Rebel Diaries

Rebecca Moore And Kate Avery - Unconscious To Conscious Leadership

March 20, 2023 Rebecca Moore And Kate Avery Season 2 Episode 48
Rebel Diaries
Rebecca Moore And Kate Avery - Unconscious To Conscious Leadership
Show Notes Transcript

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Rebecca is an experienced facilitator of leadership transformation, certified executive coach, culture consultant and keynote speaker. She has a commercial background (across both sales and supply chain) in the private energy sector and has driven leadership and mindset transformation globally at BP. 

Before co-founding Deepen, Rebecca led the faculty for a mental health consultancy, creating high-impact content and overseeing the faculty to deliver inspiring experiences for clients across multiple industries. She was trained in facilitation by a top 4 consulting firm, is a Leadership Circle Profile Practitioner and is a certified meditation teacher. 

Kate is a highly experienced coach, mentor, facilitator, and speaker. A former executive leader, she has a background in scaling global people and culture operations and leading organisational change. Kate deeply understands the challenges leaders face personally and professionally and is passionate about supporting them with the tools to rebalance, replenish & thrive. With a unique & fresh perspective, she blends her 20+ years business experience with extensive training in cutting-edge coaching & trauma-informed therapies and insights from her own personal leadership journey.  

What Scott discusses with Rebecca and Kate

  • What unconscious leadership is
  • Ego centric leadership and the damage it can do
  • Why some leaders behave the way they do out of self protection
  • A lack of psychological safety in the workplace
  • How leadership can cause a lack of innovation and growth
  • Somatic leadership 
  • The three core things we are wired to as humans
  • How culture change is so dependent on the leadership approach
  • Leadership role modelling
  • Metrics and retrospective approaches
  • And much more...

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[00:00:00] Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Fulton, the host of the Rebel Diaries podcast. This show will help you learn how to make work better for you, your colleagues and the organization you work for. I believe the modern workplace is broken for too many people with leaders and their teams, drowning in corporate complexity, information overload, and unnecessary levels of stress. 

[00:00:18] Scott: Having spent over 20 years leading disruptive high-performing teams who have won international awards for their impact. I've now dedicated my career to helping coach and train leaders and teams to deliver more value and impact at work whilst reducing the risk of burnout, overload, and wasted effort. 

[00:00:34] Scott: This podcast is dedicated to you and thousands like you who know work can and should be better.

[00:00:39] Scott: You'll get tips and insights from me as well as the amazing guests I invite to be the show, many of them have disrupted their industries and are thought leaders, speakers, and authors who have fascinating stories and advice to share. 

[00:00:50] Scott: Thank you for listening. I'm Scott Fulton and welcome to the Rebel Diaries show. 

[00:00:54] Kate: And one of the questions that I ask every leader that I work with is, "what don't you like in your business? Now look at yourself and look at how you are contributing to that, because the chances are you will be."

[00:01:06] Rebecca: And then that is what the unconscious to conscious leadership shift is that we love to create is raising awareness of how leaders reactive tendencies and conditioned tendencies come out in their behavior.

[00:01:20] Kate: As a leader, you have to have a pulse on yourself. How am I doing? How am I showing up? How am I managing my energy? 

[00:01:28] Scott: In this episode, I speak to Rebecca and Kate founders of deepen a company that helps leaders shift from unconscious to conscious leadership. Their approach brings together principles of neuroscience, behavior change and positive psychology. As well as the latest research on extraordinary leadership. 

[00:01:47] Scott: Hi, Rebecca and Kate, welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast. 

[00:01:51] Rebecca: Hi Scott. Thanks for having us,

[00:01:53] Kate: Yeah, thanks for having us,

[00:01:55] Scott: This is the first time I've had two guests on the show,

[00:01:57] Scott: so it's very exciting for me. 

[00:01:59] Kate: We feel 

[00:02:00] Scott: Okay, 

[00:02:02] Rebecca: Yeah, hopefully that will add value

[00:02:05] Scott: Yeah, I'm sure it will. So can you tell us a bit of the background of how you decided to set up the company? It's quite a new company. I underst.

[00:02:15] Rebecca: Shall I go first? 

[00:02:15] Rebecca: Kate

[00:02:16] Kate: Yeah, go 

[00:02:17] Kate: for it. 

[00:02:18] Rebecca: We were both working for another company mental health consultancy and so we were doing lots of work facilitating in the mental health space with organizations and the. Way that we were seeing this kind of all come together is it doesn't really matter what you do with the employees around mental health if the leaders are leading from a place of ego and often containing anxiety and coming from place of protection.

[00:02:50] Rebecca: And so really it's this thing that we call unconscious leadership that was happening and Kate and I. We were talking and we got an opportunity to do some leadership development work through that company. And so Kate went out and delivered this program around conscious leadership, creative leadership, and just the two of us started talking and found this.

[00:03:10] Rebecca: Amazing connection and, resonating on the same wavelength around the need for conscious leadership development in the world because the pace of complexity in escalating in the world is just out. It's outpacing the leadership development that is going on. So we bonded around that and Kate brings a really incredible set of experience to.

