Straight Talk Tips

The culture of an organisation is what we make it. Some of us have more influence than others, but everyone shares responsibility for the final mix. There aren’t many healthy, empowering cultures around. Some are so toxic that if they were chemical sludge there would be nasty green vapour rising from them and we would stay well away. Instead, we adapt. But there’s a lot to adapt to. Always-on smart phones and I-pads are largely res ponsible for the information overload that characterizes our workspaces. Attention deficit disease is pandemic. We’re constantly in immediate response mode without time for reflection…
Writing about emotional intelligence feels like treading on thin ice, at a time when the pressure to achieve business goals is paramount and even less attention than usual is being given to so-called soft skills. But there is overwhelming evidence that there’s nothing soft about emotional intelligence and that it’s a need to have, not a nice to have. Lack of emotional intelligence is more often the reason for the break-up of teams and partnerships, and the de-railing of careers, than anything else. Two of its major components are self- awareness and self-control. The Delphi Oracle put it succinctly. ‘Know…
When it comes to conversations it’s all about timing. Sometimes the right time to speak up is now. If someone has made a mistake, let you down or behaved outrageously, the best time to deal with it is now, before the incident is forgotten, or worse, becomes a habitual pattern of behaviour. If you’re in a boiling rage, pause for as long as it takes to get your breath back and your act together before you speak. Other conversations need homework and careful planning. You may need to wait for the right moment to broach a touchy subject or deal…
Once again, the end of year performance reviews are approaching. It’s the time of year when past performance catches up with staff – and with their managers.  No-one looks forward to conversations about poor performance or bad behaviour. Most often managers skirt around difficult or sensitive issues, allocating middle of the road evaluations and modest increases in salary, so that everyone can escape back to the safety of their desks for another year…until the same conversations, with the same people, take place all over again. When you don’t hold people to account for what they achieve and how they behave,…
Millennials are the twenty somethings whose impact is starting to cause ripples in the corporate world. Confident, brash, with high expectations and higher levels of computer skills, they love to be challenged…and in return present a challenge for their colleagues and managers. My view is that far from requiring any new management or leadership style, millennials demand that we apply exactly the same principles that we have known for decades.  Every management textbook exhorts managers to: tell people what you expect of them, and why. Then allow them freedom to work out how to do it.  encourage them with positive…