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About Executives’ Global Network (EGN) meetings – reflection

Now I have been working as a network facilitator at EGN since summer 2016.

In retrospect? I love it! Helping so many inspiring people to develop and exchange experiences together. Great, informative fun dialogues with loads of both emotion, structure and respect in a nice mix. I have learned a lot of how to facilitate with reasonable amount of positive and/or provocative interference. We see small and big decisions being made by participants that may have entered the room, hesitant about how to handle certain issues. They are leaving the room confident with an approach that is “safely tested among friends”. EGN is not a presentation network where you gather new knowledge as primary reason. You are member because you want to have a mutual exchange of information and experiences and you also have a long term goal to become friends or dear colleagues with the group.

Here are some inspiring Swedish videos (from EGN) about the following topics:

  • What is it like to be the facilitator and how are valuable conversations created?
    Listen to how Christine Stadling and Jonas Friberg are thinking about facilitation.
  • Inspiration in a group of loyalty managers. The CEO of EGN, Jan Liljero, talks in the EGN meeting room sizzling with activity, about the importance of well-matched groups, organized meetings and development. We create trust, generosity, cooperation and friendship in the groups.

Enjoy the short Swedish interviews at: https://vimeo.com/channels/egnsverige.
Me? I am going to prepare next EGN meeting with IT leaders.

// Have a nice weekend!  Sara

 

Yes, our course Team Gamification – Orangino Work goes international !

Yes, our course Team Gamification – Orangino Work goes international !

The last workshop that Ulla Osterman and I held at Informator in Stockholm with their sales team was held in full speed with lots of team dialogue, fun and respect. See the vivid photos here attached. 😉

Yesterday we agreed with Tieturi to bring this course also to their Finnish operations late spring this year. In English. Stay tuned!

As you may be aware of Informator is now part of the Informator Tieturi Group, consisting of Informator, Tieturi and Management Institute of Finland and deliver training globally to more than 67,000 students per year.

You may read more on below link about this course, which makes you become a certified Team Coach in Orangino Work and you get a practical toolkit to develop effective and fun team work. There are a few spots open on next occasion the 30:th of March.
https://informator.se/utbildningar/agila-metoder/agilt-ledarskap/teamwork-gamification-framgangsbeteende-med-orangino-work

 

We are all one – the 50 dollar bill and the other shoe

This wonderful video I received from a dear new arrival friend.
https://www.facebook.com/habibshah.rezai.9?fref=hovercard

The video made me think of my daughter on a high school year in the US. Last month she was wondering about a kind of clothing she needed for an extracurricular activity, for 52 USD. Then 2 weeks ago she found a 50 dollar bill on the school ground.
First thought was: How handy, just when I needed it!
Second thought: What if it had been me loosing this 50 dollar bill.
 
So she went to the school office and turned it in.
 
They made big round eyes and wondered what kind of teenager material she was made of. Since she was so honest they said, she could come and get it in a week, had noone claimed it before that.
 
Yes, she could collect the 50 bill al right. 🙂
 
Hot desire increases your probability to get what you really want, when you are prepared to work for it. Stepping on other people to get it does not. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Why use personality tests when you scientifically can check inner motivation?

The Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter currently runs a series of articles around non-serious personality tests being used by highly respectable organisations. Often as screening or discussion input in the recruitment process or as a tool in the people/talent management process.

http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/starka-reaktioner-pa-dns-granskning-av-personlighetstester/

http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/myndigheter-overvager-att-slopa-kritiserade-metoder/

Since I certified as Reiss Motivation Profile Master consultant with RMP Nordic, I have learned as lot about these tools that I sincerely wish I had known when I worked as a manager with business and operations in many parts of the world. Many of the present personality test tools are based on philosophical hypothesis and later attempted to be justified through empiric validation), rather that based on scientific research on true inner motivation.

My take on the matter is that the work world and the private- & family world are growing closer and closer. Peoples inner motivation will determine to large extent their behavior in work situations and on their leisure time. If people can´t express their inner motivation at work, or on the private arena, it will take a lot of energy to get the work done and they run high risk of eventually getting ill. Hence the importance of getting people on board with true inner drive on the organisations values and vision. Makes quality deliveries easier, cheaper and more fun for everybody involved!

