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

Vital communication skill – listening

Very often when people think of working on their communication skills, they’ll say they need to boost their speaking / presentation / influencing skills. Fair enough – those are indeed applications of communication skills – yet I have a sneaking suspicion that the focus is on transmitting more than receiving. I think the most under-rated… Read more

Office party howlers and how to avoid them

  December is here…and that means Christmas parties. Not just mince pies and mulled wine – but also colleagues, including your boss. I’ve previously posted festive season tips*; thanks to the readers who asked me to get going with this earlier in December. “I read your post the morning after I’d done EVERYTHING you shouldn’t… Read more

Mental Health at work: how you can help

October 10 sees World Mental Health Day, which aims to boost awareness of mental health, specifically advocacy against stigma through education and awareness-raising. This year the focus of WMHDAY is on ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’ – you can read the full report here. WMHDAY defines ‘positive mental health’ as the ‘ability… Read more

Book review: The A**hole Survival Guide by Robert I. Sutton

Professor Robert I. Sutton is now known to many as ‘the Asshole Guy’, having given us ‘The No Asshole Rule’, followed by ‘The Asshole Survival Guide’. So if the A-word is too strong for you, look away – and miss out. I like a book that doesn’t mince its words. It’s also good if there’s… Read more

20 questions to help you negotiate (and one to avoid)

In Zoomly’s ‘How to negotiate’ workshop (co-created with ‘How to pay less for more’ author Marc Lockley), after participants have practised negotiating with each other, we debrief and ask for insights gained. One of the big ‘aha’ moments people report is the power of asking the right questions – and the perils of asking the… 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

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

Should you get a mentor?

Sometimes people ask me this question in the same way I’d imagine they ask their friends if they should get a tattoo. Just because your friend’s got one, just because you’ve read a bit about it, and just because they’re out there doesn’t mean you should get a mentor. Not until you can articulate two… Read more