Much of our speech is disposable; we are heard but not listened to. The consequences of this for society and for the world of work are alarming, and range from messages mislaid to conversations misunderstood; from meetings wasted to abject fear of public speaking. As the importance of your speaking increases, so does the pressure on you not just to be heard but to have people listen to you.
In the ten years since I developed my first training programme for business presenters, I have been working hard to understand how speakers can engage listeners in all contexts: from conversations and meetings, to platform speeches and presentations. I want to understand how you can speak, so people really want to listen to you.
Read more… How to Speak so People Listen
This article is based on my book: How to Speak so People Listen
People want to be engaged. They want to be treated fairly, to be consulted about what is happening, and to feel valued and supported. Yet employee engagement initiatives often meet with scepticism, resistance and even hostility. Why is this? Can we understand the source of the resistance and build on this understanding to create positive ways to handle it?
Models are the way that human beings understand our world, and everything we experience. We are constantly building models to explain what we observe, or to predict what we will observe next. Every rule, law, theory, hypothesis, generalisation or process that we make or follow is a model.
Model making is also one part of the way that science evolves, whether it is a hard, mathematical science, like physics or chemistry, or a soft, human science, like sociology or management. In all cases, practitioners observe, build models and then test them against new observations, looking for points of failure that will lead to new insights. Philosophers build models too. Indeed, they were the first scientists and some continue to test their models robustly, albeit using different methods.
Read more… Creating the Onion Model
These two articles are based on my book: The Handling Resistance Pocketbook.
Without a doubt, leaders need to be smart. They need to juggle different aspects of their leadership roles while retaining currency in their areas of technical expertise. They need to have answers – or be able to get them – and they need to motivate and direct the teams who follow them.
Not surprisingly, the study of leadership has become one of the biggest interest areas among academics, business people, public servants and trainers, with new ideas emerging every few years.
Read more… The Wisdom of Leadership
This article is based on my book: Smart to Wise.
The concept of ‘leadership’ almost always focuses on the leader’s relationship to his followers: his team members and supporters, and those who look to him for inspiration, guidance and direction. But not everyone looks towards the leader. Yet, if you seek to lead, you cannot leave them behind.
Engaging the bystanders – the undecided fencesitters – and your opponents, working with them to win their acceptance and maybe even support, is the mark of deep leadership. It is not just about winning them over and converting them to ‘your side’ – desirable as that may be – people often have a wholly reasonable cause to disagree and how you treat them is a mark of the quality of your leadership.
Read more… Leading Bystanders – TJ May 2014
This article is based on my book: The Influence Agenda
Over two years, I wrote 24 short articles for this series. Here are some examples:
Scott Jaffe Change Curve
An article on Scott Jaffe’s change curve, originally published in Training Journal.
Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases
An article on Lewin’s model of change, originally published in Training Journal.
Luft and Inghamï¿½s Johari Window
An article about a powerful tool for enhancing our self and shared knowledge by giving and seeking feedback in a group. Useful for change facilitators among others.