[00:03:34] Rebecca: Some of the stuff that I bring and I have in my wheelhouse. So Kate, I dunno if you wanna add a bit to that as well. 

[00:03:40] Kate: Yeah, I'd probably just say the same thing. We just had this incredible opportunity to birth something together that we were both really passionate about from a i, I came from a background of leadership myself, so the last 12 to 15 years of my career, I was in senior management and leadership roles, so I'd experienced this as well.

[00:04:02] Kate: And experienced how I was living and leading unhealthily and unconsciously. So starting to work with Rebecca, in this company just really opened our eyes to how could we do leadership development differently. I've seen and delivered a lot of leadership development over my time, and I just saw that it wasn't getting the change, it wasn't impacting, and it wasn.

[00:04:26] Kate: Getting that sort of sustainable transformation that people are looking for in the culture. So that's what really spurred us to think about how can we do this differently? How can we stand out from all of the other million consultancies op operating leadership development out there? Which, I'm sure there's some great companies doing great things, but I wasn't seeing the change.

[00:04:48] Kate: And that was, in the teams that I was working with, we were struggling with the. , leadership and culture issues and the companies that I was working with and delivering for in, in previous associate roles, same problems and same issues around change. So that was really, the passion behind it was there has to be a different way to do this.

[00:05:09] Kate: And we know that there are, there's more depth to how you create change and transformation.

[00:05:14] Scott: So was this born out of a frustration of being on like the receiving end of bad leadership or just observing that and if so, any stories you can tell or share? 

[00:05:26] Rebecca: Yeah.

[00:05:26] Scott: without naming names, 

[00:05:27] Rebecca: of course Kate's definitely got some of those stories. Mine. Yeah. I was, I have experience and been in teams where there was a lack of psychological safety. That feeling that you can put your voice into the room and bring ideas and challenge the status quo and take risks and learn and so that, that experience, Really underpinned by a leader who was coming from a place of protection and and was more of an ego-centric approach to leadership and a reactive approach to leadership easily triggered.

[00:05:58] Rebecca: And so that experience of tr walking on eggshells in the workplace was was, I could see that around me quite a lot. And obviously both Kate and I are coaches, executive coaches, and and . We, I certainly through my clients, the ones that are coming to me as well, this is just a consistent story as lack of psychological safety in the workplace.

[00:06:17] Rebecca: And oh no, I could never put my head above the parapet because I'll get shot down and right now it's all about protecting my job. And so organizations, and I've experienced a lack of innovation, a lack of growth, a lack of excitement and inspiration, and therefore personal. When I was working in the corporate world.

[00:06:36] Rebecca: And so that is really what led me to, I was in a very big corporate for a number of years. Put my hand up for voluntary redundancy and step out and follow this kind of courageous path of starting our own company and founding, Deepen.

[00:06:49] Scott: Great. And yeah, that's what you alluded to there, that these leaders, those behaviors can kill a team's productivity, can't it? And you, it's interesting you've called it protection from the leader's perspective. Feel free to challenge me. I call it insecurity . I dunno if that's, they feel threatened by staff.

[00:07:12] Scott: Might know more than them. They feel that they need to have all the answers, and I made those mistakes early on in my career where I thought, oh, I'm the leader now. I need to know everything. But rapidly, luckily realized, no, these people are smarter than me. They've got skills you need to give them the environment to be super successful.

[00:07:28] Scott: It sounds like that's not very common from what you're saying.

[00:07:31] Kate: I can. I can speak a little bit to that. One of the passions that I have and the angle that I come from is around what we call somatic approach to leadership development, which is bringing the nervous system and the body approach into leadership development. And the reason that's so important to me and the reason that I've spent a lot of time investing, in my own learning is because my personal leadership journey.

[00:07:57] Kate: Has been, I've experienced really good leaders and really bad leaders. I've also been a really good leader and a really bad leader myself. And what I noticed when I came out of my own leadership journey and into my own business and started learning more was how activated I was as a leader and how I was operating from this really stressed position.

[00:08:19] Kate: And I think we are condition. in our, in our sort of society and culture to think, from a very rational, cognitive perspective, that's how we are taught. That's how we learn. It's how we go about the way, it's how we go about our work and the way that we do everything and the way that we analyze everything and the way that we manage everything.

[00:08:39] Kate: And it doesn't take into account all of these kind of conditioned ways of being that are automatic. reactive. And so the more stress you layer into people, the more reactive and protective and worried they get. There's this thing I learned it from one of my mentors we're we are wired for three core things.

[00:08:59] Kate: We're wired for safety, for connection, and for respect, and we're always looking consciously or otherwise to optimize one of those things. All of those. And when they're challenged, we revert back to these patterns of behavior. So one of the things that I really learned as a leader was being really conscious around that.

