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Practice Notes

October 2020
Kia ora

September definitely brought a spring mood to proceedings around here. We've got a new look and new offerings.

Following the refresh of our website, we reimagined our logo. You can see it in the banner of this newsletter, and it'll appear in all our materials over the next few weeks.

We've developed two new public workshops, both on diversity and inclusion. We're using Zoom so that people can take part from anywhere, and we've kept them half-days. Because even though the days are longer, it's always hard to find time.

We've followed election debates here and in the USA. Dinah and Kristen were moved to write blogs on the presentation skills of the candidates.

And we've been reading, reading, reading: about emotional agility, a**holes, and inclusivity—see the list at the end of this newsletter.

Ngā mihi
The Training Practice team - Hilary, Kristen, Dinah, Sydney, and Jackson

Tea & Toast: Busting silos

Kristen takes on the challenge. You want to collaborate, of course you do. You just have to bust a few silos first.

When: Friday 13 November, 8.00am to 9.00pm
Where: St Andrew's Centre
Cost: Free. Tea & toast (and coffee) provided.
RSVP now

Diversity and inclusion: two public workshops

We've developed two half-day online workshops to introduce some key ideas about diversity and inclusion. One is for a general audience, the other is aimed at leaders. We hope you'll register for one or both. 

Embrace diversity, increase inclusion

This workshop is for anyone who wants to overcome the barriers to diversity and inclusion at work. You'll begin to draft your personal action plan for embracing diversity and increasing inclusion. 
Monday 9 November, 1pm to 4.30pm, via Zoom
 
Register now

Leading for Inclusion

This workshop is for leaders who want to increase inclusion within their team and their workplace. You’ll think about why and how to lead for inclusion.
Wednesday 18 November, 9am to 12.30pm, via Zoom
Register now

ICYMI - Tea & Toast Online: Thinking and planning for the (foggy) future

Hilary's talk was recorded on Zoom, and she's pulled together a summary of her ideas and sources. 

New on our blog

Lessons from the Presidential podium

Kristen assessed the first Trump vs. Biden debate looking for examples of great presentation skills. She'll get over the pain one day.

 

The necessity of discomfort

Does framing diversity and inclusion as 'good for business' lose sight of the argument for fairness and equity?
 

Presentation tips from potential Prime Ministers

Dinah took the politics out of the first televised Leader's Debate of 2020—she assessed the performance against our advice for presenters. 

Our reading

Exploring new ideas and revisiting old ones is central to our approach. We're always getting inspiration for new thinking, new directions, new futures.

Hilary is reading Susan David's book Emotional Agility. David wrote an influential Harvard Business Review article on the same topic in 2015 and that prompted Hilary to read the whole book. David uses one of Hilary's favourite quotes of all time: '80% of success is turning up' (Woody Allen). And by turning up David means facing our thoughts, emotions and behaviours willingly. It means accepting who we are. Too often we get hooked on our inner dialogue: often critical. 
Life isn't a box of chocolates. Some things we eat are bitter and cause stress. That's why we need the emotional agility to manage setbacks and failures, and stay engaged, present, self-aware and receptive to new ideas. People with emotional agility are curious, self-compassionate and self-accepting. 
If there was ever a year when we needed emotional agility it's 2020, so this book is well worth a read.

Kristen is reading The No Asshole Rule, by Robert Sutton. Once she started reading, she couldn't put it down. It’s an honest and powerful description of just how destructive assholes are to our workplace. Sutton defines assholes as people who make others feel humiliated, de-energised, oppressed, or belittled. He states many assholes are the kiss up, kick down type of people. (We've all met some of these!) Assholes damage organisations. We know that. So, think of his whole book as a call to action: it’s up to each of us to rid our workplace of assholes. How? Sutton suggests two ways:
1. Create shared expectations (no assholes) and make them public by what you say and what you do. Then, to hold yourself and others accountable. 
2. Teach people how to fight. Not physically fight, but with constructive conflict and debate. Not being an asshole doesn't mean you need to be a wimpy pushover. High performing teams welcome debates and challenges.  
 
Dinah is reading How to be inclusive leader by Jennifer Brown. Brown's starting point is that organisations lose when people are not bringing their whole selves to work. And leaders are responsible for creating an environment where people can be themselves. Brown has created an inclusive leader continuum so leaders can identify where they are and what they can be aiming for as they move towards a more inclusive style. It's not a cosy read for the well-intentioned. Brown writes, "Leadership is not leadership unless it's uncomfortable. If you aren't pushing yourself to so more, and pushing others around you to improve, chances are, you aren't doing enough."
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