Building a GREAT relationship with your manager …it takes more than coffee

Photo by Javier Molina

Do you remember how it felt to have a manager for the first time at work? Perhaps you are new to the world of work and only just finding out?

We expect a lot of our managers. Sometimes we even forget that they are people just like us – with hopes, fears, concerns, career aspirations, and a manager of their own.

We often expect them to be there for us – to make it straightforward for us to fulfil our responsibilities, to support our development, to ensure we get pay rises and promotions, to back us in a meeting, to listen to us and to value our opinions. Sometimes, it is all too easy to blame them when we don’t want to take accountability ourselves for something not going our way: If only my manager had done this or that. (more…)

The Confidence Conundrum

Photo Credit: Fizkes

Whether you are about to go after your first job or are just starting a new role, it’s possible that there are times where you doubt yourself: ‘Am I going to be able to do this?’, ‘What if they are over-estimating what they think I can achieve?’, ‘It just seems that everyone else is more confident than me!’

Even the most confident person has occasional moments of self-doubt. Ideally, we overcome these as quickly as possible so that we can confidently go about our work in a way which enables us to reveal what we are capable of such that others trust us and see us as credible. This doesn’t mean overtly demonstrating confidence through an act; people can tell if you are not being authentic. It means knowing yourself and being comfortable about who you are and what you stand for. (more…)

The Happy Leader – how to raise your levels of happiness

Is being a leader and being happy mutually exclusive? I don’t think so. While we hear more and more about working context meaning that we have to manage in ever changing, complex and ambiguous environments, this does not have to mean that our lives as leaders become necessarily difficult and unhappy.

As Dr Wayne Dyer said, “Many people mistakenly believe that circumstances make a person. They don’t. Instead they reveal him or her. Our circumstances don’t define us.”

If that’s the case, as a leader, how can you maintain your happiness whatever the circumstances?

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Enabling your team’s creativity

light-bulb-SMALL

Have you ever been in a meeting where your boss tells all of his/her direct reports that ‘we need more creativity’ and expects that as you walk out of the door there will be an instant change? In these times of efficiency, productivity, streamlining, judgement and busy-ness, our creative selves can get squeezed out. In such environments, where is the space for enabling new ideas to seed rather than be trampled on? How can we expect to see the spark of something new and exciting to engage our customers and consumers in a way that provides mutual benefit?

If you are a line manager with a team relying on you to provide the conditions for them to be at their best, how might you create the conditions for creativity?

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Learning how to handle change – YOUR way

Have you ever felt change was happening to you and there was nothing you could do about it?

Did you find a way to handle it or let it run its course?

The well-known saying ‘change is the only constant in life’ has no doubt been felt by us all. Given this, it can be helpful to understand your own approach to dealing with change and whether it works for you. This article shares my own experience of recent change and how it has provided me with a 4 letter acronym for how to handle the next change that I feel needs to be handled. As a result, I hope that you may also find it useful to create your own. (more…)

How to make behavioural change stick

 

Credit: Ivanko_Brnjakovic

What is it about changing our behaviours that can makes it so difficult to maintain? Think back to the last time you deliberately worked on changing a behaviour in order to be more effective at work. How did it go? If you weren’t successful, can you put your finger on why? If you were, what was it that made it work for you?

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Not drowning but waving – how to succeed in your new role

 

(Photo Credit: Searsie)

Have you ever started a new role full of excitement and then a few weeks in wondered what on earth you had done? Perhaps you feel that way now? The initial enthusiasm after the interview process can sometimes wane as you start to feel out of your depth.
It puts me in mind of the poem by Stevie Smith ‘Not waving but Drowning’.

Perhaps, on the surface, you are putting on a brave face. Perhaps, if you don’t pro-actively do something differently during the rest of what could be thought of as your ‘transition’ period, the following lines from the poem may feel particularly apt in a month’s time:

I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

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The four letter word that helps you succeed

Dropping out of University could have taken the path for my life downhill. I still remember the feeling of failure, the feeling of shame that I had let those I loved down, and the feeling that there would be no coming back from this. It felt as if everything I had been working towards suddenly seemed pointless.

I managed to pull myself up from quite a low place and go back to University a year later, however, in my second year I felt that I was perhaps studying the wrong subject. I recognised at that point success for me would be to consider the year and a half I had left as a relatively small amount of time in the scale of things and that I was only one and a half years away from getting a degree. At the time I studied, unemployment was high and I felt that having an engineering degree would see me more likely to get a job. As such, it was probably better to show I had sticking power, or GRIT,  than to quit a second time. Easy it was not. A life lesson? Definitely.

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Forget Resolutions – Choose Revolution!

Do you want more of the same in 2017 or is it time to not only figuratively sweep all of those papers off of your desk but perhaps even throw the desk out of the window too?

Have I been on the seasonal sherry you might well ask? Well no, actually.

It’s more a result of some end of year reflection on my part and a feeling that, much as in business, sometimes revolution, rather than incremental evolution is the only way to bring about much needed positive change. (more…)

Whose list will you be on?

Woman writing in notebook during breakfast, top view

You may have heard the saying that people come into your life for a reason.

The general idea is that there are times in our lives where we interact with someone either professionally or personally and that interaction has a profound effect on us – either because it help us in some way or the person role models something that we learn from or because it hurts us in some way or the person role models something that we decide we never want to do to someone else.

I’ve had my own experience of both of these types of situation. (more…)