communication

thank you feedback

Don’t spit the dummy: how to respond to critical feedback

18th March 2015

How do you manage your reaction to something that hits you when you’re least expecting it? I was once hit in the stomach with a basketball that I didn’t see coming. It knocked the wind right out of me, and I instinctively yelled: “I’m going to tell my mother on you!” In my defence, I was eight years old and [...] READ MORE

Choir green

Music lesson: creating harmony through effective collaboration

14th April 2015

What is your ‘fantasy ambition’? Mine is to be a musician. So when I agreed to sing a few pieces at my old law firm’s annual client function, I was secretly hoping that I would be ‘discovered’ and my career in music would take off. But the reality turned out to be a bit different. What happened [...] READ MORE

evaluation

If it’s broken, fix it – don’t throw performance reviews away

13th August 2015

It seems that performance review bashing has become the newest sport in human resources. Recent weeks have seen several major Australian corporates announce that they are scrapping annual performance reviews. These announcements are sending some practitioners jumping for joy – after all, plenty of research shows us that no-one like performance reviews. Before we get [...] READ MORE

Men arm wrestling

Negotiation: Are we hardwired to win?

3rd May 2016

How do you know whether you’ve won a negotiation? When we ask our clients what a successful negotiation looks like, they frequently refer to the goal of achieving a ‘win-win’ outcome. But, in reality, we still see a significant number of people approaching negotiation with a ‘win-lose’ mentality. Where does this pressure to win come from? [...] READ MORE

Personality

Personality: does it hold the key to influencing?

18th February 2015

‘Personality is everything in art and poetry.’ So said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and we know intuitively that this is true. But what about influencing? What is the role of personality in the art and poetry of an influencing conversation? As a facilitator of CMA’s Influence in the Workplace workshop, I often hear this question. [...] READ MORE

Robots talking to eachother

Should the workplace be an emotion-free zone?

17th November 2015

“Leave your emotions at the door!” This has been the unspoken mantra of the corporate world for so long that it might as well be printed in the induction materials. For many years, I bought into this expectation. After spending five years training my mind in the hyper-rational disciplines of Science and Law, it made [...] READ MORE

accountant

CPR: the key to soft skills (and saving boring accountants)

3rd March 2015

It was a scathing assessment. Would-be accountants might be good with numbers, but they lack the soft skills necessary to prosper in today’s business world. That was the parting shot fired by Peter Roebuck upon retiring as head of accounting at the University of NSW. According to an article in the Australian Financial Review, Roebuck said that “Poor [...] READ MORE

Speckled Frog

Speckled frogs and the need to be right

10th May 2016

If you’ve ever come across someone who cannot seem to give up on an argument without being ‘right’, there’s a reason for that.  And, in fact, the chances are that you may have done this yourself, even if it wasn’t intentional. Being right may be great, but if we are too focussed on being right, [...] READ MORE

shutterstock_153640094

Turnbull: Collaboration as a winning leadership strategy

22nd September 2015

Barely a week has passed since the latest Australian leadership spill, and it seems like the dust is settling faster than it has in the past. Perhaps these spills are becoming so commonplace that we barely raise an eyebrow anymore. Perhaps we all just want to get on with our lives. It’s easy to dismiss the change in leadership as a change that had [...] READ MORE