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'Know Thyself' & 'Nervous' - November 2009 Newsletter

As we head to the end of 2009, many of us will be busy getting things cleaned up at work and ready for holidays or attending the numerous end-of-year functions that are on offer.  As you head into 2010, it’s worthwhile to consider how well you know yourself and others around you.

We have an article in this newsletter that examines the benefits and drawbacks of profiling – setting the context for a number of articles on individual and organisational profiling that we will be publishing over the coming months.  There is also further news about our scope of services, plus we end with an article for speakers on how nerves can affect us.

In this month's Lamplighter newsletter:

"Know Thyself" - the context for individual and organisational profiling

New Lamplighter Associates

Authentic Speaking® Workshops conclude for 2009

Authentic Speaking® article - "Nervous?  How about a crowd of over 4,000 on live TV?!"

Lamplighter Seminars in 2010

"Know Thyself" . . . (and thy people) - How do you best find out about yourself and your people?

You may have seen or experienced people being labelled a particular colour or name, subsequent to an assessment who have then been told to “become” a new “colour”.

One of the dangers [of paper and pencil profiling] is usually that assessments of this nature do not take into account the many thousands of variables that make up individual effort, workplace performance and culture, nor are they able to predict needs in novel situations.  Hence, we end up with organisations where everybody has to be a certain way, in order to “fit in with the culture” and then the whole organisation starts thinking the same way all the time, with potentially disastrous results.  The Global Financial Crisis is just such an example of this kind of one-sided mentality. One style of thinking led whole financial institutions (and the legislators backing them) into tanking world markets and millions of livelihoods.

When the ancient Greeks said to “know thyself”, I don’t think they had modern psychometrics in mind, nor were they implying that you then had to become the “perfect profile”.  >Read more ... 

New Lamplighter Associates

We're pleased to announce two new associates of Lamplighter Performance Consulting:

Sara Lord is a Talent Management Specialist with extensive experience as an HR director for UK organisations including O2, the biggest telecommunications company in the UK.  She headed the company's HR division during a time of tremendous change for the company when it span off British Telecom and had to find its direction.  Sara revamped and revitalised the HR functions of the company to provide an integrated talent management and talent building system that helped O2 become the leader in telecommunications that it is today.  She is qualified in business and as an organisational psychologist, bringing a pragmatic yet scientific approach to the development of people and businesses.  Sara has consulted in the creation of talent management systems for large organisations and is also an experienced and effective executive coach.  Sara has come to us with the same philosophies on building people and on how leadership has the capability to build other leaders throughout a company.  We're excited to be working with Sara and you will hear more from her in the New Year, as she works with us to provide unique and exceptional leadership experiences and development here in Western Australia.

I'm also pleased to advise that Brett Williams, Managing Director of Response Marketing Solutions, has agreed to act in a consulting capacity for our clients.  Brett is Perth's own "marketing guru" who also emphasises the systematic improvement of businesses - particularly their marketing processes.  Brett has tremendous talent in developing marketing systems and runs a full marketing agency.  Marketing is one of the key foundations to business success.  Brett has helped hundreds of W.A. businesses, organisations and business owners to achieve tremendous returns on their marketing.  He takes a highly ethical and structured approach that regards marketing as a part of the whole business system, so he also takes into account the whole business's development and develops systems that work to help grow your business or organisation, not gimmicky sales ploys.  He's quite brilliant at it and consistently achieves outstanding results with his clients, so we are thrilled to also have access to his resources for our clients.

Authentic Speaking® Workshops conclude for 2009

We just recently completed our last round of Authentic Speaking® workshops for 2009, including an in-house workshop with Rio Tinto and our Nov 16-17 open workshop, held at Guildford Landing Function Centre.  The workshops were great successes for our clients, with some outstanding improvement in their speaking and communication skills.  The Authentic Speaking® website now contains some photos from the open workshop.  I thank the participants for their willingness to be photographed on the day and for allowing their pictures to be published on our website.  The 2010 round of workshops will be advertised in the New Year.  Thank you to all of you who participated!

"Nervous?  How about getting in front of a crowd of over 4,000 on live TV?!"

Calming your nerves is important for many speakers and is something we work through in our Authentic Speaking® programme.  You may find that your fears or anxiety can overwhelm you, and you are not alone.  I was reminded of what this feels like just a couple of weeks ago.

On Nov 14th, I sang the national anthem for a Perth Wildcats home game.  I also sang during a 1/4 time singing competition.  I should tell you that singing in front of over 4,000 people on live TV did not faze me one bit: I was the epitomy of confidence and calmness - very zen.  I should tell you that, but I can't.  I cannot remember when I last felt so nervous.  I had a horrible pain in my stomach (and not just because I'd not eaten very much during the day) and was starting to shake.  Was I going to remember the words, my entries?  Would I make sure I shaped the music I was singing and move the audience?  How could I stop this desire to go for a run – preferably away!  Talk about adrenaline before a performance!

I had not even seen a Wildcats game broadcast before, so I didn't know what to expect.  And I was very concerned about how I would sound, appear, etc. etc. despite the fact that two or three weeks prior I had never even dreamed of singing at one of their games.  This had come totally out of the blue.

They say that Pavarotti used to be violently ill before every performance – well, I was right there with him, baby.

I had to calm myself, focus on the event, rehearse what I was to sing and concentrate on performing to my best.  The national anthem went off without a hitch.  And then the quarter time song came – 1 min 45 seconds to run out on court and sing over the top of cheerleaders and commentators and people going every which way – and I couldn’t even hear the music because the sound was too low!

Was I shaking after I got off?  YES!!  Did I fluff it?  No.  In fact, I must say I received a lot of overwhelmingly positive response.  Do they want me back?  Yes.  Did anyone else notice that I was nervous?  No.  Curious, because I certainly felt it.  Did the potential “millions” around Australia watching notice?  No, because Foxtel cut to commentators both times I sang.  (There goes my shot at instant fame!)

Next time, I won’t be so nervous because I now know what to expect.  At least, I think I won’t!

We really can be our worst critics and our worst enemies.  Next time you get up to speak and are anxious, don’t tell the audience – just get on with your job, focus on them and what you want them to get out of it, keep your voice certain and give it your best.  They probably won’t even notice that you were nervous.

And next time I’m coaching someone who’s nervous about Public Speaking – remember, I’ve been there too.  And I survived to tell the tale!

Lamplighter Seminars in 2010

Next year we plan to run a number of short seminars throughout 2010, focusing on performance improvement, leadership and business skills.  These seminars will also provide further networking opportunities, as well as providing valuable advice.  We will also be running our full workshops, which we will continue to expand in scope and frequency.

I will be emailing you a request for feedback on the kinds of seminar topics you would personally like to hear bout or attend in the coming year, so I hope you will be able to take the time to help us create further resources for the W.A. community that will also help you to perform better.  If you have any suggestions, please send them to me any time.

Have a great week.

Many kind regards,

Peter McLean

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