Vicious cycle of meetings – Part 3: Discouragement   In the last article we talked about distraction. Today it’s about …   Discouragement   I once heard a very senior leader in a global organisation say that exact thing. “You can have a long career here by going to one meeting to another...

Vicious cycle of meetings – Part 2: Distraction   In the last article we talked about disengagement. Today it’s about …   Distraction   Apparently, an adult’s attention span has dropped from 20 minutes on one activity to just 14 minutes. How long can you focus on one thing before checking...

Vicious cycle of meetings – Part 1: Disengagement   There are three traps of bad meetings: Disengagement, Distraction and Discouragement. These form a vicious cycle that is hard to get off.   This series of articles will touch on each and how they negatively impact meetings, starting...

Repeating a class.   I think it’s a shame that from an early age, “repeating” at school was seen as a stigma, or that there was a problem with the student.   A hangover from this is that it is rare that people in organisations repeat classes or training sessions. I find this quite...

Building team culture   If you have decided that you want to work on building a positive, or high-performance team culture, the first thing you need to do is assess where you are currently at.   Whilst there are a bunch of great team building models out there, from a diagnostic perspective,...

Let's surprise and delight more.   It's probably a little bit unfortunate that I believe it's not that hard to surprise and delight people these days. We often talk about this from a customer service perspective. Taking the opportunity to surprise and delight customers is a guaranteed way of...

Building Relationships.   Who are you building relationships with that you don't really need to?   One of the things that I learned really early in life is that you just never know when you might need help from someone. Rather than have a Machiavellian approach to relationship building and...

Are you motivated by power?   In his book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman talks about motivation beyond power and money.   And yet I have often had people in organisations lament the fact that managers appear to be more interested in power than anything else.   One participant said...

Could your level of stress have nothing to do with work or workload?   How well have you got your personal house in order? I was reflecting recently about the times when I've been the most stressed in my work life and I have found a pattern in the level of control I felt in elements of my...

Managership.   I believe organisations spend a disproportional amount of time and money on “leadership development” when they first should be considering “management development”.   I'm convinced, based on my experiences across multiple industries, and levels in organisations that until a...

Managers of change.   All managers, irrespective of their formal title in an organisation, are also change managers.   If you are not effectively managing and leading change with your team and your people you are probably doing them a disservice.   This doesn't mean that you have to go out...

Management styles   Have you ever met anyone that actually likes being micromanaged?   I'm going to have to assume that there are some people in the world that like that but when I've asked groups the question “who likes to be micromanaged?” no one ever puts their hand up.   Which really...

Good IQ does not equal good manager.   It's frequently being said that your IQ or intelligence is what gets you a start in your career and it’s your emotional intelligence that gets you promoted.   I don't know for sure whether this is true or not but I can tell you from my experience that...

Sometimes managers are one of the players in the Drama Triangle…..and don't even realise it.   In the late 60s, Dr. Steven Kaufman published his work on the drama triangle.   The drama triangle was used as a way to describe behaviours that are happening in dysfunctional conflict. But I...

Do yourself out of a job.   One piece of advice I often give to new managers or leaders is figure out, as quickly as possible, what they need to do to make themselves redundant.   It could be through the empowering and development of their people through building confidence, capability and...

Are you political or politically savvy?   If I was to describe you as “political” you likely take that as an insult. Being political is not often seen as a compliment. If, however, I describe you as politically savvy you may be less inclined to feel insulted.   Some may say it’s the same...

Being bold and taking risks   There was a recent discussion thread I was following on Linked-In that asked the question "what did you consider were the problems with middle management in organisations”.   There was 20 or 30 different comments but one that I found quite intriguing was the...

The challenge of the 'AND'.   In his book “Leadership without easy answers” Ron Heifetz talked about the challenge of the AND.   This challenge of the AND is about having an eye on the strategy AND the big picture. Whilst also keeping an eye on the detail AND the doing.   From a sporting...

Facilitating meetings.   Are your meetings effective?   Do participants come out of them feeling enriched feeling that was a good use of their time?   Or are they a very polite report out that no one comments?   Are there one or two people that drive the conversation and intimidate or...

Books all (new) managers should read.   I often get asked for reading lists suited to new managers.   Here are my top 5 books that all (new) managers should read: • Anything by Malcolm Gladwell, but specifically The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and David & Goliath. • 7 habits of highly...

Are you overspending on your time budget?   Most of us are familiar with the idea of budgeting, and having to work towards a budget, after all, this is one of the key tasks of most managers when it comes to delivering on their projects.   Generally, our job is to estimate how much something...

What is so bad about PowerPoint?    I don't hate PowerPoint, I just think it’s misused.   Why?   PowerPoint was never meant to be a word processor, it was designed as a presentation tool. We had, and continue to have, Word for that.   Sadly, many use PowerPoint as a word processor and...

In this recent Fast Company article I was surprised to read about how psychiatrists, therapist and doctors use specific techniques to accelerate trust between themselves and new patients.   When you think about it though, that makes sense, given they have to get strangers to disclose...

So many of my middle management clients are now either on a remote/global team or have people reporting to them located in other cities/states/countries.   Whilst its certainly not impossible to manage remote teams well, it does take a little extra effort. Here are a few thoughts to help...

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