[FREE WEBINAR REPLAY] How to Communicate the Way You REALLY Want To!
22 Mar

[FREE WEBINAR REPLAY] How to Communicate the Way You REALLY Want To!

right trax communication webinar

If you’ve ever wanted to communicate in a different, more effective way, find out why you need to watch our free webinar replay now to develop this vital interpersonal skill!

 

We communicate all the time, whether fighting our way onto the train in the morning, presenting monthly results to your boss or simply asking a team member to arrange time to catch up it’s an action and a skill that never sleeps. We are constantly in the process of trying to get others to understand us or understand them, so for a process that has no let-up we absolutely need to get to grips with it.

 

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

George Bernard Shaw

 

How true is this quote?! Think about how often you’ve had a conversation with someone who swears blind that it didn’t happen, or they misunderstand what you’ve asked that you wish you hadn’t bothered asking in the first place!

 

Our personal style heavily influences how successful or unsuccessful our communication is, and our free webinar replay:

 

  • Looks at why communication goes wrong so easily and identifies your preferred communication style.
  • Gives practical tips on how to build your assertiveness and resilience.
  • Focuses on how to better manage conflict by being assertive.
  • Offers free resources to help you to develop your communication style!

 

Click below to register for the webinar replay and you will be able to watch it straight away! Find out how we can help you to develop communication and a range of other important interpersonal skills.

Please note: the webinar room opens a five minutes before we begin, to allow everyone to enter and get settled. Please leave the webinar running in the background and you will see the chat stream progress, then you will hear our audio when the webinar begins.

Complete Our Webinar Survey and Win a FREE Coaching Session!
06 Mar

Complete Our Webinar Survey and Win a FREE Coaching Session!

We promise to keep it brief with just a few questions and then give you a chance to tell us any other webinar-thoughts at the end!

 

Be sure to tell us your name and email address if you’d like to be in with the chance of winning a free developmental coaching session

We need your response by Friday 17th March to be entered into the draw and the lucky winner will be contacted by email.

 

Click below to take the survey!

Take the survey

Are Managers to Blame for Disengaged Employees?
22 Feb

Are Managers to Blame for Disengaged Employees?

disengaged employees

Managers who don’t know how to meet the engagement needs of their team become a barrier to employee, team and company performance’, suggests a recent Gallup poll.

 

The global poll found that disengaged employees outnumber engaged employees by almost 2:1 (24% vs. 13% respectively), so can we then presume that on a worldwide scale, more people find their working lives dissatisfying rather than delightful?

 

An engaged team is naturally the more preferable option, delivering better results across the board in terms of higher employee retention, customer satisfaction ratings and of course profitability to name but a few benefits.

 

Are managers to blame?

 

In a way. But it’s a tricky one.

 

We can’t levy all of the blame at the manager’s doorstep. Whilst it is undeniable that they have a huge amount of collective influence, we must also consider the impact of organisational culture and the infrastructure in place to support them to be able to effectively manage and lead their teams.

 

After all, if a manager is brought into a company that has little or no concern for their people, should we then be surprised if the manager adopts a similar style? This lack of concern can be seen in many ways such as ignoring suggestions, telling not asking or the mis-match between corporate values and behaviour demonstrated, particularly from senior leaders.

 

Let’s be clear: there is a big difference between a manager who actively chooses not to engage their team and one who is not supported to work in such a way. The former must always be performance managed, but we mustn’t paint all managers with the same brush.

 

‘Appropriately trained and aligned managers are vital to the execution of the company’s mission and to the development and engagement of employees.’

Brian Fielkow

 

disengaged employee
The way forward?

 

There are a huge number of factors that can impact employee engagement levels, but to see a significant increase a few of the top areas to focus on include:

  • As mentioned, organisational culture, including strategy, mission, purpose and values must be aligned to provide a unified direction, and this must be driven from the top.
  • People (not just managers) must feel empowered rather than micromanaged.
  • People (particularly managers) must be invested in and supported, both on-the-job and in the long-term through management and leadership development and training.

 

Coming next week: Part two of our look at the importance of developing Emotional Intelligence as an interpersonal skill.

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help to develop your people and your business. Learn more about our management training.

Integrity….a Lost Cause or a Desirable Quality?
15 Dec

Integrity….a Lost Cause or a Desirable Quality?

Integrity is the fourth most effective driver of trust, which is amazing when you consider the ethical failures of leadership during this year alone, never mind over the past decade!

 

Integrity is considered an increasingly important attribute for the modern manager and is seen as a must have for senior leaders. Leaders with integrity have more concern about their character than their achievements. After all, reputation is what others think about you whereas character represents who you really are.

 

“Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.”