[00:09:17] Kate: And I think a lot of, when I was experiencing poor leadership before, and a lot of the behaviors that you were talking about, I would look around and blame everyone else. I'd blame the employees, I'd blame the other people in my team. I'd, anybody apart from myself. They were causing me the stress.

[00:09:33] Kate: And that was, it was their fault that I was behaving the way that I. What I wasn't doing was looking at, okay, why am I showing up like this? Like, why am I behaving like this? Why am I acting like this? And what's that having, what effect is that having on other people? What influence is that having on other people?

[00:09:49] Kate: And so I think where we need to be a little bit careful is to step away from this idea that, the way that leaders are behaving when they're behaving badly is a conscious decision. And understand that actually it's an activated way. of, there's something in them that is being protected.

[00:10:07] Kate: They've conditioned this behavior in this way of being, and they need to unpick that and understand how it's influencing people and then find a different way to interact with people. And that was a massive learning for me. 

[00:10:19] Scott: So does that cascade down then? Do you see that? If the top is behaving in that way, then you know, if the leaders below them are feeling stressed. 

[00:10:27] Kate: Yeah. 

[00:10:28] Scott: That's gonna then impact them and almost are they just a bit like Stockholm syndrome? Just think, this is how it is, I'm just gonna behave the same way and not realize it cuz it's ing you said it's that.

[00:10:38] Scott: It's like self-awareness isn't, it's realizing actually what's my part in this rather than deflecting and blaming everybody else, which I guess is a natural thing to do. Be

[00:10:48] Scott: interesting to hear some of your examples. You said 

[00:10:49] Scott: you've got of that. 

[00:10:50] Kate: Yeah, I can I have a very strong view on that perspective, Scott. Absolutely. And one of the questions that I ask every leader that I work with is, what don't you like in your business? Now look at yourself and look at how you are contributing to that, because the chances are you will be, and the chances are that everything that is happening in the business that you are not happy about.

[00:11:10] Kate: Is either behavior that's mirrored from what you are doing consciously or otherwise, or it's a reaction to behavior of yours that's not creating. Rebecca mentioned psychological safety was one thing, but it's not creating the environment or the culture that you need to optimize people's, health, happiness, wellbeing within the working environment.

[00:11:33] Kate: And a lot of leaders just aren't aware of that. They don't know. . What they don't know what they don't know. They don't know when they're doing something, less consciously in the impact that it's having. 

[00:11:43] Rebecca: Is, really the. Space we work in. Because one of the things that Kate and I, if you could say where we niche down a bit, is organizations who are attempting to create a behavior change, a culture change, but there is led by behavior. And often they do connect that to being.

[00:12:01] Rebecca: It's to do with mindset. And we need to shift the mindset of the employees and we need to shift the behavior of the employees. And the first thing we wanna do is we wanna talk to the top leadership to say okay. But first of all, you tell us how are you shifting your mindset First, how are you role modeling those behaviors?

[00:12:20] Rebecca: Because one of the fastest ways to undo or just not even get off the ground with organizational culture change, Is for the leaders to be saying one thing and doing another. So that role modeling is one fundamental jigsaw piece that we really want to get into. And then that is what the unconscious to conscious leadership shift is that we love to create is raising awareness through experiential exercises in workshops and courses of how leaders get triggered How leaders reactive tendencies and conditioned tendencies come out in their behavior and how that's then having the opposite impact in the organization that they think it's having. And u usually the awareness, the light bulb moment is that trigger that then creates that personal transformation journey that people go on when they have a bit of a caterpillar to butterfly experience because it's the insight and the trigger that then makes them pause and go, huh. Then we understand what's happening here. And with the right coaching and the right development program, then you can get under the skin of where did that come from for me?

[00:13:27] Rebecca: And what is a more empowering. belief system that I can shift to. And it's like an, a good example would be something like a limiting belief is I'm worthwhile and safe if everybody thinks I know all the answers and if I know all the answers. And so then with that limiting belief, you then have the behavior in the organization.

[00:13:50] Rebecca: No needing to know all the time, never asking any questions, like giving your opinion first, not empowering your teams to step up and give their ideas. And so you destroy, psychological safety, you destroy the chance for innovation. And so that's that kind of like armored behavior that is happening as a result of a limiting belief.

[00:14:08] Rebecca: So shifting that limiting belief and choosing a. liberating belief is the move that has to happen, but it's deep work and that's why we called ourselves Deepen.

[00:14:17] Scott: I was gonna ask how that initial conversation goes. You're clearly not as blunt and come in and say, actually you might be the problem , and please give us some business. How does that, because you're dealing with egos biases ingrained legacy stuff going back to their childhood potentially even.

[00:14:35] Scott: So how does that initial conversation go? 

[00:14:37] Kate: I think one of the things that we're really focused on is role modeling what we're talking on and authenticity. So to a certain extent, we do challenge it because I think that's part of the problem. And when people aren't aware of the things that are contributing to, a toxic culture, or I use that word a little bit loosely, when you've got this culture that's not optimized or when you've got a leadership team that aren't gelling well, or aren't, aren't able to achieve the goals that they want to achieve or move forward.

