To the life raft!  How to manage your team through uncertainty

What does the current situation we find ourselves in mean for you as a line manager or team leader? How do you manage your team through uncertain times? I tweeted this a couple of weeks ago: “It seems that change no longer means navigating safely to the new shore – it’s just clinging to the lifebuoy!” At the time I didn’t know I had a crystal ball! […]

By |June 28th, 2016|People Tips|0 Comments

Immediacy: What is going on between you and me?

I’m asked how to handle difficult behaviour  all the time. Of course, there is no simple answer, because every meeting of two personalities is a unique occasion, with its own context and often complicated baggage. Although there is no magic wand, there are many strategies and techniques you can add to your toolkit that will help in many situations. […]

By |April 1st, 2016|People Tips|0 Comments

Are you having an emotional hijack?

An emotional hijack is when the rational part of our brain is overtaken by our emotions, and we act impulsively and inappropriately. It might happen to you, or you might see it in colleagues. It’s wearing, isn’t it? Having to put up with all that fallout and bluster while you’re trying to do a job. Have you thought about the impact on those around you when you let rip? […]

By |March 2nd, 2016|People Tips|0 Comments

“Here’s my resignation” – A true story

The phone rang, and a tired sounding woman said she’d been given my number as someone who maybe able to help. I asked what the problem was. She told me her company had a neglected team of trainers; the training manager had left six months ago, and they had struggled to recruit a replacement. They wanted someone to come and work with them full time to cover the role. I told her that I had commitments 2 or 3 days a week, so couldn’t help. As quick as a flash, the woman replied that they would take the remaining days. […]

By |October 29th, 2015|People Tips|4 Comments

Psychopaths in the Workplace – Guest post by Jeremy Renals

First published in the journal of Oxford Business College Pros and Cons: Psychopaths in the business environment This feature investigates what  psychopaths in the workplace are like, how to spot them, and how psychopaths can be bad or good for a business organisation. It also raises questions about a possible contagious effect of the psychopathic mind set.  The common view of the psychopath is that of an axe wielding murderer, wild eyed and drooling, and irredeemably dangerous. […]

By |March 30th, 2015|People Tips|0 Comments

What Managers Want From Training Days

I was speaking with a client recently about what managers want, and  the old chestnut of ‘not being able to please all the people all of the time’ came up. This is never truer than in the training  room. I’ll spare you from a description of all the ever moving hoops that trainers jump through to attempt  to do the impossible pleasing thing (Have you covered every learning style? Personality type? Level of ability? Is it brain friendly? Experiential? Enough theory? Too much? Stickability? etc). […]

By |January 12th, 2015|People Tips|0 Comments

Mindfulness and Frogs

It’s been a long while since I read ‘Eat that Frog’, Brian Tracy’s famous book on time management. It advises us to do the one thing we’ve been dreading or putting off, reckoning that things can only get easier once we’ve done that.  It is a policy I often use, but maybe not regularly enough – like many good ideas, they gradually slip away from our consciousness until we need that sharp reminder. Mine came last week. Since last August, I’ve had ‘Get ITIN’ on my job list.  An ITIN is an identification number that you need from the IRS (the USA’s HMRC) if you sell ebooks, which means you can escape paying 30% tax. It’s not hugely important as we’re talking very small amounts of money, but it is one of those things you need to do to keep your house in order. […]

By |November 24th, 2014|People Tips|1 Comment

Facing a personality assessment? Don’t panic!

  Many employers use personality questionnaires when recruiting, especially when they are looking to fill senior positions or they are looking for very specific personality traits. It can feel like a dark art is being used, but really it isn’t! Here are a few tips to help you prepare. […]

By |November 21st, 2014|People Tips|0 Comments

So you don’t do small talk? Maybe you should

So you don’t do small talk? You have no need for inconsequential trivia? I’m sure you’d rather deal in the important stuff of life. I hear this quite often. I’m sure the perpetrators don’t intend to take the moral high ground, yet it feels like that sometimes.  Let me tell you this: If you have no interest in my small stuff, I won’t be trusting you with my big stuff. […]

By |June 2nd, 2014|People Tips|0 Comments

Being asked for help? Here’s six ways you can respond

People coming to us for advice is a normal part of life. They might be asking questions, wanting solutions or guidance on how to sort something out. Have you ever thought about the ways you can respond? One thing is for sure – there is not a ‘one size fits all’ way of responding to them. We all have our own favourite strategies we’ve learnt over the years, possibly picked up from watching others or learning from training. Some of the time our usual methods work, […]

By |May 8th, 2014|People Tips|0 Comments

What does success look like in your organisation?

