16 episodes

The intention of the Being Humans at Work Podcast is to inspire and empower you to uncover how you can feel comfortable to be honest, real and your true self in the workplace. Enabling you to feel more confident, clear and certain of the value and impact of bringing every single part of the real you to work.

Alli Spargo asks her guests to share with you how the darkest moments, the most challenging times, the things which, up until now they may not have dared mention in the context of their work, play a large part in their success, performance and resilience as leaders who, on the surface of it look like they are confident, always professional and totally in control. How they have developed a mindset which is programmed to keep learning, keep growing.

Being Humans at Work Alli Spargo

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

The intention of the Being Humans at Work Podcast is to inspire and empower you to uncover how you can feel comfortable to be honest, real and your true self in the workplace. Enabling you to feel more confident, clear and certain of the value and impact of bringing every single part of the real you to work.

Alli Spargo asks her guests to share with you how the darkest moments, the most challenging times, the things which, up until now they may not have dared mention in the context of their work, play a large part in their success, performance and resilience as leaders who, on the surface of it look like they are confident, always professional and totally in control. How they have developed a mindset which is programmed to keep learning, keep growing.

    Leadership stance through Covid

    Leadership stance through Covid

    KEY TAKEAWAYS
     
    “…you had to come to the table knowing that while you had a lot of experience, you may have some suggestions but you had no solutions in your kickback. This was unprecedented work… you didn't know that you were doing the right thing. You didn't know whether you were doing the wrong thing. You just were making some decisions based on the amount on the limited amount of evidence”
     
    “There were times when you had to take on some commands and control…that were directives coming from the top…you've got to stop doing that and now you've got to do this. And that was very alien to me. I'm not a kind of directive leader… I didn't genuinely wield that kind of that kind of power. When I did that with my team did respond because they knew that I was serious because I've never really spoken to people like that before”
     
    “…It's like being at war in a way... you're given your orders; you may not agree with them, you may not understand them and they may not be right... you just do it… that in itself was very comforting, because you have a set of clear instructions.”
     
    “There was a real sort of what we refer to as a Dunkirk Spirit… We all knew that we had a task to do and we were, obviously some days asking people to really play to their skills...”
     
    “…human beings are very resilient… a lot of people have been reviewing their work life balance… having spent a long time working from home, some people have found the benefits of that some people can't wait to get back into the office…we see the risks”
     
    “…people's anxieties about going into the into the office is causing harm, because people are very anxious about it. We're also doing this against a backdrop of economic issues, I know there's an enormous amount of anxiety that people are starting to experience around the economic distress that we're going to be entering as well…the cost of travelling into work, the costs of dressing for work, the cost of buying a coffe...”
     
    “…being a menopausal lady, things sometimes slip one's mind.  You tend to turn up in a room and say ‘What the hell am I doing?’... The reason that we laugh about it and joke about it is because it's actually quite tough… we do tend to sort of corner the menopause as a big drama. But many men do have issues of their own and getting older isn't easy for anybody”
     
    “If I have got something useful to contribute to the workplace, people will continue to give me a job to do. If I haven't, then c'est la vie. But, while I still have a contribution to make, I am what I am. And I don't have to pretend to be anything else. I think that's one of the wonderful things about the menopause, actually, you do realise that you are, you are an entirely flawed human human construction,”
     
     
     
    ABOUT KATE JONES
    Kate is Director of Research Delivery for the NIHR Clinical Research Network which provides infrastructure and support to the NHS and social care to enable the conduct of high-quality research. Kate has worked with the NIHR since its inception in 2007, having previously worked in both healthcare governance and as a research fellow. Kate is married with two grown up daughters and lives in Broadstairs in Kent.
     
    CONNECT WITH KATE
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-jones
     
    ABOUT THE HOST – ALLI SPARGO
    Alli is the mother of two daughters and a son, a wife, a daughter and a sister. She is also an executive leadership coach who passionately believes that every individual has the potential to be who they want to be, and do what they want to do (she is living proof of that!): to BE the BEST version of themselves. Alli specialises in behavioural performance as an executive leadership and systemic team coach. Her breadth of business experience, together with her coaching and facilitation expertise, enables her to enhance leadership capability and personal impact, whilst understanding the demands of the commercial and organis

    • 42 min
    014 Who am I? The ultimate question

    014 Who am I? The ultimate question

    Always the definitive gentle-man.  Considerate, thought provoking, provocative, highly experienced, highly regarded, and self-aware, Bill generously shares honest and real stories of a career well-travelled in communication and PR.  


