We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t jump to conclusions. But when we test our assumptions beforehand, we can make better decisions, avoid unconscious biases, and adjust our initial reactions. Chris Argyris’ Ladder of Inference provides a structure to do this, making it a useful resource for anyone, especially mentors, managers and coaches.
It has been keeping you awake. You find yourself talking to the person in your head, ranting your way through the daily commute, unable to eat or sleep well, dreading the tough conversation you think you can’t avoid.
Which coaches, managers and leaders are at risk of confirmation bias? Basically, all of us. Confirmation bias is horribly easy to fall into. It can cloud anyone’s judgement. And it’s wise to know about it so you can keep your thinking clear. Here’s what you need to know
So many great ideas, so little time... what do you do, as a leader, when there’s a multitude of inspiring ideas flying around but you simply don’t have the resources to make them all happen? When everything seems equally urgent in the whirlwind of everyday working life, where do you focus your energies? You need to be able to see the wood for the trees.
We’ve already talked about WIGS, those Wildly Important Goals that need to be teased out of the tangle of potential tasks, the projects most worth focusing on. But once you’ve identified them, how do you actually get them done? Let’s explore the 4 Disciplines of Execution.
The American researcher and internet phenomenon Brené Brown’s popular book, Daring Greatly, explores the importance of not giving up. Her ideas are inspired by a speech by Teddy Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic, delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris way back in 1910. You can read it at the end of this post.
What is Situational Leadership, and why does it matter? Situational Leadership is a style developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey in the ‘70s. It reveals how leaders and managers benefit from changing their style to fit the situation and the people they’re leading.
Change can make a lot of us feel very uncomfortable. We can find ourselves lost in the midst of change, unsure how to move forwards, worried about the results and implications of doing things differently. Some people are so reluctant to change that it can cause real problems. As a coach, manager or mentor, change is something you’ll to support people with.
Grief. It’s part of the human condition, part of life. At some point in our lives we all have to deal with it, and we all do so in different ways. At the same time there has always been a need to deal with grief with grace, deconstruct it, handle it and understand it. That’s another part of the human condition. We can’t help ourselves.
Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has made a significant impact to field of study of human motivation. SDT added a more multi-faceted understanding of motivation. This approach can be used to better understand yourself and others.
Have you heard of Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence? It’s extremely useful for coaches and managers, a powerful model to apply to both individuals and teams. So, what’s it all about, and how might it help you survive those downward mood spirals that sometimes hit a group of people, then spread out more widely to others?
In this blog, I continue to explore how creativity is best understood as a collective effort. One that always involves other people. I describe how this understanding can help groups to think differently and become more deliberately creative. Describing what they need do to get the creativity juices flowing.
In this blog, I take a closer look at the idea of creativity being seen as a process of ‘joining-the-dots’ and how this idea links to what we know about both individual and group creativity. And how you can use this understanding to bring creativity into your world.
You’re a business manager, leader, change agent, mentor, or coach. Your working life is all about having significant conversations that encourage collaboration, and a big part of that is influencing others. It’s a constant challenge.
Narcissism is a trait that can be very difficult to live with as well as very tricky to work with. If you're struggling to cope with a narcissist in a business context, it is challenging and it isn't all bad. Here are the up-sides and downsides of working with a narcissist, and how to survive the experience.
As a manager, there's no avoiding it. You will, at one point or another, have to challenge someone's behaviour at work. So how do you successfully challenge somebody on what can sometimes feel like an intensely personal level, when the way they're performing or behaving is rocking the boat?
What exactly is minimalism and the benefits it has to offer? Essentially, it is all about how less can really be more. The original minimalist movement is recognised as first beginning in the art world. Emerging out of New York City, in the late 1960s.
You will probably be familiar with the following famous quote, shared at the beginning on the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just one oar.”
I described the experience as a ‘collective trauma’, no matter which boat you journeyed in. Here, I explore what it means to describe the COVID-19 pandemic in these terms, exploring the lesser talked about side of trauma: Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG).
Picture this. You're busy. Very busy. Time is running away with you! You're rushing around getting stuff done. But wait a moment – are you really getting things done? Or have you let 'being busy' divert you from your strategic priorities and goals?
If you've ever found yourself trapped in a personal Drama Triangle, you will already know how detrimental it can be to relationships. But it also rears its ugly head in a business context, and it's something well worth watching out for.
Are you happy at work? For most of us, our professional experience is a mix of frustration and fulfilment, plus many hours of grind which can be bland and monotonous. It can also be the opposite, highly pressured and seemingly relentless.
How do you feel about being flattered? Most of us find it slightly uncomfortable, even though we're not always sure why it doesn't feel right. Praise and encouragement almost always feel real. Flattery and ingratiation tend to have a shallower edge, an undercurrent that isn't as positive as it might at first seem, a hidden agenda.
Well-formed outcomes help people get clear about what it is that they want to achieve. Shaping up future outcomes that are highly defined from the start, is a creative and disciplined way of thinking. One that can have real potency.
Placement years at Universities are becoming more and more popular, with plenty of reasons why! Placement and Sandwich years are offered to students like myself, whilst studying at University, however not all courses offer them. I’m currently doing an Event Management degree and have just completed my Placement year.
Everyone's busy. Plenty of us are really, really busy, all of the time. Some say busy-ness has reached epidemic proportions in the wealthy western economy. But is being so busy you can't easily turn around and can't always think well, really a wise approach to work?
In the USA internships kicked off in the late 1960s. Since then they've become commonplace over the Atlantic. Roll back time to the 1990s in the UK and internships were more or less unheard of. Now they're a fast-growing trend in Britain too. So what are the advantages of an internship? How do they help businesses, and how about the interns themselves?
Our blind spots often develop when we’re young. They help us survive, and they often start off being pretty useful. But as time goes by and your past successes become your only way to succeed in the present and future, things can get tricky. If our only approach to solving problems doesn’t work in certain environment, we’re lost.
Some habits are good, some are dreadful, others deserve close critical examination, and some particularly strong ones even hold us back from being the best we can be, both in our personal lives and our careers.
Change in business is natural. It feeds progress and drives success. Organisations can change their tactics, strategies and plans, their management structure, the tech they use, their culture, goals, markets, priorities, all sorts of things. But at the same time research reveals around 70% of change fails thanks to resistant employees.
Feedback matters in business, and great managers set up the conditions where feedback is welcomed. They lead through walking the talk, by building strong, resilient relationships, and by welcoming feedback about their own performance. Giving feedback well - both negative or positive, is a skill every manager needs in order to improve the situation, enhance the person's, team's or department's performance.
Central to any management position is the thought that people matter. Organisations may say people are their number 1 asset but it is usually up to line managers to demonstrate this by how they relate to their staff. Yet providing recognition in ways that work for everyone can be challenging for any manager.
There’s often a gap between what you expect and what you get, and it can cause ructions. You can avoid the pitfalls by managing your own and others’ expectations, but that’s easier said than done. Your first step? You need a good level of awareness, plus the knowledge that while the gap is often invisible in work conversations, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Here’s how to mind that gap.
Work demands things of us. The job itself, colleagues, bosses, clients and suppliers all create pressure. But demands that are difficult or impossible to meet create too much pressure, which in turn drives stress.
There are times in the life of every group when the team has a really difficult matter to resolve, or would benefit from fresh thinking and a different perspective. There may also be meetings when you as team leader would...
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