I was working with an intern recently and was struck by how much her work improved over a week. The reason: I gave her useful feedback that was clear and implementable. Her performance and commitment weren't issues - my poor feedback was the issue. Like everything else, it's simple when you know how!
We can't give employees results to aim for if they're not clear on how to actually achieve those results. Saying 'you need to improve' or 'get more sales' doesn't help anyone because it's not actionable.Read More
Before I explain an interesting exercise, I have to say that it only makes sense if you actually do it as you're reading this. Otherwise, you know the outcome but not your outcome. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you...
Here's the exercise: Put your hands together in front of your body in a prayer position as seen below. Then start to push with your right hand for 3 seconds. What happens?Read More
Strategic visions, strategic plans and strategic goals all look and sound great, but what actually comes of them? According to research carried out by the authors of the book '4 Disciplines of Execution' only 15% of employees actually understood the strategic goals of the company. In other words, only 15% of employees knew the meaning of their work. Naturally, this begs the question: 'how could they expect to achieve the goal or feel good about it if they don't know what it is?'.Read More
If 'time is money', then it must at least be a certain type of time - e.g. time spent working to create value. But if it takes one person two hours to complete a valuable task, and another person only one hour, then the second person is obviously more valuable (all other things being equal). The reality is that these days all other things are often equal: we have access to the same technologies, resources and all the same information online.
'There might be a difference in skill sets' I hear your sayRead More
What's the best thing to do? What's the ideal way to go?
'The more choice the better' - that's what we have been led to believe. If you are careful and choose which you prefer the most, you'll be happier - even if it's just a small improvement.
But that's not true. The reality is that we can suffer 'paralysis by analysis'.Read More
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers
Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master. – Alexander Dumas
Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty. – Leo Rosten
It's nonsense to say money doesn't buy happiness, but people exaggerate the extent to which more money can buy more happiness. - Daniel KahnemanRead More
Make it beautiful: it doesn’t matter if it’s a website, document, design, presentation or excel spreadsheet. Make it beautiful and be proud.
Recognise the small stuff: a free coffee; a co-workers funny story; an unsolicited compliment; a helping hand. Nice… thanks.Read More
Project Oxygen, a research study undertaken by the tech giant Google, collected over 10,000 pieces of data about managers — across more than 100 variables, from performance reviews to feedback surveys. They found that a good manager has 8 specific traits:
- A good coach
- Empowers and does not micromanage
- Expresses interest and concern in subordinates’ success and well-being
- Results oriented
- Listens and shares information
- Helps with career development
- Has a clear vision and strategy
- Has key technical skills
Is it optimal to have a team of high performers working together? Does the team need to be good friends? What are the two things that cohesive teams do? What is the number one factor that determines a team's effectiveness?Read More
Delete the social media apps - turn off the notifications.
Forget the continuous news - it's not a true reflection anyway.
Put the phone out of the bedroom - buy an alarm clock.
Look up and listen - it's 'LIVE' right now.
Enjoy the moment - it'll be gone soon.Read More
Golfers, footballers and tennis players, amongst other professional sports stars have often talked about the benefits of visualisation. We’ve all heard the success stories, but how can visualisation really make a difference? Shouldn’t we just focus on learning, practising and working hard? These were some of the questions I had been pondering for years, until recently...Read More
I’m at a crossroads in my career, what should I do?
Identify the problem with your current role, and seek to solve that first.
I have a lot of self-doubt in my abilities. How to I improve my confidence?Read More
You love goal-setting and are exhilarated by goal-achievement. You’ve probably read all the articles, blogs and books on how to work better, live better, feel better and think better. You’re not always sure what you want, except for two things: more growth and more success. Do you also feel little pleasure in winning but great pain in losing? Congratulations, you are a high achiever...Read More
Videos, news articles, social media, emails and phones are all common distractions throughout our workday. How many of them are work related compared to just communicating about work? I'm writing about this not because I can do this perfectly myself, but because it’s something I’m focusing on improving. Deep Work, a book by Cal Newport...Read More
Effective communication in the workplace is one of the most searched terms in Google in terms of job-related stress. We all have different ways of interacting with others, different perceptions of what is good communication and varying opinions of what is or is not appropriate in the office. With all those factors and more, there’s bound to be constant challenges. Often there are imperfect solutions or outcomes to interpersonal problems, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t seek to improve as much as possible. Here is a list of tips which will hopefully help with these issues:Read More
'It’s the way you said it!' We’ve all heard that, right? We understood it to mean that the content of what we said doesn’t matter, the problem was our tone. I read about this exact issue from two different sources and thought it would be interesting to put them side by side...
In his book ‘Blink’, Malcolm Gladwell tells a story aboutRead More
“Do you know what Google did?”.
You’ve heard it said before as if it’s describing some game-changing business strategy that nobody else thought of at the time. The reality was much different with a myriad of complicated factors involved, many of which were totally unpredictable. Apple is the other classic story that is presented as inevitably successful, after the fact of course. In reality, many occurrences were entirely dependent on fate, not faith - as Apple commentators would have you believe. The problem with the real success stories is that they are complicated to understand, not quite as inspiring, and seemingly impossible to reproduce.Read More
Accountancy is an alluring profession: solid career progression, stable jobs and almost guaranteed employment. But what if you decide you need a change but don’t want to sacrifice your salary level? It’s a fear that many have even though it’s unfounded most of the time. Changing jobs may lead to a reduction in salary but not necessarily. If you have strong qualifications and good experience, why would it? Let me explain...Read More
People engage in office politics because they think it will lead to better career prospects for them in the future. They align themselves to influencers, which by default means they will also be distancing themselves from others in the organisation. But who is actually influential? Sometimes we know, but sometimes we don’t. Lots of companies will have hidden influencers that employees aren’t aware of. This could be the receptionist or the security staff, the canteen manager or the IT administrator.Read More