[00:15:09] Kate: You do have to, you do have to look at that. And as a leader, you need to be able to be courageous and vulnerable in that respect and say, okay, what is my part in this and where do I need to look at how I'm showing up? And one of the things that we talk about with leaders as well is that, just knowing something isn't enough, you can look at any sort of personal development, leadership develop.

[00:15:33] Kate: Professional development sphere to understand this. You can Google anything you need to know these days. If you wanna change something, you can Google it. If you want a new exercise routine, a new diet, a new way to learn something, you can Google it. There aren't, you don't need people coming in telling you how to do things.

[00:15:49] Kate: Most people know what they should be doing. Most people know what they want to be doing. It's the behavior change that's the problem. And the issue that comes into that is that just know. . Having an insight isn't enough because when you're under pressure, when you're under stress, that's when you default.

[00:16:05] Kate: So the open and honest conversation we have with leaders is what isn't working and what's happening to you when you are under pressure that you are defaulting to, that's not helpful in this. What do you want to achieve? And it's almost that sort of, where are you now? Where do you want to go and what's the bridge that we need?

[00:16:24] Kate: Cross to get there. Cause if you don't have those open conversations, then you're just skirting around the real issue. So yeah, we're not, going to go in there challenging people. But yeah, our job is to have a different perspective. 

[00:16:36] Rebecca: More practically to your question is we even next week we have a session with a big corporate and it's all about for them as leaders, what are they doing to role model the change? That is exactly what this is all about because it's quite often tell the employees that this is the new values and this is the behaviors and they need to do this, and that's the problem.

[00:16:55] Rebecca: If they don't do this then we will never win as an organization. So it's always their fault. So we go in with. a question a poll, whatever, and ask the group. how do you think your role modeling the behaviors yourselves day to day and they score themselves or whatever and yes, it might just be yes or no.

[00:17:17] Rebecca: And then there is a statistic that we can show them from some McKinsey research that says, if you ask a group of leaders, if they're role modeling the new behaviors, 86% of them said yes, they. And then if you ask their direct reports, how many of them are role modeling, how many of them their leaders are role modeling the behaviors, it comes out at 53%.

[00:17:36] Rebecca: So it's 86% versus 53%. So that's a little moment to say you may think that your. Part of the solution, but you may well be part of the problem. And this is a chance to stand up, take a mirror, and we are gonna take you through some workshops and some exercises to show you the mindset shifts and get you to go away and look at what needs to change.

[00:17:56] Rebecca: And then there are other practical exercises we can do leadership 360. So a leadership circle profile. one that I have an accreditation in that we, we love to use because you can run that and they get input and insight from their organization that tells them where they're being unconscious and where they're leading from a conscious, creative leadership perspective.

[00:18:16] Rebecca: And that's just like a mi a map to where they need to improve. So really good 360 s that understand these ideas. Or another tool. Or you could just do a feedback exercise in the. with the group of leaders and they all give each other feedbacks, like speed dating. And then from there they have insight as to what they're being perceived as.

[00:18:38] Rebecca: How they're being perceived to be not supporting the values and behaviors or not acting in a way that's empowering the organization. And so then there, there's a bit of realization there too. So it's all these different, or what tools you can use to raise awareness and wake people up a bit.

[00:18:53] Scott: So are you seeing any themes around different sectors where leadership is Different or not as good, or they need more work and more support from you based on, different sectors and industries?

[00:19:06] Rebecca: I would say this is pretty common across. Because we all, we've worked with, start small startups in and as well as corporates and different sectors, the investment sector quite strong in terms of representation as well construction. And it seems to be that because the world has become and has always been complex, but it's just rapidly.

[00:19:34] Rebecca: Getting more and more complex, more disruptive. The pressure is on to deliver increasing performance targets. At the same time. There seems to be a crisis of employees feeling a bit disillusioned, loss of purpose since the pandemic. And so feeling burning out there. The burnout is really high at the moment.

[00:19:53] Rebecca: I think it's something like 46% of employees are feeling burnt out. That kind of combination of then they, people are off sick sometimes and then you've got that workload doesn't change. All of that is all happening across all sectors, I would say. And so unless you've got some sort of a company where they've really done this work really well, and there are a few companies out there who've really invested in developing conscious leaders.

[00:20:17] Rebecca: Then they're starting to shift the needle, I would say. And we're starting to see much more innovation and yeah, psychological safety and thriving happy humans, which is really our mission, and our, the, our why, what gets us out of bed in the morning is, To, catalyze the shift to conscious leadership so the world has more thriving, happy humans.

[00:20:38] Rebecca: So my perspective is it's fairly common across industries. I dunno, Kate you've worked in FinTech startup and the corporate world as well. What do you think? 

[00:20:47] Kate: Yeah I think for the most part, I would say that the challenges that companies and managers are facing are fairly there's definitely some high level challenges that are fairly consistent across most industries. I think there are some nuances in that. You definitely see a very d. Leadership to a certain extent in the very large corporates, which tend to be very structural and hierarchical, and a lot more bureaucratic in terms of the leadership style versus the startup scale up world, which.