 

The market for personality tests has exploded. So far, Det Norske Veritas certified 16 tests, but only two are approved for the Swedish labor market. Many tests used in state authorities does not satisfy the requirements they have set for themselves in their guidelines.

//www.dn.se/ekonomi/bara-tva-personlighetstester-certifierade-for-den-svenska-marknaden/

Mikael Leinsköld, CEO

RMP Nordic is currently well into in the process of getting RMP certified and approved for the Nordic labour market at the audit company Det Norske Veritas, says  Mikael Leinsköld, CEO for RMP Nordic AB.

Try Reiss Motivation profile (RMP) when you want to find out your inner drive through a scientifically researched tool, which has proven to give basically the same result when later repeated (unlike many of the presently used personality tools). Reiss Motivation Profile also gives basically the same result if someone else close to you judge your answer on the questions.

The RMP questions are also properly translated to Swedish and validated by a large number of persons, to avoid cultural problems with idiomatic expressions.

I personally like to run workshops to provide insights about their inner motivators and how their profile is impacting their communication and relation with colleagues and others.

I also love doing workshops with leaders, providing concrete insights in how they can maximize the engagement by adapting their own communication for different people according to their inner motivation. Insight in the likelihood & underlying reason for conflicts between different persons and how they can be prevented.

I did not commit Karoshi in Asia…

Reading this article on Karoshi in Japan, I come to think of one episode when working on a project in Asia. Even though I did not commit Karoshi, I surely did fit the bill of work hours. (A suicide qualifies as karoshi if the person worked more than 160 hours of overtime the last month of life.)

I was in Asia in a contract negotiation around 2004, working as a consultant at the time. It was the first time we negotiated a contract with this operator together with a new national telecom vendor. I got there in the third negotiation week, just to “finish off some add on services”, that had been thrown in more or less as a give away to sweeten the deal.

While in Germany, preparing for the negotiation, I realized a new technical condition that prevented us from using the 7 off the shelf products. We would have to build completely new software, and get nothing extra for it. I was told to hang on there in the negotiation, not give anything extra away and just clarify the customer needs.

We hade excruciatingly long negotiation days during those three weeks. Days during which the highest Asian managers appeared sleeping with their heads in hands! Remarkably enough, they noticed as soon as something needed correction, they where immediately attentive, rattling away in Japanese to the subordinates.

In the evening, I got back to our local office, and worked until far into the night with our Swedish technicians to design and calculate costs.

Getting home to the hotel in the middle of the night (or rather very early morning), I felt completely safe. The only Japanese persons out on the streets where friendly or as me, sleepily/sleeping on the way home or to work. The subway had more sleeping persons than awake ones.

Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meeting

After three weeks, we where all exhausted when the negotiations where over. We had calculated our design, test and production costs to between 15 and 20 000 man hours. The main projekt owner made my hair blow backwards as he screamed at me on the phone:

  • Are you completely insane? It is definitely impossible! 

I calmly asked him:

  • Have you calculated how much you need on the enabling exchange side? How much do you need for your customer adaptions? which rendered him speechless.

To make a long story short, they later figured out they needed way beyond 100 000 man hours to complete the specification agreed.

It was an awkward celebration dinner with the customer that night after the top managers had shaken hands on the deal agreed upon. The customer sat on a long row on one side of the table. The CEO in the middle. Us on the other side, knowing that the development costs where too high and still climbing. Our local manager in the middle and I as the only woman next to him. Toward the end of the dinner, the lights where dimmed. Three waiters entered with the delicious special extraordinary course: Three big steaming balls… It took me some time to realize it was tuna fish eyes, still more or less boiling and staring towards the ceiling! At that time, I had not yet learnt the phrase:

  • – Excuse me, my religion prohibits me from eating this. (It works wonders in every country, I promise!)

And I was sitting across from the expecting CEO, and could not make him loose face in front of a foreign woman. So I had to take something, with the eating sticks and put it into my mouth. I took some from the outside of the steaming ball, while others dove right into it. Yuccie… Wonderful culture clash. Next time I might invite them up north in Sweden and serve sour herring (surströmming)…

I have seldom worked so many hours a day for so many negotiation weeks. Still I felt that the Japanese where working even harder. And they continued to do so, day in and day out, even though they did not have a major contract negotiation.

