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Coming Home – Listening to Our Inner Voice

It’s time to return home to Ottawa, Canada. My inner voice has been calling me home for over a year now. There are family concerns, work related opportunities, but most of all, my intuition is telling me it’s time. I know it’s a calling from my soul and something I cannot, and should not ignore. The same happened to me last summer when I decided it was time to get certified as an Equine Facilitator and develop a program working with horses in conscious leadership development.

Listening to our soul is the same as listening to our inner voice. The voice of our authentic selves. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the courage it takes to do this. We are so used to listening to the voice in our head which tell us:
– “The time is not right.”
– “You’re not good enough, smart enough, rich enough, or strong enough.”
– “You don’t have the right credentials.”
– “Who do you think you are?”
– “If you don’t do it right the first time, you don’t have any business doing it at all!”

If we listen to this voice of self-deprecating doubt, how can we ever reach for and achieve our dreams? Where do these voices come from? And why do we let them make the most important decision in our lives?

Our authentic inner voice comes from a place a strength. A place of goodness that wants the best for us. Sadly, what happens from an early age, is we hear these voices from those around us who have a huge influence in our lives. Instead of listening to ourselves, we let others define who we are and what we are capable of.

The same happens in organizations. Every person in your organization has a voice. What are they trying to tell you? What would they be saying if you gave them a voice? What are their hopes and dreams for the company and what it could achieve if you listened to them?

One of the reasons I love being a professional group facilitator, and focus on cultural transformation with the Cultural Transformation Tools from the Barrett Values Centre, is they give people a voice in the process of change. It is in the process of dialogue on the results from the assessments, when inner transformation happens. And inner transformation precedes outer transformation.

The assessments are very simple and yet very profound. Simple because they ask only 3 questions. Profound, because the answers identify the corporate soul. In reviewing and reflecting on the results the group makes meaning of the assessment by giving voice and developing a common understanding for the values they selected. Those things which are most important to them.

The most powerful and impactful benefit of sharing values, people build a deep sense of connection and trust. Why? Because our values are the language of the heart, and the heart does not lie. Trust, loyalty, respect, where do you experience these in your body? Your head or your heart?
How are you giving voice to your inner self to achieve the dreams you have in life? How are you giving voice to your people in a way that could help you evolve and realize the full potential of your organization? Self-leadership gives us the power to make good choices for ourselves, because a happy inner life leads to a healthy mind and body.

The same is true for organizations. As leaders, we need to stop and actively listen to our people. They are the corporate life force, the human spirit filled with positivity that has wisdom which can give the best guidance in times of change.

Yes, it can be scary, not knowing what the future will bring. The same was true 5 years ago when we left home and ventured to the other side of the world. We had no idea what would be in store for us. How would our message be received? Would we find work?

In not listening to the voice of self-doubt, my husband and I have had the adventure of a life-time. We’ve met the most incredible people, and yes, leaving is bitter-sweet. But we know, it’s important to listen to the calling of our souls. Now, it’s time to come home.

Good bye Singapore with love. And thank you for all the wonderful memories.

Joanna

 

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Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.

What Makes a Great Merger Like a Great Relationship

What Makes a Great Merger Like a Great Relationship?

This headline grabs your attention doesn’t it? How many of us have a relationship in their lives that is going south, tearing lives apart? The divorce rate in America is around 50% and the failure rate of mergers and acquisitions is also very high, around 70%. With statistics like this I thought it might be helpful to focus on what I know from experience, makes a great relationship with friends and family, and a great merger and acquisition.

A focus on values and behaviour.

Why values and behaviours? The fastest way to ruin a good relationship is to ignore the values of the other person. Step-on or ignore the values of someone and watch how quickly this will create conflict and cause them to disengage from the relationship, or leave an organization.

The fastest way to build a great relationship is to recognize and behave in a way the supports and acknowledges the values of the other person. This is true in personal one-on-one relationships and in organizations. When you have an alignment in values there is a sense of shared purpose, or togetherness, creating a feeling of belongingness, and internal cohesion. Having this sense of connectedness is the basis for developing trust in a relationship.

The #1 value I hear from leaders who are building a high performing workplace culture is the desire for greater trust among the leaders and staff. But how can you build trust if you don’t have shared values?

So wouldn’t it pay huge dividends to include a Cultural Values Assessment in the merger and acquisition process? So much time and money is spent on due diligence, checking all the financial records, however, very little time is ever spent on assessing the workplace cultures of both organizations to find out where there is alignment and misalignment of values. This process would highlight the areas of difference, raise awareness for where the potential difficulties will lie, so you can go into the merger process with more insight and better preparation.

Much like the time and effort that goes into a marriage proposal. Don’t both parties think about the values they have in common that will support the relationship in the long run? Certainly.

I think great relationships have a lot to share with CEOs who are planning a merger and acquisition. Being prepared and knowing the values and potentially limiting values and behaviours makes good business sense.

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To learn how well aligned you are with the culture in your organization contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Contact Us Joanna Barclay Joanna Barclay, Speaker, Author, Leadership Consultant building high performing values-driven organizational culture.

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people are engaged, take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.