[00:21:18] Kate: Will be a little bit more fluid and a little bit more broad. In, even in the large corporates, you get these pockets of smaller, smaller organizational cultures or smaller, whether it's a team or a country or however. But so there are nuances in that. I think there's also nuances in the way that people have learnt leadership develop.

[00:21:39] Kate: So some people may have been on very structured leadership development programs from, either the large companies that deliver these or smaller outfits like ourselves that still delivering programs. Other people's leadership style has evolved more organically because they've found themselves in a management position.

[00:21:58] Kate: Typically one of the things that we see, quite a lot, which is a challenge in all types of organizations, is this manager and leader that has suddenly found themselves in a leadership position and doesn't necessarily have the inclination to be a leader. So they're and I've worked a lot in finance and technology, so I've seen this a lot.

[00:22:20] Kate: They're incredibly technical, like their sort of ability to code or ability to analyze things. Phenomenal. And they have risen through the ranks because of this very strong technical capability. But they don't have the management experience and they don't necessarily even want to be managing and leading, and that's a big problem.

[00:22:43] Kate: That's a big problem in management and leadership when you've got that combination of kind of not really knowing how and it not really being the main focus of the job. And that's something that, companies need to find a solution for because you can't just go out recruiting other people to be the leader because some of the more senior technical people don't want to be or can't be.

[00:23:02] Kate: But at the same time, it's a huge impact on the culture. If you haven't got that strength. In leadership, so that I do see a lot. And I think, there is a paradigm shift in leadership development. Now. There's a recognition that the, let's say, older school style of management and leadership is no longer valid in today's world and the complexity of how organizations work today.

[00:23:27] Kate: And you need a lot more sort of flexibility and adaptability and a lot. , there are a lot of sort of characteristics and traits of leadership that are being recognized now as much more beneficial to organizational culture than they may have been before. Whereas leadership development may have been around.

[00:23:44] Kate: Yeah, how to build a strategy, how to run a p and l, maybe how to pull a team together. It has to be much more relational now. It has to be much more how do you build connections across the organization? How do you lead from a place of vulnerability and curiosity and some of these things that maybe traditional leadership would've looked at as a little bit soft.

[00:24:04] Kate: And we are really clear and deepen. So I'm really anti the phrase soft skills development. I have been for a long time because they're not soft. They're actually probably harder than some of the technical skills to learn and develop. And we call them human skills. So you know, these more human aspects, these more relational aspects of leading and emotional, emotional agility, emotional.

[00:24:30] Kate: Those kind of things are showing to be far more important than the sort of, standard intellect and technical capability. So that, I think is probably a big challenge for leaders in all walks in all businesses.

[00:24:42] Scott: Yeah, I like that. Re not calling it soft. It just has implications, doesn't it? People. Oh, I don't need to do that. Soft and fluffy. That's not my job kind of thing. I'm a leader. I don't do, yeah. I don't do the fluffy stuff. Yeah. I like that. So you mentioned, the leadership behaviors. I was interested how go back to this default. Position when we're under pressure. And he described it as well, people are like protecting themselves as leaders. And I've maybe incorrectly labeled that in my view as kind of insecurity cuz I've seen leadership behavior where they have felt threatened by their staff.

[00:25:18] Scott: I used to have a manager that's didn't let me speak to staff above their grade cuz. Oh no, I'll speak to them. Don't worry. Which, when I became a leader, I was like no. Go and speak to them. It's fine. Because I didn't feel threatened by that, but it was clear that this other person did.

[00:25:33] Scott: Yeah. Just interesting how you described it. Protection. What, can you tell us a bit more about your view on that?

[00:25:38] Rebecca: Yeah, there's a few things that can come outta that. Protection. the leaders are con. So this is from a guy called Bob Anderson, who is the founder of the Leadership Circle, and he's written a book called Mastering Leadership. And he talks about leaders having to manage the constant tension between safety and purpose.

[00:25:58] Rebecca: And all of us. Have been through experiences where, we all have to manage our mortgage, and pay our bills and look after our families or, and if we have children put food on the table and so on. And just general safety and security. And this is really coming down to the fundamental human needs.

[00:26:14] Rebecca: And. Yet at the same time, when we are coming from a place of safety, then we are going to default to seeing things as an and amygdala hijack. Kate can talk quite knowledgeably to the scanning for threats all the time. And the fact that the part of our brain will always be a. A very active, if that's our focus, moving up in the organization, having approval from others and not allowing, other people to take our limelight because we are all focused on our reputation and our growth in the organization.

[00:26:44] Rebecca: And so when we focus on safety, Bob talks about us going to this reactive structure of mind. which we is the same thing as basically becoming an unconscious leader. You are just reacting all the time. You're allowing your emotional responses, your condition conditioning to drive your reactions.

