Blog posts

    Level Playing Fields and Hymn Sheets

    Golden Bull Award Image

    This week I received an email containing one of the most pretentious opening sentences I’ve ever seen.

    My wife and I wanted a weekend away in London, so I emailed a well-known hotel group to enquire about booking a room. The emailed reply – from someone I’d never been in contact with before – read: ‘Dear Mr Heath, thank you for reaching out to me…’

    Is It Time You Gave Up?

    I enjoyed a great workshop with some of the good people at Huddle this week and, during a discussion about the need for persistence, one delegate said, “But don’t you also have to know when to give up?”

    How very true. Persistence is a great quality, but persistence without wisdom is a curse.

    Should We Give A First Impression A Second Chance?

    In an interview, how much can you trust a first impression? There are some who, when a candidate walks into their interview, boast that their ‘antennae‘ quickly twig whether the person is suitable for the role or not.

    Really? Are they blessed with some extra-sensory perception denied to us lesser mortals?

    Julius Caesar said it best: “Men in general are quick to believe that which they wish to be true.” And if there’s one lesson I’ve learned from interviewing, it’s that a first impression is a notoriously unreliable sense.

    Why You Might Not Choose a Life of Crime

    The judge looked over the top of his spectacles, his grey eyes fixing severely on the accused in the dock.

    “Before I pass judgement on you, have you anything to say in your defence?”

    The prisoner winked insolently back and casually shrugged his shoulders, “Have a heart, your Honour. I burgled those houses not ‘cos I wanted to – I really had no choice. You can’t blame me for my genetic predisposition to burgle.”

    Wake Up and Smell the Cliché

    We owe it to those we work with to make every effort to say what we are really thinking. The trendy buzz phrases used by so many deny our thirst for open communication and stop us saying what we really mean.

    So what is the worst cliché you’ve ever heard?

    Mine has to be the time I was attending a fraught meeting where things had begun to get rather heated, especially between two excitable managers.

    Presentation Nerves: Churchill's Bitter Lesson

    Many people blame nerves for ruining good presentations. But nerves can have a very positive effect on our performance and even lift a presentation from the mediocre to the unforgettable.

    Winston Churchill.

    Ask someone to think of a great orator and, very often, that is whom many will think of first.

    Or was he such a great orator? Read on. I think I might have a surprise for you.

    Some years ago, Brooke Knapp, the US female test pilot said:

    There's a Place for Us

    Whether you are a team leader or a corporate director, you are charged with changing things for the better. But first you must define what ‘better' is and communicate this in a compelling and persuasive way for your team.

    Michelangelo once spoke of it. Lewis Carroll once wrote about it.

    But Moses had to do it.

    In fact every manager should be doing it: setting a clear and unambiguous direction to his or her team.

    Alice in Management Land

    Half Empty to Half Full: Dealing with the Mind Menaces

    Stress Management Consultant, Teresa Harrington, looks at the mental damage we can inflict on ourselves by allowing our thought patterns to go unchallenged, and offers a life-changing strategy.

    "Negative thinking should carry a health warning."

    So a past delegate informed me. Is it true? Well, yes, because negative thinking is more than a state of mind, it can have serious effects not only on our well being but also on those people around us. What's more, if unchecked, it can lead to levels of stress that are almost impossible to tolerate.

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