I’ve been thinking (and talking) a lot lately about the idea of balance and whether or not you can have it all.    And by “all” I mean, being 100% equally satisfied and or distributed across career, family, health, wealth, relationships, etc.   And I think we’ve been sold a dud by...

One of the best pieces of advice I ever had from a previous manager was to make sure that your CV, year on year, is improving.    The confidence that gave me was extraordinary.   It meant I was increasing my value as an employee, but also gave me confidence in my ability to find another...

Who are the “bad guys” in your organisation?   I was recently talking to a group of managers from a particular function in the organisation and they were complaining about another department for their “time wasting policies designed to make our lives difficult”. Have you ever caught yourself...

Are your 1:1’s structured for effectiveness?   A while back, whilst running a new manager development program, I had a participant ask, “What makes for a good 1:1 with a team member? Is there a particular structure?”.   There is certainly no denying that having regular 1:1’s was the way to...

Virtual meetings.  Ugh!   It’s rare that I mention virtual meetings without getting a groan or knowing look from managers in my trainings.    Why is it that they are so bad?    I think there is a direct correlation to the quality of virtual meetings and the quality of face to face...

Whether you intend to or not, you have a personal management brand.   In his book, The Leaders Shadow, William Judge says there are 4 ways in which our personal leadership shadow (or brand) is cast on those around us:  
    What we say How we act What we measure Our priorities
  As...

How much do you invest in yourself?   In addition to the professional development you would be receiving from your organisation (either through HR or the L&D team), how much are you investing in YOURSELF?    Many managers have a passive approach to their own development and wait, or rely on,...

Are you a productivity Skeptic?   There are SO many productivity books, systems and processes out there, it would be easy to become skeptical about the new NEW thing.   Advances in neuroscience are having us all question well established and long held beliefs, about those people who are...

Some organisations have got it wrong when it comes to virtual work.   Creating virtual or distance teams, or delivering training via distance or virtual means has long been touted as a way for organisations to leverage technology to save money.   I reckon it’s a false economy AND it’s...

10 things people say they love about their managers.   Often when I’m running management development training, I’ll ask the group about their previous managers, and what were the qualities they admired.    The following are the top 10 that come up time and time again: I. Trust: they are...

Hidden agendas?  I don’t think so.   Have you ever thought that someone you worked with had a hidden agenda, or was deliberately setting out to derail a project, or be generally disruptive?   Firstly, who has the time or energy for such things!   And secondly, I simply don’t believe that...

Time is the new currency.   Money is not the most valuable commodity in my world. Time is. And I reckon this is true for many of us.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people sound so relieved when a meeting is cancelled or cut short. I know I am. I recently had a 3 day workshop...

How often should managers hold 1:1 meetings with your team members?   This was a question that came up in a recent management training.    How would you answer it?    Most people seem to think it’s maximum weekly, minimum fortnightly. However, I reckon it depends on a number of factors...

Getting down to business.   Do you spend any time at the beginning of meetings setting the tone, and opening the meeting, or do you just get straight down to business with agenda item #1?    In a busy world, where we are jumping from one meeting to another, often the only space we have to...

Why are R&R’s so hard to nail down?   Whenever I do team development, or talk to teams about opportunities for development the topic of Roles & Responsibilities always comes up.    Why is it so hard for managers and/or organisations to nail this down?   I think it’s because we take an...

Organising your workspace.   I have often been told that I’m a bit of a neat freak at work.   I like my workspace to be tidy with a place for everything and everything in its place. Turns out science supports me in this.   Research shows that the greater the competition for our attention,...

Coaching is not something you do to people.  It’s a mindset.   Whilst taking some managers through a coaching skills program recently, it became immediately apparent that the word “coaching” had become synonymous with the word “feedback” (and usually negative or developmental).   For...

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...

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