As the plethora of perfectly carved pumpkins start to appear on social media, I find myself saying ‘I’m happy for these people, they have creativity, patience and time to spare’..,
But I also find my inner voice saying... ' I bet what they didn't have was a bouncy overexcited 7-year-old wielding a Sharpie and dinner knife in front of them, declaring that the pumpkin only needs half its head, otherwise we wouldn't be able to see the brains falling out!
So we set everything up, get ready to carve, the excitement at fever-pitch and then… he’s loses interest and we end up with slightly quirky, rather than a scary looking pumpkin!
I had several options:
1. TRY and coerce my Son into creating a more elegant pumpkin masterpiece
2. LIE and create my own ‘slightly better’ pumpkin and take a photo of him next to it
3. BUY a ready-made carved pumpkin and be vague about its creation
4. Let him loose (safely!) with his creativity and equipment and see what we end up with!
Being a manager sometimes means we look at others and judge ourselves against their; results, team, awards etc. But when you’re too busy looking at what others are doing you can miss out on the talents of your own team.
So, whether your switching off the lights and pretending you're not at home, or out and about with the Zombies, Witches and Batman, (there's always one dressed as Batman!) have a ‘perfectly’ personal Halloween.
Last week I opened a Management Development workshop by recounting the events surrounded the saving of the Titanic survivors. (Granted, it wasn’t the cheeriest of openings, but it was certainly powerful!)
The sequence of events that the Captains of the SS Californian and the RMS Carpathia took that night are often overlooked when the Titanic is mentioned. Yet that moment in time followed them for the rest of their lives.
The SS Californian
The inquiry records reveal contradictory evidence from the crew of the SS Californian. Discrepancies in how
Last week I opened a communications workshop for managers by talking about Honeybees! Yes, you did read that right… Honeybees!
Honeybee’s have communication nailed. They locate flowers for nectar and let everyone in the hive know exactly where to find them. How? They do a waggle dance!
As the kids head back to school, I’m reminded of my own early days in education. A time when, we covered our exercise books to make them last longer (Yes, that is wallpaper from our 1970’s living room!) and I took my ‘words’ to and from school in an empty (but still rather smelly) Golden Virginia tobacco tin!
Times have changed, and whilst I might look back nostalgically, I wouldn’t expect my own Son to do the same now-a-days.
So why would any business expect new managers to follow practices that are probably as old as my exercise book! ...
When I landed my first official job as a Trainer for a large DIY store many moons ago, I was delighted! I learnt on the job, running rousing inductions and traveling the length and breadth of the UK to meet eager (my words not theirs) learners to induct them.
After some time, I realised that if I was going to progress to other forms of training i.e. Management Development, I was going to need to develop my own skills further. Back then the key attributes of a great Trainer were
As a young teenager, my mum would send me on my bike to buy tomatoes from a lady who sold fruit and veg she grew in her garden.
The produce would usually be set out on a stand to the side of the house with an honesty pot to put the money in. But sometimes the stand wasn’t there, and you had to
Several years ago, my mum ventured into her first ever Starbucks store. Nothing particularly interesting about that, however, they were just starting their 'can I take your name for the cup' shenanigans, and my mum answered, 'Ruth'.
Again, not much interesting about this either, until you understand that, a) her name is not Ruth! and b) when I asked her why she had given a different name she replied...
“If you’re telling me I’ve done something wrong, then at least give me enough information to do it right next time!”
Many Managers struggle with giving real-time feedback. The concept of praising and correcting a team member in the moment can feel uncomfortable. More so for ‘Accidental Managers.’ Those who have been promoted to manage a team because they were good at their previous role… which probably involved very little people management at all!
In this article we’ll look at what feedback is and is not, and we’ll also introduce a simple four-part model that you can use for positive and constructive feedback. Let’s dive in…
Management Development Conversations
“Just because YOU think you’re right, doesn’t actually make you right!” This was a conversation I heard between two learners during a Management Development workshop I was hosting.
It opened a really interesting discussion about how much some people hold on to their views in order to prove themselves correct. Even when they start to believe there may be merit in other people’s views.
Some of the best Managers I’ve worked with have a talent for being able to step back and take on other people’s opinions. These Managers also happen to be excellent at conversation and communication. Coincidence? I think not!
I love this TED Talk from Celeste Headlee about ‘10 ways to have a better conversation’. Celeste is a radio host and her advice translates beautifully from advice for individuals to advice for business managers too.
The topic of ‘communication’ crops up a lot the Management Development programme I design and deliver, but this different slant on ‘conversations’ is well worth a view with some great points for all. Enjoy!
Get the FULL guide to the '12 Days of different delegates' in one PDF... CLICK HERE
Find out why learners behave the way they do in workshops, and more importantly what you, as there Trainer can do about it.
Props can really help increase curiosity and engage learners in different ways to traditional discussion.
I used this prop during a Mini Masterclass about 'Proactive Management Conversations.' Can you tell what it is and why I might have used it?
This little selfie was taken during a talk (How to take a better business selfie!) at a networking meeting. As well as getting a decent photo, it also highlights the importance of looking at things from the 'other side'.
In my world, I interact with Managers, Trainers and Entrepreneurs regularly, and this 180 topic raises up quite frequently. I'm thinking this little exercise would be a great, quick example of how different things could be in different perspectives!
Interested in more training activity ideas....?
When I was six, I asked my Dad if I could go ‘Trick or Treating’. His answer? ‘No, it’s begging!’ (Well it was the seventies and Halloween wasn’t really a thing then.) I never asked again.
Fast forward many years to my own Son asking me the same question. My instinctive answer?...
In 1982 the Mary Rose emerged from the Solent to see daylight for the first time in 437 years. I remember this not because of the significance of the event, but because my mum allowed me to stay home from school and watch it on the TV! I also remember gasping as the...
In training design, the 'flow' of the session is paramount. It’s like a well edited movie, you shouldn’t notice the edits, just the great story line. But, sometimes interjecting something unexpected can rouse us from our comfortable state and make us sit up and pay attention. This is often referred to as a ...
Today I've been thinking about ‘the logical way of doing things’ versus ‘the reality’. This has been inspired by autumn, and about the leaves on the trees. As a kid I remember being told ...
Wading through the detritus of garage items, I spotted two bags I recognised, my old training kits. Rummaging through the unsticky post-it notes and hardened blu-tac slabs, I found several training props, including...
The live on-line Q&A session was starting in 5 mins, and I was frantically making up questions just in-case no one asked any! Self-doubt is not something I’m used to feeling, especially having spent many years successfully running face-to-face training sessions! But here I was, about to hit ‘unmute’ on day one of our 5-day challenge, wishing...
There are two things I’ve learnt to distrust;
Both promise rewards;
During a recent trip to Legoland, I found a company timeline. This reminded me of how I'd used company history in 2 of my previous L&D roles, and also why...
Recently I noticed an Apple Map van surveying the neighbourhood for their improved Apple Mapping service. The first thing that crossed my mind…
At a recent event we spoke about our 'inner book'. The one we've yet to write. We also spoke about what the safe and crazy title would be. ..
We have more dinosaurs in our house than possibly lived in the entire Jurassic period!! While I love my Son’s creativity after buying them, I know what’s coming next...
Learning doesn't just happen in a training session. It happens all around us! Follow my ramblings and continue to see the world in a different light!