Wendy Hanson 0:23
Greetings, everybody. So happy you're joining us today. Because I think sometimes we all feel a little stuck. And that's what we're going to talk about today. We're going to focus on ourselves as leaders and managers. You know, there are times that I know I feel stuck, it might be a place where I think I need to shift direction or just get reinvigorated. What about you? Well, the topic of feeling stuck is going to be a place we dive into deep today. I have mapu made from Yohannes Burg South Africa with us today, who is an executive coach and will share her perspective and ways we can take action and really take time to reflect to be able to make change. So let me tell you a little bit more about and pull me and pull me, Nick Coby DACA is founder and CEO of about change conversations, a coaching and personal development company. She is an internationally accredited coach with the international coaching Federation. As an associate certified coach and an anagram practitioner, she earned her stripes in the corporate world. Mpume has worked for multinational and Johannesberg Stock Exchange, listed organizations like multichoice, Unilever, Nestle, MTN, and Ericsson. As a qualified corporate level coach, Mpume has great has gained a deep understanding of what is required to identify individuals unique talents and passion to ultimately benefit organizations while facilitating personal growth. And poor me his highest qualification is an MBA. So she not only knows the corporate world and the business world, but she's a great has a lot of experience as a coach. So welcome, employ me. Nice to have you with us.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 2:24
Thank you. Thank you for having me Wednesday.
Wendy Hanson 2:27
So I'm curious, what made you interested in this topic of stuck, feeling stuck? How have you How did that come up for you?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 2:39
I'm interested in the topic, because that's what I deal with literally on every second day or on a daily basis. Because most of the clients that I deal with, they actually come to me, and they say, I'm feeling stuck in my career, or maybe I'm just battling with things that are happening in the workplace. And they want somebody who can guide them, somebody who can really help them through the journey. And And personally, I think I've also felt stuck along the way. I've changed careers a number of times, and I get to a point where I'm like, so what's the next thing? How do I move forward? And that as well as showed up in my own career?
Wendy Hanson 3:21
That's interesting, because in our talk, we, you you mentioned, you're a woman of action. I can see that coming out there. And how do you know, when you're feeling stuck, because it could be in your personal life to or your business life? How to hell?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 3:39
It could be there's a sense of unhappiness, there's a sense of not being fulfilled. And I think, ideally, you really want to then dig deeper and say, Where does that come from? And I think most of the time, people don't even have words to explain it. But they just know that they're not where they actually want to be. And something's not going right.
Wendy Hanson 4:02
I think that's yeah, that's exactly why people reach out to talk with a coach, right to be able to like, I know, I feel this, but I'm not sure what to do about it. And even where it came from. Yeah, yeah. And if you're feeling that you're stuck, and you're in a hole, you know that that something is wrong. Besides getting a coach, what are some of the things that you can think about to do to move yourself out of that hole or that space? Yeah.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 4:33
So being stuck, as we said, is different for different people. So you need to initially identify what that looks like for you, because it's different. But I think one of the things that you can look at is is really trying to challenge yourself out of that hole by creating goals that will get you out of that familiar space. So what are the goals that you might put out there that you wouldn't necessarily Do and because you're challenging yourself, it means you're getting yourself out of the comfort zone. And that becomes a critical thing. Because sometimes you are stuck, because we're in a comfort zone. Yeah.
Wendy Hanson 5:11
So you want to get out of your comfort zone, because that kind of keeps us on this path that we don't challenge. Exactly. Yeah, go ahead.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 5:21
No, I wanted to say it pushes you into a point where you want to tap into something that you wouldn't maybe, usually do. And, and because of that, there's a sense of there's a challenge, but I'm keen to actually face it.
Wendy Hanson 5:36
Yeah, can you give an example of how that showed up with with you or maybe one of the people that you've coached?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 5:44
I think some of them, so mainly the people that have called, they will even think about something that might not be in the workplace, something that they might have wanted to do for a while. And they've just kept pushing it aside. And when you do that, and what then you do is you'd then push yourself into the next level, I had somebody who used to be a runner as a as a client, who now was getting into cycling. And she really pushed herself out of that. And it was something that she didn't even know that she was capable of doing.
