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


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 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

Taking control of your email

Are you swamped with emails and is your inbox becoming bigger and bigger?
A decade ago a South African consultant, Gerrit Cloete, taught me how to use MS Outlook to make my life easier and, well, to remove stress.

“How to take control of your email” was the topic of a recent post by an American consultant and author, Joel Comm.

Do you have a simple system that works? Many of my clients suffer from not having a simple system for controlling the content of their inboxes.

Perhaps you could do with three tips on how to cope? Continue reading

Composing emails

Many people suffer from emails. Consider for a moment how you could alleviate the suffering of the recipients of your emails.

Here are 13 tips gleaned from various sources. Continue reading