Category Archives: Uncategorized

How ‘joined up’ is your communication today?

We have many forms of social media that keep us busy (sometimes we are just busy being Stuart Miles togethernessbusy, don’t you think?).

Are we trapped inside our specialisms? Be that social groups, teams, pockets of knowledge, companies, organisations, universities, colleges, parliaments, media itself, banks, hospitals, schools, bowling clubs and more ? Are we in our own little tribe?

Daniel Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow) says we are ‘blind to our blindness’, we fail to see risks and opportunities that when we think about them later (oh hindsight) we know that we could have done things differently.

Why do we do this?  What do you think?  Communication between teams, societies (be those clubs or cultures) is patchy.  Are we all too busy nowadays using social media to say what we want to say and not listening to what others are saying or even, not saying? Or are we reading between the lines to understand from our own reality? Is it just at work or is it also out there in society that we live and work in silos? Be those organisational silos (ivory towers/own realities) which Gillian Tett speaks of in her book ‘The Silo Effect’ or our own individual silos?

As a group or as an individual we like to fit others into labels, slots, or pigeon holes. We tend to understand from our own reality, from what we know and believe to be true from our own experience, or what we have learned from others in order to fit in (or not).

As human beings we do have an innate need to ‘get the world to fit’ to our own reality and many of us naturally seek out those people and those things that match our own reality. But do we listen and look at how people and systems interconnect with an open mind?  Do we ask ourselves how people connect with us and to us?  Do we examine parts of life we don’t want to talk about because they don’t fit with our reality, because we find them dull, boring or even off-limits?

Do we listen carefully to what other people say and check if what they say also fits with what they do?  Do we check that what we say fits with what we personally do? Or do we dismiss people out of hand because they don’t fit with our reality?

I’m curious what you think about the above comments and how you communicate with other people.  Please share or comment here and if you would like assistance or tips or suggestion on how to improve communication and understanding.  Please contact me.

Contact me Rosie O’Hara via the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

Have you thought about your Management Team?

Any company or organisation requires strong management to create direction, to engage shaking hands stockimages.jpgstaff in the vision and mission of the company or organisation.

Good management fosters commitment, ensures productivity is met and makes the strategic decisions around the future of the company or organisation enabling everyone to meet the joint goals effectively for the company and in a way that is workable for the individual

Large corporates have management teams, for SMEs it is just as important to have talented people who take on management duties.  For business owners or entrepreneurs the danger can be to spread yourself too thinly because it’s your vision and only you know how to do ‘this’ (your vision) properly.

One choice to ameliorate this is to bring in external people who have experience as well as skills to strengthen the management team and improve the company’s competitive advantage.  When making this decision experience is important. In my role I come across many graduates who tell me they are floundering due to lack of experience – coaching externally can help them with these issues, as they are more likely to admit their weakness in confidence to a person with no vested interest in the company.

Alternatively assessing the skills and competencies of existing staff and coaching or mentoring them into a new role will work towards building a robust management team.

Whatever choice a business owner or HR department makes both the candidate and existing staff will need careful mentoring or coaching.  This mentoring or coaching can be carried out internally by senior management or the company owner to ensure that those who have been there since the beginning (or for a long time) and are extremely good at what they do, do not feel undermined.  Should this not be possible for the owner of an SME due to time restraints or for practical reasons or in a large company where impartiality is required then working together with an external coach is probably the best option. A good coach provides a sounding board and will help the individual clarify and question their judgment, as well as guiding the to manage and work with others.

At times dependent on a person’s previous role models, perceptions, possible insecurities etc. their behaviour when brought into an existing team or promoted from within the company can lead to friction. Coaching or behavioural change work will help with this creating an environment where everyone performs at their best.

It is important to assess the time/cost factor for building your management team, in terms of do you carry out coaching or mentoring internally or do you bring in an external person.  Whichever choice you make the value of retaining your internal knowledge base weighed against the potential loss of information that all good employees keep in their heads is never quantifiable until lost.

Team building is important so that they not only understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses but also so that they have the skills to cope with these too.  Whether these skills are new behaviours or influencing skills.

Working on how the team works together as well as their individual wants and needs is vital for cohesive team working.  Part of this is ensuring that they complement each other in respect of skills and experience and behaviour patterns.  That they are capable of working together and taking and giving instructions where necessary.  How they cope with stress.  How they are motivated.  The right mix is vital, a mix made up of individuals who understand the challenges faced by the business and who support one another honestly (instead of shrugging and say ‘oh he/she is like that, there’s nothing you can do).

I’d like to hear or read what others think of this post and whether you agree or disagree with and if you have any questions please ask.

 

If you’d like to know more about career management coaching and how the LAB Profile® might help you in your choices,  contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

 

 

 

Sorting Out Your Emotions

Do you hold onto your worries? Hold onto how you might have responded badly to a situation? Let things go round and round in your head?washing

Four methods to help you let go of holding onto negative thoughts:

1) Go to the balcony
Mentally imagine you’re on the balcony (or take a helicopter view, or fly on the wall) and view the scene from that detached position. What’s it like now? Was someone playing games? How will you approach it differently next time?

2) Force field
Imagine there’s a force field between you and the other person. Anything they say bounces off the force field. In future remember that the Force Field can always be there, keeping others’ thoughts, perceptions, words away from you.

3) Balloon
Imagine you have a balloon in which you can put all unwanted emotions and feelings. After you have filled it, watch it float up and way taking those unwanted emotions and feelings, floating up until it hits the stratosphere. Gone.

4) A circle of excellence or confidence
Click here for an audio file, free to download.

Like more help, tips or suggestions?  Contact me via http://www.rosieohara.com or http://www.developingworks.com or phone 07796 134081

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