agent of arcadia

Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Three ways to manage nerves in a feedback conversation

In Collaboration, Communication, Inspire, Leadership, Performance Management on May 31, 2016 at 1:42 am

one-way-london-1500x1000

Let’s face it. There are aspects about our jobs that we love and then there are aspects about our jobs that we don’t. Any job. Things we look forward to. And things we don’t.

Like feedback conversations. Nobody looks forward to those. Whether you’re a manager, leader, or coach who has to deliver the feedback, or whether you’re the one who is on the receiving end.

But what is it about feedback conversations that make us uncomfortable? Is it the thought of having to deliver news to someone about what they did that sounds like you’re telling them off, as if they are a child who did something wrong?

Or is it the nerves that hit you just before you’re about to have the conversation that suddenly render you incompetent and fighting to find the right words, or to fill the space when you are met with silence from the receiver that causes you to fumble over more words and approach the situation with verbal vomit?

Feedback conversations don’t necessarily need to be uncomfortable experiences. Nor do they necessarily need to be filled with awkward silence.

But how do you start to deal with your nerves and the emotions that manifest as a result of those nerves? Let’s look at three very basic but powerful ways you can manage nerves and emotion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Six ways to foster collaboration in the workplace

In Collaboration, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Leadership, Performance Management, Team on September 15, 2015 at 2:59 am

orange_windows

There’s a saying that goes: “Competition makes us faster. Collaboration makes us better.”

To attain and maintain a high performing team, sure, it’s important to feel an edge of competition. After all, a healthy amount of competition means you work extra hard to stay ahead of the game.

But competition breeds individualism.

And individualism is the opposite of collaboration.

And where competition encourages silos; collaboration breaks them down.

But we could learn a thing or two from the positive practice of a multi-active culture; a focus on people, connection, and relationships, even in business.

So it seems the focus has shifted. Where once it was about being the fastest in the industry and who could shine the brightest in the team; these days, it’s about putting all our strengths and talents into a collective pool and working together as a team for exceptional results.

Using the metaphor of the shining star, after all, one star can only shine so bright, but a collection of stars, well, you get the gist.

So we’ve come to realise that as a united front, a team can deliver so much more than just one individual.

And perhaps we’ve always realised it – we’ve only just started living and breathing it.

Collaboration. When did it get so popular? Or did it always exist under the pseudonym ‘teamwork’? And has it always been an utopian state most organisations and teams strive for but only a few succeed?

Read the rest of this entry »

Five simple but powerful tips to increase your influential presence

In Change Management, Communication, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Performance Management, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on July 6, 2015 at 2:14 am

emotions

Ever wondered why some people are so much more influential and persuasive than others?

American politician Jim Roth once said: “If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skilfully, you can work miracles.”

Now there’s a notion; working miracles. What exactly does that entail? A sense of power, achievement, and an ability to reach any desired goal. Profound attributes any leader would covet. Indeed, the quote certainly brings to mind the ability to communicate effectively with an aim to influence or persuade. Certainly an alluring quality. But not just for leaders. Why? Well, because influencing and persuading is a necessary skill for anyone, whether in the professional or personal sphere. It is a transferable skill that can be applied in various situations.

Influencing skills are critical to help you achieve your desired outcomes
Influencing is about being able to convince your stakeholder of the importance of an issue and to see things from a different perspective. If you haven’t got their buy-in, then you haven’t influenced or persuaded them effectively.

And here’s the thing. Influencing and persuading is not just about one conversation. I’m afraid there’s no shortcut. Sometimes, it can be a series  of conversations with the same or different stakeholder over a period of time. And in fact, how long it takes you to achieve the outcome that you’re looking for will depend on the rapport and quality of the relationship.

So what makes an effective influencer?

Read the rest of this entry »

Five simple listening tips that automatically change the way you listen

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Personal Branding, Philosophy on June 20, 2015 at 7:08 am

20150620-172206.jpg

I was sitting in a cafe recently and noticed the couple next to me. She was talking. He was on his smart phone. Scrolling. Reading. And nodding. Apparently he was listening. Apparently. She thought so, too. Because she kept talking. Mind you, she was looking at him. Talking and making eye contact. Or at least, attempting to. He had his eyes fixed on the phone.

Hands up those of you who have seen this scene. It’s not an unheard of situation. We see it all the time. But have we become so busy, we have to constantly multitask? Even at the detriment of how we connect with others?

If I was sitting across from someone who would dare do that, I would stop talking. It’s a waste of time. And energy. It is disrespectful. And it damages your personal brand to pretend to listen when you’re not. I wanted to shake that person sitting at that table across that poor woman.

But before we get there, there is hope. Here are five simple tips on how to listen actively.

Read the rest of this entry »

Good to great communication

In Branding, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Learning, Personal Branding, Philosophy on May 27, 2015 at 4:38 am

20150527-145204.jpg

Have you ever thought about how the way we communicate can be aligned to the way we learn?

It occurred to me the other day when I was asked my thoughts on webinars.

And it got me thinking.

According to the VAK learning styles of visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners, I fall into the kinesthetic category. Perhaps a little visual. But mostly I learn by doing. I love jumping right into the heart of things and by trial and well, error. In fact, of the three styles, audio is not a preferred option for me. At all.

I can’t imagine sitting through a forty-five-minute webinar session, especially if not accompanied by visuals. In fact, I don’t even enjoy talk radio. Or talking on the phone, for that matter. It is not my preferred form of communication. Nor learning.

So I won’t function well in a webinar. It’s also no surprise that I don’t particularly sit well through lengthy teleconferences. Even though I have had to do so, they are a struggle for me. So to remain engaged and animated, I try to take notes.

But what does all this say about my communication preference and learning style? And what has that got to do with the person or persons communicating with me?

Read the rest of this entry »

Color code your meetings for a more effective collaboration

In Communication, Creative, Inspire, Leadership on June 10, 2014 at 10:44 am

20150324-170830.jpg

Have you ever been in a meeting and wondered where it was going and how come the topic got so sidetracked, it’s driven agenda to walk out the door and effectiveness to jump out the window?

Or perhaps it’s just that you’ve been in too many meetings lately? And you’re starting to doubt the effectiveness of having such meetings?

According to Harvard Business Review’s May 2014 article, ‘Your Scarcest Resource’, “… Fifteen percent of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings – a percentage that has increased every year since 2008″.

The article goes on to mention that “In a recent Bain survey, senior executives rated more than half the meetings they attended as ‘ineffective’ or ‘very ineffective’…. most companies have an opportunity to liberate at least 20 percent of their collective hours by bringing greater discipline to time management.”

Most of us know the feeling. And after a while, it all starts sounding so cliché. Oh here goes, another meeting. What’s worse is, sometimes after the meetings, paperwork needs to be done. Where do you even find the time? Never mind the regular job you were hired to do. Sometimes it takes longer reporting on the job you do than the actual doing of the job.

But in an era where businesses are pushing for collaboration and communication, meetings are essential. As even the wise Winnie the Pooh said, “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Those wise words alone have many layers of wisdom. But let’s focus on effective collaboration for today.

So in the quest to break down silos and foster a collaborative culture, it is inevitable that we have our meetings. Formal or informal. But how to make them more effective?

Have you ever thought about color coding your meetings?

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: