Potterings Blog

Pottering around life's issues, a little digging here, some fertilizer there, pruning to stimulate new growth and generally cultivating people's potential to blossom. Your comments are always welcomed.  
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It's time to put the human back into humanity

In every area of life in my business I am finding a huge constant. People are crying out to be treated as human beings. Especially, but not only, in the workplace. And you know what? I see it as much in the lives of leaders and employers as I do in followers and employees.

 

Systems rather than people seem to be running the world. Emotions are foreign to systems. Emotions only exist, if you are fortunate, in the hearts and minds of people using - and too often abusing - those systems.

 

It's time to put the human back into humanity.

 

We are born to be who we are, expressing our unique talents, passions, potential, emotions and desires. Human-ness includes basic respect, mutual understanding and enough reasonable opportunities to see and express what people can do and give and be.

 

Perhaps I am a small voice fighting an unfeeling system? I see enough to know that is not the case. But it's a battle we have to have.

The Role of Control in Managing Stress

The Marmot studies into stress and health levels within the UK Civil Service came up with some unexpected findings. They thought senior executives would be the most stressed because of their high pressure work and major decision responsibilities. In fact lower level staff were found to be the more stressed, largely because they have much less control and discretion in their job. 

 

There seems little doubt there's a strong link between the increasing levels of stress and the many changes over which we have so little control. It also strengthens the link between mental health and enjoying your favourite leisure/recreation interest - a life-enriching experience over which you have total control.

Solving problems that keep you awake nights

People want to listen when you speak about solutions to problems that can keep you awake at night. They sure listened to my keynote presentation to over 300 delegates to the Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference in Newcastle NSW, from which I have recently returned. I had so many people come up to me throughout the rest of the conference - and even at the airport as I was leaving - congratulating and thanking me. Some shared with me passionate personal stories about themselves and their lifestyles. 

 

The topic was the changing perception of leisure in these frenetic times. My core message was that 'leisure is back in the business of solving global problems so serious that they keep people awake at night'. The audience reactions confirmed that leisure truly is back in the business of solving what is in fact a global energy crisis - people are burning more emotional energy than they are creating. The symptoms of burnout are everywhere.

 

But I won't reproduce the presentation here. You can click here to see my notes and slides.

 

I found the whole experience to be humbling, yet empowering. I would love to be able to recreate the experience at your next conference, seminar, staff development event or other business or community event. It doesn't have to be 300+ people. Any size group is fine with me.

 

RUOK? A simple, potentially powerful question

RUOK? Are you ok mate? It's a simple but potentially hugely powerful question we can all ask a colleague, relative or friend. And September 13th is once again being recognized as National RUOK? day. Find out more on their site at www.ruokday.com.au

 

And don't just ask it on September 13th. Ask RUOK? at any time on any day of the year you notice somebody you know acting out of character. We are all reluctant to tell others when we are down but we all know the lift it can give when someone takes the time to stop, to show some concern and ask "are you ok?"

 

It won't hurt to ask...and you might even be triggering a positive turnaround in someone's life.

 

It's the simplest, most powerful form of stress management I could ever suggest.

Fearing retirement? Here's reasons to take heart

Fear has been described as an acronym – F.E.A.R. False Expectations Appearing Real. Many working people feel fear when it comes to considering life beyond the age of 60-65.

 

Been there, done that. Let me assure you I am enjoying life beyond age 65. You can find it every bit as fulfilling as any earlier stage of life. You have so many options – paid or unpaid. It’s much like any other major lifestyle re-think you’ve done before, like when you got married, started a family, quit top sport, or reached any of the big ’0’s.

 

There’s one big difference. You become entitled to choose living life on your own terms. If that includes paid work, choose your own working terms. Whatever you decide, you owe it to yourself, and to those you love, to enjoy allowing your natural talents, passions and unique potential to continue blossoming. It has the potential to become the best time of your life.

 

One final tip. You wouldn't leave your financial planning until you needed the money. Start thinking now what 'planning life on your terms' means for you.

 

Still got fears?

1) Click here to read more on retirement, and

2) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how I might help you clear the fog.

Freedom

Freedom - perhaps the greatest, most positive and potentially the most morale-boosting word in the world today.  To those without it, freedom is a dream they cherish and long for. To those who have it, the greatest danger is to take it for granted.

 

Perhaps your most basic freedom is the freedom to choose what you enjoy. When it comes to choosing your work, there are many factors to be taken over and above simple enjoyment.

 

When it comes to leisure pursuits, you are in total control of the choice, the actions, the reasons, the extent to which you want to develop your abilities, who to do it with or to do it alone,  whether it be physical or mental, active or passive,  the place, the time, and more.

 

Reflect for a moment on the interest you passionately enjoy for its own sake. How does it make you feel? What does it do for your self-esteem and self-confidence? How much does it de-stress you and sustain your resilience to cope with everything else in your life?  

 

It's a freedom we too easily take for granted, even leaving until after 'all the more important things are done'.  And don't forget that others in your life, including your staff, also have the freedom to choose and enjoy their own leisure interests.

 

Why do you work? (apart from the money)

 

The Weekend Australian of July 21/22 reports these findings from a survey undertaken by specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters:

  • 31% of job candidates see the salary package as the most important aspect of a job offer,
  • 31% put the cultural fit first ("the way we do things here"),
  • 26% see career progression as most important,
  • 9% the company brand or reputation and
  • 3% how the recruitment process was managed.

In the course of doing lifestyle review sessions for clients, I have been struck by the number and diversity of emotional reasons why people work, factors far deeper than simply the money and what it can buy. The fascinating part is that such emotional factors don't just drive their work choices, they drive their lifestyle choices - irrespective of whether or not they are in the workforce

Some of the reasons expressed by clients include:
  • A sense of belonging
  • Acknowledgement by others of myabilities
  • Being part of something bigger than me
  • Challenges
  • Commitment to a purpose
  • Decision making / Autonomy
  • Dignity
  • Impact on others
  • Learning and professional development
  • Maintaining connection / interaction with like-minded other people
  • Making a contribution to others
  • Opportunity to be creative
  • Personal space
  • Professional and social friendships
  • Social recognition / status in business and in society
  • Structures my life
  • Thrill of the chase
  • Valuing  my personal abilities and skills
  • Meeting a valued need
  • it keeps me and my mind busy and focused
  • it gets me out of bed with a sense of purpose for the day
  • Self esteem, self belief, self confidence
  • Performance feedback
  • Being supportive beyond my own needs
  • Never want to feel useless

Which of the above factors relate to you? No doubt you can add others of your own. Just remember they have major importance not only in choosing a job but in every decision that energizes your enjoyment of life.

 

 

Why "Australia's People Gardener"?

Cultivating the brand of “Australia’s People Gardener” gets some diverse reactions. Some people love it. Others suggest it doesn’t present a good business image, the implication being that business is about playing hard-headed mind games in the battle for the dollar. No place for emotional sentiment.

 

I find that’s a perception people have of other people, not themselves. Success, not just in business but in life, is about passion, inspiration, determination, anguish, guts and every other emotion you can name. The head plays a role but the heart makes the big decisions. The people who really succeed in business do it first and foremost because they are passionate. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail but their heart is at the centre of everything they do.

 

Gardeners use their heads when cultivating vigorous plant growth but it’s their heart and passion for gardening that’s driving their efforts. Calling myself a people gardener is just a further evolution of me getting to know and express my true self better. What better example can I give of the nature of my business – my passion for helping people blossom through better knowing and expressing their true selves.

 

How do I do that? Click here to find out.