Setting expectations

Life is full of interactions with others. We meet new colleagues at work, we build new relationships in our neighbourhoods, and we might be in a personal relationship that results in opportunities to set and meet expectations on a regular basis every day. Each of those interactions is an opportunity to strengthen or weaken the relationship with the other person. In many of the coaching and mentoring conversations that I have, it is clear that the ability to set and manage expectations successfully is a skill that many of us need to work on.

Continue reading “Setting expectations”

Why managers must enable thinking

Our lives at home and work are full of distracting noise. We surround ourselves with activities and gadgets that actively discourage thinking. This lack of space for thought is often compounded by an unrelenting series of tasks and meetings in a work environment. As I continue to work on my management skills, one area of focus that has echoed for years in my brain is the need to help others develop insights from their experience. I firmly believe that this should be a primary focus for all managers. So how do we do this?

Continue reading “Why managers must enable thinking”

Watch out for the Whoa!

There’s a moment in a learning journey when something just clicks. It doesn’t have to be a massive revelation. It can be a minor insight or, alternatively, the sense of an enormous vista of new learning opening up in front of you. I’ve started to think of it as the “Whoa!” moment.

Continue reading “Watch out for the Whoa!”

Give the Gift of Useful Feedback

Last weekend I wrote a post about the importance of receiving feedback openly and without falling into defensiveness. A colleague kindly reminded me that receiving feedback is only half of the equation. As managers, leaders and human beings, we all have the ability to give feedback to help improve others. Honest, sometimes brutal, feedback is a gift – here’s why it’s important to give it, and some suggestions on how to give it well.

Continue reading “Give the Gift of Useful Feedback”

Why it’s important not to be defensive when we’re wrong

We’ve all experienced that horrible, sinking feeling of realisation that something we thought was okay turns out to be far from it. In our personal and professional lives, we all make mistakes in word and action. When we identify the error (or have it pointed out to us), our default response is often to justify our position. Here’s why that happens and why it is important to resist that defensive urge.

Continue reading “Why it’s important not to be defensive when we’re wrong”

Beds in Mind

<a href="">Background vector created by pikisuperstar -</a>

The duvet cover on my bed has poppers that hold it closed.  There are about ten of them. If one opens, they will eventually all open.  Last night, as I got out of bed to close four of those fasteners, it occurred to me that they are a bit of a metaphor for life.  If you ignore the small things you know you should take care of they can expand to become more problematic.  In this case, ignoring one open popper will result in feet being tangled and general discomfort. From a “duvet cover of life” perspective, it can result in more than a potential trip hazard getting out of bed.  Ignoring small, but necessary things can result in less desirable outcomes.

Continue reading “Beds in Mind”

Building culture

Organisational culture can be tough to define, but it can be even more challenging to create a sustainable, high-performance culture. Ben Horowitz describes culture as “What you do is who you are” – the title of his new book. Having worked in several large organisations over the past 25 years, I agree entirely. It’s not what we say that builds culture, and it’s definitely not what we think. It’s what we do.

Continue reading “Building culture”
Click to access the login or register cheese