Valerie Ling

Clinical Psychologist Pennant Hills, Hornsby and Hills District

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Kindness

Posted by Valerie Ling on November 25, 2019 at 9:15 PM

KINDNESS.

It really won't kill us...

 

I was tagged in a post asking me what I thought about a fairly comprehensive article looking at the simple acts of connection and kindness and the research that shows through all of our human spaces, family, friendships, work and well being - human connection and kindness is such a powerful antidote.

 

My first reaction was to wonder why we needed research to show us this. My second was to be thankful that people continue to study the very things that make us human and humane.

 

How much does history remind us of our propensity towards cruelty and forgetfulness. We must not forget. We must also continue to elucidate how small acts of generous consideration can lead to shifts in our well being

 

So tell me .... what small acts of kindness have you experienced lately?


 

 

 

P.s., My last videos in my latest burnout series are out! Check it out below!

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Tell 'em to Dream, Son

Posted by Valerie Ling on November 18, 2019 at 1:35 AM


A casual lunch conversation where I reflected on a tendency for us to tell young people not to expect to have some burning passion or dream. Perhaps it is a way of us trying to protect a generation who has lived through the disappointment of governments, profound political upheaval and higher levels of family disruption than ever before from further disappointment. The disappointment of dreams not coming true.

 

Except that...

 

Every great movement, discovery, revolutionary change came from a dream.

 

The biggest issues in why work becomes a drudgery comes from an inability to meaningfully connect with what we are doing, and a myopic view of how what we are doing is making an iota of difference.

 

You can't have a sense of a mission without a dream.

 

You can't have a growing vision without a dream.

 

You can't grow without a dream.

 

Am I suggesting we tell our sons and daughters to aspire to Branson, Winfrey and Obama?

 

Maybe. If that's what seems to occupy their dashboard.

 

What I mean is, if your child is like Alex Keaton (this will date your vintage) they've probably debated you from out of the womb, took on every slippery angle they could find, debated their way through school, took on councils and elections in tertiary school, and wanted to study Political Science as soon as they could. "Where's the money in that son?"

 

Too often that is the conversation we land up having.

 

But...what if...

 

We watched their interests, no matter how diverse. What if we engaged with what consumes their waking moments. Things that fire up creativity. Things that wound their social conscience. Things that give them a sense of order.

 

What if...

 

We explored the opportunities to broaden those inclinations. Books, movies, hobbies, conversations, classes, tinkering away at developing not only interest, but knowledge, skills.

 

What if..

 

We hung back when they encountered adversity. Setbacks. Mistakes. Clarifying of whether this was something that they would keep looking at. And we said "get up, try again" instead of "I told you so".

 

Perhaps...

 

A dream can form with the basis of reality and experience, and would not necessarily be something they needed to wake up from. Instead they had a map of possibilities to figure out options, pathways and expressions - of what drives them, inspires them, and ultimately brings meaning for them.

 

That's got to be worth something? That's got to be what dreaming is about.


 

 

 

See Below: My first video in the series on why burnout is so prevalent!

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When's Your Holiday?

Posted by Valerie Ling on November 11, 2019 at 12:30 AM



Of all the things I get asked, today I was asked this lovely question by a friend, "When's your holiday?" You can imagine that in our household, quite a bit of intentional thinking goes into it. Actually there are 2 main All-Stop rests we try to book in advance. The first is a personal retreat and the second is the annual vacation. It was so nice to have this question asked, I believe not just for curiosity sake, also as a genuine reminder between friends to rest.

 

If you have not already done this, consider placing some thinking and planning now for when you are going to take your holidays next year. Leaving it till when you feel hurried and frazzled may mean that you miss out on pacing yourself and having intentional thought as to when you are going to need that recharge.

 

Try this out:

 

1. Find the spot in your 2020 diary that you are going to best be able to take some complete time off - no phones, email or work stuff hanging around you. Head for a really mindful time of rest. Perhaps this could be right after a pretty full on season, or just before one.

 

2. Consider some shorter 'reflect and recharge' times for a mid-season break. Try a personal retreat - take yourself somewhere nourishing that you can have a couple of responsibility free time. In earlier years with young kids in tow, I just did this at home - and did nothing other than read, sleep and order takeout (or make some frozen meals in advance).

 

3. Place these in your calendar already - and let them be a reminder that a break is coming, so your body and mind start to feel the encouragement relief that is coming.

 

Then... enjoy the feeling that you have honoured the natural need for rest and recovery!

 

-Val

 

P.S., See below for my latest vlog on dismantling burnout!

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Be A Work In Progress

Posted by Valerie Ling on November 4, 2019 at 12:55 AM

Our sense of self can be so negatively shaped by our sense of defectiveness and shame. So often we make the mistake of basing our identity in things beyond our control. In my latest vlog, I share some of my own experiences and hardships when it comes to forming an accurate sense of self. Ultimately, we must have compassion for ourselves. Let's embrace the reality that we will always be works in progress.

