Are you delegating, dumping or micro-managing?

When I facilitate ‘How to delegate effectively’ workshops, something participants need help with early on is their reluctance to delegate. This can show up as self-imposed obstacles that get in the way such as, “I don’t want to overload them”, “I’m not sure they’ll get it right”, “I’m too busy to delegate properly” and of… Read more

Managing upwards: fix what needs fixing

when we’re new in a role, we can default to doing what we’re good at – but that may not be what’s really needed. First, find out what needs fixing – watch out, it may not be what you think…

6 vital signs of employee motivation

The dictionary defines motivation thus: “willingness to do something, or something that causes such willingness”. In the workplace, what motivates employees to do their best work? Looking for answers finds some common themes. 1.Autonomy Autonomy features strongly in reports and research on workplace motivation. Dan Pink, in his best-selling ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What… Read more

Help! My boss is a procrastinator

Participants in Zoomly’s workshops often hang back to ask me questions at the end, and I feel privileged to be asked.  The ‘How to manage upwards’ session is typical. I’ll always do what I can to help. Yet I’m acutely aware that I don’t work there and I’m not their manager. But I try to… Read more

What lessons can you learn from inspirational leaders?

Recently I’ve been leading Zoomly’s ‘How to develop your leadership style’ workshop quite a lot for different clients. One of the first tasks participants work on in is to consider the leaders who’ve inspired them. Time and again I observe teams discussing this somewhat hesitantly at first, but soon the tempo shifts to an inspirational… Read more

7 tips for receiving feedback

I’ve written a lot about giving feedback, particularly in The Feedback Book. It’s an essential skill for anyone who works in a team and/or manages people in the workplace. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that that feedback isn’t just given – it’s also received. How do you feel when a colleague says, “I’d like… Read more

6 ways to say ‘Thank You’

Investors in People (IiP) have just published their annual ‘Job exodus trends’. It makes essential reading for managers – though brace yourselves, it’s not pretty. Here’s a few headlines: 77% are stressed of respondents at work Over half are looking for another job 24% are unhappy at work The point that really stood out for… Read more

Best of 2019’s business books

  When it comes to books that cover business, the field grows ever wider: management, economics, start-up stories, tech breakthroughs and, increasingly, scandals. There are heaps of different ‘best of’ lists, each with heaps of different choices (there’s a selection at the end of this post). As 2019 comes to an end it seems I’m… Read more

6 common complaints about meetings – and what to do about them

Whenever I run Zoomly’s ‘How to plan and prioritise’ workshop, as the group identifies their daily ‘time bandits’, meetings loom large. Typical comments are that they take too long and deliver too little. No wonder that people fiddle with their phones…Are they really an essential, valuable of getting things done? Or just a waste of… Read more

Improve your appraisals with one small word

Something that’s been coming up in Zoomly’s workshops recently is goals. Not in a good way; we’re talking about goals that are unclear, too vague and utterly unhelpful. Whether the topic is appraisal discussions, coaching skills for 1:1 conversations or simply giving feedback (yes, you can have a Zoomly workshop on each of those topics),… Read more