I was asked recently to run a couple of sessions for HR students  on success in organisations.  I asked them to identify ‘What good looks like’ in their own companies – always a useful exercise, as we are usually much better at pointing out the short comings than recognising the good! Unsurprisingly they quickly identified that people play a major part, both in productivity and in the culture of making a happy workplace. We then thought about how we can build on and maximise what is going right. […]

By |March 18th, 2014|People Tips|0 Comments

Creativity vs. Decision Making – and why ‘Just do it!’ is sometimes wrong

I married a creative genius, who constantly comes up with all kinds of ideas, sometimes practical, sometimes not. He just doesn’t see the boundaries that most of us are hidebound by, so his imagination roams unfettered.  At times, I really appreciate his ability to see things in a different light, in ways that I would not have thought of in a million years.  At other times it drives me nuts. To him, it must seem like I’m an inconsistent, irrational woman. […]

By |December 12th, 2013|People Tips|2 Comments

Are you sure you want to give that feedback?

We all have to give feedback from time to time – or do we? In my experience, it’s common to feel that you ‘have’ to tell someone something that has come to your attention. What is a lot less common, is taking the time to think what will be gained from giving the feedback. Yes, I know Ken Blanchard said that ‘feedback is the breakfast of champions’, and that we need it to learn, grow, and sort out our personal development – but that doesn’t mean that giving it is always a good thing. My challenge to you is to see if there is another – or even better – way of getting your message across other than telling the other person something about themselves. […]

By |November 5th, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

The Perils of Meeting and Greeting

I was asked these questions about meeting and greeting by a journalist recently, so I thought I’d share my responses here. Why do people often mis-judge a greeting (going for a handshake when the other person goes in to kiss)? There are so many variations on greetings these days that it is impossible to get it right every time, no matter how well educated or travelled you are.   […]

By |September 13th, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

Harvesting People Skills – How have yours grown?

Reaping what you sow  September is a lovely month. Somehow it combines new beginnings (we never forget the new school year!) with abundance and fruitfulness – the harvest that feeds us for the rest of the year. We may be a long way past school age, but you don’t need me to tell you that learning continues – in fact many would say that the pace increases as time goes on, […]

By |September 2nd, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

Just resolve to shine!

Caitlin Moran wrote a lovely piece in The Times on recently, a first draft of a letter for her daughter to read for advice, should Caitlin ever prematurely shuffle off the planet . […]

By |July 17th, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

Do people feel threatened around you? Here’s some questions to ask yourself

Bitten off anyone’s head today? A survey out recently says that almost half of workers feel ‘actively threatened’ by their boss (reported by CIPD and HR Management magazine) .   The professions with the highest level of offenders were the Civil Service, doctors, scientists and retail. No doubt they all have harassment policies, so should we be surprised that staff feel threatened?  […]

By |April 24th, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

Managers, Careers Advisers and Plumbers…

    Several years ago,  I paid to have a Telegraph pole removed from my driveway. The workman knocked on the door and asked me if I wanted it cut up or left in one piece. I replied that it would be lovely if he could cut it into a couple of chairs and a table for the garden. Strangely enough, he declined. I was only joking but I was reminded of it by an article in the press yesterday. It seems that often others ask us to do things that are outside our job role or skills set. […]

By |March 13th, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

Do you recognise The Dark Triad? Protecting Yourself from a Psychopath

Do you have impossible people to deal with? Some people just can’t be helped…. And yet we persist in trying. We drain our energy, banging our head against the wall – and the biggest tragedy is that others, who would flourish with some encouragement ,are neglected because The Impossible One has emptied our tank of  empathy and resourcefulness. Do you ever wonder if that person is a psychopath?  […]

By |February 6th, 2013|People Tips|0 Comments

Do me a favour!

