TRANSFORMING MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS INTO CONFIDENT COMMUNICATORS AND LEADERS

Context Counts – What’s Yours?
Published 17 September 2020
Most of us will have worked in a context where simply walking into the building was enough to demotivate you each day!

The context in which we find ourselves in each moment has a very real impact on the way our brain works and so on our behaviours as leaders, and the performance of our teams.

Most of us will have worked in a context where simply walking into the building was enough to demotivate you each day!

Our brains are heavily context specific – the environment we are in activates different emotional and cognitive pathways and shapes the ways in which we process information and respond to situations. It can make us more or less productive, stressed, or difficult to interact with!

How can we use this awareness to help us as leaders?

Start paying attention to your own patterns of behaviour and those of your team. Are there particular times, physical or social contexts in which they perform better, get trapped in certain conversational cycles or react less thoughtfully than in other contexts? If you have a team that keeps repeating the same conversation in every team meeting – change the context in which those meetings happen. Hold them on a different day at a different time, in a different room or a different building. It’s remarkable how something as seemingly small as the space that we are in can completely change the ways in which we think and interact.

Notice when you are most productive on different types of work.

  • I do my best writing when I am in a public space filled with people that I don’t know with low levels of ambient noise (like libraries or new co-working spaces).
  • I tackle difficult conversations best when I am in a context that I know very well and there are minimal distractions.
  • I am at my best as a speaker in spacious, inspirational rooms with lots of light and a view!

We can’t always create our ideal context (I’ve spoken in plenty of dark, hidden rooms!), but when we bring awareness to what we need it is easier to be intentional in the ways that we use context to shape our performance.

Pay attention to the emotional context of your team. High levels of stress can become habits for some teams, and can limit capacity for anyone to be calm or light-hearted in that space. Explore with the team what they might need to shift away from the stress, to change the tone of conversations and the reactivity of situations.

What are the contexts that you or your team might need to support a shift in performance or disruption of a pattern that’s stuck?
Context Counts – What’s Yours?
Published 17 September 2020
Most of us will have worked in a context where simply walking into the building was enough to demotivate you each day!

The context in which we find ourselves in each moment has a very real impact on the way our brain works and so on our behaviours as leaders, and the performance of our teams.

Most of us will have worked in a context where simply walking into the building was enough to demotivate you each day!

Our brains are heavily context specific – the environment we are in activates different emotional and cognitive pathways and shapes the ways in which we process information and respond to situations. It can make us more or less productive, stressed, or difficult to interact with!

How can we use this awareness to help us as leaders?

Start paying attention to your own patterns of behaviour and those of your team. Are there particular times, physical or social contexts in which they perform better, get trapped in certain conversational cycles or react less thoughtfully than in other contexts? If you have a team that keeps repeating the same conversation in every team meeting – change the context in which those meetings happen. Hold them on a different day at a different time, in a different room or a different building. It’s remarkable how something as seemingly small as the space that we are in can completely change the ways in which we think and interact.

Notice when you are most productive on different types of work.

  • I do my best writing when I am in a public space filled with people that I don’t know with low levels of ambient noise (like libraries or new co-working spaces).
  • I tackle difficult conversations best when I am in a context that I know very well and there are minimal distractions.
  • I am at my best as a speaker in spacious, inspirational rooms with lots of light and a view!

We can’t always create our ideal context (I’ve spoken in plenty of dark, hidden rooms!), but when we bring awareness to what we need it is easier to be intentional in the ways that we use context to shape our performance.

Pay attention to the emotional context of your team. High levels of stress can become habits for some teams, and can limit capacity for anyone to be calm or light-hearted in that space. Explore with the team what they might need to shift away from the stress, to change the tone of conversations and the reactivity of situations.

What are the contexts that you or your team might need to support a shift in performance or disruption of a pattern that’s stuck?