CS Lewis

 

This year alone, we’ve seen serious abuse of integrity, insider trading, false accounting practices, inappropriate behaviour and tax avoidance to name just a few. Most recently, two pharmaceutical companies received record fines for overcharging the NHS by 2600%.1 This begs the question: if you cannot count on a leader to conduct themselves consistently with high ethical standards and with honesty, how can you trust them?

 

It appears integrity is a potential blind spot for many people and whether this occurs from over-confidence or arrogance, many senior leaders really need to get back to basics and consider what is at the heart of integrity.

 

For many, this can be challenging as integrity has many definitions and can vary between cultures. There is also the issue of having the ability to rationalise behaviours2 as most of us are presented with integrity-based choices every day. However it doesn’t have to be that complicated and for most of us, we can build our integrity by remembering these five simple points3:

 

  1. Consistency – in our words and actions
  2. Morality – expecting high standards of behaviours from ourselves
  3. Trustworthy – taking responsibility for our own feelings and actions
  4. Honesty – speaking the truth
  5. Authenticity – being genuine and sincere

 

A really simple way of testing integrity is to ask yourself: would your actions or behaviours meet the approval of someone that you want to gain the approval of? If not, why would you continue with this behaviour or action if it will cause concern or disapproval?

 

At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping your business and your people to develop. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

 

 

1 Pharmaceutical companies receive record fines

2 Why integrity is never easy

3 The irony of integrity

Personality Profiling: Do Opposites Really Attract?
03 Nov

Personality Profiling: Do Opposites Really Attract?

At Right Trax Training, we use personality profiling to support our own, often opposing styles…which can be ‘fun’!

 

Personality profiling is something that we feel passionate about. For us, we deliver much in the way of MBTI and Insights Discovery training and workshops. Tools like these can benefit the workplace and relationships immensely, if used in the ‘right‘ way.

 

Here’s an overview of how we differ:

CHRISYVETTE
Conscious preferenceIntroverted ThinkingExtroverted Feeling
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®ISTJENFP
MBTI Personality Types®
Insights Discovery® conscious colour order
We’ve gained great value from completing various personality profiles, which have helped us to understand that we are very different in our styles, approaches and preferences. This in turn has allowed us to develop the areas we may need to ‘turn up’ or focus on and leverage what comes really naturally to us.

 

Perhaps the biggest benefit however, is using the information to show us where each other is stronger (yes: and weaker), so that we can bounce off each other – which works great whether we’re deep in the detail of a proposal or facilitating events at fast pace!

 

All too often, we hear that opposites clash, and that we will lock horns with anyone very different to us. Of course, that may be true sometimes, but truly understanding our own preferences allows us to adapt and connect much more effectively with those around us, so that we easily complement and synergise with those who are opposite to us.

CHRISYVETTE
Tendency to…Focus on detail and pragmatismFocus on the intuitive and possibilities
Aim for perfectionKnow when good is good enough
Might say…“Have you proofread this?”“I gave it a quick scan!”
“But how is it going to work?”“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Key strengthAnalytical and systematicInteractive and inspirational approach
Key weaknessImpatient with others he sees as having lower standardsCan over-react to relatively small issues
When communicating, do…Respect his values and principlesBe alive and entertaining
When communicating, do not…Dismiss his thoughts or ideas as negativeAssume that her sunny disposition means that she agrees with everything you say
Can easily leverage…Critical analysisGenerating quick ideas
Consciously focuses on turning up…Energy for training delivery and facilitationAttention to detail

Get in touch to find out more about the MBTI and Insights Discovery training and workshops that we offer and how they can help your people and your business!

Leadership Lessons from Sports Direct
14 Sep

Leadership Lessons from Sports Direct

We are discovering more and more about failings at the major sports retailer. With such a huge example being made, it’s our responsibility to learn from it.

 

It seemed that things couldn’t get much worse for Sports Direct, having recently been embroiled in controversy surrounding huge issues like minimum wage, zero hour contracts, and shareholder revolt. Then, founder Mike Ashley pulls out a wad of £50 notes during a HQ tour and ‘open day’, surrounded by (we assume), many of his aforementioned minimum wage and / or zero hour contract employees.

 


Video credit: 5 News

 

No matter the size of your organisation, lessons can be learned from the leadership example set by Sports Direct or comparative examples such as BHS and Sir Philip Green.

 

  1. Keep it real

Ashley stated to MPs during a recent Business Select Committee that he wasn’t aware of much that was going on. So, essentially he failed to spot signs that would have surely indicated what was really going on. Was he unaware or did he turn a blind eye?

 

What can we learn: Whether unaware or not, as a leader the buck stops with him and the Board, and ignorance is no excuse for failings, no matter how big or small they are.

