Effective Communication

Always, always speak respectfully. Speak with respect, compassion, and empathy and people are more likely to listen to you. Go private. When you reach out in a personal message or DM you are not publicly shaming the individual – it implies you are interested in them and a genuine conversation. Test the waters first. Some people are fixed in their mindset – so don’t get bogged down if you can’t change them. Ask what information or facts might help them understand how you see the issue. Agree. In every conspiracy theory is an element of truth – those are the parts we all agree, it is important to align on these aspects before you get into the tricker content. Try the “truth sandwich.” Use the fact-fallacy-fact approach, a method first proposed by linguist George Lakoff. “State what’s true, debunk the conspiracy theory, and state what’s true again,” Or use the Socratic method. Use questions that help explore their argumentContinue Reading

There are lots of reasons where a meeting or group session that once might have been important and highly relevant stops being your top priority. When that happens you have to choose to be fully engaged or to break up with your commitments! It could be a regular social engagement, or a working group where you were included for ‘your perspective’, or maybe it is a voluntary activity that is no longer top of your list of priorities. We all have them, those meetings or events in our diaries that we are not really engaged in anymore, maybe you show up, but don’t really engage, other times we ghost the meeting by not showing up but not dropping off the invite list or admitting we were no longer attending. In this article Saunders explains why you should make a formal break and provides you with four steps to go aboutContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from Forbes by Jeremy Pollack, Published 28th July 2020 Significant bodies of research have confirmed that employee happiness is more likely to drive organisational success and as this article points out “job satisfaction is not only a sound business decision, but also an ethical and moral one”. So how do you know if your employees are happy and fully engaged in your organisation? Here are six questions that can help you find out. Is there anything that you need from the organisation to be more successful in your role? Is there anything you need from me (as your leader), or anything that I could be doing differently to be helpful to you? Is there anything that you find unclear in your role? or any clarity or direction that I can help you with. Do you have a vision for how this role will help you getContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from Forbes by Grant Freeland, Published 27th July 2020 This article grabbed me at the start with the short powerful statements that leaders use Ronald Reagan used to say “Trust but Verify”, former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi used to say “Performance with Purpose” and for a highly successful not for profit entrepreneur it is “No Surprises”. “No Surprises” has been a line I have used for many years so this article immediately spoke to me. The author Freeland is a BCG partner and in this article he refers to how leaders need to communicate which is with truth and transparency. They need to empathetic and one of the best ways to do this is to show them your human side. (see uncover your motivation to lead and the motivation secret that works for everyone) Show your heartOpen up about your life, feelings and struggles, build connectionsContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from Fast Company by Jessica Thiefels Published 9th July 2020 Effective and compelling communication is a critical skill, you need clarity, persuasion and effective story telling to make sure your audience is fully engaged. Use Prompts for Creative Writing Build creative writing skills that you can apply to your business writing, there are tools available that can help you build the capability and remember practice makes perfect. Applications that can help include Writing Prompts (Android) or Daily Prompt (Apple). Boost Your Persuasive Writing Skills One of the most in demand skills today (see LinkedIn’s 2020), Persuasion is about your ability to effectively engage with your audience and to influence them to align to the views you are explaining. As a business leader being able to explain a vision, strategy or mission is a core competence. Become a Better Storyteller People engage with stories, when telling your story think aboutContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from Harvard Business Review, by by Justin Hale and Joseph Grenny, Published 9th March 2020 The authors make the argument that too often meeting attendees check out. When everyone is in the same room there are techniques we all use to bring the attention back to the speaker but how do you do that on a virtual meeting. Here are 5 rules that can really help sharpen the focus in your next virtual meeting. The 60 second rule – In the first minute of the meeting do something with the group to make them experience the problem. It might be a dramatic story, compelling statistics or a powerful analogy. The goal is to ensure that the group understands the problem before you discuss or try to solve it. The responsibility rule – when attending a meeting we all have a role, you need to provide clarity on the engagementContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article in HBR by Michael Beer, Published 22nd June 2020 Michael explains that most organisations today are dealing with massive strategic challenges that require a redefinition of purpose, identity, strategy, business model and even structure. Many if not most of these will fail and not because the strategy if flawed but rather the organisation does not have the ability to execute. He explains that he has seen six common interrelated reason for failures, referred to as ‘hidden barriers’ which make organisations ineffective. Hidden barrier #1: Unclear values and conflicting priorities Often, the underlying problem is not this or that strategy, but rather the process by which the strategy was formed — or the lack of any such process. In these cases, strategy is often developed by the leader along with the chief strategy or marketing executive and only then communicated to the rest of the senior teamContinue Reading

Tough Leadership

Synopsis of an article from McKinsey By Homayoun Hatami, Pal Erik Sjatil, and Kevin Sneader Published 28th May 2020 CEOs (and all leaders) need to take care of themselvesWith so much to focus on right now, focusing on yourself might not be top of mind, but if you are tired you lose your ability to be effective, you stop processing information as well and your moods may suffer. The authors suggest tips on ways to avoid burnout and tap into new sources of energy. – Call a friend or colleague you like for an early afternoon chat– Take a walk outside, exercise is a tested way to restore energy– Stop Friday afternoon meetings– Consider getting an early night on Thursday to go into the weekend fresh Break out of your isolationGetting unfiltered information and contradictory viewpoints requires finding sources of objective, trustworthy and quality information. Making contact directly with individuals and teams toContinue Reading

Article from LinkedIn by Natalie MacDonald, Published 21st May 2020 On this episode of the LinkedIn Video Together In Business, Insurtech founder Ben Webster, Inspiring Rare Birds CEO Jo Burston and COSBOA chief Peter Strong join Natalie to talk about managing and supporting teams during the crisis. Together they covered: Tools for maintaining and building culture How to approach letting people go The benefits of honest and transparent communication, and making teams feel like part of the conversation How to talk to workers about heading back to the office Skip straight to watching the video on the link below. https://www.linkedin.com/video/embed/live/urn:li:activity:6669054004816818176 Originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/food-thought-leadership-crisis-times-natalie-macdonald/Continue Reading

Article from Inc. By Suzanne Lucas. Published 12th May 2020 “Working from home can cause a different kind of burnout. One where you don’t know when work begins and ends, and where you never really have any time off. You’re always at the office, so therefore you are always working.” This article provides some practical advice for managers on how to be supportive. It’s almost never an emergency, so don’t play that card unless it really is. Maintain an office like schedule – make it clear what expectations are and that employees are not expected to respond to messages at all hours day and night. Communicate frequently to keep everyone up to date – its much less stressful to know what is going on than to sit and wonder what is coming next. Read the whole article here: https://www.inc.com/suzanne-lucas/your-work-from-home-employees-are-burning-out-you-can-help.htmlContinue Reading