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I Need The Idiots Guide!

Posted by Valerie Ling on October 28, 2019 at 3:15 AM
"I need the idiots guide!"
In my team, this means I am in execution mode, I do not have the capacity to deal with the details, I just need the blow by blow account of what I need to do. It's a phrase I use as a shortcut and it's caught by my beloved Assistants (I have 2, I NEED 2) who know that means I am requiring their strengths in detail and logistics. It means I also have absolute trust to take direction from them and accept their influence. It means they have trust that it will be caught in the right spirit. I was pleasantly surprised when my personal assistant actually headed the email with "Your Idiot's Guide to Your Meeting". Loved this. Loved the candor. Loved the willingness to catch my words and take it seriously. Loved the confidence. Loved the synergy. Loved the team work, The picture you see before you also brought a smile to my face. It was my team member knowing how botched up I make all her wonderful Canva designs, and decided to tell me what to do - straight up. Love this.
You can bet that conversations that come out of this space are straight up, clear, compelling and yet collegial. They come from having alignment conversations where trust and respect grows. In a small business environment you need this. Why don't you let me hand you the Idiot's Guide to having 5 alignment conversations with your team. Straight up - done for you to get the picture right about what a small business team looks like when it is running in high performance alignment. https://www.valerieling.com/align-by-design

Who Will You Trust Is Not The Question

Posted by Valerie Ling on October 21, 2019 at 2:45 AM

 


One of the common issues that I hear come up in working with burnout in small business owners is the emotional exhaustion they experience negotiating conflict within their team. You spend so much time as a business owner building something from your own personal space that when we have other people "move in", the communication can get muddied. We implicitly assume that trust will come through the personal connections we make with our team. However, it is not just YOU they need to trust. It is the process and the position that also requires mutual trust. Without clarity in our communication, we can get entangled in dynamics that lead us to feel:

* Betrayed

* Attacked

* Taken for granted

* Taken for a ride.

Can I say - and vice versa. Our team can feel the same as well. That is because, in a small business environment, trust and buy in feels so personal - both ways. Both for the business owner who has invested in their business, and their team who have invested in taking the risk to sign up!


Essentially, there are three layers of trust that exists in any commercial relationship. Personal, professional and positional. Personal trust speaks to the personal integrity and dealings you have had with one another. Is the relationship respectful, honest, humble and seeking to make give and take work. There is Professional trust. Can you count on one another to take ethical, competent and technically sound steps to work together. Then there is Positional trust. Is there acceptance of the role you as the business owner occupies, and the role of each member on the team to take, allowing for effective team work.


When conflict arises in a small business it can commonly have personal meaning attached to it, when in fact, it could be relying on some other dimensions of trust. These areas of trust are not mutually exclusive, they need to be seen together as a lens for effective communication and teamwork, and not be split off into confusion.



Every week, for 5 weeks, from the 7th of November 2019 I will provide you with templates and visual material for both you and your team to align your perspective. It’s a DONE FOR YOU RESOURCE called ALIGN BY DESIGN. What you get:


+ 5 conversation templates for you as the business owner to have with your team


+ 5 videos and processing material for you to get comfortable and confident with these conversations AND


+ 5 videos and communication prompts for your team members to view and align their thinking with yours


+++ LIFE TIME OWNERSHIP, never have to renew - it will always be available


Modules will start to be available from the 7th of November, one conversation released each week. You can start to access the conversations relevant to you, or use them all! Your choice, there is no EXPIRY date.


How can you be part of this conversation revolution? Click here for more details…https://www.valerieling.com/align-by-design

 

Communication and Alignment

Posted by Valerie Ling on October 13, 2019 at 11:40 PM

How hard can it be to get open communication and alignment in a small business? Very.

Some of the costs are:

- Team friction

- Erosion of small business owner and team trust

- Time and money wasted on having repair conversations

- Regret that all this could have been avoided earlier on in the piece.


Have you been on a big liner cruise? I have. You don’t really feel any movements that come from the waves. You have no idea what the engine looks like. You assume that walking from point A to point B of that ship will not lead to any instability. When there is a storm - you ask whether everything is ok, get your positive answer and carry on. You might even make extra requests for blankets and pillows so you can have a good sleep. Now. Swap over to a small oar-driven boat. Been on them? I have. Every person has a job. You cannot move from one end of the boat to another without causing the whole vessel to be vulnerable and impact the rest of the passengers. When the storm comes, everyone buckles down, and we all row. If someone makes a request to stop, adjust, change oars - well, that may not happen!


So it is when we take on team members as a small business owner. Especially if they have not worked in, or been exposed to the back scene reality of what makes a small business run with united success, innovation and synergy. One of the fit and alignment conversations that I have with new recruits into our business, is what they can expect of working in a small business with me at the helm. Generally this means getting used to CHANGE.


In a small business, CHANGE is NORMAL. Normalising this, getting feedback, having open communication about the impact and direction of changes is all part and parcel of a small business environment. It might be worth having a conversation with your team about their understanding of what it means to be in a small business. If this is something that you find difficult to do, then let me do the work for you.


