the candor of debate to both let go of the chip on the shoulder, but also to articulate what is it that has caused us to get to this point and now can we get some agreement of how we want it to be going forward? So that's the power. It's when we can move it from the you versus me to the oh, the Ally Mindset profile says, or here's the chapter on the book, how are we manifesting that and what can we do differently? That's how you start to affect change and in this organization, reduce the stress and anxiety that everybody else was reporting and having to pick sides between those two leaders.

Nia Thomas [00:26:45]:

As you were saying that, I was thinking of a phrase that Matt Stone used. He said you have to take 100% responsibility for your 50% of the relationship. Absolutely. That's it?

Morag [00:26:54]:

Yeah. Well, earlier you asked me about how I define awareness, and I said, look up, show up, step up. Well, look up. Is that, how do I feel? And all I know is I'm like, gnashing my teeth every time I see your phone number. How do you feel? Well, if I actually ask, maybe the same. Well, then show up is all about, well, how do I need to listen more? How do we need to recalibrate this relationship? What are the choices that we can make in how we interact? And then the step up is, did I do it? Did I interrupt you three times again? Or did I wait for you to finish your point before building on it versus shutting you down? And those are how we start to build awareness, retain the muscle memory, and become the leader that others actually want to be around and work with.

Nia Thomas [00:27:41]:

As you're talking, I'm thinking this feels like a connection with growth mindset versus fixed mindset. Because if you show up with a fixed mindset, you're not going to say, well, what can I do? How can I change? How can I influence this relationship to make it better? Is that how you see it?

Morag [00:27:59]:

Well, I think optimism and hope has got to be your guiding light. But I also recognize that at some point you may need to just call it and just say, you know, this relationship, this is as good as it's going to get. So then my goal is to maintain it at that level of not so good, but at least it could have been worse than letting it deteriorate. Rarely can we not work with a colleague if we get moved to a different division. Maybe time and distance heals, but you get to make a choice of, I've done everything that I can, and so I am now going to set boundaries to make sure that I don't take on that emotional baggage every time they do the predictable of pushing my buttons or dropping a milestone. And that's how you start to reduce the stress and again, riding above it. But it doesn't mean you become a doormat. It just means that you redefine expectations and success for what you want from that other person.

Nia Thomas [00:28:56]:

Developing self awareness is an ongoing process. It's an ongoing journey. But what are some of the practical exercises that leaders can use to really cultivate self awareness and their ally mindset?

Morag [00:29:08]:

Well, I have a nine day Relationship Action plan that if anybody connects with me on LinkedIn, send me a message. Saying you heard it here on NIA's show first and I will send you that PDF. And that includes you can do over nine days or 90 days, it really doesn't matter, but it's consistency. And so one of the first things you can do is think about your role models. Who is it that you admire? The leaders you would jump at a chance to work with? Again, two things to do here. One is whoever just came to mind. So I'm curious, NIA, who came to mind for you?

Nia Thomas [00:29:40]:

A senior leader in a hospital, and she may well be listening because I know she follows me in LinkedIn now and Worthing, Jan Worth.

Morag [00:29:49]:

So you've just done it verbally, but anybody listening, I dare you, I double dog dare you. Send a LinkedIn message, a text message, an email, whatever, to your Jan and say, hey, Jan, I was thinking of you. I was asked to think of a great leader. Here's. Why? I admire you. So that's first thing because now you've just made a deposit into that relationship bank account. I promise the replies you're going to get, it's amazing. And if the person is no longer here, a message to the universe, and then move to somebody else.

Morag [00:30:16]:

But then think about, well, if those are the role models that inspire you, what are the behaviors that you are demonstrating? Who would admire you? And if you're not sure, now's the time to invest in how you show up as a leader. And maybe pick something. Maybe it's communicating, maybe it's your problem solving. And ask two people, I'm looking to get better at this. What's one suggestion that you have? And keeping that feedback loop going gets us back to, this is a team sport and learning and growth is a team sport. And then people will be curious, oh, you're working on that. Maybe I should work on something. And we all start elevating our game, we all get better together.

Morag [00:30:59]:

So think of your role models, send them a message, identify what from your role models you already do and could do more of, and then start asking for feedback. The suggestions on what can I do to take my game from good to great.

Nia Thomas [00:31:16]:

Networking feels like a very important way of ensuring that we have allies, whether they are in the workplace or whether they are within our sphere of learning or development or connection, whatever that might be. How do you feel about networking when we think about ally mindsets, and I suppose I'm thinking about this from the perspective of feedback, because you need feedback to be able to understand whether you are showing up as an ally or not. How do your networks create that feedback?

Morag [00:31:46]:

Okay, so as a professional coach, facilitator and keynote speaker, I get graded practically every day. Now, the difference for me is it is usually done out loud with the survey forms or the emails or the LinkedIn recognitions and so in some ways it's a catalyst that helps, but it also means you have to get a thick skin. As leaders, often we get that feedback performance review time, or it's only ever bad news that comes at us from left field. So that goes back to my earlier comment. If you can make feedback and ideally feed forward, not even worrying about what did I do last week or yesterday, but how do I get better tomorrow? Just part of your operating agreement and how you show up in your one on ones with your boss or with your team. What's one thing I could do to help you or us succeed? Then it becomes easier to flex in the moment and it also helps identify the 1% change, the gradual change versus the 180. Don't ever do that again, otherwise it is going to be career limiting. And that, I think, is the difference, is creating those mechanisms that work for you, whether it's part of your one on ones, part of your monthly staff meetings, find a way to ask and get that feedback.

Nia Thomas [00:33:11]:

Listeners, if you haven't already read You Me We, I really do recommend it to you. I read it a couple of months ago and I really felt that it got to the heart of how to be a human being, showing up with other human beings in the workplace. And I think for some people, if you're not used to delving into these kind of conversations, it might have been a rude awakening for you. But I thought it was absolutely brilliant and I think what I would probably recommend is read You Me We first and then move on. To begin with, we by Carl McDowell. And I think the two books together really take you from how you show up in the organisation, how you work with the team, and then how you take team to being excellent. Morag it's been really interesting having a conversation with you. How is the best way for listeners to get in touch with you?

Morag [00:34:07]:

The advantage of a somewhat unusual name is you Google it and you'll find me. But if you connect with me on LinkedIn, you'll get my newsletters. And if you message me on LinkedIn, I am the one who replies, not a bot. And then the website showcases more of the leadership development, the executive coaching and the team alignment work that Eric Ruby and I do here at Sky Team. So reach out. I mean, this is part of it. We are all connected. Forget what you were told about six degrees of Kevin Bacon or six degrees of separation.

Morag [00:34:37]:

In today's modern world, it's more like two degrees of connection. And if there's anything I can do to help you to, as you described it, near as better people, but to build those relationships that ensure that you are successful and you are better together, then reach out and ask. I would love to be, of service.

Nia Thomas [00:34:56]:

And that's a wonderful way to finish our podcast. Thank you, Morag. It's really been interesting, and I'm so glad that we've had a chance to have this conversation. Thank you for listening to today's episode. Remember to rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player. Remember to sign up to my newsletter on Knowingselfknowinghowers co UK. And remember to join me on my learning journey in next week's episode so that we can develop more self aware leaders around the globe and generate kinder, more respectful and creative working relationships through reflection, recognition and regulation. The Knowing self Knowing Others podcast is available on Goodpods Spotify google Podcasts Goodpods Podchaser Amazon Music Podcast Index Podcast Addict PocketCasts Deezer Listen Notes Player FM Overcast Castro.

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