CommsMasters Blog

David Mason

Recent Posts

Is Your Management Style Worthy of a Good Tip?

Uber, the increasingly popular taxi app, is making headlines again due to the fact that, as well as allowing passengers to rate their experience at the hands of each driver, it also allows drivers to rate their passengers.

So, if you take a ride with an Uber driver, you can be rated on things such as size of tip, attitude and clarity of communication (just don't say Melville Street when you mean Melville Place or you may be marked down!).

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What Are *You* Frightened Of?

In this Monday's edition of The Times, the BBC economics editor Robert Peston writes movingly about the profound effect the death of his wife (at the comparatively young age of 51) has had on him.

He goes on to describe the way in which some colleagues – notably male ones – found it difficult to know how to deal with the situation on his return to work.

And there, I think, lies the problem. Because of the perceived 'rules of engagement' in the workplace, difficult (even taboo) subjects such as bereavement are dealt with as 'situations'.

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The 'Mum Test'

This week the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the body responsible for the regulation of all health and social care in England – announced a new regime for the inspection of care homes. In future, inspectors will carry out a 'mum test' in which they'll be asked to consider if they'd be happy for someone they love and care about to receive the services patients are receiving – including the way they are cared for and spoken to. In other words, 'Would this place and its people be good enough for my mum?'

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What Are Words Worth?

It's important to acknowledge that in any debate, both sides believe that they're right. And we, as human beings, are hard-wired to gravitate towards the things that reinforce our beliefs or existing knowledge, rather than refute them.

Take the recent case of the dispute at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant. Leaving the politics aside, the language that was (reported as) being used added fuel to an already inflamed debate, one in which both sides believed their perspective was the 'right' one. Workers, on the one hand, allegedly described one INEOS director as being "evil", while David Cameron described the plant's former Unite convener as a "rogue" operator.

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Communication: The Common Denominator of Leadership? (Part 2)

In my previous post I started to look back at some of the leadership models, trends and fads that I've encountered in the course of my career – both as a practitioner and a consultant. The reason I decided to do this was to try and prove my own hypothesis that they are all connected by one common denominator – communication.

Whether they are something we learned on a three-week-long management induction course (ah, those were the days!) or 'the latest thing' that we've just picked up from TED, I really believe that communication is what they're all about, always.

So this time I'm going to focus on two of those I didn't get round to previously.

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Communication: The Common Denominator of Leadership? (Part 1)

I've been taking a walk down memory lane recently and trying to recall some of the leadership models, trends and fads that I've come across during my career. And the number of these models/trends/fads either means that I'm getting on more than I realised or that the industry for 'the latest thing' has always been in rude health!

Seriously, though... there have been many useful ideas, some interesting ones, and others that were just plain weird.

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Professional Hobbies – How Many Do You Have?

What do you like doing at work? If you're anything like me the answer is quite simple.

"I like doing what I like doing, and I don't like doing what I don't like doing!"

Most human beings are naturally attracted to the things from which they derive most satisfaction and offer the greatest opportunities for success – and, conversely, they tend to stay away from things that they find difficult and where the chances of something going wrong are high.

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Listen to the ROAR!

Financial ROI? People being nicer to each other? Blind faith?

Which of these is your preferred way to ensure that investment in soft skills development – such as leadership communication – pays off?

It's such a tricky area to measure that, too often, rolling out the development programme and just hoping it delivers can seem an attractive option.

But that isn't satisfactory for anyone involved – the learners who put time and energy into learning; the provider who puts time and energy into supporting the learning; or the purchasing company that contributed time, energy and money – often significant sums.

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Would You Pass The Integrity Test?

“Cameron Leadership Damaged as Murdoch Inquiry Weakens Faith”

“Powerful bankers defend their industry at annual Davos symposium”

“Fake figures put trust in NHS waiting times at risk”

...and so it goes on. It seems that headlines like these are becoming all too familiar and appearing all too often.

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Try Sitting In A Different Seat

It's amazing, isn't it, how quickly we become creatures of habit?

Starting my role with CommsMasters has meant that I now have a daily commute from Edinburgh to Glasgow (when I'm not out visiting clients) and, on reflection, I'm a little bit worried about how soon I've got into a 'routine'.

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