CommsMasters Blog

Let's Talk About Bullying

"When it's your turn to get shouted at, you just hang your head and wait until the yelling stops. And, when it isn't, I'm ashamed to say, you hang your head and thank God it's someone else's turn."

"[Senior leader] meetings are a nightmare every month. [They are] ritual humiliation in front of your peers."

"I was sobbing hysterically the night before my performance review. I just couldn't face my boss. The constant blame; the constant undermining. That's when I realised I'd had enough – it was time to take a package and leave."

These are comments from senior leaders I've worked with over recent months.

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How to Get Seriously Significant ROI from Leadership Development

My last blog post was a bit of a black cloud, as I explored just how poor the ROI in leadership development typically is.

But I did promise a ray of sunshine to follow. And that's exactly what this post is all about.

I'm going to share with you one of the key ways we help our clients get seriously significant ROI on their investment in developing their leaders' communication skills.

I want you to benefit from our experience over the last 25 years.

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Don't Settle for Results Like These...

Here's a depressing statistic. Less than 10% of leadership development brings sustained change or has meaningful business impact.

Now, that depresses me. I've invested a lot of my working life in this field.

Because of this, I'd like to believe these kind of statistics aren't true, but the sources are ones I trust – Harvard Business Review, the Institute of NeuroLeadership and McKinsey.

I'm especially concerned because a huge amount of the billions invested in developing leaders every year includes at least some element around communication skills.

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How to Get People to Take Accountability

"Can you help? We have 40 senior managers. We've asked them to progress a number of key changes. That was six months ago and they haven't delivered on any of them."

This was the problem posed by the Managing Director in one of our client organisations – a large, international engineering business.

So, happy to have a meaty challenge, I set off to investigate. 

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Why Aren't Your People Taking Accountability?

There’s an epidemic sweeping our organisations. And leaders don’t know how to stop it.

It's the epidemic of 'lack of accountability.'

How do I know there's an epidemic?

Because, right now, the Number One question I'm asked by leaders across a whole range of organisations is: "How can I get my people to take accountability?"

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Why You Should Give Your People Control Over Change

I know of a company which moved offices a couple of years ago. The leaders all agreed the move made sense, and it was going to be better for the employees too — in every way except one.

The new office was on a different railway line to the old one. It was probably more convenient for some, but many staff members were now facing a longer commute and a change of trains.

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Why Resistance to Change Can Be Good

"Why aren't the messages working? Why aren't people accepting these changes?"

If your organisation has ever tried to push through a major change, you've probably heard those words — or their equivalent — from your CEO. They're impatient to see the change they've worked so hard to bring about actually happen, and balk at any sign that employees are resistant.

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How to Motivate Your Employees to Change

"People know the truth — that they're literally risking their lives. But we still can't get them to change their behaviours..."

Health & Safety doesn't always get the best press, even when it really is a matter of life and death. Like at this company, involved in heavy industry, where I was talking to the Head of HR. She was exasperated because crucial new safety measures were being ignored.

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How to Reduce Resistance to Change

"But it's not the same as the old place, is it? There just isn't the same atmosphere."

An engineering company that I know had just moved to impressive new offices, far more spacious and stylish than the old ones.

But people were complaining constantly and the employee who made the comment above certainly wasn't alone.

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Is 'Everyday Performance Management' the Future?

"You'd better make this investment worth our while. You're asking us to give up the equivalent of five years of our senior leaders' time to learn how to have better performance conversations. That's a big ask."

I'm not sure I've ever met anyone as sceptical as this director of an engineering firm I worked with a couple of years ago. And I certainly left that particular Board meeting with his words ringing loudly in my ears.

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