Anna is a confident senior leader with seven people reporting to her, and Jo, one of her direct reports, is a trusted colleague.
Last week, Jo asked Anna if they could have a chat about something “sensitive”. Anna agreed.
Here is their dialogue from the start of their meeting.
Anna: What sensitive issue would you like to discuss with me?
Jo: It’s about Jason. He has asked if I can share some feedback with you on his behalf, but he doesn’t feel comfortable telling you.
Anna: Why doesn’t Jason feel comfortable telling me whatever he wants you to say to me? As you know, I have an open-door policy, and anyone can give me feedback. I always tell everyone they can say to me whatever they like, and I will listen. I thought I had a good relationship with Jason, which is disappointing news. And he has been part of our team for nearly a year now. I can’t believe he can’t tell me what is wrong. What is it that he wants you to say to me?
Have you ever been in Anna, Jo or Jason’s position? All three are tricky, aren’t they?
Continue reading How to receive second-hand feedback
How do you know that you are performing your role to the best of your ability?
The first step is to have a 100% role clarity. That is, you are certain that what you are focusing your time and energy on, is what you should be focused on.
To ensure that you have role clarity, follow the two steps below.
Continue reading Role clarity in two steps
Excellence is an exciting topic. Is it about being perfect, never making a mistake? Or is it more about a mindset and set of behaviours?
In this article, I will share five tips that individually, and collectively, will have you achieving excellence more often, than not.
Continue reading Excellence – if not now, when?
Here’s a formula.
High-quality conversations lead to high-quality decisions, which lead to high quality actions and ultimately, high-quality results and performance. The reverse is also true. Low-quality conversations eventually lead to low-quality results.
Achieving high quality results and performance are worth the effort to learn how to conduct high-quality conversations.
The point of leverage in this model is high quality conversations. But what is a high quality conversation?
Continue reading High-Quality Workplace Conversations Matter
One of my executive coaching clients is extremely successful. He regularly receives six-figure bonuses and is constantly approached by head-hunters.
Earlier this year he was flat. He was frustrated with his boss. Despite his success, he wasn’t sure if his boss had his back or understood what frustrated him.
“Have you told him?” I asked.
“No, not really.” he replied.
“Why not?” I implored.
He had a lot of reasons. The biggest one was that he didn’t want his boss to see him as being paranoid. As we explored this issue, he shared that his frustrations were affecting him at home, and he had been less motivated than usual about his exercise and health program. This issue was affecting his entire life.
Continue reading What are you not saying to your boss?
This Sunday it is Father’s Day. When collecting my two youngest sons from school yesterday, my seven-year-old son, affectionately known as ‘D-Man’, was covering a paper bag with a drawing he had just completed in class.
“Dad, you can’t see what’s inside the bag because it has the presents I bought for you from the Father’s Day Stall.”
“Okay, don’t worry I promise I won’t look.” I said.
He then went on to say, “Dad, when we get home, can you give me ten dollars?”
Continue reading Lessons about mateship from a 7yo
My eldest son is 17 and is eagerly searching for his first car. We have two parameters for his search. The first is his car must have a 5 Star ANCAP Rating, and the second is our budget.
Prior to facilitating a Safety Conference for Programmed with my good friend Jock Macneish in 2011, I would have shared different criteria with you regarding a first car for my son. He was only 11yo at the time so my criteria were somewhat premature, but a story shared by Programmed’s Managing Director Chris Sutherland changed my mindset.
Continue reading Workplace safety starts at home
When working for Commercial Services at Monash University which had 750 staff over 28 sites providing a wide range of services for the students and staff of Monash University’s nine campuses, the CEO asked me to lead a recognition and reward project called Project Grateful.
He was a fan of Disney and had previously attended the Disney Institute’s leadership programs.
He handed me a ‘Star Card’, a card the size of a business card that read, “You’re a Star!” on one side, and had room for an employee to identify a colleague and create a short hand written note to either thank them or congratulate them for doing something useful, on the other side of the card.
Continue reading Do you have any Gloria’s working with you?
When working with my clients I am constantly asked, “How do I make sure that my team is focused and doing the right things?”
If you want your team to be fully engaged and successful, below are five questions that you ought to consider. It is best if your team are included in the conversation to answer the questions.
Continue reading Five questions for your team
Your mental models are your theories about how the world works. They come from your life’s experiences, your education, your family, your cultural background, your work experience, your religion (or no religion if you don’t have one). For most people, your mental models are sub-conscious – they affect how you behave but you aren’t aware of the impact that they have.
For example, if you had a mental model that as a manager you should have all the appropriate knowledge of someone in that role to justify your title and the money you are earning, and a staff member asks you a question to which you do not know the answer, then you are at risk of responding with a lie. You will simply make up an answer that will re-enforce your view of yourself as a competent manager.
This short video explains this concept in more detail.
Continue reading Why Mental Models Matter