10 tips for managing a high performer

So you’ve noticed that one of your team is turning out to be a star performer. First of all, congratulations – lucky you for having a high performer on your team. Second of all, well done for noticing – all too often, great performance is barely acknowledged, with a grudging, “Well it IS their job… Read more

Raise your team’s performance with After Action Reviews

    After Action Reviews (sometimes referred to as AARs) have their origins in the United States military. Tools and techniques that improve team performance often have a military provenance. An advantage of techniques with military origins is that they’ve been tried and tested when the stakes were very high. The idea is that after… Read more

Conflict within teams – causes and cures

  It’s not unusual for teams to experience conflict: in team sports it can get physical, in rock bands it can end in smashed guitars and in the workplace, conflict can lead to poor performance. Ultimately, conflict within teams can see some members shown the exit. Not all conflict is A Bad Thing – it… Read more

Giving actionable feedback needs action words

We can tangle ourselves in knots when it comes to giving feedback (whether positive or developmental). Particularly us awkward Brits. We dress it up. Put frills and a bow on it. Ahhh – don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Or we feed people sandwiches. Then we get vexed when the recipient of this cat’s cradle… Read more

How to influence without manipulating

  Right at the start of Zoomly’s ‘How to influence and persuade’ workshop, we discuss the importance of influencing for mutual benefit. If that’s your goal, chances are you won’t sink to using manipulation, which is a concern people naturally have about this topic. The simple way to decide if someone’s influencing or manipulating is… Read more

Dear Manager, coaching isn’t your ‘night job’

Whenever I lead Zoomly’s ‘How to coach your people’ workshop, there are a few things we need to clear up early on. For starters, what coaching is – and isn’t (for example, mentoring, counselling, consulting to name a few). After that, a perfectly reasonable question always comes up: When on earth am I supposed to… 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

Ask or tell? Which works best?

    One of the first things that any decent coaching course will cover is the ‘ask-tell’ continuum. Over on the far right we tell people things – from a straightforward answer through to details of what to do and how to do it. On the left we ask them. Both have their uses; each… Read more

Interview questions to help you hire right

  One of Zoomly’s clients took an interesting approach to their six-pack of bite-sized workshops: they repeated the same topic, ‘How to interview potential recruits’, six times. This meant that they were able to provide essential basic training for all the managers who get involved in the hiring process. Some of them were pretty senior,… Read more