Blue sky, warm weather, and smallish waves – the conditions were perfect for my first surfing lesson. But this was to be no ordinary lesson. Thanks to Women in Focus, a Commonwealth Bank initiative to inspire, inform and connect women in business, I stood on Manly Beach with butterflies in my belly, awaiting the arrival of 7-time world champion surfer Layne Beachley.
As Layne skipped down the steps to the beach, toned, tanned and terrific, I was determined to make the next two hours count. After all, how many people get the opportunity to learn to surf from the most successful female surfer of all time?
But what I learned was far more than how to surf. Because the lessons Layne gave us would be equally valid if applied to our businesses, our careers, and our lives.
Here are 5 things this goofy-foot learned from Layne Beachley.
Are you burning the candle at both ends and never getting it all done? It’s time to build some rest periods into your day.
Here’s a video I filmed about respecting your energy cycle to do your best work.
Why does it seem to happen that in a one hour meeting, the real stuff that needs discussing seems to surface with 10 minutes to go?
And it’s not just meetings. A coaching mentor of mine labels her clients’ meaty revelations just prior to wrapping up their sessions as “door handle comments” because they happen as the person’s getting ready to say goodbye.
Sometimes these comments are heartfelt and obvious, but don’t be fooled when they are thrown out almost casually. Door handle comments are often the most revealing parts of your meetings, where people expose what they truly think. You’d do well to sit up and take notice.
Because they happen all the time.
Here are 5 ways to speed up the “door handle comments” and cut to the chase.
What powerful productivity-booster is missing from most workplaces, but might take as little as 5 minutes to implement?
Professor Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School discovered what it was when he researched the behaviour of call centre employees whose job was phoning university alumni and asking for donations to go towards scholarships. Before making their phone calls, the call centre staff read brief stories from scholarship recipients about how the scholarships had improved their lives. As a result, the call centre staff raised twice as much money as they had in previous weeks.
Have you sabotaged your team’s results by playing peace-keeper?
While no one wants to spend their time in a hostile work environment, a certain amount of conflict is healthy. It’s the friction that creates the fire. If you give your people permission to disagree respectfully, they’ll come to better solutions, solve more problems, and spot more gaps than they would if playing nice was their highest priority.
Here are 13 ways to encourage healthy conflict at work.