Well, we did complete the project eventually, many manhours later, with a satisfied customer.

And no burnouts or Karoshi in the meantime.

Ending well, all is well.

My reflection on this episode in conjunction with Karoshi is the following:
When you are overworked to that degree, your logical function degrades. Your capability to estimate times, workload, risk etc. diminishes more rapidly than you are aware of.

That is why I suggest all people to learn some personal strategies to reduce stress so that you can keep your logic and creativity at best possible. And you may also see earlier need for escalation, or be able to choose other assignments or employers unless conditions change.

And for you next to the person who is working themselves clearly towards burnout or Karoshi, I repeat Martin Luther Kings words:

  • You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.
    Martin Luther King Jr. – 1929-1968, Minister and Civil Rights Leader

Perhaps the person is not ready to listen to your advice. That is perfectly understandable. But you can use I-messages to tell them what you see as consequence and how it affects yourself. For example:

  • When I notice you don´t take time to help the less experienced in the team asking for it, I am afraid the we will not be able to meet the quality goal of our total team delivery.

And you can tell them that you know of an efficient method to reduce stress (EFT) that can be used by anyone almost anywhere, even for the most hectic schedules, to take down the personal stress levels.

Have a nice weekend!

// Sara Bern

Hope you enjoyed a good book lately

I just read the article that overextensive social media usage actually destroys your brain function:

  • “Prolonged consumption of the internet can lead to degradation in parts of the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex, with consequences for both the psyche and work performance.”

The world is full of good books, among a number of poor or useless ones of course. Did you see that Newton´s Principia Mathematica about gravity etc was recently sold for 3 700 000 USD?

Books are like an open window to the world

In our home, we read a couple of chapters aloud with our three children every evening, and have been doing so the last 16 years. Our eldest is now 16, the middle son is 14 and our youngest is 12 years. We say to them that reading books is like a free travel to our places and other peoples minds. Stand on other people´s shoulders and reach for new knowledge and adventures. Reading is the most cost efficient way of personal development.

I remember as I as a very young girl was standing at the library´s desk while the librarian called my mum and asked her to come and get me with the car.This time, I wouldn´t be able to take the three bags full of books home on my own. The librarian asked my mum if I was really able and going to read all those books over the period. Of course, I stated boldly! And I stood by my promise.

Books for language training

Books can also be used for language training. At Ericsson, I had to travel the world as Business Manager for example and we have always traveled to meet friends all over the world. In order to keep my languages fit: I read a book in Swedish, then English, followed by one in Spanish and the next in German. Then I started all over again. At language courses, they always try to make you read so called “good literature”, by Nobel prize winners and the like. That can constitute a major language challenge. So to keep going, I selected Spanish and German books with a lot of dialogue and action instead. Like Stephen King thrillers or similar easy light weight literature.

Audio books are also good

When I started to educate myself to be a LifeSuccess Coach, there was too little hours of the day to read all I wanted. As I had to commute in Stockholms overly crowded traffic, from Huddinge to OMX at Gärdet, I started to listen to books downloaded on my iPhone. With a good headset like Jabra Supreme, I get excellent comfort and sound quality even while driving. And I can take calls and listen to driving instructions that interrupt the audio bok whenever needed. Another side benefit was that I was not at all disturbed over traffic jams any more. I happily alotted extra driving time, and if I arrived earlier than needed, I was in good company. And you understand what company. As the saying goes: –With a good book, you are never really alone.

Books also help you change your habits

Since you need to keep your thoughts and actions on a new habit for quite some time before a new action becomes a habit, books help a lot. The books keep you in the preferred thought mode for extensive periods of time. The covers remind you of the content every time you you see the book lying on the table or bedside floor.

Should you also engage in some kind of forum where the content is discussed, even better! Or you may decide to take a course on the subject matter or similar.

My story as an author: From recipes over EFT to agile

I always wanted to write my own book. The recipe book I wrote 2014 with my daughter Maria was my first released book: Green Smoothies: Weight Loss Recipes. It was because my husband had seen me save all the green smoothie recipes on sticky notes in a book, with the testimonials of the one´s who had tried it. Maria helped me insert every recipe in book format, gave them names, searched for images and co-edited the rest of the text. This book made Maria the youngest non-fiction author of the time in Sweden, at 13 years. And we got on the radio for a live interview. That book was really meant as a training book for my “real book”, about personal development. It was an expensive training, as recipe book really need good graphics which do not easily let themselves be professionally made by the author.

That first book was followed by the corresponding E-book: Green Smoothies: Wellness and Weight Loss Recipes. 2015.

This year, I finally released my “real book”: LUGN I STORMEN – EFT: Första hjälpen för den sjuka jobbstressen. The EFT method really changed my and my family’s’ life. It also affected my work, as I included the method into my toolbox as a coach already 2009. EFT is a game changer for many of my clients, removing blocks for change and helping them with stress and other ailments as well. No wonder it became the main topic of my first real book.

My next book will be about Agile. I have received so many ill formulated requests for support as Agile coach and Agile Change Manager. Call for tenders that prevents organisations from getting the support they so well need in time. And many organisations fail in their well intended tries to become more agile. More help in easy to understand Swedish, or Swenglish,  is needed. Stay tuned!

// Sara

 

I apologize: It is not out of print ….

To all concerned book interested: Adlibris.se has a fault on their website, stating that my book:
Lugn i stormen: EFT: Första hjälpen för den sjuka jobbstressen
is out of print. Only the E-book is shown there right now:
https://www.adlibris.com/se/sok?q=%22sara+bern%22

The first print I made was sold out within 2 weeks after release. But now I have placed the book with BoD as a print on demand house, so it should never go out of print…

The fault is reported to Adlibris and I have asked them for the names of those who tried in vain so I can apologize. Of course they will not give me those out of integrity reasons. Therefore I apologize here instead! 

Should you have been affected, send me a copy of the original “Out of Print” message of Adlibris or your book vendor in this period, and I will happily give you a 50% discount on a personal, individual EFT session with me per telephone or Skype.

I wish you all a Happy New 2017 with many new interesting books to read.

Sara Bern

New Year’s Resolution 2017

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year  to come! My own resolution for the year to come is to contribute to an environmentally friendly, less stressful planet for all people.

We are going to remodel our private house with solar panels, in addition to the earth heating we already have installed. We will reuse even more stuff and reduce our family’s waterprint on earth by eating more veggie food.

And I will continue to work on helping organisations and people discover easy to use stress reducing techniques for increased performance, productivity and joy. Aiming also for creating some kind of connection between a Swedish stress reducing app that and the digital channel people use to regular healthcare, to reduce the lead time to first aid for stress and anxiety relief. There are several easy to use methods, some more effective than others. It is also a matter of finding a method that suits each individual and each organization. EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a pretty flexible and easy to use emotional regulation method, which can efficiently complement other treatments and self help methods. Let´s see where it ends up.

Happy New Year to all of you!

 

Instead of Christmas Cards – Charity

This year, I have decided to give to charity instead of sending physical Christmas Cards from us and Golden Opportunity.

I hope you appreciate that the money goes to families on the run from war and atrocities towards a brighter future.

Hopefully, some also will find use of my other gift this year: making the stress reducing application GO EFT Tapping on iPhone free of charge.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

God Jul!

Frohe Weihnachten!

Feliz Navidad!

My new courses now bookable on Informators course page

As you know, I signed an agreement with the renowned education firm Informator to offer 3 of my courses this spring.
Now they are included in their catalog, and it is possible to book your spot here: 

They are in Swedish, in Stockholm to begin with. Other locations on request.

“Highly relevant courses and just in time!”, as Tobias Strandh, their chief of education, remarked.


 


I have also regularly used Orangino Work with the Agile Teams at Cybercom in Kista, as well as Agile Emotional Regulation. Here´s what Kit Gullbrandson, one of my references in the Agile Emotional Regulation said:
  • “For years I have engaged Sara for services in both Agile Coaching as well as Agile Emotional Control (EFT) for my personal working with Agile IT Development. This both Scrum Masters, agile team members as the line manager level.” // Kit Gullbrandson, Business Unit Director, Cybercom