For many managers, providing timely and quality feedback can be a real challenge.   Sometimes we wait until formal appraisal time and do a half year of feedback in a 1 hour meeting! And yet other managers find the time in their day to day work to give regular feedback.   Two books that I...

I was speaking to a friend of mine recently about attending meetings and I was speculating that I thought most workplace meetings could be done in half the time. She laughed out loud and said:   “Most meetings where I work are already half the time! They are meant to start on the hour, but...

I reckon it IS all about trust. When you come down to working in relationships, the level of trust you have with your manager and your co-workers has a direct relationships to the quality of your work.   Stephen Covey wrote about this in his work on The Speed of Trust:   “When trust...

I was recently running some management development training in a global organisation and, like many other organisations, a “they stole my idea” story came up.   It’s often also expressed as “They presented my idea as their own”, or “took credit for my idea”. Has this ever happened to...

I have been training managers in skills to facilitate effective meetings for a number of years. I’m always surprised at how often a simple consensus model can be a game changer.   First shared with me by a fellow facilitator, Sonia Tallarida, this simple tool helps people move on when they...

More and more managers are being asked to be creative and demonstrate innovation. I reckon this is a hard ask.   FIRSTLY, creativity and innovate thinking are not things you can easily turn off or on.   SECONDLY, there’s more to being creative than simply saying today I’m going to be...

All managers are in the business of change management, but not many are very good at managing change. We don’t always consider change management as a core responsibility as a manager, however when you think about the bulk of our work, whether it’s at a micro (individual) level, or on a project...

I often have participants in my workshops lamenting that they have a poor relationship with their manager, or that they feel dis-empowered, or have little ability to influence their manager. Even when I’m training them in skills that the organisation has requested, I’ll get comments like my...

I find it quite interesting that when I ask managers what are your biggest time wasters at work? they often respond with email! and yet when I suggest they should check their email only 2 or 3 times per day, there’s extraordinary push back.    Think about that for a minute. Doesn’t it seem a...

Sandwiched between workers and leaders, managers often have to translate the vision, mission and strategy to practical goals and objectives.  This requires them to have understanding and knowledge of what is happening at the strategic level, and communicate that effectively to their team...

Eastern cultures often refer to westerners as having “monkey brain”. Our brains are never rested, jumping from one thing to another, and lacking in focus.    This largely comes from an inability to filter information and the overload of data we are exposed to.  It’s also based on years of...

One of the biggest struggles I regularly hear from managers is about the act of delegation. The comment I hear most is “I should delegate more, but I don’t know how to”. So many organisations train things like “7 steps to delegation” and trust it will work. There is nothing wrong with these...

In the busyness of our work we sometimes neglect one of the most basic skills that can have a tremendous impact on our productivity and relationships with our team members. Listening.   As a manager, the quality of your listening can impact everything from productivity, through to...

One of my favourite ever quotes about life, the universe and everything is “The grass is always greener where you water it” which is attributed to Neil Barringham.   This is particularly true for managers.  When you spend time and effort in actually managing your team, you will end up with a...

I've had a few managers in my time with varying levels of management skill. When I reflect back on my favourites, those who I have modeled and those that have made a positive impact on my life, I realise they had several things in common, the most glaring was an internal locus of...

How well are you preparing your middle management for the future leadership of your organasiton?   What mindsets are you fostering? What skill sets are you developing? What toolsets are you providing?   Your management development programs (MDPs) are laying the foundation for what is widely...

I wonder why it is that there is often such a disconnect between strategy and operations.  One of my global clients often laments that there is a layer of “mud” between the messaging that we think is getting cascaded at the senior levels, to what is actually being received by the troops at the...

I love working with the fattest part of an org chart.  It’s where the soul of the organisation lies, and where the true test of espoused culture lives.  It’s also where all the work gets done.   In my experience, from a professional development perspective, it’s also the most...

Australians largest ever leader survey conducted the Centre for Workplace leadership at Melbourne University (2016) has found “that for every $10 spent on senior leaders, only $1 was spent on frontline leaders”   It also found what many of us have known for some time, that promotions happen...

Are you devaluing your colleges or team members?   I had a call from a friend recently who was rather distraught. She explained that when she was packing up to leave work for the day, one of her colleagues snidely remarked, “Don’t need to check the clock to know it is 5.30 because Anna is...

I’ve been working with the HR function of a large organisation lately and the engagement has been two-fold.  One is teaching principles of systems thinking, change management, team development, facilitation, coaching and strategic planning.  The other side is coaching and mentoring various...

Following on from my last blog, Future of YOUR work I have been thinking about the massive size of the scope of a project like “Future of work” for an organisation.   Scope is always a problem generally in managing change, particularly when the opportunities for improvement in many...

Whether you are a morning person (early bird) or an evening person (night owl) it’s likely that you still have to show up to an office or workplace according to routine hours.  And for about 80% of us, it's expected to be a 9am to 5pm work day.  I know many of you now are reading this and...

There’s a new radio ad from MYOB that keeps grabbing my attention, as it’s a play on the old “what advice would you give your younger self”.  The ad has someone taking a phone call from their future selves, telling them that business is booming and they should make the decision to get onto MYOB...

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