    KEY TAKEAWAYS
     
    “One learns to control one’s behaviours, one learns quickly to adapt to the people around one, and one learns from others as they’re talking, they’ve all gone through that process…the bank at that time was full of lifers."
     
    “You only needed the one mask, back in that day, everything was strict hierarchy, strict codes of dress and so actually you just took your slot and just move along with the crowd, today is much more difficult because everybody needs multiple masks and it’s a much more challenging environment in a way.”
     
    “We couldn’t have a standard dress code, we had to make them (clients) comfortable… my record was four different outfits in one day”
     
    "If you’re going to be safe in your work environment, people must play the game and behave themselves and appear in a certain light, tick the right boxes, say the right things in the appropriate meetings, not just the right thing, but in the right way… and one learns these things”
     
    "The great communicators are the ones who can engage with the greatest number of audiences, my own expression is that they have the biggest footprint, so the more people they can engage with, the more effective they’re going to be.  So you find people being truly chameleon in the way they operate. Now that’s fundamental to their success in their job and fundamental in their ability to engage with people. Whether that’s good for them is a different question.”
     
    “Do we do it... sadly yes, go into any company and people are constantly in that mode they’re holding meetings about meetings about what they might say to the chief exec about X… We’re talking about people’s ability to relax and feel confident that they can articulate a particular point of view or a particular emotion without there being a sanction which might be imposed on them.”
     
    “It’s not because we are saying to Mary Have you’re say and what your say goes it’s just giving her the chance to be open and participate and to feel that she’s been able to participate... it may be that Mary has a dumb idea, but she should still be able to articulate it and put it into the discussion.”
     
    “all of this mask stuff is great up to a point, it gets us through the day, it enables us to engage with lots of different people, but ultimately if you don’t know who you are yourself you’re alienated from yourself. The Marx things was about being alienated from your work, if you were in a mass production environment, you no longer had that personal relationship with the product you were making, and Marx extrapolated loads from that. I think the alienation today is between the individuals many masks, whether that’s the social media masks, the ways they want to present, and the person that they are themselves and that for me is a real issue. The work you’re doing, Being Humans at Work, encouraging people to be more comfortable being themselves at work is essential because it’s not just the nice to have it’s the necessity to help with this whole balance in mental health – there is problem there that people are suffering with.”
     
    “Finding one’s Fundamental Self (John Paul Sartre) if one has a sense of oneself then when you put on a mask you know what you’re doing, there’s a relationship between you and the mask which is very clear and you take the mask of and you say “I don’t want to upset old so and so also I’ll wear this mask this evening .. when you lose the consciousness of masking and unmasking when the transition from one to another is just every day when you wake up and go to sleep perhaps without ever not having had a mask on then I think you are in real trouble, that’s when I

    • 1 hr 5 min
    013 A career in the Police force; vulnerability and heroics

    013 A career in the Police force; vulnerability and heroics

    The modest humility, genuine kindness, and quiet strength of this now retired police officer and Scottish gentleman, warmly greets the arrival of visitors to one of the top Asset Management Companies in the UK, and is always a highlight of my many visits to Edinburgh.   His great love for his family and particularly his grandchildren encouraged John to capture his experiences in the police force in his self-published book, “Not long til Morning”. 
    Once invited to train members of the FBI in USA, working the harrowing scenes of Lockerbie at the age of 26, and genuinely witnessing the dark side of life, John shares a very honest account of his thirty-two year career journey and “being human” within the police force in Scotland.
     
     
    KEY TAKEAWAYS
    “It's very difficult to get that sense of professional detachment that you require, when things are going very badly all around about you and those things that are terrible to look at…You can't just disappear into the background people.”
     
