Stories of a page traveler

Make your Bed Astrid Winkler

A book recommendation series

From the banks of the pages, I am writing about inspiring books I read and my thoughts about them. I write about books I would love more people to read and get to know about or which truly inspired me or sent me down a roller coaster of feelings. Reading for me is one of my joys and pleasures in life and I love to forget time while reading a book. 

When a reader is asked, “Why do you read so much?” I think the best answer we give is because this one world is not enough for me. Because sometimes you can even find yourself in the pages of a book or it turns out it is just a dream you are holding in your hands.

I love reading different genres and am not stuck in only one because I also love to learn new things, sometimes even about myself. For today’s review, I want to share with you the following book.

Today’s read: Make your Bed by William H. McRaven

I heard about this book many times before and how much those people would recommend it to me before I get my hands on it and I was surprised it is only a small hardcover I received and I thought, oh that’s all it is? A Sunday afternoon read of 130 pages filled with inspiration and knowledge. This New York Times Bestseller is not a traditional self-help book, nor just a biography but a wonderful inspiration that for sure will stand the test of time.

First of all let me start to tell you a little bit about the Author, “Make your Bed”  is written by Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) he served 37 years with great distinction as a Navy SEAL where he commanded every level as a four-star admiral. Early in the SEAL training and later in his different positions, he learned a lot about leadership, friendship and life.

He conducted all of his knowledge together in this book alongside heart touching and meaningful anecdotes to create this guide with a simple but great message. 

“Little things can change your life and maybe the world”

So what are those little things you might wonder? William McRaven shares 10 rules to follow every day to change our lives and if we stick to those rules every day we will be able to even change the world.

Changing Habits as such is never an easy task but maybe this is a little reminder for you, to take a small action every day.

Before I share a summary of these rules, I want to make it clear to fully understand the meaning of them. I highly recommend reading the original book so you won’t miss any of the touching meanings and the personal touch behind each rule. Take what resonates for you.

 

1 Make your bed start every day with a task completed.

2 Find someone to help you paddle through life.

3 Respect everyone by measuring a person by the size of their heart.

4 Know that life is not fair, get over being a sugar cookie and move forward.

5 You will fail often but do not be afraid failures make you stronger.

6 Take risks in life and slide down the obstacle headfirst.

7 Don’t back down from the sharks and face down bullies.

8  Step up when times are tough and always be your very best in the darkest moments.

9 Lift the downtrodden and start singing when you`re up to your neck in mud.

10 Don’t ever ever ring the bell – Never give up.

 

This timeless book holds wisdom and advice such as encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even when life doesn’t seem so easy. Thank you Admiral McRaven for sharing your knowledge and your service.

I hope  I could inspire you with this resume to change your life and the world around you with a small habit you might implement into your life. Let me know what you think in the comments and inspire each other with our stories of life or if you want to send me your book recommendations. Looking forward to reading from you.

If you want to know more about the stories behind the rules, get your copy here: Make your Bed by William H. Mc. Raven

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Why We Do What We Do

Since I started this report, by now five weeks have passed already, and I am always surprised how fast time goes by. Even though we are still in a global pandemic it does not feel for me, that time has slowed down. It goes there the same way as it did before, just our way of looking at it has changed in between. But this is another topic, which warrants another blogpost.

Here we are in week five. I shared my journey with you till here and there has been so much knowledge and takeaways that I sometimes feel I didn’t even capture them enough. But for me, it was also a huge change in many personal aspects. Training my self-awareness of my own Emotional Intelligence became a habit. And aren’t we all looking for new habits for the new year? Did you make one since you promised it to yourself before the clock hit 12? Maybe EI is what you have been waiting for?

This session covered the use and meaning of group-based debriefs which can be a good tool for teams to work on different actions together. Each one might get their actions to take which helps the group to grow and change for future challenges. But as in everything you are doing in a group it hides difficulties too. For example, time management for the instructor to give equal time and figure out where actions would be useful. Also in a group, we have to keep in mind different personalities are coming together where we need to be careful to keep the spirit positive.

We also got a short introduction to the Emotional Culture Index which Genos offers as well. It is a completely anonymous concept for companies to figure out how people feel in their work environment and what they struggle with or what makes them really happy. It helps to take action in the emotional culture of a company.

