Essential characteristics of good leaders

Friday, September 16th, 2011

This is the fifth 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
Essential characteristics of good leaders
From ancient philosophers to modern scholars and consultants, we have been obsessed with finding out what [...]

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 [...]

Everything you say in a meeting can be categorised into one of three types of behaviour. You can put forward new ideas; you can give support to, or disagree with, what has been said; and you can make sure that the information in the meeting is managed so it is clear and understood by everyone. [...]

Do you really need a meeting?

Friday, May 13th, 2011

In a well run meeting you can solve problems, motivate people, initiate new projects, solve conflicts, get buy-in and build relationships more quickly and easily than in any other way. It’s no wonder meetings are so popular!
Research shows that the written word carries only about 7% of the true meaning of what you communicate and [...]

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 [...]

Presentation skills: ending

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

In a presentation you only have one chance to make a first impression so it is important that you get off to a good start. The ending to a presentation is equally important, because of the lasting impression that you leave.
The ending to a presentation has three elements.
The summary
If you planned the presentation well, you [...]