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

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

Can strengths be a performance risk?

Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of the strengths-based approach. I’ve seen teams and individuals light up with a new sense of purpose and a boost to their energy once strengths are identified. But this isn’t la-la land; there is actually a potential downside to our strengths. Used in the… 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

1:1s with your team – worthwhile or waste of time?

  What’s your reaction to that question: do you relish the time you spend having a 1:1 conversation with one of your team members to discuss their progress? Or do you find 1:1s a waste of time, a tick-box exercise? Or maybe, you find 1:1s a little uncomfortable? Welcome to your job. If you’ve progressed… Read more

Stages of learning – what to watch out for

Most of us are always learning in some way: to build our knowledge, master a new tech tool, or to boost our presentation skills for example. Beyond the workplace, we might be learning a new language or trying to improve our technique in our preferred sport. As adults, we learn differently to young children, who… Read more

Why you’re not achieving your goals

  How are you doing? Good? And how well are you progressing towards your goals right now? Not this quarter, or even this month, but right now, here, today. If we’re not careful, all that planning (or daydreaming, or wishful thinking) we did way back when the year seemed all shiny and new will come… Read more

4 excuses for dodging feedback – and what to do instead

Whenever I deliver Zoomly’s ‘How to give effective feedback’ bite-sized workshop, there’s some initial squirming from a number of the participants. Particularly the Brits: we seem to get tangled in skirting around the subject, dressing it up, putting a bow on it – and let’s not forget serving up s*%t sandwiches*. Some of us find… Read more

When feedback ‘doesn’t work’

  “But what if I give someone constructive feedback and it doesn’t work?” This question sometimes comes up in Zoomly’s ‘How to give effective feedback’ workshop. It may be that the participant has given a colleague feedback on their work and has yet to see any improvement in performance. Or, as is often the case… Read more