Top tips to building Rapport!

When you meet anyone for the first time, be it in an interview, at a bar, or starting in a new workplace, there are some key essentials to having a successful conversation, versus an unsuccessful one, and therefore making a good first impression to move forward. Obviously with dating and relationships out of work there are a number of other initial factors such as if you like the look of them, their voice, their smell and how they dress or smile. In the workplace, whilst these all carry some sort of impression as well, and it goes without saying that in interviews how you present yourself is one of the key factors, as well as timekeeping; what you say and how you say it is what counts. ima

Are you a game-player or playing the game?

When was the last time you played a game, a real game like chess or backgammon, cards, or jenga? Did you see any similarities between that and what you do every day at work? First lets look at the definition of ‘game’ in this context : "play games, to act in an evasive, deceitful, manipulative, or triflingmanner in dealing with others" "Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational, or psychological role. "A game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeki

Strategic Innovation - the misnomer!

Working in Digital Delivery and change programmes one question I’m constantly asked by clients is how they can deliver faster, better and cheaper. Naturally Im quick to say that innovation is often the answer. There is usually a ‘but’ that follows that statement - either from them or from me. “ But what of strategy? But what innovation can we do? But what should we focus on first? But what does that really mean?" All very sensible ‘BUT’ questions. However, I prefer to try and focus on What? What do you already have in place to enable and drive an environment that will support innovation? (technology, data, insight, ideas?) What attitude to risk do you have? What do your customers want? What

Top tips to getting the best results from your workshops...

Workshops have become a common workplace tool to drive out ideas, solutions and gain clarity. Whether you are running a workshop to understand business requirements, a persons goals, lessons learned or more detailed and in depth analysis of your business strategy, delivery programme, policy or sales funnel and service offering, I have collated a few hints and tips to help structure your session and gain better results. Its based on the 3 R’s - Roles, Rules, Results. Roles: As the facilitator you are there to make people feel at ease. If you are enjoying yourself they will do too. A conversational, friendly tone goes a long way further than a formal and clinical one. At times you will lead,

Fee-fi-fo-fum........are you letting procrastination and fear prevent you from living your dreams?

Do you often find that you are focused on a path of action only to find that you get de-toured or distracted along the way? You walk in to a room and forget your very specific purpose for going there and then find yourself doing something else that is more important or urgent! Or perhaps you go out to the shops to get a specific list of things and return home with completely different items that you thought were better? Do you start on one thing and then abandon it only to then try and pick it up again later? Or perhaps you sit down to complete or focus on a task and then find a bunch of bills or other ‘more important’ things to get done first? Or do you even just sit there and ‘think’ and

Bridging the Gap between traditional Change programmes and Creating disruptive and innovation change

Business Change and Delivery programmes have a natural lifecycle. There are 3 core phases: The first is to establish the strategy and programme following a period of analysis, reviewing the current state and existing business models pros and cons. Next, as the Programme starts to evolve in to the delivery and change roll out stages this is where the greatest momentum is seen and experienced. The team and business are running full tilt at delivery and going through the key stages of the transformation. Finally, the platform or service or product is delivered and rolled out and the sales teams or commercial and business teams are then handling the new business practises and ongoing management

Building the digital foundations of a digital business

image credit : In the current landscape businesses are facing huge disruption from new players in their industries with ever increasing demand on revenue and pipeline. The pressure this places on not only maintaining or building their business in an ever increasingly competitive market but dealing with increasing demands of recruitment, globalisation, productisation, data and content insights and changing perceptions and needs of customers, is not insignificant. With more startups than ever emerging, as people start to break out of the normal pattens of the traditional employment structures, building their own profiles and businesses by shaking up the norms of business develo

Leadership - do you have what it takes?

I caught a conversation the other day where leadership was the main topic and what it really meant to be a leader - either a successful or terrible one. Im sure if we all think over people we have worked with in the past (or current) there are always a couple of stand outs among them that you don’t even hesitate to say that they were not only exceptional leaders, but also mostly likeable and people you respect and admire, and more often that not, enjoyed working with. So what are the core traits of a leader? In an exercise I have done in multiple workshops in the past it boils down to 6 core areas, all of which seem quite obvious, but there are many layers and examples we can all think of

Resolutions? What resolutions?

As we all see in the New Year many of us make resolutions, full of optimism and ambition for what we want to achieve. It gives us a mental line in the sand to restart from. So why then do so many of us then ditch them as fast as we have made them? In the past I have made a number of resolutions - usually something fluffy around health goals, weight, learning new skills, seeing more, travelling more or even finding that long yearned for job. They are all made in the belief that they will better me, make me grow (not in the waistline department hopefully) and carry me forward on my path to longer term success, fulfilment and happiness - basically the same as everyone else. The problem is t

Are your fear gremlins making you freeze?

I was talking with a well renowned public speaker recently, Dr John DeMartini, as I was picking his brains on his 40 years of speaking, teaching and mentoring - hes been one of my mentors – and part of the discussion was how you go about facing large audiences, something I’m doing more of as I expand my skills. He explained to me his view on facing large rooms of people. He articulated the fear many have of speaking in this way: that fear of public speaking is not a fear of speaking (we speak to people every day, several people sometimes at once and never question ourselves) but the fear of the people in the room listening; believing that they may know more, are better and more knowledgeabl

The duck that never stops quacking.....

Recently in my last contract role I was laughing with a group of colleagues about the nature of the childrens book that Im currently writing and whether I was drawing upon people and characters around me to invent my story and as a way to outline personality in the book. Well in truth, when writing, one always tends to draw upon what we know, look back to situations and experiences that we have been involved in or observed, so we can’t help but instill some sense of those characters in to those that are jumping up from the page. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that one of my characters was a duck that never stopped quacking, as he was a resonant character to me in the corporate

Coffee cups of gratitude and love

During my morning coffee and planning session, where I research a little and catch up on some interesting articles, plan my to do list and movements for the day, I got a knock at the door. 5 mins later Ill admit, back in bed (cummon! It is really chilly outside!) I was opening a package. I recognised the writing on the label so was curious to see its contents. I’d been warned of a ‘rather random’ gift on its way. On opening I found a rather lovely face mask pack (a nod to the allergic reaction I got over Christmas when my eyes puffed up making me look like I was competing for a staring role in Finding Nemo for chief pufferfishface) and what can only be described as a Good luck charm in a bea

Be a tree!

The smell of pine needle pervades in the air as the christmas tree is undressed and laid bare. The baubles taken off and back in their box nestled back in tissue, the stars, reindeer, lights are all packed away. The box is packed away, the tree checked over one last time and pulled out in to the street. There is something about this disrobing of the tree ceremony that makes me reflective and a little thoughtful. The christmas period is over for another year, family gatherings and the coming together of all those we love; another year marking itself with fireworks, year of collections on tv; best and worst of, the looking back over friendships made and failed, jobs worked, projects begun, and

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