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Facilitating Adventurous Conversations

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Management lessons from Masterchef

As the hit BBC series builds towards the final, I find myself in a cluster of  Derbyshire holiday cottages with a team of bright young managers about to discover more about their management style through the medium of cooking.

The original team building activity

The original team building activity

This group have given up two days of their hectic schedules to invest time in getting to know each other better and to take time out as a team.  By combining proven tools such as the psychometric Strengths Deployment Inventory along with team exercises the group will begin to bond as friends rather than colleagues.

Eating together is probably the original team building activity and when those around the table have all contributed to the feast, each mouthful is all the more satisfying.  All too often we separate our behaviour at work from our behaviour with friends more than is necessary.  Given we spend up to 60% of our waking lives with our work colleagues shouldn’t we make time to build friendships.  After all these are the people that influence our health, wealth and happiness more than any other.

Just take slow deep breaths

Yesterday I had a coffee with Brian Draper, he’s been writing a book about SQ or Spiritual Intelligence. At first I assumed this was simply an obvious follow on to the much talked about IQ and EQ theories but there’s more to it than that.

Find time to relax

Find time to relax

I won’t attempt to rewrite the book here but will share one of Brian’s wise sayings. Having met some impressive theologians and thinkers over the years he reported that some of the most calm and wise men he’s come across talk about taking time to ‘overhear oneself’.

Amidst the rush of life and the endless stream of email, voicemail and online information it’s important to regularly find a period of quiet away from the chatter that fills our minds. Instead try not to think about anything, just take slow deep breaths allowing the muscles and joints from your toes to your head to relax.

Apparently taking time to ‘overhear oneself’ everyday can transform our outlook, not only removing stress but giving a more enlightened outlook on the world and people around us.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Royal Mail Discord

Unrealistic demands in the workplace?

Unrealistic demands on Royal Mail delivery team?
Unrealistic demands on Royal Mail delivery team?

The Communication Workers Union has recently claimed that postmen are being bullied by Royal Mail managers because they do not walk quickly enough whilst making deliveries. 

A BBC News report says that union officials claim that a new softaware system, Pegasus, requires delivery staff to walk at four miles an hour. They claim that the demands of this system pressure postmen into completing “unrealistic” rounds in order to gain financial savings.

So how can Royal Mail managers motivate and inspire their staff, rather than stand accused of bullying them, to allow the organisation to cope with its busiest time of the year? …

When does change stop?

It’s been a week of changes – the historic US election and the Bank of England slashing interest rates by 1.5%

Barack Obama talking about change

Barack Obama talking about change

Some say the slow-down is slowing down and that, following a wave of structural changes across most organisations, it’s now time to think about marking the end of change and the beginning of a fresh start. All too often managers fail to acknowledge the end of change. Consequently the low morale that inevitably accompanies periods of uncertainty continues, eroding productivity day after day….

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