Wendy Hanson 6:19
Yeah. So that that got her out of her comfort zone, and then some belief that she can do different things. Exactly, yes. Because what I see also is that sometimes when you feel stuck at work, you just you stay on that path, and you just keep pushing through, but you lose your energy, you lose your passion. And sometimes I think it does take something in our personal life to say, let me take up this new thing, which is going to use a different part of my brain, you know, I was just reading about something that you know, take up something that you can do with your hands, because you're weren't using your brain all day when you're in a coach or doing corporate work or anything, take something that you can create, because it will use a different part of your brain. What's your thoughts on that?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 7:08
I fully agree, I think the creativity element really helps you and and I've found myself as well, are you at some point, I actually used to use my hands a lot. I used to do a lot of craft, and like making necklaces and all those things. And what I found is the sense of achievement that you've you have when you've created a piece, or when you maybe you are artistic, that sense of achievement, when you've created something that then really gives you a different energy in your system.
Wendy Hanson 7:47
And you can bring that into your work then like Yeah, exactly how I remember the first necklace that I made beaded necklace, I was so proud. And it's and it's different, because it can be a short term goal reached, and then you have something tangible. And at work, we don't always have that opportunity. You know, we're part of a bigger picture.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 8:08
And that's the thing. But in a work environment, you can also have a conversation with your manager that says maybe there's a project that you've been wanting to explore for a while, why not have that conversation to say, I'd like to do this within the business. And then you'll be you're given leeway to actually explore that. And if it's going to add value into the business, why not? Because what that will do, it will make you take you out of that space, or of some of doing something that you you know, or something that you're used to. And that for me, in fact, I've done that a number of times, where I've put up my hand on projects that had nothing to do with my job. And one of those projects was starting a women's forum in the last company that I worked for. It had nothing to do with the with my executive role. But it was something that I was passionate about. And I was able to ask my CEO to actually explore it.
Wendy Hanson 9:05
That's a great example. Yeah. And then that invigorates the rest of your work. Exactly. Yes. So go to your manager, and you know if you have an idea, because we all know that when we use our strengths, and just like we were talking about even personally projects, when we use our strengths, we feel better about what we're doing. It's easy. So you're a good connector and everything. So it feels really right for you to be starting a woman's forum. Yes, that is your strengths. And that's why that was fun. Yes, it was. Yeah. So what are some ways when we feel like we're not motivated? Well, when we're not motivated, what shows up? If we're kind of like feeling stuck and not feeling motivated? What does that look like?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 9:53
There is no energy for you to do anything. That could be one of the things that show up. You could be procrastinating on a whole lot number of things that you want to do. And and I think those become the biggest things where you, you just don't have energy to actually do anything. And you you switch off, you're just not interested in things. So you don't speak up, you don't have an opinion on something. You are just in a mood of Kansas people leave me alone. If that be Oh, you're just not interested in doing a lot.
Wendy Hanson 10:29
Right? I felt sad when you gave that description. I could feel it. I could feel it in my bones. Yeah, that's not a fun way to go through your, your day or your weeks. So how do you encourage yourself to get motivated, you know, so if you don't have a coach, but you're kind of feeling stuck, you procrastinating on things, you're noticing that you're not in your best space? What can you do to encourage yourself to color outside the lines as they say,
Mpume Ncube-Daka 11:00
so I think if if you do challenge yourself into achieving some and doing something else, it's really celebrating those wins. And sometimes we underestimate when you've achieved something no matter how small it is, but achieving that you want to celebrate that so that you remind yourself that the journey, you know, there's a step that you've taken. And for me, one step makes a huge difference. And if you push yourself to even achieve that, then celebrate that with because there's a sense of achievement that comes with that. There's a sense of pride that comes with that. And that then encourages you to actually move into other things.
Wendy Hanson 11:46
Yeah, that's such a great point. And I think we tend to look at the things that we're not doing well, and then that sucks down our energy. One other suggestion too, for people is, you know, write down when you have a win, keep up, keep a book of wins, you know, because sometimes when you have a bad day, it's good to look back and say, oh, yeah, I took these steps or this happened. Any other ideas like that, that you can share? Yes. And
Mpume Ncube-Daka 12:14
I think sharing gratitude, because sometimes we end up focusing on the negative parts of what's happening in our lives. And then we forget that they are amazing things, the things that we take for granted, that I think we should be grateful for, you know, and it might sound cliche, just waking up seeing the sunrise, being able to you've got a roof over your head, you've got, you know, things that kind of seem that we take them for granted. But I think a sense of gratitude for me, also helps to take you out of that space of really feeling down.