“The way people feel determines how well they can engage.”

To every feeling we might go through for example at our workplace there is an action related to it. It is beautifully explained with the iceberg model above. Have you ever felt any of those feelings and caught your reaction to the situation?

We can not always control situations or circumstances, but we can learn to control our reactions in different situations. If you want to know more about the impact of emotional culture, Harvard Business Review shares a very interesting article about how to manage your emotional culture.

Talking about the Harvard Business Review leads me to the real story of why and how I got in contact with Emotional Intelligence as a topic. And not only as an action I unknowingly used already. 

Everything happened at an airport. Yes, there were times where it was normal to go on vacations and board a plane without getting a side-eye. 🙂

So, I am one of those who always, and when I say always I mean like every single time when I travel, they gift me with their very special extra treatment during the security check. If you know, you know. And seriously I am at the point where I would be disappointed if they wouldn’t pick me out of the crowd. (If you are an airport staff reading this, I am obviously joking.) 

Well, I am a very patient human being and I also understand why they do what they do. But on that day I went through a very unprofessional security check where the awareness of their own and others Emotional Intelligence was clearly missing. The lady was not only extremely unfriendly she was also very rude and unprofessional with me and other travelers. I tried to stay calm until a point where I couldn’t hold myself back. Which was when her expression against another woman in front of me was racist. Speaking up for this woman made me the victim of her anger. I felt sad about the situation rather than angry and I just got on my way.

To change my mind I went through a bookshop just to use some time and there was this little treasure that found its way to me. “Harvard Business Review How To Deal With Difficult People”,  yes! Exactly what I needed.  And from there the story began…

” He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there. He who blames no one  has arrived.” – Chinese Proverb

 

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Game-Changer – Leadership with Emotional Intelligence

Today I want to start with a little story happening to me last week. 

In the latest discussion I had with a colleague I was asked, why am I doing this course? Your Manager or team leader should be aware of and make sure that a team is working on a good level with each other and not leave this responsibility on me. 

I asked what is this person’s exact understanding of EI, and I started to explain my learnings and insights and why we all have our responsibilities when it comes to ourselves and our Emotional Intelligence but in the end, this discussion left me thinking. What if, everyone would think the same way as this person does, in the belief system, that everyone else is responsible just not myself. It also made me question myself.

When are your situations you need to be more aware of Emotional Intelligence? I also reminded myself again about my actions I can take and work on myself. Because we all have the responsibility, not for others, at least for ourselves. We all might have difficult times or situations we did not expect, and even more important it is to handle exact these situations wisely. And exactly for this your awareness of your Emotional Intelligence can help you to pass them in a different way.

Since I’ve been taking this course, I’ve been learning every week and this knowledge will stay with me for all the years to come. What about you? Are you aware of your Emotional Intelligence? Share your stories with me so we can share the importance of EI together and inspire others too.

Working on these skills and having them in my toolbox, ready to use in every situation is a game-changer for every kind of job or personal relationship and especially being in a leadership position in future. 

“ Leadership is not domination. It’s the art of persuading people to work toward a common goal.” – Daniel Goleman

Leaders in business looking to improve their organisation’s performance can do so by improving their emotional intelligence: that is, their skill at identifying, understanding and influencing emotion.

Whenever we interact with those around us or attempt to navigate our own internal feelings, we’re using our Emotional Intelligence. Our EI competencies determine the way that we’re able to perceive, comprehend, express, think through, and manage our emotions. By investing time and energy into developing these competencies — as explained through the Genos Leadership Model of emotional intelligence – leaders are able to bring more awareness to both their own emotions and the emotional states of those around them. 

Genos wouldn’t be Genos if we won’t have something to offer especially for people in leadership positions. In our last session, we talked about the difference between Workplace Assessment and Leadership ~ssessment. There are a few differences, even though they look pretty much the same from the outside. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of a person in a leadership position on a day-to-day basis. The Leadership Assessment is the same as the Workplace Assessment based on the Genos Model.

We also had a closer look over the Genos EI Leadership Model. Let me explain it to you a little more specific so you can see the differences to the Genos Model of EI Competencies I shared with you in my blog before.

