Are you and your people focussed on the right future?

  What does success look like? There’s a huge amount of psychological research which shows how humans perform better with a clear and compelling picture of what they are trying to achieve. In my experience, however, most leaders give far more attention to ‘clear’ and much less to ‘compelling’. Even worse, in their efforts to serve many different purposes, the terminology introduces complexity and confusion which actively reduce performance. Unravelling this is made more difficult by the fact that each organisation (and sometimes each person) use the many terms in different ways. In describing the terms below, therefore, my intention is not to give a definitive meaning to each but rather is to explain the differences and problems that can arise.   So many terms… Budgets These are the probably the simplest, and certainly the most common, but are also the most overused. Every organisation needs budget figures to define the minimum acceptable level of performance – particularly for helping to communicate likely outcomes to financial stakeholders (owners, shareholders etc).
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Categories: Ambition Conversations, Changing Your Team, Learning Conversations, Priority Conversations, Relationship Conversations, Stories and Case Studies, and Why Leadership Teams Matter.

The Discipline of Listening

My knowledge of corporate leaders' 360-degree feedback indicates that one out of four of them has a listening deficit - the effects of which can paralyze cross-unit collaboration, sink careers, and if it's the CEO with the deficit, derail the company. But this doesn't have to be the case. Despite today's fast-paced business environment, time-starved leaders can master the art of disciplined listening.
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Categories: Relationship Conversations.

Is your team supporting you?

When is a team not a team? Members of leadership teams consistently tell us that their biggest area of ineffectiveness lies in their inability to have open, constructive debate. Rather than challenging one another and  working together on organisational goals, they retreat into promoting and defending their own area of responsibility.  Even in teams that work well, only 60% of respondents feel that they can constructively challenge one another without fear of a destructive reaction. In underperforming teams this falls to just 33%. When you dig under the surface of this depressing picture, what invariably lies behind these symptoms is a lack of trust between team members. They simply don’t have enough confidence in their colleagues to open up difficult discussions – or to ask for support. Everyone in the team knows which subjects are likely to provoke defensiveness or destructive arguments – so these simply get avoided. Unfortunately, these are frequently the very issues that the team really need to get to grips with in order to break out
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Categories: Relationship Conversations and Why Leadership Teams Matter.