How To Be A Good #Leader And Make People Feel Valued

Here’s a reminder about including people in social situations

Leaders make people feel valued.

It is a skill that comes with practice.

One trick, in a social setting, is to ask open questions.

What does your team do?

Who uses your service?

Can I introduce you to any of the attendees?

Most people like the chance to share something about themselves. It makes them feel included.

Leaders show others that they are welcome to be themselves. Perhaps that is a goal for all of us to work on in 2023?

How To Be A Better Manager When It Comes To #Diversity

Story time – How We Can Manage Diverse Relationships Better By Listening

The first step to managing in diverse spaces involves listening.

If we know the people around us well enough, we can tell when something isn’t right.

That’s when we can step up and ask how are things going?

Showing we are ready to listen and to support goes a long way to improving tricky situations.

The story in the video shows how this principle works in the real world.

Why not share what works for you when you manage diversity in your team (and don’t forget to leave a Like on the video)!

Managing #Diversity Means Improving Results

My latest YouTube video to help you think about how to achieve a Simpler Life

Diverse leadership produces great results. That isn’t a slogan, experience tells me that’s true.

For instance, when I led an initiative to improve engagement with local educational, health and environmental opportunities it was brilliant to draw on the wisdom from project workers who weren’t all the same.

Tapping into the minds of people of different ages, faith backgrounds, sexualities, and social classes made a difference.

Having many voices in the conversation, offering different perspectives, kept the ideas flowing and the creative solutions coming.

The result? A successful set of outcomes, within a tight timeframe, which improved on previous results and achieved greater value for money.

Who could argue against better results?

If you want to start thinking about the advantages of diversity for your team, network or service users you can check out the video.

Feel free to leave a Like, or Comment and check back for more ideas later on.   

3 Tips For Improving Your Next Zoom or Teams Call

Joining A Zoom Or Teams Call – Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA: via http://www.pexels.com

Like it, or not, the Covid pandemic has changed the way we communicate. I mean, how many of us had regularly used Zoom or Teams before 2020?

We learnt a lot about videoconferencing software can do (and what its limitations are, especially for users with disabilities).

However, one of my main take-aways is pretty simple, it involves being camera-aware.

No one is saying we should all be as skilled as a television presenter, but now and again you see people being interviewed and blunting their message, due to their camera technique.

Here are my 3 favourite tips:

  • Make use of daylight – ideally use morning or late afternoon rather harsh noon light
  • Speak at eye level – this is a natural way to engage and to avoid up the nostril shots
  • Avoid the built-in Microphone – A clip on microphone, or one attached to earphones will cut down unwanted sounds from the surroundings.

What is your video call secret?

3 Steps Toward Personal #Success

Picture by Otto Rascon on Pexels.com

One day I want to be as wise as James Earl Jones (he provides the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga).

Or maybe as creative as Clint Eastwood (a film director and musician).

I might even settle for a touch of William Shatner’s curiosity (well known space explorer).

Although these gents are now in their nineties their wisdom, creativity and curiosity were always present.

Having said that, our own unique talents can sometimes lie below the surface of our everyday armour. We can be scared to show others just how talented we are whether we are fifteen, or fifty. We have to decide we can be vulnerable, then get and hold other people’s attention.

So we need to get out of our own way and actively chase after personal success. If we are doing this, our life goals should include:

  • Working to increase the amount of happiness we get from our day
  • Promoting others’ well being
  • Building an intriguing set of memories for others to remember us by

How does that sound to you?

Public Health: What Problems Are #Preventable ?

Cover – Preventable How a Pandemic Changed the World & How to Stop the Next One by Devi Sridhar

Mental health charity Mind says spending time in nature is good for our mental health.

And they are right.

Being outdoors means: slowing down; breathing deep and feeling the sun on your face.

How many office-based headaches, neighbourhood tensions, or bereavement blues could be lessened by some outdoors therapy?

Of course it is privilege to simply take a long walk outdoors, after months of lockdown. But it is a privilege that 174,000 British people can never again enjoy (they are the ones who have died of Coronavirus since March 2020).

