The neuroscience of change

Business leaders everywhere know that success isn’t possible without changing the day-to-day behaviour of people throughout the company. But changing behaviour is hard. (Even when new habits can mean the difference between life and death e.g. adopting healthier day-to-day habits after having undergone coronary bypass surgery, nine out of 10 patients do not manage to follow though.)

However, behavioural change – and business success – has a much likelier chance of occurring if we heed new evidence about change. Breakthroughs in cognitive science about how our brains function contain pointers worth taking serious note of. Continue reading


How to get more results from coaching?

Most MD and managers have no idea how little their staff learn during an important coaching session.  What to do to ensure more learning and new behaviour?

Most of us know that our listening retention ability is between 7% and 9%. Continue reading

Small wins mean progress

“Of all things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.” “Everyday progress – even a small win – can make all the difference”… in how you and your employees feel and perform.

Continue reading

Crucial Conversations – and the free flow of meaning

Three clients indicated that I had struck a raw nerve with last month’s post on crucial conversations and confrontations. Two asked me to conduct coaching discussions. We used examples emanating from their workplaces.

While holding a crucial conversation can be sophisticated, mastering even a few principles can lead to immediate results.  Understanding these principles opens new opportunities and removes the inclination to rather be silent than risking a conversation which could turn out to become very uncomfortable and which might even derail. Continue reading

Crucial conversations and confrontations

Every now and then a normal conversation turns into crucial conversation. We have all experienced this. We are rational human beings usually in charge of ourselves, but sometimes we loose it.  We get angry, we raise our voices, we glare. We say things we later regret. Or we withdraw and say nothing. We fester and sulk.

Sometimes we handle crucial conversations well, but mostly we don’t. When we need to handle a conversation that matters most we are often at our absolute worst. Continue reading

In flow days

A friend and two of my clients are deeply immersed in getting a few marketing items into place. I too, since mid-February, spent time on marketing, revamped pages on my website, created new pages and gave attention to related items.

It struck all of us: If you are serious about getting something done, spend some uninterrupted time on whatever you do. The key to achieving something remarkable is the uninterrupted stretch of time that you devote to whatever topic. Continue reading

In praise of praising

The number one employee complaint always pinpoints one issue: not being recognised for a job well done.

While it is so easy to praise, just ask around: When last did you get proper recognition for a job well done? I ask this question in group meetings with each of my clients and only a few hands will go up. When I ask: “Did the praising consist of something more than a brief “thanks, well done” and was a meaningful reason supplied?” even fewer hands go up.

Then the reverse question: “Did you in the past week provide praise plus an explanation to a colleague or someone outside your team? Please raise your hands.” More often than not, there’s a no show. Continue reading