    “...calmness radiates from people... that's good leadership”
     
    “The Police are the public and the public are the Police; the Police being only members of the public who are paid to give full attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of community, welfare and existence” – Sir Robert Peel. 1825.
     
    An article from John’s book… “So, and I start as we gather around the van waiting to go home, a large 4x4 drives slowly into our midst. I mean so slowly, it kind of nudged some of us aside, it stops and a man gets out, a local, I think, maybe a farmer or something. He goes to the back, lifts the tailgate, and takes a bundle out. He then walks around the side of the car towards the Sergeant, easily identifiable these days by the Chevron's on their arms. There are dozens of us and he walks slowly through this crowd of policemen who one by one step aside, we see his carrying the body of a child, a little girl, may be 4 or 5 years old. She looks perfect, as if she's asleep in his arms. He walks up to the side and holds her out. Sarge takes her looks at him, and nods. As he turns and walks back to his car. The boys start saluting him, one after another as he passes, including me. He doesn't look up, but returns to his vehicle, starts it up, and backs away as slowly as he had come. No one has said a word. The whole episode passes in total silence. We watch the taillights disappear into the gathering gloom. It's my first day at Lockerbie. I have just turned 26 years old”
     
    “…Am I doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way? And for the right reasons.”
     
    “…always be a listener. It's easy to say, but it's a skill. It's a skill that can be learned, but never to be dismissive. Never be dismissive. … never worry, never hurry, calm, collected behaviour, will radiate from you. So don't… whatever hits you. Don't panic. Just tell your team. Okay, we'll get through this. It's happened. Let's focus on what we need to do. Let's move on”
     
    ABOUT JOHN STUART
    John was born the youngest of four brothers in the Old Town of Edinburgh in 1962. After a childhood spent in the suburbs, he joined the Edinburgh Police cadets in 1979.  He then spent the next 32 years in the service. This service spanned many notable events including the Robert Black serial killer, the miners’ strike and the Lockerbie atrocity. All his brothers also served in the emergency services. Two firemen and one paramedic. Retiring in 2011 he was employed in the NHS before joining BG in 2018.
     
    He has one son, three daughters and four tiring grandchildren.
     
     
    CONNECT WITH JOHN STUART
    johnstuart84@msn.com
    ABOUT THE HOST – ALLI SPARGO
    Alli is the mother of two daughters and a son, a wife, a daughter and a sister. She is also an executive leadership coach who passionately believes that every individual has the potential to be who they want to be, and do what they want to do (she is

    • 53 min
    Emotions and behaviours of a people centric leader

    Emotions and behaviours of a people centric leader

    Having taken a very non-traditional journey pushing himself continually out of his comfort zone, Nick Leitch made his way very successfully to Managing Director of corporate lending at Shawbrook Bank. (1000 people strong organisation offering highly personalised, practical, lending and savings products to individuals, businesses and real estate investors.)
     
    With humility, accepting you can't be successful on your own and with an attitude of “it's okay to make mistakes and learn” Nick is real, open, and honest about his journey to becoming managing director and what it takes to lead a successful team
     
    KEY TAKEAWAY
     
    Uncomfortable challenges:
    “I'm not happy with but I'm okay with putting myself into uncomfortable positions, and challenging myself in a way that says, well, if I want to move, keep moving forward and learn, I'll get the opportunity to experience more things.
     
    The easy option is... to stay in low gear or neutral and just sort of coast along. And one has to do that from time to time in order to catch your breath, or just see what's going on around you. But often, if you're really going to push, you got to put yourself in a slightly uncomfortable position once in a while.”
     
    Self-made?
    “I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am without… the people I've had around me; you can't do these sorts of things on your own. You often hear the expression, somebody described as a self-made woman or a self-made man… I don't believe you can't do that all on your own”
     
    “… there's an immense amount to learn from other people out there. Look for mentors, look for people who can, you know, who will want to give you guidance, some of the best people out there will be only so only too happy to be able to do that.”
     
    Distractions and internal conversations:
    “I'm easily distracted. I have a quite an active internal dialogue. In my mind, I have quite a large internal dialogue, which has many good things. It means I stop and think about things a lot and kind of work around problem... I do have a very healthy conversation with myself quite often.”
     
