What about me?

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2018

Are you being picked on?

Are people being mean to you?

Do you feel you are under attack?

Is everything going wrong? Have you misplaced your keys, forgotten to collect your children from childcare or been rained on when walking the dogs? You feel like you everything that is going wrong is because of you. No matter what you do, it’s all wrong.  The world is against you.

Chances are you are feeling extremely stressed. Recent events have taken their toll on you.

Chances are you are in the world of one. The world of me. The world where you are the centre of the universe and it’s all about you.

When we’re in the world of one we don’t care about other people. We don’t care how they feel. We don’t have empathy; no-one is suffering like we are suffering.

We talk about ourselves all the time. We talk about others in derogatory terms. Everything is hard. It’s onerous. We complain …. a lot.

We tell everyone that we are exhausted.

Truth is -...

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Are you taking your team along for the ride?

Uncategorized Apr 25, 2018

My family were not big on holidays when I was a kid.  We didn’t have any money and Mum and Dad weren’t very fond of each other most of the time; so we didn’t go away often.

But we did go on a couple of “big” holidays.  The first holiday was to Broken Hill to see Dad’s family home. That was an OK holiday. We were quite little and we had a few adventures.  The second was to Leigh Creek (I kid you not).

In both cases, Mum and Dad - actually it was probably just Dad - decided that we were going on a holiday and this is where we were going. No discussion was entered into regarding the destination. No one was asked what we wanted to do.

Dad was exhausted. He needed a break. We all just had to go for the ride.

I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty but the trip to Leigh Creek was a disaster.  It was the mid 70s.  Our big family holiday was to travel to the original Leigh Creek (not the new fancy Leigh Creek) in the...

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What kind of legacy will you leave?

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

I have to be honest. I have a terrible memory.

I remember weird stuff, like everyone’s birthday and other key events but I can’t remember any Christmas Day as a child, just snippets of those days but nothing concrete. I don’t remember much of my childhood at all.

However I remember some significant events in my childhood. Things like staying at friends’ houses and trying to impress my friends’ mothers so that they would invite me to come back and stay again.

And I have lots of memories of school. Of being involved in the school musicals, being a girly swat and organising the roster for the road crossing, taking the money I stole from my parents to buy my lunch most days.  I remember getting a detention from my best friend’s mother who was also my sport teacher because I left my sports uniform at home again (on purpose).

I remember going to the football with my younger brother, and catching the train to town and trying to stand up in the...

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For Georgie

Uncategorized Apr 18, 2018

Today is Georgie’s birthday. Georgie is my daughter. She is a wonderful young adult in the prime of her life.

Georgie has taught me more about love than anyone else in my life.

Georgie has, over the years, pushed my buttons in ways that no-one else ever has.

I have spent an extraordinary amount of time worrying about her; being frustrated with her and also for her.

We have fought a lot. There have been so many tears. We’ve had to apologize to each other a lot.

We’ve gone in to bat for each other. Celebrated each other’s successes.

We’ve gone on long long walks and barely spoken.

We’ve holidayed together overseas and not seen the same things.

We’ve been disappointed in each other. Not understood each other.

We have joyously climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge together.

We’ve spent hours in doctor’s surgeries and hospital together.

We have sold her art together.

We have lived and loved and cried and experienced a lot of life...

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It's not about you

Uncategorized Apr 17, 2018

The other night I work up at 2 am and spent a good hour or two worrying about the fact that someone had not responded to an email I sent them.

He was a new client and we had got on famously at our first meeting. He was committed to working with me; so we made a follow-up time and I sent through some follow up materials for him to sign so we could proceed with the coaching programme.

But he hadn’t yet responded to that email and now it was three days later.

So at 2 am I decided that the deal was off, that I had stuffed it up, that I was hopeless and thought I should just get a real job.

I had really wanted to work with this person so I was so disappointed that it wasn’t going to work out.

Then I got up the morning, completely exhausted, and there in my inbox was an email from this client saying that he was so sorry for the delay in getting back to me, that he’d been dealing with two sick kids at home and that he’s really looking forward to getting started.