This is the Genos Model of Emotional Intelligent Leadership Competencies.

If you take a look at both Genos Model’s you might see that there is not a big difference. Some eagle eyes might have noticed that the colour is different but that’s not what I am talking about. The main difference lays in the detail and here it is the last competencies of the model.

Inspiring Performance is about facilitating high performance in others through problem-solving, promoting, recognising and supporting others work.

If you want to know more about Genos International Emotional Intelligent Leadership take a look here. 

I want to end my report about my Genos journey with the words of Klaus Schwab.

“We need leaders who are emotionally intelligent and able to model and champion co-operative working. They coach rather than command; they’ll be driven by empathy, not ego. The digital revolution needs a different more human kind of leadership.”

For now, I wish you an amazing week full of insights and inspirations.

See you for my next report about my learnings & takeaways, till then, love what you do.

PS.

One more thing I want to share with you is this opportunity to be part of a free Masterclass with Genos. Learn more about the link between Emotional Intelligence & Psychological Safety. This practical masterclass offers insight into the neuroscience connecting emotional intelligence & psychological safety. Learn how to create a better working environment for yourself, your teams and your organisation. Register now and secure your seat, get yourself insight about EI.

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8 Steps To Cloud 9

Tell you what? I am already halfway through the Genos EI Certification course and I did not even notice it. Time flies so fast when you do what you enjoy doing, doesn’t it?

Well, without wasting much time on my amusement, I would tell you about the very interesting “8-step debrief process”. Oh and let me tell you this, the assessment is only half as good as the debrief one would go through.

To help you understand these processes better, let me tell you a bit more about my journey which led me here today.

After I signed up for the Genos EI Certification course, it was my time to do my own Genos Assessment before starting this class. I also received my personal debrief to have a look at my own results. And I can confidently say, doing the assessment is the easier part. It is the debrief where more fun lies. 

The debrief is included in every assessment to go through your results of your report. The assessment is clear to understand. A debriefing takes around 90 minutes and you go through your report to figure out, what are actions you should take and focus on working on and where are your strengths can use for your growth. You might be surprised how others see you compared to how you see yourself. 

So let us overview the 8-step debrief process:

Step #1 State the purpose – context and meaning, why are we here.

Step #2 Explore their goals – where to go

Step #3 Revisit the Genos model and clarify questions about it. (you remember, I explained it to you last week, feel free to revisit here.)

Step #4 Explore how the results are presented – The Genos assessment is designed to give the perfect overlook of their results.

Step #5 Interpret the familiarity and consistency results – How familiar are your raters and how consistent were their answers compared to each other.

Step #6 Facilitate an interpretation of the results. – results, comments, etc.

Step #7 Summarise key insights, actions and benefits. – Where are actions to take, where are your strengths.

Step #8 Discuss the response process. – What they should or shouldn’t do with their report.

The reactions of these 8 steps can be very different. Maybe you already expected certain answers and you are focused on your actions or you might be surprised, overwhelmed or just confused. In any case, I suggest you take some time to reflect on yourself, to see what you should work on or change. Here I strongly suggest. Write it down, because we all know how our daily basis is, things are getting stressful and we are going back into our old structure without any change.

Our supportive teachers showed us how a to debrief would look like and based on their role model we had the chance to go through these steps in pairs and train each other to do such a debrief. It is challenging and still a very good way to practice what you just saw and listened to. It also reminded me of how important emotional intelligence is, for myself as an instructor as well as for the individual I would debrief. Observing my participate and give my feedback on how I felt during the training and what I think I would also take away for myself. On the other hand, trying to do the same session as my classmate just did with her, openly and also receiving my feedback after which will help me to reflect and know where I should take action.

For me, the most challenging thing was to use a domain-specific language I was unfamiliar with. So my action out of this training is, to rehearse it until I get comfortable with the language and still be myself. Because an assessee will have more trust in you when they feel your authenticity.

Coming back to my personal assessment experience, I don’t regret a single minute of signing up for this course and having the opportunity of taking such an assessment. I know my strengths even better than before, I know where I have to be more mindful and where I need to use my emotional intelligence consciously.

