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…]

Learning to Listen to Your Internal Communication

Anyone who travels regularly by train knows only too well the irritation of that tinny sound emanating from someone else’s headphones.

Today I had that pleasure.

First of all, the repetitive delights of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" followed by some kind of game that necessitated repeated meowing sounds. Delightful to the toddler listening to it; less so to me!

With adults, I usually ask them to turn down the volume. But it seemed a bit churlish to do this with a two-year-old.

[Read more…]

Death, Taxes... and Fear

In my previous blog I proposed that, in addition to death and taxes there is, in fact, one other certainty in life – and that is we all feel fear on a regular basis.

And I believe that fear in the workplace is not only time-consuming and costly but that it creates blockages in communication, stifles innovation and gets in the way of business progress.

[Read more…]

Death and Taxes Aren't the Only Certainties in Life

I disagree with the old adage that the only certainties in life are death and taxes.

There is a third – and that is that we will all feel fear on a regular basis.

It's a major part of being human.

Cialdini's research shows that we are more driven by fear (of loss) than we are by desire (for gain).

[Read more…]

The Stretch Zone: Real Conversations & Real Confidence

Recently I had the pleasure of bumping into Heather Campbell, a colleague from years past whose company, CommsMasters, specialises in developing capability in having great conversations.

In our conversation about conversations we reflected that, while there are all sorts of conversations to have content-wise, there is really only one conversation to have process-wise – and that is the real conversation.

[Read more…]

Subscribe to our blog