Reciprocation is a fascinating topic because we so rarely give it conscious thought.  Do you expect others to return any favour you do them?  Are you pleasantly surprised when someone does?  Be honest, is it sometimes your main motivation for helping others? […]

By |January 28th, 2013|People Tips|1 Comment

Practical Tips for Handling Conflict

How much time do you spend dealing with conflict in the workplace? A CBI reports say that it takes 20% of a leader’s time, – which is 370 million working days!  Then there is the cost of stress and resignations on top… Does it have to be this way? Some clashes are inevitable – we need some to challenge stale thinking and provoke progress – but how much time could we save by handling conflicts more effectively? […]

By |January 28th, 2013|People Tips|1 Comment

33 Ways to Grow Your Creativity

This is a bit of a departure for me – I usually write about  interactions between people, not creativity -but sometimes we need give ourselves a bit of a talking to; we get stale, stuck or just need to find a fresh approach. I love running courses on creativity and generating ideas, especially seeing participants explore new ways of thinking. I wrote this  in response to something I read about ideas to promote creativity, and wanted to add my own thoughts. Then I decided to take my own advice and play with it – it’s still a work in progress, but it was fun to do. Enjoy! […]

By |January 7th, 2013|People Tips|9 Comments

Collaboration – How can it help my business?

 At our mastermind group, we recently discussed collaboration. We all agreed that collaboration is a good thing for business, but were maybe a little foggy on exactly how it can help us. We were also concerned that there may be pitfalls to be aware of– some of us had come across situations where we needed to extract ourselves from a collaborative project, for various reasons. […]

By |January 2nd, 2013|People Tips|1 Comment

The best gift for your staff – appreciation

It‘s the season of good will, so let’s capitalise on the lovely festive spirit. Much as you may want to give your colleagues huge bonuses and generous gifts, it may not be possible – business has been tough for us all this year, and we all need to spend wisely. Fortunately, things other than presents and bonuses can be longer lasting, and appreciated more. Here are Three Top Tips that will motivate and inspire your team more than tinsel and turkey: […]

By |December 19th, 2012|People Tips|0 Comments

How to coach your best people

One indicator of a good manager is the way they develop individuals in their team.  They always seem to have both the time and the inclination to help Topi* improve his skills and problem solving ability, knowing how to coach. How do they do it? In addition to recognising the benefits of investing in people, They  take advantage of opportunities for coaching conversations They understand the coaching process They have a good repertoire of coaching questions […]

By |December 1st, 2012|People Tips|0 Comments

The impact that change can have on your people

This is Bircham Windmill – it’s beautiful, you can understand why people have fought to preserve it. But we know that beauty and heritage isn’t sufficient to meet the demands of our needs today – change is constant. You could argue that updating technology is a piece of cake compared to getting your staff on board with the new! People don’t always respond well to change, they find it challenging and often resist it. […]

By |November 16th, 2012|People Tips|0 Comments

Do you do Return to Work Interviews?

Do you have a member of staff coming  back after a period of sickness? Have you thought about return to work interviews?  It can be nerve wracking for them to return to work; All kinds of concerns might be bubbling below the surface.Will they be able to catch up? Will things have changed? Will their health hold up? will their colleagues be supportive if their productivity is slow at first? […]

By |November 2nd, 2012|People Tips|0 Comments

How to have a top notch appraisal

If you manage staff, no doubt you are responsible for carrying out their annual appraisals. Does it fill you with dread or glee? This should be a golden opportunity to have a meaningful, motivating conversation, and yet all too often this gets lost in a quagmire of paperwork, a dull trawl over the same old ground, and confusion about what good objectives look like. […]

By |October 29th, 2012|People Tips|1 Comment

Ten Ways to Say No

      We all know that sometimes, saying no is the right thing to do, if we are to manage our time and priorities well. Yet often, we still well, stutter and mumble, which gets interpreted as a yes. Is it time to try a fresh approach? First of all, analyse why you find it hard. After that, work out your usual approach – and try a new one. Go on, I dare you! […]

By |October 12th, 2012|People Tips|Comments Off on Ten Ways to Say No

People Development in small companies

When it comes to learning and development, the small business owner or manager often isn't sure where to begin when it comes to people development. Why should they be expected to know? They have a different area of expertise, yet feel they have to cover every area in the business, including how to make sure [...]

By |August 22nd, 2012|People Tips|0 Comments