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Una’s Spotlight: Another New (Tax) Year

By Una Doyle

Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball and there’s not really very much you can do about it.

That’s what happened to my partner and myself this January when he started to feel unwell a couple of days into the New Year. Roll on a few weeks and he was rushed into hospital seriously ill and since then it’s been a long recovery, now about 95% complete.

So it’s now April, the start of a new tax year and we’ve decided that this will be our New Year.

A chance to start afresh. A chance to put in place the plans we were so excited about back in late December!

There are times in life when you have to admit you are not in control and this was definitely one of them. How do you react when life throws curve balls at you?

  • Get mad
  • Lie down and cry
  • Carry on regardless

Well I briefly experienced each of those at one time or another, however they’re not necessarily constructive!

So I thought it would be useful to look at this from a Talent Dynamics perspective taking each of the energies in turn to see what could be helpful in your professional and personal life.


Trusting in each other, honest and open communication and having each other’s back was essential during this period. We never lost sight of our primary purpose during this time which was to get him well enough to come home and then well enough to fully live life again.

“How clear are you and your team on your purpose? Do you prioritise your activities accordingly or just do the most urgent tasks, reacting to those who shout the loudest?”



I am a Star profile with pretty equal Dynamo and Blaze energies. When the ‘proverbial’ hit the fan I immediately went into emergency task mode. Being able to instantly come up with ideas to solve problems is useful – as long as it’s not overdone.

“How effective are you and your team at problem solving? Do you spend time to establish what kind of problem it is that you have?”

Innovation is not always the solution… For instance in this particular situation Blaze and Tempo elements turned out to be more important.


We both had to ask for help a lot more than usual. It was important to have the support of family and friends both emotionally and practically. In fact, it was the practical help that was required the most!

Thankfully we were also able to call upon some team members we’d worked with previously to help out with the business. And a cleaner was definitely essential too 😉

The vast majority of doctors and nurses that we dealt with were fantastic communicators and that made such a massive difference.

How substantial is your support network? In the event of an emergency who could you call upon? How effective is communication in your organisation and/or family?  What could you do now to be prepared with team members and/or freelancers to stand in when required?


Once the initial heart-stopping emergency was over it was a case of constantly reprioritising and rescheduling personal and work activities around his recovery. It took a while for me to realise how much time it actually took to not just visit but travel to and from the hospital and to do (or delegate) the activities he would normally do.

“How aware are you of how long things really take?”

This is important to manage your own workload as well as when working with team members. If you don’t know, simply use a kitchen timer or one on your smart phone to measure frequent activities. If you haven’t got high Tempo energy in your profile you may be surprised by what you find!

Use this knowledge to help you understand the return on investment you get from your activities, consider whether they’re really necessary and if they are, who is best placed to do them.


Understanding the measures being used to mark my partner’s recovery was very helpful, otherwise we would have been completely in the dark about progress.

“How effectively are you measuring progress on the projects and processes that are most important to you?”

Also related to Steel was the adaptability required by my partner (a Lord profile) to adjust to his circumstances while in hospital and then recuperating at home. Lots of uncertainty, noisy and unfamiliar surroundings and people didn’t make this easy, so it was important for me to provide support by being physically there and communicating effectively to alleviate that.

This applies to changes you may be looking to implement in your workplace!

“Do you consider those that may have high Tempo and/or Steel energy that will find change more challenging, no matter how much they may buy into the concept of it?”

Be sure to connect, listen and constantly over-communicate before, during and after the change.

Have you been dealt some rough hands recently and if so how did you handle them? I’d love to hear your views, please comment below.

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Una’s Spotlight: 3 Common Mistakes Leading a Team

Una Doyle of Talent Dynamics lists the 3 common mistakes made by team leaders and explains the solutions that can stop them from happening

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Una’s Spotlight: Successful Change

Una Doyle of Talent Dynamics shares how understanding the Talent Dynamics Profiles and connected energies can affect successful change

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Una’s Vlog: A Star’s Story

Una Doyle from Talent Dynamics shares her story of finding her flow as a Star and what that means

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Una’s Vlog: Destiny, Churchill & Your Business

“It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at one time” ~ Winston Churchill

In this vlog Una Doyle explains how Winston Churchill’s quote about the “links of destiny” applies to your business

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Unas Vlog: Getting into Flow by letting Go

In this months Vlog. Una explains how each of the different frequencies can get into Flow by letting go of something…


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[VIDEO] Una’s Spotlight: Making Ideas Happen

In this first in a series of Unas Spotlight Vlogs, Una shares the secrets that Walt Disney used for creating ideas and bringing them to life and screen!

