How to start over in a relationship

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

This is the seventh of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here
How to start over over in a relationship
Relationships can get stuck. Conversations end in argument; the same buttons get pressed; [...]

This is the fourth of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here
Importance of managing emotions in difficult conversations
Conversations about performance or behaviour have many starting points but all have an underlying [...]

Moving Targets

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

This is the first of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here
Moving targets re-title: How to set realistic objectives
Conventional wisdom holds that when you want people to perform at their [...]

There are three types of verbal behaviour that you can use in a meeting. You can put forward new ideas; you can ensure that what is said is clear and understood by everyone; and you can give support to, or disagree with, things that are said. The balance of these three behaviours determines how effective [...]

Most of us put off having difficult conversations for as long as possible.  But even when we are in conversations, we find ways of avoiding the critical and difficult issues. The problem is that when you hold a conversation that does not directly and effectively address the real problem, no amount of talking will make [...]

How to get accountability

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

If you want to build a high performing team you must know how to hold people to account for their performance. In general however, people are more skilled at avoiding accountability than others are at holding them to account. There are three tactics that are most commonly used. For each, there is a specific behaviour [...]

K.I.S.S.

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The old acronym K.I.SS. - Keep It Simple Stupid - is as well understood and relevant today as it ever was. In spite of that, much business communication is ineffective, whether it’s written or spoken.
People tend to ramble, never getting to the point. They focus more on showing what they know, rather than on [...]

Performance appraisal revisited – again

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The majority of organizations today claim they have a performance appraisal system in place.  The procedures and documentation are carefully designed and circulated every quarter or half year. Managers line up interviews with their staff. Sometimes people are asked to complete self assessments before their appraisal interviews.
Afterwards, the data is collected and analysed to identify [...]

If you’ve done any presenting at all you can probably think of moments when you could feel that your audience was completely absorbed by what you were saying. Most of us unfortunately have also had the experience of talking to an audience when we just couldn’t seem to make any connection.
When you have a good connection with [...]

Presentation skills: watch your mannerisms

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Many a good presentation has been ruined by a mannerism. A mannerism is a repetitive and distracting gesture, movement or use of words, and you’ve probably seen presenters use most of them.

Ending every other sentence with the word ‘okay’ or ‘you know’
Fiddling with a ring, a necklace or a piece of clothing
Clasping the hands just above waist [...]