Have you ever had one of those days when just about everything you touched or came to your attention was bigger, more complicated, more difficult than it, at first, appeared? Someone asks an innocent question or an email arrives and your first answer needs qualifying in some way and then that answer triggers another train of thought and so it goes until you wish you hadn’t answered the phone or opened the email in the first place! At the close of just such a day a while ago, it occurred to me that at the root of this type of problem we often find the issue of implied, implicit or assumed understanding. If your understanding is not clear in the early stages of the conversation or transaction then you will labour under the misunderstanding for quite a while, usually until someone realises that you have been talking at cross-purposes.Read More
As someone who spends their time working to support others in their personal and professional development, I am always thrilled to hear that people have found working with me both helpful and useful. Verbal and written feedback is always gratefully received and I value it highly but yesterday something very special happened. It was the first time that I have ever seen physical evidence that affirms the value of what I do and what I had written. One of the attendees at my afternoon workshop entered the room and, while she was settling herself down, took various items out of her bag as she was looking for a pen which had clearly sunk to the bottom. One of the items which appeared was the most dog-eared copy of my book that I have ever seen. She told me that she dips into it every day and that it is incredibly useful to her.Read More
After a blustery and challenging week I find myself with a big smile on my face this morning. As the year winds down and we all start to look forward to what the next one brings it seems that I am way ahead of the game. What a delightful surprise! The Pantone Color Institute have announced what they believe will be the colour of 2012 - and it just happens to be the colour I chose as my corporate livery some time ago! If you have one of my business cards or have visited The Professionalism Group's website then you will recognise the lovely, warm colour instantly. The particular shade is apparently called Tangerine Tango and was chosen, according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, because it is "reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset and marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.” Doesn't that sound great? She went on to say that their choice of orange is because of its association with urgency and calling to action and added: “Consumers look to Spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day.”Read More
Just as I was settling down on the train yesterday for a nice relaxed ride home, I overheard the lady next to me say to her travelling companion ‘Did you know Christmas Day is three weeks tomorrow?’ Talk about panic stations! Am I ready – I am not! Have I done anything about anything – I have not! This has all the makings of a Christmas Eve whirlwind but I have pulled this particular rabbit out a hat before so I am not overly worried. Not just yet anyway! Organisations, however, need to be just a little bit more prepared and, in difficult times, will hopefully have been a bit inventive this year on the thorny question of WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS PARTY. An interesting subset of that discussion will also have revolved around bonuses or rewards for a year of effort and, hopefully, successes.
In the last few months we have seen lightbulbs and bells going off all over the place. We now have some statistics to prove what we have all known for a long time – not everyone is happy at work!Read More
“A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled “ (Sir Barnett Cocks)
It’s Monday morning and you probably looked at your diary or calendar last night to see what the coming week looks like. Did you smile and predict that this is going to be a productive week, you have some things planned but you also have some clear space which will allow you leeway for following up exciting ideas or resolving urgent issues. Or did your heart sink because the week ahead is full of recurrent weekly, monthly, quarterly meetings which only happen because the need for them is long lost in the mists of time or it’s always been done this way?Read More