    ABOUT NICK LEITCH
    Nick is Managing Director of Shawbrook Bank Corporate Lending leading an award winning team supporting numerous shareholders, management teams and businesses across the UK. His career started in the late 80’s, first in hospitality and then financial services as a sales trainee in consumer, commercial and insurance products.
    This progressed to working in commercial lending markets for Barclays, TSB and Lloyds in sales, account and people management roles. Thereafter further opportunities were enjoyed with Ernst & Young, Endless and Seneca in advisory, investor, shareholder, director and partner roles.
     
    ‘I can’t imagine being anywhere other than financial services, it’s enabled me to experience so many businesses across numerous sectors. The variety makes everyday a school day in understanding how these companies work, but more importantly the needs and ambitions of the owners, individuals and teams we work with. Knowing this and using the experience gained enables empathy which makes for great professional and personal relationships.’
     
    CONNECT WITH NICK LEITCH
    www.linkedIn.com/in/nickleitch
     
    ABOUT THE HOST – ALLI SPARGO
    Alli is the mother of two daughters and a son, a wife, a daughter and a sister. She is also an executive leadership coach who passionately believes that every individual has the potential to be who they want to be, and do what they want to do (she is living proof of that!): to BE the BEST version of themselves. Alli specialises in behavioural performance as an executive leadership and systemic team coach. Her breadth of business experience, together with her coaching and facilitation expertise, enables her to enhance leadership capability and personal impact, whilst understanding the demands of the commercial and organisational environment.
     
    WORK WITH ALLI
    If you would like e

    • 44 min
    011 A role model of courageous leadership, vulnerability and compassion

    011 A role model of courageous leadership, vulnerability and compassion

    Susan Brodie, Director of Talent and Development at the Global Investment Managers, Baillie Gifford shares the milestones and insights of her career journey. 

    Susan shares her very personal story of dealing with the grief of the death of a close family member just before lockdown, at the same time journeying with the impact of significant news her daughter shares. The transformational impact of a mentor and the value of focusing on "Being not Doing". "Embrace everything about yourself ... the good and the bad".

    This is an episode of vulnerability and honesty, of truly "being human at work". I'm incredibly grateful to Susan for this truly insightful and heartfelt episode
     
    KEY TAKEAWAYS
     
    Vulnerability: Leaders go first
    “… after the queen had just died and before her funeral, nobody was really talking about it, which I thought was really quite interesting …. it's okay to have those conversations. We all go through those feelings, those emotions. And maybe we must be brave enough to open it up ourselves, even though that makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. Because you don't quite know where your emotions are going to go when you start to talk and to have those kinds of conversations, but it's actually okay, and you making it okay for somebody else to share, what's going on for them”
     
    Recalibrating traditional norms
    “(so my daughter came out as a lesbian in November 19)… In society, I think we still have this strong belief that people will find a husband or a wife, and they will get married, have children, you'll have grandchildren. That's kind of the way things will play out in the world… I very quickly realised that of course, my daughter could still get married, she could still have babies, I could still be a granny..., I just had to recalibrate.”
     
    Focus on being authentic
    “….in my role as a learning professional I just want people to be their best. My role is to try and help that… it's actually just about… allowing people to be vulnerable, creating the space or the support for them to explore who they are and to be, you know, to be (themselves)
     
    Emotional Intelligence – Know yourself well
    “So my advice for the younger people is to take time really getting to know yourself, What are my passions, what are my talents? What do I feel strongly about? And then try to be true to that, because I think that's where you end up being your happiest, but also performing your best”
     
    The benefit of flexible working
    “I'm also in that sandwich generation where I have a teenage daughter and I've got elderly parents, who are all here, but all with significant health challenges… So visits to doctors, and various appointments have to come up. So flexible working really allows me to find that balance, to be able to meet everybody's needs. And also mine in the sense that I want to have a really fulfilling career, I want to add value to my team… having more flexibility allows me to do all those things. Which is great and I think we're still finding our way…”
     
    Queen Elizabeth II as role model
    ‘… When we talk about leadership, (HM Queen Elizabeth II) has been quite rightly held up as a phenomenal leader. And, the stories that people are telling about Her are about her human connection (not her human doing). And I think that should be an inspiration for all of us.”
     