 

  1. Focus on engagement

Much has been commented on about the Sports Direct six strikes policy, which bred a culture of fear and job insecurity for staff making minor misdemeanors. This is just one example of how antiquated HR policies set at the top filter down to influence the feel and performance of an organisation.

 

What can we learn: Putting effort into developing a positive organisational culture, reducing staff turnover and increasing employee engagement must be viewed as a priority as well as being great for the bottom line of any business.

 

  1. Inspire through leadership

Sports Direct has taken a forceful and contentious path to growing the brand, largely through dominant and neglectful leadership. This leads us to bigger questions about the organisational strategy, goals and values of Sports Direct which were clearly aligned to pounds and pence rather than other positive outcomes, which in turn has informed their culture and approach to lacklustre employee care and engagement.

 

What can we learn: With an aligned approach, the same outcome that is more sustainable could well have been achieved through an influential, inclusive and nurturing approach to leadership (albeit perhaps over a longer timeline).

 

An example like Sports Direct teaches us that there is always much that we can learn about the leadership influence in our own organisations and the subsequent impact on culture, engagement and overall success.

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your managers to promote a positive culture with high employee engagement through their leadership ability. Get in touch to find out more.

Science or Magic? How to Build Trust Through Openness
17 Aug

Science or Magic? How to Build Trust Through Openness

With openness being one of the top five drivers of trust1, why do so many organisations neglect to develop this essential quality in their leaders and managers? After all, it’s not rocket science…or is it?

 

Openness is considered to be a philosophy or theory that encompasses being accessible and receptive to ideas, opinions and knowledge, whilst being transparent and collaborative in management style and decision-making2. Doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? Yet so many employees feel that openness is not practiced, with issues in the workplace ranging from low confidence, lack of ability or understanding and even the misconception that being open gives the perception of being less authoritative.

 

However, employees become frustrated with this apparent lack of openness and are under no illusions when it comes to organisational challenges and issues; and management appearing closed simply serves to escalate the frustration. Without the transparency or collaboration required for openness, employees will replace these missing elements and fill in the gaps for themselves.

 

There’s just some magic in truth, honesty and openness.

Frank Ocean

 

With this in mind, what can you do to develop your openness?

 

1. Be visible and engaged

Don’t hide behind a hierarchical management structure or bland generalised emails. Get out there with your teams, let them see you and feel your presence and become more personally engaged in them as people. Learn about your people, move away from ‘safe’ banal chit chat and discover them as individuals rather than the tasks or role that they do.

 

2. Be accountable and committed

Never underestimate how important it is to take ownership of your messages and decisions. Employees may not always agree with you, however they will more often than not respect you for owning a message or action. It demonstrates commitment and transparency which helps employees to understand issues and challenges. Most importantly it is a fundamental part in helping people to manage and cope with change.

 

3. Be consistent

Build confidence and trust by ensuring your actions and behaviours are consistent. Employees waste too much time trying to gauge the mood of their manager or which way they will be behave, so take ownership and be consistent.

 

4. Listen and encourage feedback

Your people don’t just want you to hear them but to actually listen and take note of their opinions and feedback. It’s a full time job really listening and understanding exactly what is being said, especially if you consider the amount of change and uncertainty that may be taking place in the current climate. Your employee’s feedback will tell you so much more than any report or survey; after all, they are seeing the business from the front line and their observations can be critical to resolving issues early on or recognising when things are or aren’t working.

 

5. Express your opinion

Whilst it is great that you ask your employees for their feedback, don’t be afraid of giving yours as well. As mentioned earlier, they may not agree but by understanding your thinking process and the bigger picture they can start to appreciate situations a lot more. Be confident in your opinions but not overtly authoritative – remember you’re encouraging a participative style of leadership by asking for opinions and feedback of others so strike a healthy balance of assertiveness.

 

Trust is the underpinning value in creating effective working relationships and has a direct impact in increasing employee engagement and satisfaction. Therefore it is critical that leaders and managers are able to demonstrate trust to their employees, customers and shareholders alike. Hopefully we have shown that this isn’t rocket science, however that doesn’t mean it’s easy although still something that must be invested in.

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help you and your people to develop the key drivers of trust. Get in touch to find out more.


1 ILM

2 Openness

TRUST…Reported AWOL From the Workplace
03 Aug

TRUST…Reported AWOL From the Workplace

trust in management training

If trust is the glue of life, then is it fair to say that we are coming ‘unstuck’ within the world of business?