Wendy Hanson 12:56
Yes, I totally agree. And I think from a neuroscience point of view, you know, there's a lot of research that's been done, about how you can shift your brain when you're when when you are grateful when when you're having a bad time, but you think, Okay, what do I have going on that works? And, and that will really make you feel better? Cool. So what do you do when you feel your job or career is being challenged? Tell me tell me what that you know, what? What's your? Is it challenged in a way that you think you're going to lose it? Or what do you mean by that? That was the question that you would put out there. So
Mpume Ncube-Daka 13:37
so it could be challenged because you are facing challenges within the workplace, right? Or, let's say maybe you've got a difficult boss, or you're not working well with a colleague. Or even the fact that you might be feeling that you might lose your job. I think the biggest thing that you can do for yourself is also just to remind yourself of your why why do you wake up and do the work that you do? And and your WHY might be as well bigger than that. And if you can keep reminding yourself that for me, that then kinda helps you calibrate, to say, You know what, maybe I should stop with the pity party and really focus on what is the bigger impact that I'm doing with this work? Not that I'm saying you must dismiss your emotion at that point in time. And And this actually reminded me of a friend of mine who was really going through a tough time at work. And and I was having a conversation with him around this. And he said to me, and I said to him, but what is your why? And his answer to me was I'm very clear that I want to retire in the next five years. And I'm also clear that the people that work for me he's got a team of about 2000 people that I'm feeding 2000 families, if I leave here, this business will go down. So that became his why. So for him to remind himself to say, no matter what challenges I'm experiencing, but I can pull through, because there are these families that are dependent on me, that for me was like, wow, that's big when you really think about it. But I think reminding yourself what it is that you want to change your impact, and why do you do what you do? is always a good place to go to?
Wendy Hanson 15:36
And if you can't come up with your why that's a challenge. That's that's really feeling stuck.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 15:42
Exactly. And the biggest question is, so what can you do about it?
Wendy Hanson 15:48
Yeah, yeah. And I think that's such a great question to ask people there. Why? Because that makes everything and even asking, why about everything, I think is important as leaders, oftentimes people will ask somebody to work on a project or delegate work and not tell them the bigger why. Just tell them the task. And then it's no fun to do the task. But if you know, the big why, what I'm having, what I'm doing this, what it's about how exciting that becomes?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 16:17
Yeah, that's very true. And the one thing that I'm a big advocate of having come out of a business strategy environment, is it's easy for business strategies to actually put up this as the strategy and this is how we move forward. But the critical factor is, how does each individual contribute to that strategy, and for people to be able to really come to a point where they can say, this is my contribution, because when they don't understand their contribution, and they don't even understand the big why of the business, then sometimes they really battle in contributing into in that environment.
Wendy Hanson 17:04
Oh, that's a fabulous point. Yeah. They they need to understand, because sometimes there might be many, many people on a project. But what is the difference that I could make? Yeah, exactly. Do you have any examples of that, that you've seen, either with coaching clients, or you've done a lot of corporate work, you know that you've seen there any, anything that you can store, you could share with our listeners,
Mpume Ncube-Daka 17:29
I think the one that I've just mentioned, when is the one that really come to pass, because what usually happens is that people's key performance indicators are hinged on a specific goal. And that key performance indicator also hinges, it determines their salary increases, it determines their bonuses. And when they don't even understand what that key performance indicator is based on, it really makes it difficult for them to achieve. So for me being for me, it is important, because you don't want people losing their financial element, just because they are battling to crystallize what the goal is, and they're battling to understand what is there why in the bigger scheme of things.
Wendy Hanson 18:21
Yeah. And, and key performance indicators, KPIs that companies are using, you need to be really clear on that. Yes. Because that will be self motivating.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 18:32
Exactly. Yeah. And it needs to be very cool, you smart, but it needs to be very succinct. So that there is no debate when it comes to the performance review time, whether you've achieved something or you have not achieved something. So it needs to be that tangible and measurable. So that if you haven't achieved, you haven't achieved so we're not going to debate it. But if you've achieved you've achieved and then it means that goes into your own pocket.