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Unas Spotlight: Stop Fire Fighting!

“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency.” Arnold H. Glasow


There’s no doubt that managers and business owners around the globe have all experienced fire fighting at one time or another. Some companies even have it built into the culture. Yet everybody seems to agree that fire fighting on a long-term basis is not a good thing…

So why does it happen?


  • Psychological addiction to the feeling of achievement
  • Severe cuts in staffing
  • Attempting to be lean and agile

Looking at the Talent Dynamics square it’s more likely that people with high Dynamo and Blaze energies will engage in fire fighting. For them it may initially seem to be exciting and fun. Dynamo’s for instance get to use their problem solving strengths and be a hero.

Blaze people will love the high-paced interactions with others and flying around here, there and everywhere getting everyone on board. For both Dynamo and Blaze it could even have been their lack of attention to detail that caused the fire in the first place!

However, that’s not to say that people with high Tempo and Steel energies may not fire fight too in the right, or should I say wrong, circumstances. It is likely to be incredibly stressful for them though to do so.

Tempo people may end up fire fighting because they can find it very hard to say no and consequently can easily take on too much. While this may appear to serve them – and their colleagues – in the short term, over time it is likely to cause burn-out and possibly even ill-health while they get bogged down in the detail.

Those with strong Steel energies will get very frustrated with constantly having to solve problems that they know could probably be systemised so that they don’t even occur in the first place. Under pressure, without time to think things through or adequate data to base decisions on, they could feel extremely uncomfortable and you may well get to experience just how cold Winter can be!

The key thing for everybody is to firstly realise that fire fighting is happening. The second is to get into the habit of identifying what kind of problem it is… Then they can get the person and/or team with the right perspective and strengths to solve it.

Dynamo’s will intuitively want to innovate their way out of problems, while Blaze will naturally think about who is the best person to connect with to get the desired result. Tempo will look at how to improve relationships and/or operations and Steel will consider the systems in place and what needs to be created or improved.

This means that people will need to let go of the idea that they, and only they, can rescue the day… The fact is that in business – as in life – things happen. There will always be problems to solve. At the same time the time and resources that can be saved by putting out the fire of fire fighting is immense.

Imagine if you and your team were able to spend time in your areas of strengths, instead of being pulled in all directions every time something happened? Though initially it would require investing some time, afterwards there would be the time and space to do what you do best. This allows you to add more value and leverage it effectively within your team and organisation for results on the bottom line and beyond.

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Unas Spotlight: Sending out some love this Valentines day!

Whether or not you are a romantic, this is a great opportunity to remind yourself to ‘spread the love’ in your business. Valentine’s Day is all about making new and/or deeper connections. How could you do this in your workplace? Look to build trust and demonstrate value and appreciation.

You might want to start with romancing yourself. When was the last time that you sat down and wrote down your accomplishments in the last year or few years? Large or small, get them all down and congratulate yourself for what you have achieved. Treat yourself with a special meal, a trip away or even a nice soak in the bath with a good book. It will be hard to make others feel special, if you don’t feel special yourself.

Make sure you are really clear about the value you offer to your team and customers. What Talent Dynamics profile are you? What profile is your typical customer? How do you help them get into flow? Think about ways you could increase the amount of time you get to spend working in your strengths to increase your value to the business – and have more fun.

If you are working in a team then make sure to thank each and every team member for their contribution. Write them a note of what you value most in them and their work. Not only will it give them a warm fuzzy feeling, they’ll likely do more of whatever you wrote and improve their performance. Just use a plain card or one with a picture on it, rather than an actual Valentine’s card – you don’t want your staff to think you have romantic attachments!

If you are in a smaller organisation, do the same with your suppliers as they are your team too. What do they do that enables you to focus on your strengths and have a stronger and more sustainable business?

When it comes to customers, what could you do to make them feel special? Make sure  it’s not just a discounted offer but something free that’s genuinely of value. It doesn’t have to be a product or something that costs you. It could simply be a list of useful resources or an e-guide on a hot topic.

