What's for tea?

leadership Oct 13, 2020

I am not a foodie.  That’s not to say I don’t like to eat - I love sitting down to have a meal. It’s just that I don’t care very much about cooking or slaving for hours to make a beautiful meal. I don’t really understand why people do that; probably like people don’t really understand why I would be fascinated with conflict and want to understand people’s behaviour when they are stressed.

I usually eat the same food for breakfast and lunch every day and wouldn’t mind that much if I also ate the same food for dinner at night. Food is just not a priority to me. 

But all of a sudden now that we are homebound, one of the first questions I ask my husband every day is “what will we have for dinner?”   

Dinner is suddenly the meal that makes today a different day to yesterday. 

This does not mean that I have suddenly started cooking lavish meals - it’s more that it’s an interesting topic...

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I say tomato!

leadership Oct 12, 2020

I say tomato (tom-ah-to) and you say tomato (tom-ay-to)!  Same word, pronounced differently.

As a mediator, I get people to tell me their story. What has happened to lead to the break down in the relationship? So people often tell me the same story in great detail but it often sounds like two incredibly different stories that don’t bear any resemblance to each other because of each person’s perspective.  

If two people like each other, they often see the same situation quite similarly and they often use the same language; but when we fall 'out of' love with a work colleague or a partner, we can then view the same situation quite differently. 

We go looking for all the things that prove that person is bad; improper, rude, intolerant etc… Our confirmation bias sets in and correlates all our beliefs as to why we don’t like that person. 

It’s hard to turn off our confirmation bias; particularly when it is so impressive and so loud...

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Your team really cares

leadership Oct 12, 2020

I work with a lot of teams. 

I often have the privilege of catching up with individual team members prior to a workshop; particularly if we are working through a specific issue.

What I have learnt and had reinforced over and over again is that people care about their workplaces - they care a lot. 

We invest a lot in our workplaces. Our time, our skills or sense of self.  We want the organisation that we work for to succeed; not only financially but on all levels.  We want to be proud of the work that we do. 

Which is why it is so powerful to get your team together in a workshop setting and provide them with an opportunity to talk to each other. To talk about things that matter - like what 'respect' looks like to the team, about their personal values and needs and to discuss what is working well and what are the challenges the team are working through. 

The feedback I regularly get from my workshops is that people are incredibly grateful when the...

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Why don't our casuals answer their phone?

leadership management Aug 25, 2020

I was working with a team who work in the retail sector.  They work hard.  Wow, they work hard.  

The team leaders or managers have to supervise a myriad of people (in their team) who all have their own quirky personalities and they then serve a myriad of people (their customers) who all have their own quirky personalities as well. 

People working in retail can tell you some really great stories about human behaviour - the good, bad and the ugly. They have seen it all. COVID has brought out even more extreme behaviours.  My hat is off to these people. Their job is way harder than what most of us see. 

So I was talking with a group of managers recently about their various challenges and for one team it was rostering, getting casual staff to fill the shifts when someone is away sick or if there is a sudden increase in demand.  They would complain if they didn’t get rostered on 'enough' but they didn’t answer their phone...

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Are you mentoring or rescuing?

leadership mentoring Jul 28, 2020

A very well-meaning leader wanted some advice this week on how to advise an excellent young employee that the way she dressed and responded to situations was potentially holding her back. 

This leader cared a lot and wanted so much to be able to help this young woman to see her potential.  

He was struggling with the right words to say to her to address this very personal issue.

My suggestion was to try a completely different tack. What if you let her work out what she wants to do and how she is going to get there?  Ultimately she needs to work this out herself; this is her lesson to learn.  You can’t 'fix' this situation. 

We often end up 'rescuing' people because we can see their potential or we can see a way to correct a situation.  In those moments we are not mentoring people, we are not empowering them, we are 'saving' them from themselves.  Which means, and it’s hard to hear, that we are acting as though we are superior to...

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What is a virtual offsite?

leadership Apr 14, 2020

2020! What a year it has been! 

The worst drought in history, a tragic bushfire season that wrought havoc and pain across the nation and then we go into lockdown because of COVID-19! And it’s only April. 

For many people, their worlds have been turned upside down and there is this weird feeling of grief for what was, possibly incomes and opportunities lost, stress and fear about the virus (the invisible enemy) and what our world will look like in a few months time, and maybe even some relief and joy in the ability to slow down for a period of time. 

And still, the show must go on.  

If you are fortunate enough to have a team that is still able to work at this time, chances are you are either working from home or you might be in the front line dealing with high levels of stress on a daily basis. 

If your team has had to be stood down, you will still need to check in with your people on a regular basis to ensure that they are going okay and to...

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