Wendy Hanson 19:00
Yeah, that's a great point. So what are some of the reasons that can keep us stuck? We've been talking about stuck, we've been talking about how we need to use our why. But sometimes we don't even want to take action. We want to pull back, you know, so that we're at the point that you're really at the bottom you don't even you can't see your why you're not doing anything. Tell me about that. What Why is that so, so challenging? What I found
Mpume Ncube-Daka 19:28
is a lot of people have a sense of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and and they just, they just can't move. And that for for me is a sad part because sometimes we fear things that will never come to pass. And I've seen a lot of people actually being stuck in, in careers that they hate, just because of fear fear. Have thinking that if I have to change careers, I will have to invest. fear that I might not, I'm not even sure what maybe that next career might look like. And, and, and not just having a guarantee that sense of just being in a sense of discomfort, and and what if I try and maybe I fail, and maybe I can't figure out the right thing that I need to do, those are the those are the fear, for me has been the biggest thing that I've seen with it with the clients that I work with. And because you find that people have a tolerance, the risk factor is very different for different of us. So other people don't just want to take risk. And a sense of embracing change also becomes a very difficult thing for most people.
Wendy Hanson 20:52
And there are no guarantees in life.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 20:56
There are no guarantees in life. In fact, I interviewed somebody who said, You need to think of it as if it's, you're in a satellite navigation, the satellite will tell you there is a curve coming up. But you might not know how, you know, doesn't count, really, what is the steepness of this curve? And what does it look like, up until you get into it. So sometimes you just need I'll call it to have faith, and to really find ways to bid on yourself and know that there's no guarantee in anything
Wendy Hanson 21:33
anyway. And often, you know, we all hear stories of people that some door got closed, maybe they you know, there was a layoff at a company and they're not in that job anymore. And then they say, Wow, this was the best thing that could have happened to me, because now I can move ahead on something else that I wouldn't have had, as you're pointing out the courage to do it myself.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 21:55
Exactly. And and that I've seen that happens a lot. And we all say God, or the universe kind of pushes you to the next level. And you are not even sure and I think even at that point in time, you you are in a space of of just thinking what has happened to how am I going to survive this, maybe if you've been laid off, and only to find that that is the route to the next best thing that can happen to you.
Wendy Hanson 22:27
So stuck can be small and stuck can be very big, yes. And it can really impact your life. And the last point is something I get is really important to you, too. It's connecting with others, you know, you may not have a coach or a therapist, but how can you use the the relationships, the allies that you have, you know, in life, to be able to help you during this time?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 22:55
The biggest thing for me is we we don't ask for help. And and for me asking for help is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. There is an element of when you ask for help, it can either be a yes or no, I can help you or I can help you. If it's a no, it's learning not to take things personnel, because it's not about you, it could be about the person not really being able to help you. And also asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help is you're just putting yourself out there. And you do not know what the next best thing could look like. Because you might be just saying something to somebody in passing. And then you find that the biggest solution might come out of that. And for me, also tapping into your networks looking back and saying, what are the networks that I have? These days, most of us are on LinkedIn, I have met so many people in length on LinkedIn that I would not have thought that I would meet. But you just finding it deep inside you to put yourself out there and actually connecting with people. And I find that people are always willing to share information or to share their own experiences. And at the end of the day, what have you got to lose?
Wendy Hanson 24:27
people I think are worried about being vulnerable, you know that they look weak, but I'm with you that if you if you ask for help, it really is it makes you strong, it makes you like you're you you're not afraid to admit that. Boy, I could use a little feedback on this or I could use a better connection on this. And I think people forget that. When you ask someone else to to help you or for an idea. It's actually such a compliment to them that you would think about you know, connect acting with them. So I think that might be a good way to put that in your head. When you feel stuck, that you're actually going to make someone's day to say, you know, you're you're really an authority on this. Can I ask you a question just to get your idea?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 25:15
Exactly. So I always encourage my clients, mainly the ones that are wanting to career transition, I always say to them, Go and have what is called an informational, informational interview with somebody. And what does that mean? So maybe you are in finance, and you want to move into marketing, find somebody who's in marketing, and have a conversation with them on what does their day look like? What is it? What excites them about the job that they're doing? And what are the challenges in that job that they're doing what? And all those questions will give you a view of how then you can maybe adapts, and it even gives you a sense of is this something that I really want to do for the rest of my life? Or you then decide that? No, it's not the route that you want to take. But the only thing that the other person could can do is just share information. And you gain something out of that. And that, for me is the most important thing. Yeah,
Wendy Hanson 26:17
I love the idea of the informational interview, and just what what is your day look like? And it might be like, Oh, God, I spent days on Google looking at, you know, for the marketing, trying to make sure our SCA SEO is right. And all this and someone to say, Whoa, that's not. That's one part. But I don't want to be doing that. Yeah,
Mpume Ncube-Daka 26:38
exactly. And even opportunities. And now I know, I'm talking about people who are transitioning, but those people sometimes really feel stuck. And where you you go and job shadow somebody for a day or so really to get a sense of what does what does that you're they on a day to day and get a sense of what what what what does this entail. And that, for me becomes the easiest thing. And I've done this, at some point, I had a bug of wanting to explore interior decorating, it was something that I'd enjoyed from a distance, and I will do it in my house. And then I got acquainted to actually run an interior decor company. So she pulled me into a project that she was doing. I did it, I enjoyed it. But it was very clear that it wasn't something that I wanted to make a career out of. And I moved on from the and and for me, though, I got experience, and I got confidence to say this, I can tick off the list. It's not something that I want to explore. Yes.
