The Sweet Taste of Revenge

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2018

There is a terrific game that most of us play that is based on revenge.

One person does us wrong by accidentally setting us up, or showing up our failings in front of our peers or blaming us for them feeling bad. And then we get them back with similar or worse behaviour.

Someone told me about an office they worked in where the staff found the management to be particularly disinterested and unsupportive; so when the photocopier ran out of paper every day by mid afternoon, no-one was prepared to refill it and they would all sit at their desks doing nothing until the end of the day because they couldn’t print off their work schedules etc.

They say revenge is sweet; but it is also really expensive.

Think of the cost to a company whose staff deliberately go slow or work to rule just to get back someone in middle management. What opportunities do companies miss out on when staff won’t tell anyone their great ideas because they don’t feel valued?

How much does it cost in...

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I'm tired

Uncategorized Jul 11, 2018

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...

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Leading people up the garden path

Uncategorized Jul 11, 2018

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.


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Focus on the behaviour you want

Uncategorized Jul 11, 2018

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...

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What's going on?

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2018

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...

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What she said...

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2018

Sometimes I doubt myself.

Sometimes when I am in a group situation we are faced with a difficult problem to solve.  We start discussing it and I start mulling over some possible solutions. I am just thinking about what I would do next in this difficult situation and make a suggestion and then... bang - someone has come up with the solution which is the exact opposite to what I was about to propose and there are nods of agreement around the table and I think, “yeah, they’re right; they know more than me” and I go along with the flow.

I don’t speak up. I quietly accept the status quo and think judgmental thoughts about the person who came up with the response that we are now all following.

Why do I do that? Why don’t I trust what I know more and speak up at the time that people are looking for answers?

I and many others in the group get intimidated by the group bias. We just fall into line.

It is very common for the loudest and quickest voice in the...

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Christmas in July

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2018

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.


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I have the best job

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2018

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...

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What question do you need to ask?

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2018

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.

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Acknowledging and managing workplace grief

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2018

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...

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