[00:27:01] Rebecca: And what that means is you end up responding to problems and threats. With a feeling of fear. And then you basically are constantly reacting and containing the anxiety. And so you have those reactive behaviors in the organization. And so you are really protecting yourself. You're keeping yourself safe.

[00:27:21] Rebecca: And I have also looked at Brene Brown's work and looked at what she, when she dives down on Sort of the comfort being vulnerable and people who are not vulnerable are armored. They're wearing all this armor and that deep down it feels like it's the sense of worthiness. If you have ever seen her amazing Ted talk about the power of vulnerability, people who are comfortable being vulnerable, they're the ones that feel an inherent sense of worthiness just because they are they're, they exist.

[00:27:51] Rebecca: And so I was kinda like, then laddering it up if we have an ingrained sense of self-worth that comes from within. And Brene calls that grounded confidence. , then we won't need to wear this armor to protect ourselves. And instead of orienting towards safety and protection and keeping ourselves moving up in the organization, we can move towards orienting around purpose and possibility and opportunity.

[00:28:18] Rebecca: And that's the other tension that Bob talks about is like actually leaders that lead from a purpose. Focus, which is where you're about passion and contribution and vision, and that's what you use to inspire people around you. And you don't, because you're not wearing all this armor, you don't need to take control be a perfectionist.

[00:28:38] Rebecca: Keep your distance to keep people away from you. You don't need to please people. So all of these, like what we call reactive tendencies in the bottom half of and below the line behaviors they don't have to happen. And so therefore you can, we call it shifting above the line into the conscious creative behaviors.

[00:28:56] Rebecca: When you're oriented around purpose, you can empower other people. You can set purpose and vision that inspires the organization. You can have caring connections that allow people to care for you as well as you caring for them. You can really like ground into your integrity and your authenticity and the way that you lead and challenge the status quo and speak up and, really think about the system and look at lots.

[00:29:17] Rebecca: Be curious, be open, be curious, and that is the shift. That organizations need to happen because if you ladder it all up, then you'll create brave spaces cuz people around you will want to give their ideas and challenge and everything else. And you'll be humble enough, grounded in your confidence and your self-worth to let your armor be on the floor as Brene Brown talks about, and just let the ideas come.

[00:29:42] Rebecca: And that, I think, is what organizations need.

[00:29:45] Scott: Yeah, it's interesting just what's the kind of timeframe for that change there? Because surely the, if the leader suddenly changes overnight, which may not be possible, cuz you're talking about years of ingrained stuff, the staff will need to build that confidence, wouldn't they? To can I now ask a question without being shot down , you know it's gonna take some time for that culture shift, isn't it? You're not suddenly gonna go the leader no, please, I, you can tell me now.

[00:30:08] Rebecca: This is where coaching is so important and actually one of the things we're really passionate at Deepen about is not having a one hit wonder workshop where we go in and everyone gets some of these ideas and then we go away and we never see them again. We want to work longer term with.

[00:30:25] Rebecca: that group. So it may be that they have a 360 profile done, or it may just be that there's coaching and then that those conversations continue whether it's group coaching or one-to-one because it does take time. Of course, it doesn't happen overnight. It's a metamorphosis. Of an operating system that has been running the show for years and pretty much for your whole life since childhood when you learned a lot of these tendencies and lessons and beliefs about the world.

[00:30:51] Rebecca: So yeah, it does take time. But that one of the things there is, that's where the vulnerability comes in, the leader. It's okay to say to your team, I'm learning about this stuff, I'm learning about vulnerability now, and I'm learning about conscious leadership and I. That I haven't always been that conscious leader, or I haven't been that safe, a leader to be around.

[00:31:11] Rebecca: So I'm gonna start practicing this guys, and I need your help. And that it's in itself is one of the most, daring conscious things you can do is say, I need help here. Give me feedback. How am I doing? And if I suddenly fall below the. then, gimme feedback. And that's one of the things these really simple models, like the straight line below, the line, above line, they create a common language in an organization that allows people to, talk about this stuff a little bit more easily in an and more accessibly.

[00:31:41] Kate: I think what I would add to that is , you are always practicing something. You and this is the way that I would talk about it with leaders. You are always practicing something. You are always embodying something. And the question is that conscious or not? So if you choose not to consciously develop your leadership, you are still developing your leadership.

[00:32:05] Kate: You're just doing it unconscious. and it may or may not be successful depending on what your sort of default tendencies are. So the first thing is what are you consciously practicing? What are you cultivating intentionally around your leadership development? I think the other. Challenge I always have.

[00:32:23] Kate: We live in this world of immediacy. Like I was telling my 12 year old niece the other day about when I used to go to a shop called Blockbusters and I used to have to put my name down for a videotape if it wasn't in the store. And she was looking at me as if I'd just fallen out of a tree. And she had no idea of this world where you might have to wait for something.

[00:32:43] Kate: And we've also got this kind. Idea that everything is available on tap, you can change everything overnight. There's all of these kind of one size fits all approaches to personal and professional development. This idea that you can just change things. Straight away. And that's just not true.

