Getting the Help You Need

For most of us, the most significant critic we have lies within us. It can damage the opportunities we have to be our best and realise our potential. It steals up on us in the most unexpected moments and hauls us back from the greatness within.

As a leader, you are not immune from this, nor should you be. A leadership role is so often isolated by its very nature, and there the demons can fester. As with all human nature, the slight slips of judgement; the decisions that didn’t quite work and the moments of indecision can play upon frayed and tested nerves.

The good news is that this is all good. If the world went perfectly every day, that surely would be a challenge, not least of boredom! The perfect face leaders show up with can so often be faked for effect, leading to the mistrust of those you lead. For they are a human just like you. Your people suffer from the same internal question marks, however robust and confident you see them. So, by being open and honest with them, you begin to build relationships and a safe, developmental place for all. Continue reading

The Name of Her Dog

We all know how valuable it is to build rapport and ultimately trust with people. It’s not only a good way to lead (if that’s your role), but it also is just a nice way to be and creates good, lasting relationships.

When we create trusting relationships, we feel fulfilled and occasionally, it brings tangible benefits to both sides as a spin off.

I’m now a leadership trainer and meet with people from all over the world regularly. We often talk about relationship building as a topic. As if it is a one-off activity we learn and do. Of course, that isn’t true, but it is (and I say this in severe hindsight from my role as a manager over 25 years) a valuable activity to develop and there are some easy tactics you can try out. Continue reading

Workplace Stress – Some Common Issues Solved

With 25% of all prescription drugs provided to patients used for psychotherapy; more than 11% of all occupational disease claims related to stress (and rising); and 42% of all absence citing stress as the major cause, workplace tensions have never been worse.

Pressure on business success, especially to meet the demands of stockholders, seems to translate itself all the way down the hierarchical chain to the many at the sharp end. Managers are shifting their pressures as quickly as they can, understandably. as their pressures are no less.

Characterized by symptoms such as:- irritability with others; fear; lack of hope and pessimism in general; lack of interest; lack of self-esteem, boredom; feelings of failure; frustration; anger, to name but a few, more employees are taking the time out today, for longer, than ever before, with paid absence as their support structure.

This stress, of course, goes all the way home at the end of the day, putting a greater strain on all the relationships at home, more than ever before.

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Questions. Questions. Questions

Relationship building is the most important activity for all management and supervisory roles.

Without having your people with you, in full rapport with you, it is likely to be an uphill struggle for you to lead a team effectively. And to be at that level of relationship with them, you have to work towards their trust steadily, consistently.

There are a number of tactics that you can adopt in order to make the most of working with your people and one of the best if by getting to know them really well. By spending time with them and understanding them better.

One of the best ways to get to know your people is to make sure that you get into regular and light conversations with them. It’s all about having the ability to talk and listen to almost anything they might have to say, with an emphasis on what turns them on, and less on you.

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A Complementary Team

We all have weaknesses. Whatever our roles.

In management positions, one of the bigger challenges is to recognise our own shortcomings and alter our own behaviours. And sometimes this can be very challenging.

Often, a hint is that there are areas of your work where you feel like you really struggle, or are things you avoid. Or are things that you don’t enjoy doing. So you do other things that you do like and leave gaps. Spaces in your attention that are important, but get missed.

You are not alone, your gaps are natural, because no-one is perfect, not even those at the very top of their game.

You see, the very best executives realise that they aren’t completely rounded. The ones who have wonderful strategic visions may not be the best with the purse strings. The ones who have a very focused view of the operational standards of their business, may well not see the possibilities.

The business world is littered with big-time bosses that missed a trick or two. You may have worked with one or two!

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Team Building – Inherit or Create?

Is it easier to have a bunch of people that are brand new to a team, or one that you mould from those you inherit?

In my business life I only had the latter. An existing group of employees, in each business who I had to work with, from each new day one. Never a new set that I could grow for myself.

There are different challenges in each case. Continue reading