Every week, for 5 weeks, from the 7th of November 2019 I will provide you with templates and visual material for both you and your team to align your perspective. It’s a DONE FOR YOU RESOURCE called ALIGN BY DESIGN. What you get:

+ 5 conversation templates for you as the business owner to have with your team

+ 5 videos and processing material for you to get comfortable and confident with these conversations AND

+ 5 videos and communication prompts for your team members to view and align their thinking with yours

+++ LIFE TIME OWNERSHIP, never have to renew - it will always be available

Modules will start to be available from the 7th of November, one conversation released each week. You can start to access the conversations relevant to you, or use them all! Your choice, there is no EXPIRY date.

How can you be part of this conversation revolution? Click here for more details…https://www.valerieling.com/align-by-design


Growth Mindset in a Small Business

Posted by Valerie Ling on October 13, 2019 at 10:40 PM


Growth comes in unconventional ways in a small business...

In one of my roles I was part of a consulting business that was in start up phase. My boss was an amazing executive coach who had international clients, one of which was a conglomerate of media companies. He would survey and analyse their corporate culture and present insightful reports that would help them shape policies and programs. When I was brought in on the project, I could not wait to learn the technology and sophistication of doing this work.

I was presented with 2 or 3 volumes of ring bound folders with the reports that had been done in previous years. They weighed a tonne. From there, I was to manually look through the surveys, extract the data, and content analyse masses of open ended answers. There was no sophisticated software other than the statistical software once the responses had been sorted, coded and entered. Say what? Yep. Old school. This was a long time ago ....

There were many other assignments such as these. Designing development and assessment centres from first principles, re-configuring software on the go because it glitched in the client's offices (but not at ours). Then there was the trip to India after 9-11 figuring out new visa requirements, safety protocols.....

Needless to say, not only did I learn lots, I also grew in personal confidence that no matter what situation came up, I could work it out, work it through, and in some corporate MacGyver way, work with some top people who simply gave it a go.

Such is the environment of a small business. Having conversations early in the piece with our team to help them to identify the value of their growth in ways that university, and other larger organisations would not provide is key to helping small business teams feel like they are part of something that grows organically each day, and to be energised, and not intimidated (or feel short changed) by this. You can't see what you haven't seen before, how does one know they are looking at a treasure chest if they have never seen one?

This conversation on the Small Business Growth Mindset is so, so important.

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I kick start my Align by Design Master Class November 2019. The Master Class provides you with all the material you need to have 5 pivotal conversations with your team to position you for a positive, growth mindset team. The best thing is - I do the conversing for you! It's easier when someone else says it. How does it work? Send me an email...

Email me at valerie@effectiveliving.com.au for more information

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It's almost the end of the year, how are your energy levels doing? Take this Quiz and I will send you a FREE resource, the right one for you to get the best recharge for you: https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/5d8fef12f2806f0014f5faf4

CONFLICT

Posted by Valerie Ling on September 29, 2019 at 11:40 PM

CONFLICT


What comes to your mind when you hear this?


For some you will see lightning flashes, war like scenes, loud voices, destruction.


That is one scene of conflict.


Now imagine this. Two people are standing in a room together. One has diamonds, the other rubies. Both believe they have the best jewels in the world. Both cling on to them and never show them to the other. Perhaps they believe that expressing their opinions might offend the other. Perhaps they think that they would be showing off if they brought out their jewels. Maybe they wholeheartedly believe in their opinion of what is the best - theirs. Maybe they just can't be bothered.


The net result is neither will have a chance to see the other person's jewels, and none of us will get a chance to see a stunning necklace made of rubies AND diamonds.


These two people are in conflict. They have a conflict of opinion, and ultimately a conflict of a point of view.


Depending on how passionately and resolutely they believe in the value of what they hold on to, is likely to shape how loud the clash is when they start to share. If they remain open, however to the possibility that they both could have something to offer the world of jewel-wearers, the tone might change. If they stay in the tension, accepting each other's point of view and influence, then they might learn something new.


Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing, how we manage it requires skills, trust and open communication. Conflict in family, the workplace, in friendships needs to be normalised, and spoken about. Frameworks, understanding our own personality and that of others goes a long way in remaining curious about where tension lies and where resolution may come.

As I speak to people who own small businesses (please do not minimise this - if you are someone who earns an income from their own efforts and you are your own boss - well you have a small business) - there is a source of EMOTIONAL EXHAUSTION that comes from managing a team. A vicious cycle of shock, despair, bitterness, resentment and ultimately feeling like you want to throw the towel in is very much part of the burnout cycle for small business owners.

*** 5 CONVERSATIONS you NEED TO HAVE if you have a TEAM in your business ***

ALIGN BY DESIGN: A 5 series Masterclass for YOU AND YOUR TEAM. Specifically walking you through those difficult and important conversations to have. Stay tuned for more information....



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