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Leading through tension

Leading through tension

Tension is unavoidable in the workplace. At any one time, managers and leaders will always have to face and tackle the conundrum of how to make progress on seemingly conflicting objectives at the same time. Leaders need to recognise that tensions are a normal state of affairs within the workplace and accept that there are no right or wrong answers when choosing which strategy to take and what goals to focus on. While there is no way in which managers can completely diffuse and avoid tension altogether, there are some excellent strategies for managing tension and cultivating an environment that embraces tension and ensure it stays positive and productive. Let’s look a little deeper into this idea. ..

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‘Unreasonable’ leaders are better than ‘reasonable’ ones

‘Unreasonable’ leaders are better than ‘reasonable’ ones

When was the last time someone gave you a reason for not doing something important, for not meeting a deadline, not performing to their best ability or not meeting a specific goal. If you are in a leadership position, chances are you hear reasons or excuses for underachievement fairly regularly. In fact, we live in a culture where blame is rife. We blame our colleagues, technology, company culture, transport, you name it, as an excuse for not performing to our best abilities. We are quick to offer up reasons why we didn’t keep our commitments. And if the reason is compelling or believable enough it will lessen or negate the impact of underperforming, letting us off the hook. And over time, we start believing that the reason is true which then limits what actions we can take to overcome the challenge. It’s a viscous cycle. ..

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Creating a meaningful workplace

Creating a meaningful workplace

Say the words “positive psychology” in a group situation and it’s likely to garner mixed reactions. The words, first coined in the 1980s, were the foundation of the “new age”, self-help movement and as such has accrued its fair share of cynicism. Historically, up until the 1980s, psychology was mostly concerned with curing illness. So, it was a revolutionary time in the field of psychology, a time where it shifted it’s focus towards the pursuit of fulfilment and happiness and the movement has exploded ever since.  ..

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Support vs Challenge. Finding the Balance

Support vs Challenge. Finding the Balance

Most leaders usually have a preference for being either supportive of their team, or challenging them. Some of us are naturally more nurturing in our leadership roles, whereas some of us are more in favour of pushing the people who report in to us to achieve their personal best, often at the expense of being supportive.  ..

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How to address negative behaviours

How to address negative behaviours

Have you ever experienced a situation whilst in a management position where you have avoided a behaviour of one of your team members, only to have the problem come back and bite you later? In hindsight we often wish we had addressed these niggling unacceptable behaviours earlier and ‘nipped them in the bud’ before they grew and resulted in something bigger and uglier than they needed to be. It’s human nature to avoid conflict and as managers we are constantly coming across issues and challenges and are weighing up which battles to fight, and which to ignore, in the hope they will go away or not happen again. ..

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The Vulnerable Leader

The Vulnerable Leader

Confidence in leadership is an important, if not essential ingredient to effectively lead others. It has a trickle-down effect, inspiring confidence in staff and allows staff to build trust in their leaders and their convictions. In fact, a business without a confident leader, would fail. Employees would lose faith, lack confidence themselves and become de-motivated. However, there’s a growing acceptance of the fact that leaders also need to be seen to be open-hearted, honest and up-front in times of uncertainty and not just run with the façade of unwavering confidence at all times. ..

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How to communicate to enhance learning and understanding

How to communicate to enhance learning and understanding

We all have different learning styles. This is good to know as a manager especially when you are managing people who are in the process of learning new skills and roles. As a manager you will be forgiven for not having the time or the inclination to learn about your staffs’ preferred learning methods and changing your coaching or training to suit them individually, by luckily, there is a system that works for all people.  ..

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Advanced recruitment skills

Advanced recruitment skills

If you have ever been responsible for hiring staff, it’s more than likely you would have experienced the stress, frustration and costs associated with poor recruitment decisions. Over the years, I have helped my clients fine-tune their recruitment skills, increasing the likelihood of recruiting the right person for the job, the first time, saving them time, money and energy.  ..

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Avoiding negative language

Avoiding negative language

Having a culture where negative language is rife amongst leadership can quickly spell disaster for a business. It is demotivating and disengaging. On the other hand, having a culture whereby positive language is used allows businesses to grow and remain optimistic even in times of hardship. It encourages, acknowledges and motivates.  ..

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Earning the right to lead

Earning the right to lead

Experience, rank and title doesn’t automatically grant you the trust and respect required to effectively manage your colleagues and staff. The most successful leaders have learned that leadership requires a softly-softly phased approach, where connections, trust and credibility need to be established first. Leaders need to earn the right to lead. This pre-leading process is called pacing and in this article, I’ll break it down and outline how you can start to apply this essential skill to your management style right now. ..

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