About neurodiversity – how it adds value
We’re all different. Every one of us is unique. Here, we explore the term neurodiversity and reveal why it’s so important to be aware of it in the workplace.
The risks of confirmation bias – and how to avoid it
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
About Wigs and Pigs – And how to survive the Whirlwind – Part 1
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.
How to harness the 4 Disciplines of Execution to achieve WIGS – Part 2
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.
Brené Brown’s Rising Strong – How to fall, learn from failure and bravely stand again
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.
About Narrative Fallacy – And how to stop it running your life
Humans adore stories. We also love the idea of cause and effect, and that's why we create narratives to explain and justify the way we are, the things we do and the way we feel.
Situational Leadership – Make a fantastic job of leading your people
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.
Harness Virginia Satir’s Change Curve to lead change better
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.
Understanding the grief cycle
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 – The Energy of Action
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.
Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence
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?
Cultivating Deliberate Creativity in Teams – Part 2
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.
Sparking Creativity by Joining the Dots – Part 3
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.
The Scarf Model – David Rock’s take on social threats and rewards
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.
The ups and downs of working with a narcissist – And how to survive it!
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.
Essential Insight for Managers – How to Challenge Well
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?
Minimalism – when less can equal more
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.
Charting our way through the storm – Part 1
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.”
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) on the horizon – Part 2
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).
Beware – Don’t let ‘busy’ eat into your strategic priorities
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?
About the Drama Triangle – And how to escape it
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.
What does it mean to flourish at work? Introducing the PERMA Model
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.
Flattery isn’t feedback – it rarely encourages or inspires genuine confidence
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 – starting with that end point in mind
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 – a student’s real life experience at work
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.
Always busy? Getting busier? Slowing down could change your life!
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?
About internships – Great for business, great for careers
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?
16 Reliable Ways to boost your presentation skills
As narrative coaches we're hot on presentation skills. How are yours? Are you struggling to make impactful presentations?
How to stop your blind spots from tripping you up
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.
Take a Better Approach – Make Difficult Work Conversations Easier
When was the last time you absolutely dreaded a difficult conversation you knew had to take place at some time or another? Or put it off, or avoided it altogether? It isn’t unusual.
The neuroscience of habits – And how mindfulness can break them
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.
Keeping things simple – Why less really is more at work
The Apple genius Steve Jobs knew it. Less really is more. It's a saying we've all heard, and it's an excellent approach to life in general as well as work in particular.
Resistance to Change in the Workplace – And How to Handle it
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.
Why do business plans matter, and when do you need one?
The very term ‘business plan’ - AKA a business case - can be daunting. But writing one doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult.
Executive burnout: Do you know how to spot the signs?
According to government statistics,stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 40% of all work-related ill health cases in 2016/17 and 49% of all working days lost due to ill health.
How great managers create positive feedback loops
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.
Stress Recipe managers need to avoid
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.
Mind the Gap – How to Manage Expectations
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.
Saying ‘No’ Without Causing Hurt, Offence or Consternation!
If you struggle to say 'No' at work, whether it's to your employees or those line manage you, here's how to use this small word to improve your working life.
A Practical Approach to Resilience at Work
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.
How to turn mistakes into positive learning experiences
While it's annoying to discover you've got something wrong, mistakes happen... to everyone. Luckily the most important thing is the way we view the mistakes we make.
WARNING: Master manipulator at work! Here’s how to defuse them.
A workplace manipulator can make people miserable, ruin teams, breed suspicion and damage your bottom line. Here's how to deal with them.
How Prioritising Your Workload Pays Dividends
Prioritising is an essential skill, often the only way to stay sane in a world that just keeps getting busier. Here's some help to stay in control
Delegating well and avoiding pitfalls
Delegation is a sanity-saver, a distinct management skill that can change the way you work for the better and enable you to achieve more. Here's how.
How to Run Great Business Meetings
There's a way to run face to face and virtual meetings. Get it right, and it will enhance your career as well as getting essential things done. Here's how.
Managing your perfectionism at work
Perfectionism at work can be a wonderful thing. It can also be a nightmare for you and everyone around you. Here's how to deal with it and dial it down.
Choosing a facilitator
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...