[00:32:59] Kate: You have to continually practice what you want to change to. There there's different studies. If you look at the studies, there's different things, the general one that most people know about is for mastery it's 10,000 hours. 10,000 hours for mastering something. There's other studies that will tell you different levels, but the basic principle is you can't do something.

[00:33:21] Kate: And think that you've mastered it and that you know it's gonna be a success. So it's, it has to be an ongoing process of intentional development. And like Rebecca said, that's where coaching helps, or self-coaching or some sort of commitment to what you're trying to change and being very clear about what that is.

[00:33:41] Scott: Yeah and I guess it's interesting you said about you, you can't just come in. Train people and then walk away and hope things change cuz it has to be embedded and done over time. And you talked about some measurement, that has to come hand in hand in terms of being able to track the improvements.

[00:33:57] Scott: Is that something you do as well? Give feedback and measure some? What are the kind of metrics that you measure if you're tracking that? 

[00:34:04] Kate: This is a really interesting one because metrics are the thing that nobody wants to do. How many projects have you seen in organizations where people are like we're going to do this project or program. We've got this really elaborate project plan of. How we are going to step through it and we do all of that and we get to the end and we've delivered it, and then we move on to the next thing.

[00:34:22] Kate: And there's no time or energy spent on that sort of retrospective. I guess you get it a little bit more in the agile world, right? So there's a little bit more retrospective built into the flow, most people will stop at the point that they delivered something or they've been in a training program and there's no kind of.

[00:34:39] Kate: Forward thinking about, okay, what have we learned from that? How have we learned? What might we do differently? What are we taking forward? That's the retrospective of how's that being useful and how are we gonna take it forward? I think to some extent it's a difficult question to answer because what you measure will depend very much on what you're trying to actually achieve.

[00:34:58] Kate: But one of the things that I would always say either in a coaching or a training environment is what? , what are you trying to achieve? What's the commitment that you are taking away from you from sorry, commitment that you're taking away with you from this development that you want to be intentionally practicing?

[00:35:15] Kate: Where are you now and how, and then what are you gonna track between, now and three months time, six months time, 10 months time? What are those steps? And having that clarity of where am I now? And being able to refer back to progress, I think is really helpful. And that might be very, that might be quantitative.

[00:35:36] Kate: There might be some very specific quantitative measures, or it might be a little bit more qualitative. So one thing that I think as a leader you should practice the art of reflection, even if you're not a very reflective person. Learning and practicing the art of reflection as a leader is super, I.

[00:35:53] Kate: Because then you start to build up a picture of how you are behaving. So I get my coaching clients to do journals, and some of them are bit like, Ugh, really? But I think it's really important to slow down sometimes, reflect on where you are, reflect on where you're going, and reflect on how successful you are.

[00:36:11] Kate: Because then you know where you might need to change along the journey as well. Something might be working well, something might not. . But yeah, so reflection is one, one thing, and then specific quantitative measures around what you might be able, what you might want to do change and achieve.

[00:36:25] Rebecca: I think. .If we also look at, if we're working with an H R D a, PE Chief People Officer, and they're looking for a marked improvement in a culture, a real culture shift, and we are working with the leadership group, then some quantitative measures such as if they do the leadership a leadership 360, then they can do it again a year's time or in six months time, and we can see the difference and you see the percentiles change on the profile.

[00:36:50] Rebecca: So that's the kind of really real decent commitment to measuring the change that people can do. Alternatively, you can look at, if they already have an employee engagement survey that has a leadership section, it's like the trust in the leaders, the belief that leaders are role modeling the values, making.

[00:37:07] Rebecca: But the design of that includes the right questions that are gonna get the real answers about what's going on. And then, measuring that again in six months time after the work that we've done has happened, and seeing if things have changed. So that's a just another very practical way that we can measure.

[00:37:22] Rebecca: And of course there's the immediate, what did you learn? Feedback scores from the session, but they don't really mean much. I think it's the Kirkpatrick measurement tool that really makes sure that you look further down and measure like what has actually changed, what has been put into action, what is sustaining and embedding.

[00:37:40] Kate: Having worked in, l and D and and people and culture sort of 20 plus years, one of the things around engagement surveys, I think they have a merit and they do show. To a certain extent they're a way of tracking and measuring.

[00:37:55] Kate: But what one of the very practical ways of measuring what's happening in the organization is by feeling and seeing what's happening in the organization. And, sometimes you don't need a survey to tell you something. You already know whether something's working well or not. And one of the best things that you can track and measure is what's changing.

[00:38:14] Kate: How is employee motivation? Engagement? Yeah. You can track things like turnover and things like, people leaving within the first year of recruitment or, all of these sort of general HR measures that I've worked with before. And they give you a good, they give you a good indication of how.

