The other day I was having a meeting in a cafe that was situated in a busy and dynamic office building just off Flinders Street, in Melbourne.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see this woman talking down to a man about something that had happened in that building. The woman was trying to speak quietly but she was clearly angry and not accepting the responses she was receiving and her voice got louder and louder.
My meeting ended and I had to wait a while for the rain to pass and I watched as this woman continued to raise and deal with a performance issue in public. She kept responding to almost everything the said with “no, that is not acceptable” or “we have discussed this before” and it seemed that nothing he said was going to satisfy her. He was wrong and she was right and it was all so very public.
I cringed not only because public shaming is not ok; but because it was clear that she wasn’t listening to him. She had a fixed...
I was speaking to a new client the other day. I am going to do some work their team who have been through a lot of change in the last twelve months.
My client asked, "how can I promote your business to my team? You have 'conflict' in your title. They’ll think we have a problem."
I said, "you work in an area where there is lots of conflict. Good healthy conflict. It’s important that your staff disagree and debate and care deeply about the best way forward to deal with the issue at hand."
Conflict is normal, inevitable and an important part of a healthy relationship. We are not robots.
Conflict ensures that we, as a society, are creative and innovative. Conflict occurs when we need to challenge behaviour that needs to be challenged.
I told my client that learning how to manage conflict does not mean you have a problem with conflict; it means that you respect how important conflict is to your organisation. That you understand and respect that in order to get the most...
The other day I was driving up the freeway. When I went to turn off the freeway I realised that I had had my left indicator on for the entire way. I was singing pretty loudly so I didn’t hear the click click of my indicator.
I suddenly felt terrible. All the other poor drivers on the freeway had probably been waiting for me to turn left for about 15 kilometres. What a relief when I finally did.
I work with a number of managers who accidentally give misinformation to their teams. They say 'do what I say' but then immediately break their own rules.
One manager recently told me that he tries to have a relaxed office but then people take advantage of him. His problem is that he is giving off mixed messages. This is a relaxed workplace but it’s not in certain circumstances; and we’ll know what those circumstances are when they arise. What does relaxed mean? How is a staff member meant to know the boundaries of what will be tolerated and what won’t.
There is a saying that keeps coming into my mind “I’m tired”. I say it all the time.
Now, being the queen of overworking, this is hardly surprising but the reality is I don’t think that I am actually tired most of the time. I think I am bored.
For more years than I wish to remember I have had a Government contract to do some very well paid work. It is difficult work dealing with complex issues, which is why I get paid well to do it.
My problem is that I now find it hard to get enthused about doing this work; I lose energy very quickly when I sit down to do this work. In fact I often want to go and have a nap within a short period of time.
I struggle with the process which is very structured and formal. There is little scope to adapt the process to meet the specific needs of the individuals and some people can legitimately use the process as a weapon rather than a valid tool to solve a problem.
So now every time I catch myself saying “I’m...
I recently spent the weekend with my grandsons. They are both adorable. The oldest is nearly two. A toddler. A full on toddler with a seriously strong and direct throwing arm. The youngest is only a couple of months old.
As you can imagine life is pretty full on. Never a dull moment.
I am constantly just so impressed with how well our eldest daughter and her husband does with managing their toddler’s behaviour. At the moment, they are sleep deprived, run down and in the trenches. They could so easily notice all the things the toddler does wrong. The food accidentally ending up on the floor, flying teaspoons or a wayward ball ending up on little brother’s head.
But they don’t. They go out of their way not to notice; not to pay attention to behaviour that they don’t want. They don’t make a fuss about these things; they only make a fuss about the behaviour that they want more of.
They let my grandson take appropriate risks, they let him feed...
I recently spent a couple of days with a team that has been through a lot.
They got a new CEO in November 2017. Then their head office has been moved from Canberra to Melbourne. There have been a number of redundancies in Canberra as a result and then a handful of new staff employed in recent months. To top it off they had to pull off a major event last month with some very new staff who are still getting their head around the corporate knowledge.
They have done really well. They are positive and keen and enthusiastic; but there are still wounds to heal, bridges to build and grief to deal with.
But a team can bear so much.
A new CEO brings about change. Change of approach, management style and priorities.
But a change of head office is huge. When things go wrong, and they will, there will many of the old guard fondly remembering the good old days.
We had to, as a team, honour the old days. Acknowledge the achievements of the past; recognise that we are here...
Warning: self serving blog.
I have been having so much fun lately. I have been running a lot of workshops lately and I’ve been having a ball. It’s my happy place.
I love creating the plan, working out what the team needs and how to best meet their needs. I love meeting the team and finding out more about the different personalities. I like to see how they work together; the good, the bad and the ugly.
I enjoy working with the leader, whether they be a CEO, a director or a team leader. It is always enjoyable to work with leaders that care; that want to improve their current position, that want to nurture and develop their team and who can take critical feedback.
I believe in giving everyone a voice, so I use the stakeholder engagement software, Powernoodle. I ask the team to answer questions anonymously about what it feels like and looks like when things are going well and what it looks like and feels like when things are not going well. The leader and I...
This week my family is going to celebrate Christmas in July (in June). It’s an end of financial year Christmas in July extravaganza.
We do it for the fun, the decorations, the bad jumpers, the scrumptious food and the opportunity to get the family together.
It’s become a ritual. An important event in our family diary. It’s got bigger and better every year.
Ritual and celebration are so important. They provide an opportunity to build relationships, to acknowledge the value of those relationships, to enjoy each other’s company, to just have fun.
What are your rituals? How do you enjoy each other’s company? How do you create opportunities for fun?
All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull person. You don’t want that.
What don’t you know? What question do you need to ask?
It is so easy, when we don’t know something, to fill in our knowledge gap with assumptions.
We don’t want to look foolish; we want to be perceived as being on top of our game. We want to impress others.
But what are the consequences of proceeding without full knowledge; what will happen if we rely on assumptions instead of facts?
What usually happens for me is that I end up apologising for something. Nearly every time I rely on assumptions and not facts I get it wrong - in part or in full.
Then I say “I’m sorry... I’m so sorry. I thought...” Then I engage in some negative self talk! Gah! Oops, I did it again.
Make life easy for yourself. Ask the question. Get clarity. Make good decisions the first time.
I am sitting in our car waiting to disembark from the Spirit of Tasmania. We are on our way to Launceston to watch our boys (Port Adelaide) play Hawthorn - an important game for both teams.
What a great voyage. My first and only “cruise” so far. Best sleep I’ve had in ages.
What they did so well was manage the experience and all those on board.
No question was too stupid. All staff knew exactly what was going on. At one stage I asked someone doing some cleaning where I needed to go to get our electronic key card fixed. She gave us directions and when we passed her later she remembered me and asked if the problem had been fixed.
You felt reassured knowing that the staff were all over this.
And over the loudspeaker we were told the rules of what was expected when we disembarked a number of times. They needed us to be compliant. They needed people to move their cars punctually. If people didn’t follow the rules when we disembarked there would...