Wendy Hanson 27:46
And it's just as important, right? Take it off the list as a No, exactly as it is as a yes,
Mpume Ncube-Daka 27:53
yeah. Because sometimes we get stuck in our own head thinking that I would really want to do this thing up until you engage with it, you might not know,
Wendy Hanson 28:02
right? And we know in today's world, and we talk about this a lot in BetterManager with our coaching is that it's not looking at moving up in a job is not like a ladder anymore, that I'm just going for my next position. It's more like a climbing wall. And you can do that inside a company, you could talk to your manager and say I'm curious about what they do in this department and how my work connects with that, you know, can I shadow over there for a day or, you know, use it as a climbing wall that you're you're you're building your skills, sometimes you have to move one way another way, you're not always going to move up but you're going to enrich who you are and what your skills are and what your why is
Mpume Ncube-Daka 28:45
exactly and even exploring some some secondment within your business. And if you're in one department, and you've always wanted to explore someday I remember where I used to be, we would get people most people wanted to come into this business strategy division for some reason. So we will get people out of our engineering department coming to and we'll spend six months with them, give them a project and run with it. Others got to understand that they enjoyed it. And others were like, You know what, I'm okay. I'm going back to my engineering job. So you get to assess but if there are those opportunities in your corporate, it's something that I would I would really advise people to explore.
Wendy Hanson 29:29
Yes, that's great. So what's one or two things that you absolutely want people to take away from from hearing our podcast together today?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 29:39
For me is when you feeling stuck, so I'm big on feeling fulfilled and feeling happy about the job that you do? So if you're feeling stuck, really take the time to discover where is it coming from? What is it about, explore that and and put in and all the energy and effort to do that. And to the biggest thing, as I said to Ala, I am a solver, I am a doer. My next my brain just goes, What am I going to do about it? So for me, it's about now you know what it is? So what are you going to do about
Wendy Hanson 30:19
it? Take some action? Yes. And really? Yeah, make sure you don't stay in that place when you identify that you are stuck. Don't live there. Yeah, it's life is too short.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 30:31
Life is too short. And life can be too long, windy, being in a space that you really hate. For me, it's either Oh, you know, so and if you do decide that you're not going to do anything about it, then be content with the situation. Be okay with the situation? And don't always moan and complain
Wendy Hanson 30:53
about it. Yeah, worst of all, don't blame others.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 30:57
Exactly. You've got an opportunity to do it for yourself.
Wendy Hanson 31:01
That's right. That's right. Oh, well, this has been really useful. And pull me you know, to really dig down into what stuck feels like looks like what we can do about it. Because whether it's our business or our personal life, you know, we have opportunities there. So if people want to learn more about you connect with you, what's the best way for them to do that?
Mpume Ncube-Daka 31:25
So they can find me on? I think Instagram is easier because I'm I'm far more active on Instagram. And that is changed conversations with employment has recovered. And Comey as well as LinkedIn, and LinkedIn, it's mine implemented the DACA.
Wendy Hanson 31:47
Great. Well, thank you for taking the time with us today. This has been wonderful. And for anybody that wants to know more about BetterManager, or this podcast, feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. We do a lot of coaching leadership development programs all over the world. That's why it's such a joy to be able to connect to them pull me and Yohannes Burg South Africa. Yes, the world is very small these days. Today. If we can all bring our thoughts together, we can, you know, hopefully make it a better world for everybody. So, thank you all for joining us today. Thank you. I'm Kobe.
Mpume Ncube-Daka 32:27
Thank you for having me.