[00:38:32] Kate: Travel, your direction of travel might be, but you will sense and you will feel and talking to people and talking to employees and that sort of conversational element I think is really important to support that as well. Cuz my experience with surveys is that people will sometimes, will either not complete them if they're really unhappy or they'll just do something very generic because they're worried that they're, that someone is going to know it's them that's given the feed.

[00:39:00] Kate: There's a lot of suspicion around surveys, so you've got to have I guess we will always come back to some key points, psychological safety, self-awareness, these really key things that for any of this stuff, to have any meaning and value in an organization, you have to have those things in place and they are, far more important than some of the other elements that you might try and use to gauge your temperature, check what's going.

[00:39:27] Scott: Yeah. And I've worked in an organization that, yeah, the annual survey was a big thing and leadership was always very frustrated that they've never got a very good response rate. And of course it is just a snapshot in time and it's probably the people that are more annoy.

[00:39:45] Scott: That want to say something than the ones that aren't. So it's gonna be slightly it's gonna be biased in some way, isn't it? And not representative. And yeah, even some of those employees filling it in might have had a really bad morning and that just skews their answers for that day. Ask em the next day.

[00:40:00] Scott: It might be completely 

[00:40:01] Scott: different.

[00:40:02] Kate: Yeah, exactly. So you need to track, you need to, as a leader, you have to have a pulse on yourself. How am I doing? How am I showing up? How am I managing my energy? How am I self-regulating? How am I impacting, influencing? But you also have to have a pulse on the collective. So as a team, as a leadership team, and then you've gotta have a pulse on the organization.

[00:40:25] Kate: There's a lot to do as a leader, right? But then, but that's your job. Okay. That is your job. Then you have to have a pulse on the organization. Like how is the organization generally from moment to moment? I really like the idea that you are always looking at you are always looking at yourself and the team and the organization from two states.

[00:40:45] Kate: It what's happening right now in the. Am I happy and motivated and showing up well or am I stressed or frustrated or something just activated me. And that's right now my moment, my, my position, my state in the moment. But then you've got your kind of, how am I generally. . So what's my general mood?

[00:41:06] Kate: The way that I show up over time is my default to be more stressed or more personable or, what's my sort of conditioned way of being? And as a leader, you need to develop both. You need to be able to develop your own state management. What's happening right now in the moment. Can I shift my state?

[00:41:25] Kate: Can I self-regulate right now? But you also need to be aware of how do I show up on a more consistent basis and what might need to change there. And then you flip that and say, okay, how do I do that with other people? And you have to start with yourself. You have to start with yourself, cuz otherwise you cannot connect to other people authentically.

[00:41:43] Kate: You can't pick up. I would love to geek out on the neuroscience, but I won't, I'll save you that. But yeah, the basic principle is you're co-regulating before you've even said anything. Your nervous system is co-regulating. So it doesn't matter as a leader what you say. Your employees will be picking things up.

[00:42:00] Kate: So you need to get skilled at regulating yourself right now and over time, and then understanding how to see and change that in other people as well.

[00:42:09] Scott: Yeah. There'll be microtones and expressions that people that know you will pick up on, even know it's the words you say versus how they perceive, isn't it? 

[00:42:17] Kate: Yeah. Right? Someone walks into a room and you know whether they're in a good mood or not. Whether that's the right, whether you can have a conversation with them, whether you're gonna get anything outta them or not. And you need to know as a leader, whether you are creating that environment or not, that's conducive to conversation.

[00:42:33] Scott: So one of the questions I ask all my guests is, if you could take one book with you to a desert island, what would it be? You're there for the rest of your life and you can't take a Kindle cause that's cheating.

[00:42:42] Rebecca: Oh, 

[00:42:43] Rebecca: my biggest recommendation to clients to really help people transform is Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. That for me is one of the most inspiring books from a leadership transformation perspective. Whether or not I'd wanna take it and read it over and over again on a Desert Island I would probably wanna take a novel that I love and I can get lost in.

[00:43:01] Kate: , I'm gonna take it's not a book, it's a box of story cubes, and you throw them and you can make up your own story. Each time you throw the cubes, you get a different combin. And you can make up your own story. So then I don't have to read the same book over and over.

[00:43:17] Kate: I can create a little bit of curiosity in new stories each day.

[00:43:21] Scott: I like that. That's good. It's been great chatting. If anyone wants to work with you, what's the best way for them to get hold of you?

[00:43:27] Rebecca: Come and find Or follow us on LinkedIn. So I'm at Rebecca Deepen, and Kate is, 

[00:43:36] Kate: just my name, Kate Avery. 

[00:43:38] Scott: Great. I'll put those links in the show notes 

[00:43:40] Scott: so thank you both for being on the show. It's been great

[00:43:42] Scott: chatting. 

[00:43:43] Rebecca: thank you for having us. It's been fun.

[00:43:46] Scott: A big, thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show your time is precious, so it is appreciated. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to hit that subscribe button in your podcast app of choice so you don't miss the next one. There's a new episode every Monday morning, ideal for your commute to work or early morning walk. 

[00:44:03] Scott: Until next time, take care be a rebel and deliver work with impact.