I...

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7 steps to create a positive culture

Uncategorized Apr 17, 2018

We’ve all heard it… colleagues spending countless hours whining and whinging about the things other people/management do/don’t do/should do/could do…

It’s exhausting to listen to and it’s unproductive. These conversations are often petty and destabilising to management and teams. Endless gossipy conversations within a team reflect a negative workplace culture and diminish the capacity of the team to be effective.

And yet, so often, management tolerate the petty infighting, the moaning and groaning. They accept it as part of normal office culture. Some managers that I have worked have tried to sort out the problems by asking for “honest” feedback in the hope that they will get to the bottom of the problem, and then are surprised when no-one speaks up.

Employees are not going to “dob in” their boss or their colleagues to the boss. Nor are they going to be the one that rocks the boat; that takes responsibility for the...

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My football team lost

Uncategorized Apr 17, 2018

My football team lost on the weekend.

I was incredibly disappointed. My husband and I had travelled to Melbourne to see them play. They have so much potential. They recruited well. They have amazing skills. We were so excited to go to the game.

But they lost.

I read the blogs, listened to the fans around me, heard the comments on talk back radio.

You’d swear that this team is hopeless, useless and lazy.  The coach doesn’t know what he is doing. Players should be dropped. The new players aren’t worth the money. Etc…

We caught the same flight home as the players. They look like ordinary people to me, although most of them are quite tall.

Disappointment is a painful thing. We all have to live with it.

I am confident that "my team" didn’t go out there to play badly that day. I don’t think that they deliberately trained less well during the week or that they slacked off during the game. I don’t believe that the team’s ultimate...

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Who's the boss?

Uncategorized Apr 01, 2018

I have worked with a number of family businesses where the chain of command is hard to distinguish. There are often two or three members of the family who appear to be running the business but there is no real structure and it slows down the decision making process.

Alternatively, a parent is supposedly the Managing Director or CEO but they don’t have the respect of their children and other family members and their decision making authority is undermined. Or the opposite can be true; a parent has difficulty handing over the reins of
power to their children. They constantly question decisions made by their children.

This often leads to feelings of being disrespected, with increasing levels of conflict and disharmony. The reaction to the conflict may be subtle - eg not communicating information to other family members who might disagree with them or complaining to people outside of the business. Problems with communication can place the company at risk; errors may be...

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When it comes to family business disputes, what are your client’s most urgent needs?

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2018

I recently attended a great workshop by Bernie Mayer entitled “Getting to the Heart of Conflict”. Bernie is a significant thought leader in the area of managing conflict.

Two specific issues he raised during that workshop really struck a chord with me with respect to my family business dispute clients. Firstly, our clients often have issues of security and safety that they need addressed first before they can focus their attention on the issue at hand. Secondly, some conflict is so entrenched that the best that can be expected is that the parties work out ways to manage it; not resolve it.

Let me explain.

Meet your client’s need to feel “safe” first

We, as mediators and financial service providers, are often looking at solving our clients’ long term issues; for example what will this business look like in five to ten years’ time, is this business viable in the long term in light of the relationship issues etc.. But when a person is very...

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Is competition causing your team more harm than good?

Uncategorized Jan 28, 2018

Many moons ago I was managing a team where there was a bit of tension between two specific sub-groups.

All the members of the team were incredibly skilled but their jobs in servicing the clients were marginally different. One sub-group had more day to day contact with clients and so had a lot of valuable practical knowledge and often very strong networks; while the other sub-group dealt with the more pointy end of the work that required their expert knowledge in order to ensure a great outcome for the client.

Both sub-groups needed each other in order to provide the best customer service delivery outcomes for our clients; but these sub-groups seemed to jostle for the position of who was most valuable to the team.

I have always been of the view that all members of a team are equally important; but most of us have healthy egos and we sometimes want to be seen as being the most important part of our team.

As managers we need to nurture these relationships and find ways to leverage the...

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