There is a story behind each of those deaths, whether they happened at home; in a hospital ward; or in a care setting.

Many deaths will have been preventable, had there been more inspired public health leadership in place, before the pandemic arrived.

No one can say for sure how many lives might have been saved if hospital patients had been tested before returning to their care homes, (or if there had been effective protective rings around those homes).

In her new book (cover shown above) Professor Devi Sridhar does ask some searching public health questions about how society can be reimagined to help reduce the impact on society of future pandemics. Taking action now might reduce the number of parents, friends and neighbours we lose in the next pandemic, whenever it occurs.

Take a look at her book, it is worth your time.

An Award Winner Talks About Anger Management

Photo by Gezer Amorim at Pexels.com:

Sir Sidney Poitier was a thoughtful, charismatic actor and Academy Award winner.

He was also an activist. He marched on Washington in 1963, as part of the call for equality spearheaded by Dr Martin Luther King.

He could see that channelling his righteous anger could influence millions of people around the world.

His life was celebrated during this year’s Oscars ceremony, alongside others in the entertainment industry who passed away in last twelve months.

The ‘slap that was heard around the World’ might have eclipsed that segment.

I think the only slap which people will remember Mr Poitier giving was the one his character, Virgil Tibbs, gave the racist character Endicott ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ (1967).

That was a bold, justified, and revolutionary act. It is a long way from what happened on film in the sixties to last weekend at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

Apologies have been offered since then.

Learning is underway too.

Meanwhile, to close here’s a quote from Mr Poitier which puts all that into context:

I have learned that I must find positive outlets for anger, or it will destroy me.

Sidney Poitier: The Measure Of A Man A Spiritual Autobiography

It’s #Timetotalk

Men talking – Picture credit Pexels.com

The hardest part about living with a mental health challenge?

Others can’t see it.

Broken limb?

We wear a plaster cast.

Feeling broken down?

We need to start talking.

Being vulnerable.

Opening up about the hurt.

Inviting someone to support us.

In person, or online.

In confidence.

In our own interests (and for the sake of our loved ones).

It is always a good time to talk.

Merry #Christmas And A Happier New Year

At the end of 2020 I got my wires crossed when answering a friend’s text. She had asked how I was feeling, and she felt my answer didn’t say enough (I wondered if, maybe she was going through something herself).

Anyway, I let her know I was doing okay and would catch up with her after Christmas. I reckoned there would be a break in the lockdown in 2021 and we could meet for a drink or something.  

That didn’t happen.

I don’t know whether my friend was feeling unwell in December 2020 when she texted, but she died with Covid mid-January 2021.

I felt numb when I got the news. Then I cried, because her death was so unfair, given her age.

This Christmas I’m thinking about her family and everyone else who has lost someone in 2021 (due to Covid or not).

I hope they are doing okay this Christmas.

I hope they will find the right words to celebrate their loved one’s life, even though they are absent from the table.

I hope they / we all have a happier new year.

( Photo by Any Lane from Pexels )

Helping Ourselves On #WorldMentalHealthDay

Solving Problems Is Easier When We Act Together. (Picture credit Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels )

Today, of all days, it is worth saying that life without good mental health is hard.

From my experience, in the developed world, it can still feel dark, stressful, and overwhelming to struggle on alone.

In developed and developing nations stigma about mental health conditions can affect outcomes. In some countries and cultures mental health taboos can leave those issues to silently fester in the dark. People affected can hide their illness. It can feel their secret shame to bear alone.

Left untreated their illness can become more significant than it needed to be. That is bad news for their loved ones, their colleagues and everyone else affected.

So, to change those outcomes, wherever we live, tackling mental health issues needs to involve:

  • Recognising something is making our life more complicated than it needs be
  • Reaching out to professionals who are able to help
  • Staying in touch with good listeners amongst our family network and friendship circle
  • Being kind to ourselves

What has worked for you, or people you know?

Always worth remembering, wherever in the World we find ourselves, and whatever else is important in our lives, struggling alone is not a solution.

We are stronger together.