Highlight your top customers and send them a Valentine’s card explaining what you appreciate about them as a customer – perhaps how they are great to deal with, or even what they do for their customers that you think is wonderful. This applies just the same to internal customers.

With everybody, make sure to consider their Talent Dynamics profile or energy (Dynamo, Blaze, Tempo or Steel) and how they may prefer to receive this appreciation. Some would love for you to talk with them face-to-face or on the phone, others would prefer to see what you say in writing and could be embarrassed if in person.

In order to thank others, you’ll first need to truly consider their strengths and weaknesses and how these show up in performance. Are they in flow? What difference is each individual really making to business performance? How do they make your life, your team’s or your customers’ lives that bit easier?

This clarity on who delivers what kind of value and communication around it can deepen your connection with those that you work with because it builds trust.

This trust is vital In order to stand out in your marketplace. A sustainable career and business depends upon effective collaboration over the long term, whether a solopreneur or part of a multinational corporate.

The special bonus is that you get to feel good by making others feel good. Go on – make their day!



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Unas Spotlight: Procrastination, whatever your profile…

On a webinar I ran last week one of the attendees asked a great question, “My biggest issue is what Seth Godin calls the lizard brain… I’m the chief procrastinator. How do you get over that?”

I answered at the time with these three main reasons why people may procrastinate:

1. An inner knowing that it isn’t the right time to do that.
2. Self-sabotage due to emotional baggage of some sort around things like ‘not deserving’ and/or ‘fear of success/failure’ (all way more common than you think by the way!). Be aware that this can fool people into thinking that it’s not the right time.
3. The activity is something that’s not your natural strength and so you don’t enjoy it and it takes you out of your flow.

While I believe these three points apply to many, afterwards I started thinking about the third point and how procrastination might differ around the Talent Dynamics Square.

With the highly creative Dynamo energy profiles (Creator, Mechanic and Star), their problem is usually not starting things but finishing them! In fact, because they tend to underestimate how long things take to do, they have a tendency to over-commit and just not have enough time to get something done.

Of course those with high Dynamo energy also can get easily distracted by doing the ‘new and fun’ stuff, so that they move from activity to activity without really getting much done. Even though they hate having their freedom constrained, working to a plan – even if a loose one – and learning to delegate will help them spend more time in their flow in the end. When Dynamos get focused on their priorities they can achieve great things.

Those with high Blaze energy (Supporter, Star and Deal Maker) love variety and hate paperwork – they’d much rather be having an interesting conversation with one of their many friends!

A great idea for them to overcome procrastination is to set aside time early in the week and/or early in the day to get this done while their energy is strong. Leaving it until the end of the week is not a good idea as they’re much more likely to want to go to a party or networking event instead.

The more grounded Tempo energy folks (Trader, Deal Maker and Accumulator) are actually very good with planning their activities and anticipating how long things will take, in fact they are likely to overestimate how long things will take. Where they may procrastinate is at the beginning of a new project.

For a start it is new and it’s not always so easy for them to get something off the ground as those with primary Creator and Star profiles. What really helps here is firstly to ensure that they understand the context within which the project or activity is taking place. That helps those with high Tempo energy to feel more comfortable and this comfort is important for them to work well.

Secondly, breaking up a big idea or project down into the specific tasks and deadlines before they start helps them to see in enough detail what needs to be done and they can satisfy themselves that it is achievable. Just be careful they don’t get too bogged down in the detail to even begin.

Finally what about those with high Steel (Lord, Accumulator and Mechanic profiles) energy? Well they really shine when they have something already existing to work with so starting something new can be even more challenging than for Tempo profiles!

Here though, what will probably help the most in overcoming procrastination is to focus on what they can get finished first and get those activities out of the way and out of sight – they love a clear workspace! Because getting things finished feels so good to those with strong Steel energy this motivates them to keep going. Breaking down larger projects into very small chunks that can be ticked off a list helps to avoid overwhelm too.Of course, everyone can step into the Spirit energy to remind them of the purpose of what they are doing. What is the big ‘Why?’ that makes doing something worthwhile in the first place?

This really helps for those times that you might just need to suck it up and get something done.

Remember though, where possible, let others do the things that take you out of flow. After all, it’s only by helping someone else get into their flow can you really get in yours…


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