“Emotional Intelligence can be the game-changer to high performance and personal leadership” – Steve Gutzler 

See you next time,

Astrid

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Gen(i)o(u)s Adventure continues

Wednesdays are my favourite days lately, not because Wednesday itself is something special but because I am doing something special on Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday, a group of EI-aware people meet for their next lesson on their way to becoming Emotional Intelligence Practitioners.  

Last week I attended the second day of the program and wow! Even more than before I realized for myself that, I am at the right place at the right time. When I started to read about EI, I felt so familiar with the topic and thought the future needs exactly this, awareness of yourself and others, in professional life and personal.

“I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Our second session was filled with in-depth information about Genos Assessment and it was so interesting to take a deep dive. We also got interesting insights into the Emotional Intelligence model we are going to work with.

Emotional Intelligence involves a set of skills that help us perceive, understand, express, reason with, and manage emotions, both within ourselves and others. We can apply these skills to help us become more conscious of our own and other’s feelings and more conscious of the influence emotions are having on our decisions, behaviour, and performance. This helps us minimize the unproductive influence of emotions and maximize their productive qualities.

The competencies shown in yellow on the model above, help us consistently demonstrate the productive being states on the right side of the model, as opposed to the unproductive being states, that we can all be at times, on the left side of the model.

Now let me explain to you our competencies a little better.

    • Self-Awareness is about being aware of the way you feel and the impact feelings can have on decisions, behaviour, and performance.
    • Awareness of others is about perceiving, understanding, and acknowledge the way others feel.
    • Authenticity is about openly and effectively expressing oneself, honouring commitments, and encouraging this behaviour in others.
    • Emotional Reasoning is about using the information in feelings (from oneself and others) and combining it with other facts and information when decision-making.
    • Self-management is about managing one’s own mood and emotions; time and behaviour; and continuously improving oneself.
    • Positive influence is about positively influencing the way others feel through problem-solving, providing feedback, recognizing and supporting others’ work.

Are you aware of those competencies above? Reflect on them, look at yourself and try to understand how others see you when you mirror them. 

Lately, I read an article about how Google began a multi-year project to discover how to build the perfect team. It amazes me to realize what Google started back in 2012, has become such an important topic today in 2021. And I feel happy to have taken upon it. 

If you want to dive deeper into that topic, I suggest you read their Project Aristotle. It gives you more knowledge about what makes a great manager and what defines a team. Both articles are definitely worth the read. 

“There exists a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.” -Aristotle

I am looking forward to learning more and take you with me on my journey.

See you next time, until then stay emotionally intelligent and don’t forget, love what you do.

Astrid

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Intellifying Emotions, Professionally!

“In a very real sense, we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.” Daniel Goleman

Part 1

I can’t tell you how true I find it. When I attended the software testing conference for the first time and I saw how complex yet human-centric technology is, I felt the struggle people building that software must be going through. 

My curiosity made me explore how testers work, and that’s where I thought, there was something I could do about it. And I did my first public talk on “Emotional Intelligence for Testers“. 

The special bond I have made with the topic of EI from that moment eventually landed me up with what sounds like an outstanding professional course on the subject. A new day brought me a new opportunity. This time it has been from Genos International.

Genos International helps organizations and individuals apply core emotional intelligence skills that enhance their self-awareness, empathy, leadership, resilience, and mindfulness. In their world of ‘do more with less’, applying a mindful and emotionally intelligent approach is fundamental to success.

I have recently started the Genos Emotional Intelligence Certification Program. And I can tell you I couldn’t be happier about my decision to start this new journey. Things I have learned so far in this course and the course material sound promising and I am thrilled to experience what more is yet to come. 

Interestingly, the class I am attending is an all-female batch, which we are told, actually has happened for the first time. I am curious about how this fact will inspire us during the course. I am sure we can inspire each other and I am looking forward.

My key takeaway from the first session is the following sentence which shows how important EI is for each and every one of us.

” The way you show up determines the way people feel, and the way they feel determines the extent to which they can engage. And that impacts pretty much EVERYTHING about the outcome of that relationship.”

I believe we all owe something back to the community that supports us and hence I have decided to share this journey of mine with all of you. And I hope it will help you in some or another way. 

That’s all for now. Until then, stay emotional and stay intelligent 😉

Cheers,

Astrid

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