Where does communication go wrong?

There’s no doubt – we all tend to take communication for granted. But as George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “The problem with communication… is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” We believe it to be a straightforward process and that when we say something the other person understands us fully and we, of course,…

How to build excellent working relationships

I recently gave a training course on managing relationships at work and thought it would be nice to adapt the section on the actions we can take to build relationships for this blog post.

It seems so obvious that having good working relationships leads to higher productivity yet many people don’t make this direct link. Good relationships lead to more innovation and creativity at work as people feel confident enough to express themselves, time consuming, energy draining obstacles such as office politics and back stabbing are removed and of course, if you want to progress in your career, a good relationship with your boss is fundamental.

So what can we do to build better relationships at work? Here are some ideas.

What are the Six Human Needs and how do they relate to motivation?

We hear a lot these days about motivation, it seems to be the buzzword of the decade, and quite rightly so, highly motivated staff lead to engaged employees lead to a happier working environment lead to higher productivity!

However, the ‘sixty thousand dollar’ question always is ‘What actually motivates someone?’ There are many motivation theories out there but the one I want to highlight in this post is related to our basic needs as humans and what happens when they aren’t met.

In the 1950’s Maslow articulated the Hierarchy of Needs, outlining how our needs change as we evolve as a society and as an individual. A model related to this but with a somewhat different perspective is the Six Human Needs model popularized by Anthony Robbins.

Change your thoughts, change your life!

More than any time in the past the need for positive thinking is not only desirable but necessary.

In my training courses I nearly always include a small section about how we think about the skills we are learning and practicing; a consistently positive attitude towards giving a presentation for example makes a huge difference to your performance on the day, even if it’s just changing your belief from “I’m not very good at presentations” to “Every time I practice giving a presentation, I’m getting better and more confident”.

Two sources inspired me to write this post. The first was from a request by a multi- national company to deliver a course on positive thinking to combat the negative atmosphere induced by restructuring and layoffs. The second source of inspiration came from a friend who told me an interesting story. He related how for many years his principle view of life was one of negativity, believing that everything that happened to him was caused by external forces which inevitably drove him to complain incessantly.  As a consequence, people didn’t want to be around him and professional opportunities quickly dried up.Then one day someone asked him if he had read “The Secret”. After reading this book and completing changing his attitude to one of positivity and self responsibility, his life changed completely in only 15 days!

Is your to-do list really serving you?

I was talking to a friend about time management the other day. He was telling me that he has so many alarms attached to all his tasks and appointments that when they ring, he actually doesn’t take any notice of them, mmmm. Before I had time to say anything, he made the pertinent comment himself, “you know, Janice, that really doesn’t serve me!”

It made me think… how many of us pile all our tasks regardless of time frame and priority onto a calendar or one massive to-do list?

To multitask or not to multitask

Without a doubt we feel a great satisfaction in getting things done. So much so, that we’ve got into the habit of trying to get several things done at once believing that by doing so, we’ll achieve more. This is a complete illusion. Multitasking is the enemy of effective productivity. Studies now demonstrate that our productivity goes down by as much as 40% when we multitask. And another study showed that being distracted by email and phone calls causes a 10 point fall in our IQ – that’s the same impact as losing a night’s sleep and twice the effect of smoking marijuana!

Not only does multitasking increase the probability of making mistakes, but if you are trying to do something whilst in conversation with someone, and thus not paying them your full attention, you could be on a slippery path to damaging your relationship with that person.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are not multi tasking, we are switch tasking; basically we are stopping doing one task to start another – all the time. Where is the sense in that?