     
    ABOUT SUSAN BRODIE
    Having completed an MA in Psychology at Aberdeen University Susan’s career started in retail during which she held a variety of HR roles, starting off as a generalist then following her passion for learning into leadership and management development. In 2000 she started her own business providing consultancy and coaching initially on leadership and management development and latterly, business transformation and career transitions.  She worked with a variety of organisations across a wide range of sectors around the UK until 2015 when she joined the HR team at Baillie Gif

    • 43 min
    010 Moving towards Self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-confidence

    010 Moving towards Self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-confidence

    This is a slightly different episode, but nonetheless important when thinking about Being Humans at Work.  “These days when we’re not only spending all our time in our ‘heads’ but are lost in our phones!”   In this episode my guest and Master Sophrologist, Annette Ebbinghaus explores this methodology called Sophrology which is a dynamic practice, more so than the likes of yoga or pilates, to support well being and good mental health. Some people coined sophrology as “Happiness Training” - encouraging the production of more dopamine and happy hormones which studies have shown are more effective than ‘happiness pills’.  It is a scientific approach, developed by a medical doctor.
     
    KEY TAKEAWAY
     What is Sophrology?
    “Sophrology basically stands for the study of consciousness and harmony, or the study of consciousness and peace… it was started in the 1960s, by Alfonso Caycedo. He was a neuro psychiatrist… he was working at the hospital in Madrid and he was working with clients who had some sort of mental disorder… He didn’t like how these people were begin treated…
     
    So he developed this system, there's 12 different levels, and in each level they have associated techniques. Through taking them through all of these levels, he basically got them off of all their medications”
     
    “…Each practice includes breath work, conscious awareness”
     
    Self-Awareness
    “We have to assess situations and in business… it's the business of assessment, right? You think about it… every business does some form of risk assessment… but that whole process of constantly doing assessment means we're constantly judging…
     
    And judgement is something as humans; we have to judge whether a situation is safe or not… that comes down to our primal selves…
     
    I would say that, we've brought that too much into business, when it comes to the whole capitalist model of… grow more, sell more, being more everything has to be more… you take a step back, you say, well, am I not enough as I am?”
     
    Self-Acceptance and confidence
    “And at a young enough age we need to expose ourselves to failure. So that we can learn that it's okay to fail… you have the ability to do that analysis, and to figure out ‘what I'm good at what I'm not’, but you need to have enough experiences, when you're young, in order to have certain level of resilience as an adult.”
     
    Practising these skills
    “So becoming aware that you have these is key, but also becoming aware that not everybody thinks the same way that you do. And not everybody is motivated the same way that you do… I'm need to understand how my communication style is impacting them. And that always comes down to the emotion because the emotion that drives the behaviour”
     
    ABOUT ANNETTE EBBINGHAUS
    Having emersed herself in her Masters training twice, Sophrology expert Annette challenges the ongoing global business requirement of constantly needing to be ‘more’ - ‘grow more, sell more, be more’.   The constant human need to scan for danger, to make judgements, to remain ‘safe’ against perceived danger, driven by our primitive human behaviour of scanning for danger to stay alive.  The human tendency to focus on the negative, the danger rather than the positive.
     
    Annette Ebbinghaus is a globally sought-after mental fitness coach, master sophrologist, and motivational speaker. She draws from 30+ years of experience and is founder of the beChill® Exams & Life programs for adolescents.
     
    Annette works with the link between mind, body, and consciousness to boost resilience, performance, overall wellbeing, and aids in the self-development of adults and adolescents.
    Educated in several fields, she began her professional career as a civil engineer and after an MBA shifted to sustainable development in business and ultimately into stress management and wellbeing. Annette teaches and mentors sophrologists and is an active chart

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Joost2807 ,

Great listen!

I have listened to a few episodes now and found them to be really interesting and contain some thought provoking topics!

coach wannabe ,

Being Humans at Work

Really enjoying the insights gained from your conversations. So relatable and helpful.

BizziePA ,

Brilliant - what a fantastic listen

Exciting and informative to know that leaders are adapting to the new workplace

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