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships”

Stephen Covey

 

Every week there seem to be new issues or events being reported where the decisions and behaviours of an individual or an organisation are shown as being unethical or lacking integrity. With recent stories relating to the poor treatment of employees at Sports Direct1, claims of unauthorised access to their offices from the Labour MP Seema Malhotra2 and inquiries into BHS calling for a restoral of public trust3, it certainly appears that levels of trust and integrity are at an all-time low.

 

With each fresh ethical scandal comes a huge amount of tension and hostility in the workplace, with companies paying the price both financially and reputationally. Therefore it is vital for employers to step up and confront these issues head on by committing to developing the cultural integrity within their organisations.

 

Trust-Definition

A study from Chartered Management Institute has revealed more than one in three managers admit they ‘bent the truth at least once a day’ and almost 30% ‘regularly ditched’ ethics at work4. If trust is about reliability, truth and ability, how do employees equip their managers and leaders to re-focus on principles and not personal gain?

 

The answer is not rocket science…research5 has shown that there are five fundamental skills and qualities that leaders and managers need in order to drive trust:

  1. Openness
  2. Communication
  3. The ability to make decisions
  4. Integrity
  5. Competence

 

“Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosy… Doesn’t try it on.”

Billy Connolly

 

Trust underpins relationships within the workplace and impacts on an employee’s perception of the organisation as well as their manager. By focusing on developing these five drivers of trust, partly through management training, employee engagement will increase which in turn will drive performance.

 

Therefore it is vital that organisations start leading by example and invest in some ‘glue’ to create environments which reward integrity and ethical behaviours – after all, if trust is the foundational principle that holds all relationships, why wouldn’t you?

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your people to develop the key drivers for trust. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.


 

1 People Management

2 BBC News

3 RetailWeek

4 Daily Mail

5 ILM

Two Minute Tips VLOG: Managing Conflict
29 Jun

Two Minute Tips VLOG: Managing Conflict

The EU Referendum brought a lot of conflicting views to the surface, from both sides of the fence. Take two minutes to watch our VLOG for tips on how to develop this important interpersonal skill: managing conflict.
 

 

Find out more about our interpersonal skills workshops and get in touch to discuss how we can help your people and your business to develop.

Top of the Blogs!
20 Apr

Top of the Blogs!

This week, we’re looking back at our top 10 most-viewed blogs…so grab a cuppa and look over some of your favourite articles in one handy little package.

 

It already feels like a while since we relaunched our website back in July last year – where does the time go!? Since then, we’ve been hard at work to keep bringing you a variety of content to whet your developmental-appetite. We hope you enjoy looking back over some of your favourite most-clicked articles!

 

  1. Conflict in the Workplace: don’t avoid it – manage it

Few organisations have a plan for how their people should manage conflict and disagreement, even though these are an almost inevitable part of working life.

 

  1. Are You Developing Your Soft Skills?

Exhibiting attributes such as excellent communication skills, a positive attitude, and the ability to work well as part of a team, are rapidly overtaking the usual suspects such as language skills or computer programming.

 

  1. Performance Management – a proactive partnership, or a positive pain?

It’s often seen as a laborious and unnecessary ‘tick box’ exercise – preceded by lots of last minute scurrying around for evidence – and little else…but if this is the case for you then you’re missing a trick!

 

  1. How to Find Your Mentor and Why You Need One

No matter who you are or how good you think you are, a mentor can be an invaluable asset to your personal and professional success.

 

  1. Why Should We Listen to You?

We often pride ourselves on our strong listening skills, yet we are guilty of demonstrating the complete opposite not only when listening to others, but when we want to be listened to!

 

  1. Teambuilding – make it work for you

Great teambuilding happens when we are able to better understand individual strengths to unlock how the team can be stronger together…but how can you make it happen for you?

 

  1. Flexible Working: The Way We Work is Changing!

With 1 in 3 of the UK workforce quoting flexible working as their top employer attribute, businesses must respond accordingly to attract the best talent.

 

  1. How Good Are Your Listening Skills?

Being a great listener is a valuable skill that we can all work at improving and developing…but how often do you stop to consider just how good your listening skills are?

 

  1. Stress Management – don’t ignore it

Most of us will experience some workplace stress at some point. This is normal; but a disproportionate amount of stress – or an over exaggerated reaction to it – can interfere with productivity, and have a truly detrimental effect on our welfare and the business.

 

  1. Welcome to the new look Right Trax Training!

If you’ve ever considered having a bit of a makeover, either personally, for your home or your business, you’ll understand just how difficult it can be; and it’s no easier when you want to do the same for your company brand and website!

 

Were any of your favourites not in the running? You can find the complete back-catalogue here!

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help put some of these ideas into practice for you and your business.

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2. Get an indication of your own bouncebackability levels!
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