CommsMasters Blog

The Surprising Reason Your People Are Not Resilient

A few years ago, a friend of mine suffered serious stress as her marriage went through a rough patch. She couldn't sleep and couldn't concentrate properly. She began making mistakes at work as well.

To help her get through this difficult period, she decided to give herself frequent opportunities to relax. She treated herself to spa treatments. She made a point of going out for coffee regularly with her friends. And she also joined a meditation class at her local gym and downloaded a meditation app to her phone, so that she could clear her mind daily.

[Read more…]

When Training is the Wrong Answer...

Nothing changed from one annual staff survey to the next.

Every year, the scores around communication were low.

And every year, the answer was the same, as well – put on more training for managers.

By the time I got involved with this company, there was an unbelievable array of communication workshops available for the leadership. There was one on communicating by email, another on leading teams remotely, and still more on delivering staff briefings, coaching, influencing, and running team meetings.

[Read more…]

How to Read Between the Lines of Your Employee Survey Results

A couple of months ago I was chatting to a senior leader, who was telling me how he'd managed to change his company culture.

"You must have communicated well!" I told him admiringly.

"Oh no," he replied. "This wasn't about comms. This was about getting people engaged with ideas and projects, and getting them to feel they can really influence the decisions taken at the top."

I smiled. To me, this all boils down to one thing – communication.

[Read more…]

Annual Performance Reviews: What REALLY Scares Your Leaders

I once worked with a manager who never gave his staff realistic annual performance reviews. Everyone was apparently performing equally well.

Eventually problems began to surface, so the director of HR sat down with him to find out why he hadn't flagged up issues in good time. He claimed that he found it hard to find the right words – "I don't find these conversations easy".

The company invited him and several others to a communications workshop, so that they could become more comfortable handling such difficult conversations.

It didn't help. The next year, his team again received glowing appraisals, across the board.

[Read more…]

A Simple Way to Get Your Managers to Change

It's the end of your driving lesson.

Just before you get out of the car, you turn to the driving instructor and ask what you need to do better next lesson, in order to eventually pass your test.

"You need to drive better," is the reply.

"Yes, but what specifically?"

"You just need to drive better."

"How will you be able to tell I'm driving better?"

"Well, you'll be driving better..."

You'd be tearing your hair out, wouldn't you?

[Read more…]

The Key to Making Communication Training Stick

 "I used to think of going to comms workshops as a real waste of time. Just something that got in the way."

The manager wasn't joking.

I'd just finished running one such workshop. According to this manager, he had been 'sent' on all sorts of workshops and courses, learning any number of different tools and techniques to improve the way he communicated with his team. He'd even half-heartedly put some of them into practice – for a while.

[Read more…]

5 Ways to Give Feedback Without Impacting Motivation

If ‘feedback is a gift’, how come it’s so often met with a negative reaction by those receiving it?

As a leader you are required to give feedback to your reports – whether it be positive or negative – and despite your best intentions, you too often end up generating fear and anxiety for the other person. 

Why does it seem so hard to give feedback that is welcomed by the recipient?

[Read more…]

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!).

[Read more…]

2 Old-School Feedback Techniques It's Time To Ditch

In helping leaders to become more confident and competent communicators, exploring how to give effective feedback is one of the core areas that we encourage our clients to focus on. And giving clear, succinct and meaningful feedback continues to be one area that even the most experienced leaders struggle with.

When examining this topic, there are two particular techniques that many leaders still use – but that really need to be put out to pasture. The first of these is the Feedback Sandwich (sometimes referred to using a slightly different, rather more scatological, title) and the second is asking a question to get the other person to critique their own performance.

Here's why it's time to stop using the Feedback Sandwich.

[Read more…]

Subscribe to our blog