As an experienced organisational psychologist and psychotherapist, Clare Mann empowers people to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives using a simple, yet complex skill – communication. Her journey reflects her mission to positively impact and improve lives while exemplifying the message of sustainable and ethical leadership.
Tell us about Communicate31 and its audience.
Everyone is frustrated when they cannot communicate what they truly think or feel. I believe that the quality of our results directly relates to the quality of our communication – both, with yourself and others. What we do is to make communication one’s strength, empower people to be heard and have greater influence, and develop linguistic mastery in people so they get better results in all aspects of their lives.
What were you doing when the idea about Communicate31 came to you?
I always say, “It takes 20 years to become an overnight success”. I originally trained as an organisational psychologist and ran programs and interventions to help organisations and people perform better. Behind closed doors, people, irrespective their authority, told me about the imbalance in their lives, their fears and how they felt competent at work but not in other areas of their lives. I did not have the expertise to take them on a journey they were asking me to take, so I re-trained as an existential psychotherapist for four years in the UK.
This enabled me to take people on a journey of self-discovery to align their values with their actions and improve their ability to be competent in all areas of their lives. I ran a successful private practice in Sydney CBD and senior leaders and managers came to see me, this time working through their personal problems and telling me they avoided conflict at work, felt overwhelmed managing teams, and experienced the imposter syndrome – that one day they would be found out and lose their position of authority.
C31 was born when I realised over hundreds of clients that people tend to be competent in one area and not another. They can have difficult conversations in one area of their lives and not the other. The missing link was ‘communication’ – communication with one’s conscious and unconscious self, and the linguistic mastery to have conversations that matter. We now teach people to do this 31 days a month, across time and situation.
What did you do to start this venture?
Few great accomplishments are achieved single-handedly. I believe that if you want to go quick you go alone, but if you want to go far and sustain it, you go with others. I work with a great team of people – particularly Brendan Norris, our technical director – who make this possible. As a small team, we sat down and highlighted our ‘sweet spots’, looked at the tasks to be done, identified gaps, and put a plan in place to fill them.
What do you do when experiencing a low point, and how do you celebrate your highs?
I live in the Blue Mountains that provides a great balance between the action-packed city, and a green environment where I can do long walks with my dogs. By taking time out daily for yoga and being with nature – more so when experiencing a low point – I can regain perspective, maintain my health and motivation and see a new way forward. We always celebrate our highs by taking the time to reflect, discuss and see how far we have come and by visiting the ocean or being with nature, which gets everything into perspective. And a good glass of malt whisky is often on the agenda to celebrate big wins!
What does success mean to you?
I live by the quote of the late Earl Nightingale, “Success is the progressive realisation of a worth ideal”. If you do what is your love and passion and have a benevolent reason for doing it (beyond making money alone)… the money will follow. Combined with the right actions and alignment with people’s needs (some of which they may not know about), you will be successful.
How would you describe your dream lifestyle?
I am a minimalist really, and I do not want more (material possessions). Everything we own is a responsibility and often takes us away from our life’s purpose through the complexity it causes. Therefore, my dream lifestyle would be:
• Living a life aligned with my values
• Doing what I love, making a difference and positive contribution to the world without compromising my integrity
• Investing time and energy into relationships, and solving ethical dilemmas of our time
• Having a level of comfort and ease that enables creativity to flow and have time to smell the roses, watch good movies, and have time for friends and loved ones
• Spending time around nature and animals, and contributing pro bono and philanthropically to ventures important to me
• Doing all the above with a smile and good coffee